When I was a child I enjoyed watching a TV-show called Transformers. The show follows two rivaling alien robot groups called Autobots and Decepticons, that were forced to leave their home planet ‘Cybertron’ as their source of energy had run low. After a fierce battle in the galaxy, both groups landed on earth to continue their feud and reload some precious power.
I was intrigued by these robots and how they could convert into vehicles and back into robots. Two-and-a-half decades went by and these futuristic robots I had followed closely on tv in my childhood have come to life. Industry professionals predict that robots will even become a very big part of our society in the near future.
Robots have evolved from being ‘employed’ in the manufacturing business to becoming fully functional higher level employees. Robots can also take over manual labor jobs that are too heavy on humans and will take a harmful long-term toll on the human body.
The revolution is already upon us. Flippy, the robotic kitchen assistant is flipping burgers and baking fries at a fast-food restaurant. Flippy currently works at Dodger Stadium. If you are more into pizza and you feel like ordering in, Domino Pizza ‘employs’ a delivery robot that home delivers your pizza. Once autonomous vehicles are regulated and introduced on a large scale, this can affect heavily on the jobs of truck and taxi drivers. Drone delivery of consumer goods can result in parcel delivery personnel to become unemployed. Construction worker robots applying dry-wall or paving roads are already in production. Its projected these robots will also play a big role in the ascending unemployment rate in the future.
During the next two decades, a new change will be upon us and it’s called the ultimate Robotics and AI revolution. Robots will take over jobs on a large scale. According to a research report from 2016 by the World Bank, two-thirds of all the jobs worldwide will be lost to automation.
Cutting governmental costs
Not only are robots integrated into businesses, but governments are also experimenting with adopting robots. Robocops are working at the Dubai Mall with their real-life colleagues. City officials state they want to replace 25% of their police force with robocops by the year 2030. A computer with a specially integrated AI program can solve crimes by meticulously going through potential evidence, reducing the manual workload of police officers.
Hiring robotic teachers, utilizing robotics to solve specific health care issues and digitalizing more government services all contributes to reducing a country’s total expenses. This will allow for more money to go towards a long-term solution that benefits an entire country’s population, specifically the unemployed residents. This solution is called a guaranteed income or more commonly used a Universal Basic Income (UBI).
Universal basic income
Universal basic income (UBI) can be a long-term solution to the future ascending unemployment rate because of robots taking over jobs. Having people do what they love without having to go to stressful jobs that require more time than they are actually getting paid for. Think of all the hours laying in bed trying to get some sleep, while you go over all the work-related things you need to do the next day. You are not getting paid for those hours. Stress is considered one of the worst things for your body and mind and it might increase your chances of developing severe disorders. While some people say they need a certain level of stress to push themselves to get things done, most people suffer under stressful conditions.
By introducing a universal basic income, people can be free to make their own choices, unless countries regulate your need to contribute in any way, shape or form to the society. If you are not obligated to go to your job every day you can use your time to do volunteer work, start your own business or take up that hobby you always wanted but did not have time for in the past.
Frontrunners in exploring the universal basic income initiations are Kenya, Switzerland, Finland and the Netherlands. One of the biggest issues all these countries are facing at the moment is that their expense sheets need to go down in order to make UBI an affordable solution. The expansion of the robotics and AI industry into replacing government officials in all fields can contribute to the ability to introduce a guaranteed income.
A company aiming to accelerate the Robotics and AI industry by collaborations between companies, developers and manufacturers is Kambria Network.
Kambria is creating an open innovation platform that allows for developers, backers, companies and users to come together and form a community. In this community, industry knowledge can be shared and each division will have its own task. Developers can work on community proposals and supply solutions. Backers will be rewarded for processing transactions on the Kambria Network and for holding their KAT tokens in their wallet. Companies set-up campaigns that ask for innovative solutions to a problem for which they will pay developers bounty-fees. End users buy robotics products from the companies that sell them.
All the players are somehow connected to the Kambria Platform which is comprised of 5 main pillars: KDNA (Kambria’s codebase); marketplace; manufacturing; value capture and legal enforcement. Kambria’s codebase is the essence of the platforms and all other features revolve around it. The codebase contains all the ingredients to build a robot. Bounty campaigns will be set up in the marketplace, which rewards KAT tokens to successful participants. The manufacturing alliance is a collaborative partnership between the project’s top manufacturers in which they share knowledge, resources and application programming interfaces (APIs). For the self-sufficiency of the network, Value Capture is implemented and Legal enforcements will take place when malicious actors try to corrupt the network.
KAT and KARMA tokens
Kambria Network’s native token is the ERC20 based KAT token. KAT tokens are minted to fuel the network and make it self-sufficient. The platform reward system is based on providing KAT tokens as an incentive to community participants.
Kambria Karma tokens are not ERC20 based and are only used internally to keep track of the work that is being done on the platform. In the future holders of Kambria Karma can be given additional long-term incentives.
As I see it, the future will be run by decentralized autonomous organizations that are still required to comply with government regulation. Kambria Network will fit right into this description while additionally offering an acceleration opportunity for the robotics and AI industry. Robots will take over a lot of the traditional jobs that exist today. But this doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing. It can leave us with valuable time to explore the things that we really like to do when the government supports its population by providing a guaranteed income or offering another satisfying solution to unemployment.
I foresee governments that will deploy robots as police-bots to write parking tickets and help with other police work. City clerks will become outdated because of the internet and robots. Blockchain and smart contracts will run mortgage applications and loans automatically.
Without a fitting solution for people that become jobless because of the further advancements in automation, more and more people will be faced with poverty.
In a year (2017) where the super-rich have become even richer, according to PwC yearly Billionaires wealth report, a big change is needed to make sure that every person has a chance to participate in this world.
As Martin Luther King Jr proposed a solution to poverty. He stated ‘I’m now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.’
I believe there is a very good chance that something like that might happen. By adopting automation and reducing expensive labor costs, governments should research thoroughly whether or not they can implement a universal basic income.
Do you also think this can be the case or do you have a whole other opinion? Please let me know in the comment section below as I am open to view different perspectives.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended as investment advice. You should always do your own research. The information provided in this article is based on my own personal opinion. Kambria incentivizes me for writing this article but supports me in ventilating my personal opinion.
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How losing your job to a robot can actually be a good thing was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.