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Reader: A robotic workforce is in our immediate future

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More jobs and better pay is the mantra of both political parties. But no politician talks about robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) and what it will mean for our future. Will it be good or bad for us?

First, let's see where we are. We already have multiple companies developing self-driving cars and trucks. Millions of truck, cab and even Uber drivers will lose their jobs. This is definitely the future in transportation. Restaurants, hotels and retail — they all are testing robots to do their unskilled work.

Factories have used robots for years, especially in car manufacturing. Since 1980, robots have replaced millions of workers in manufacturing. Adidas recently moved some manufacturing back from China to Germany — to save money! In China, the company uses inexpensive labor to put their shoes together. In Germany, it will use robots. Remember, robots work 24/7/365. No breaks, no sleep, no vacations, no sick days and no benefits. And to the surprise of coal miners championed by President Trump, they are being replaced by robotic trucks and mining equipment for both safety reasons and cost.

Now, you might be thinking that skilled labor is safe. Well, not so much. Think about going to a medical robot that knows everything that has ever been recorded about all human disease, illness or injury. A medical robot knows how to do every surgery. They never make a mistake and learn from their continuing collective knowledge. Engineering? Accounting? Lawyers? They will all eventually be replaced by AI for less cost and with better results.

When can this happen? Multiple reports say this will occur as soon as 10 and no more than 20 years. Well paying jobs? How about any job. This is a real social issue. It's not science fiction. It is our immediate future.

— Kent Jarnig, Monument

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