I was sitting in the car with my son the other day; he has recently given-up meat in an attempt to support the ecosystem.
He was munching through Sushi.
Nothing fancy – the type you can buy half-price from Tesco if you visit just before closing.
‘Do you think this was made by a human?’ He asked.
I’d never really considered who made my Sushi; Indeed, when I eat any processed or shop-bought ready-meals, I tend not to consider who makes my food, let alone where it comes from. Yes, I should check for free-range, organic, fair-trade, etc;
I think the point was valid. (And astute, but I am biased).
It was only recently that the benefits of say, chopped mango to developing countries became a thing.
Essentially; if you buy chopped mango, it is prepared in a mango growing country – I think they are quite popular in India and Bangladesh. The folk growing the plants can peel and chop-up the fruit before popping it onto a Boeing 747 heading to Heathrow. The peel, stone and other bits you don’t want to eat are turned into compost and the fruit is sold at a premium. Everyone wins. (Although I am sure the supermarkets win the most).
Similar strategies apply to coconut, pineapple and other tropical fruits.
I guess if you are going to contribute to global CO2 emissions, you may as well ensure that the profit is evenly spread.
Anyway, this, is where humans in the UK benefit humans in India.
I don’t intend to go into more detail as this could become a rabbit-hole of tinned/preserved/dried/frozen foods, ending in a debate about Veganism.
The point is the humans.
How long will humans in India continue peeling and chopping?
When will the robots step-in?
Indeed, when will the robots replace the rest of us?
Algorithms already exist that are more accurate at interpreting x-rays than any doctor or radiographer; how long before this applies to everything?
Going back to my son; he recently wrote a short essay on this subject relating to the challenges of artificial intelligence for his GCSE.
When I was 15, I used to worry about basketball, girls and Bruce Lee. The existential threats we give our children are really tough.
Most of us, if fortunate enough to have the financial wherewithal, will pay extra for organic carrots (my favourite organic) – how many of us will pay more for ‘human made’?
I would certainly prefer the Sushi to have been handled, chopped, diced, rolled, or whatever by a person in Sheffield or a processing plant somewhere in the UK than a robot churning-out soul-less replicants of smoked salmon and hake.
How close are we to this happening?
Already you can get a named person on your bottle of soap from Lush; how soon will this apply to our sausages, kebabs or doctors?