I think there will be a natural obstacle that would bring significant resistant to the total replacement of human work and which presence would arrive way sooner than the AI world domination, and that would be the market itself. It is not hard to see that one of the principal reasons of the constant need of innovation in robotics is increasing firms’s productivity in order to sell more at cheaper costs, a situation seen mainly in high tech sectors of spetialized labor. But, what happens when this becomes a generalized pattern in the economies? What happens when people start loosing their jobs? You can keep improving your production all you want by intorducing new robots and technology, but, at the end of the day, you still need real people with real jobs to buy yout product.
To this, add the social problematics it would produce, especially in countries with several population of low skilled labor. I mean, taxi drivers in Mexico organized a tough, near to savage, oposition to the implementation of UBER, although it wasn’t a huge technology revolution that would cut off their jobs just like that, we´re just talking about a new competitor.
In other entries, it has been discused the introduction of UBI as a relieve to that issue, wich certainly represents a matter of thought, but I still don’t know. I mean, do humans really want to step aside and leave the leadership to machines? I would like to believe that isn’t the case, but now I’m getting into filosophal matter, so I’m going to stop there.
By all this, I think that, one way or another, technology and robotics would drift towards enhacing labor’s productivity rather than displacing it, with a very painful process in the middle, especially for the low skilled labor.
About that last thing, I found an interesting article where they explain that “two-thirds of Americans believe robots will soon perform most of the work done by humans but 80% also believe their jobs will be unaffected”. I don’t know what’s going on in the mind of that people. How to be so confidet of that?
A huge problem with low skilled labor is that you don’t even need huge technological revolution to replace it. Take a look at the cinemas or at a bank. Now you can buy your tickets or make deposits in a machine or even on your phone, where one of the principal reasons to keep counter attendants is that people are still kind of scared of using those systems, at least in countries like Mexico, but I’m guessing it wont last long until that changes.
Anyway, the article makes some points about the pattern that technology and robotics will take, regulation, affected groups and other interesting stuff. I leave the link below in case somebody find this topics interesting.