This news, of Foxconn replacing humans with robots, should have gotten me excited about the possibilities of the future, the progress of technology and all that. Instead, it sends me cold shivers down the spine. Don’t take me wrong. I am still excited about the androids which we could make use of in our daily life. I was amazed at the technology when an ex-colleague told me that she uses a small robot to do the cleaning jobs in her house and how perfectly it cleans every nook and corner of the house. Last week, I was even planning to buy a toy robot for my son because I heard from a colleague that it responds to your hand gestures and even talks and the price isn’t too high. I liked Spielberg’s A.I. too, mostly because I knew it was fiction though the possibility of such a war between humans and androids stuck in my mind.
This news, however, changed all that. It may sound like I am panicking here a little but this truly scares me. It’s not the robots, but the humans who might use robots against other humans. This is like some humans taking advantage of the technology to use against the other humans instead of making it for common good. One million robots are going to replace the human workers in Foxconn’s factories, which means one million people would go out of jobs. I checked on the Foxconn profile in Wikipedia and this Taiwanese company already seems to have a record of ‘poor working conditions, insufficient overtime pay and workplace accidents may be common’. Foxconn also seems to have been in the news for their employee suicides. Wikipedia already has a separate page on the topic.
So what if this becomes a practice? When companies and corporations want to get rid of their ‘troublesome’ employees and their demand for pay hike and better work conditions? I am not ignoring the advantage of using robots in jobs which risks lives, but what about the situations like these? That thought truly scares me and this seems to be just a start of the android era. A war between humans and androids and android-owned humans doesn’t seem fictional now at all.