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Rise of the Robots watch

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    There have been many false starts in the claim that machines will render most of us unemployed but there are signs that we are, finally, on the cusp of an era in which automation, AI and advanced robotics are looming over us with this threat. Increasingly, stories about research suggest that even professional decision-making activities such as those undertaken by medical specialists and lawyers are about to fall victim to algorithmic self-learning systems which can outperform even well-educated humans.

    Defenders of the advances in such labour technologisation (I might have made that word up) usually tell us that as some employment sectors are handed over to machines so new sectors open up for actual humans. But maybe there are only so many new sectors that can open up and isn't it usually the case that new sectors are themselves highly automated anyway?

    The possibility of tens (hundreds?) of thousands of lorry drivers, supermarket assistants and call-centre workers being rendered unnecessary in a matter of a decade or two would be significant enough but AI might allow the replacement of much more than that.

    The obvious block on this scenario is that mass unemployment would lead to a shrinking of markets - unemployed people don't generally have the same spending power as those who are waged so the process of such 'advance' has a self-defeating quality to it.

    What do you think?
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    Well the ideal situation is obviously using robots leads to greater production at reduced cost resulting in a lower cost of living. Jobs can then be split up, so everyone can work less hours at what jobs remain and still live comfortable lives.

    Would be pretty neat if we can pull it off.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    Well the ideal situation is obviously using robots leads to greater production at reduced cost resulting in a lower cost of living. Jobs can then be split up, so everyone can work less hours at what jobs remain and still live comfortable lives.

    Would be pretty neat if we can pull it off.
    That's probably what the end goal will be. But it's the transition period that's going to be somewhat of a mess. When robots take over 50% of the jobs, for example, where is 50% of the population going to go? And what are they going to do?
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    (Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
    That's probably what the end goal will be. But it's the transition period that's going to be somewhat of a mess. When robots take over 50% of the jobs, for example, where is 50% of the population going to go? And what are they going to do?
    Well the remaining 50% is going to realise everything is so damn cheap these days, wonder what the hell they're doing wasting 5 days a week in an office and ask for part time hours.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    Well the remaining 50% is going to realise everything is so damn cheap these days, wonder what the hell they're doing wasting 5 days a week in an office and ask for part time hours.
    How will society function when everyone leaves there jobs? Or, those who are unemployed, how will they keep a roof over their heads and food on the table with no money?
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    (Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
    How will society function when everyone leaves there jobs? Or, those who are unemployed, how will they keep a roof over their heads and food on the table with no money?
    Where did I say everyone would leave their jobs? I said they'd ask for part time contracts, which would then open up working hours for those who are unfortunate enough to have found themselves unemployed.

    Tbh it almost seems like your purposefully twisting my words just so you can make ludicrous claims.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    Where did I say everyone would leave their jobs? I said they'd ask for part time contracts, which would then open up working hours for those who are unfortunate enough to have found themselves unemployed.

    Tbh it almost seems like your purposefully twisting my words just so you can make ludicrous claims.
    I'm not purposefully twisting anything. It's my fault that I decided to reply before fully reading your comment, I apologise, but that didn't merit such a defensive response. I was merely questioning, didn't have any intention to come off aggressively.

    I see a few problems with your idea.

    1. Going part time doesn't mean cutting your hours by 50%. The people filling up that time will not be able to earn as much to adequately survive.

    2. Some people, lot of people in fact, won't want to leave their jobs entirely. With everything getting cheaper, people will stay full time on tbe job so they can buy even more stuff.

    3. Uneducated or unskilled people can't fill in highly specialized jobs e.g. a doctor. In the same branch, highly specialised people won't want to fill in unskilled jobs.

    There are many other issues, but those are the main ones.
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    (Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
    I'm not purposefully twisting anything. It's my fault that I decided to reply before fully reading your comment, I apologise, but that didn't merit such a defensive response. I was merely questioning, didn't have any intention to come off aggressively.

    I see a few problems with your idea.

    1. Going part time doesn't mean cutting your hours by 50%. The people filling up that time will not be able to earn as much to adequately survive.

    2. Some people, lot of people in fact, won't want to leave their jobs entirely. With everything getting cheaper, people will stay full time on tbe job so they can buy even more stuff.

    3. Uneducated or unskilled people can't fill in highly specialized jobs e.g. a doctor. In the same branch, highly specialised people won't want to fill in unskilled jobs.

    There are many other issues, but those are the main ones.
    Full time contracts are normally roughly 40 hours a week. Most part time contracts are 20. They're already pretty much designed to have two people equating to one.

    Once again, I never said anything about people leaving their jobs entirely. I imagine the majority of the younger generation, which lets be fair, is who counts here, would rather keep their earnings and work half the hours instead of doubling their earnings.

    And no, by and large your third point holds true, but that applies today as well and we have little problem balancing employment.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    Full time contracts are normally roughly 40 hours a week. Most part time contracts are 20. They're already pretty much designed to have two people equating to one.

    Once again, I never said anything about people leaving their jobs entirely. I imagine the majority of the younger generation, which lets be fair, is who counts here, would rather keep their earnings and work half the hours instead of doubling their earnings.

    And no, by and large, your third point holds true, but that applies today as well and we have little problem balancing employment.
    1. Ok fair enough.

    2. The younger generation is the generation that needs to work the most. How else are they going to afford to buy highly desirable items that every millennial strives for? Car, house? Younger generations simply cannot afford to go part-time. Many also have to pay back student loans. Stating that the younger generations would half their work hours for less income is verifiably false as they're the ones most in need of it.

    3. I'm not sure what you were trying to say here.
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    (Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
    1. Ok fair enough.

    2. The younger generation is the generation that needs to work the most. How else are they going to afford to buy highly desirable items that every millennial strives for? Car, house? Younger generations simply cannot afford to go part-time. Many also have to pay back student loans. Stating that the younger generations would half their work hours for less income is verifiably false as they're the ones most in need of it.

    3. I'm not sure what you were trying to say here.
    You seem to be entirely missing the point. By working less you won't actually have less money as I wrote in my post. That's the entire basis of this concept. If you're not even going to bother reading what I write there's no point in having this discussion.

    And all I was saying is how it's an entirely moot point.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    You seem to be entirely missing the point. By working less you won't actually have less money as I wrote in my post. That's the entire basis of this concept. If you're not even going to bother reading what I write there's no point in having this discussion.

    And all I was saying is how it's an entirely moot point.
    'By working less you won't have less money'. Explain to me how that works. Also, you said this actually:

    "so everyone can work less hours at what jobs remain and still live comfortable lives."

    You've still yet to address my rebuttal to your youth statement.

    And I'm astounded you think the most important point is moot. What jobs get taken away by mechanisation? Menail job e.g. miners, hairdressers etc. Who works these jobs? People who aren't very specialised, don't have degrees or didn't pursue higher education.

    When doctors, lawyers, engineers half their working hours according to you, you think that these people with no degree in medicine, law or engineering can fill in the gaps? That's lunacy. There will almost certainly be job shortages, and there almost certainly will be great unemployment.
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    (Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
    'By working less you won't have less money'. Explain to me how that works. Also, you said this actually:

    "so everyone can work less hours at what jobs remain and still live comfortable lives."

    You've still yet to address my rebuttal to your youth statement.

    And I'm astounded you think the most important point is moot. What jobs get taken away by mechanisation? Menail job e.g. miners, hairdressers etc. Who works these jobs? People who aren't very specialised, don't have degrees or didn't pursue higher education.

    When doctors, lawyers, engineers half their working hours according to you, you think that these people with no degree in medicine, law or engineering can fill in the gaps? That's lunacy. There will almost certainly be job shortages, and there almost certainly will be great unemployment.
    People don't have to lower their quality of living because everything costs less. Again, this is the entire basis for this premise and has been mentioned previously in this thread. And what I said that you replied to is this "keep their earnings and work half the hours instead of doubling their earnings" Please learn to read. This in itself covers your issues with the youth statement.

    What jobs get taken away by mechanisation? Everything from builders to Drs. You really think there'll be as much need for Drs when everyone has an app on their phone with a health tracker either worn or implanted that can constantly record body temp, blood oxygen, sleep patterns etc. Do you have any idea what percentage of conditions can be diagnosed purely by having high resolution body temp data? And this will only increase when big data is bought into the equation.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    People don't have to lower their quality of living because everything costs less. Again, this is the entire basis for this premise and has been mentioned previously in this thread. And what I said that you replied to is this "keep their earnings and work half the hours instead of doubling their earnings" Please learn to read. This in itself covers your issues with the youth statement.

    What jobs get taken away by mechanisation? Everything from builders to Drs. You really think there'll be as much need for Drs when everyone has an app on their phone with a health tracker either worn or implanted that can constantly record body temp, blood oxygen, sleep patterns etc. Do you have any idea what percentage of conditions can be diagnosed purely by having high resolution body temp data? And this will only increase when big data is bought into the equation.
    I did read what you said. Sure everything costs less. Houses are reduced for 400k to 350k great. There is still going to be expensive, desirable stuff that people want. How do they get it? By continuing to work.

    This entire conversation was being had on the backdrop of robots taking 50% of jobs - I laid out the parameters for the debate. If that is so, then highly specialised careers such as DOCTORS, LAWYERS AND ENGINEERS have not been mechanised yet. Specialised careers will always be the last ones to get mechanised because they, alas, are the most difficult to mechanise.

    As for the bottom 1/3 of your comment, It's nothing more than hypothetical drivel. Can't really discuss anything when your response is going to shove some non-existent utopia in my face.
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    (Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
    I did read what you said. Sure everything costs less. Houses are reduced for 400k to 350k great. There is still going to be expensive, desirable stuff that people want. How do they get it? By continuing to work.

    This entire conversation was being had on the backdrop of robots taking 50% of jobs - I laid out the parameters for the debate. If that is so, then highly specialised careers such as DOCTORS, LAWYERS AND ENGINEERS have not been mechanised yet. Specialised careers will always be the last ones to get mechanised because they, alas, are the most difficult to mechanise.

    As for the bottom 1/3 of your comment, It's nothing more than hypothetical drivel. Can't really discuss anything when your response is going to shove some non-existent utopia in my face.
    The idea of robots taking any jobs they haven't already is "hypothetical drivel" as you put it. Your magic 50% number is nothing but hypothetical drivel. Your assumption that a house 3D printed in days by a robot will only costs 12.5% less than one built over weeks by a team of builders is nothing but hypothetical drivel. That's all discussions about the future ever are. If you can't understand that then you're right, there's no point in discussing anything with you.

    Oh, and btw, diagnosis from temperature profiles is far from hypothetical drivel. Using big data to make diagnosis easier is far from hypothetical drivel.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    The idea of robots taking any jobs they haven't already is "hypothetical drivel" as you put it. Your magic 50% number is nothing but hypothetical drivel. Your assumption that a house 3D printed in days by a robot will only costs 12.5% less than one built over weeks by a team of builders is nothing but hypothetical drivel. That's all discussions about the future ever are. If you can't understand that then you're right, there's no point in discussing anything with you.

    Oh, and btw, diagnosis from temperature profiles is far from hypothetical drivel.
    At least I attempted to actually deploy pragmatism and realism into my answers. Your answers to all my stipulations were simply 'hurr durr robots will take care of everything'. It's simply anti-intellectual and devoid of any topical sustenance, but if it's truly what you believe then all the power to you. And yes, let's end this.
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    (Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
    At least I attempted to actually deploy pragmatism and realism into my answers. Your answers to all my stipulations were simply 'hurr durr robots will take care of everything'. But great, lets end it.
    There is nothing even remotely unrealistic about anything I said, but w/e, if you can't understand it not my problem.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    There is nothing even remotely unrealistic about anything I said, but w/e, if you can't understand it not my problem.
    I apologise for not being able to understand incoherent and baseless arguments. Deepest, deepest apologies.
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    (Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
    I apologise for not being able to understand incoherent and baseless arguments. Deepest, deepest apologies.
    I guess they may seem that way when you can't even read the post you've quoted...
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    I guess they may seem that way when you can't even read the post you've quoted...
    Eh, it was one time, and I sincerely said sorry for that. Didn't affect the debate at all.

    By the way, you still have failed to respond to my rebuttal of your 'youths will go into part-time way more' statement and you still haven't formulated a respectable reply to my 'highly specialised field will be the last to be mechanised argument' AND failed to give a good reply to my 'highly specialised fields cannot be filled in by unskilled workers' argument. As much as I may have bodged some attempts at replying to your comments, at least I gave you the courtesy of replying, which is more than can be said for yourself.

    I gotta ask, did you even read MY comments?
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    (Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
    Eh, it was one time, and I sincerely said sorry for that. Didn't affect the debate at all.

    By the way, you still have failed to respond to my rebuttal of your 'youths will go into part-time way more' statement and you still haven't formulated a respectable reply to my 'highly specialised field will be the last to be mechanised argument' AND failed to give a good reply to my 'highly specialised fields cannot be filled in by unskilled workers' argument. As much as I may have bodged some attempts at replying to your comments, at least I gave you the courtesy of replying, which is more than can be said for yourself.

    I gotta ask, did you even read MY comments?
    Lol, there have been multiple times when I've had to point out passages you've clearly just skimmed over.

    Highly specialised fields will be mechanised just like anything else. It's the repeatability that makes something easy to automate. Diagnosis of disease is a very repeatable process. Designing of structural components is a very repeatable process. If anything, your example of hairdresser is much less likely to fade away than for instance a GP. This isn't hypothetical drivel, it's already proven possible.

    And no, calling something "hypothetical drivel" isn't even remotely "giving me the courtesy of replying". It's being a downright ******* purely because you don't understand something. I have replied to every single point you've put forward. If you can't be bothered to read and understand them, then again, not my problem.
 
 
 
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