I watched a disturbing video the other day. You can find it on youtube listed at the end of this article. It is called, “Humans Need Not Apply.” The video paints a troublesome future as the world turns more and more to robotics. Near the end of the video the presenter lists thousands of jobs that will no longer exist as machines grab more of our work. He suggests that we could experience unemployment at the rate of 45%. If you think it is only lower paying blue collar workers who will suffer, you are wrong. Significant numbers of doctors, lawyers, composers, mathematicians, and writers will also experience the shock.

Interestingly enough, the “genesis” of this movement began immediately after the Fall, where God says to Adam, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground…” Eve’s painful labor bringing forth fruit from the womb will be matched by the pangs of Adam’s labor while bringing forth fruits from the earth. Lamaze and drugs have lessened the one; machines have lessened the other. “Early “labor-saving devices” such as the hoe and plow have metastacized into machines unimagined by our forebears. It will be an odd twist of fate that, whereas man only wanted to make labor easier, he may end up erasing much of it entirely. That may be the ultimate curse, for if we are created in the image of God, we were meant to be creators in our own right. The very work that often defines who we are will be consigned to machines operating with a high level of intelligence and skill. While it may have taken a bit longer, we are in the process of creating in our own image! The possible political and social unrest which could follow the loss of work may curtail the advance of the robotics. Currently, the Indian government finds it more prudent to employ physical laborers than use machines that would otherwise deprive families of even the most meager incomes.

The Genesis account does not tell us that work itself is a curse, only that sin will add a bitterness to it. Will technology end up throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater?


A sober response: