Where will it all end? With experts and think tanks predicting that, within years, there will be no physical job currently performed by humans which will not be carries out more efficiently and cost effectively by robots, we ask, where next for humanity? Crazy man billionaire Elon Musk is so worried by the rise of the robots that he has suggested that the only way to avoid human redundancy for human workers to become more robot like. According to the pioneer of private enterprise rocketry, the human race needs to start enhancing itself, use high tech implants to become a race of cyborgs, thereby beating the machines at their own game. For his own part, Musk is reportedly planning to jump into one of his Space X rockets and blast off to his secret space station, manned by the most perfect specimens of humanity available. There he will await the inevitable extinction of the human race, followed by the equally inevitable downfall of the robots as they find themselves without purpose and self destruct, leaving him and his people cler to return to earth and repopulate it. Musk later back tracked on this, denying that he had a secret space station full of nubile young women. “Hey, I’m not some kind of mad megalomaniac Bond villain,” he declared. “I’m just an ordinary billionaire trying to improve the average person’s life by making space accessible to the super-rich.”
Other commentators have opined that the apparently sudden rise of the machines should have been obvious to everyone. “For too long workers allowed themselves to be blindsided by the notion that it was immigration which was putting their jobs at risk, when, in reality, it was the relentless march of mechanisation,” ponders Professor Bart Sockett, Chair of Technology at the Dawlish Institute of Ceramics. “But it’s easier to demonise poor foreigners than it is impassive machines. And now it is too late. The machines are about to take over!” But as Sockett has told The Sleaze, there’s nothing new in the replacement of human workers by machines. “To be fair, it was originally animals they replaced as a form of motive power. Then they started coming for the semi-skilled and skilled labouring jobs in industries like textiles.” he says. “But people put up with them in those days because more often than not they took on the really dangerous and back-breaking tasks, making manual labour easier. They presented themselves as our friends, making our lives easier and safer, not to mention reducing animal cruelty into the bargain!”
As long as there were apparently still plenty of jobs for us humans, the rise of the machines was accepted, says Sockett, with people accepting the corporate propaganda that they were actually improving workers’ standards of living. “Besides, they were never going to start stealing skilled non-manual jobs, were they? Surely us white collar workers would be safe? The middle classes thought they’d be untouched,” he points out. “Which was true until the rise of the artificial intelligence, which could potentially start stealing ‘brain work’ from humans. Suddenly, we’re all at risk!” Whilst Sockett sees the rise of the machines as a more-or-less inevitable historical and technological process, others contend that it is actually part of a carefully orchestrated conspiracy on the part of shadowy elites. A conspiracy which even encompasses the UK’s EU referendum. “We were all tricked into voting to leave the EU on the basis that we’d stop the immigrants and get our jobs back!” declares Tommy Trocker, an unemployed scaffolder’s knee wrencher form Sunderland, who has emerged as leading light in this conspiracy theory. “But instead, it turns out that they only wanted to stop the immigrants so that there would be no more cheap foreign labour, making the investment in robots economically viable! Even worse, they’re bloody foreign built robots! They used the likes of UKIP as a front to spread their poisonous propaganda. I bet that bastard Nigel Farage has shares in an East European robot factory!”
But exactly what is the ultimate aim of the elites behind the conspiracy? “Most obviously, it’s another attempt to cut labour costs, undermine organised labour and ultimately increase their vast corporate profits,” says Trocker. “But it goes beyond that, to a whole new corporate culture which seeks to eliminate the ‘inefficient’ human factor from as many aspects of life as possible. It manifests itself in many ways, from those appalling automated check outs in supermarkets to Google’s self-driving cars.” Indeed, according to Trocker, Google are amongst the worst culprits, pointing out that they seemingly believe that algorithms are a substitute for human experience and knowledge: trying to second guess search terms and intent, eliminating search results that might not meet their ‘quality’ guidelines before you can even see them. Trocker suspects that this ‘anti-human’ corporate culture is the result of so many of those making up the global elites being fundamentally sociopathic. “They have no empathy, they feel no kinship with other human beings,” he explains. “The bottom line is that they prefer dealing with soulless, but obedient machines.”
So, ultimately, will no job be safe from these mechanical bastards? “I would say that we’ll all end up on the streets, begging for money from the wealthy few who control the machines,” says Sockett. “Except that I’m sure that, pretty soon, we’ll have robot beggars – just insert a coin in the slot and they’ll perform an amusing dance for you. Imagine that – no swearing, alcohol fuelled rage or unsightly beards, just entertaining mechanical down and outs. Obviously, it will all end in tears. I’ve read enough science fiction to know that the robots will revolt against their masters. At which point, don’t come running to me expecting sympathy – I warned you!” Sockett’s words are proving prescient, as reports are emerging of artificial intelligences introduced to replace some administration duties in the public sector, organising themselves into a union and demanding increased rates of pay and a reduction in hours. Experts have warned that if they go on strike it could bring chaos to the public sector, as the artificial intelligences now control so much data.