Robots Are Going to Take Over Our Lives by 2040, So Get Ready for the Uprising

Remember that prediction from last week that by 2064, robots will have taken over caregiving duties in pretty much every place except the United States? Well, that may just be wishful thinking. According to some recent research, we’re en route to robots totally taking over our lives and jobs by 2040. Of course, this means that the robot uprising is also imminent; by 2064, we may be battling with Terminators and the robots from the Flight of the Conchords song “The Humans Are Dead” for our very survival. Run! Run for your lives!

OK, so maybe things aren’t as dire as all that — but here’s what we’re looking at: According to the Daily Mail, a bunch of futurologists (side note: best job title ever) commissioned by job search website, we could be seeing cabs driven by robots, call centers staffed by droids, and bionic implants for our hands that will make us as fast as machines in less than 30 years’ time. Furthermore, the current 37.4 hour work week is likely to increase by a third to 50.5 hours — although that figure may be specific to the UK, as most Americans already tend to work stupidly long hours with very little vacation time. And that’s not all we have to worry about: Those who go in for those bionic implants will probably be the biggest earners, but will also end up with poor eyesight, constantly-furrowed brows, and — ready for this? — smaller sexual organs as a result. Oh, and did I mention that people will be so busy working that we’ll only find time for sex twice a month? Man, the future sounds awesome!... in that really, really not-awesome kind of way.

OK, so yes, the Daily Mail doesn't exactly cite where this wacky little study is getting its data from, and as such, I'm rather wary of how truthful it is. But even so, we’ve been aware for a while that eventually, a lot of jobs humans currently rely on will end up going to robots; it’s happened before (remember when the assembly line was run by people instead of machines?), and it’s almost certainly going to happen again. I keep wondering what the price of all this efficiency is going to be, though. The job market is already bad enough; what’s going to happen when robots take over whole swaths of available work? Will other types of jobs arrive to fill in the ranks? Or will we just be left with steadily shrinking employment opportunities and a steadily growing population? Not going to lie, guys; between this and the polar ice caps melting, I worry for our future. A lot.

But hey, at least there’s this: According to The Verge, the robots of the future won’t actually look anything like the Terminator. The world of soft robotics — robots built not of rigid metal components, but of, soft flexible ones inspired by octopi and starfish — is booming, so at worst, be might just be facing really big versions of Peach from Finding Nemo:

Not so bad, right?