It is scary fun to think that the robot buddy who is making life a bit easier and products a bit cheaper will next week steal your job, that the bot that reads your laptop cookies will destroy your freedom of choice, or that super-intelligent algorithms mean that we will all end up working for machines. I propose, rather, that the current wave of anxiety about robots is lazy thinking that avoids the real and difficult issues caused by technological and economic change.
Society and technology have a love/hate relationship. The technology community see tech history as fascinating and tech innovation as boundless. The doubling of the world per capita income from $1 to $2 per day in twenty years is apparently proof enough of the real world benefits of tech (and trade). For the non-tech community, technology products are irresistible, but technology history is boring, its future is full of …
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