How can cheap labor be generated without bringing down the standard of life of people? Robots with Artificial Intelligence were the only way before Internet came into the main stream.
Artificial Intelligence is not easy to develop. The only functioning robot an average American can afford is Roomba®. Robots remained confined to car building, space missions and science fictions otherwise.
I would call the enthusiasm towards robot development a tad too enthusiastic. The goal was to get labor cheaper. Guess what? Labor *is* cheap – it is not just available where it is needed. Internet and related outsourcing boom has proved the point.
Of late, through MPLS/VPLS technology, Internet has guaranteed us bandwidth and latency (delay). The point is proven by Skype® and video streaming.
Then, why don’t we take Robotics, substitute the Artificial Intelligence part with ‘Internet and a laborer in India’ and use the “half-Robot-half-human” for pressing our clothes, sweeping our floors and mowing our lawns?
Before you rush into traditional India bashing and ‘flight of jobs to Bangalore’ rhetoric, let me point out that such a solution can not only provide higher quality of life to a lot of American homes, it can also generate half a million *operation related*, good paying technician jobs in the US. By operation related jobs I mean the jobs that must be retained in the US.
Apart from that, it could generate 20 million structured, better paying jobs in India, a friendly country. This may bring standard of life in India higher, generating demand for the goods and services of American companies.
All this manpower at work also needs management. So actual number of jobs created may be much higher on both the sides.
Another significant advantage of this solution is that as labor becomes cheaper, it also becomes *absent* from the workplace. Unlike immigrant workers, their homes don’t crowd cities, air-conditioners don’t pollute the air, cars don’t take road space or children don’t crowd schools.
Cheaper, legal and absent labor for menial tasks could also be a formidable competitor to illegal immigration. The estimates here don’t consider the low end jobs business needs to fill in using illegal immigrants. If we can discourage illegal immigration by making it less attractive, we don’t need to police our borders as hard.
Here is the spreadsheet with calculation.
What do you say?