The internet lashes back at rumors of Silicon Valley automating farm labor, and it’s great
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TULARE, CA - February 10: The new GEO DairyProQ fully robotic rotary milking parlor is exhibited on opening day of the World Ag Expo on February 10, 2015 in Tulare, California. Photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images Israel

TULARE, CA - February 10: The new GEO DairyProQ fully robotic rotary milking parlor is exhibited on opening day of the World Ag Expo on February 10, 2015 in Tulare, California. Photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images Israel

In a post-Trump world, this might make you feel a bit better

On Friday, the The Guardian‘s US technology reporter Julia Carrie Wong wrote about various Silicon Valley leaders backtracking their pre-election negative remarks about Trump and instead, offering to work side by side with the president-elect. What caught the furry of various people on Twitter, however, was a brief section about how Trump’s desire to “deport millions of undocumented immigrants, some of whom form the bulk of the country’s agricultural labor force,” could “create opportunity for the ‘agtech’ sector.”

As Tim Wilson, a venture capitalist with Artiman, told the paper, “If they really are serious and farm labor gets threatened, then anything that automates labor is something that is going to uptrend.”

In a week in which there are very few silver linings, the reactions on Twitter to this quote show that the next four years could be full of decent criticism and satire. Below is a link to the full thread:

Here are the funniest Tweets:

But this best reflected the absurdity of Silicon Valley:

In all seriousness, Silicon Valley should be getting criticism over its uncritical stance towards automation, which may increase efficiency and eventual meaningful employment, but meanwhile, has displaced millions of workers, many of whom voted for Donald Trump. But a whopping 88% of lost US jobs have been taken by robots and increased homegrown efficiencies, not outsourced overseas.

While, to be fair, many in Silicon Valley would also find such comments offensive, we hope that there would indeed be communal outrage in the Valley if automated labor were to “uptrend” in the midst of massive deportations.

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Laura Rosbrow-Telem

About Laura Rosbrow-Telem


I am a social entrepreneurship enthusiast: This is what happens when a former social worker becomes a tech journalist. I mostly write about startups, technology, peace and justice issues, cultural topics, and personal stuff. Before Geektime, I was an editor at the Jerusalem Post and Mic.

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