Robots will take our jobs and "move the cheese" for those seeking to replace those jobs. Simply referring to the old adages (Cars put blacksmiths out of work ... and they survived) will not suffice in modern times.

Brainstorm the Future

Bob Hetherington | RoboticsTomorrow


We need to have a discussion about the future of robotics and AI in the workplace. The use of robots and robotic systems will grow exponentially over the next decade. Robots will take our jobs and "move the cheese" for those seeking to replace those jobs. Simply referring to the old adages (Cars put blacksmiths out of work ... and they survived) will not suffice in modern times. The evolution is much more widespread. It will affect every industry at every level. 

Bill Gates thinks we should just tax the robots. I think I have a more workable scheme.

My purpose here is to introduce some solutions for the future and ask others to comment and propose modifications so that we can brainstorm some answers.  I've created a blog where we can keep this discussion going and I will take the comments and summarize our progress from time to time so we can continue to move forward. Here is my first attempt at some sort of solution with a short story to explain the concept:


The Robot Minimum Wage Plan (RMWP)

I’m just a normal guy living a normal life in a normal city on planet earth in the 22ndcentury. They told us robots would take our jobs, and they have, thank god. Now I can spend the day in a meaningful way rather than drudge at life to eke out a living like my grandfather had to do.  He was a factory worker, but then again so am I.

Gramps worked 8-10 hours a day tightening wheel nuts in an auto factory and barely made enough to feed his family let alone buy a home or take a decent vacation. Then the robots came and took his job. Life went from bad to worse until his former employer opted into the Robot Minimum Wage Plan (RMWP) to save money on their robot budget and expand production.  

Now, the company hires robots from XYZ Robot Installation Company. They pay an hourly wage for each robot they hire depending on the complexity of the task the robot performs. The wage is fairly low to the company but since the robots work 24/7 it adds up. The robots pay income tax and the company pays payroll tax just like they always did. In addition though, a percentage of the wage goes into the RMWP.

The RMWP collects money from all of the working robots and distributes it to humans as a minimum wage. As a descendent of a displaced worker, I am eligible to receive the wage. The goal is for everyone to eventually receive the wage and as more and more robots get to work that is coming about. 

While I could live on the wage at a subsistence level, I choose to work in the factory 3 days a week in order to improve my living conditions and lifestyle. Most human jobs are part time like mine so there are plenty of jobs to go around and with the RMWP the wages required are lower so companies and institutions tend to hire more people.

I’m happy because I work 3 days a week and live a comfortable life.

Please read the rest of the story and add your comments here.
It's important that we get ahead of this curve.


Bob Hetherington is the publisher and editor of He graduated in Mechanical Engineering a way long time ago and worked for 25 years in various engineering positions before delving into the information business on the internet. 

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of RoboticsTomorrow

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