Here's a thing copied over from Facebook: A thing I always wonder is, what happens if automation takes over the bulk of jobs for which the bulk of humans are qualified?

My pessimistic thought: Rich robot owners get richer yet by orders of magnitude, because automation generates unheard of wealth. Displaced workers get poorer and can never find decent work again. At some point, it won't even be that wages are too low for a human - it will be that robots are so cheap and capable that hiring a human would be ludicrous (or sadistic). I can only see that ending in rioting, war, and revolution.

My optimistic thought: Robots are so cheap and capable that hiring a human would be ludicrous (or sadistic). We grow out of the moral intuition that one must "earn a living" - since robots make living so easy, and automation fills most niches ever available for average humans to earn anything anyway. We somehow figure out a better system to share wealth which rewards and incentivizes behavior that benefits both individuals and civilization at large. Some of humanity ends up wallowing in hedonistic dissipation. But, who cares, because the surprising bulk of the species comes up with new and exciting ways to put robots to work
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