At times I'm really worried about the future. What might take 10 people to do before is now done with one computer. Where does that leave us? There will probably be a greater need for menial jobs but no one can survive on that if you have a family to maintain. It could mean that more job seekers will turn to crime in order to get where they want to be in life.
Industry is about a few people making lots of money with very little in return for the populace. In fact the workforce really doesn't matter its about how to make the final product. Consumers can help this by not supporting these places that treat their human workforce like they don't matter.
Every advancement in history that let people move away from hard labor has led directly to improvements in human society. Advancements in agriculture especially helped in this regard.
I expect this category of advancement to have the least overall benefit, but as with any of the others, less reliance on physical labor lets more pursue other interests.
It won't be easy, but this can be a vital step towards a transition to a post scarcity economy.
I eventually see this leading to just not enough jobs for the amount of people looking for work. I feel a universal income is coming. People will be paid a certain amount each month by the government because there aren't that many jobs available. I know many don't like the idea but I feel it's inevitable down the road in fifty years or so. Driverless vehicles will replace cab drivers and truck drivers. Self checkout is replacing cashiers at supermarkets. That is just for starters.
I don't buy the bit about the companies redeploying displaced workers in other areas long term. Capitalism by nature is about the dollar. Workers will be replaced and let go by the companies. They aren't just going to keep them employed. This will reduce the amount of employees needed.
Edited: Kyrroeth on 26th Feb, 2017 - 4:45am
A lot depends on how we handle things.
As the cost for basics needed simply to live approach zero, our ability to simply provide those basics improve as well. Do that, and people could be more free to pursue more of the tasks that automation cannot replace, reducing their cost as well. Everyone benefits in the long run that way, save those who derive pleasure from having more than everyone else. (Care to guess how much I care on that front?)
Or they could find themselves abandoned, cut off, and starving, until population shrinks to the new labor requirements.
I have to believe that people will refuse to allow the second option.