Further automation of the retail sector raises issues far beyond the needless luxuries of choice, convenience and speed of delivery (Amazon to test drone deliveries in British skies, 27 July). I wonder if the “demand” for stuff to be delivered by robot to our door within 30 minutes of ordering really exists – is modern satisfaction really that shallow? But in an increasingly automated society, where are the wages to buy these goods going to come from?
While Brexit showed that politicians were detached from the anger of the dispossessed of this country, where are they on the automation of yet more of the jobs that so many people depend on? It seems they are keen to race headlong into a very misty future.
There are so many unresolved issues: the need for a citizen’s income to allow those disenfranchised from the workplace to live a reasonable quality of life (and the taxation on corporate profits that this would require); the loss of peace and quiet, privacy, safety, security; and beyond all this, what will humans be doing in the future? What will be our role? It is important that we ask ourselves these questions before these increasingly intelligent robots start answering them.
Dr Colin Bannon