Stephen Hawking has a prediction for the future of humanity and, to be honest, it’s just a little bit depressing.
Not only does he expect the machines to take over but, as they do, the bad side of capitalism will once again rear its ugly head as rich robot owners refuse to redistribute their wealth.
The famous physicist answered the question about the future of humanity in a Reddit AMA session last week.
And he expects income equality will skyrocket in future generations as more jobs become automated but the cash isn’t spread around. Plus, there’s also the issue that the advancement of technology could make a lot of people’s jobs obsolete.
If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution.
So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.
It makes for grim reading, especially when you consider that a recent report from Oxford University found that 35 per cent of current jobs in the UK are at high risk of computerisation over the next 20 years.
What with all these robots coming here and stealing our jobs, it looks like it may be time for humans to start creating some new roles which can’t actually be automated! Professional pizza eater, anyone?