If Martin Ford (The Lights In The Tunnel) is correct about technological unemployment and our future, then we are already quite a ways down the road laid out in this timeline. It’s not meant to be a comprehensive account of the history of robotics or automation. It’s just my attempt to provide a view of the road we are on.
Keep in mind, if Ford is right, then, there’s an event horizon out there in our future. It’s a point of no return for our economy. What comes after the event horizon is economic collapse.
Czech playwright and novelist KAREL CAPEK published “R. U. R.” (Rossum’s Universal Robots) (npr article … “Science Diction: The Origin Of The Word ‘Robot’ ”
Isaac Asimov, writes a short story titled “Runaround”, that includes the three laws of robotics.
Alan Turning developed the Turning Test for machine intelligence in 1950. Turning was also a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, and he speculated about intelligent machines with sensory capabilities.
First Robot Patent Application
1984 Woz – at Apple enthusiasts meeting
“One Notion Under Jobs Pledge”
Ray Kurzweil’s books about the technological singularity include, The Age of Spiritual Machines, and “The Singularity is Near”. In The Singularity is Near, he predicted the technological singularity would occur in 2045.
Apple uses automation to manufacture MacBook products (YouTube Video)
Martin Ford’s book, “The Lights in The Tunnel”, published in 2009, defined an event horizon, or “tipping point” when the automation of jobs using machines would exceed the creation of jobs for humans, and the economic scales would be tipped in favor of robots and automation.
i09 publishes: “Should we extend legal rights to social robots?” by Lauren Davis
Foxconn – Taiwan based electronics manufacturer with over one million employees (primarily in China) plans to put one million robots in factories.
Michio Kaku looks at the future
- GE deploys robots to inspect wind turbines.
- Report: “Foxconn Allegedly Replacing Human Workers With Robots” Foxconn – manufacturer of iPhones, iPads and computers for companies like Dell, is reportedly purchasing robots for $25K to replace workers on the assembly line.
- US Manufacturers promote robotics and the study of robotics. GE Robots on the Move Ad – Boeing sponsors FIRST Robotics
- Robots move in on more human tasks: “Thermite fire-fighting robot removes firefighters from harm’s way” – gizmag Fire Fighting Robot – $96K
- Report: “A U.S. Apple factory may be robot city” – Computer World
- The Disruptive Technology of 3-D Printing is coming out of the lab (Economist article “Difference Engine: The PC all over again?“
- Automation: Mining Industry Moving Rapidly Toward Mass Automation
- China – World’s Fastest Growing Market for Industrial Robots – Gulf News
- Graphene Towers Promise ‘Flexi-Electronics’ – Scientific American
- Autonomous Lethal Robots – Future Threat – International Relations and Security Network
- Can we/Will we outrace the robots: Eric Schmidt: “How We Outrace The Robots” New York Times
Technological Unemployment comes into focus in 2013.
- The PR Offensive Begins: “Robot Makers Spread Golden Gospel of Automation” John Markoff – The Indian Express
- “With each month, the US economy becomes steadily more automated.” Edward Luce – Financial Times (Is the President Paying Attention?)
- Germany – MEMS Project – Circuit Diagram-Based Design of MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems)
- CBS 60 Minutes broadcast on the rise of the machines.
- Another industry looks to automate: Automated Oil Drilling to become a reality as companies seek safety and economy.
- K’Nex Toys looks to robotics and automation to help bring 100% of manufacturing back to the U.S.
Remote Control of car with iPad
- Technology: 3D Printed Record – Mashable article
- The Robots are coming: Autonomous Social Robots in a Hospital Setting
- Google Creates the X Team – Business Insider
- “Data Scientist Scarcity: Automation Is the Answer” – Automating Analytics – Smart Data Collective
- Of course retail jobs are candidates for automation: Seattle Times article – Automated Retail Clothing Store in Seattle.
Parrot Drone controlled by Nvidia Shield
Quad rotor drone acts like bird-of-prey
Technology: MIT developing “4D” printing – Gizmodo
MAGINE TV – TV IN The CLOUD
Kickstarter Galileo Project turns iPhone into Remote Controlled Camera
- Tokyo – Fab Cafe opens – 3D printed sweets!
- The Machines Have Their Own Network: Rapyuta – shadow Internet for Robots
- Wonderful – the plan:) White House Office of Science & Technology releases Robotics Roadmap – A Roadmap for U.S. Robotics – From Internet to Robotics 2013 Edition PDF
- Reuters TV – Report on the coming battle for wearable computing supremacy
Estimate: “230,000 robots are now in use in U.S. factories”
The Machines are on the horizon. MWA – Machine World Anxiety (Phase One)
US Election Year 2014
- From MIT – “How Technology Is Destroying Jobs”
- Here Are 47% of the Jobs at High Risk of Being Destroyed by Robots – Business Insider
- Dallas FED Letter discusses technological unemployment in relation to the loss of American Jobs
- David Fuller suggests that Fed Chair Janet Yellen knows that “smart machines” are the main reason for high unemployment
- Larry Summers talks about technological unemployment
- MACHINE CLAIMS TO PASS THE TURING TEST
- SOFTBANK announces “Pepper” Humanoid Robot
- Machine World Anxiety – Stage Two (In 2012 we thought robots could steal jobs – Now we know they are.)
- “Robot Rage” article appears
- “Humans Need Not Apply”
- The Robot Imperative (The Future of Robot Labor Is the Future of Capitalism – Motherboard)
- MEET Amelia – “Cognitive Agent”
A Driverless Car beats a human race car driver for the first time
Human Error listed as a business risk factor by Goldman Sachs
Citi Bank and Oxford publish “Technology at Work the Future of Innovation and Employment”
Rethink Robotics introduces “Sawyer” – “…slimmer and lighter than its well-known sibling Baxter, was designed to specifically to complete mundane and repetitive tasks such as machine tending, testing and inspection in the U.S. and at overseas manufacturing plants.”
Robert Reich points out that we are now at a point where an App on a cell phone or tablet can replace a job role. ‘If you think being a “professional” makes your job safe, think again.’
A DELPHI (auto parts manufacturer) driverless Audi completed a trip across America
Possibly First Arrest of a “Robot” – Swiss authorities discovered a purchase of illegal drugs on the ‘dark net’, and they arrested the automated computer system that was responsible for the purchase. Read the Daily Mail story here.
Presidential Candidates Fail To Address – Discuss – Acknowledge
Technological Unemployment or End of Work Issues
Singapore – On-Demand Robot Taxi Rides available
- Study – Robots To Take 11,000,000 Jobs By 2036 – Automation – via Mail Online
- Adidas – First Shoe Made Entirely By Robots – Automation Milestone – via Recode
- Boeing – Giant Robot Builds Wings For Boeing – Automation
- Uber’s Self-Driving Truck Makes Its First Delivery 50,000 Beers – Self-Driving Vehicles
- Robot Becomes “Violent” at Chinese Tech Show– via The Daily Caller
- TROUBLING STUDY SAYS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CAN PREDICT WHO WILL BE CRIMINALS BASED ON FACIAL FEATURES– via The Intercept
MACHINE WORLD – Phase One
(Humans become aware of their rival for jobs (robots/artificial intelligence/computerization/automation), and a backlash begins.)
Members of the European Parliament debate proposals regarding robots, including giving robots “human rights”.
A husband of a worker killed in an accident at a Michigan factory files a wrongful death complaint against robotics companies claiming his wife was trapped and crushed by the machinery.
- March 21, 2017 – Ginger (robot) officiates a wedding
- March 28, 2017 – Technological Unemployment – Quantified – A new paper “ROBOTS AND JOBS: EVIDENCE FROM US LABOR MARKETS” looks at the impact of industrial automation on the labor market in the US from 1990 to 2007, and finds not only job loss but also reduced wages as impacts. See “Compelling new evidence that robots are taking jobs and cutting wages”.
- Google Automated Car Available to Public? (ExtremeTECH Google Self-Driving Car)
Future Technology – Microsoft in 2019
- Global Robot Cars and Trucks Market Will Rise to $3.6 Billion by 2019: ResearchMoz – Markets /Beginning to develop in 2014
- Gartner – Social Unrest due to labor reduction effect of digitization” – How Digital Labor Will Drive The Third Industrial Revolution
- Artificial Intelligence Milestone – Humans Intelligence Surpassed Goal for Fujitsu to have AI robot pass test for Todai University Test – “Can a robot get into Japan’s most prestigious university?”
- Smart Machines & Smart Systems Required for Safety – Gartner
Ford’s Tipping Point – The Point of No Return (Economic Collapse Coming?)
- Automated Poliece Station with no human employees by 2030
- Germany – October 2016 Called For A Ban On Combustion Engine Cars by 2030 – Government Intervention
DR. The World In 2030 – Michio Kaku – Presidential Lecture CUNY Queensborough
2016 Deloitte Study – 11,000,000 English Workers Could Be Replaced By Robots by 2036
Kristian Hammond – CTO of Narrative Science – 90% of news will be written by computers
Kurzweil’s predicted year of the Technological Singularity
- “By 2045, human and machine intelligence will have increased a billion-fold… 200,000 years worth of human progress” ( Our Final Invention by James Barrat)
Not-so-distant future setting on FOX TV series “Almost Human”
- By the end of the century the results of Technological Unemployment will be past history. Will we humans pass this existential test?