We've been reading a lot articles and predictions on how the world will be almost fully automated in the next decade or two, and almost everyone will be out of jobs, etc, etc, etc. But i think there's one thing people are forgetting: just because a techology is invented doesn't mean it will immediately be acquired by every single business, or person.
How long did it take from the creation of the internet until everyone have it in their homes? I had internet connection in 1996 and most of my friends didn't. Fast forward 8 years, and i still knew a lot of people who didn't have it. I remember in 2003 in highschool only me and another 3 guys in my class had internet connection. But it had been around for a long time. And no, i don't live in a third world country.
What about laptops? In 2002 i was the only person in my social circle with one. But they had been around for quite a while.
Businesses, i think, took even longer to acquire them. The vast majority of stores down where i live still didn't have computers or internet connection by the mid 2000's.
Supermarkets can already take advantage of a lot of automated tools. There are machines that can make the job of a cashier. And they've been around for a long, long time. The two biggest supermarkets in my town have machines like that, but most people still go to the several cashiers that are still there, because the machines can be a little bit of a pain in the ass. Now, other supermarkets don't even have those machines. They simply use people for almost everything.
Smaller business...well, those don't even have the latest basic technological tools that any cashier at any supermarket would use.
You go to Japan and you will see a lot of weird shit. I've been there a bunch of times and i've seen a lot of machines that look very cool and advanced, but simply don't exist in most places outside Japan.
So, when people make these predictions about what will happen by 2027 or whatever, do they take these factors into consideration? When they say that in 15 years machines will be able to do 50% of the jobs and that half of the population will be out of job by then, do they expect that every single business immediatly acquires the latest technology as soon as it is available?
Based on what i see, i believe this process might be a lot more gradual than people think. Maybe in 20 years robots will be able to do almost everything. But how many more years over that will it take for every company to actually acquire that technology and fire its workers? Not sure it's gonna be nearly as fast as many of you expect.
Also: will governments allow mass automation? Should they?