Automation now supplants economic activity more than it supports it. Furthermore, this process is fueled by enormous economic forces, which intensifies dependence on automation and spawns other sociological consequences. Of these consequences, fraud generates the highest immediate losses, amounting to $300 billion annually. In the long run, however, the greatest economic cost will occur through loss of jobs, and a lowering of net skills for most of the balance. Other consequences include pervasive invasion of privacy, and overdependence on technology at the expense of developing critical reasoning, judgement, and a personal sense of responsibility. Fortunately, many of these consequences could be ameliorated by automated countermeasures that offset the excesses. Unfortunately, it usually takes a crisis to institute fundamental reform, though the looming economic meltdown stemming from the mounting federal debt offers just such an opportunity.
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