A glimpse into the future?

Ellapen Rapiti, Kenwyn

We’re told the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) promises to make life easy for humans. However, a closer look at it reveals it will make a few people, the originators of the technology, extremely rich and render millions all over the world unemployed.

Driverless vehicles will put an end to taxi and bus drivers, robotic waiters will put an end to waiting, digital tuition over the net will put an end to traditional teaching and lecturing, electric vehicles will put an end to garages and the small-parts industries for motor vehicles.

Much of our sophisticated health and surgical procedures will also be done by robots.

Supermarkets, will no longer need tellers because billing will be done by scans.

The traditional bank with branches, built of bricks and mortar, will go, along with their managers, tellers and bank notes as we rely only on electronic transactions.

Only 10% of the people in Sweden use cash, the rest use cards.

The profit-driven mining industry is waiting in the wings to reopen dilapidated mines with their robots because the mineral resources are too deep, too dangerous and too costly to extract using human labour.

Robots with no labour unions and strikes will replace thousands of workers.

The capabilities of the new technology are endless, but so too is the threat to our existence if unemployment, starvation, violence and widespread disease take hold.

We might find ourselves with huge stockpiles of goods – all available online, ready to be delivered by drones – but no one with the money to buy them.

In short, almost the entire human race will be replaced by Artificial Intelligence robotics and technology with a handful of people reaping the benefits.

The Achilles heel of AI will be power supply. Without an uninterrupted power supply, we risk witnessing shut downs that can cripple economies and destroy countries, if not the world.

Imagine if Eskom were the only power supplier of the future – traffic and businesses will come to a total standstill with its regular doses of load shedding.

Any scientific discovery that does not benefit all of mankind is inviting a war of mammoth proportions, so we must tread carefully with how we introduce and implement AI in the world.

David Helps, Newlands

Why is it that while most shops gear themselves up for and display Christmas goods practically from the beginning of November, that charities selling Christmas cards wait until the last possible moment?

By the time these are available, the chances of the cards arriving in time locally are dubious, while those destined for overseas nearly nil!

Are these concerns oblivious to the current state of our once good postal service?

It is hardly surprising that so many people are now turning to the impersonal e-Cards instead.