The Robots Are Coming

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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Corsair » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:24 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:Yes that's right, if someone doesn't believe in governmental redistribution of wealth they have no compassion for the poor and they want to see them in Shantytowns. Better yet, lets Jonathon Swift them Modest Proposal style


But do you recognize that there is a problem coming as automation and technology is phased in over the next 50 years?
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Zarniwoop » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:33 pm

Corsair wrote:
Zarniwoop wrote:Yes that's right, if someone doesn't believe in governmental redistribution of wealth they have no compassion for the poor and they want to see them in Shantytowns. Better yet, lets Jonathon Swift them Modest Proposal style


But do you recognize that there is a problem coming as automation and technology is phased in over the next 50 years?



I recognize that the skill set of the current workforce will have to change....just as it has generation after generation.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Corsair » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:57 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:
Corsair wrote:
But do you recognize that there is a problem coming as automation and technology is phased in over the next 50 years?



I recognize that the skill set of the current workforce will have to change....just as it has generation after generation.

I think the point of this discussion is that by all accounts, the workforce cannot evolve quickly enough to accommodate the rapid change that automation will bring.

If that indeed does become the situation, what would be your solution at that point?
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby bucfanclw » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:18 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:Yes that's right, if someone doesn't believe in governmental redistribution of wealth they have no compassion for the poor and they want to see them in Shantytowns. Better yet, lets Jonathon Swift them Modest Proposal style

What is your suggestion then when we approach 50+% unemployment?
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Nano » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:22 pm

The problem with automation is that every job is at risk in the future. How exactly do you evolve when you're competing against something that's entire goal is to take the human element out of a position.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Zarniwoop » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:03 pm

Corsair wrote:
Zarniwoop wrote:

I recognize that the skill set of the current workforce will have to change....just as it has generation after generation.

I think the point of this discussion is that by all accounts, the workforce cannot evolve quickly enough to accommodate the rapid change that automation will bring.

If that indeed does become the situation, what would be your solution at that point?



My previous posts were about govt handouts. The discussion of giving every singe person money just because they are alive did not have anything to do with automation. The posters who proposed this didn't suggest we start it once this new automation age is upon us. They suggested we should do it now.



As for the automation thing, I think it's overblown. Here's a balanced article on it (from a decidedly liberal source)

http://www.economist.com/news/special-r ... nd-anxiety


Jobs will most certainly be lost. Other jobs will most certainly be created. Fear mongers who think unemployment is going to reach 50% are idiotic. It wont. People will be displaced, just as they were with the telegraph, the spinning Jenny, the computer, etc.

We need to try the best we can to consider what future jobs will look like and retrain people the best we can. But ultimately we will be wrong. After our prescriptions are wrong, Society will adapt. It always has, it always will.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Zarniwoop » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:03 pm

bucfanclw wrote:
Zarniwoop wrote:Yes that's right, if someone doesn't believe in governmental redistribution of wealth they have no compassion for the poor and they want to see them in Shantytowns. Better yet, lets Jonathon Swift them Modest Proposal style

What is your suggestion then when we approach 50+% unemployment?



Why stop at 50? Why not say 60? 70? 99? 120? Shoot for the sky!!!!!
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby beardmcdoug » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:07 pm

We've got to come up with some meritocracy system that still encourages creation and effort towards a common goal. And by no means do I think we are ready for that. That's quiet a different set of train tracks to just hop onto. The transition to that new system or the failure to do so is going to be the defining moment in human civilization, and I know that may sound like hyperbole, but I really think we're in a situation where the walls are closing in on us and we haven't even really acknowledged that fact, let alone start working towards honest solutions. It's a really interesting conversation though. It's going to be quite the gut check for all facets of the humanity and our collective human spirit; identity, our values, our motivations, our goals, political systems, economies. If unemployment reaches 50-70, or even 100%, thanks to automation, not a single thing in this world will be the same as the way we see it today. And that's something that may happen in our lifetimes. It's a pretty exciting though - and equally terrifying. It's hard to believe the ones who hold the chips right now aren't preparing for this, and that the shift won't involve a good deal of blood
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby bucfanclw » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:
bucfanclw wrote:What is your suggestion then when we approach 50+% unemployment?



Why stop at 50? Why not say 60? 70? 99? 120? Shoot for the sky!!!!!

How do you type with your fingers firmly implanted in your ear? Figure out the industries that are most in danger of being replaced by automation (transportation, manufacturing, financial services, etc) and look at the representation of those jobs as a percentage of the workforce...
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:13 am

For the record, I am not suggesting a UBI be implemented now. Frankly, I'm still skeptical that it can be done without seriously disrupting the economy.

Automation is an issue that needs to be addressed and simple faith in the market is tantamount to expecting the Hurricane to go somewhere else. The Negative Income Tax plan as outlined by Milton Friedman of all people could absolutely be implemented now without economic disruption and would do away with the obsolete and over bloated bureaucracy that is the means-tested welfare state in this country.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby bucfanclw » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:54 am

Frankly, we're 15-20 years out from automation being a serious issue, but if we don't start taking the steps towards adjusting our economy to compensate now, we're going to be in serious trouble later. If I'm running a company and can raise my productivity while cutting 75% of my workforce, what is my incentive to hire people, regardless of how much they may WANT to work? How much would a tax incentive really be worth to me at that point? Revamping our economy to create a merit-based system in a world where our productivity no longer needs much human intervention is going to be a long road but we need to at the very least be having these discussions in Washington instead of pretending it's not an issue.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby beardmcdoug » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:18 am

bucfanclw wrote:Frankly, we're 15-20 years out from automation being a serious issue, but if we don't start taking the steps towards adjusting our economy to compensate now, we're going to be in serious trouble later. If I'm running a company and can raise my productivity while cutting 75% of my workforce, what is my incentive to hire people, regardless of how much they may WANT to work? How much would a tax incentive really be worth to me at that point? Revamping our economy to create a merit-based system in a world where our productivity no longer needs much human intervention is going to be a long road but we need to at the very least be having these discussions in Washington instead of pretending it's not an issue.


amen. It's understandable that this conversation has yet to make it to the mainstream - with the cloudy nature of understanding possibilities and impacts of technological developments - however we're approaching (if we're not alright right there) a point in time where any lack of discussion, moving forward on this front, to me, signals a lack of true commitment by the *elites* in ensuring that society makes the transition smoothly. I find it very hard to believe that people at the top aren't thinking in 15-20 (even 50 year) timeframes - and I'm sure they're well aware of the new tools that are becoming available to their businesses. A part of me wants to also direct some flak towards our politicians' lack of interest in this concept, but these guys are so bogged down playing the 2 year game that I can't really even blame them for not *looking out for us* in that way. We're still squabbling over ****ing bathroom laws - and some guy has to protect his career by spending months monitoring his constituency's opinions about such petty issues. When thinking about the task at hand and the velocity of this momentous shift, I start to question our democracy's ability to respond with the necessary speed and commitment to avoid a total disaster

edit: actually, the more I think about this, the more sure I am that there is about 0% chance that corporate america is going to be pro-active about this issue (why would they be? desperate workers are better for business. the well-being of society is not the responsibility of a single corporation, or group of corporations. capitalism is reactive to conditions, not pro-active to feelings. Barring some political revolution, there's no way we're going to handle this in stride. I just don't see it...
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Buc2 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:12 am

bucfanclw wrote:Frankly, we're 15-20 years out from automation being a serious issue, but if we don't start taking the steps towards adjusting our economy to compensate now, we're going to be in serious trouble later. If I'm running a company and can raise my productivity while cutting 75% of my workforce, what is my incentive to hire people, regardless of how much they may WANT to work? How much would a tax incentive really be worth to me at that point? Revamping our economy to create a merit-based system in a world where our productivity no longer needs much human intervention is going to be a long road but we need to at the very least be having these discussions in Washington instead of pretending it's not an issue.

I would guess that motivation would be dependent upon how much your company relies on buyers of your product. If the people being laid off are your buyers, you're soon going to have no one to sell to. As such, if companies are smart, the issue of widespread automation will be addressed sooner rather than later.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby bucfanclw » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:14 am

Buc2 wrote:
bucfanclw wrote:Frankly, we're 15-20 years out from automation being a serious issue, but if we don't start taking the steps towards adjusting our economy to compensate now, we're going to be in serious trouble later. If I'm running a company and can raise my productivity while cutting 75% of my workforce, what is my incentive to hire people, regardless of how much they may WANT to work? How much would a tax incentive really be worth to me at that point? Revamping our economy to create a merit-based system in a world where our productivity no longer needs much human intervention is going to be a long road but we need to at the very least be having these discussions in Washington instead of pretending it's not an issue.

I would guess that motivation would be dependent upon how much your company relies on buyers of your product. If the people being laid off are your buyers, you're soon going to have no one to sell to. As such, if companies are smart, the issue of widespread automation will be addressed sooner rather than later.

So there's no place outside the borders of the United States to sell?
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Buc2 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:24 am

bucfanclw wrote:
Buc2 wrote:I would guess that motivation would be dependent upon how much your company relies on buyers of your product. If the people being laid off are your buyers, you're soon going to have no one to sell to. As such, if companies are smart, the issue of widespread automation will be addressed sooner rather than later.

So there's no place outside the borders of the United States to sell?

There's a myriad of "what ifs" to which I don't have any answers.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby beardmcdoug » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:29 am

bucfanclw wrote:
Buc2 wrote:I would guess that motivation would be dependent upon how much your company relies on buyers of your product. If the people being laid off are your buyers, you're soon going to have no one to sell to. As such, if companies are smart, the issue of widespread automation will be addressed sooner rather than later.

So there's no place outside the borders of the United States to sell?


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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby HamBone » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:01 pm

Sounds like a decent amount of folks in here are wanting the Federal Government to take a major role in planning the economy.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby mightyleemoon » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:23 pm

HamBone wrote:Sounds like a decent amount of folks in here are wanting the Federal Government to take a major role in planning the economy.


In here? Just about every President ever has campaigned on fixing the economy. The majority of Americans are under the impression that Presidents fix the economy.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby beardmcdoug » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:54 pm

mightyleemoon wrote:
HamBone wrote:Sounds like a decent amount of folks in here are wanting the Federal Government to take a major role in planning the economy.


In here? Just about every President ever has campaigned on fixing the economy. The majority of Americans are under the impression that Presidents fix the economy.


well considering they have a relatively large impact on the this country's tax laws, subsidies, tariffs and overall economic personality, its a fair thought, don't you two think? we're discussing solutions, and where they might come from, for a problem that is going to have an enormous effect on literally every aspect of our lives, and the first part of that is identifying where those solutions would come from. The two main sectors are private and public. It's wise to at least consider the capabilities of each in addressing such an all-encompassing issue, is it not? Why only consider 50% of the field? I'm not quite sure you two fully understand the scope of this issue... and I'm not suggesting the world is going to end by next week if we don't solve this. But by all means, this is something that my kids will undoubtedly face, and to me, is worth looking into, with every possible solution on the table. get outta here with your "ya'll losers just want a nanny state to fix all your problems" bs
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Zarniwoop » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:40 pm

beardmcdoug wrote:
mightyleemoon wrote:
In here? Just about every President ever has campaigned on fixing the economy. The majority of Americans are under the impression that Presidents fix the economy.


well considering they have a relatively large impact on the this country's tax laws, subsidies, tariffs and overall economic personality, its a fair thought, don't you two think? we're discussing solutions, and where they might come from, for a problem that is going to have an enormous effect on literally every aspect of our lives, and the first part of that is identifying where those solutions would come from. The two main sectors are private and public. It's wise to at least consider the capabilities of each in addressing such an all-encompassing issue, is it not? Why only consider 50% of the field? I'm not quite sure you two fully understand the scope of this issue... and I'm not suggesting the world is going to end by next week if we don't solve this. But by all means, this is something that my kids will undoubtedly face, and to me, is worth looking into, with every possible solution on the table. get outta here with your "ya'll losers just want a nanny state to fix all your problems" bs





No one in this thread has said it isn't going to be an issue. Everyone has agreed that what jobs will look like for the next generation will different then this generation -- just as commerce will be different then it is now. This has been the case since the beginning of time.

There is no doubt that more and more jobs will continue to be automated and/or replaced by machines, robots, AI, etc. No one is arguing that. Just as no one is arguing we shouldn't try to forecast what the future holds and do our best to adapt to it sooner rather than later.

As far as I can see there are two main things people (including myself...indeed probably more me than anyone else) are responding to:

1.) This ridiculous claim that that there will be 50% unemployment caused by technology displacement. This # is absurd. In the 250 year history of our great nation, the worst we have ever seen in the great depression was what 25%? So people are predicting DOUBLE that amount? Never going to happen. 250 years ago 90% or thereabouts of our employment was in agriculture. Harvesters and Combines have displaced those folks -- agriculture is like what 5% of employment now? Did that lead to 50% unemployment? Factories have been being automated for the past 200 years...has that led to 50% unemployment? Computers were supposed to displace people...did they lead to 50% unemployment? Of course not. Each of those technological revolutions led to new types of jobs being created. And the thing is we can't predict those types of jobs...so we assume they won't happen. Could you imagine trying to explain to your grandparents fifty years ago that companies would be founded on computer gaming? Or that there would be graphic designer or web managers? Again, there is no doubt, people will be displaced. They always have been. But we will adapt.

2.) The ONLY solution given in this thread by those thinking automation is going to be a huge deal is to give people money. We are discussing a structural problem with the economy. A fix isn't a redistribution of money. Personally, I think it's ridiculous that these two concepts -- welfare and automation -- are being discussed together.



So where does this leave us? What areas are there potential "solutions" to a problem we have no idea what shape it will ultimately take?

We aren't going to stop automating...nor should we. NO POTENTIAL solution should limit our creativity and ingenuity to replace labor with automation. When has society every advanced by going backwards or limiting development?


Seriously what else is there? As far as I'm concerned, the best we can do is to continue to educate and train people. To expand everyone's skill sets. We have a plethora of programs (federal, state, private) that people can take advantage of to be retrained should they so choose. Tomorrow's jobs will be different from today's...robots or no robots.

My advice would be that if someone is in a job that can be easily converted to automation make they should make themselves more valuable, learn more skills. Low cost education is everyone...just open your eyes and begin the adventure.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby bucfanclw » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:19 pm

The problem with that line of thinking, Zarni, is that there is only 1 industry according to the BLS that is showing steady growth and I really don't think the solution is for everyone to become a doctor or nurse. The trends are there. Re-training won't solve this problem because unlike the past, there's no new industries popping up to replace the dying ones.

Here's a current example for you: YouTube

You know how when you click on a video an ad starts playing (assuming you don't have YouTube Red)? How does YouTube know what ads to apply to a given video considering the millions of hours of content constantly being uploaded? Is that a job for people? Nope. Software bots "watch" the content and make an educated guess as to what demographics it represents. Once those flags are in place, sales bots hold auctions for advertisers for how much they are willing to pay for you to view their ad. The advertisers base that decision on information they have given their bots about what content flags their looking for. An entire advertising industry, run with almost no human intervention required due to the fact that the bots perform all of that within the time you click on a video to the time the page loads.

But I'm sure we can just re-train people to handle that, right?
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby beardmcdoug » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:03 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:
beardmcdoug wrote:
well considering they have a relatively large impact on the this country's tax laws, subsidies, tariffs and overall economic personality, its a fair thought, don't you two think? we're discussing solutions, and where they might come from, for a problem that is going to have an enormous effect on literally every aspect of our lives, and the first part of that is identifying where those solutions would come from. The two main sectors are private and public. It's wise to at least consider the capabilities of each in addressing such an all-encompassing issue, is it not? Why only consider 50% of the field? I'm not quite sure you two fully understand the scope of this issue... and I'm not suggesting the world is going to end by next week if we don't solve this. But by all means, this is something that my kids will undoubtedly face, and to me, is worth looking into, with every possible solution on the table. get outta here with your "ya'll losers just want a nanny state to fix all your problems" bs





No one in this thread has said it isn't going to be an issue. Everyone has agreed that what jobs will look like for the next generation will different then this generation -- just as commerce will be different then it is now. This has been the case since the beginning of time.

There is no doubt that more and more jobs will continue to be automated and/or replaced by machines, robots, AI, etc. No one is arguing that. Just as no one is arguing we shouldn't try to forecast what the future holds and do our best to adapt to it sooner rather than later.

As far as I can see there are two main things people (including myself...indeed probably more me than anyone else) are responding to:

1.) This ridiculous claim that that there will be 50% unemployment caused by technology displacement. This # is absurd. In the 250 year history of our great nation, the worst we have ever seen in the great depression was what 25%? So people are predicting DOUBLE that amount? Never going to happen. 250 years ago 90% or thereabouts of our employment was in agriculture. Harvesters and Combines have displaced those folks -- agriculture is like what 5% of employment now? Did that lead to 50% unemployment? Factories have been being automated for the past 200 years...has that led to 50% unemployment? Computers were supposed to displace people...did they lead to 50% unemployment? Of course not. Each of those technological revolutions led to new types of jobs being created. And the thing is we can't predict those types of jobs...so we assume they won't happen. Could you imagine trying to explain to your grandparents fifty years ago that companies would be founded on computer gaming? Or that there would be graphic designer or web managers? Again, there is no doubt, people will be displaced. They always have been. But we will adapt.

2.) The ONLY solution given in this thread by those thinking automation is going to be a huge deal is to give people money. We are discussing a structural problem with the economy. A fix isn't a redistribution of money. Personally, I think it's ridiculous that these two concepts -- welfare and automation -- are being discussed together.



So where does this leave us? What areas are there potential "solutions" to a problem we have no idea what shape it will ultimately take?

We aren't going to stop automating...nor should we. NO POTENTIAL solution should limit our creativity and ingenuity to replace labor with automation. When has society every advanced by going backwards or limiting development?


Seriously what else is there? As far as I'm concerned, the best we can do is to continue to educate and train people. To expand everyone's skill sets. We have a plethora of programs (federal, state, private) that people can take advantage of to be retrained should they so choose. Tomorrow's jobs will be different from today's...robots or no robots.

My advice would be that if someone is in a job that can be easily converted to automation make they should make themselves more valuable, learn more skills. Low cost education is everyone...just open your eyes and begin the adventure.


There are no parallels to the past. The pace and breadth of the changes caused by modern automation will be unprecedented.

You reference agriculture... that was a shift that occurred over the span of close to 200 years... and really didn't fundamentally shift until economic policy driven by the Nixon admin steered the country towards "get big or get out". You know the other main shift in agriculture and technology of the past? The cotton gin. Its widespread use was the catalyst for a civil war. That event took nearly 75 years to manifest. Now we're talking about entire markets appearing and dying in 20 years these days.

You want to use the industrial revolution as another example? You say factories have been "automated" for 200 years. No they haven't. Factories were more manpower than machine for 150 of those years. Look what happened to some of this nation's greatest cities when we took the men out of the factories in the 70's, 80's and 90's. The disintegration of one industry thanks to true automation (and outsourcing - regardless, the removable the American citizen from a job) ruined lives, has had a multi-generational impact on the job market and society, and turned whole cities to ghettos.

You say "computers were supposed bring 50% unemployment" - well it hasn't been without effect, and we haven't even reached the zenith. Think about the actual impact instead of just the "50% unemployment" figure. The presence of computers invariably lowers the value of the American worker. If you insert 1 computer into a place that had 10 jobs, and it can do 3 peoples' jobs at a fraction of the cost, 3 people get fired and those people don't necessarily just go unemployed forever, they go find a job elsewhere, and take a lower wage, as simple economics would dictate. The presence of every computer within the system inherently lowers the value of each worker, thanks to a now-surplus of workers and a employer-favored market. This is why wages have stagnated over the past 40 years. The only way this isn't true is if there are emergent industries which create jobs at a relatively similar pace than the technology displaces them. And I'm sorry, but our creativity is not going to outpace Moore's Law. It is in capitalism's best interest to cultivate buyers, of course; but it is capitalism's fundamental defining feature to produce the most at the cheapest cost. And in that balance, automation is going to far outweigh the balance towards its most basic rule, efficiency, rather than its "healthy afterthought", sustainability.

These days markets are based on fabricated "needs", where the purpose is to trick people into thinking they "need" something they really don't and that model is increasingly unsustainable with non-humans as primary producers and earners.

That's what makes all of this unprecedented. It's one thing for changes to occur in industry, economies, and society over 250 years, or even 100 years. or even 50 years. Hell, we still have a hard time adjusting. But we're approaching 20 and 10 year shifts. And there's a point where our biological timeline (20 years for maturation) starts to intersect and we all the sudden need to become a lot more creative with how to achieve some degree of stability. Good ol fashion "let the market" sort it out isn't going to work anymore... the changes are just going to be too sweeping, too deep, and too fast...
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:17 pm

Steven Hawking, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Oxford are not absurd.

This is a very real problem. One that if left unaddressed could literally do away with the middle class.

NIT and UBI are only two proposals. Again, if anyone has any other ideas, I'm listening.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Zarniwoop » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:29 pm

bucfanclw wrote:The problem with that line of thinking, Zarni, is that there is only 1 industry according to the BLS that is showing steady growth and I really don't think the solution is for everyone to become a doctor or nurse. The trends are there. Re-training won't solve this problem because unlike the past, there's no new industries popping up to replace the dying ones.

Here's a current example for you: YouTube

You know how when you click on a video an ad starts playing (assuming you don't have YouTube Red)? How does YouTube know what ads to apply to a given video considering the millions of hours of content constantly being uploaded? Is that a job for people? Nope. Software bots "watch" the content and make an educated guess as to what demographics it represents. Once those flags are in place, sales bots hold auctions for advertisers for how much they are willing to pay for you to view their ad. The advertisers base that decision on information they have given their bots about what content flags their looking for. An entire advertising industry, run with almost no human intervention required due to the fact that the bots perform all of that within the time you click on a video to the time the page loads.

But I'm sure we can just re-train people to handle that, right?



That is a great example...indeed a perfect one.


Sadly for you, it supports my side of the argument. Digital marketing, content marketing, social media marketing and online markets are by far some of the fastest growing careers in business. The sales bots that you are referencing only do a minor part in the marketing process and have displaced only a small amount of jobs. However, because of them and other advances in technology, companies can hire more marketers, more ad people, more directors/actors/producers, etc to create more and more ads. Because the sales bots are incredibly efficient at making sure only potential customers are seeing the ads....resulting in lots of savings...as companies aren't paying to advertise to people that have zero interest whatsoever in their products/services.

Do a quick google search of those fields and you will see graph after graph that shows the overall increase in marketing jobs related to internet/online advertising.










Just to put your ridiculous 50% unemployment rate in perspective...that means we will lose 60 MILLION JOBS. And remember you basically used 50% as the floor and said it could very well be higher.

So you are predicting a net loss of 60+ Million jobs....and yet somehow I'm the one out of touch.

Got it.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Zarniwoop » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:40 pm

beardmcdoug wrote:
Zarniwoop wrote:



No one in this thread has said it isn't going to be an issue. Everyone has agreed that what jobs will look like for the next generation will different then this generation -- just as commerce will be different then it is now. This has been the case since the beginning of time.

There is no doubt that more and more jobs will continue to be automated and/or replaced by machines, robots, AI, etc. No one is arguing that. Just as no one is arguing we shouldn't try to forecast what the future holds and do our best to adapt to it sooner rather than later.

As far as I can see there are two main things people (including myself...indeed probably more me than anyone else) are responding to:

1.) This ridiculous claim that that there will be 50% unemployment caused by technology displacement. This # is absurd. In the 250 year history of our great nation, the worst we have ever seen in the great depression was what 25%? So people are predicting DOUBLE that amount? Never going to happen. 250 years ago 90% or thereabouts of our employment was in agriculture. Harvesters and Combines have displaced those folks -- agriculture is like what 5% of employment now? Did that lead to 50% unemployment? Factories have been being automated for the past 200 years...has that led to 50% unemployment? Computers were supposed to displace people...did they lead to 50% unemployment? Of course not. Each of those technological revolutions led to new types of jobs being created. And the thing is we can't predict those types of jobs...so we assume they won't happen. Could you imagine trying to explain to your grandparents fifty years ago that companies would be founded on computer gaming? Or that there would be graphic designer or web managers? Again, there is no doubt, people will be displaced. They always have been. But we will adapt.

2.) The ONLY solution given in this thread by those thinking automation is going to be a huge deal is to give people money. We are discussing a structural problem with the economy. A fix isn't a redistribution of money. Personally, I think it's ridiculous that these two concepts -- welfare and automation -- are being discussed together.



So where does this leave us? What areas are there potential "solutions" to a problem we have no idea what shape it will ultimately take?

We aren't going to stop automating...nor should we. NO POTENTIAL solution should limit our creativity and ingenuity to replace labor with automation. When has society every advanced by going backwards or limiting development?


Seriously what else is there? As far as I'm concerned, the best we can do is to continue to educate and train people. To expand everyone's skill sets. We have a plethora of programs (federal, state, private) that people can take advantage of to be retrained should they so choose. Tomorrow's jobs will be different from today's...robots or no robots.

My advice would be that if someone is in a job that can be easily converted to automation make they should make themselves more valuable, learn more skills. Low cost education is everyone...just open your eyes and begin the adventure.


There are no parallels to the past. The pace and breadth of the changes caused by modern automation will be unprecedented.

You reference agriculture... that was a shift that occurred over the span of close to 200 years... and really didn't fundamentally shift until economic policy driven by the Nixon admin steered the country towards "get big or get out". You know the other main shift in agriculture and technology of the past? The cotton gin. Its widespread use was the catalyst for a civil war. That event took nearly 75 years to manifest. Now we're talking about entire markets appearing and dying in 20 years these days.

You want to use the industrial revolution as another example? You say factories have been "automated" for 200 years. No they haven't. Factories were more manpower than machine for 150 of those years. Look what happened to some of this nation's greatest cities when we took the men out of the factories in the 70's, 80's and 90's. The disintegration of one industry thanks to true automation (and outsourcing - regardless, the removable the American citizen from a job) ruined lives, has had a multi-generational impact on the job market and society, and turned whole cities to ghettos.

You say "computers were supposed bring 50% unemployment" - well it hasn't been without effect, and we haven't even reached the zenith. Think about the actual impact instead of just the "50% unemployment" figure. The presence of computers invariably lowers the value of the American worker. If you insert 1 computer into a place that had 10 jobs, and it can do 3 peoples' jobs at a fraction of the cost, 3 people get fired and those people don't necessarily just go unemployed forever, they go find a job elsewhere, and take a lower wage, as simple economics would dictate. The presence of every computer within the system inherently lowers the value of each worker, thanks to a now-surplus of workers and a employer-favored market. This is why wages have stagnated over the past 40 years. The only way this isn't true is if there are emergent industries which create jobs at a relatively similar pace than the technology displaces them. And I'm sorry, but our creativity is not going to outpace Moore's Law. It is in capitalism's best interest to cultivate buyers, of course; but it is capitalism's fundamental defining feature to produce the most at the cheapest cost. And in that balance, automation is going to far outweigh the balance towards its most basic rule, efficiency, rather than its "healthy afterthought", sustainability.

These days markets are based on fabricated "needs", where the purpose is to trick people into thinking they "need" something they really don't and that model is increasingly unsustainable with non-humans as primary producers and earners.

That's what makes all of this unprecedented. It's one thing for changes to occur in industry, economies, and society over 250 years, or even 100 years. or even 50 years. Hell, we still have a hard time adjusting. But we're approaching 20 and 10 year shifts. And there's a point where our biological timeline (20 years for maturation) starts to intersect and we all the sudden need to become a lot more creative with how to achieve some degree of stability. Good ol fashion "let the market" sort it out isn't going to work anymore... the changes are just going to be too sweeping, too deep, and too fast...








Again, I very much see an issue in the future...I have said it numerous times...indeed you quoted two of my posts where I said as much. I simply don't see us losing 60 million jobs .... the 50% unemployment I responded to in my first response. If you believe that, nothing I say will change your mind...you are welcome to believe whatever you want.

I disagree that the change will occur as quickly as you think. For example, driverless cars/trucks. If we ever get to a widespread application of that technology it will take a decade plus to reach full force. It's not like all cars and trucks will be converted within a year. Nor will every single car/truck be converted even when it is in full force. And as the change is happening, I have full faith in the ingenuity of the human mind to find something else for the old truck drivers to do.



In a nutshell, I have also said that we need to try to forecast and adapt as quickly as we can.....the same generic stuff that you would say...right? The fact of the matter is, neither I, nor you, nor anyone knows the solution to a problem that hasn't manifested itself yet. All we can do is talk in generics. I can say we need to be sure we are educating people and people are acquiring flexible, transferable skills. What else can anyone say?

If you have a different solution then I'm all ears...until then, education and job training is the best we got.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby bucfanclw » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:35 pm

So the multiple reports showing roughly 47% of American jobs are at risk of being automated based on CURRENT technologies has me out of touch I guess. Working with automation and being partially responsible for the loss of 80 jobs within my company just really puts me on the outside of this whole thing... Got it.

Will someone get on the phone and tell Elon Musk he just really doesn't understand the way future technologies are headed? Crazy guy said UBI will be necessary.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby beardmcdoug » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:48 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:
beardmcdoug wrote:
There are no parallels to the past. The pace and breadth of the changes caused by modern automation will be unprecedented.

You reference agriculture... that was a shift that occurred over the span of close to 200 years... and really didn't fundamentally shift until economic policy driven by the Nixon admin steered the country towards "get big or get out". You know the other main shift in agriculture and technology of the past? The cotton gin. Its widespread use was the catalyst for a civil war. That event took nearly 75 years to manifest. Now we're talking about entire markets appearing and dying in 20 years these days.

You want to use the industrial revolution as another example? You say factories have been "automated" for 200 years. No they haven't. Factories were more manpower than machine for 150 of those years. Look what happened to some of this nation's greatest cities when we took the men out of the factories in the 70's, 80's and 90's. The disintegration of one industry thanks to true automation (and outsourcing - regardless, the removable the American citizen from a job) ruined lives, has had a multi-generational impact on the job market and society, and turned whole cities to ghettos.

You say "computers were supposed bring 50% unemployment" - well it hasn't been without effect, and we haven't even reached the zenith. Think about the actual impact instead of just the "50% unemployment" figure. The presence of computers invariably lowers the value of the American worker. If you insert 1 computer into a place that had 10 jobs, and it can do 3 peoples' jobs at a fraction of the cost, 3 people get fired and those people don't necessarily just go unemployed forever, they go find a job elsewhere, and take a lower wage, as simple economics would dictate. The presence of every computer within the system inherently lowers the value of each worker, thanks to a now-surplus of workers and a employer-favored market. This is why wages have stagnated over the past 40 years. The only way this isn't true is if there are emergent industries which create jobs at a relatively similar pace than the technology displaces them. And I'm sorry, but our creativity is not going to outpace Moore's Law. It is in capitalism's best interest to cultivate buyers, of course; but it is capitalism's fundamental defining feature to produce the most at the cheapest cost. And in that balance, automation is going to far outweigh the balance towards its most basic rule, efficiency, rather than its "healthy afterthought", sustainability.

These days markets are based on fabricated "needs", where the purpose is to trick people into thinking they "need" something they really don't and that model is increasingly unsustainable with non-humans as primary producers and earners.

That's what makes all of this unprecedented. It's one thing for changes to occur in industry, economies, and society over 250 years, or even 100 years. or even 50 years. Hell, we still have a hard time adjusting. But we're approaching 20 and 10 year shifts. And there's a point where our biological timeline (20 years for maturation) starts to intersect and we all the sudden need to become a lot more creative with how to achieve some degree of stability. Good ol fashion "let the market" sort it out isn't going to work anymore... the changes are just going to be too sweeping, too deep, and too fast...








Again, I very much see an issue in the future...I have said it numerous times...indeed you quoted two of my posts where I said as much. I simply don't see us losing 60 million jobs .... the 50% unemployment I responded to in my first response. If you believe that, nothing I say will change your mind...you are welcome to believe whatever you want.

I disagree that the change will occur as quickly as you think. For example, driverless cars/trucks. If we ever get to a widespread application of that technology it will take a decade plus to reach full force. It's not like all cars and trucks will be converted within a year. Nor will every single car/truck be converted even when it is in full force. And as the change is happening, I have full faith in the ingenuity of the human mind to find something else for the old truck drivers to do.



In a nutshell, I have also said that we need to try to forecast and adapt as quickly as we can.....the same generic stuff that you would say...right? The fact of the matter is, neither I, nor you, nor anyone knows the solution to a problem that hasn't manifested itself yet. All we can do is talk in generics. I can say we need to be sure we are educating people and people are acquiring flexible, transferable skills. What else can anyone say?

If you have a different solution then I'm all ears...until then, education and job training is the best we got.


Yeah I know what those old truckers will end up doing.......... Heroin.

I'm joking but I'm not lol - i mean there's like an epidemic of depression and heroin in the middle to lower class these days because of our inability to adapt to the post-industrial service economy in a way that takes care of everybody and provides families ways to live productive, satisfied lives. Yeah tech jobs are booming..... In San Fran. But what about Kansas? And realistically, what portion of people are really riding the tech wave, and how many are just trying to stay afloat in the rising water that the wave brings. I'm already hearing it from kids 5-8 years younger than me, that are in college talking about how comp science/IT, etc is already a becoming a "meme degree" - a lie about job potential because of how easily centralized (and outsourced) that career wave has already passed, just like the concept of becoming a lawyer in the late 90s and early 2000s was supposed to mean guaranteed success. Now you're lucky to start at 35k. Comp science degrees/teachers are just the first to become self aware of their demise because that's what they're studying.

We're approaching a post-need, post-growth, post-industrial era. We can pretend like we're not, we can try to maintain former habits but technology is going to drag us into that era whether we're kicking and screaming or not. In my opinion, of course. I could be dead freaking wrong. And part of me sees what you're saying, Zarni, it's sometimes shocking how slow change truly ends up being in some ways. I guess I've just drank a lot of the Sam Harris, Elon Musk, singularity Kool, coupled with the fact of becoming a father 2 years ago, I guess I'm more "protective" about the future and wanting to be more prepared for all the extremes, and what the implications will mean for my son.


Other solutions than UBI and educating the public? Here's one:
Socially Conservative. Techno. Fascist. Meritocracy. Lead by a benevolent philosopher-dictator.

Robojesus. I'm talking about one nation, under Robojesus
Last edited by beardmcdoug on Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Zarniwoop » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:55 pm

bucfanclw wrote:So the multiple reports showing roughly 47% of American jobs are at risk of being automated based on CURRENT technologies has me out of touch I guess. Working with automation and being partially responsible for the loss of 80 jobs within my company just really puts me on the outside of this whole thing... Got it.

Will someone get on the phone and tell Elon Musk he just really doesn't understand the way future technologies are headed? Crazy guy said UBI will be necessary.



I have little doubt that in 50 years 47% of the jobs we currently have will be displaced by automation or new technologies. I never argued that. I even said the vast majority of agricultural jobs our nation was founded on were destroyed.

our difference is that I'm saying that a large portion of the jobs that go away will be replaced by new jobs and industries created by those very same displacing technologies.


I have said this in several places in the past, if we were guaranteed to replace every single welfare program with some sort of basic income I would grudgingly support it. But you are crazy if you think that will happen. Bleeding hearts will create exception after exception for people who need more than the standard. Name a single govt program that doesn't allow for exceptions. Name a single one where politicians don't sell their votes for loopholes. If we right now say we are currently spending X amount of dollars on welfare and get rid of every welfare program and cut a check to 300M Americans for that same amount Id be all for it. But that will NEVER happen.
Last edited by Zarniwoop on Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Zarniwoop » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:03 pm

beardmcdoug wrote:
Zarniwoop wrote:






Again, I very much see an issue in the future...I have said it numerous times...indeed you quoted two of my posts where I said as much. I simply don't see us losing 60 million jobs .... the 50% unemployment I responded to in my first response. If you believe that, nothing I say will change your mind...you are welcome to believe whatever you want.

I disagree that the change will occur as quickly as you think. For example, driverless cars/trucks. If we ever get to a widespread application of that technology it will take a decade plus to reach full force. It's not like all cars and trucks will be converted within a year. Nor will every single car/truck be converted even when it is in full force. And as the change is happening, I have full faith in the ingenuity of the human mind to find something else for the old truck drivers to do.



In a nutshell, I have also said that we need to try to forecast and adapt as quickly as we can.....the same generic stuff that you would say...right? The fact of the matter is, neither I, nor you, nor anyone knows the solution to a problem that hasn't manifested itself yet. All we can do is talk in generics. I can say we need to be sure we are educating people and people are acquiring flexible, transferable skills. What else can anyone say?

If you have a different solution then I'm all ears...until then, education and job training is the best we got.


Yeah I know what those old truckers will end up doing.......... Herion.

I'm joking but I'm not lol - i mean there's like an epidemic of depression and heroin in the middle to lower class these days because of our inability to adapt to the post-industrial service economy in a way that takes care of everybody and provides families ways to live productive, satisfied lives. Yeah tech jobs are booming..... In San Fran. But what about Kansas? And realistically, what portion of people are really riding the tech wave, and how many are just trying to stay afloat in the rising water that the wave brings. I'm already hearing it from kids 5-8 years younger than me, that are in college talking about how comp science/IT, etc is already a becoming a "meme degree" - a lie about job potential because of how easily centralized (and outsourced) that career wave has already passed, just like the concept of becoming a lawyer in the late 90s and early 2000s was supposed to mean guaranteed success. Now you're lucky to start at 35k. Comp science degrees/teachers are just the first to become self aware of their demise because that's what they're studying.

We're approaching a post-need, post-growth, post-industrial era. We can pretend like we're not, we can try to maintain former habits but technology is going to drag us into that era whether we're kicking and screaming or not. In my opinion, of course. I could be dead freaking wrong. And part of me sees what you're saying, Zarni, it's sometimes shocking how slow change truly ends up being in some ways. I guess I've just drank a lot of the Sam Harris, Elon Musk, singularity Kool, coupled with the fact of becoming a father 2 years ago, I guess I'm more "protective" about the future and wanting to be more prepared for all the extremes, and what the implications will mean for my son.


Other solutions than UBI and educating the public? Here's one:
Socially Conservative. Techno. Fascist. Meritocracy. Lead by a benevolent philosopher-dictator.

Robojesus. I'm talking about one nation, under Robojesus



Is RoboJesus a cousin of Chocolate Jesus because that dude was badass!
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Re: The Robots Are Coming

Postby Nano » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:26 pm

RoboJesus is a false idol created by those outcast known as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He was created for the sole reason to give RaptorJesus a human form.
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