In the book “The Rise of Robots,” Martin Ford describes how robots are now being used in various fields, such as agriculture, manufacturing, medicine, among other fields, including music and the arts. In the final chapter of his book, he argues that because the use of robotics is going to be so pervasive that it will eliminate many jobs in the near future, there will be a need for the provision of a basic income for all. That is one solution. However, San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim has argued, along with Microsoft’s Bill Gates, that robots should be taxed, just in the same way that workers are now being taxed, in order to minimize the competition with regular workers. Kim who started the campaign for a free CCSF, believes that the taxes from the robots could be dedicated not only to keeping CCSF free in the future but also to paying for the retraining of those workers who lose their jobs due to the use of robotics. There is a lot at stake with the introduction of robots, so it is important to anticipate what is likely to happen in order to plan for the future of the next few generations in the city and the state.
Students should write a 6-7 page essay (with an annotated Work Cited page based on the 2016 MLA citation method) in which they pretend they are on Supervisor Kim’s new Task Force and analyze both the potential benefits and negative side effects of three or four different solutions that are being proposed by Supervisor Kim in her speeches and by the Ford in the final chapter of the Risk of Robots, specifically (1) the various types of taxes they propose and (2) Ford’s specific recommendation for a basic income for all. Several additional scholarly academic and /or government sources should be included in the students’ analyses relating to some proposed solutions. Students should be sure to quote the different authors’ insights, providing approximately three quotations from their reading in each Main Paragraph of approximately 10-12 sentences each. In the Main Paragraphs students should also briefly discuss the origins of each solution (i.e., in the Second, Fourth and Sixth Main Paragraphs) before presenting its merits.
- An introduction of seven to eight sentences about the overall problem and several solutions. Refer to the concerns of Supervisor Kim and Martin Ford. End with a THESIS.
- The FIRST Main Paragraph re: the use of robotics in the different fields
- The Second main paragraph re: the benefits of one solution (e.g., basic income)
- The Third Main Paragraph re: the potentially negative side effects of that solution
- the Fourth Main Paragraph re: the benefits of a second solution (e.g., robot taxes)
- The Fifth Main Paragraph re: the potentially negative side effects of that solution
- the Sixth Main Paragraph re: the benefits of a third possible solution
- the Seventh Main Paragraph re: the potentially negative side effects of that solution
- the Conclusion of five to seven sentences (not a listing of the topics.)
- An annotated Works Cited page (based on the 2016 MLA menthod of citation)