I went into a Jack in the Box (fast food chain) for the first time in years today, and was surprised to find a kiosk where I could order my food and pay without any interaction with a human. This is an improvement for convenience and speed to be sure, but I wonder how long it will be until people are taken out of the equation entirely.
This is a very old fear: human jobs being replaced by machines. But every day it gets more and more real. I would not be surprised at all to see a fast food restaurant where the only staff are the cooks. Even replacing the cooks may not be far off. In a few years maybe i’ll walk into that same restaurant, press a few buttons, swipe my card, wait a few minutes and have a tray slide out with my food, hot and fresh.
But as more roles are filled by robots, what will humans do for money? What if robot janitors, robot waiters, robot taxi drivers and robot cooks all become the norm? What if robots become sophisticated enough to do other things like teach, or fight wars or play the stock market? How would any human find a job if a robot can do it cheaper?
One solution I find interesting is this: The government assigns to each citizen, at birth, a robot worker. The robot works menial jobs, and the pay it would receive is given to the person who owns it. The robot can work 24 hours a day, so can afford to be paid less–a benefit for the employer. And the person owning it has a steady source of income guaranteed without having to do anything.
Would this, though, be a return to slavery? If the robots, needing to be so sophisticated to do their jobs, awoke a kind of intelligence, would it be moral to have them work for us? Even if we were the ones to make them, and make them solely for the purpose of work, can it ever be moral to own a intelligent being?
Posted by Jonas David on October 14, 2013
I’ve finished a story for this week successfully! Although I hate the story, it is at least done. I ended up writing about someone who could look into the minds of people in photographs, seeing their thoughts and feelings in the brief instant that the photo was taken.
It turned out over-dramatic, pretentious and directionless, in my opinion. But I finished something! So, that’s better than nothing. And now I can enjoy the feeling of starting something new.
Next week’s song looks like it will produce something fun.
Posted by Jonas David on October 12, 2013
Just finished reading Brandon Sanderson’s new book, Steelheart. I bought it without realizing it was a YA book, but enjoyed it nonetheless.
It takes place in a near future where people all around the work begin getting superpowers. Except, they don’t become heroes, they take over the world.
Our protagonist joins a group of rebels trying to figure out the weaknesses of the people with powers, called ‘Epics’. They find the weaknesses of the Epics and try to kill them.
It’s an interesting look at superpowers. Would people with such power use it for good, really? Would any of them? Or is it true that absolute power corrupts absolutely?
The YAness of it did shine through at times, and I found myself rolling my eyes at some of it. But it was enjoyable for sure.
I’d very highly recommend this to anyone interested in superheros and comics, and definitely to anyone with kids they are trying to get interested in reading. This one will grab you and not let go till the end.
Posted by Jonas David on October 10, 2013
I was just making a list of the books I’ve read this year, and have realized that it is shamefully small.
I have read eight books this year. Eight! My new years resolution was the ambitious goal of reading a book per week. Well. We see how that turned out.
Anyway I’ve posted the list on the menu above to hopefully encourage myself to make it a bit longer before the year is up. I’d like it to be at least twelve. That still seems to be a woefully small number. It all just means i need to spend more of my entertainment time on reading, and less on watching Antiques Roadshow and Star Trek!
Also, Sarah at Fiercely Yours has joined me in the Ray Bradbury challenge, and has just reported the completion of week 1′s story! We’re off to a great start!
I have started on the story for this week, though I’m not sure where it’s going yet. It’s about photographs…
Posted by Jonas David on October 8, 2013
I’ve finished my first story for the Ray Bradbury challenge! I was given the song ‘Jonestown’ as a prompt, and ended up writing about someone lost in a desert who finds an oasis populated by a cult.
I much enjoy songs as prompts, so I decided to stick with that theme. I went to my playlist on spotify, with a little over four thousand songs, and picked 51 mostly random ones. These songs will be used for my weekly prompts over the next year. For extra bonus points I’m going to attempt to do them all in order.
I’ve added all the songs to a new page in the menu above, if you’re curious.
Now, time to get started on the next week!
Posted by Jonas David on October 6, 2013