To make it clear from the start, the alien this article is referring to is not the kind of alien that you have in mind.

Confused? Well, let me explain this to you:

 

A·li·en

/ˈālēən/

noun

a foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalized citizen of the country where they are living.

 

The word “alien” also means foreigner or something that is perceived strange to human. Why strange? Because it is something that is out of the ordinary- something that is not human-like.

It is also not the apocalypse you see in movies, where zombies invade and destruct a town. Actually, it is the kind of apocalypse that might cause destruction on a catastrophic scale, to your future.

Yes, robots are useful to human. Robots are getting more and more advanced today. Computers, machines, robots, are all making people’s life way easier. These days, from our means of communication to our transportation and even to produce goods, robots has been used for every single one of this aspect.

But do you realize that, quoting economists Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University and Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University, “Smart machines now collect our highway tolls, check us out at stores, take our blood pressure, massage our backs, give us directions, answer our phones, print our documents, transmit our messages, rock our babies, read our books, turn on our lights, shine our shoes, guard our homes, fly our planes, write our wills, teach our children, kill our enemies, and the list goes on.”

It might sound convenient to be able to rely on these inhuman forces that can guarantee you a precise work no matter what time of day and date it is. But, the more advanced a robot is, the more it could replace you. Oxford University researchers have estimated that 47% of U.S. jobs could be automated within the next two decades. According to Martin Ford, a futurist and the author of Rise of the Robots, stated that robots could replace people with repetitive types of jobs like lawyers, pharmacists, and babysitters. Even, Aeon Co. has produced a robot in 2008 whose job is to babysit children while their parents go shopping. What makes Martin Ford so convinced that robots could replace human is he sees that “the advances happening in technology and it’s becoming evident that computers, machines, robots, and algorithms are going to be able to do most of the routine, repetitive types of jobs.”

Human created robots at first. But because they are programmed to do things automatically, they could be smarter than a human who is doing repetitive kinds of jobs. Even if a person is doing the same thing over and over again, there is a chance that he or she will forget how to do that thing due to memory loss as he or she getting older. While robots will not experience memory loss because it is programmed. The worst thing that could happen to a robot is experiencing damage.

What makes human happy to interact with other human is because they have a different mind, heart, and personality. Compared to humans, robots don’t have these features. By having that kind of difference, people could share different opinions and feelings. Also, robots can’t debate, negotiate and persuade the way humans do. Most jobs require creativity, emotional intelligence, and social skills. For example, cooking. What makes foods delicious is because people who made put their feelings on it. Yes, robots are able to cook practically with the right dose of each ingredient, but it would taste different compared to human-made food. Another example is writers and poets. When they write an article or trying to make a poem, they put all their mind, creativity, emotions, and heart to create it gracefully.

 

When all humans are taken over by robots, what would it feel like? What is the world when everything is flat?

 

According to Eric Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of MIT recently wrote: For several decades after World War II the economic statistics we care most about all rose together here in America as if they were tightly coupled. GDP grew, and so did productivity – our ability to get more output from each worker. … But … productivity growth and employment growth started to become decoupled from each other.” And below is the graph that proves this statement:

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-09 at 7.28.39 PM

As you can see from the graph, productivity growth has raised for the past 30 years (1975 to 2005) while the wages of goods-producing workers has inclined, thanks to technology and robots. Brynjolfsson and McAfee also stated that “manufacturing employment is today lower than it was in the later 1940s. And the wages-to-GDP ratio has been declining since 1970.” It could be concluded that though GDP, the measurement for a country’s productivity has raised, when the wage for laborers is decreasing because of their qualities has been replaced by robots.

Besides that, according to 2014 poll of leading academic economists conducted by the Chicago Initiative on Global Markets, 43% of those polled agreed with the statement that “information technology and automation are a central reason why median wages have been stagnant in the US over the decade, despite rising productivity.” Similarly, a 2015 study by the International Monetary Fund concluded that technological progress is a major factor in the increase in inequality over the past decades.

So, would you like to be beaten up by a robot? No? Then suit yourself up. You’ve been alarmed that an apocalypse is coming to you. Enrich and enhance yourself, don’t ever let a robot take over you.

 

Words By: Antonia Wahyudi

Image Credited to: BLS and Dina Belenko (500px)