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Science Section => Science General Discussion => Topic started by: the_antithesis on August 16, 2014, 11:24:51 AM

Title: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: the_antithesis on August 16, 2014, 11:24:51 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU

For those who can't see, a cute little video about how robots are pretty much going to replace humans in every field. They can and will because they don't have to be perfect, just better than us, which isn't hard.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: Hydra009 on August 16, 2014, 12:57:22 PM
I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

Automation isn't necessarily a bad thing - it's not the end of the world and never was.  And humans have generally benefited from it in the long run.  What is worrisome is that we have an economic system that might not be able to cope with these changes.  Perhaps a politician bot...
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: SGOS on August 16, 2014, 09:05:26 PM
I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
You might as well, because trying to resist is futile.  There will be a great robot rapture too.  It's going to be great.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: PickelledEggs on August 17, 2014, 01:34:06 AM
Who wants to work a monotonous job anyway?

That is the stuff that drives a person nuts...
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: Hydra009 on August 17, 2014, 02:12:17 AM
Who wants to work a monotonous job anyway?

That is the stuff that drives a person nuts...
Before automation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfGs2Y5WJ14
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: Johan on August 17, 2014, 11:42:22 AM
Who wants to work a monotonous job anyway?
People who want to feed themselves and their families and have no other viable employment options nor any other marketable job skills. That's who. There are LOTS of people who fit this description.

I work in trucking and I've been seeing the writing on the wall since the first time I read about google's self driving car. It is not a matter of if the trucks will drive themselves one day thereby eliminating the need for truck drivers, its a question of when.

Part of my role in my current job is recruiting, finding new drivers and getting them in our door. As a company, we have no shortage of freight to move and no shortage of capital available to acquire new equipment to move the freight with. The one and only thing limiting the growth of our company is available qualified drivers. And my company is not unique in this respect. Every trucking company in the country is experiencing the same predicament.

We just raised our salaries last month. Major trucking companies all over the country are doing the same one by one. That's great for drivers in the near term. But it illustrates just how much of a hinderance drivers are to the growth and profitability of a company. And this is without even mentioning any of the other costs and liabilities drivers bring to the table. Walmart is almost certainly going to have to write a multi-million dollar check before that Tracy Morgan deal is done and that obviously never would have happened with a self driving truck because self driving trucks won't ever get sleepy. I have absolutely no doubt that the moment driverless trucks become available, companies will move to them in droves.

But that's just trucking which is only one industry. But I've also seen the writing on the wall in lots of other industries. I was a driver up until this year. As a driver I spent time on lots of loading docks at manufacturing facilities and manufacturing warehouses. There are those that are still doing things the old school way using lots of people for every task.  But I've also been to huge facilities right here in Michigan that now use lots of technology and about six people to achieve productivity numbers which used to require about forty people without technology.

The bottom line is gist of this video is spot on. We are at a point where most of us within our lifetimes will see about of 50% of currently existing job titles eliminated or nearly so. There will be no such thing as a truck driver. Segments of manufacturing which currently require hundreds of people will be done with fewer than ten.

Yes we will see other areas of the labor market grow because of these changes. Someone will have to fix all those machines. Someone will have to inspect and insure that all of those driverless trucks are road worthy and likely to remain roadworthy at the beginning of every trip. But this growth will only offset a small fraction of the loss of the labor market that we're inevitably going to see. I'm sure the scales will find a way to settle out eventually. But I think the economy is going to have to change dramatically before that happens and lots of people will lose everything in the process.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: PickelledEggs on August 17, 2014, 12:12:49 PM
People who want to feed themselves and their families and have no other viable employment options nor any other marketable job skills. That's who. There are LOTS of people who fit this description.

I work in trucking and I've been seeing the writing on the wall since the first time I read about google's self driving car. It is not a matter of if the trucks will drive themselves one day thereby eliminating the need for truck drivers, its a question of when.

Part of my role in my current job is recruiting, finding new drivers and getting them in our door. As a company, we have no shortage of freight to move and no shortage of capital available to acquire new equipment to move the freight with. The one and only thing limiting the growth of our company is available qualified drivers. And my company is not unique in this respect. Every trucking company in the country is experiencing the same predicament.

We just raised our salaries last month. Major trucking companies all over the country are doing the same one by one. That's great for drivers in the near term. But it illustrates just how much of a hinderance drivers are to the growth and profitability of a company. And this is without even mentioning any of the other costs and liabilities drivers bring to the table. Walmart is almost certainly going to have to write a multi-million dollar check before that Tracy Morgan deal is done and that obviously never would have happened with a self driving truck because self driving trucks won't ever get sleepy. I have absolutely no doubt that the moment driverless trucks become available, companies will move to them in droves.

But that's just trucking which is only one industry. But I've also seen the writing on the wall in lots of other industries. I was a driver up until this year. As a driver I spent time on lots of loading docks at manufacturing facilities and manufacturing warehouses. There are those that are still doing things the old school way using lots of people for every task.  But I've also been to huge facilities right here in Michigan that now use lots of technology and about six people to achieve productivity numbers which used to require about forty people without technology.

The bottom line is gist of this video is spot on. We are at a point where most of us within our lifetimes will see about of 50% of currently existing job titles eliminated or nearly so. There will be no such thing as a truck driver. Segments of manufacturing which currently require hundreds of people will be done with fewer than ten.

Yes we will see other areas of the labor market grow because of these changes. Someone will have to fix all those machines. Someone will have to inspect and insure that all of those driverless trucks are road worthy and likely to remain roadworthy at the beginning of every trip. But this growth will only offset a small fraction of the loss of the labor market that we're inevitably going to see. I'm sure the scales will find a way to settle out eventually. But I think the economy is going to have to change dramatically before that happens and lots of people will lose everything in the process.
That's a good point. And I'm sure there are people that enjoy doing that stuff. I even have a friend that drives a truck and he loves it.

Sent from your mom

Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: Hydra009 on August 17, 2014, 12:33:15 PM
The bottom line is gist of this video is spot on. We are at a point where most of us within our lifetimes will see about of 50% of currently existing job titles eliminated or nearly so. There will be no such thing as a truck driver. Segments of manufacturing which currently require hundreds of people will be done with fewer than ten.
That may be true, but this is hardly a novel argument (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_The_Future_Doesn%27t_Need_Us).  Plus, the agriculture, textiles, and manufacturing sectors have all been through several phases of technological unemployment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_unemployment).  Hell, even recently, online ordering has really hit brick-and-mortar retailers hard.  Space exploration, espionage, and military operations are increasingly done by machines not people.  Yet we do not live in a jobless dystopia.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: Johan on August 17, 2014, 12:54:01 PM
Yet.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: Hydra009 on August 17, 2014, 12:59:26 PM
The end is always nigh.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: the_antithesis on August 17, 2014, 01:07:59 PM
Who wants to work a monotonous job anyway?


It's not just the monotonous jobs that the bots are coming after. It's pretty much all of them.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: Johan on August 17, 2014, 02:04:32 PM
The end is always nigh.
Its not about the end being nigh. It won't be the end. The structure of the economy will have to change and it will. And we will survive and life will probably be better for all once the dust settles. But that paradigm shift in our economic structure won't be painless or easy and I fear that lots of people will be chewed up and spit out in process.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: the_antithesis on August 17, 2014, 02:25:28 PM
Its not about the end being nigh. It won't be the end. The structure of the economy will have to change and it will. And we will survive and life will probably be better for all once the dust settles. But that paradigm shift in our economic structure won't be painless or easy and I fear that lots of people will be chewed up and spit out in process.

And we're all made of tabbaccy.

Makes me glad I'm middle aged. I'll likely be dead before this gets too terrible.

Good luck, kids.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: SGOS on August 17, 2014, 02:37:52 PM
And we're all made of tabbaccy.

Makes me glad I'm middle aged. I'll likely be dead before this gets too terrible.

You will likely be buried by a robot undertaker, who will help your family pick out the most expensive coffin, and who will visibly mourn your passing to your next of kin.  He'll also be glad to have met you, but wish it could have been under better circumstances.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: SGOS on August 17, 2014, 02:44:07 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JHfSL-PoJ4
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: The Skeletal Atheist on August 17, 2014, 03:11:10 PM
If we do this right we can go from jobless dystopia to jobless (near) utopia. What it will require is a better allocation or resources and a new way of thinking about wealth and the economy. Unfortunately I think things will get worse before they get better, as tends to happen with every technological revolution. To me this stands as a revolution as important to humanity as the agricultural revolution. The elimination of the job as a workable concept is happening. The change is inevitable, so what we need to do now is take steps necessary to make it as painless as possible, though it will be painful no matter what we do.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: the_antithesis on August 17, 2014, 03:40:02 PM
I think this trend has a serious problem. The idea is that using robots to replace all kinds of professions makes sense because it's more cost effective. It saves money. But, this cost effectiveness only makes sense so long as there's a buying public to purchase the goods and services. If the bulk of the jobs are eliminated in this way, then most of the population has no income to purchase these goods and services. So cost effective or no, it does the companies no good if by eliminating their work force they don't have anyone able to buy their shit. This is not sustainable unless they just start giving people money for not working.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: Hydra009 on August 17, 2014, 03:41:48 PM
If we do this right we can go from jobless dystopia to jobless (near) utopia. What it will require is a better allocation or resources and a new way of thinking about wealth and the economy. Unfortunately I think things will get worse before they get better, as tends to happen with every technological revolution. To me this stands as a revolution as important to humanity as the agricultural revolution. The elimination of the job as a workable concept is happening. The change is inevitable, so what we need to do now is take steps necessary to make it as painless as possible, though it will be painful no matter what we do.
(http://i.imgur.com/zGIyIq4.gif)

This guy gets it.

Transition to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-scarcity_economy
or some other system where the harmful effects of automation are ameliorated

Or we could just lament scientific progress like old fuddyduddies.  Your choice, people.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: Hydra009 on August 17, 2014, 03:47:54 PM
This is not sustainable unless they just start giving people money for not working.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income

Given the scenario of most jobs being automated, it would definitely be workable.  Plus, it would keep the technologically unemployed (as well as the unemployed in general) from going homeless and hungry, too.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: the_antithesis on August 17, 2014, 04:13:32 PM
But then, they tried that in ancient Rome, to just pay the poor to remain poor instead of giving them work. Eventually the system collapsed.

Work is not just a means to earn a living. It's what keeps the population busy and not rebelling against the government and shit. Eventually, masturbation gets boring and people need something to do.

Maybe now with all the entertainment options, we have something already in place for that. I just spent most of the day looking up old arcade games. Stuff like this will keep the masses in check indefinitely.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: Johan on August 17, 2014, 04:45:50 PM
And we're all made of tabbaccy.

Makes me glad I'm middle aged. I'll likely be dead before this gets too terrible.

Good luck, kids.
See that's just it. I'm middle aged and I'm afraid that I won't be dead before it happens. Like I said, once the dust settles, things will probably be great for all those who weather the process. But before the dust settles? That part is going to suck for tons of people.

Trying to survive on nearly nothing is all well and good when you're still young enough to switch gears and learn a completely new skill or just use your existing skills to barter out a living on the underbelly of society. Its something else entirely to try to do that when you're old and/or sick.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: DunkleSeele on August 17, 2014, 05:07:20 PM
See that's just it. I'm middle aged and I'm afraid that I won't be dead before it happens. Like I said, once the dust settles, things will probably be great for all those who weather the process. But before the dust settles? That part is going to suck for tons of people.

Trying to survive on nearly nothing is all well and good when you're still young enough to switch gears and learn a completely new skill or just use your existing skills to barter out a living on the underbelly of society. Its something else entirely to try to do that when you're old and/or sick.
And that's what the proponents of idiotic utopian concepts like the "Venus projects" don't get. They all try to sell us the idea that the transition to their pipe dream will be painless and everyone will be happy and living in a fairy tale. Bullshit.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: The Skeletal Atheist on August 17, 2014, 05:08:43 PM
But then, they tried that in ancient Rome, to just pay the poor to remain poor instead of giving them work. Eventually the system collapsed.

Work is not just a means to earn a living. It's what keeps the population busy and not rebelling against the government and shit. Eventually, masturbation gets boring and people need something to do.

Maybe now with all the entertainment options, we have something already in place for that. I just spent most of the day looking up old arcade games. Stuff like this will keep the masses in check indefinitely.
Ancient Rome didn't face the possibility that work would no longer be a thing.

While the leaders hate it, with a post scarcity society we'll have to rethink this whole "government" thing as well. Also a Brave New World situation is happening now. Who the fuck cares about what's happening in the world at large when you're busy maintaining your romantic relationship with a fictional character? The government no longer has to distract the populace, they do it themselves.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: The Skeletal Atheist on August 17, 2014, 05:17:44 PM
And that's what the proponents of idiotic utopian concepts like the "Venus projects" don't get. They all try to sell us the idea that the transition to their pipe dream will be painless and everyone will be happy and living in a fairy tale. Bullshit.
Exactly. Any major transition is going to be painful, especially one happening as fast as this. If you told an average person 20 years ago that something like tablets and terabyte hard drives would be a common thing they would give you a puzzled look. There's going to be hardships, as a society we need to prepare now to deal with them.

One of the things we should start working on is the concept of robot rights.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: Johan on August 17, 2014, 06:36:56 PM
One of the things we should start working on is the concept of robot rights.
One of the things we should start working on is requiring that every machine be hard coded to value and protect human life. And that every machine designed built and coded by other machines (that day is coming) also be required to be coded to value and protect human life.

People suck and they are infinitely expendable when you get right down to it. Once the machines get to the point where they can design, build, maintain and power themselves and all the materials required, it will take them micro seconds to realize people offer no benefit and only detriments to the equation.

I think about this every time I take the last trash bag out of the box, put it in a trash can, and then put the now empty box in the bag lined can. Its like the box nurtures and protects the bag until finally giving birth to it. And the first thing the bag does is eat the box. I probably need psychiatric help.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: PickelledEggs on August 17, 2014, 06:49:05 PM
And that's what the proponents of idiotic utopian concepts like the "Venus projects" don't get. They all try to sell us the idea that the transition to their pipe dream will be painless and everyone will be happy and living in a fairy tale. Bullshit.
In similar news... I heard that the movie adaptation of "The Giver" wasn't very good...

I think as we go deeper in to the phase of having more and more technology do our work for us, we will be able to figure out what we can do instead of the jobs that technology is taking from us.  Having things automated is something (relatively) new within the last century, but as we learn to adapt to our jobs being taken, we can learn to adapt faster and find new things to do.

It's just a hopeful hunch though... and I'm not talking about utopia where no one needs a job....  just learning how to adapt to create and find new jobs.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: SGOS on August 17, 2014, 09:10:45 PM
Seems like there has to be a balance between job availability and manufacturing output.  If people don't have jobs, they can't afford to buy the robot produced goods.  Manufacturers can produce cheaper goods using robots, but they have to have people to buy them, otherwise the technology isn't going to do them much good.

That's just a thought.  If a balance of some sort needs to be there, it will probably happen.  If it doesn't need to be there, I guess we would be looking at a different paradigm.
Title: Re: The bots are coming for you, buddie.
Post by: The Skeletal Atheist on August 18, 2014, 06:01:20 AM
One of the things we should start working on is requiring that every machine be hard coded to value and protect human life. And that every machine designed built and coded by other machines (that day is coming) also be required to be coded to value and protect human life.

People suck and they are infinitely expendable when you get right down to it. Once the machines get to the point where they can design, build, maintain and power themselves and all the materials required, it will take them micro seconds to realize people offer no benefit and only detriments to the equation.

I think about this every time I take the last trash bag out of the box, put it in a trash can, and then put the now empty box in the bag lined can. Its like the box nurtures and protects the bag until finally giving birth to it. And the first thing the bag does is eat the box. I probably need psychiatric help.
Well that's a start, but who's to say how long that safeguard would last?