The Type Of Robot To Make Ethical Automation More Simple And Efficient
In my previous work titled “The Ethical Automation Of Labor”, I discussed how we as a society could simply automate all of the labor that we possibly can, and evenly divide the remaining amount of “human labor” (that only humans can do) among all working people, while still paying full time wages, so that everyone only has to work 1–2 days a week, if that. It’s a pretty simple idea that most people would probably be on board with, and it makes sense. The question is: what type of automation would we want to use? Would we want to build a separate machine for each task (i.e. a machine designed for car repairs, a machine designed for farming, a machine designed for cooking, etc), or could we just build a simple “humanoid robot” that could be programmed to complete a wide variety of different tasks (i.e. “humanoid robot” software that could repair cars, farm, cook, etc), or a combination of the two? I’d say we’d probably be better off to use a combination of the two, but lean more towards the “humanoid robot” side.
There are pros and cons to both options, obviously. The “specialized machine” has the upside of being highly geared towards a specific type of task, and it would obviously be better at performing that specific task than the humanoid robot, but the downside is that it takes a whole bunch of extra time and energy to design and manufacture these “specialized machines”.
Let’s start with an example. Take automated farming for example: you can design “specialize machinery” that is specifically geared towards farming (such as the FarmBot, which already exists: https://farm.bot/), or you could have “humanoid robots” (which are robots which has the general appearance and functionality of a human: https://www.automate.org/a3-content/service-robots-humanoid-robots) farm the land. One of the main advantages to the “humanoid robot” is that the same exact humanoid robot could be programmed to tend to your garden, make basic car maintenance and repairs, cook your meals, etc, whereas the “specialized farming machine” can only do one thing: tend to your garden. Why spend all of that extra time and energy getting separate machinery for gardening, cooking, and car repairs, when you could simply buy 1 “humanoid robot” that can be programmed to do all three and more?
Now that’s not to say that having separate specialize machinery is necessarily bad — I’m sure that there are some things that would require specialized machinery because…