THE logic behind humans developing robots to replace humans escapes me. I only mention it because MasterChef winner Tim Anderson has been on Radio 4’s The Food Programme talking about his invention, the Moley Robotic Kitchen, and how he taught it to make crab bisque.

The programme explored how robots are “building burgers, stretching dough in pizzerias and cooking up a media storm” and how “soon they could deliver our groceries, invent recipes using machine learning and cook in our homes with arms dangling down either side of our stoves”

The programme talked to journalist John Harris and restaurant workers’ rights activist Saru Jayaraman about whether they think robots are “ushering the end of work for millions of us or could be liberating us to a life of more fulfilling careers” and asked whether robots should be making our food and, if so, “what will this mean for the future of everyone who works in the food industry?”

Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Chefs, cooks and waiting staff will be out of their jobs as the restaurant industry embraces a cheaper alternative, just as factory workers were replaced by automation, manual switchboard operators were replaced by computerised systems, film projectionists were replaced by digital projectors, bridge tolls are collected by machines rather than humans, the check-out cashier is fast disappearing in favour of self-service facilities and there are ticket machines but no people to sell you a ticket at railway stations.

One “luxury” hotel in New York has no receptionist because guests check in by email or phone, there’s no porter, bellboy or doorman to help with luggage, and there’s nobody to deliver room service because guests order it online and collect it themselves. And guess what? Its prices are much lower than conventional hotels because it doesn’t have to pay actual people.

Brighton and Hove has at least 250 restaurants, and if you add all the cafes, hotels, bed & breakfasts and other service industry outlets, potentially thousands of jobs could be lost to automation in our city alone.

The jobs that are disappearing, and that will continue to disappear, are lower-paid manual jobs, rather than creative jobs, and that will hit a large section of lower socio-economic groups.

The lowest-paid in society will find their options increasingly limited until suddenly they realise that the highly educated scientists and the wealthy elites who own the businesses that make the decisions to replace humans with robots for profit have simply made them all, well, completely redundant.

In fact, one report, released in 2017 by McKinsey Global Institute, warned that as many as 800 million global workers will lose their jobs to new technology by 2030.

That’s an awful lot of unemployed people, people who will have to be supported financially by governments and who will have to be supported mentally as they find their purpose in life has vanished into thin air.

What will they do? The creators of robots can argue till they’re blue in the face that they are simply freeing up people from doing boring and repetitive jobs, but they haven’t come up with any alternative employment for the people they are making redundant. They obviously haven’t given any thought to the problem of where these redundant people can make their bread and butter, and if they can’t, how society can balance up the equation of huge numbers of dependants who will need to be financially supported by a dwindling workforce.

How will society cope with angry, poor, aimless people roaming the streets looking for something to do? It seems likely many of them will embrace crime because I just can’t see huge numbers of them volunteering for charities or offering to run shelters for the soaring numbers of homeless people.

One research group has predicted that increasing automation will mean that some Western democracies will have to resort to “authoritarian policies to stave off civil chaos”, reporting that “the United States would look like Syria or Iraq, with armed bands of young men with few employment prospects other than war, violence, or theft.”

Why? Why are we rushing to replace a positive human interaction with an inhuman robotic function? Apart from saving money for society’s wealthiest people, what benefit can it bring for the millions of ordinary people around the world? I suspect the AI revolution is driven by obsessed scientists who work in isolation from the outside world in their high tech laboratories and have become disconnected from normal human contact.