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Back To The Future: Artisan Work And The Return Of The Labour Theory Of Value, PT. I; By Hung Lee
Another day, another example: a machine performing a complicated task at a speed and with a precision beyond the capability of the human beings who were doing the same job just days before. Whether it is laying bricks, reading legal case files or performing dental surgery, there appears to be no domain of work where robots can not only do it but obviously do it better than us. For those of you who like to feel inadequate, there is even a twitter account dedicated to keeping us up to date on our impending redundancy; humanvsmachine (a bot, appropriately enough) which shares side-by-side gifs of robots outperforming us in every conceivable way, demonstrating robotic supremacy a tweet at a time.
There is no longer any serious debate that automation and AI are accelerating us towards profound societal change.
The question now is what we might do about it?
For some, the answer lies in a robust defence of human labour through decoupling from the global economy, reining the forces of free market and legislating for worker protections – we are going to keep humans in work by stopping the robots from taking it from us.