Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

[...] Full automation is something that can and should be achieved, regardless of whether it is yet being carried out. For instance, out of the US companies that could benefit from incorporating industrial robots, less than 10 per cent have done so. This is but one area for full automation to take hold in, and this reiterates the importance of making full automation a political demand, rather than assuming it will come about from economic necessity. A variety of policies can help in this project: more state investment, higher minimum wages and research devoted to technologies that replace rather than augment workers. In the most detailed estimates of the labour market, it is suggested that between 47 and 80 per cent of today’s jobs are capable of being automated. Let us take this estimate not as a deterministic prediction, but instead as the outer limit of a political project against work. We should take these numbers as a standard against which to measure our success.

While full automation of the economy is presented here as an ideal and a demand, in practice it is unlikely to be fully achieved. In certain spheres, human labour is likely to continue for technical, economic and ethical reasons. On a technical level, machines today remain worse than humans at jobs involving creative work, highly flexible work, affective work and most tasks relying on tacit rather than explicit knowledge. The engineering problems involved in automating these tasks appear insurmountable for the next two decades (though similar claims were made about self-driving cars ten years ago), and a programme of full automation would aim to invest research money into overcoming these limits. A second barrier to full automation occurs for economic reasons: certain tasks can already be completed by machines, but the cost of the machines exceeds the cost of the equivalent labour. Despite the efficiency, accuracy and productivity of machine labour, capitalism prefers to make profits, and therefore uses human labour whenever it is cheaper than capital investment. A programme of full automation would aim to overcome this as well, through measures as simple as raising the minimum wage, supporting labour movements and using state subsidies to incentivise the replacement of human labour.

—p.112 Post-Work Imaginaries (107) by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek 6 years, 11 months ago