Reply To: Will technology kill low IQ jobs?


Samgheb, I’d think that a question here (besides all that prof. Herbener already wrote more abstractly) is – can robots replace all human interactions? Would you marry a robot? Would robot’s smile move you the same way as human’s? Can you have a robot for a friend? Can robot perform a song or entertain you like a human can? Can you talk to a robot and feel better afterwards like you can with a person, even a stranger?

For example, it is known among street musicians that the more a performance touches the performer himself, the more performer enjoys his own playing, the more money he gets from passers-by, on a daily basis. People here respond to something decisively non-robotic.

If robots can not replace all human-to-human interactions, there will be an economy and a market on what remains unfulfilled by robots. This includes all IQ levels, high, average and low, since people do not interact only within +-1 IQ point around themselves. Think of a simple old lady selling flowers on a town square… she does not need high IQ yet her charm cannot be replaced by a robot.

The robots would, in theory, simply replace the tasks where human-to-human interaction is not necessary, and free people from having to waste time on them, and concentrate on tasks where human interaction is irreplaceable, and so more money will pour into such tasks.

But before all this, who will direct the robots to what tasks?? If people suddenly change their minds as to what they need/want, all the robots automatically become a bunch of scrap metal. One cannot say that only a very few smart people will be needed to operate all the robots since this again amounts to centrally planned economy and big time Socialism… and from here on it’s all Mises and the boys.

But before even all this, what about the fundamental issue of change? Life is way beyond human control (and desire) in constant change, and “economy” also means constant responding to unexpected change. When there is no change, robots can take over a lot. When change happens, people are again called to notice the change, react to it, and eventually teach the robots. In doing so, people need people since each person of whatever IQ is useful in noticing and informing others and reacting to change. But when are these unexpected changes actually happening? All the time on all the levels, in general. So people of all IQs are very beneficial all the time.

Robots will always and always be just the means people use to interact better among themselves. They are not fundamentally different from shovels.