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  #251  
Old 05-17-2015, 05:26 AM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Robots-Te.../dp/0465059996
Martin Ford's Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future came out this month. It is reviewed in the WSJ: http://www.wsj.com/articles/soon-the...too-1431723233
Heh, I went just now to add that to my Amazon Wishlist, and the "AI" at the website informed me I had apparently already done so.

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Originally Posted by Mr. Nylock View Post
I'm studying accounting now. I'm taking the upper level classes and I'll be ready to sit for the CPA exam (the gold standard in accounting) soon. People keep telling me that they can't automate what a CPA does - I'm seriously finding it hard to believe. I think I've got 10, maybe 15 years to make some money at it before the wages start getting severely depressed by automation.
Yeah, that seems perilous. Did this insight come too late to switch majors? And what do you intend to be doing in 2030?

Now, there was an interesting Planet Money podcast about automation of accounting that essentially contains the counterargument. They showed how the invention of computerized spreadsheets allowed accountants to do something that had formerly taken hundreds of "man-hours" in just minutes, and then nearly instantly create a new one that takes into account a changed piece of data or assumption (whereas in the past, changing it would take almost as long as creating it to begin with).

But up to now at least, this didn't seem to make accountants go the way of travel agents. Instead, it made any individual accounting task much faster for accountants to do, and thus a much cheaper service for accountants to offer, which created a much higher demand for much more detailed accounting, and thus accountants continued to have a job market.

The travel agent example is telling, though, because at a certain point people will be able to ask "Siri" or "Hey Google" to do their books for them, and it will be just as user friendly (and, frankly, less of a hassle, not to mention essentially free) as asking a CPA to do them.

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Originally Posted by Disposable Hero View Post
I've read several sci-fi stories where humans are indeed removed from the legal process on the premise that a sufficiently advanced AI would be a truly neutral and impartial upholder of the law, making decisions based on the facts of the case alone without those awkward human prejudices and emotions getting in the way.

But we're a long way from that yet.
Agreed, and this sounds to me like one of those notions that a sci-fi author thinks sounds intriguing and which makes an interesting twist to a futuristic story, but which is unlikely to happen for a long time if ever. I think using actual human lawyers to prepare contracts will soon go the way of the dodo, but litigating in court will remain a human pastime for the foreseeable future. Not because humans are necessarily the best at this, but because society is likely to be profoundly uncomfortable with handing this over to AIs (particularly since, unlike with AI physicians, there won't be a clear way to show that it makes outcomes better). There will be strict legal regulations that require judges and those arguing before the court to be human, as well as juries, and for that matter legislators. Nearly everything else in the world may become automated, but elected officials and officers of the court will be human.

Now, there may be a back door way in for AIs in the form of a slippery slope toward becoming cyborgs. From Apple Watches and Google Glass to brain implants, the "flesh and blood humans" in these roles may be more and more augmented by AIs to the point that they find themselves more or less in the passenger seat while the AI does all the work, and the piece of sentient meat going along for the ride is a quaint holdover, sort of like the powdered wigs they still(?) use in British courtrooms. But even that will provide a good paycheck, and seems unlikely to get to that extreme for a quite some time.
  #252  
Old 05-17-2015, 10:06 AM
Mr. Nylock Mr. Nylock is offline
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Heh, I went just now to add that to my Amazon Wishlist, and the "AI" at the website informed me I had apparently already done so.



Yeah, that seems perilous. Did this insight come too late to switch majors? And what do you intend to be doing in 2030?

Now, there was an interesting Planet Money podcast about automation of accounting that essentially contains the counterargument. They showed how the invention of computerized spreadsheets allowed accountants to do something that had formerly taken hundreds of "man-hours" in just minutes, and then nearly instantly create a new one that takes into account a changed piece of data or assumption (whereas in the past, changing it would take almost as long as creating it to begin with).

But up to now at least, this didn't seem to make accountants go the way of travel agents. Instead, it made any individual accounting task much faster for accountants to do, and thus a much cheaper service for accountants to offer, which created a much higher demand for much more detailed accounting, and thus accountants continued to have a job market.

The travel agent example is telling, though, because at a certain point people will be able to ask "Siri" or "Hey Google" to do their books for them, and it will be just as user friendly (and, frankly, less of a hassle, not to mention essentially free) as asking a CPA to do them.
It's not really perilous for me personally - whether I get a job in accounting or not; or any job for that matter - will not be hugely impactful on my lifestyle or standard of living - I've been very fortunate in that sense. I really got into accounting a little later in life(I'm 38) and only took it up because it was something I became interested in after owning a small business.

I think accounting will become much more automated after convergence - when most of the countries in the world go on the same system for financial reporting. They have not decided on the details yet what accounting treatment to give to various things; but once they do, everything will be less vague and more structured.

Once things become more structured, automation becomes much easier. Couple that with the money that can be made by whoever automates the system, and a tremendous incentive is there for the tech world to start focusing more attention on the "problem" of well paid accountants costing businesses too much money.

I honestly don't really know what gives people all this motivation to stake their future on jobs that probably won't exist or pay well in the future; seems like a waste of the limited time one has in this world. YMMV
  #253  
Old 05-17-2015, 02:30 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
\Agreed, and this sounds to me like one of those notions that a sci-fi author thinks sounds intriguing and which makes an interesting twist to a futuristic story, but which is unlikely to happen for a long time if ever. I think using actual human lawyers to prepare contracts will soon go the way of the dodo, but litigating in court will remain a human pastime for the foreseeable future. Not because humans are necessarily the best at this, but because society is likely to be profoundly uncomfortable with handing this over to AIs (particularly since, unlike with AI physicians, there won't be a clear way to show that it makes outcomes better).
The problem will be not that "society" will be uncomfortable with handing lawyering and judging over to AIs, it will the that LAWYERS and JUDGES will be profoundly uncomfortable with handing their jobs over to AIs, and they will write laws for their legislator buddies to pass, forbidding this from happening. LONG after it has become very evident that AIs do a much better, fairer (and most of all, cheaper) job of lawyering and judging than humans, it will be strictly illegal for them to do so. We will have the spectacle of drunken bums staggering around the courtroom while being used as beards for the AI programs that are doing all the work for both the lawyers and judges.

The legal profession will be one of the last to be automated, because they will write laws to make it so.
  #254  
Old 05-18-2015, 03:28 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Agreed that lawyers and politicians and kings will just make it illegal to automate their jobs, while insisting that doctors and plumbers and accountants and truck drivers are out in the cold.

But even if you forbid expert systems from "practicing law", what will happen is just as you outline, you have lawyers that are nothing more than meat puppets for the expert systems that do the real work. Sure, that's a job, but it's unskilled labor and not worth much more compensation that flipping burgers.

We can imagine all sorts of these George Jetson style "jobs", where a human being comes to work, gets himself a cup of coffee, settles down at his desk and presses the big red button, then kicks back and watches in bored confusion as the robots and computers spring into action to do all the work. Why not throw in a crabby boss who'll yell at you for coming in late, and a wife who sits at home all day and presses the button that tells the robot maid to clean the house, and another button to tell the robot kitchen to have dinner on the table when her husband gets home from the office?

It really reminds me of the earlier Orwell quotation, that a man with a toothache imagines Utopia as simply not having a toothache. To guys that broke their backs on farms and factories and mines all day, a dream job is one where you sat at a desk at pressed a button a few times a day. And to a hobo, Utopia has jails with tinfoil walls, blind watchmen, and bulldogs with rubber teeth.
  #255  
Old 05-18-2015, 04:59 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
Agreed that lawyers and politicians and kings will just make it illegal to automate their jobs, while insisting that doctors and plumbers and accountants and truck drivers are out in the cold.

But even if you forbid expert systems from "practicing law", what will happen is just as you outline, you have lawyers that are nothing more than meat puppets for the expert systems that do the real work. Sure, that's a job, but it's unskilled labor and not worth much more compensation that flipping burgers.
I am sure that laws will be passed ensuring lawyers "adequate compensation" for all the nothing they will do. We cannot have meat puppets doing their dance for minimum wage!

Quote:
We can imagine all sorts of these George Jetson style "jobs", where a human being comes to work, gets himself a cup of coffee, settles down at his desk and presses the big red button, then kicks back and watches in bored confusion as the robots and computers spring into action to do all the work. Why not throw in a crabby boss who'll yell at you for coming in late, and a wife who sits at home all day and presses the button that tells the robot maid to clean the house, and another button to tell the robot kitchen to have dinner on the table when her husband gets home from the office?
There's already a Basic Income movement underway, though I doubt it will succeed until much human suffering has occurred.

Quote:
It really reminds me of the earlier Orwell quotation, that a man with a toothache imagines Utopia as simply not having a toothache. To guys that broke their backs on farms and factories and mines all day, a dream job is one where you sat at a desk at pressed a button a few times a day. And to a hobo, Utopia has jails with tinfoil walls, blind watchmen, and bulldogs with rubber teeth.
Utopia is good fifty years off, don't get your hopes up.
  #256  
Old 05-18-2015, 05:01 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Google wants to have totally driverless cars taking over the road by 2020.

Five years, you read that right. Ambitious! Personally, I think the headline is clickbait.
  #257  
Old 05-19-2015, 12:42 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Yes, five years is ridiculous. Maybe in twenty or thirty. [Edited to add: they could actually make this transition easier if they banned people and their slow reflexes, poor decisionmaking, and all-around unpredictability from manually driving at all. Then the "cloud" could just move everyone along smoothly, "tailgating" at high speeds with little risk.]

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Originally Posted by Evil Captor View Post
I am sure that laws will be passed ensuring lawyers "adequate compensation" for all the nothing they will do. We cannot have meat puppets doing their dance for minimum wage!
Absolutely.

Planet Money has another interesting tale of automation, this time in the restaurant business (including Pizzeria Uno, Chili's, Applebee's, and Olive Garden). Makes total sense that these gizmos would increase dessert sales: having a waiter (especially if significantly thinner than the customer) standing there asking if you "have room" makes a lot of people hesitate.

What surprises me though is that this would actually increase the size of tips. Waiters under this system don't have to take orders, bring a check, collect the money, or bring you change. Nor do they have to come by and check how you are doing, since there's a call button (and that's nice too, as I have found it annoying to have them interrupt conversation when not needed, as well as being frustrating not to be able to get their attention when needed). Why give them more money for doing only (at most) half the job?

Last edited by SlackerInc; 05-19-2015 at 12:44 PM.
  #258  
Old 05-19-2015, 01:47 PM
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What surprises me though is that this would actually increase the size of tips.
My guess is because they default to 20% (at least at the Chili's near me) when the tip option comes up, and you have to manually move it to give them more or less.

So I bet a lot of people just take the default, or even add to it, but relatively few are quite ruthless enough to run the tip DOWN to 15% or less.
  #259  
Old 05-19-2015, 02:17 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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I'm sure that's true (although I'm one that would certainly be that "ruthless"). Seems strange though on the business's part: they aren't getting any of that tip money, but they are discouraging people from coming in as frequently, or ordering as much.
  #260  
Old 05-20-2015, 02:49 AM
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My guess is because they default to 20% (at least at the Chili's near me) when the tip option comes up, and you have to manually move it to give them more or less.

So I bet a lot of people just take the default, or even add to it, but relatively few are quite ruthless enough to run the tip DOWN to 15% or less.
Given the research on defaults, I rather suspect you are right. Lots of people are unsure about tipping - making 20% the default would be a social cue that this was the right amount. What would be really interesting would be to study if people who go to these restaurants start tipping 20% at non-automated places they go to.
  #261  
Old 05-20-2015, 08:22 AM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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It's certainly easier for most people to compute. Which is another sort of ironic element of this: an app like this could make 15% much easier for your average innumerate person to deal with.
  #262  
Old 05-20-2015, 09:57 AM
bump bump is offline
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It's certainly easier for most people to compute. Which is another sort of ironic element of this: an app like this could make 15% much easier for your average innumerate person to deal with.
Considering that it's a touchscreen app with what's basically a sideways dial (looking 90 degrees to the axis of rotation), showing percentages and a tip amount & total bill that changes as you rotate the dial around changing the percentages, I'd say that's exactly so. It defaults to 20%, but moving it to 15% is just a matter of a swipe.

I know that I'm that dork who tends to dial in the nearest whole dollar above whatever tip amount I want to give, which isn't something I tend to calculate if only provided with pen and paper.

Last edited by bump; 05-20-2015 at 09:57 AM.
  #263  
Old 05-22-2015, 03:55 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Maybe the first listing here is the beginning of the end for all human manual labor:

Deep-learning technique that allows robots to learn manual tasks developed
  #264  
Old 05-22-2015, 04:13 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Could be!
  #265  
Old 05-25-2015, 02:55 AM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Maybe the first listing here is the beginning of the end for all human manual labor:

Deep-learning technique that allows robots to learn manual tasks developed
Video of BRETT the deep-learning robot in action.

I don't think the robot will be taking over all manual labor in the immediate future. But maybe in five to ten years?

Last edited by Evil Captor; 05-25-2015 at 02:56 AM.
  #266  
Old 05-25-2015, 08:08 AM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Funny that Brett seems to try screwing lids on counter-clockwise before doing it the right way.

On one of the recent Planet Money podcasts exploring this issue, they profiled a woman working at a South Carolina factory whose job could be done by a robot, but it's currently cheaper to just pay a human instead of installing a robot. What a strange and tenuous position to be in: you just know that robot price is going to come down before long. And I'd imagine we'll see this in a lot of fields: the jobs aren't eliminated the moment a robot or AI can do them, but rather there is a period of overlap, during which John Henry still can compete on price but is ultimately facing the writing on the wall. (And how does it feel to have a job only because you are cheaper than a robot?)

Speaking of Planet Money, they just put out their final episode in the series, which basically explores the exact question we did in this thread, albeit much more superficially (I think I will tweet a link to this to them, in fact). Their subhead:

Quote:
Smart people have worried for years that machines would take jobs. In the past, they were wrong. Lots of jobs disappeared, but new ones were created.

Today on the show, we ask the experts whether this time is different. And if it is, what do we do about it?
  #267  
Old 05-25-2015, 10:47 AM
Happy Fun Ball Happy Fun Ball is offline
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Funny that Brett seems to try screwing lids on counter-clockwise before doing it the right way.
I do this. It centers the threads and makes it much less likely that it will be cross threaded. I wonder if the robot learned that with trial and error or if they taught it.
  #268  
Old 05-25-2015, 11:09 AM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Huh! I had no idea this was a thing.
  #269  
Old 06-05-2015, 02:09 AM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Looks like even those Ivy League guys are starting to catch on:

We've reached a tipping point where technology is now destroying more jobs than it creates, researcher warns

I like the term "tipping point" in the headline. I use the term "Robot Job Holocaust" because it appeals to my sensationalistic tendencies, but "tipping point" also conveys that sense that we are heading for a cliff and not noticing. Point is, not only will robots take over jobs progressively faster as time goes by, but the rate at which the robots take over jobs will increase as robot tech become cheaper and more flexible. But don't expect complacent Americans to notice until it's pretty much already happened.
  #270  
Old 06-05-2015, 05:55 AM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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If they don't notice, that implies the transition will be pretty smooth.
  #271  
Old 06-05-2015, 10:55 AM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is offline
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Originally Posted by Evil Captor View Post
Looks like even those Ivy League guys are starting to catch on:

We've reached a tipping point where technology is now destroying more jobs than it creates, researcher warns

I like the term "tipping point" in the headline. I use the term "Robot Job Holocaust" because it appeals to my sensationalistic tendencies, but "tipping point" also conveys that sense that we are heading for a cliff and not noticing. Point is, not only will robots take over jobs progressively faster as time goes by, but the rate at which the robots take over jobs will increase as robot tech become cheaper and more flexible. But don't expect complacent Americans to notice until it's pretty much already happened.
While I do agree with many of the points, I have to say that there are many opportunities for new industries to appear and develop, IMHO the biggest stumbling blocks will be old fashion regulation and protectionism as in patent trolling. IMHO a lot of the technology that is appearing will allow people with little training to become effective workers for the new industries.
  #272  
Old 06-05-2015, 01:32 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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If they don't notice, that implies the transition will be pretty smooth.
They'll notice when unemployment spikes to unprecedented levels. Problem is, will they grasp the cause or can they be distracted by other causes?
  #273  
Old 06-05-2015, 01:33 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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While I do agree with many of the points, I have to say that there are many opportunities for new industries to appear and develop, IMHO the biggest stumbling blocks will be old fashion regulation and protectionism as in patent trolling. IMHO a lot of the technology that is appearing will allow people with little training to become effective workers for the new industries.
Right, new industries will appear and develop and new robots and software will be developed to work in those industries, much faster and more cheaply than human beings.
  #274  
Old 06-05-2015, 04:19 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is offline
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Right, new industries will appear and develop and new robots and software will be developed to work in those industries, much faster and more cheaply than human beings.
Well, I'm more of a "bit of column A and bit of column B" kind of guy here.

In this case your point here is too optimistic/pessimistic, while it is true that a lot of new industries will also be taken by robots the speed of the change or application of them is not likely to be as fast as you think.
  #275  
Old 06-11-2015, 01:43 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Well, I'm more of a "bit of column A and bit of column B" kind of guy here.

In this case your point here is too optimistic/pessimistic, while it is true that a lot of new industries will also be taken by robots the speed of the change or application of them is not likely to be as fast as you think.
I think it will be a LOT faster than you think. Especially once they start designing restaurants, shops, etc. to be autonomous from the git-go.
  #276  
Old 06-11-2015, 01:44 PM
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AAAAND ... it begins. Goodbye, transportation industry jobs ...
  #277  
Old 06-11-2015, 02:21 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is offline
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I think it will be a LOT faster than you think. Especially once they start designing restaurants, shops, etc. to be autonomous from the git-go.
I think you are missing the point, IMHO it will be fast in several trades and jobs, but the new jobs that will come thanks to advances in technology will still chug along for a while for many humans.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 06-11-2015 at 02:21 PM.
  #278  
Old 06-11-2015, 04:36 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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I think you are missing the point, IMHO it will be fast in several trades and jobs, but the new jobs that will come thanks to advances in technology will still chug along for a while for many humans.
I expect there will at least for a while be lots of essentially makework jobs. Private industry isn't going to fund those on their own, but the government can provide lots of them, New Deal style, plus create many more in the private sector through tax credits and other preferences for businesses that employ X number of people. Those should be pretty cushy "jobs", I'd think.
  #279  
Old 06-11-2015, 04:51 PM
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OMG! Elevator operators will be next!
(I wonder how many people here have actually ridden in an elevator with an operator.)
  #280  
Old 06-11-2015, 04:55 PM
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OMG! Elevator operators will be next!
(I wonder how many people here have actually ridden in an elevator with an operator.)
There were still some of those around when I was a kid.
  #281  
Old 06-12-2015, 12:29 PM
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There were still some of those around when I was a kid.
A friend of mine in college was in the elevator operators' union in NY, and had a summer job running an elevator.
Yes, I'm old.
  #282  
Old 06-12-2015, 01:45 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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I think you are missing the point, IMHO it will be fast in several trades and jobs, but the new jobs that will come thanks to advances in technology will still chug along for a while for many humans.
I really doubt that ten million jobs will be added to the economy in the next few decades, esp. with 3.75 milliion of them (at minimum) being good middle class jobs that a person with no college can succeed in.
  #283  
Old 06-12-2015, 01:47 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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OMG! Elevator operators will be next!
(I wonder how many people here have actually ridden in an elevator with an operator.)
Yes, jobs have become antiquated fast in the past. And it will be more widespread, and faster, in the future.
  #284  
Old 06-12-2015, 01:50 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Looks like at least a few of the oligarchs are starting to catch on.
  #285  
Old 06-12-2015, 03:39 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is offline
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I really doubt that ten million jobs will be added to the economy in the next few decades, esp. with 3.75 milliion of them (at minimum) being good middle class jobs that a person with no college can succeed in.
Good thing I did not claim anything about creating 10 million jobs, read again, I do think this will be a bit of column Anthro and a bit of column Bot.

AFAIK the trend is for many of those good middle class jobs is seen by many companies hiring millennial for technology jobs, jobs like working with big data and security may have a lot of robotic help but the sheer size of it and the fact that humans will have to organize and make sense of it to others is one big example of what I'm talking about.

While driving is looking to become the next buggy whip failed industry the point I made is that at the same time technology is opening other doors, I do think that one should remember (as an example) that if film had not been invented a lot of people involved in the entertainment industry would never had seen any upward mobility.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 06-12-2015 at 03:40 PM.
  #286  
Old 06-12-2015, 09:10 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is offline
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Correcting that middle paragraph:

AFAIK the trend is for many of those good middle class jobs showing up in many companies that are hiring many millennials for technology jobs. Jobs like working with big data and security may have a lot of robotic help but the sheer size of it and the fact that humans will have to organize it and make sense of it to others is one big example of what I'm talking about.
  #287  
Old 06-26-2015, 03:25 AM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Got the latest issue of The Atlantic in my mailbox today (the last print magazine I still subscribe to) and they are on the case, with a cover story titled "The End of Work". The teaser accompanying that title on the cover wonders "Could that be a good thing?" but the actual article (which I've merely skimmed so far) seems to answer the question in the negative.
  #288  
Old 06-28-2015, 03:32 PM
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Robot Bricklayer invented in Perth. Can lay out a brick house in two days, compared to four to six weeks for human bricklayers.

Bye bye, bricklayers.

I'm also thinking, could take housing construction costs waaaay down.
  #289  
Old 06-29-2015, 04:18 PM
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Interesting! The funny thing about bricklaying is that I can simultaneously see it as a very skilled (human) trade, that requires an intelligent and conscientious worker to do right, and yet also see it as one that is particularly suited to being automated.
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Old 06-30-2015, 12:07 AM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Deep Learning Algorithm does the job of radiologists

... and does it BETTER than radiologists.
  #291  
Old 07-01-2015, 09:31 PM
Ruken Ruken is online now
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What if the robots are less than peaceful in their takeover?
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:35 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is offline
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Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
What if the robots are less than peaceful in their takeover?

Quote:
A Volkswagen spokesman stressed that the robot was not one of the new generation of lightweight collaborative robots that work side-by-side with workers on the production line and forgo safety cages
Best bet? Someone did screwup, but it is more likely that one of the humans did.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 07-01-2015 at 11:37 PM.
  #293  
Old 07-02-2015, 05:53 AM
Mijin Mijin is online now
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We can imagine all sorts of these George Jetson style "jobs", where a human being comes to work, gets himself a cup of coffee, settles down at his desk and presses the big red button, then kicks back and watches in bored confusion as the robots and computers spring into action to do all the work.
Can't search for the link right now, but apparently some of Amazon's larger warehouses already have a job somewhat like this.

Robots are employed to stack and retrieve items. And for every N robots, there's a human supervisor / assistant, whose job is to assist in the event that a robot encounters a situation it can't resolve.
  #294  
Old 07-02-2015, 08:04 AM
Ruken Ruken is online now
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Best bet? Someone did screwup, but it is more likely that one of the humans did.
I'm pretty sure it's Skynet.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:45 AM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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What if the robots are less than peaceful in their takeover?
It's been covered.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:31 AM
OffByOne OffByOne is offline
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One of the issues I see is that I think that the rich don't feel properly "rich" unless people are starving and living in the streets. The rich own the Golden Rule 2.0: He who has the GOLD makes the RULES. I think the rich will do everything in their power to maintain their stranglehold on everyone else.

Someone upthread mentioned "post-scarcity" economy, but I don't think that will ever happen. Why would holders of power change their methods? Manufactured scarcity has worked quite well for them (think deBeers), so why would they ever allow that to change?

OPEC was formed to ensure that individual oil-producing countries did what was best for ALL of the members. Saddam Hussein was known to be a loose cannon in this regard, increasing and decreasing Iraq's production on a whim, to see America's gas prices dance to his music. This was one of the reasons Saddam Hussein had to go.

I'm reminded of the 1989 movie, Rude Awakening; when the old hippies return to the US, they learn of tanning parlors. Cheech's character asks, "How do they keep the sun from shining on people who don't pay?" The rich haven't figured that one out yet, but they are actively attempting to block polution-preventing legislation, so it is not a huge leap to believe that we may someday (soon?) be forced to pay for clean air!
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Old 07-10-2015, 11:57 AM
Mijin Mijin is online now
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One of the issues I see is that I think that the rich don't feel properly "rich" unless people are starving and living in the streets.
What we've actually seen in most of the developed world is more people enjoying a standard of living that would have been considered rich in the past, while fewer people live under the poverty line. All we need is for the pattern to continue.

And the only reason I have to say "the developed world" is not because standards are not improving in the developing world -- they are, quicker than ever before in human history -- but because of the stagnant and failed states that have barely begun to develop and buck the trend. But I don't think people in rich countries "need" those failed states to exist...most of the time we're barely aware of them.

Quote:
Someone upthread mentioned "post-scarcity" economy, but I don't think that will ever happen. Why would holders of power change their methods? Manufactured scarcity has worked quite well for them (think deBeers), so why would they ever allow that to change?
That's not the model that generally works. Companies generally get big by making things that millions can afford.

A good example are smart phones. These are incredibly sophisticated bits of kit, and maybe we could have imagined a future where they cost the equivalent of thousands of dollars, and the rich use them to get ahead while everyone else is left behind.
Instead mass production as well as targeting different price points and markets means that billions can afford them, and they're ubiquitous now even in relatively poor countries.

Last edited by Mijin; 07-10-2015 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:20 PM
Plumpudding Plumpudding is offline
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I just wanted to weight in, just as a factor, we humans are very good at not being bored. Almost as good as finding ways to make ourselves more bored.

Some people have mentioned arts as a domain likely to be taken over by robots, and they may very well be right, but all I've seen have been to the contrary. Automation is basically as fair a game as any. I've seen an optimistic trend of moving away from the concept of the "artist" and instead focus on art itself. Duchamp taught us that absolutely everyone can create art, on their own terms and all technological developments since have only emphasized his point.

Arts in a broader sense is, for now, made by humans, but also for humans. To replace that I believe you would need to be on the technological level of artificial humans, however they might manifest themselves, and that does not necessarily replace humans in and of itself.
  #299  
Old 07-10-2015, 10:55 PM
Mijin Mijin is online now
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Arts in a broader sense is, for now, made by humans, but also for humans. To replace that I believe you would need to be on the technological level of artificial humans, however they might manifest themselves, and that does not necessarily replace humans in and of itself.
I agree however I don't think there will be a clear separation.

Artists make use of technology the same as everyone else. As software becomes more intelligent and able to generate richer content, it will become difficult to say art is mostly man-made and merely assisted by computers.

Last edited by Mijin; 07-10-2015 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:47 AM
Plumpudding Plumpudding is offline
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I agree however I don't think there will be a clear separation.

Artists make use of technology the same as everyone else. As software becomes more intelligent and able to generate richer content, it will become difficult to say art is mostly man-made and merely assisted by computers.
That is already happening, and I see no reason to fear arts being 'taken over' by anything at all. Art and technology goes hand in hand, always has, always will. Sometimes technologies gets fazed out, rediscovered and further developed again by artists, other artists focus on the cutting egde. Take for example Amsterdam RealTime, a GPS tracking system made to generate artworks by selected people moving around in Amsterdam; who is the artist? The person walking? The person who came up with the concept? The GPS-system itself? Does anyone really care? This is just one exmaple from 2002, by the way - there are many others. Here's a link if anyone's interested: https://waag.org/en/project/amsterdam-realtime

These questions aren't so much difficult as they are irrelevant, and they have been irrelevant ever since Duchamp obliterated what it means to be an 'artist' and what constitutes an 'artwork'. Certain people are still having this dreary discussion, but their opinions are becoming less and less relevant every day. Absolutely everyone can make art, and for every new technology connecting people together, empowering whoever to do whatever, the more apparent that becomes.

Art isn't an object any more. Art is intention, and that's why I'm arguing you'd need an artificial human or fully autonomous artificial mind, not just an AI, to create art. If you program an AI to create art for you, then that AI is part of the artwork itself. And yes, people have been doing that too!

To boil it down, there isn't any separation, and there doesn't need to be. To be honest, if we for some reason would create artificial minds for the purpose of art I wouldn't be afraid of my 'job', I'd be really interested to see what the hell they could come up with!

Sorry for the derail! It's just something that bugs me a bit!
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