BitFlipper said:
tfraser said:
*snip*

Re eliminating all human labour, this idea can only work sustainably if every person in the whole world has a "machine double" that they can send to (or leave at) the office/farm/factory. This way everyone is still employed by proxy and can therefore still "earn" a wage.

 

You are making this way more complicated than it needs to be. This reminds me of the comment someone once made that "One day we will have a room full of robots sitting in front of computers typing away".

 

Well ok, but why exactly do you need a computer inside a robot, controlling the mechanical robot so that it can input information via a physical keyboard one character at a time? Why not interface it directly to the computer? Or better yet, why have two computers at all?

 

The answer is much simpler: Things are getting more and more automated. All the hard physical work in a auto factory is done by an almost fully automated assembly line. What would have required 100s or 1000s of people now only require a fraction. So no-one is sending a robot to the "office".

 

So instead of driving down to the mall, you will order something online, and a fully automated system will deliver the item you ordered.

 

It is already happening. Our standard of living keeps going up (present little financial glitch notwithstanding). We are doing less and less physical work for a more luxurious life.  We no longer need to go and slave on the crop fields anymore or hunt for our food. Instead our jobs are very comfortable compared to what it used to be a long time ago. The idea is similar to the "Star Trek" idea, where eventually no-one really has to work for a living. If you want something, just request it, and since everything is automated, it no longer costs anything to produce. Everything is build and maintained by computers controlling "robots". Food will be produced or grown in fully automated factories, with little or no human supervision. Eventually the idea of money will go away since all of our  needs will be taken care of.

 

Probably hard to imagine that, but I think that is where it will trend towards at least. And even in this fully automated world, none of the computers need to be smarter than us. Is an auto-assembly robot smarter than us? No, but it surely can do our work for us.

So no-one is sending a robot to the "office".

 

Yes, I explained that badly. I mean that each employee would need to have some stake (be it a physical robot, software system or otherwise) in the business/farm where they used to work to ensure that they continue to be paid a "wage" for their stake. Sort of like a shareholder in a company who receives a dividend on their equity.

 

... since everything is automated, it no longer costs anything to produce.

 

I don't think so. Firstly, there are other costs to be factored into production besides labour. Secondly, you will have to tell every business they are no longer allowed to make a profit. Thirdly, people would still need to be "employed" and wages paid anyway as long as you don't want people resorting to crime to survive.