Insight

Robots and the Next Street Gang Crisis

March 23, 2017

23rd March 2017 by Helen Bennett

As talk of more and more automation fills our newspapers and our minds, it set me thinking about the future of the human race.

Humans are essentially pack animals – designed to exist and work together.  It has long been recognised that humans need purposeful work and regular strokes, to feel engaged and motivated.

As more jobs are automated, there will be less jobs for humans to do.  Even the design and manufacturing of robots who serve coffee will likely be done by robots.  There are however some jobs, that in my opinion will never be done by robots, because of our primitive need for human interaction.

The vast majority of us spend time every week doing something that could broadly be described as “entertainment” for ourselves.  These are the areas where I think we will not see robots. 

Who wants to play a round of golf with three robots or go for dinner at The Fat Duck and be served by robots – even if they have memorised every ingredient in every dish along with its calorific content? 

The issue that the world is going to have, is millions of human beings going after the only jobs left that only human beings can do.

And coming to my point…..we are witnessing the biggest erosion of communication and social skills we have ever seen, with significant numbers of the millennial generation and generation Z unable and unwilling to pick up a telephone and actually speak to people, unable to look people in the eye and start a conversation; unable to handle conflict and difficult situations face to face. 

For years they have been using the anonymity of social media to “communicate” – along with its helpful facilitation of cowardliness, aggression and irrelevant, unimportant, useless education on banal, meaningless drivel in the shape of Kim Kardashian’s backside on Instagram, the rantings of Justin Bieber on Twitter and cute pug dogs on skateboards on You Tube.  And don’t even get me started on the facilitation of the sheer mental exhaustion of FOMO (fear of missing out) and physical exhaustion from lack of sleep, due to the ever present smart phone under the pillow at night.

Add the normalisation of drug taking in our school age children and the end result doesn't bear thinking about.

The temptation is to criticize, but I feel sorry for an entire generation, some of whom are just beginning to see how their lives may have been affected; how when put into the work environment they are simply not “work ready”.  The priority they had put on copying the clean eating queen’s breakfast routine exactly, suddenly doesn’t matter anymore.

We need to embark on a programme of serious teaching, training and practicing of basic communication and social skills if the generations coming up are to secure the non-robotic jobs.

The alternative is worrying – a multitude of silent, grunting human zombies wondering around in groups, with no real purpose. 

Sounds a bit like street gangs to me.

About the contributors

Photo of Helen Bennett

Helen Bennett

Helen is the Baby Boomer founder of Human Reality and Bennett's Business Bash. She has strong views on... well, just about everything! Her blog will cover a range of subjects and aims to give an opinion. She is forthright, no nonsense, sometimes controversial and often seeing the humorous side to working in business.

Photo of Georgia Bennett

Georgia Bennett

Georgia Bennett is the Millennial daughter of Helen. She too has strong views on just about everything! Often they agree but sometimes they don't. Having a degree in Classical Civilisation, Georgia takes the intellectual and often younger generation's perspective on things.