We have read numerous articles describing the apocalyptic future that awaits Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and portions of China’s coastline as a dramatic drop in childbirths, combined with the extended life expectancy, creates cities of elderly with no youth to support them.
Although such concerns are not unfounded, and if all other factors were constant, this would be convincing enough, yet there is one factor that many analysts have left out. There is currently a revolution taking place in robot technology which will be fully unleashed over the next five years, from 2012 to 2017. An increasing number of tasks will be done more effectively and more consistently by robots, a change that may well completely transform society as well as our relationship with machines. Although we are beginning to get some sense of the contours of this shift in our world, most citizens have not fully thought through just how profound those changes may be.