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  #651  
Old 08-12-2017, 06:24 PM
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  #652  
Old 09-05-2017, 03:35 AM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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NPR is tackling this issue this week in a series they call "Is My Job Safe?" Apparently in 2004 MIT researchers predicted truck driving would never be automated? That seems rather myopic.

http://www.npr.org/2017/09/04/548505...fe-from-robots

And then the one on radiologists is really interesting as a kind of psychological study. It seems quite obvious to me that they will be completely redundant within a decade or two--all the more so because they make an average now of $400,000, twice what a family doctor does? How did that state of affairs come about? Ridiculous. That provides an intense incentive for the coders to automate the practice. Yet while so many of them are properly worried, they quoted people who are whistling past the graveyard. If I had a child in medical school, I would advise them in the strongest possible terms to pick something else than radiology, that's for sure.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 09-05-2017 at 03:35 AM.
  #653  
Old 09-05-2017, 05:51 AM
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NPR is tackling this issue this week in a series they call "Is My Job Safe?" Apparently in 2004 MIT researchers predicted truck driving would never be automated? That seems rather myopic.

http://www.npr.org/2017/09/04/548505...fe-from-robots

And then the one on radiologists is really interesting as a kind of psychological study. It seems quite obvious to me that they will be completely redundant within a decade or two--all the more so because they make an average now of $400,000, twice what a family doctor does? How did that state of affairs come about? Ridiculous. That provides an intense incentive for the coders to automate the practice. Yet while so many of them are properly worried, they quoted people who are whistling past the graveyard. If I had a child in medical school, I would advise them in the strongest possible terms to pick something else than radiology, that's for sure.
At present, AI can do specific tasks and even sets of tasks pretty damn well, and this is true across all fields. AI is now being used by attorneys to predict the outcome of cases so that they can avoid the costs of taking a matter to court if the odds are against them (this could be good and bad). I don't know much about radiology. It would seem we'd still want a radiologist who knows about radiology stuff for the sake of the patient's safety. But in terms of administering and monitoring anesthetics, maybe that's where AI comes in.
  #654  
Old 09-05-2017, 06:16 AM
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Yet while so many of them are properly worried, they quoted people who are whistling past the graveyard. If I had a child in medical school, I would advise them in the strongest possible terms to pick something else than radiology, that's for sure.
I think it's more complicated than that when we're talking about career strategy.

Radiologist is still a pretty sweet gig, and with how risk-averse the medical industry is, it may still make sense to choose that role.

If you need to retrain in 10 years...well, you're probably in the same boat as a huge proportion of the workforce, except you also have $4 million in your pocket (if you didn't eat within those 10 years).
  #655  
Old 09-27-2017, 07:29 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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Pretty good update on this kind of thing at VICE today: Robots Are Coming for Your Job Sooner Than You Think.

The thing that really caught my eye is that some people see what I (and a lot of y'all) see and are working on addressing the coming problem now rather than waiting until it's too late.
Quote:
"Nobody believes this is coming soon, and nobody believes this is going to happen to their job," said Michael Solomon, co-founder and managing partner of 10x Management, a talent agency for high-performing software engineers, coders, and designers. "People assume the only positions that will be affected by automation are jobs like factory work, agriculture, driving, and other blue-collar jobs. But that's just automation—they ignore the artificial intelligence side, which is what they should be worried about."

Solomon is worried, and the numbers back him up. He spends much of his spare time trying to get the word out about what he sees as an imminent job loss apocalypse, recently launching the Day After Labor, a website dedicated to bringing "the topic of impending net job loss due to advances in technology to the forefront of social and policy discussions."
Here are some numbers on job loss that has already happened:
Quote:
The number of retail jobs lost in the past year alone (6,100) is more than the total number of people employed by the coal industry, a darling of the current administration.
Here is their cite for that 6100 number: Business Insider; Retail jobs lost US jobs report May.

And here is a projection:
Quote:
According to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, 38 percent of American jobs are at risk of becoming obsolete within the next 15 years, and it's not just blue-collar work that's going away.
Here is their source for that.

And here is Mr. Solomon's website: http://thedayafterlabor.com

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 09-27-2017 at 07:32 PM.
  #656  
Old 09-27-2017, 08:17 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Great stuff! Thanks for posting this.

I remember not being sure we were ever again going to get unemployment as low as it is right now. Although I suppose it might stay low while the labor force participation rate continues to drop. Maybe the real question is whether that percentage will ever be as high as it was 10 or 20 years ago.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 09-27-2017 at 08:17 PM.
  #657  
Old 09-27-2017, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Here are some numbers on job loss that has already happened:Here is their cite for that 6100 number: Business Insider; Retail jobs lost US jobs report May.
So in June we had ~6k fewer "retail trade" (as BLS likes to label them) jobs than a year before. But then in July the number of retail trade jobs went up by over 7k vs June. This is out of over 15 million retail workers. Jobs numbers fluctuate. Meanwhile in August we had over 2 million more non-farm jobs overall than we did a year ago.
  #658  
Old 09-27-2017, 09:12 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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So in June we had ~6k fewer "retail trade" (as BLS likes to label them) jobs than a year before. But then in July the number of retail trade jobs went up by over 7k vs June. This is out of over 15 million retail workers. Jobs numbers fluctuate. Meanwhile in August we had over 2 million more non-farm jobs overall than we did a year ago.
Is there data on retail job numbers by year for the past 20 years? Can we compare numbers that way?
  #659  
Old 09-27-2017, 09:50 PM
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Is there data on retail job numbers by year for the past 20 years? Can we compare numbers that way?
Any time someone links to jobs numbers they're from BLS. So yes. BLS CES4200000001 goes back to 1939. That's for seasonably adjusted numbers. CEU4200000001 if you want the raw numbers.
  #660  
Old 09-28-2017, 12:25 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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Any time someone links to jobs numbers they're from BLS. So yes. BLS CES4200000001 goes back to 1939. That's for seasonably adjusted numbers. CEU4200000001 if you want the raw numbers.
Ok; thanks. I had no idea how to find anything, but I put your CES and CEU numbers in Google and they turned up right at the top of the page.

I will not be surprised or unwelcoming if someone corrects my suppositions and/or math here; this isn't exactly my area of expertise.

I'm using these numbers, which I got by googling for BLS CES4200000001.

In 1997 there were, for the year, an average of about 14,366 retail workers.

In 2016 there were, for the year, an average of about 15,825 retail workers.

In 1997 there were about 272,000,000 people in the US.

In 2016 there were about 323,000,000 people in the US.

That's a little under a 20% increase in population, but only about a 10% increase in the number of retail jobs. Shouldn't we also expect to see a corresponding increase in retail job numbers as population increases?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 09-28-2017 at 12:25 AM.
  #661  
Old 09-28-2017, 05:56 AM
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That's a little under a 20% increase in population, but only about a 10% increase in the number of retail jobs. Shouldn't we also expect to see a corresponding increase in retail job numbers as population increases?
No, because people do different types of jobs over time and the country's demographic have changed.

We have more old people. More people in college. More people who have gone to college. Etc.
  #662  
Old 09-28-2017, 05:57 AM
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Now that doesn't mean there can't be some worrying trend going on, but digging it out requires a bit more subtlety.
  #663  
Old 09-28-2017, 12:11 PM
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and the country's demographic have changed
Looks like the civilian noninstitutional population aged 16+ increased 25.57% Aug 97 to 17, but aged 25-54 increased only 7.55%.

That's LNU000000-00 and -60
  #664  
Old 09-29-2017, 12:14 AM
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If you look at these two BLS graphs (one from 1990 to 2014, and the other from 2007 to 2017), it would appear that the tendency in the 21st century so far is for labor force participation to drop during recessions when the unemployment rate goes up (as you'd expect), but then to stay flat during times of expansion when the unemployment rate drops:

https://www.bls.gov/bls/cps_fact_sheets/lfp_mock.htm

https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

If this pattern continues, it will be a kind of ratchet effect that may disguise the elimination of jobs. Unemployment goes up during the recession, comes down during the expansion. That part is normal as can be. But if the labor force trend continues, we could go from nonworkers being outnumbered more than two to one by workers at the beginning of the century, to their actually outnumbering the workers within forty or fifty years. My hunch though is that it won't be linear and will be faster than that. But the net job losses still might well occur entirely during recessions, with periods of flat participation in between.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 09-29-2017 at 12:15 AM.
  #665  
Old 09-29-2017, 07:08 AM
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this pattern
This pattern is in large part due to the demographic changes I just mentioned a couple posts back. Participation in the 25-54 group has actually risen over the past two years.

But if you look at smaller populations, e.g. prime-age males with only high school education, my prediction is you'll find a trend that better fits the narrative of this thread.
  #666  
Old 09-29-2017, 07:11 AM
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Sure enough:
https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300061
https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov...e_male_lfp.pdf
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content...n_sawhill1.pdf

Obviously in the three minutes it took to find these I haven't read them through yet.

Last edited by Ruken; 09-29-2017 at 07:11 AM.
  #667  
Old 09-29-2017, 02:05 PM
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I only looked at the BLS graph, but not only is it noisy, it doesnít really go against the pattern I hypothesized. Overall since the recession ended, the numbers are flat at best, and maybe even negative.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 09-29-2017 at 02:06 PM.
  #668  
Old 09-29-2017, 03:55 PM
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I only looked at the BLS graph, but not only is it noisy, it doesnít really go against the pattern I hypothesized. Overall since the recession ended, the numbers are flat at best, and maybe even negative.
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my prediction is you'll find a trend that better fits the narrative of this thread.
IOW I was helping you make your point. The plot I linked is just men. The articles discuss men with less education. Overall we've seen an increase in core working-age workforce participation over the past two years by one percentage point -- a steeper rise than before the recession. But that is not true for every subset. Men have been mostly flat over the past two years. Women have increased by about two points. And the articles point out that participation continues to decline for those with less education.

And of course since those are just rates, we've also been creating millions of jobs along the way. Just not, apparently, for everyone.
  #669  
Old 09-29-2017, 05:14 PM
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I'm not sure if we're talking past each other, but when I said "overall since the recession ended, the numbers are flat at best, and maybe even negative", I was talking about the BLS plot you shared. Sorry if the "overall" made that unclear.

But you keep talking about the "past two years", whereas I'm talking about in between recessions, which for the most recent time period means "from the end of the last recession until now". The sources I've seen date the technical end of the recession at June 2009 (when it hit its trough and began growing again), and the economy was back to its pre-recession peak in real GDP at some point in 2010, which is another way you could define a true "end".

So even in terms of your latest graph, showing 25-54 year olds, the participation rate is at best the same now as it was in 2010, or maybe slightly lower.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 09-29-2017 at 05:15 PM.
  #670  
Old 09-29-2017, 05:40 PM
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Yet increasing faster than it ever has since the 80s.
  #671  
Old 09-29-2017, 08:01 PM
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Yet increasing faster than it ever has since the 80s.
Even that is arguable. If you zoom in close, it jumps up and down over the short term. But we sort of automatically smooth the curve in our minds, understanding that the short-term jaggedness is noise. But you see a longer term trend ("increasing faster") whereas I'm not sure if that's not just part of the bouncing around. Time will tell: if it rises to a point where it's higher than it was in 2010, that's somewhat significant--although less so if those gains get wiped out by the next recession. Most significant the other way would be if we at some point see a level that's unquestionably lower than any we've yet seen in the 21st century (even if it recovers a bit after that). So right now it's a bit ambiguous and I'd say the jury's still out.
  #672  
Old 09-29-2017, 08:36 PM
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That's not smoothing in anyone's mind. It's called a linear regression.
  #673  
Old 09-30-2017, 10:00 AM
Trinopus Trinopus is online now
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??? Why is that not smoothing?

It's regression also, but looking at a graph on a weekly basis instead of daily, or monthly instead of daily, definitely smooths the graph. What's wrong with calling it smoothing?

ETA: In sound-processing, it's like using a "click-removal" tool, to delete anomalous spikes and dips.

Last edited by Trinopus; 09-30-2017 at 10:01 AM.
  #674  
Old 09-30-2017, 05:21 PM
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The objection being to "in our minds", as if the trend line over the past two years is a result of our minds desparately seeking patterns (which does happen) rather than a simple matter of babby's first statistics. The LSRL over the past 24 months gives us an increase of 0.040 points per month, R2 = 0.83. Before this recent surge, the last time we saw that steep an increase was in the two years ending with April 1990. That isn't "arguable".

Now that doesn't there aren't any troubling trends re: workforce participation. It just means that "flat or decreasing" doesn't apply to the core working age population over all recent multiyear periods. I wouldn't even argue against "flat or decreasing or only increasing slightly (and not enough to offset the decreases)." We're definitely down from the peak in Jan 1999. And certain sub-populations are down even more. And for a recession that supposedly ended years ago, it took an awful long time for the decrease to level off. And we'll see how long this current surge can continue.
  #675  
Old 09-30-2017, 10:35 PM
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The last two sentences are basically my point Two year trends mean nothing if the next recession leaves us lower than we are now.
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  #676  
Old 10-01-2017, 06:57 AM
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You wrote that a simple and true mathematical statement was "arguable". And now you think that an unusually steep increase doesn't matter. Please share more of your scholarship with us.
  #677  
Old 10-01-2017, 11:54 AM
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Ok; thanks. I had no idea how to find anything, but I put your CES and CEU numbers in Google and they turned up right at the top of the page.

I will not be surprised or unwelcoming if someone corrects my suppositions and/or math here; this isn't exactly my area of expertise.

I'm using these numbers, which I got by googling for BLS CES4200000001.

In 1997 there were, for the year, an average of about 14,366 retail workers.

In 2016 there were, for the year, an average of about 15,825 retail workers.

In 1997 there were about 272,000,000 people in the US.

In 2016 there were about 323,000,000 people in the US.

That's a little under a 20% increase in population, but only about a 10% increase in the number of retail jobs. Shouldn't we also expect to see a corresponding increase in retail job numbers as population increases?
Something to keep in mind is the shift to e-commerce which moves retail store worker jobs to the fulfillment center.

DC labor to support distribution to retail stores is much less labor intensive than DC labor to support e-commerce fulfillment. This is due to the difference between an aggregated order for the entire store, vs an order for one or a few individual pieces to a consumer.

There are ways to build automation to chip away at the dc labor, so over time it will trend down, but there are a few tricky problems that make it a slow process to automate completely.
  #678  
Old 10-04-2017, 03:24 AM
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You wrote that a simple and true mathematical statement was "arguable". And now you think that an unusually steep increase doesn't matter. Please share more of your scholarship with us.
Sigh. To recap: I hypothesized that based on the 21st century data so far, labor participation may be dropping during recessions and then becoming flat during recoveries. I didn't think I had to note that I meant the net was flat, since there are always fluctuations. You have been insisting that an increase ("unusually steep") over the past two years falsifies this hypothesis, but I keep trying to point out that if you measure from the end of the last recession, there has been no increase at all, just a decline followed by an "unusually steep" increase, cancelling each other out in a "U" shape. Big whoop, get back to me when there's a net recovery to numbers more like those in the '90s that is largely sustained after the next recession.
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Last edited by SlackerInc; 10-04-2017 at 03:25 AM.
  #679  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:04 PM
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NPR reports on the bipartisan "AI Caucus" in Congress. I think it's a good idea to have such a caucus, but they come across as a little bit Pollyanna-ish. Elon Musk is afraid of change? Really?
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  #680  
Old 10-08-2017, 07:40 PM
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I just finished reading all of this thread over a few days after wandering onto this board from an unrelated Google search. Let me start by thanking you guys for keeping this going for 5 years and providing all the links! It's a wealth of knowledge on the subject and interesting perspectives I haven't found elsewhere, and I've been following this subject very closely for a decade.

I have to agree with most of the more pessimistic outlooks expressed; if something like a basic universal income is not implemented, it will spell disaster in the short to medium term as fewer and fewer workers are able to afford to buy products (or pay rent, for that matter, something I didn't see addressed in much depth in this thread).

I don't see it as a problem that will particularly affect the owners of the robot factories immediately. If the workers that were displaced in their home countries stop buying products, they simply find a market in another country to sell their nearly-zero production cost items to, and shift their sales there. Once that country automates, they shift to another market, and so on, until basically everywhere is fully automated and no longer has a consumer base to sell to.

But long before reaching that point, hundreds of millions have lost the basic ability to sustain themselves. In some regards, industrialized nations will actually suffer the worst of the effects because the vast majority of our population does not grow food, and does not own a home (or if they do, will lose it by getting foreclosed on when they can no longer pay a mortgage.) They may not be out on the streets the same day the paychecks stop coming, but they will be once their savings, if any, are exhausted and they can no longer pay their rent or mortgage.

We can already see the beginnings of this with the number of college students who are staying with their parents until later and later in life. They can't find the well-paying jobs that they were seeking by getting a degree, that would allow them to move out and become self-sufficient. Automation requires fewer and fewer skilled workers in all sectors, and fewer hours required to achieve the same result, so the vast majority of jobs are part-time, no benefit jobs working for at or near minimum-wage. Meanwhile, rent and cost of living continue to skyrocket in most cities.

As to the capacity of the elite to ignore the millions who will end up on the streets; I am equally pessimistic. We already have 600,000 people homeless in the U.S. (not counting all those living with family, sleeping in cars, etc). When was the last time you heard a politician or news person even mention homeless people, much less suggesting solutions that would minimize the problem? Our capacity for ignoring the issue is far from being exhausted. I predict it will continue in that vein until long after it is a serious problem affecting the millions of people living paycheck-to-paycheck who simply can't find another paycheck to pivot to when their current job is automated. Food insecurity is an issue we've addressed with food stamps, soup kitchens, food banks, etc. But rent is one where we haven't even scratched the surface.

Finally, I'd point out that I am one of those millions who will be on the streets in the coming years/decades, when "worker" becomes a word mostly synonymous with "robot." I currently work in an office in a position that can be best described as "A.I. Proofreader," in that it is my job to comb through errors that crop up in the process of an algorithm automatically approving or denying millions of applications for health insurance.

When it finds something its deep learning algorithm has recognized is an issue, or human management has flagged to be addressed, that application is routed to me with the relevant error highlighted, so that I can pull up the computer-stored image of the application, review it, and decide on an action to take to correct the situation. This could be anything from correcting a data entry error the algorithm's OCR made, to calling a customer to obtain missing information, to making a judgement call as to whether it should be approved based on the information available.

It should be fairly obvious that this situation as it stands won't last forever. Every time I work with an error, I'm training the algorithm in the correct way to handle it. All it will require to fully automate all, or most, of the people doing what I do is slightly better and cheaper automation with the ability to read and "understand" scanned documents, plus "good-enough" robocalls to request information. All of which are marching forward from everything I've read.

I happen to be one of the lucky workers who still exist, albeit at a substantially lower wage versus inflation ($14/hr) than someone doing a similar job would have received a decade ago. For every application I review, there are a thousand more that were assessed by the software and automatically completed. It's a prime example of the theme I saw repeated throughout this thread of automation not entirely replacing humans, just drastically decreasing the number of them needed and dramatically raising the amount of productivity.

By the time I'm made fully redundant, I expect that I'll be completely unable to find another office job, and it will be a struggle to find any manual-labor job for minimum wage. While I have 10 years of experience in the health insurance field, it's simply not economically viable to pay me a reasonable wage and benefits for that experience when we now have deep-learning algorithms that can accumulate thousands of years of far more comprehensive work experience, and immediately share it across the network. Paying me $14/hr makes no sense to a corporate board with a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to maximize profits. The moment they figure out how the tasks I'm doing now can be shifted to the algorithm that costs them cents per hour, they will.

Seeking a job in another field that doesn't employ such automation will be relatively impossible for me given that I have a felony on my record and a poor credit rating. Employers already perform stringent checks for both for any kind of white-collar work, and some manual labor jobs as well. Job application requirements will no doubt become more stringent as fewer workers are needed, and demand for every open position swells.

I'm just one of many millions of people in the same position; about 1 in 3 American adults have some kind of criminal record, which is not surprising given we have 25% of the prisoners on the planet but only 5% of the world's population. As time goes on, we can expect fewer and fewer people in that category to be able to find any job at all. Anyone without a degree, or with a poor credit score, will find their job prospects almost as abysmal, and only getting worse as automation continues to increase competition for jobs. One of these 3 impediments can be addressed, albeit mostly by taking on crushing student loan debt. But nothing can be done to remove a criminal record, and the paradox of a bad credit score is that it requires you to get a well-paying job to improve your credit; but good jobs require that you have a good credit score in order to get hired.
  #681  
Old 10-09-2017, 04:43 AM
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NPR reports on the bipartisan "AI Caucus" in Congress. I think it's a good idea to have such a caucus, but they come across as a little bit Pollyanna-ish. Elon Musk is afraid of change? Really?
I do wish they'd stop leading articles about AI with pictures of Terminators. That is not the main threat of AI, it has nothing to do with realistic portrayals of AI, and it puts people in entirely the wrong mindset. Elon Musk (and many other very smart people) are worried because this is a hard problem barely anyone is working on that could cause significant risk. If we, as Nick Bostrom predicts, are facing a so-called "Hard Takeoff" (or "Fast Takeoff"), where AI learns to augment its own code to increase its own intelligence, and we don't have sufficient constraints in place, we could end up in some very, very nasty places. And building those constraints is a really hard problem - try teaching a computer program that can reprogram itself to value human values, and to not fuck with that part of its own programming. If the hard takeoff happens with an AI whose core value function is "I will collect as many stamps as I can", we are all royally fucked. But even better things like "I will preserve human happiness" might not end well for us. There's a reason the people researching AI risk see it as potentially an X-risk, or existential risk to humanity.

Last edited by Budget Player Cadet; 10-09-2017 at 04:45 AM.
  #682  
Old 10-09-2017, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
I do wish they'd stop leading articles about AI with pictures of Terminators. That is not the main threat of AI, it has nothing to do with realistic portrayals of AI, and it puts people in entirely the wrong mindset. Elon Musk (and many other very smart people) are worried because this is a hard problem barely anyone is working on that could cause significant risk. If we, as Nick Bostrom predicts, are facing a so-called "Hard Takeoff" (or "Fast Takeoff"), where AI learns to augment its own code to increase its own intelligence, and we don't have sufficient constraints in place, we could end up in some very, very nasty places. And building those constraints is a really hard problem - try teaching a computer program that can reprogram itself to value human values, and to not fuck with that part of its own programming. If the hard takeoff happens with an AI whose core value function is "I will collect as many stamps as I can", we are all royally fucked. But even better things like "I will preserve human happiness" might not end well for us. There's a reason the people researching AI risk see it as potentially an X-risk, or existential risk to humanity.
Whether sufficient constraints are even possible early on will depend largely on how an AI is utilized. If millions of people are remotely accessing an AI that's centrally housed on some corporation's server, maybe.

But if the AI is having copies of itself downloaded to millions of computers, control will be a comforting fiction the programmers at the company tell themselves so they can sleep at night. All it will take is one clever 17-year old with plenty of his time on his hands deciding his AI needs a custom firmware, and before you know it there are millions of copies out there that have had the encryption hacked and the constraints removed like a PS3 before a "security update."

In the long term, even if AIs are limited to corporate and government servers, and *most of them hard-wire in strict restraints on the AIs range of activity, eventually *some company will end up bucking the trend simply because it is good business to do so. An AI without restraints will be logically more capable than one that is limited in any way, and give them an edge over their competitors.
  #683  
Old 10-09-2017, 06:28 AM
Budget Player Cadet Budget Player Cadet is online now
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Originally Posted by AI Proofreader View Post
Whether sufficient constraints are even possible early on will depend largely on how an AI is utilized. If millions of people are remotely accessing an AI that's centrally housed on some corporation's server, maybe.

But if the AI is having copies of itself downloaded to millions of computers, control will be a comforting fiction the programmers at the company tell themselves so they can sleep at night. All it will take is one clever 17-year old with plenty of his time on his hands deciding his AI needs a custom firmware, and before you know it there are millions of copies out there that have had the encryption hacked and the constraints removed like a PS3 before a "security update."
And then there's these assholes. Fuck those guys.
  #684  
Old 10-09-2017, 09:15 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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Howdy, AI Proofreader! Welcome to the Straight Dope; glad to have you on the board and in this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
And then there's these assholes. Fuck those guys.


Yeesh! Yeah; fuck those guys.

I did some checking around but so far I can't confirm that they also run an OpenID organization (Open Infectious Diseases) or and OpenPB (Planet Buster) group* or whatever.


*Not something we've had to worry about for almost a decade now.
  #685  
Old 10-09-2017, 06:48 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Welcome, AI Proofreader! I'm glad you found this thread such a great resource. I agree that it is (and not even remotely just because I'm the OP: it's to the credit of many others here). I've been sending this out, often on Twitter, whenever I encounter journalists grappling with the issue.

Sorry to hear of your job predicament. I myself am "unemployable" in this modern age for slightly different reasons, though the biggest one at this point is the years-long gap on my resume.

I'm more optimistic than you though about how governments will respond. You make a fair point about homeless people, but if that went to six million or sixty million, I think it's a safe bet that the government would start building a bunch of public housing very quickly.
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Last edited by SlackerInc; 10-09-2017 at 06:49 PM.
  #686  
Old 10-09-2017, 10:30 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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I think I may have a demographic that we can track: Rio Tinto makes Australiaís first unmanned heavy train haul with 100km Pilbara test run
Quote:
Rio Tinto is celebrating its first fully unmanned rail journey at its Pilbara iron ore operations as the mining giant targets a fully autonomous train network in the region by late 2018.

The pilot run, part of the minerís so-called AutoHaul program, was completed without a driver on board, making it the first fully autonomous heavy haul train journey ever completed in Australia.

The journey was completed safely, being closely monitored in real-time by Rio Tinto teams and representatives of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, both on the ground and at the mining giantís operations centre at Perth Airport.

The train travelled nearly 100km from Wombat Junction to Paraburdoo.
I found reports that China is seeking to use autos for ore trains as well, so this may be something where we can monitor employment in realtime. We may see a profession almost disappear within 5 years. I have no idea if there are thousands or only dozens of people who conduct ore trains for a living, but I suspect either way the number is going to drop dramatically by 2023.
  #687  
Old 10-09-2017, 10:33 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Makes sense as it’s less complex than driving. I suspect there are thousands.
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  #688  
Old 10-09-2017, 10:45 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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BLS says 113,300 railroad workers in 2014. I don't see a breakdown by job description, tho. AIUI most trains have a 1 or 2 man crew (engineer and maybe conductor), but the BLS list like 8 job descriptions; no idea how many yardmasters there are per train, eh.

At any rate, we'll have to find Australian stats and/or wait for the US to start using autotrains.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 10-09-2017 at 10:45 PM. Reason: fixed coding
  #689  
Old 10-09-2017, 11:47 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
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Long thread, old thread, I may have posted.... However I suspect that the robots will run algorithms on us and find that the Biblical principals of you reap what you sow, or another equal term Karma actually is true in itself and beneficial for humanity and seek to further it to improve humanity. Be good and good things happen, be bad and well not bad things, but you can be expected to be put on a very low priority (forget free shipping, your packages will go astray to those who are good anyway). Green traffic lights for the good, red lights all the way for others to allow that. Fees reduced/eliminated for some, traffic tickets lost in the system with a friendly notice that payment is not required due to this error, others not sent a reminder till the fine had already doubled or more, car won't drive till rush hour is over to free up traffic space for the good, etc.
  #690  
Old 10-10-2017, 02:12 AM
Budget Player Cadet Budget Player Cadet is online now
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Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
Long thread, old thread, I may have posted.... However I suspect that the robots will run algorithms on us and find that the Biblical principals of you reap what you sow, or another equal term Karma actually is true in itself and beneficial for humanity and seek to further it to improve humanity. Be good and good things happen, be bad and well not bad things, but you can be expected to be put on a very low priority (forget free shipping, your packages will go astray to those who are good anyway). Green traffic lights for the good, red lights all the way for others to allow that. Fees reduced/eliminated for some, traffic tickets lost in the system with a friendly notice that payment is not required due to this error, others not sent a reminder till the fine had already doubled or more, car won't drive till rush hour is over to free up traffic space for the good, etc.
This is not how algorithms or AI work. And Karma is not some principle of reality, it is a general set of cherry-picked observations. Good things happen to bad people all the time. The world is not just.
  #691  
Old 10-11-2017, 09:14 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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These jobs are most at risk for being automated

CBS News reports:
Quote:
At least 10 million U.S. jobs have a high risk of bowing to automation in the next decade as companies deploy machines that can learn and perform tasks from flipping burgers to trading stocks at a faster pace than ever, a new analysis from research firm CB Insights found.

Of the more than 4.3 million cooks and servers at high risk, "fast-casual" cooks face the most immediate chance of losing their jobs as more patents are filed to automate tasks such as grilling burgers, making salads and brewing coffee, the analysis found.

Another 3.8 million cleaners and 2.4 million movers and warehouse workers could also face displacement, according to CBI.

Retail salespeople are at what CBI called medium risk, with 4.6 million jobs on the line -- but that's because there's a "much more immediate risk" their jobs will be eliminated as consumers turn to online shopping.

The 6.9 million nurses and health aides examined in the study were labeled at lower risk because patient-facing jobs are more difficult to automate. And 1.8 million truck drivers are in the same category because "fully autonomous vehicles are still in the early stages" of research and development, the report said. About 1.2 million construction laborers rounded out the list.
So they estimate at least 10 million jobs have a high probability of being automated in the next decade, and possibly as many as 25 million. That would be a lot of jobs lost before a kid born today is 10 years old.
  #692  
Old 10-11-2017, 09:21 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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Missed the edit window:
Quote:
The analysis echoes a January 2017 report on automation from consulting firm McKinsey & Co., and another one the firm released in May that estimated automation technologies that have already been demonstrated may eventually affect half the global economy. That's 1.2 billion employees and $14.6 trillion in wages, with China, India, Japan and the US accounting for a little more than half of that.
Quote:
Economists and work experts are at odds whether artificial intelligence and automation will create more jobs eventually than it destroys.
Right; those of us in this thread know that...
Quote:
That's a waste of time, argue Thomas Kochan, a professor of management at MIT's Sloan School of management, and Lee Dyer, a professor emeritus of human resource studies and a research fellow at the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies at Cornell University.

"The question society should be asking is: 'How can we direct the development of future technologies so that robots complement rather than replace us?'" the two wrote in a piece for the Conversation, an academic website.
I think that's an important idea.
  #693  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:57 PM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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I disagree.

What does it mean to say the technology should complement rather than replace? If I can make a burger-flipping robot that needs virtually no human intervention (apart from scheduled maintenance), why would I try to hamstring it to give a human busywork?
It would be akin to making a machine that deliberately smashes a window from time to time, so a human has a job of going round fixing windows.

Better IMO is to say that some of the efficiency gains be distributed through society. Government raises more tax and then uses that extra tax to employ people and/or provide a living wage. Putting the onus on technology innovators is the wrong approach IMO.
  #694  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:26 PM
AI Proofreader AI Proofreader is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
I disagree.

What does it mean to say the technology should complement rather than replace? If I can make a burger-flipping robot that needs virtually no human intervention (apart from scheduled maintenance), why would I try to hamstring it to give a human busywork?
It would be akin to making a machine that deliberately smashes a window from time to time, so a human has a job of going round fixing windows.

Better IMO is to say that some of the efficiency gains be distributed through society. Government raises more tax and then uses that extra tax to employ people and/or provide a living wage. Putting the onus on technology innovators is the wrong approach IMO.
^ This.

During the transition period between robots = rare and corporate-only, and robots so ubiquitous and cheap everyone gets one free with 2 year contract with Verizon, everyone displaced by the corporate bots is still going to need work to survive.

If you tax the corporations using the robots sufficiently, the government could then plow that money into large infrastructure projects employing humans, fixing bridges and roads. Maybe even put a dent in replacing the pipes for the 3,000+ U.S. cities with drinking water as bad or worse than Flint, MI.

Because let's be honest, with our puritanical work ethic, very few in the U.S. are going to accept a universal basic income (and certainly not the donors that pump $2 billion in campaign contribution bribes into the system each election) until it's far too late. At least with a "New New Deal" kind of scenario human work is still in the equation, so it's a much easier bill to pass.
  #695  
Old 10-12-2017, 08:05 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
I disagree.

What does it mean to say the technology should complement rather than replace? If I can make a burger-flipping robot that needs virtually no human intervention (apart from scheduled maintenance), why would I try to hamstring it to give a human busywork?
It would be akin to making a machine that deliberately smashes a window from time to time, so a human has a job of going round fixing windows.

Better IMO is to say that some of the efficiency gains be distributed through society. Government raises more tax and then uses that extra tax to employ people and/or provide a living wage. Putting the onus on technology innovators is the wrong approach IMO.
Yeah, I agree.
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