here refers to sophisticated automated systems, ideally with the additional capability for self-maintenance and repair, mostly requiring little or no human interaction to operate, apart from top-level guidance. Not being reliant on human effort to scale, these systems would hugely magnify our capability for production and decouple human time and effort from industrial productivity, allowing us to create as much of anything that is needed, while releasing people from mindless labour. This situation will arise when automated harvesting of raw materials is combined with automated logistics (already commonplace), automated transport systems
, robotic manufacturing and self-maintenance and repair
, creating fully automated production of useful goods.
In Western countries many industrial process are becoming highly automated already, but human effort is needed for construction and commissioning as well as maintenance and repair. In developing nations, there is not much automation at all due to labour being so cheap; however this is a great waste of human lives.
These self-repairing systems are based on technologies and knowledge that we already possess. No fictional concepts or unattainable artificial intelligence are required to make this happen. We have the ability today to create systems that provide for the global population's basic needs and far beyond, while minimising our impact on the environment – these two aspects are not mutually exclusive.