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Robots vs human work

Robots vs human work

Ziheng XU

There is an obvious fact that, the rate of wage growth to ordinary worker is falling, that global wage growth lowest since 2008 [1]. It is hardly to understand that during the time when the global economy is recovering how can this happens. However, it can be explained by the gap between rich and poor. Otherwise the main reason for the problem of the gap between rich and poor become more and more serious is that income difference caused by new technology [2]. Nowadays the ‘new technology’ main means in artificial intelligence technology, new energy, new material technology and so on. When people look further that the problem of the rate of wage growth falling, the problem of gap between rich and poor, maybe only kinds of signals that the war between human work and robots has already begins.

However,it is true that the status of workers is unshakeable right now. Because of the flexibility and intelligence of human being and there are too many emergencies can happen in the world that people can never expected that what will happen in the next second, the role of the workers is irreplaceable.

In addition, the speed of technology increasing is not as fast as the speed of changing generations. Maybe at the time when robots can replace the human workers completely, the job categories of human being can be totally different. At that time maybe that everyone working only with their own brains, all kinds of physical job down by robots. This is the most ideal situation I could ever imagine.

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One the other hand, the developing of technology is very fast. When there is the time that the first time iPhone 4 as the most popular ‘smartphone’ appear in people’s field of vision it was 2010. With only blow 10 years developing, the technology of smartphone can be such advanced. I believe that in 2010, there are some people have already predicted that it can be so advanced but not so fast. Besides this, maybe over 20 years, robot worker can become a mature technology working in every factory.

The first industrial revolution in the period from about 1760s to sometime between 1820s and 1840s, the second industrial revolution beginning around 1850s to early 20th century, and every time when the industrial revolution happens always some kind of jobs forever disappeared in history, like telegraph sender, early service worker, hot water station worker and so on [3]. It is not surprised that that kind of work could disappeared forever because of people do not need it anymore. Also, I’m not surprised that one day if my future job would on that list one day. The speed of job outdating is as fast as the speed of technology developing. However, the invention of the car eliminated the coachman, but created the driver of the car. Cars and carriages have similarly function but with higher efficiency. At that time only a few people used to own a carriage, but now almost every family can own a car, and also car driver pay match well than coachman. Therefore, this change has brought more wealth and more employment to human being, which is the best mode of job replacement [4].

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Nevertheless, the problem is, due to the particularity of this era, there are not so many jobs be created, there are nothing alternative the disappeared jobs. There are so many new inventions, but they didn’t create the new job and they didn’t create more consumers. The result is robots or program is taking our job. There is a new word called’ lights-out manufacturing environment’ [4]. That means there is no human being in this factory, all the work will do by robots, and all sensor can work in the dark, that means light is unnecessary. If there is one day that all the factory can apply this manufacturing environment, then human worker could not survive.

Although, there is a report named ’THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYMENT: HOW SUSCEPTIBLE ARE JOBS TO COMPUTERISATION?’ [5]which seriously discussed the impact of computerization on the job market. In this report, it discussed that nowadays there are three difficulties of the development of artificial intelligence. First the ability of ‘Perception and Manipulation’, second the ‘creative Intelligence’ and the last is ‘social Intelligence’. Nevertheless, those kinds of ability can’t become a guide for ordinary worker to find or create new jobs.

For this reason, I consider that in the future, maybe 50 years or less, the structure of human society could be only a few people have their own ability to invent or study in new technology, below them is a group of people have skills to control or repair mechanical, and then some of people work on service industry which like teacher, doctor, lawyer and so on. And finally there will be over 40% of people with no job. They maybe could live very well due to the very good social welfare, but the gap between rich and poor could be never be fixed. At that time the wish of most of ordinary people is that to educate their children to become much success than their parents do.

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As far as I concerned, that my personal imagination is limited, possible after 5 or 10 years that the new type of jobs could emerge like blowouts. Or it would happen like what I discussed before that the society of human being could be cold blood and hopeless. What we can de during the time that we still have ability to change that kind of future. First of all always following the step of new technology, then continuously increase knowledge, finally always keep alertness to prevent self without unemployment one day.


[1] Internation Labour Oranization, “Global Wage Report 2018/19″,” Internation Labour Oranization, [联机]. Available:–en/index.htm. [访问日期: 01 02 2019].

[2] 张朋辉, “最新报告显示:近几十年来美国工人实际工资增长几乎停滞”,” 人民网, 12 10 2017. [联机]. Available: [访问日期: 01 02 2019].

[3] Wikipedia, “Industrial Revolution”,” 29 01 2019. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 29 02 2019].

[4] 刘学伟, “人工智能会毁掉西方的橄榄形社会吗?”,” 02 05 2017. [联机]. Available: [访问日期: 01 02 2019].


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