AI News, Robot revolution could give us bread and roses

Robot revolution could give us bread and roses

John Harris asks what happens next to all the jobs that technology will obliterate (Ten million jobs could be gone in 15 years.

And it should enable us to learn for learning’s sake (gone will be the 40-plus-hour working week) as well as offering high-quality education and training throughout life for work, leisure and citizenship engagement.

Even if one makes the dubious assumption that no new jobs are created, the loss of 10m jobs over 15 years is a mere 2% of all jobs per year and means a welcome rise in labour productivity, and thus potential real per capita income.

But the crucial question for the left is how jobs are distributed across the working population and who receives the benefits of productivity rises in higher wages.

Crucial to this will be to make the UK’s 30m buildings super-energy efficient, thus dramatically reducing energy bills, fuel poverty and greenhouse gas emissions.

The housing crisis should be tackled by building affordable, highly insulated new homes, predominantly on brown field sites, and local public transport links need to be rebuilt.

This massive work programme would provide a secure career structure for decades, and would involve a large number of apprenticeships and professional jobs, as well as opportunities for the self-employed and local small businesses.

All those consumables produced and processed by robots will require consumers: consumers who are earning enough to buy the consumables and pay the taxes robots can’t and their owners perhaps won’t.

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