Stephen Hawking Says We Should Really Be Scared Of Capitalism, Not Robots
"If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed."
Stephen Hawking believes that if machine-produced wealth is not shared, technology will drive “ever-increasing inequality”. (Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press)
According to world famous physicist Stephen Hawking, the rising use of automated machines may mean the end of human rights – not just jobs. But he’s not talking about robots with artificial intelligence taking over the world, he’s talking about the current capitalist political system and its major players.
On Reddit, Hawkings said that the economic gap between the rich and the poor will continue to grow as more jobs are automated by machines, and the owners of said machines hoard them to create more wealth for themselves.
Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment, where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them?
In particular, do you foresee a world where people work less because so much work is automated? Do you think people will always either find work or manufacture more work to be done?
If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.
The insatiable thirst for capitalist accumulation bestowed upon humans by years of lies and terrible economic policy has affected technology in such a way that one of its major goals has become to replace human jobs.
If we do not take this warning seriously, we may face unfathomable corporate domination. If we let the same people who buy and sell our political system and resources maintain control of automated technology, then we’ll be heading towards a very harsh reality.
Stephen Hawking: ‘AI could spell end of the human race’