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    Exploratory Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics

effect on the balance of trade and the strength of the

dol-

lar on the In general}

international market. industries that use

the

most

efficient

produc–

tion techniques grow and prosper, Markets for their products expand and

new ply

product

lines.

transferred

into

Workers displaced

new

growth

areas

and hire more workers.

they diversify by automation are or retrained for

into sim– dif-

ferent behind

occupations. in productivity

Inefficient

industries

It

is that lose

in

the

industries

that

fall

are

prevalent.

to

competitors,

job layoffs market-share

shrink, and eventually die.

Thus,

the

jobs nology,

is not in industries that adopt but in those which do not.

the

biggest

latest

threat to robot tech-

For example,

there are almost one-half million jobless work-

because

of a couple

thousand

robots. It

is because of

energy

crisis

and

because

of foreign

competition. U.

This is

because

ers

today in the American automobile industry.

auto

workers

are

suffering

unemployment

more

not the S. of

robots in Japan than because of robots in Detroit.

ica we

continues the present low cannot help but have even

rate of

productivity

greater

unemployment.

If Amer- growth, Foreign

trading partners are modernizing at a rapid rate.

If we do

not will

innovate,

find

their

our products cannot compete,

jobs

being

taken

away by

and our workers

foreign

competi-

tion. Improving productivity is not easy.

It

requires

research,

development) to do better.

education)

The

new

capital investment,

technology

of

advanced

and incentives

automation

is

not

a quick fix.

much promise but

understand

some

It is a long range solution.

to go.

We are only

technical

problems.

a long way

of

the

Robots have beginning to We are many

year gent, come.

s,

perhaps several decades from

highly

It

is

skilled robots.

only

a

matter

of

But time,

making truly intelli- technical solutions will

money,

and

intellectual

resources.

ciety

in

The real question is whether we can evolve a

which

robots

will

complement,

not

compete

with,

so- hu-

mans then

for

the

their livelihood.

prospects

for

the

If this problem

future

may

be

very

can be bright

solved, indeed.

Robots crease

and

automatic

factories

have the potential

productivity

virtually

without

limit.

This

to in- poten-

tial, dance

if and

brought standard

to of

reality,

living

could create a material abun-

which

far

exceeds

the

horizon

of today’s expectations. technology of robotics and

Over the next two centuries the

advanced

automation

could

make

everyone rich. foundation for an

Robots

someday could provide the economic

“everypersons’

aristocracy.

However,

this

competition

with us.

livelihood

in

the coming

worker’s

that

we

find a way

will

and

require

not

in

to make them work for us, To protect the human decades there are several

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