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Computers will take over all human roles

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2015 Category: Technology
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 978 times Debate No: 77488
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
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There will be no more jobs.

The progress of technology will rise to the point where humans have been replaced. No jobs will be "safe" from the automation.
Even the creative jobs (author, painter, composer) will be replaced by automation, sending all of humanity into a jobless hell or a relaxing paradise, but that is not the topic of this debate. I will be arguing that computers will improve until they will have the ability to be better than any human. They will be able to do human jobs faster and better than any human can do causing people to be fired and computer will be hired. This results with technology improving and the number of humans with jobs decreasing until the jobless rate is 100%


Thanks for starting this debate, I agree that robots are becoming smarter and will replace more jobs s this happens, and they will probably be smarter than humans by 2029. However I do not think there will be a time when robots will replace 100% of human jobs.

Here are some jobs that won't be replaced by robots:

1. Professional football players - it might be interesting at first to watch robots play, but we are drawn to the players, children aren't going to say 'when I grow up I'm going to be just like that robot'. Players are role models.

2. Actors - people would prefer to watch human actors

3. Quality assurance - machines inevitably wear and break. You could argue that a machine could be made to fix the machine that breaks, but then you'd need a machine to fix that machine, at some point you'll need a human.

4. Politicians - humans will always want to make decisions.

5. Artists - human artwork will always be worth money

Many thanks, I look forward to hearing your arguments

Debate Round No. 1


I will address each of your points individually.

1) Football Player - The reason people enjoy watching football must because the outcome of the game uncertain. Imagine a world were the outcome of the game was known before the game began. The game is determined by how well a player can execute his/her role in the team. The only deciding factor in the winner is the imperfections in the team, strategy, or player. A robot wouldn't be interesting to watch because they would execute their role(s) perfectly however; programming imperfection is easy. This could allow for interesting and cheap players. The employers (of human players) have to pay huge amounts of money for the salary of the players. Up to 20 million dollars each year. The cost of a robot to play the (with the exact entertainment quality) would be less than a hundred dollars a year. It doesn't matter if the kids enjoy looking at role models because however much they would like to be those humans. The humans that pay want cheaper players much more.

2) Actors - Acting is a complex task that tests your ability to follow precise instructions in false circumstances. Perfect for a robot. Robots can do EXACTLY what a director tells them to do, down to each muscle moved. Their facial expressions can be precisely controlled and adapted to exactly the way the director wants. When you say that people would prefer to watch human actors, I think that they would much rather have the best acting possible - a task only a computer could provide. And, telling the difference in robot/human is becoming more and more unclear. Androids are becoming so human-like that they are practically indistinguishable.

3) Quality Assurance - Computers do break, but so do humans. Computers can and will self-repair. The same way that humans do. This is just a more complicated technology. Humans can "break" and run self-diagnostics on themselves, even if you aren't conscience about doing it. Your immune system for example. This is an amazing feat of the human body but can be replicated in robots. In fact, scientists at Stanford University have created a self-healing conductive "skin". This could eventually be used in creating a self-repairing robot with no need for another machine or a human to repair it.

4) Politicians - Humans would love to stay in control. I agree however; if a country wants to be strong, there is no other choice. Computers could consider millions of different scenarios in seconds. Something that humans couldn't even imagine. Prof. Hawking once said - "One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand,". The important part of that quote is "out-manipulating human leaders" it shows that incorrect decisions wouldn't be made by automations.

5) Artists - The argument that computer can't be creative is an interesting (and false) one however; you said "Human artwork will always be worth money" I can't deny this. However, humans can make at best 100 good paintings in their lifetime. Computers can make billions of paintings in a fraction of the time that are worth (if not more) the same amount of money.

Thank You.


Some interesting points, thank you

1. Football players - Every football match is uncertain, but this is not the reason people enjoy watching football, people enjoy watching their favourite team play which involve their favourite players, these are players who have inspired them to play football. Robots will never inspire humans to play football especially when it's impossible to be anywhere near as good as them. Winning games does tend to increase revenue because more people are going to want to support a good team. Although a robot could do a better job than a professional footballer and for less pay, human players will always be worth their salery because winning doesn't matter if there isn't anyone interested in watching.

2. Actors - Do people buy films based on how perfect the acting is? The simple answer is no, there are plenty of human actors who do a great job, I can forgive some faults, and there are some people who enjoy finding faults. A computer generated film will never be better or replace human actors for various reasons, if a fault is observed then it can't be forgiven as easily, adults prefer watching real people who they could possibly meet one day, and who have a life story.

3. If robots can self heal then I guess we can drop this argument

4. There seems to be some advantages to giving away control, but when it comes to defending or attacking another country a responsible leader would not want to give that choice away.

5. I'm sure robots will beable to produce works of art, and print photographs of things they're not seen. However original paintings are always worth more money because a particular person painted it. There is nothing stop an artist selling photocopies of his work in the billions, and each would be worth more than something a robot can paint or print.

Another argument:

6. New jobs - I doubt robots in the future will have "robot rights", they will be made to serve us. For this reason they will cost people money, and people will own them, so the richer you become the more robots you can have, and the richer you can be. People's job in the future will thus be to decide what their robot does in order to earn them money. The robots existence essentially gives humans a job. Although humans will not feel like they are working, they will still have a job.

Many thanks for reading

Debate Round No. 2


I will reply to this your latest argument in a similar fashion as the first.

Football: I bring up the question: Why wouldn't people be interested in watching robots face off?" You bring up the point that we have favorite players in favorite teams. Why could this not be favorite teams of favorite robots? You also bring up the point that robots wouldn't inspire people to play football, but that is the essence of my argument. It is not because they are not inspired that they can' be as good as robots, but because they can't be as good as robots that they won't be inspired.
I agree that ability in football has no difference on how much people enjoy it. However; robots don't need to be infinitely good. If they can match the players in how they would play. Then the cost of the robots will quickly be worth much more.

Acting: You wrote "If a fault is observed..." However; I argue that there will never be a fault, because it is impossible for a computer to make a mistake. The computer will do exactly what you want it to. However, lets assume that there is a fault (somehow) then it would be unfair to have a bias against the computers! They provide the exact same quality of the human actors but a single mistake is counted against them more than the humans (I say again, a computer making a mistake is still impossible)

Political Issues: I agree that a leader would not want to give away his/her authority in the situation. But, they won't have a choice. As the computers become smarter they can make decisions better than humans can. Any human that tried to stay in control would be slowly down the march of civilization. I bring an example from a fictional movie but one that could easily be realistic. In the movie, Terminator, a virus has infected huge portions of the nation and no human programmer can identify the source of the virus. This is a plausible situation, The only option in this type of event is to let go of the control to smarter and faster devices.

Art: You bring up a very interesting point. I believe you are arguing that because the person is a well-known artist, people think that his/her painting are better. This is again an example of a bias against computer. However; I think that your point supports my claim. The paints are no better or even worse than that of a computer however; it costs more because a human can only make so much art in his life, not because he is a human making art. A computer doesn't need to sell painting for that much because it can make thousands each minute. Why would someone want to be a worse, more expensive artwork? The answer is simple, they wouldn't and the artist will lose their job...

New Jobs: I think that I should have clarified this in the beginning with definitions but...
Job - A paid position of regular employment
Employment - The condition of having paid work.
The "job" that humans would have in the future doesn't match this definition.
I also think that you are personalizing this too much. The people don't own robots to send off the work. The employers own the robots to work. For instance, a self-checkout automation wasn't "donated" by a person that owned a robot. But the market decided not to employ several cashiers. This is a very modern example but i'm sure in the future more complex examples of the this will occur.


Football - Human playersare liked for a mixture of reasons such as their fame, skill, and determination, it would be impossible for anyone to have a favourite robot player because each player on one team would be exactly the same! And if robots were created to accurately mimic humans by giving them flaws so each is unique then it would mean each team is not trying to win, and is instead trying to convince you that you are watching them play football. The game would be easier to fix too if robots played, would the referee be a robot? Having robots on your team would help that team to win as robots don't tire, but fans would no longer support the team resulting in a loss of income. I'd much rather have Rooney on my team or a player who people love and who can make money from merchandise.

Acting - It's not unfair to have a bias against computers, it's natural, and mistakes can be made which wouldn't have been made if it wasn't CGI e.g. in star wars the phantom menace Obi One doesn't flinch during one part of a fight scene and the mistake just feels worse because it could have been corrected if it were actually filmed. If the computers are perfect and no mistakes can be made, and let's say you watch a video with an actress who you find really attractive, but who you know isn't real, it would detract from the film. The best way to make a film realistic is to use real human beings, this way it is possible for people to have a favourite actor.

Political - Films like Terminator show why we shouldn't give computers complete control and why we should always keep a human in the loop who can make a decision.

Art - A human can only make so much art in his lifetime, but it is a matter of quality over quantity. Perhaps a computer could make a trillion peices of art each day but people will probably search for art done by a human because for one they'd feel better buying it, and having a signiture sjust better as it is easier to appreciate.

New jobs - okay, I will drop this argument.

I have listed some jobs which I believe will not be affected by robots e.g. football players, actors, politicians, and artists but I believe that most people will be able to keep their jobs because if people are able to buy a robot for say £30,000 which is capable of doing anything they can do they wouldn't want it to do their daytime job, they'd want it to work on a spaceship or something greater which will bring in more money than they are currently earning. Buying a supersmart robot and then have it do the work of a human would be considered a very poor investment, and so people will continue to have a job

Debate Round No. 3


First, I would like to say Thank you for participating in this debate. It showed me many other arguments against my position that I didn't think of.
Now, to my argument:
Football - I think that this could eventually become a sport solely based on the creation of a team and the way the team plays. Each robot could easily have it's own specialty or role - a position on the field for instance quarterback. A person could create a team and it would go against another team created by another person. This is far cheaper (and I think would be more interesting to watch than football). The robots are not trying to convince the audience that they are humans. But trying to find a winner between the two best players. I believe that the argument you make would only protect these types of professions for a certain amount of time. These jobs are protected (at least for a little) by the illogical thoughts of humans.

Acting - The "no-flinch" scene in Star Wars is an example of why humans are bad at their jobs and should/will be replaced. The CGI was done by humans, not a fault of the computer. If a computer could animate on its own or even analyze other fights it would be done to such a degree of realism that it would be entirely indistinguishable. As for the attractive actor argument, as with the football player, this would only delay the inevitable replacement of they jobs as well.

Political - The movie Terminator only happened because the computer because self-aware (which is a debate for another time). But, the computer that is programmed to follow a command (eg. Protect Nation) wouldn't do anything to disobey that. There is no need for a human in the loop. It the computer can't disobey the order you have given it making it the perfect political leader.

Art - You say it is a matter of quality over quantity but, I think that computers could make painting that are orders of magnitude better than what a human could do. On the other hand, I don't think people would pay 100x more for a painting because it has a signature on it. It is simply not worth the price for a human when the machine version is better, cheaper, and is produced more often.

With your last paragraph, You said again that the people would buy robots to do other things to make them more money. I think you are thinking about this wrong. The people do not employ themselves. The employers buy robots to replace the people. For example, lets say you are a cashier, and you get fired because you are getting replaced by a machine. You didn't buy the machine and give it to the company, you had no choice. It might be a poor investment for an person to buy a general robot for jobs that don't need general robots. I agree, you don't need a robot that is able to run for a cashier machine. But, specialized robots don't need to be built to do everything; only something. Robots that assemble cars can do it several times faster than a human can with a fraction of the price. Also, the engineer (building the cars) isn't buying the robot to do his job. The company is buying the robot to do the engineer's job. From the company's view, the deal looks like this: "We get a faster and longer working staff (24/7) that costs a fraction of the lower quality, slower, and less available engineer".

CGPGrey's Comparison to Horses: In a youtube video, CGPGrey made the example of two horses "talking" to each other just as the car is starting to take off. One of the horses thinks that the cars will make the horse useless however; the other reminds him that technology has done nothing but improve their lives so far. Horses used to have the charge into battle and often get killed but now they get easy lives pulling carriages. Nowadays, if a you want to ride a horse to work? Good Luck. The horses were replaced by a superior method of transportation, the car. As too will the humans go. The humans won't become unwanted, they will become UNEMPLOYABLE as their superior machine brothers will quickly become faster, cheaper, and more efficient at a rate biology can't match.

In Conclusion, The quickly improving rate of automation and it' is increasing capabilities and decreasing price will eventually make it's monkey derived counterpart obsolete.

Thank You.


It's been a pleasure debating with you too, and I have made all my arguments so will try to use this round to conclude.

Here is my list of reasons why robots won't replace human roles/jobs


      • It'd be impossible to have a favourite robot player because robots will be built to have the same skill, stamina etc.

      • Since humans are inspired by attainable talent and real people, robot football players will cause a reduction in the number of supporters.


    • The flinch scene I was thinking about was in a different star wars episode, sorry. Minor human errors are not a problem, and can be a positive thing if you like finding mistakes, or if you like watching bloopers. If computers are perfect and you can't tell the difference between real people and CG people then I do see why people would turn to the cheaper option of making films entirely CGI putting actors at risk of losing their job or more likely recieving less pay. However I believe people will still prefer watching real people even if they don't know the difference when watching, and would not mind paying extra.


    • I don't think there will be a time when people will ever trust robots more than people, but that is just my opinion.


    • I agree computers will be able to make lots more art and better art, but knowing a person made a piece makes it worth money. And collectors will be willing to pay more for original/rare art.

Other jobs

    • Companies have bought specialized robots to replace manufacturing jobs, and software to replace bank workers due to people using more convienent online services, and more jobs will be lost e.g. there may no longer be lorry drivers because vehicles can now drive by their self etc, but when a company begins to sell robots to households people will have a robot work for them. People wouldn't choose to replace their own job because they might enjoy their job, and if they replaced a job they hated doing but it was all they can do they'd have less options to make money. Greater profits would be achieved by sending robots to work in new fields, and because there are endless possibilities for robots like mining other planets so there will always be people who have a regular paid job.

Thanks again
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by mentalist 3 years ago
Humans have more purpose than to work for the corporations. The real issue is the inequitable distribution of resources and livable wages.

""experience demonstrates that there may be a slavery of wages only a little less galling and crushing in its effects than chattel slavery, and that this slavery of wages must go down with the other." - Frederick Douglass
Posted by mostlogical 3 years ago
I have dropped argument 3, I didn't think it through that much. If there are robots dotted everywhere ding different things then one could just change its role to fixing other robots, so an endless supply would exist provided they were constantly being made or could self heal somehow.
Posted by evangambit 3 years ago
"1. Professional football players ... 2. Actors"

I confess, I've never thought of these jobs or heard your line of reasoning, and I actually like it a lot. Thanks for making this point.

I do, however, remain skeptical of 3:

"Quality assurance - machines inevitably wear and break. You could argue that a machine could be made to fix the machine that breaks, but then you'd need a machine to fix that machine, at some point you'll need a human."

Humans break just as much (often more) than machines. True, with modern AI it's unthinkable repair-men are at risk of losing their jobs any time soon, but even relatively modest predictions of AI (e.g. "human level") seem to pose an enormous threat (in my opinion). Because if A fixes B fixes C fixes A, and there are 800 of each, then the probability of needing a human is equivalent to the probability all of them fail simultaneously (which is technically non-zero, but, then, so is the probability that everyone who works in a factory dies in the same week)
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