Working with Robots – Displaced Workers

The robotic age will necessarily cause many workers to rethink their status in providing a standard of living that we now refer to as being possible with a living wage.WP_20140915_09_03_04_Pro

The question we consider today is:

What cultural changes might be required to advance displaced workers in the Age of Robots?

Culture is, in the words of E.B. Tylor, “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.”

Most important, what role is anticipated for the displaced worker? There are writings that suggest that one way in which we can compensate for the replacement of the labor of man by robots is to put members of the society on a dole. Presumably, this would be compensated by a tax on the production of the robot. This suggestion, as seen from our paradigm, is problematic as it requires a cultural rethink. This and other suggestions necessary to move forward when working with robots are the reasons we must focus on an altered culture to answer the challenges of the Robotic Age.

In order to get the conversation meant to brainstorm solutions let’s begin with this oft suggested solution “a dole for all to provide the basic necessities of life, assuming health and education a right. (Commonly referred to as sustenance provided by a living wage- food, shelter, etc.)

First, let’s acknowledge that we must start our brainstorming beyond our paradigm else it would seem some communistic plot where failure is a fair projection. With this in mind we might be able to analyze the pros and cons without the baggage of preconceived notions.

Before going much further we should recognize that climate change is a pressing concern for all living on this planet. Therefore, any remedial policy should consider the effect on climate change as a litmus test for proposed solutions .


Suggestion: A dole for all citizens to provide for basic needs.


  • All citizens provided with a subsistence,
  • Elimination of marginal class because of income,
  • Workers will have more time for family and creative projects.

Let’s review a possible outcome of this suggestion.

  • Elimination of marginal class because of income.

Contemplating this– reveals the extraordinary complications when working beyond your paradigm. With our litmus test in mind, we should first define each of the segments of this possible outcome.

  • What do we mean when we say elimination, marginal- class?
  • Is a class made marginal because of insufficient income?
  • Are there other causes for the creation of a marginal class?
  • Must our society contain classes?

You can be assured that the answers to these questions will produce further questions that will necessarily implicate cultural changes that must needs be addressed in order to facilitate a resolute plan of action.


You may ask, “Who is to answer these questions?” We suggest, the best answer is that you are to answer these questions because they involve changes that are cultural in nature and will affect future generations. With regards to climate change, make no mistake, all who live today are responsible for the devastation of the ozone layer. Many of us start as an infant suckling on a nipple attached to a plastic container.


Peoples of the world, hunger, to join the modern age and to have those amenities that are shared by the more privileged. And so, the responsibility for answers to questions regarding climate change, and automation in the workforce fall on those beneficiaries of our modern society. Only when many minds are working to solve problems can we reach a comfort level when working with robots now and in the future.

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