My robotic future is our kids robotic today. One of my Google feeds delivered a blog link to this video of robots building cars at a BMW plant. It’s amazing to watch – like a mechanical ballet. It was maybe 20+ years ago I sat on a plane next to a newly minted grad who was headed to his new job at General Motors plant where he would program robots for their assembly line.
This plant is far more complex than the line he would start work on. In his day, there were still people working side by side with the robots. Look for people in the video. Maybe they’re on coffee break.
When I was still teaching at the community college where I work, every semester I had a few students who were changing their careers, either because their jobs were obsolete, like many printing industry jobs, or that their former manufacturing jobs were moved overseas. I bet some lost jobs to robots like these.
The question for me is, what do we want to teach our kids, or even to learn for ourselves, that will prepare us for the increasing rate of change we’re facing. I’m falling on the side of emphasizing science and technology to my kids, though that isn’t all that the future holds. Nevertheless, I want my kids left with more than just a toe-hold on a future. I’d rather see them as the ones that carve it out.