We’ve all seen the sci-fi classics where armies of robots are created with the intention of replacing menial tasks but ultimately gain consciousness, turn hostile and eradicate the human race. There, we just re-wrote the scripts of countless Hollywood hits in one sentence.
And while a small fraction of ‘doomsday preppers’ have labored under the assumption that a robot apocalypse or some other catastrophic event could wipe out the human race, the masses of civilization generally choose to go about their lives with the belief that mass disruption events are no more likely to occur than their favorite Disney fairytales.
But, former Facebook executive Antonio Garcia Martinez, says the societal threat of technological advances are far more dire than anyone really understands.
Martinez worked as a project manager for the social media giant in Silicon Valley but became terrified by the relentless march of technology. He reckons that machines will have taken half of humanity’s jobs within 30 years, sparking revolt and armed conflict. So he quit his job, fled his home and now lives in woodland north of Seattle with a gun for protection. More from The Sun:
“If the world really does end, there aren’t going to be many places to run.”
“Within 30 years, half of humanity won’t have a job. It could get ugly. There could be a revolution.”
“I’ve seen what the world will look like in five to 10 years.”
“You may not believe it but it’s coming, and it’s coming in the form of a self-driving truck that’s going to run you over.”
“There are 300 million guns in this country, one for every man, woman and child, and they’re mostly in the hands of those who are getting economically displaced. There could be a revolt.”
“You don’t realise it but we’re in a race between technology and politics, and technologists are winning. They’re way ahead.”
“They will destroy jobs and disrupt economies before we even react to them and we really should be thinking about that.”
And while most will simply dismiss the notion that societal turmoil could result from the continued displacement of jobs/wages, artificial intelligence pioneer Jeremy Howard says people really “aren’t scared enough.”
Programme host Jamie Bartlett, director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, said: “The tech gods are selling us all a better future but Silicon Valley’s promise to build a better world relies on tearing up the world as it is. They call it ‘disruption’.”
“The mantra of Silicon Valley is that disruption is always good, and through smartphones and digital technology we can create more efficient, more convenient, faster services and everyone wins from that.”
“But behind that beautifully designed app or that slick platform there’s a quite brutal form of capitalism unfolding and it’s leaving some of the poorest people in society behind.”
“There’s a risk Silicon Valley’s promise to build a better world could inflict a nightmare future on millions of us.”
“The big secret in Silicon Valley is that the next wave of disruption could tear apart the way capitalism works, and as a result the way we live our lives could be utterly transformed.”
Artificial intelligence pioneer Jeremy Howard said: “People aren’t scared enough.”
“They’re saying ‘Don’t worry about it, there will always be more jobs’.”
Of course, we’ve heard all of these arguments somewhere before:
“We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come—namely, technological unemployment” – Keynes, 1930
“Labor will become less and less important. . . More and more workers will be replaced by machines. I do not see that new industries can employ everybody who wants a job” – Leontief, 1952
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