Robots In Our Life: Wall-E Versus Duckburg

It’s an incredible testament to human innovation:

the minute we discover something to be possible it just becomes a matter of tweaking that technology to really make it something fantastic.

It still amazes me that in 1903 the Wright Flyer takes a little fwiiitt flight of 120 feet, and just ten years later we’re up in the air battling it out in full-blown dogfights!

Speaking of dogs…just over ten years after that poor ill-fated Laika proved living beings could make it into space, we’re planting an American flag on the moon! Yes, that did happen.

The human mind works fast when the “can we do that” barrier is broken.

This is the theory SpaceX founder Elon Musk had put out in November of 2016 when he said there was a good chance humans would need a “universal basic income” to survive once our robot overlords take all our jobs.

Okay, he didn’t say “overlords,” but he did say robot technology is advancing so fast, it might be making some human jobs obsolete.

It’s now February 2017, and we’re talking about self-driving cars, flying drone taxis in Dubai, and more and more advancements in robotics than ever before. Some robots can even make repairs on other robots, compose simple tunes and create art.

Do we have anything to fear from these metal-skinned, job-stealing robo-jerks? That really depends on us?

There are two worlds this robot-heavy world could create: a future like Wall-E, or the society like Duckburg?

First, there’s Pixar’s look the dystopian futuristic result of hyper consumerism and laziness in the film Wall-E. After messing up our planet beyond recognition, humans leave Earth and let the robots clean it up. While on their “temporary” space retreat they become less human and more like gooey tubs of techno dependent beings, not really living but merely existing. Robots can do everything, so why do anything?

Then, there’s Duckburg!

Anyone who as read the old Carl Barks comics, or even watched a Duck Tales or two, has seen some fun little visions of how technology can be part of our life without taking over. There are innovated minds like inventor Gyro Gearloose, but it seems every time machine tries to take over the work of man (well, duck), it becomes a hilarious disaster. One story I remember shows Donald and nephews disillusioned with too much technology after house sitting for Uncle Scrooge. They opt of the sanctity and sanity, of a “do-it-yourself” lifestyle. There are plenty of cool gadgets in Duckburg in use, but there is also adventure to be had. Robots can do a lot, but they don't need to do everything.

put us out of work, or will they need us? Images: Pixar and Disney[/caption]

Sometimes it looks like the Wall-E vision is more realistic, with obesity rates up, and people connect more via gadgets than they do in person. However, more people are pointing out these facts, and not just issuing a warning, but solutions.

Yes, we do want a little more time off, and yes, we do want to pay less for consumer goods, but we also want a sense of purpose.

This means humans really do want to work. We want to go out and do other things, so more efficiency via technology is welcome. Then, when have down time with our family, we can feel good about ourselves having made a difference in our own little corner of planet Earth.

As far as being lazy? Automated cars might be convenient or necessary in some cases, but let's face it, people really love to drive! It's fun! There might riding-suitcases and Segways out there, but some people still want to walk or hike.

Let’s put those robots to work, but don’t let them “hold out for management.” After all, we created these robots! We are the Frankenstein behind that big metal monster. It’s up to is put them to work, be in charge, and from time to time, unplug them and get our hands dirty.

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