Author Topic: Robots and their impact on the future  (Read 155908 times)

Schaefer Light

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1250 on: February 08, 2017, 02:39:36 PM »
Interesting how there's a clear split described in that article.

Quote
"I think the six-hour work day would be most effective in organisations - such as hospitals - where you work for six hours and then you just leave [the workplace] and go home.
"It might be less effective for organisations where the borders between work and private life are not so clear,"


I think what would really happen is that companies would pay their workers 25% less (and possibly take away many of their benefits) while demanding the same output.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1251 on: February 08, 2017, 03:04:23 PM »
I'm actually interested in the results of Amazon's experiment with it.

Article

And at least they are keeping benefits.
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theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1252 on: February 09, 2017, 01:41:08 AM »
Interesting how there's a clear split described in that article.

Quote
"I think the six-hour work day would be most effective in organisations - such as hospitals - where you work for six hours and then you just leave [the workplace] and go home.
"It might be less effective for organisations where the borders between work and private life are not so clear,"

Yes, the article says it wouldn't be so suitable for office workers as they might have to cram 8 hours work into 6 hours, and take it home. I imagine they'll (we'll?!) just all spend less time faffing about on the internet...

I think what would really happen is that companies would pay their workers 25% less (and possibly take away many of their benefits) while demanding the same output.

I imagine they would pay 25% less, but also expect 25% less work (because they would employ  more people ot make up the difference. The model of employment here in the UK is kind of different, because 'benefits' aren't really a thing. It costs employers your salary + National Insurance contributions (I think you would call them payroll taxes in the US). Everything else - basic sick pay, 4 weeks paid holiday are enshrined in law, regardless of how many hours someone works, so you don't end up with this big split between 'part-time' and 'full-time' and artificial incentives for businesses to not pay benefits, or employees to work full-time when they don't really want to.

I increasingly see people reducing their hours here (probably because I'm at an age when friends are becoming parents). One couple (after a year's leave in which the mother took 9 months, the father 3), have both gone back 80%. So they get 80% of their salaries, and work 80% of their previous hours. All parents here have the right to request flexible working terms (whilst children are under a certain age, or up to 18 if they have disabilities, though the business doesn't have to agree).

It's just quite a different system, but I think it will adapt to fewer hours and more people employed more easily, because there isn't this divide with full-time / part-time / benefits. You actually cannot treat a part-time employee any differently than a full-time employee here by law.

(Some companies obviously other benefits such as company cars, pensions etc. But they are basically salary sacrifice arrangements made at the start of your employment. They're prepared to spend x employing you, how it comes to you is often up for negotiation. But a job wouldn't be considered 'with benefits' or not. We all have health care, and a state pension. A job = salary and maybe a few perks such as more paid parental leave above the statutory amount).

Pooplips

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1253 on: February 09, 2017, 06:15:08 AM »
Cost per Unit Output - is all that really matters in the grand scheme of things.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1254 on: February 09, 2017, 06:39:53 AM »
Cost per Unit Output - is all that really matters in the grand scheme of things.

Agreed.  I guess my issue with this type of experiment is that it's based on time instead of results.  What if a person can produce the same results in 25% less time?  Should they be paid less?  I don't think so.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1255 on: February 09, 2017, 08:38:27 AM »
Cost per Unit Output - is all that really matters in the grand scheme of things.

This is the most depressing worldview I have encountered so far this week.

Is there any chance that you might someday learn to value anything besides money?

Pooplips

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1256 on: February 09, 2017, 11:06:31 AM »
Cost per Unit Output - is all that really matters in the grand scheme of things.

This is the most depressing worldview I have encountered so far this week.

Is there any chance that you might someday learn to value anything besides money?

You can't legislate values, morals, etc. Those are cultural phenomenon and changing culture is extremely difficult. It may be a depressing worldview but that doesn't make it less of a reality.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1257 on: February 09, 2017, 01:01:01 PM »
I'm actually interested in the results of Amazon's experiment with it.

Article

And at least they are keeping benefits.

Hmm.  That's quite a departure from the extremely long hours and terrible work/life balance that they're notorious for.

theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1258 on: February 09, 2017, 02:55:51 PM »
Cost per Unit Output - is all that really matters in the grand scheme of things.

Agreed.  I guess my issue with this type of experiment is that it's based on time instead of results.  What if a person can produce the same results in 25% less time?  Should they be paid less?  I don't think so.

But, if they can produce the same in 75% of the time, doesn't that mean they were wasting time before?

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1259 on: February 09, 2017, 02:58:08 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/06/robots-could-replace-250000-uk-public-sector-worker

"Almost 250,000 public sector workers could lose their jobs to robots over the next 15 years, according to a new report which claims machines would be more efficient and save billions of pounds."

Alexander Hitchcock, the reportís co-author, said: ďSuch a rapid advance in the use of technology may seem controversial, and any job losses must be handled sensitively. But the result would be public services that are better, safer, smarter and more affordable.Ē

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1260 on: February 09, 2017, 03:06:43 PM »
Quote from: Pooplips
You can't legislate values, morals, etc.

Morals/values are essentially exactly what legislation is. We create laws to help us all get along and make things morally 'fair'... at least in theory. In reality, plenty of laws are biased and corrupt, but the intention is supposed to be to keep people from cheating others and infringing on other people's inherent rights'.
That was the argument both for and against slavery (despite the former getting morality so horrifically wrong).
Defining 'what is morally right' creates legislation defining our 'rights'.

We still do this now where we say alcohol is legal, pot is illegal. Assisted suicide is illegal -literally legislating that horrific suffering is morally right, or better, than ending someone's pain upon their own wishes for themselves.

Quote from: Pooplips
Those are cultural phenomenon and changing culture is extremely difficult. It may be a depressing worldview but that doesn't make it less of a reality.

The 'changing culture is extremely difficult' part doesn't negate that that's what laws actually do.

Murder, theft, gay marriage, which drugs are legal or not, smoking in restaurants, monopoly laws, price-fixing, 'right to work'... mountains of legislated morality make easy examples, but I'd argue that basically EVERY law is a reflection of 'claimed' morality. And if we ever get all our laws morally right, we'll find ourselves living under the best government/legislation possible.

pdxmonkey

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1261 on: February 10, 2017, 12:52:22 AM »
Cost per Unit Output - is all that really matters in the grand scheme of things.

This is the most depressing worldview I have encountered so far this week.

Is there any chance that you might someday learn to value anything besides money?
It is all that matters though. If we as humanity are spending more per unit output for item x of quality y than necessary we are then not spending that on something else. Like feeding the poor or something. Ultimately lowest cost per unit leads to highest average lifestyle. Especially if robots are doing all the work.

Pooplips

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1262 on: February 10, 2017, 07:52:28 AM »
Cost per Unit Output - is all that really matters in the grand scheme of things.

Agreed.  I guess my issue with this type of experiment is that it's based on time instead of results.  What if a person can produce the same results in 25% less time?  Should they be paid less?  I don't think so.

But, if they can produce the same in 75% of the time, doesn't that mean they were wasting time before?

It could. I think there was a person in the article that said he felt like he just kept getting more and more behind and felt more stress about it.

Pooplips

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1263 on: February 10, 2017, 08:00:18 AM »
Quote from: Pooplips
You can't legislate values, morals, etc.

Morals/values are essentially exactly what legislation is. We create laws to help us all get along and make things morally 'fair'... at least in theory. In reality, plenty of laws are biased and corrupt, but the intention is supposed to be to keep people from cheating others and infringing on other people's inherent rights'.
That was the argument both for and against slavery (despite the former getting morality so horrifically wrong).
Defining 'what is morally right' creates legislation defining our 'rights'.

We still do this now where we say alcohol is legal, pot is illegal. Assisted suicide is illegal -literally legislating that horrific suffering is morally right, or better, than ending someone's pain upon their own wishes for themselves.

I meant you can't legislate the value's of the market. You can't legislate companies to not be concerned with cost per unit output. Please try to read my comments in the context they were intented to be read.

Yes, laws against murder determine the morals/values of society.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1264 on: February 10, 2017, 09:32:24 AM »
Cost per Unit Output - is all that really matters in the grand scheme of things.

Agreed.  I guess my issue with this type of experiment is that it's based on time instead of results.  What if a person can produce the same results in 25% less time?  Should they be paid less?  I don't think so.

But, if they can produce the same in 75% of the time, doesn't that mean they were wasting time before?

I disagree with the premise of your argument.  Time is not the way to measure productivity.

mm1970

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1265 on: February 10, 2017, 10:33:27 AM »
Cost per Unit Output - is all that really matters in the grand scheme of things.

Agreed.  I guess my issue with this type of experiment is that it's based on time instead of results.  What if a person can produce the same results in 25% less time?  Should they be paid less?  I don't think so.

But, if they can produce the same in 75% of the time, doesn't that mean they were wasting time before?
Not necessarily.  It depends on how you define "wasting time".  There have been many studies that show diminishing returns after a certain # of hours.  (Depending on the type of work.)

Shift workers who work 12 hour shifts start to lose focus.
White collar workers show drastically diminishing efficiency after 50 hours a week.
Other studies have shown that efficiency decreases after 6 hours per day.

In some cases, it's just time to rest, regroup, whatever.  I found that when I was working 6 to 6.5 hours a day (when I had babies), that I was ultra-efficient.  But then, I had an extra 1.5 to 2 hours a day to ... sleep, play with the kids, grocery shop, cook, go to dr's appointments, whatever.  All of that meant that I was able to be extra efficient during my 6 hours, and frankly, if the two people who were "talkers" would come into my cube I would usher them out.

Working 8 hours a day, or 10 extra hours a week, means that my mind wandered a bit more, consumed with "other things", and frankly, as the day goes on I got more tired and less able to focus.

mm1970

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1266 on: February 10, 2017, 10:36:37 AM »
Interesting how there's a clear split described in that article.

Quote
"I think the six-hour work day would be most effective in organisations - such as hospitals - where you work for six hours and then you just leave [the workplace] and go home.
"It might be less effective for organisations where the borders between work and private life are not so clear,"


I think what would really happen is that companies would pay their workers 25% less (and possibly take away many of their benefits) while demanding the same output.

This is interesting because it's a slippery slope.  The whole "many jobs you can't just let go when you go home" is how companies can require employees to work 45 hours a week, or 60, or be on call, etc.  I've had those jobs, and a lot of it is just poor training.  Even when I was a manager of a group of engineers that kept the manufacturing floor running 24/7 (so 4 of my 6 engineers worked nights and weekends), I *rarely* got phone calls after hours after the first few months.  It was my JOB to teach them how to handle things without me.

If there is not a border between work and personal life, the boss needs to learn boundaries, or you need to set them.  An occasional "oh crap" or "deadline" is fine.  But if the expectation is to work until midnight every night?  Nope. 

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1267 on: February 11, 2017, 08:13:43 AM »
Interesting how there's a clear split described in that article.

Quote
"I think the six-hour work day would be most effective in organisations - such as hospitals - where you work for six hours and then you just leave [the workplace] and go home.
"It might be less effective for organisations where the borders between work and private life are not so clear,"


I think what would really happen is that companies would pay their workers 25% less (and possibly take away many of their benefits) while demanding the same output.

This is interesting because it's a slippery slope.  The whole "many jobs you can't just let go when you go home" is how companies can require employees to work 45 hours a week, or 60, or be on call, etc.  I've had those jobs, and a lot of it is just poor training.  Even when I was a manager of a group of engineers that kept the manufacturing floor running 24/7 (so 4 of my 6 engineers worked nights and weekends), I *rarely* got phone calls after hours after the first few months.  It was my JOB to teach them how to handle things without me.

If there is not a border between work and personal life, the boss needs to learn boundaries, or you need to set them.  An occasional "oh crap" or "deadline" is fine.  But if the expectation is to work until midnight every night?  Nope.

yes.  When I have had people working under me I have always tried to look at it as the highest level of productivity is when they are as productive as possible even if it costs me time in the short run.  One hour of my time to make four people more competent will break even very quickly and be efficiency positive forever after. 


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Threshkin

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1268 on: February 12, 2017, 08:38:06 AM »
...snip...

Murder, theft, gay marriage, which drugs are legal or not, smoking in restaurants, monopoly laws, price-fixing, 'right to work'... mountains of legislated morality make easy examples, but I'd argue that basically EVERY law is a reflection of 'claimed' morality. And if we ever get all our laws morally right, we'll find ourselves living under the best government/legislation possible.

The problem with this is that there are many different opinions on what is "morally right".

Here are a few (hot) examples:
  • Aborton
  • Homosexuality
  • Poligamy
  • Sex with minors
  • The age of majority
  • Slavery
  • Free speech

For each of these examples there are groups of people with widely different opinions regarding what is "morally right".  Any law favoring one group will be considered unjust by another group.

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1270 on: February 13, 2017, 07:47:32 PM »
https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/elon-musk-doubles-down-universal-175300665.html

Elon Musk talking about the need for basic income and your meaning in life while  technology replaces jobs.

"I think we'll end up doing universal basic income," Musk told the crowd at the World Government Summit in Dubai, according to Fast Company. "It's going to be necessary."

"If there's no need for your labor, what's your meaning?" Musk said. "Do you feel useless? That's a much harder problem to deal with."

Mr Mark

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1271 on: February 13, 2017, 10:33:12 PM »
https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/elon-musk-doubles-down-universal-175300665.html

Elon Musk talking about the need for basic income and your meaning in life while  technology replaces jobs.

"I think we'll end up doing universal basic income," Musk told the crowd at the World Government Summit in Dubai, according to Fast Company. "It's going to be necessary."

"If there's no need for your labor, what's your meaning?" Musk said. "Do you feel useless? That's a much harder problem to deal with."

I think this is one of the best things I got out of MMM. We will have to change the whole education system, which is still based on essentially a Victorian model of teaching kids for a life as workers in factories. The entire USA sometimes seems nothing more than a gigantic (and tremendously clever and efficient) version of "the company store" where people are encouraged to spend more than they earn and then are enslaved by debt.

Many of the negative reactions to stories of (FI)RE like ARS's or MMM seem to be people unable to relate to a life that is not just about work and consumption.

How do you raise your kids as a result?

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1272 on: February 14, 2017, 12:17:54 AM »
Scientists, science fiction writers, and even an enlightened economist, John Keynes, have thought about automation - as a long term matter -  for over fifty years. My perception, growing up in the sixties, was that widespread automation would make society like Jane Austen's society, or to be more modern, a Wodehouse society, where Bertie Wooster enjoys himself without working.

This has happened before. In the ancient world landowners could live comfortably without working, as they can today. The difference now is that an entire society can move up that level, with machines taking the place of workers and peasants.

The existing upper class is a rentier society, being paid for the use of their capital. All  people in a future automated society, receiving a Universal Basic Income, would be similar to rentiers, using the term rentier loosely. The challenge is to make a UBI acceptable, even normal.

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1273 on: February 14, 2017, 08:30:51 AM »
The existing upper class is a rentier society, being paid for the use of their capital. All  people in a future automated society, receiving a Universal Basic Income, would be similar to rentiers, using the term rentier loosely. The challenge is to make a UBI acceptable, even normal.

The challenge is that corporations and the very richest people have undue influence on our policies, taxes, laws, etc.  For there to be a society where everyone benefits from these technological breakthroughs these ideals will need to be enacted into laws, taxes, policies, etc.  The GOP appears to be taking us backwards in this realm as they are pushing to lower taxes on corporations and the wealthiest, they are pushing to remove the estate tax, they are pushing to remove regulations on our environment, and they are pushing to reduce the penalties imposed by bad behavior.  They are pushing for everyone to earn their own money and portraying that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs are not sustainable while pushing to reduce the taxes that fund these programs.  The GOP is doing a brilliant job at convincing people to vote for things that are not in the best interest of the 99% and that consolidate wealth and power to the top 1% or .1%.(IE eliminating the estate tax and reducing taxes on the wealthiest) 

So we have a long ways to go, but as more and more jobs go away with technology and automation maybe people will wake up for what they have been voting for and supporting.  Unfortunately, a lot of the policies and legal effects occurring today will have a long term effect on society.  Those with the power will not want to reduce their wealth or power without a fight.   


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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1275 on: February 17, 2017, 09:15:52 AM »
Here's Bill Gates proposing taxes on robot labor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nccryZOcrUg

I'm having a hard time seeing how this would work and where the lines are drawn.  Right now we already have robots that replace human workers and automated assembly lines.  We also have software that have eliminated millions of jobs, will software or AI be taxed as well?


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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1276 on: February 18, 2017, 07:51:20 PM »
IMO, it's not a real idea.

It's the beginning of a conversation.

Putting the thought out there, so people think more about robots doing the work, and what that world will look like.

A transition to UBI will take a mental shift for a lot of people.  Putting out the idea that the robot laborers will be paying for it is more of an idea than an actual plan.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1277 on: February 19, 2017, 12:35:45 PM »
The saddest thing to me is not that robots might take our jobs, but that we, as a society, fear this happening. As an old man I remember when I was 25 and wondering when the 10 hour work week would be coming that I had been hearing about whilst I was growing up. Everyone I need of my age was working more hours than their parents. With laptops starting to be more common at the end of the eighties more and more people were taking their work home to continue late into the night. This trend just seems to have increased over the years. All the amazing productivity gains of Moore's Law seem to have gone to increasing the profits of corporations whilst workers beg to be allowed to work longer hours.

Surely a society where everyone works only if they want to and what they want to work with (looking after fluffy bunnies, restoring old cars etc) or pursuing other, hopefully enlightening, activities would be the STAR TREK society we dreamt about from the 1960's onwards. It is not that we seem to be no where closer to that dream it is that most people seem to think it is a nightmare that will steal their current life away (even though they say they hate the 9-5 or 24/7 work ethic that the modern world demands).

I get it, work creates discipline and most of us can really go off the rails when you take that away. It is like giving us all an all you can eat and all the alcohol you can drink buffet - the results aren't pretty. But is that a reason to cling to a world where we work more and more to be able to buy more stuff to make this liveable and use up the resources of the earth faster and faster as we must have economic growth to fuel this whole treadmill.

I am not saying that it is easy to get from where we are now to a world where everyone retires at 0 (not 30) in terms of what you HAVE to do to survive. What I am sad about is that few people seem to think that is desirable. Idle hands ..... well Elon isn't idle and even though he works 100 hours a day he doesn't think the rest of the work should need to. A world of robots can free us, don't fear the future embrace it and shape it to what you want it to be let's truly move into the post industrial age and gain the benefits of lower consumption and enough for all, created through the efficiencies that technology can offer us.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1278 on: February 19, 2017, 12:43:11 PM »
Svennman, what makes you think that most people think a world where no one is forced to work is not desirable?

I'd describe the range of opinions in this thread being from those who think it is not possible to those who think it is both possible, inevitable, imminent. I'm somewhere in between thinking that it is possible, but neither inevitable, and that even if we get to a world where no one HAS to work, that there is likely to be a lot of pain and suffering on the road from here to there.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1279 on: February 19, 2017, 01:12:23 PM »
Well it is because I have never ITRW met anyone that is looking to move to a model where everyone retires at 0. I spend my days amongst very highly educated people from in their twenties to professors in their 60's and everyone is trying to either get a better job through education or work out ways to make others more efficient in their jobs (I have a degree in Psychology, teaching qualification and am studying for Master's degrees in HCI, Cognitive Science, Computing and IT Management, my flatmates are studying to be psychologists, media producers or computer programmers - just to give you a feel on the sort of people I meet). MMM is certainly very different from the mindset that most people I know have (and their mindset is reallllllly different from that of the people I used to work in London). The point is that nothing seems to have changed in the past 25 years apart from people are working longer because technology allows them to be accessible 24/7. Trump and Brexit is about people being scared someone is going to take their jobs and then they hear about robots and that will be the next place they fear will take their jobs. Working all hours to have enough to eat for many and all the things they think they need for the fortune few. We need a model where most people (not just those that can put aside $100,000 a year) see that their is another option than working for decades to then be able to retire. As average ages creeps towards 100 and beyond the current model just can't work and we need a paradigm shift, robots, AI and mining meteorites can offer us that world - we just need to make sure we don't create a world like in WALL-E.

Just like with genetic engineering we need MUCH better educated citizens with the knowledge and time to make reasoned choices. Look at the current madness. UK wants to block immigrants as does the US, unless robots are able to completely replace human in a short time these countries will be begging immigrants to come. I live in a country that have accepted about a million immigrants (from a base of only about 8 million people in the 80's). This will help to keep Sweden vibrant, yes there are problems, but it's like the pain that a teenager goes through when growing, necessary for growing into a healthy adult. Free education for all and a generous safety net that all (or almost all) are happy to pay for. Then people don't need to fear the future. That doesn't seem where the US and the UK are going and I feel grateful that I can live in a country that seems to be getting ready for the future and not clinging to the past.

Anyway, maizeman that is why I feel frustrated. Even where I am things seem to be slow to head in the right direction and globally I fear for the consequences of the fear of citizens for the future and what their fear might drive their politicians to do. The world doesn't seem to be becoming more open and trusting, if you don't agree wait until you next cross the border and either aren't allowed back in or have to give over every username and password to your online accounts ("just for your own safety").

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1280 on: February 19, 2017, 04:23:54 PM »
Gotcha! I think I misunderstood a key initial premise, which is that you were describing the lack of thought about this issue among people as a whole (out in the real world), not in the discussions on this thread. In that case, I am in complete agreement with you.

People tend to imagine the future being fundamentally quite similar to the present. Or they imagine new tech, but not the social implications of that tech. There is a fascinating twitter feed (I forget where I heard about it, apologies if it was actually this same thread) which just shows short split screen videos of people working at jobs and robots doing the exact same jobs: https://twitter.com/HumanVsMachine Another good thought provoking story on the same topic is a short story called "Manna" by Brian Marshall, which deals with both the potential negative and potential positive outcomes in a world where there are not jobs for most human beings.

I've found both that series of videos and the short story good ways to get people I know ITRW to start thinking about these ideas and concepts seriously.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1281 on: February 19, 2017, 06:50:21 PM »
Thanks for the feedback and the links.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1282 on: February 20, 2017, 06:21:59 AM »
Interesting, haven't read the whole thread but there is another side that isn't discussed too much. How companies are using AI to replace middle management jobs. The example I saw was a Japanese insurance company which used AI to replace the people who processed the claims, a job that before couldn,t be replaced. The article went on to state that a typical large insurance company could replace1/3 to 1/2 the workers, serrious numbers
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1283 on: February 20, 2017, 06:29:01 AM »
Interesting, haven't read the whole thread but there is another side that isn't discussed too much. How companies are using AI to replace middle management jobs. The example I saw was a Japanese insurance company which used AI to replace the people who processed the claims, a job that before couldn,t be replaced. The article went on to state that a typical large insurance company could replace1/3 to 1/2 the workers, serrious numbers

Yeah, we've discussed that here. Essentially, middle management jobs are probably more likely to be replaced first partially because while the total amount paid to middle managers is similar to the total amount paid to the front line minimum wage type employees, the number of actually people affected are smaller. Save the same amount of money, less outcry.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1284 on: February 20, 2017, 10:31:02 AM »
https://medium.freecodecamp.com/bill-gates-and-elon-musk-just-warned-us-about-the-one-thing-politicians-are-too-scared-to-talk-8db9815fd398?gi=fbbcbc01419

The smartest and most industrious men in the world see it.  we whould elect musk or gates to be president.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1286 on: February 22, 2017, 10:34:33 PM »
It was interesting to see the data (OK, poorer countries, but makes sense) on how a UBI liberates a lot of entreprenurial spirits, presumeably because of the insurance of always being able to fall back on a UBI and not having to grind a crappy job to just survive.

However, would you allow people to mortgage their UBI? I could see companies lining up to offer people cash lump sums in exchange for their UBI... and we'd be back where we started, as we get now with payday and car title loan sharks.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1287 on: February 23, 2017, 01:07:23 AM »
However, would you allow people to mortgage their UBI? I could see companies lining up to offer people cash lump sums in exchange for their UBI... and we'd be back where we started, as we get now with payday and car title loan sharks.

Isn't this answered by what we do with SS, for example?

No. No you wouldn't.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1288 on: February 23, 2017, 04:30:52 AM »
However, would you allow people to mortgage their UBI? I could see companies lining up to offer people cash lump sums in exchange for their UBI... and we'd be back where we started, as we get now with payday and car title loan sharks.

Isn't this answered by what we do with SS, for example?

No. No you wouldn't.

:)

How do you stop it tho'? If a 20 yr old knows they have (say) a $1000/mnth UBI coming for the rest of their life, what stops them getting a big loan, the payments for which are exactly 1000/mnth?
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1289 on: February 23, 2017, 05:38:09 AM »
However, would you allow people to mortgage their UBI? I could see companies lining up to offer people cash lump sums in exchange for their UBI... and we'd be back where we started, as we get now with payday and car title loan sharks.

Isn't this answered by what we do with SS, for example?

No. No you wouldn't.

:)

How do you stop it tho'? If a 20 yr old knows they have (say) a $1000/mnth UBI coming for the rest of their life, what stops them getting a big loan, the payments for which are exactly 1000/mnth?

what would stop it would be a rule that your UBI cant be garnished to pay defaulted loans.  meaning the risk for the lender would be too great
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1290 on: February 23, 2017, 05:38:36 AM »
However, would you allow people to mortgage their UBI? I could see companies lining up to offer people cash lump sums in exchange for their UBI... and we'd be back where we started, as we get now with payday and car title loan sharks.

Isn't this answered by what we do with SS, for example?

No. No you wouldn't.

:)

How do you stop it tho'? If a 20 yr old knows they have (say) a $1000/mnth UBI coming for the rest of their life, what stops them getting a big loan, the payments for which are exactly 1000/mnth?

Well, you could require lenders to have proof of income above UBI and only allow lending on the extra portion.

Or you could just... let them?

I mean, you can find fault or people who will try to game any system. UBI wouldn't be inventing that. It might not eliminate it either, but it's no worse than any other, to my mind. 

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1291 on: February 23, 2017, 05:55:33 AM »
However, would you allow people to mortgage their UBI? I could see companies lining up to offer people cash lump sums in exchange for their UBI... and we'd be back where we started, as we get now with payday and car title loan sharks.

Isn't this answered by what we do with SS, for example?

No. No you wouldn't.

:)

How do you stop it tho'? If a 20 yr old knows they have (say) a $1000/mnth UBI coming for the rest of their life, what stops them getting a big loan, the payments for which are exactly 1000/mnth?

Well, you could require lenders to have proof of income above UBI and only allow lending on the extra portion.

Or you could just... let them?

I mean, you can find fault or people who will try to game any system. UBI wouldn't be inventing that. It might not eliminate it either, but it's no worse than any other, to my mind.

Yeah I agree there will always be issues and that should not necessarily stop a policy from helping the vast majority.  It's just that UBI will almost certainly replace all other payments - SS, welfare, food stamps,  etc.

Having just read the horror stories from the recent 'overheard at work' thread before I made the comment I was feeling there are a lot of people who would just blow the whole cash flow on a holiday and several new SUVs... and then have their hand out when surprise they have nothing left.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1292 on: February 23, 2017, 08:34:10 AM »
However, would you allow people to mortgage their UBI? I could see companies lining up to offer people cash lump sums in exchange for their UBI... and we'd be back where we started, as we get now with payday and car title loan sharks.

Isn't this answered by what we do with SS, for example?

No. No you wouldn't.

:)

How do you stop it tho'? If a 20 yr old knows they have (say) a $1000/mnth UBI coming for the rest of their life, what stops them getting a big loan, the payments for which are exactly 1000/mnth?
You wouldn't be able to stop it. Would one want to, though? Isn't that the point of UBI?
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1293 on: February 23, 2017, 08:51:45 AM »
You wouldn't be able to stop it. Would one want to, though? Isn't that the point of UBI?

How to stop the exploitive loan, not how to stop the UBI payments to the individual.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1294 on: February 23, 2017, 11:36:01 AM »
what would stop it would be a rule that your UBI cant be garnished to pay defaulted loans.  meaning the risk for the lender would be too great
Yes, simply by making rules where UBI is noncollectable by lenders would make lenders look for proof of other income or other means of securing the debt.


Mark Cuban does not like UBI.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/22/mark-cuban-basic-income-worst-response-to-job-losses-from-robots-ai.html

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Mark Cuban agrees that we need to fix the disincentive to work and reduce overhead costs; UBI seems to be the leading idea to solve those problems with our current system. I'd love to year Mark Cuban's ideas that he thinks would work better.

I could easily see a structure where benefits are reduced gradually as income goes up to provide the recipient with a similar portion of each dollar earned as middle earners keep of their marginal income; but the more complicated calculating the benefits becomes, the more difficult it is to control overhead costs. I suppose one could argue that we'll be able to reduce overhead costs using the technology of the AI/automation revolution, but I'm not sure who would actually be motivated enough to get it done.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1295 on: February 23, 2017, 11:42:53 AM »
The NY Times opinion page suggests that robots are NOT to blame for our shifting economy.  I think it's a pretty compelling argument (when applied retroactively, maybe less so when applied going forward).

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/20/opinion/no-robots-arent-killing-the-american-dream.html

Basically, they're pointing out that the American economy has gradually slowed down since WWII, and that this isn't the fault of technology but of politics.  Technological advances have been killing jobs for centuries, but it's only in the past few decades that we've really decided to let those advances increase unemployment, suppress wages, and aggregate wealth at the top.  Those consequences are all dictated by our policy decisions, not the technologies themselves.

So maybe "blame the robots" is just another scapegoat designed to distract us from America's gradual shift towards deliberate oligarchy?  We've continuously eroded worker protections and undermined the middle class in order to enrich the wealthiest 0.1% of our citizens.  Robots have been one tool in that process, but they're probably not the driving force.  Tax rates that favor the wealthy, shifting from pensions to 401k plans, disbanding labor unions, and curtailing the minimum wage are probably more responsible for these shifts than are increased worker productivity.  The economy isn't slowly stagnating because there is less work for people to do, it is stagnating because we've throttled demand by impoverishing consumers.

Interestingly, they also make the point that "blame the robots" (from the left) is just another form of "blame the immigrants" (from the right).  They're both misdirections, politically useful scapegoats designed to obscure the fact that our real problems are all related to the carefully orchestrated consolidation of all economic gains to only the wealthiest Americans, enacted by both parties.  Maybe "blame the rich" is a more accurate assessment.

I also like the fact that unlike most opinion pieces, this one actually makes some concrete suggestions on how to improve this situation, instead of just pontificating about how dire the problem is.  They suggest
1.  curbing corporate stock buyback programs
2.  increasing tax rates on corporations and the wealthy, and using those taxes to retrain the workforce
3.  legislating universal child care and elder care, to allow wage earners to work.


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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1296 on: February 23, 2017, 12:58:39 PM »
That's basically what Bakari has been saying this whole thread.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1297 on: February 24, 2017, 06:00:59 AM »
The NY Times opinion page suggests that robots are NOT to blame for our shifting economy.  I think it's a pretty compelling argument (when applied retroactively, maybe less so when applied going forward).

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/20/opinion/no-robots-arent-killing-the-american-dream.html

Basically, they're pointing out that the American economy has gradually slowed down since WWII, and that this isn't the fault of technology but of politics.  Technological advances have been killing jobs for centuries, but it's only in the past few decades that we've really decided to let those advances increase unemployment, suppress wages, and aggregate wealth at the top.  Those consequences are all dictated by our policy decisions, not the technologies themselves.

So maybe "blame the robots" is just another scapegoat designed to distract us from America's gradual shift towards deliberate oligarchy?  We've continuously eroded worker protections and undermined the middle class in order to enrich the wealthiest 0.1% of our citizens.  Robots have been one tool in that process, but they're probably not the driving force.  Tax rates that favor the wealthy, shifting from pensions to 401k plans, disbanding labor unions, and curtailing the minimum wage are probably more responsible for these shifts than are increased worker productivity.  The economy isn't slowly stagnating because there is less work for people to do, it is stagnating because we've throttled demand by impoverishing consumers.

Interestingly, they also make the point that "blame the robots" (from the left) is just another form of "blame the immigrants" (from the right).  They're both misdirections, politically useful scapegoats designed to obscure the fact that our real problems are all related to the carefully orchestrated consolidation of all economic gains to only the wealthiest Americans, enacted by both parties.  Maybe "blame the rich" is a more accurate assessment.

I also like the fact that unlike most opinion pieces, this one actually makes some concrete suggestions on how to improve this situation, instead of just pontificating about how dire the problem is.  They suggest
1.  curbing corporate stock buyback programs
2.  increasing tax rates on corporations and the wealthy, and using those taxes to retrain the workforce
3.  legislating universal child care and elder care, to allow wage earners to work.

Personally I tend to agree with this view. It also reminds me of this fairy tale:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6IZi61qDj4

However, this being an elephant in the room wrt to the wellbeing of the society as a whole, it is my opinion that the scale and velocity of the (upcoming? [3]) automation is another elephant in the same room, especially within the context of the currently prevailing social contract, as they call it. Granted, my opinion is based on a relatively limited investigation of the subject, but as I see it, robots-wise we have enetred the upper part of the hockey stick, as Wait But Why explained it so vividly [1]. And hockey stick, i.e. exponential/compounding is beyond comprehension for the human, as Albert Bartlett explained it brilliantly in person on many, many occasions [2] (Note that he also pinpoints some other elephants in the room).

One anecdote on hockey stick: roughly a year ago I realised the driverless cars can become a reality and done some investigaiton to see when this will happen, next thing I know EU (my homeland) is planning to legally allow self-driving cars in 2019.

Another anecdote: recently there was awe on this topic as well on the AlphaGo humiliating the best human Go player, but more importantly a) it has done it relying on "AI intuition" (Go is still too complex for brute force with current technology) and b) some Go professionals following the duel were stunned - they did expect that computer will beat best human in Go eventually, but only in 10 years or more, not today. 

My take from these investigations and experiences: things are going forward much, much faster than expected, as one would expect [sic!] from an exponential/hockey stick. 

References (some are repeated for completeness, they have already been posted in this thread by other posters):
[1] Wait But Why. AI Revolution, http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html
[2] A.A. Bartlett. Arithmetic, Populaiton and Energy, http://www.albartlett.org/presentations/arithmetic_population_energy_video1.html
[3] CGPGrey. Humans Need Not Apply,  http://www.cgpgrey.com/blog/humans-need-not-apply


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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1298 on: February 24, 2017, 11:44:32 AM »
You wouldn't be able to stop it. Would one want to, though? Isn't that the point of UBI?

How to stop the exploitive loan, not how to stop the UBI payments to the individual.

Exploitive loans aren't well regulated in my state now. Why would I expect that to change? Some think this is an honorable way to earn a living - to give loans with oppressive interest rates to financially ignorant people.

Wouldn't UBI be soaked up by inflation? Wouldn't most people want more than the barest of essentials income wise?

I imagine employers telling me if I reduce my working hours by 80% they will reduce my salary by 80% too. Maybe that would be enough - nope, just checked. Still below the poverty level.

Empathy - the more powerful people who are in control now already have a hard time relating to the common man. How long will it take for them to notice when people are truly struggling? Riots? Protests? It seems to take that long now to get their attention.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 11:50:16 AM by Tasty Pinecones »

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1299 on: February 24, 2017, 11:59:19 AM »
You wouldn't be able to stop it. Would one want to, though? Isn't that the point of UBI?

How to stop the exploitive loan, not how to stop the UBI payments to the individual.
Why would this be exploitative? It would be like the annuity lump-sum payments - sign your UBI over to us, and we give you $1 million dollars today.  No interest, no collection, just a transfer. Unless those "we buy your annuity" companies are predatory; i haven't looked into them. Honestly I would probably take a large lump sum to invest over small payments throughout my life.
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