Tally Terrence Tally Professor Weber RHET 105 13 October 2021 The Battle for and Against Robots In this day and age, the integration of technology has become prevalent pretty much everywhere. You see it used in restaurants, libraries, grocery stores, schools, and other institutions in a multitude of ways. For businesses and factories, it's at an even higher scale than those examples as robots have started to play such a crucial role in how they operate. In the past two decades, we've seen a rapid influx of robots being continuously bought and utilized in the workforce, and in these past couple of years, it's gotten to the point that's become a massive concern for some people. Complete automation of jobs has already been achieved at some businesses, it's possible that thousands of other people might start losing their jobs due to major technological advancements. After reading "Don't Fight the Robots. Tax Them." I've learned that Eduardo Porter from The New York Times believes that we should be acting on this issue swiftly, and place a tax on businesses that utilize a vast amount of robots to limit the extent they can rely on them. However, J. R. Shackleton, a is Professor of Economics at the University of Buckingham from the journal article called "Robocalypse Now? Why we Shouldn't Panic about Automation, Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence" holds a different opinion on the matter. He firmly maintains the opinion that reacting to the potential elimination of jobs caused by robots by taxing them is foolish at best. Although each is on opposite sides of the discussion with different target audiences, they both use rhetorical devices effectively to help support their argument while getting their point across clearly.
Tally Most people aren't going to be swayed by one's words without cold hard facts. Thankfully for Eduardo Porter from The New York Times , he provides just that for the audience he's attempting to persuade. He utilizes the rhetorical appeal logos by explaining in great, detail the data surrounding the potential automation issue for the U.S. Mentioning that if we were to see the vast amount of jobs that are easily able to transition to becoming automated jobs, not only would millions of people be out of the job but the economy would suffer immensely. "job functions that are "most susceptible to automation" in the United States account for 51 percent of the activities in the economy and $2.7 trillion worth of wages" (Porter). Even someone that's not that knowledgeable about the economy can at least tell how massive those numbers are, and possibly realize that this topic is more serious than they previously thought. "Half of today's work activities could be automated by 2055" (Porter). If that happens, hundreds of billions of tax dollars would be lost every year."Eduardo wants to make sure his readers know the issues that could potentially arise before talking about the prevention strategy. Knowing the logic and reasoning behind why he so strongly believes in taxing robots not only strengthens his overall argument, but also gives readers more grounds to want to stand on his side of the topic. However, even though logic is extremely important when trying to persuade your audience, having a great amount of credibility can help support your claim as well. J. R. Shackleton's strongest rhetorical appeal used in his article called "Robocalypse Now? Why we Shouldn't Panic about Automation, Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence" was ethos. At the beginning of the article, he states his credentials to display how trustworthy of a source he is to his audience. "J. R. Shackleton is Professor of Economics at the University of Buckingham and an Editorial and Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs"(Shackleton). Now, whenever he incorporates data or more analytical aspects into his writing his argument will start
Tally to feel stronger to his audience due to his secure background. Readers want to believe what their reading when Shackleton talks sophisticatedly about how much of overreaction taxing robots is. In multiple instances, he even acknowledges the opposing views claims about robots possibly taking people out of the job, but due to his background in economics the statements he makes afterward hold more weight for the audience. "The future is uncertain. But we should not be pushed into premature and damaging policy interventions based on fears, phantoms and panics"(Shackleton) He believes the possible events of an unemployment spike will die down quickly, and even spark the creation of new jobs making the rapid integration of robots into businesses seem like a positive. The two opposing authors have two different target audiences, but the situation at hand is not about which ones easier to persuade. Eduardo Porter from The New York Times seems to be targeting laborers and other workers, possibly who are concerned about their job being taken. With a title like "Dont fight the Robots. Tax Them." it seems there should be a conflict between the person reading and technology. He also tries to spew hope and relief to the reader by providing so many options of taxing businesses that try to solely rely on robots. However, with how sophisticated, compact, and informative Shackleton's article is I think his target audience might be scholars, researchers, or even other economists that are interested in the topic. The standard he set for himself when discussing this topic, is certainly not something I'd expect the average person to read while understanding the overall majority of the information presented. With that in mind, I think both authors targetted the right audience for the respective claims they made for this topic. In conclusion, I believe that J. R. Shackleton's article "Robocalypse Now? Why we Shouldn't Panic about Automation, Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence" had the better
Tally argument between the two. While Eduardo Porter vastly utilized logos to appeal to his audience, J. R.'s use of ethos was used to a much greater effect in comparison. Not only that, but he had pages and pages of data provided regardless with multiple sources to back up his relatively strong claim, to begin with. The sophistication of Shackleton's writing also assisted in strengthening his argument and helped his paragraphs flow together quite nicely. However, they both succeeded in producing excellent articles that efficiently supported each of their claims. Works Cited Shackleton, J. R., Robocalypse Now? Why we Shouldn't Panic about Automation, Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence (May 11, 2018). Institute of Economic Affairs Current Controversies No. 61, Available at SSRN: or
Tally Porter, Eduardo. "Don't Fight the Robots. Tax Them." The New York Times , The New York Times, 23 Feb. 2019, intelligence.html .
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