The Machines Are Coming…

The year is 2028, and Alex Murphy — a loving husband, father and good cop — is critically injured in the line of duty and transformed by a powerful corporation into half man, half machine.

They call him RoboCop.

When director Paul Verhoeven. released the movie RoboCop, he probably never imaged how close he’d get to predicting the future, but that’s exactly what’s happening.

Military experts estimate that autonomous robotic soldiers will be available by 2035.

But we don’t have to wait until 2035 for robots to enter the workforce.

In many ways, the robots are already here.

If you’ve ordered gifts from Amazon this past holiday season, robots have helped.

They’re replacing humans at a blistering pace.

Amazon acquired Kiva Systems in 2012 for $775 million, and now 15,000 of its bots scurry about huge warehouses, grabbing goods off shelves and bringing them to humans for packing.

WarehouseRobots

You see, replacing people with machines is nothing new. The Industrial Revolution got its start by replacing human labor, like weaving, with machines.

In the late 19th century, Corning Glass employed thousands of glass blowers to turn out light bulbs. An expert two-person team could make two bulbs a minute. Then a Corning employee invented a bulb-making machine called the Ribbon. By the 1930s, it could crank out 2,000 bulbs a minute.

More than 90% of the agricultural jobs performed by people a century ago are gone. Elegant machines have taken over. The scene in the movie Interstellar in which harvesting machines operate independently using GPS is not science fiction. That happens now.

Your flight to see loved ones over the holidays was guided by smart machinery the whole way. The pilots mostly watched. And the plane landed robotically. How long before one of those two pilots upfront is replaced? There were four of them for overseas flights not long ago.

Last year, Google bought the eight largest and best robotics companies in the world. Google auto passengers have sat back and watched as the company’s self-driving cars racked up more than 700,000 miles in just a few years. Several auto companies now offer cars that stay within lanes, maintain a specific speed and stop if they detect something ahead. That’s not far from what a three-axis autopilot can do in an airplane — maintain altitude, speed and heading.

Robots fill prescriptions, make sushi, help you with your banking, plant crops, vacuum floors, check out suspicious bags left in public places, make automobiles, perform surgeries, run elevators and clean windows.

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the two robots scurrying up and down a sheet of glass… CLEANING WINDOWS at the Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas.

WindowRobots

I’m telling you, the robot revolution is here.

In the next few years, anyone whose job can be replaced by a robot will be gone soon. Low-skilled, low-wage jobs will be first. Middle-level jobs like accountants and bank tellers are already disappearing. And maybe the idea of RoboCop isn’t crazy. Maybe it could do a better job of deciding when to shoot an unarmed citizen.

Should we be scared of this robot revolution? Should we worry that robots will one day take over our jobs, replace our tradesmen and possibly threaten our own personal security?

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted newsletter editor, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

And by the way, another robot says “Hi” from CES (although it only sounds like whistles and beeps).

r2d2

To a bright future,

Ray Blanco
for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. I want to know what you think. Some people think the robotic takeover is a fantasy. Others are convinced it will change the world.

What side do you stand on? Vote RIGHT HERE.

The Daily Reckoning