Unlike my more learned academic collegues I can only draw on my experience to provide input to the forum.
While it may seem off topic I would like to draw attention in the discussion to pilotless farm equipment as a means of increasing efficiency. This is marketed to farmers and comsumers on the elimination of risk to operators of planting, application and harvesting equipment.
I am concerned on a number of levels. We are replacing people with machines at an alarming rate and life is about people is it not?
No risks to the operator allows the use of crop protection products that are extremely leathal.
A pilotless vehicle is not just a pilotless vehicle - It could come to pass that it is ten's of thousands of pilotless vehicles at any given time. Presumably they are programmed to all shut down when signals are lost or scrambled. What if they dont shut down and how do we accomplish the tasks required if they do need to be shut down for an extended period of time?
Farms operating as family farms will become extinct and replaced with corporate factory farms and with that we will lose the intense competition that drives improvement, the love of the land, the pride in accomplishment and innovation.
With the resulting lowerd demand for human labor the country side will soon empty, infrastructure will be difficult to remain, rural towns will die. Cities will be greatly at risk in having to support a great many people with no jobs or low income jobs.
Food security and our entire social fabric may become wishful thinking.