NEWS that the next likely governor of California is preparing for battle against Silicon Valley’s job-killing robots shouldn’t come as any surprise.
After all, 60,000 workers in a Chinese factory owned by the manufacturer of the iPhone have already been replaced.
But what about British jobs potentially lost to robots postBrexit, that’s the million-dollar question.
After all, we already have the first ‘affordable’ household robot. With its big blue eyes and saccharine voice, this toddler-sized machine called Zenbo is billed as a friend for children, a personal assistant to parents and a carer for the elderly.
All for less than the cost of a new iPhone. There’s no getting away from the fact that the age of the robot is already here.
It’s just a question of how many there’ll be and how quickly they’ll replace humans. (But hang on! Don’t they already run the civil service, the public sector – and the EU?)
When I discussed this Zenbo robot with a friend, she asked would it make a cup of tea, wash up, make the beds, get her kids off to school, iron, hoover without knocking chunks off the furniture and trim her daughter’s pony’s hooves? No?
Then, next to useless! And as for buying one to care for an elderly relative, she couldn’t see that catching on unless Social Services are salami-sliced to death.
Even more slashed to the bone. But just to add some facts. We already have robots in numerous essential areas like medicine.
They assist surgeons and do a better job of surgery than anyone could do on his own, so horses’ hooves would be a doddle.
Not sure about psychiatry and how robots could help there, though. Which reminds me of an old joke. A man goes to a psychiatrist to complain that the song ‘Delilah’ keeps going through his head and he can’t sleep or work.
The psychiatrist tells him he has the ‘Tom Jones Syndrome.’
The patient then asks: ‘Is it common?’ To which the psychiatrist replies: ‘It’s not unusual.’ Very soon, robots won’t be that unusual either…
Nora Johnson’s psychological/suspense crime thrillers ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’(www.nora-johnson.net) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.99;£0.99) and iBookstore. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity