Talking about robots and automations still inevitably evokes thoughts and fears about robots taking our jobs.
But if this were to happen, would it be such a bad thing? After all, since the dawn of time, humans have tried to simplify and improve their ways of working. For example, we no longer question the benefits of electricity or telephones – since both have created a vast number of new opportunities.
In the same vein, automations are an invention that will benefit and advance humankind.
Let’s try a little game of make-believe: If automations destroyed all our jobs, what would the practical implications be and what would our world eventually look like?
These days, unemployment is associated with lack of income and thereby the inability to secure the necessities, such as food. So would we all starve to death?
At this juncture, we should stop and think about the different factors of product prices. Price always comprises four components: labour, tools & raw materials, taxes and, lastly, profit.
Thanks to automation, we can leave out the price of labour from the equation. In and of itself, automation is included in tools and raw materials. But the price of tools and raw materials is down to the labour included in them. And if it does not exist, the share of this component is also removed from the total price of the product.
As we can establish that tools and raw materials are, at the end of the day, nothing but stored labour, all prices can be compiled by including the two remaining components: taxes and profit.
Let’s assume that automation will replace every single job
No one would pay any salaries and no one would earn an income any longer. Labour would no longer have a price. Instead, the price of products and services would only comprise two components: tax and profit.
To simplify, taxation is a way of balancing incomes. But if no one earned an income, there would be no need for balancing. With taxes no longer important, we would reach a point where the price of products only comprised one component: the profit wanted by the entrepreneur.
On the other hand, if profit were the only basis of the price of products and services, what else could entrepreneurs do with their profits except buy other products and services, if the only remaining price component was profit? Economy would be nothing but the exchange of money between entrepreneurs without paying consumers. That would make absolutely no sense.
So, in an automated world, even profit would not be a price component. In all likelihood, entrepreneurs would continue to do business, regardless. They would just be motivated by values other than money. Humankind would continue to evolve, even though it would no longer be necessary to work for money.
The ultimate goal of automation: nothing costs anything
And still, everything would be fine. But let us not concentrate on whether it would really be possible. What matters is the direction: thanks to increased automation, things will become constantly cheaper and a large income will cease to have the same impact.
The utilisation of automation has already been taken to a high level in many sectors and we can continue to invest in it with confidence.
Call robotics is an essential part of this development. It helps us build better interacting systems that will help with automating many sectors.
Increased automation in different sectors in particular will change the working life and introduce so many benefits as to make the change positive.
What is key is that we humans are in control of using automations: let’s set the rules and make the world better. This is something we firmly believe in.
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