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Will androids save or destroy our economy?

Primitive androids i.e. fully mobile computers with Watson-like intelligence will have visual and auditory acuity; they will serve as caregivers for the baby boomers.

Within 20 years they will have the diagnostic skills of a Harvard-educated doctor, know the signs of a stroke, heart attacks in men and women which present differently, diagnose other health issues, call 911 sooner and save lives. They will do many of the tasks that a care giver would do e.g. monitor meds, be alert, never tire or get bored and they will regale their patients with everything from idle banter to bawdy limericks.

Within 50 years mass-produced fully “human” androids speaking all languages will cost less than $100,000; at this time they will give shots, draw blood, change IV's, and do all the tasks an RN would other wise do. They will dominate care within intensive care units, greatly reduce hospital-borne diseases through superior hygiene, reduce medication errors and replace 4-6 full time staff i.e. work as an RN a 160 + hour work week and handle all administrative duties. They will also dominate nursing home care. Most repetitive jobs paying minimum wage can be done economically by androids.

Whoever controls android manufacturing in the 21st Century, a $10 trillion industry, will have an economic engine for a century; however, by the year 2100, there will be 100 million unemployed Americans, a permanent underclass.


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    Dec 24 2013: Richard, your description of androids in healthcare is (obviously) just the tip of the iceberg. A brief - and informal - survey of global automation trends reveals an astonishing landscape of intelligent machines replacing (if not augmenting) human labor.

    I am confident that continued progress in this direction will necessitate the replacement of our current monetary system with one that directly supplies a hierarchical set of resources to the global population. Such a "new" system would be guided by the self-evident directive that all people are entitled (but not limited) to clean water, healthy food, safe shelter, state-of-the-art healthcare, a broad education, and a right to travel freely. Managed wisely - with the assistance of a global, computerized database - there should be enough resources to provide everyone with a quality standard of living.

    So, to return to your question, YES, androids (computers and automation) can "save" our economy by helping us to transform it into something that makes sense for the 21st century and beyond.
    • Dec 24 2013: When you factor in that one android in health care (I suspect mass produced for under 100k) can do the work of 4 RN's each making $70-$80,000/year and the cost savings are obvious. But what do we do with the vast mass of unemployed people?

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