Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Automating a Workforce

The recent exponential increase in technological development has made the automation of workforce a more feasible reality. In the article “Fully Automated Luxury Communism,” Brian Merchant dispels apprehension towards an automation by proposing a Utopian like society which communally shares control of an automated workforce provided by the government as a non-profit service. Merchant illustrates the viability of his society by providing examples of companies such as “Uber,” the taxi service working towards full automation. Merchant strengthens his argument including diverse sources backing up his claim, but fails to address obvious criticism such as the necessary assimilation of the entire society to ensure the benefit is shared equally. In theory, this could be a Utopian society. However, the diversity of America, or any society in the world, will create great challenges as total assimilation is virtually impossible without a totalitarian government. The process of automation in society is undeniable, however converting a society to a foundation of automation would be virtually impossible. Another obvious flaw in the “FALC” argument is the lack of job market in a fully automated society. Automating the blue collar job market would create greater government dependency within the population and decrease government revenue from taxes. The lacking workforce could lead to various potential indirect effects such as an economic shift to fit such an automated society. Without revenue and a population supporting the economy, the local economy would likely collapse creating many long-lasting negative effects. The process of automation in society will naturally occur with the advancement of technology, however redefining society based on its automation could likely be adverse and will require extensive research to be deemed viable.  

1 comment:

  1. Dylan,
    I agree with the part of your post that talks about how the society that Merchant is trying to in vision would be a totalitarian government. However I do not believe it is impossible for any society to succeed under these automation circumstances. Yes, most jobs would be taken by "robots", but that would open the society to create new and better jobs that only a human can do. This will not happen over night, but over hundreds of years. Jobs we did not even know could exist would spring to life in the new society with the grunt work being taken care of by the robots. This would also force people to go to school and become literate enough to perform the tasks and skills of the new world. Plus all the engineers to fix all the automated beings that were created to do the blue-collar work. The economy would boom with the new revolution. I do agree when you say extensive research is required, but it is definitely not impossible or a bad idea.