• Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In    
  • Create Account
  LongeCity
              Advocacy & Research for Unlimited Lifespans


Adverts help to support the work of this non-profit organisation. To go ad-free join as a Member.


Photo

Employment crisis: Robots, AI, & automation will take most human jobs

robots automation employment jobs crisis

  • Please log in to reply
922 replies to this topic

#31 Elus

  • Topic Starter
  • Guest
  • 793 posts
  • 723
  • Location:Interdimensional Space

Posted 24 November 2013 - 06:07 AM

Actually the term strong AI only refers to AI in which can feed itself and improve its judgement through that feedback. In that case, we might have similar opinion towards this.


"http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Strong_AI"

"Strong AI is hypothetical artificial intelligence that matches or exceeds human intelligence — the intelligence of a machine that could successfully perform any intellectual task that a human being can. [1]"

With that aside, learning is a strong word to be used right now, as today's AI often relies on predetermined algorithms to learn. Even if it's a recursive algorithm, in which it's nothing more than a feedback system that has been developed since the 60s, it's nothing spectacular in terms of intelligence. I should have asked you that your definition of intelligence because you confuse it with knowledge. Again google's machine learning algorithm, with all due respect, can also be learnt brefly in a undergraduate level machine learning course. They have brilliant and sophisticated approach towards this, however it's still a predetermined algorithm. The reason we know is that there are many web developers who can still cheat on the algorithm and attracting viewers to their websites. Myself included.


Every time that AI does something remarkable, such as beating the world chess champion, understanding natural language enough to crush world Jeopardy champions, or learning to recognize salient features from fuzzy data (pictures/videos), critics remark about how that achievement really isn't "spectacular." It's so tiring to hear these people constantly downplay these incredible achievements in emulating a part of human capability just because they have not achieved full fledged human intelligence AI yet.

AI is becoming much broader very quickly. We're not simply building systems that can recognize a human face, but systems that can recognize an abundance of features from the data they're being fed.

Learning to recognize features from fuzzy data, learning to walk upright like a human being (see my original post for the Petman videos), and achieving natural language understanding to recognize subtle puns and jokes is incredibly hard for computers to do. Yet here we are in 2013, capable of doing all those things and more.

These systems do learn, and they do it in a remarkable way: namely, by taking vast amounts of unlabeled, unsorted data, much as humans learn about the world, and recognizing patterns and features within that data.

It's not perfect, yet, by any means, but that doesn't mean that these capabilities will won't quickly improve as the technology evolves over the next decade.

Alright you are correct about the fact that we don't need strong AI to replace many human menial jobs. In fact, that's what we are doing right now, replacing many jobs by using industrial machinery. This is old news my friend. However if you try to replace jobs that involved uncertainty, then it really takes a long way before getting there. Namely we know that there are more than 20k vending machines in US, however none of them has replaced convenience store, which basically sales the same thing. Automatic machinery still requires supervision of human to make it work. That's what we have right now. And even the google car argument fails because they haven't been put into massive trials.


Far from old news. The landscape of trade is changing at a vicious pace. The internet has changed everything about shopping.

Everything is going online. Amazon.com and online shopping in general has revolutionized the way we do business and shop for goods. Everyone I know shops for goods online. Convenience stores, and stores in general, are getting wiped out because of online shopping and online entertainment. Look at Blockbuster's recent closure and you will see the fate of most physical stores.

Let's not forget that 3D printing could be a huge game changer. Although it is in its infancy, 3D printing may on day have a disruptive effect on the world when we can print out physical goods at home. While materials, speed, and resolution remain key limitations to 3D printing's success, we can expect these to be overcome in the foreseeable future.

Driverless cars are another example that you dismiss just because they haven't been put into trials. You can look at the data so far. 500,000 miles (more by now) with zero accidents that are the fault of the computer and only 2 or 3 that were a result of human error. Sergei Brin says they'll be commercially available by 2017. A huge number of other car companies, including Nissan, Mercedes, and Tesla, have already built prototypes. These cars are, without a doubt, coming to a road near you over the next decade.

Given a simpler example, many programming courses, as well as literature courses use auto marking software to mark. And guess what, students immediately search for methods to beat the system. In fact I have to file a remarking petition every time after the auto marking results. That's the limitation of weak AI, it doesn't adapt to the environment but it rather relies on existing algorithm and the intelligence of the developers, who at least have their jobs secured because they are required. However if strong AI exists, my collegues and I all believe that every working class will be out of their jobs forever from that point. There's no way a human can compete with a 24/7 machinery which can learn from its mistakes.


You can make fun of the limitations of certain types of AI that exist at the moment, but it's clear that its capacity is getting far better in many key domains, including machine vision and natural language understanding. Don't forget, we're also changing the hardware that these neural networks can run on, and one of the key efforts is being led by IBM in building neurosynaptic chips.The potential gains in efficiency and effectiveness in building cognitive, adaptive systems, is incredible.

Edited by Elus, 24 November 2013 - 06:10 AM.


#32 nickthird

  • Guest
  • 249 posts
  • 9
  • Location:in between homes

Posted 30 November 2013 - 04:05 AM

I don't get the big issue here. If AI replaces all jobs then we don't HAVE to do anything and life is awesome.

The problem could be a replacement of some medial jobs while others get a higher wage.

While I am in agreement that some jobs are going to be gone, I disagree that this has much to do with unemployment (which has more to do with the speed of response by the government and private sector that is the real problem). You assume that being able to replace one person (in every possible way - because there is only a problem if one person cannot get any type of job) does not enable a machine the ability to replace all humans. This is a very strange argument, because it's basically the equivalent of saying some people are really worth more than 100 average people (cause you can multiply by 100 machines). We are all part of a single species and the variation in intelligence is greatly exaggerated.

sponsored ad

  • Advert

#33 Elus

  • Topic Starter
  • Guest
  • 793 posts
  • 723
  • Location:Interdimensional Space

Posted 30 November 2013 - 06:12 AM

I don't get the big issue here. If AI replaces all jobs then we don't HAVE to do anything and life is awesome.


Automation can come in many forms, not simply AI. That said, the people who reap the benefit from robotics and automation are the people who own capital - the people who own the robots. These people accumulate huge wealth - look at Facebook's small team, and you'll see that there is no need to employ a lot of people anymore. This leaves more profits given to a small number of people, and the wealth is concentrated upward. Automation has a lot to do with the concentration of wealth to a small percentage of society.

If there are not enough jobs for people, then a basic income is needed to ensure that people don't starve to death and that they have the ability to purchase the necessities.


While I am in agreement that some jobs are going to be gone, I disagree that this has much to do with unemployment (which has more to do with the speed of response by the government and private sector that is the real problem).


I've listed many reasons in this thread why automation will eat deeply into jobs and therefore cause unemployment. Perhaps you are assuming that people who are displaced by automation will simply find new jobs. If this is your assumption, then I disagree with you.

The pace of technological innovation, especially in automation, is destroying jobs faster than it is creating them. We can see this trend reflected by the decoupling of median income from productivity, and I've linked that graph on the first page.

I do not see this as problem that is the product of government activity, nor do I see the private sector as responsible. This unemployment problem is far more fundamental than that - it is a technological problem.


You assume that being able to replace one person (in every possible way - because there is only a problem if one person cannot get any type of job) does not enable a machine the ability to replace all humans. This is a very strange argument, because it's basically the equivalent of saying some people are really worth more than 100 average people (cause you can multiply by 100 machines). We are all part of a single species and the variation in intelligence is greatly exaggerated.


A machine does not need to replace a person in every way possible in order to deeply affect the number of jobs available. Google's self driving car is a great example of a technology that has the potential to displace 6 million people who earn their income by driving.

Those 6 million people will not magically find jobs in other areas. Not everyone has the capacity to be a scientist, engineer, or doctor, and even those people's occupations are under threat from artificial intelligence.

Edited by Elus, 30 November 2013 - 06:28 AM.

  • like x 1
  • dislike x 1
  • Agree x 1

#34 Ark

  • Guest
  • 1,729 posts
  • 383
  • Location:Beijing China

Posted 30 November 2013 - 07:11 AM

You guys need to check out the Venus PROJECT out of Florida/usa .....

y/w

#35 niner

  • Guest
  • 16,276 posts
  • 1,999
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 30 November 2013 - 04:56 PM

You guys need to check out the Venus PROJECT out of Florida/usa .....


Could you give us a description? That's a pretty long video...

#36 Ark

  • Guest
  • 1,729 posts
  • 383
  • Location:Beijing China

Posted 30 November 2013 - 11:21 PM

You guys need to check out the Venus PROJECT out of Florida/usa .....


Could you give us a description? That's a pretty long video...



A better future where currency is replaced and robots do the dirty work.

#37 niner

  • Guest
  • 16,276 posts
  • 1,999
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 01 December 2013 - 12:11 AM

A better future where currency is replaced and robots do the dirty work.


Well, ok, but I think they will have a hard time getting rid of basic human greed and status-seeking. Do they have some sort of plan, like "kill all the rich people and split up their money" or "kill all the poor people and everyone who's left above the wealth-survival cutoff just keeps all their money"? I'm figuring that the rich people aren't going to suddenly decide it would be cool to share with everyone, but I'm open to hearing how something like this would work in practice.
  • like x 3

#38 Ark

  • Guest
  • 1,729 posts
  • 383
  • Location:Beijing China

Posted 01 December 2013 - 02:13 AM

A better future where currency is replaced and robots do the dirty work.


Well, ok, but I think they will have a hard time getting rid of basic human greed and status-seeking. Do they have some sort of plan, like "kill all the rich people and split up their money" or "kill all the poor people and everyone who's left above the wealth-survival cutoff just keeps all their money"? I'm figuring that the rich people aren't going to suddenly decide it would be cool to share with everyone, but I'm open to hearing how something like this would work in practice.

I don't want to ruin it for you, just watch it and we can discuss the ideas after you catch up.

A better future where currency is replaced and robots do the dirty work.


Well, ok, but I think they will have a hard time getting rid of basic human greed and status-seeking. Do they have some sort of plan, like "kill all the rich people and split up their money" or "kill all the poor people and everyone who's left above the wealth-survival cutoff just keeps all their money"? I'm figuring that the rich people aren't going to suddenly decide it would be cool to share with everyone, but I'm open to hearing how something like this would work in practice.

I don't want to ruin it for you, just watch it and we can discuss the ideas after you catch up.

They should make the Venus PROJECT sticky must watch for imminst/longecity folk......Seriously !!!!!!!

Attached Files


Edited by Ark, 01 December 2013 - 02:10 AM.


#39 nickthird

  • Guest
  • 249 posts
  • 9
  • Location:in between homes

Posted 01 December 2013 - 08:57 AM

The people who reap the benefit from robotics and automation are the people who own capital - the people who own the robots. These people accumulate huge wealth .... Automation has a lot to do with the concentration of wealth to a small percentage of society.


First of all this it completely true, and I will even add some data to support this point of view:

A 2011 study by the CBO[13] found that the top earning 1 percent of households increased their income by about 275% after federal taxes and income transfers over a period between 1979 and 2007, compared to a gain of just under 40% for the 60 percent in the miiddle of America's income distribution.[13] Other sources find that the trend has continued since then

Source: http://en.wikipedia....e_United_States

It's misleading to think that there is a single simplistic cause to this trend however. I think part of the reason for this trend is that it takes time for society to respond to technology and shift the norms and skillset of the population accordingly. There are always people who catch up faster to things like the internet, while the rest of society needs time to invest school computer classes etc. It's not like Google was the only company that was able to respond to the technological change and this is why they are so rich. Its that they were the fastest and that's why the resource distribution deviation is exaggerated (temporarily). If technological progress was to be halted today, google would still be in the lead, but the margin would get smaller over time.

College grad percentage over time:
Posted Image
Take a look into 25-29 yr bachelors during 1980-2009 - it only rose twice in 95', and 07'.

Also there is another major factor at work here: investment. A fair amount of the money the people in the top 1% have is due to investment, not earnings. Society is investing more and more (by sock prices for example). And that investment goes into companies who have succeeded in catching up with technology.

Investment in stocks over time:
Posted Image
Notice the trend in the 90' correlating to the rise of wealth disparity during the period.

But anyway, I still maintain that despite these causes there is an inherent rise of disparity of wealth distribution that is not related to a social response rate (which is small yet substantial). But what makes you think this is a problem? This is the whole point of capitalism. People who have rare skills that are needed get a bigger cut of the resource pie. Technology merely enables economy to reflect the skill distribution is society in a more precise way.

If there are not enough jobs for people, then a basic income is needed to ensure that people don't starve to death and that they have the ability to purchase the necessities.

I agree that there should be a basic income to those who lose jobs due to technological progress.

I've listed many reasons in this thread why automation will eat deeply into jobs and therefore cause unemployment. Perhaps you are assuming that people who are displaced by automation will simply find new jobs. If this is your assumption, then I disagree with you.

They won't but their kids can. See the college graduation rate chart. It used to be the case that people thought only the privileged 1% was capable of getting a degree but apparently that changed. If people can't support their family or can't contribute in any way I don't think they should be allowed to have kids. They shouldn't starve either, but there should be a genetic selection or genetic improvement plan. I don't mean eugenics per se (not in it's simplistic historical implementation). I mean its possible to calculate the probability of a child being born economically useful given the family history and partner choice. If the chronically unemployed with a bad family history want to have kids, they better find someone useful to have them with. Remember I'm not talking about the crippled guy who has a job. Nor am I talking about the black person who grew up in a ghetto and could not afford college. In my reality college is free, and everyone gets a chance. I realize this is not simple to implement but you could start with the people who have a very clear history and make the cutoff very low. It's not the top 1% who are having 4 kids. Also I would compensate the people who are not allowed to have kids financially or in some other way (in case it's a health issue and not their fault).

And who decides the cutoff? a panel of experts in their respected fields. Not the public. This is already happening with social norms and sexual selection anyway, I'm merely suggesting to make the process explicit and thus faster.

The pace of technological innovation, especially in automation, is destroying jobs faster than it is creating them. We can see this trend reflected by the decoupling of median income from productivity, and I've linked that graph on the first page.

This is true, but again you need to consider the factors mentioned.

I do not see this as problem that is the product of government activity, nor do I see the private sector as responsible. This unemployment problem is far more fundamental than that - it is a technological problem.

No its a social problem. Technology does not regulate the economy, politics and companies do. In a communist state there would not be a problem (there would be other problems though).

A machine does not need to replace a person in every way possible in order to deeply affect the number of jobs available. Google's self driving car is a great example of a technology that has the potential to displace 6 million people who earn their income by driving.

True, but I was talking about a deeper future.

Those 6 million people will not magically find jobs in other areas. Not everyone has the capacity to be a scientist, engineer, or doctor, and even those people's occupations are under threat from artificial intelligence.

Again see the graduation chart. Many people have the capacity to reinvent. And children sure as hell do. And those few who don't shouldn't have any.

The problem of lack of investment in education:
http://upload.wikime...ate_Funding.svg
  • dislike x 1
  • like x 1

#40 Ark

  • Guest
  • 1,729 posts
  • 383
  • Location:Beijing China

Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:16 AM

The people who reap the benefit from robotics and automation are the people who own capital - the people who own the robots. These people accumulate huge wealth .... Automation has a lot to do with the concentration of wealth to a small percentage of society.


First of all this it completely true, and I will even add some data to support this point of view:

A 2011 study by the CBO[13] found that the top earning 1 percent of households increased their income by about 275% after federal taxes and income transfers over a period between 1979 and 2007, compared to a gain of just under 40% for the 60 percent in the miiddle of America's income distribution.[13] Other sources find that the trend has continued since then

Source: http://en.wikipedia....e_United_States

It's misleading to think that there is a single simplistic cause to this trend however. I think part of the reason for this trend is that it takes time for society to respond to technology and shift the norms and skillset of the population accordingly. There are always people who catch up faster to things like the internet, while the rest of society needs time to invest school computer classes etc. It's not like Google was the only company that was able to respond to the technological change and this is why they are so rich. Its that they were the fastest and that's why the resource distribution deviation is exaggerated (temporarily). If technological progress was to be halted today, google would still be in the lead, but the margin would get smaller over time.

College grad percentage over time:
Posted Image
Take a look into 25-29 yr bachelors during 1980-2009 - it only rose twice in 95', and 07'.

Also there is another major factor at work here: investment. A fair amount of the money the people in the top 1% have is due to investment, not earnings. Society is investing more and more (by sock prices for example). And that investment goes into companies who have succeeded in catching up with technology.

Investment in stocks over time:
Posted Image
Notice the trend in the 90' correlating to the rise of wealth disparity during the period.

But anyway, I still maintain that despite these causes there is an inherent rise of disparity of wealth distribution that is not related to a social response rate (which is small yet substantial). But what makes you think this is a problem? This is the whole point of capitalism. People who have rare skills that are needed get a bigger cut of the resource pie. Technology merely enables economy to reflect the skill distribution is society in a more precise way.

If there are not enough jobs for people, then a basic income is needed to ensure that people don't starve to death and that they have the ability to purchase the necessities.

I agree that there should be a basic income to those who lose jobs due to technological progress.

I've listed many reasons in this thread why automation will eat deeply into jobs and therefore cause unemployment. Perhaps you are assuming that people who are displaced by automation will simply find new jobs. If this is your assumption, then I disagree with you.

They won't but their kids can. See the college graduation rate chart. It used to be the case that people thought only the privileged 1% was capable of getting a degree but apparently that changed. If people can't support their family or can't contribute in any way I don't think they should be allowed to have kids. They shouldn't starve either, but there should be a genetic selection or genetic improvement plan. I don't mean eugenics per se (not in it's simplistic historical implementation). I mean its possible to calculate the probability of a child being born economically useful given the family history and partner choice. If the chronically unemployed with a bad family history want to have kids, they better find someone useful to have them with. Remember I'm not talking about the crippled guy who has a job. Nor am I talking about the black person who grew up in a ghetto and could not afford college. In my reality college is free, and everyone gets a chance. I realize this is not simple to implement but you could start with the people who have a very clear history and make the cutoff very low. It's not the top 1% who are having 4 kids. Also I would compensate the people who are not allowed to have kids financially or in some other way (in case it's a health issue and not their fault).

And who decides the cutoff? a panel of experts in their respected fields. Not the public. This is already happening with social norms and sexual selection anyway, I'm merely suggesting to make the process explicit and thus faster.

The pace of technological innovation, especially in automation, is destroying jobs faster than it is creating them. We can see this trend reflected by the decoupling of median income from productivity, and I've linked that graph on the first page.

This is true, but again you need to consider the factors mentioned.

I do not see this as problem that is the product of government activity, nor do I see the private sector as responsible. This unemployment problem is far more fundamental than that - it is a technological problem.

No its a social problem. Technology does not regulate the economy, politics and companies do. In a communist state there would not be a problem (there would be other problems though).

A machine does not need to replace a person in every way possible in order to deeply affect the number of jobs available. Google's self driving car is a great example of a technology that has the potential to displace 6 million people who earn their income by driving.

True, but I was talking about a deeper future.

Those 6 million people will not magically find jobs in other areas. Not everyone has the capacity to be a scientist, engineer, or doctor, and even those people's occupations are under threat from artificial intelligence.

Again see the graduation chart. Many people have the capacity to reinvent. And children sure as hell do. And those few who don't shouldn't have any.

The problem of lack of investment in education:
http://upload.wikime...ate_Funding.svg

You should watch the VENUS project as well.
  • dislike x 1

#41 nickthird

  • Guest
  • 249 posts
  • 9
  • Location:in between homes

Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:48 AM

You should watch the VENUS project as well.


I have scanned it briefly. It sounds like a documentary about a (very talented) guy with delusions of grandeur who thinks he can "design the future" without collaboration with anyone or even putting the effort in a university degree in any of the relevant fields. He even tried to trademark the phrase "resource-based economy". And by the way these designs all seem to be a futuristic view from the 1950s.
  • dislike x 1
  • like x 1

#42 niner

  • Guest
  • 16,276 posts
  • 1,999
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 01 December 2013 - 02:28 PM

Also there is another major factor at work here: investment. A fair amount of the money the people in the top 1% have is due to investment, not earnings. Society is investing more and more (by sock prices for example). And that investment goes into companies who have succeeded in catching up with technology.

But anyway, I still maintain that despite these causes there is an inherent rise of disparity of wealth distribution that is not related to a social response rate (which is small yet substantial). But what makes you think this is a problem? This is the whole point of capitalism. People who have rare skills that are needed get a bigger cut of the resource pie. Technology merely enables economy to reflect the skill distribution is society in a more precise way.


The problem is that the majority of the wealth isn't going to the people who have rare skills or even to the people who make the successful companies profitable. Far too much wealth is going to financial operators who not only do little to benefit society, but in some cases actively damage our economy. Capitalism isn't the meritocratic arbiter that you seem to think it is. It's the best system we have, but it's far from perfect. Our tax code has been altered over the last thirty years in such a way that it rewards capital and punishes work. The long term capital gains rate is 15%, while a middle class person can pay about triple that rate in combined income and payroll taxes. If it were just a matter of simple fairness it would be bad enough, but it goes beyond that, leading us to a dysfunctional society of small number of wealthy elites and a large mass of socially immobile poor.
  • like x 4
  • dislike x 1

#43 sthira

  • Guest
  • 2,008 posts
  • 406

Posted 01 December 2013 - 06:38 PM

...If people can't support their family or can't contribute in any way I don't think they should be allowed to have kids.


I tend to agree, but did the idea work in China? I honestly don't know, but we read now that the Chinese government is permitting two children? People shriek already in the USA that we live in "a police state" -- can you just imagine the upheaval if dastardly Big Brother legislated and enforced limits on childbirth to only those deemed capitalistically worthy? Whee... We'd have a civil war over that issue.

They shouldn't starve either, but there should be a genetic selection or genetic improvement plan. I don't mean eugenics per se (not in it's simplistic historical implementation). I mean its possible to calculate the probability of a child being born economically useful given the family history and partner choice.


Yes, designer babies. I'm sure you've thought of this but I wonder if Steven Hawking would have been pre-selected out based on his future projected earnings potential?

How do we select, and who selects? Do we select out for potential mood disorders? How about Tourette's? Spina bifida? Cerebral palsey? Dyslexia? Club feet? Genetic potential to develop Alzheimer's might hurt the financial bottom line. Where are we going with this?

If the chronically unemployed with a bad family history want to have kids, they better find someone useful to have them with. Remember I'm not talking about the crippled guy who has a job. Nor am I talking about the black person who grew up in a ghetto and could not afford college. In my reality college is free, and everyone gets a chance.


Then, um, who are you talking about if not disabled folks, ethnic minorities, and economically troubled individuals of all stripes? Free college is great! Then what? Jobs? What jobs?

Do you define "a bad family history" strictly by earnings potential? Certainly not, I'm sure I'm misunderstanding you.

I realize this is not simple to implement but you could start with the people who have a very clear history and make the cutoff very low. It's not the top 1% who are having 4 kids. Also I would compensate the people who are not allowed to have kids financially or in some other way (in case it's a health issue and not their fault).

And who decides the cutoff? a panel of experts in their respected fields. Not the public. This is already happening with social norms and sexual selection anyway, I'm merely suggesting to make the process explicit and thus faster.


A panel of experts. Eek. I do see where you're going, I agree with much of it, I think some of it's inevitable, but we won't evolve without major social discontent. And I think brute mother nature will soon solve many of humanity's woes by eliminating much of humanity through natural events. We'll kill ourselves, too, and nature will be there both to help us to survive and to kill us.

#44 Ark

  • Guest
  • 1,729 posts
  • 383
  • Location:Beijing China

Posted 01 December 2013 - 07:06 PM

You should watch the VENUS project as well.


I have scanned it briefly. It sounds like a documentary about a (very talented) guy with delusions of grandeur who thinks he can "design the future" without collaboration with anyone or even putting the effort in a university degree in any of the relevant fields. He even tried to trademark the phrase "resource-based economy". And by the way these designs all seem to be a futuristic view from the 1950s.

scanning doesn't constitute watching sorry bud ;-)
  • dislike x 1

#45 OpaqueMind

  • Guest
  • 471 posts
  • 144
  • Location:UK
  • NO

Posted 01 December 2013 - 11:41 PM

This is very interesting/worrying. Thanks for bringing it up Elus. I hadn't considered this angle of the consequences of technological expansion before. I see the two most probable solutions as the implementation a universal living wage a la Switzerland or mass unrest and civil war of the state vs. the people.

Ever increasing economic disparity and the stagnation (read - degeneration, in the shadow of inflation) of low-middle range incomes cannot end well. I think this is partially the reason for the global spynets of the NSA, GCHQ and others. Besides the simple fact that they can. There is chaos on the horizon - this is truly the tightrope we walk between annihilation and transcendence of the human situation. Keep us posted on your thoughts and research!

#46 Elus

  • Topic Starter
  • Guest
  • 793 posts
  • 723
  • Location:Interdimensional Space

Posted 02 December 2013 - 05:24 AM

In the latest news, it appears Amazon wants to use drones deliver packages within 30 minutes of purchase time.

Seriously. It's called Amazon Prime Air, and they're planning release in 5 years depending on the FAA's response.

How do you think that will impact people who deliver goods for a living?

Amazon Unveils Flying Delivery Drones on '60 Minutes'

Amazon's Jeff Bezos looks to the future

http://youtu.be/98BIu9dpwHU

Edited by Elus, 02 December 2013 - 05:25 AM.


#47 nickthird

  • Guest
  • 249 posts
  • 9
  • Location:in between homes

Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:12 AM

The member of this community really need to learn how to use the rating option properly. Its not there to show that you agree or disagree with a certain argument. Rating is there to indicate a high/low quality contribution to the discussion.

The problem is that the majority of the wealth isn't going to the people who have rare skills or even to the people who make the successful companies profitable. Far too much wealth is going to financial operators who not only do little to benefit society, but in some cases actively damage our economy. Capitalism isn't the meritocratic arbiter that you seem to think it is. It's the best system we have, but it's far from perfect. Our tax code has been altered over the last thirty years in such a way that it rewards capital and punishes work. The long term capital gains rate is 15%, while a middle class person can pay about triple that rate in combined income and payroll taxes. If it were just a matter of simple fairness it would be bad enough, but it goes beyond that, leading us to a dysfunctional society of small number of wealthy elites and a large mass of socially immobile poor.

By "financial operators who not only do little to benefit society", you mean people who are? This reminds me of the middle-man argument of the 1930's Germany. Who are those people exactly and what is holding them in power? And what makes you think that investing and handling money is not contributing to the economy?

I'm not saying that capitalism is perfect at all. But what you are saying is that it's not technology that is the problem but capitalism and democracy is. And that technology is helping to leverage the ability of "financial operators" much strongly than it helps others? (i.e. exacerbating existing problems of democracy and capitalism.)

I tend to agree, but did the idea work in China? I honestly don't know, but we read now that the Chinese government is permitting two children? People shriek already in the USA that we live in "a police state" -- can you just imagine the upheaval if dastardly Big Brother legislated and enforced limits on childbirth to only those deemed capitalistically worthy? Whee... We'd have a civil war over that issue.

The people need to choose: either they want to support people who are likely not able to work or they need to limit childbirth. If the majority (of workers) wants the first option then fine, but I think most people would rather just avoid the issue all together. I honestly don't know how this would be brought to the public but I am sure that at some point in the future the decision will have to be made.

Yes, designer babies. I'm sure you've thought of this but I wonder if Steven Hawking would have been pre-selected out based on his future projected earnings potential?

How do we select, and who selects? Do we select out for potential mood disorders? How about Tourette's? Spina bifida? Cerebral palsey? Dyslexia? Club feet? Genetic potential to develop Alzheimer's might hurt the financial bottom line. Where are we going with this?

You missed the point entirely. Currently it's not possible to diagnose many diseases genetically so I am not suggesting that. The selection process has nothing to do with illness directly. Does Steven Hawking even have a family history of unemployment?

Then, um, who are you talking about if not disabled folks, ethnic minorities, and economically troubled individuals of all stripes? Free college is great! Then what? Jobs? What jobs?

Do you define "a bad family history" strictly by earnings potential? Certainly not, I'm sure I'm misunderstanding you.

A bad family history is defined strictly by earnings potential in this case. I was thinking of a simple 10%< chance of a person being born with the ability to sustain himself as a cutoff. As for the factors on deciding how earnings potential is to be calculated - this needs some serious research which I have not done. To my knowledge very few diseases are 100% genetic.

Again if there was a gene that determined with 100% whether a person was to be born completely unable to take care of himself then society needs to make a decision. Ignoring the issue entirely and complaining about the problem of unemployment is not going to solve the problem.

A panel of experts. Eek. I do see where you're going, I agree with much of it, I think some of it's inevitable, but we won't evolve without major social discontent. And I think brute mother nature will soon solve many of humanity's woes by eliminating much of humanity through natural events. We'll kill ourselves, too, and nature will be there both to help us to survive and to kill us.

I don't think the way that nature has done it so far is the best there is. I don't think this idea is the best there is either. I'm just suggesting an alternative that is based on reason.

Edited by nickthird, 02 December 2013 - 07:25 AM.

  • dislike x 1
  • like x 1

#48 sthira

  • Guest
  • 2,008 posts
  • 406

Posted 02 December 2013 - 08:50 PM

In the latest news, it appears Amazon wants to use drones deliver packages within 30 minutes of purchase time.

Seriously. It's called Amazon Prime Air, and they're planning release in 5 years depending on the FAA's response.

How do you think that will impact people who deliver goods for a living?

Amazon Unveils Flying Delivery Drones on '60 Minutes'

Amazon's Jeff Bezos looks to the future

http://youtu.be/98BIu9dpwHU


Yeah, this is amazing! At first I thought it was a joke. Apparently not? It'll have many problems -- but how fucking COOL?!?!
  • dislike x 2
  • like x 1

#49 niner

  • Guest
  • 16,276 posts
  • 1,999
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 02 December 2013 - 09:30 PM

The problem is that the majority of the wealth isn't going to the people who have rare skills or even to the people who make the successful companies profitable. Far too much wealth is going to financial operators who not only do little to benefit society, but in some cases actively damage our economy. Capitalism isn't the meritocratic arbiter that you seem to think it is. It's the best system we have, but it's far from perfect. Our tax code has been altered over the last thirty years in such a way that it rewards capital and punishes work. The long term capital gains rate is 15%, while a middle class person can pay about triple that rate in combined income and payroll taxes. If it were just a matter of simple fairness it would be bad enough, but it goes beyond that, leading us to a dysfunctional society of small number of wealthy elites and a large mass of socially immobile poor.

By "financial operators who not only do little to benefit society", you mean people who are? This reminds me of the middle-man argument of the 1930's Germany. Who are those people exactly and what is holding them in power? And what makes you think that investing and handling money is not contributing to the economy?

I'm not saying that capitalism is perfect at all. But what you are saying is that it's not technology that is the problem but capitalism and democracy is. And that technology is helping to leverage the ability of "financial operators" much strongly than it helps others? (i.e. exacerbating existing problems of democracy and capitalism.)


An example of the sort of people I'm talking about is the prop trading departments of the US mega banks that bought up large numbers of extremely low quality mortgages (spurring the growth of predatory lending), bundled them, and sold them to others, ultimately causing the near-destruction of the world economy. In some cases these products were known to be bad before they were sold, and some were even designed to fail so that they could be shorted. The only point of this activity was to extract money for those who implemented the scheme. There was no benefit to society. Society was in fact gravely harmed. Millions of people were harmed in the financial collapse of 2008. Some names here are Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Magnetar Capital.

These aren't people who invest capital and grow businesses. These aren't "Job Creators". They are simply thieves who ran roughshod over the interest of everyone else in the world in order to acquire as much money as possible. What is holding them in power? The fact that they have bought Washington. The curiously-named "Conservative" economic ideology. People (like you?) who buy into that ideology without an examination of its record of failure.

I'm not saying that technology and globalization have no role in today's economic situation. Those are the backdrop against which our political decisions are played out. We don't have much control over technology and globalization, but political decisions can be made in ways that maximally benefit society, or which benefit the few at the expense of not only the many but the health and future wealth of our entire society. I'd prefer to see decisions that place the health and wealth of our society above the wants of the hyper-wealthy.
  • like x 3

#50 Elus

  • Topic Starter
  • Guest
  • 793 posts
  • 723
  • Location:Interdimensional Space

Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:06 AM

The huge restaurant chains Applebee's and Chili's are now in a race to replace waiters with tablets.

Of Course Applebee's Is Going to Replace Waiters With Tablets

This is a fantastic example of an existing technology being implemented to replace a basic human function, taking food orders. Now, all that remains is a system that can clean and bus food efficiently.

The author concludes: "The fact is, if the tablets work, they’ll make the ordering process more efficient and cut the amount of human labor that these restaurants require. At that point, do you suppose they’ll keep the extra waiters around out of charity?"

Edited by Elus, 04 December 2013 - 08:07 AM.


#51 sthira

  • Guest
  • 2,008 posts
  • 406

Posted 04 December 2013 - 01:18 PM

The huge restaurant chains Applebee's and Chili's are now in a race to replace waiters with tablets.


Just by chance I listened to a homemade podcast about the television series Star Trek. "Trek Cast." And it's just kind of a fun, goofy program with a couple of self-effacing, admitted dorks talking about the awesomeness of Star Trek series.

Their overarching message is that the show -- unlike most other pop sci-fi shows -- basically focused on what is good, interesting, and worthy of exploration. The characters were past the petty concerns of our day and able to devote their lives entirely to creating and using beneficial technology to explore the universe. Their ships were examples of what's best about humanity, and they created wonderful tools and gadgets that were useful and powerful. They solved problems through teamwork and group cooperation, and they mostly got along with each other and thrived together peacefully. We should copy that Star Trek model.

I think we're too bogged down in our current culture by bad comedy, endless money obsession, power, greed, suffering, wars, ego... If we could solve our hate-issues -- somehow begin anew and to strive for world peace, greater education and good health for all -- then maybe then we could begin our collective expansion into the beautiful, mysterious universe. As of now we only see it through telescopes and unmanned rovers. Can we come together to create world peace -- it's what almost everyone wants anyway: freedom from war, poverty, greed, useless suffering -- and focus instead on some of the exciting new tech possibilities?

We should step up to the optimistic Star Trek model, I think, and hold our collective imagination in a brighter, happier light.

#52 lemonhead

  • Guest
  • 165 posts
  • 161
  • Location:The Uncanny Valley
  • NO

Posted 04 December 2013 - 10:11 PM

Can we come together to create world peace -- it's what almost everyone wants anyway: freedom from war, poverty, greed, useless suffering -- and focus instead on some of the exciting new tech possibilities?


I used to have some faith in the basic goodness of most people, but as I've grown older, optimism has been replaced with cynicism. The last bit of optimism died about four years ago.

The heart of the discussion here, as I see it, is how to distribute resources in the absence of the need for labor. You, me, and most others on this site want the things you listed above, but not many others, not really. They want to be the 'haves' and there can't be 'haves' unless there are 'have-nots'. They believe they are better than other people, by virtue of their religious faith, self-perceived intelligence, education level, work-ethic, moral superiority, etc.(whatever they value the most), therefore they deserve more. This thought pattern is the basis of the 'prosperity gospel', but is far from limited to the adherents of the prosperity gospel.

Edited by lemonhead, 04 December 2013 - 10:12 PM.

  • dislike x 1
  • like x 1

#53 niner

  • Guest
  • 16,276 posts
  • 1,999
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:28 AM

I used to have some faith in the basic goodness of most people, but as I've grown older, optimism has been replaced with cynicism. The last bit of optimism died about four years ago.

The heart of the discussion here, as I see it, is how to distribute resources in the absence of the need for labor. You, me, and most others on this site want the things you listed above, but not many others, not really. They want to be the 'haves' and there can't be 'haves' unless there are 'have-nots'. They believe they are better than other people, by virtue of their religious faith, self-perceived intelligence, education level, work-ethic, moral superiority, etc.(whatever they value the most), therefore they deserve more. This thought pattern is the basis of the 'prosperity gospel', but is far from limited to the adherents of the prosperity gospel.


This seems to be getting pretty close to the nub of the problem. A lot of people think that bad behavior should have negative consequences. If "bad" means causing great harm to others, I suspect most people fall into this category. One of the great fault lines of our time is the matter of appropriate consequences for people who provide no net value to society. On the far right, such people would be allowed to starve, the thinking being that this would motivate the vast majority of them to become useful in some way. On the left, allowing non-useful people to starve is viewed as unacceptable, and the problem of moral hazard is largely ignored.

In a time when work was not hard to find and paid a decent wage, it could reasonably be argued that someone who was able to work, but simply chose not to work deserved the consequences of their choice. In a world where work simply no longer exists for a large number of people, or the available compensation isn't sufficient to support life, we are going to need a new plan. I predict that in America, the fight over this will rage for decades. On one side will be those who think that everyone should get a basic "survival" allotment. On the other side will be those who will be concerned that this will create an unhealthy moral hazard, and who will bristle at the idea of wealth redistribution. This argument has of course existed for years already. Historically, it has had a racial component, as the money flow is perceived by some as having a melanin gradient, the magnitude of which is open to question. In the future, as more and more of the formerly-middle class finds themselves out of work, at least the racial component will fade, which might make solutions a little easier to find. Eventually, as most people will have friends or acquaintances among the long term unemployed, it will become apparent to the majority that some sort of basic payment for everyone will be necessary. We will continue to argue about the appropriate generosity of such payments for the foreseeable future.

I don't know how this thread has gone on for so long without any mention of Manna, a story by Marshall Brain. It's very pertinent to this discussion. Check it out.

#54 PWAIN

  • Guest
  • 1,288 posts
  • 241
  • Location:Melbourne

Posted 05 December 2013 - 03:30 AM

Funny, I was thinking the same thing (just couldn't remember the name). Excellent story and anyone participating in this thread really should read it. That is how I would imagine things working out - of course it is over simplified but the gist is right.

What seems most important as such a time approaches is that the people have the ability to exercise their majority power to ensure that all are catered for. Another thing to consider is the importance of timing, too soon and the economy collapses, too late and people power will not be strong enough.

I don't know how this thread has gone on for so long without any mention of Manna, a story by Marshall Brain. It's very pertinent to this discussion. Check it out.



#55 lemonhead

  • Guest
  • 165 posts
  • 161
  • Location:The Uncanny Valley
  • NO

Posted 05 December 2013 - 12:09 PM

... too late and people power will not be strong enough.


It's been too late for a while now.

#56 sthira

  • Guest
  • 2,008 posts
  • 406

Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:46 PM

I don't know how this thread has gone on for so long without any mention of Manna, a story by Marshall Brain. It's very pertinent to this discussion. Check it out.


That story is terrifying. Thanks for posting it.

#57 Elus

  • Topic Starter
  • Guest
  • 793 posts
  • 723
  • Location:Interdimensional Space

Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:43 AM

It was inevitable. Amazon's 30 minute drone delivery announcement has provoked a response from Google.

Indeed, Google is buying up robotics companies to enable robots to work with self-driving cars for fully automated delivery.

“If Amazon can imagine delivering books by drones,” Markoff writes, “is it too much to think that Google might be planning to one day have one of the robots hop off an automated Google Car and race to your doorstep to deliver a package?

Google Builds Robot Army for Battle With Amazon

This will result in further reductions in available labor. Urgelt says in the comment section:

Google's concept - which we haven't heard fleshed out yet, it should be admitted - seems (thus far) to be far more practical than Amazon's flying drone delivery service.

That's good. And it's bad.

It's good, because practical robotics is an exciting development, with oodles of potential for humanity.
It's bad, because it's not just about delivering goods quickly and cheaply. It's also about cutting human workers out of the work flow.

Which poses a problem that I hope Google's impressive brain trust is thinking about, since it represents an existential problem for Google and all of the other tech giants.

In economics, demand is king; without demand, you can't generate economic activity. But as the economy sheds jobs and whittles away the middle class, less and less wealth will be distributed to the wage-earning classes. A rising surplus of human workers will further depress wages. Poverty is going to rise as robotics reaches more economic sectors and causes those sectors to shed jobs. The end state is strange: most people won't be needed to produce the goods and services humans need to thrive. Most humans will be 'excess to requirements.' (This won't happen soon, but we're trending in that direction.)

Falling demand is a problem, not just for those at the bottom, but for the whole tottering edifice that is the world economy. When demand is falling, it will do corporations no good to have virtually unlimited access to nearly-free capital, which is the only play in the Fed's playbook for a faltering economy. *Nobody* has a play in their playbook for falling demand caused by job losses produced by advancing technology. Classical economics doesn't even mention the possibility of this happening; it assumes *more* jobs will be created by advancing tech.

No longer. That assumption became false during the 1990's.

I'm not saying automation and robotics should be frozen in place or rolled back. I'm no Luddite; I am eager to learn what we can wring out of advancing tech. But we'd better be ready to deal with the consequences. Otherwise the falling demand problem will wreak unimaginable economic havoc, with dire implications even for giant tech corporations.



PS. Thanks for the story, niner.

Edited by Elus, 06 December 2013 - 03:50 AM.

  • dislike x 1
  • like x 1

#58 Elus

  • Topic Starter
  • Guest
  • 793 posts
  • 723
  • Location:Interdimensional Space

Posted 12 December 2013 - 05:12 AM

Amazon, Applebee’s and Google’s job-crushing drones and robot armies: They’re coming for your job next

...the big difference between the current technological revolution and the Industrial Revolution is that the initial technological advances of the 18th century created jobs for unskilled workers, while today&rsquo;s robot armies are increasingly replacing the jobs of unskilled workers.


Freakishly realistic telemarketing robots are denying they're robots

Edited by Elus, 12 December 2013 - 05:21 AM.


#59 Elus

  • Topic Starter
  • Guest
  • 793 posts
  • 723
  • Location:Interdimensional Space

Posted 14 December 2013 - 07:55 AM

GOOGLE HAS ACQUIRED BOSTON DYNAMICS


Google has now acquired, arguably, the most advanced robotics company in the world.

Petman and Atlas now belong to Google. Think of the implications of this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFrjrgBV8K0
  • like x 1

sponsored ad

  • Advert

#60 niner

  • Guest
  • 16,276 posts
  • 1,999
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:44 PM

Google has now acquired, arguably, the most advanced robotics company in the world.

Petman and Atlas now belong to Google. Think of the implications of this!


Attached File  skynet-google-tshirt.jpg   12.56KB   6 downloads





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: robots, automation, employment, jobs, crisis

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users