Replacing Humans with Robots
The title of this post is apparently the title of an official Chinese government program which subsidizes and rewards companies for actively displacing humans with robots, (Talk about truth in advertising…)
This article and 6-minute video explain the program, and talk to some Chinese workers affected by it, In true authoritarian form, there’s the official version of it, and then there’s the off-the-record version that the filmmakers get by talking to workers outside of the factory.
Here’s China’s problem, in a nutshell:
Workers are scarce partly because of the government’s “one child” policy and the rapid expansion of the university system.
Government rules limiting most couples to just one child halved the birthrate in China from 1987 to 2003. The birthrate then leveled off at a lower level per 1,000 residents than in the United States. So China has lots of workers in their late 20s, but an ever-shrinking supply of workers now entering the work force each year.
As a bonus, the video has some great shots (and weirdly terrifying) shots of Kuka, which is one of the world’s largest robot manufacturers – they make the robots which make other stuff.
It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.