As sewbots threaten Asia’s sweatshops, we need to decide who will benefit from automation
This isn’t an entirely bad news story: the South Asian garment industry is dangerous and underpaid, and replacing humans with robots will reduce the labor inputs (and hence the price) of things that we all need — clothes and shoes.
But obviously, that will leave a hell of a lot of people in the region without any jobs. This presents two problems: first, how will they live; and second, who will buy the things that robots make if all the benefits of automation accrue to an ever-dwindling group of people who own robots?
The time saved through automation must be granted to the people.
— Bernard Stiegler, French philosopher