Friday, August 05, 2011

Meatbots to be replaced by Robots

So, Foxconn are out to replace their workers with a million robots."The Taiwanese company has vowed to expand automation in its plants, with Chinese state media reporting plans to use a million robots in the next three years."

Shiny? Not really, this is the culmination of the Chinese economic trajectory - having massively expanded capital by extensive exploitation (throwing capital and labour at production) it now needs to expand by intensive exploitation (using less of each). Taking a production line with simply piece work and machinising it majkes perfect sense. Given that people have been killing themselves to get away from this work, as Noel Sharkey observes, getting rid of it by mechanisation can only be a boon to humanity at large.

The people on these production lines were meatbots, humans made, forced, to behave like machines.

Yet, humanity at large doesn't exist. Workers depend on the sale of their labour - that's why people didn't just walk away from the horror of this line-work. The human consequences of advances in technology is the key political question of the 21st century.

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