The tendency of machines and robots to replace humans has become quite common recently. Although the use of machines in order to complete the tasks that used to be completed by humans, at least seemingly, is effective from the point of view of time and costs, it is important to analyze in details the unexpected consequences that this tendency might bring. Tufekci in her article Machines are Coming argues that in 1967 an advertisement for an automated accounting system encouraged companies to replace humans by saying that the systems ‘can’t quit, forget, or get pregnant’ (Tufecki).

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Needless to say, this statement in very discriminatory in the relation to women and has the embedded message that women should foremost be replaced because of their biological functions. In addition to this, Berg, Buffie and Zanaa in their article Robots, Growth, and Inequality state that machines foremost will replace low-skilled workers. In addition to this, according to the authors, the use of robots in the field of production will eventually result in lower wages from human workers (Berg, Buffie & Zanna). From this point of view, it is possible to assume that machines replacing humans will foremost affect the most vulnerable social groups such as women and working class individuals. This, in its turn, will only lead to the reinforcement of social inequality and to the widening of gap between the rich and the poor.

Although the use of robots will benefit employers, it is likely to have a negative effect of employees. There is thus the need to acquire a better understanding of the relationship between robots replacing humans in the workplace and the increase in the rates of economic inequality. Therefore, the research question is the following, ‘How does the tendency of robots replacing humans in the workplace affect economic inequality?’

  • Berg, ANdrew, Edward Buffie, and Luise-Felipe Zanna. “Robots, Growth, and Inequality.” International Monetary Fund. N.p., Sept. 2016. Web. 13 May 2017. .
  • Tufekci, Zeynep. “The Machines are Coming.” New York Times. N.p., 18 Apr. 2015. Web. 13 May 2017. .