Author Topic: Robots and their impact on the future  (Read 237275 times)

Bakari

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1500 on: August 02, 2017, 02:15:12 PM »
There may be much truth to your point, but not all conceivable shortcuts are going to be realistically feasible. 


For example, automating away parts of the legal paperwork and trial side of work done by lawyers, judges, and police officers, would require not just advances in AI, but for our entire legal system, rules of evidence and admissibility, and the very constitution itself, to be entirely scrapped and overhauled.  As it is, even video evidence is only admissible if a human can swear under oath that they set up the cameras and recorders in just such a way.


It is conceivable that buildings could be designed from the ground up to be standardized in a way that robot techs could repair any problems, but we are no more likely to tear down functioning buildings to facilitate that than Europe was to demolish cities to make better street layouts when cars came along.


What ANW demonstrates, that a weight lifting competition does not, isn't just human specific levels of ability - its a confluence of a bunch of separate skills.
There are robots that are faster than us. There are robots that can estimate moving distances better than us, robots that are stronger, ones that have better balance, have more precise dexterity, better reaction time, and that are fully autonomous and self powered... however there is no one robot that even comes close to a human in all of those things.  This is what the DARPA challenge showed, with the winning robot taking 45 minutes to do something an unskilled human could do in 5. 


When mechanization first came about, many people were sure there was no limit to what the right gears and hydraulic valves could do too, but we never ended up with mechanical intelligence, that could walk around and talk and think powered by nothing but a wind up clockwork.  Perhaps that too was due to lack of human imagination, but I'd argue that not everything conceivable is actually possible
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Bateaux

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1501 on: August 02, 2017, 10:01:08 PM »
You're focus is too narrow.   The AI doesn't just eliminate the lawyers it eliminates the court.  Self driving cars may reach a near zero accidents rate.   No more traffic court for violations, no more lawsuits filed for crashes.  Every car on the road will have cameras.  The moment a car is stolen it is instantly identified and located.  Stealing cars goes out of fashion because you are almost always caught immediately.  Facial recognition software gets 100 times more powerful.   Your walking style, body dimensions and gestures make a personal profile which identifies you.  You commit a crime and are on the run.  The first camera that sees you reports the information.   Crime may simply not pay in the future.  The courts are empty.  Maybe civil cases will require a human element for divorce and child custody cases.  If we still have marriage and children.   Sex robots could take a big chunk out of marriage.
It's not so much AI making a better, cheaper and faster widget.  It's the elimination of the need for the widgets at all.  If all television, phones, laptops, etc. become cloud sourced holograms we no longer need to build anything to carry, charge or replace parts.  Software upgrades are designed by the AI.  No more physical factory, Apple Store, ATT store, accessory kiosks in malls and airports.  Did I say mall?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 10:02:45 PM by Bateaux »
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Bakari

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1502 on: August 02, 2017, 10:19:41 PM »
Now we are talking about every square foot of space monitored at all times by cameras?  Its not just technology that is preventing that reality. 
Like I said, until the constitution is scrapped and all of US code is rewritten, your scenario simply can not legally happen, there are rules regarding what evidence can be presented, and how.
Also, plenty of crime is committed when the person knows they are likely to be caught.  Humans are not always rational. 

And, um, speaking of reality - if there are no more children, there is no future humanity to build these super intelligent robots that change everything.


I mean, if the question is "can we imagine a fictional world in which AI impacts everything?" of course we can, and you've come up with some very interesting hypothetical, but originally the thread was more about the real world impact on the economy and labor markets specifically
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Bateaux

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1503 on: August 02, 2017, 10:45:33 PM »
We're already accepting self driving cars.  Legally in many places.  People are so attached to their phones that they'd rather give up a pinky finger than be separted from the technology.  Your romanticism for the past is blinding you from the future.  AI isn't going to do the jobs that people do.  The things that are being done will no longer be needed.  Things will be created that are designed to be maintained without human help.  It will be orders of magnitude cheaper and more efficient.   We don't make robots to stick frame a house.  That's difficult.   We'll 3d print a home for 1/10 the cost.  Love your old 150 year-old home great.  I love carpentry.  Some may want cheap and efficient.   The 3d printed home would use 1/4 the resources of a drafty wooden home.  People buy tiny import cars for a reason.  They are cheap and efficient.  They look like crap and don't turn heads.  What they do is get you where you want very cheaply for a very long time with little problems.   The rich will want custom homes, they can afford it.  Just an example.
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sol

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1504 on: August 02, 2017, 10:58:19 PM »
Now we are talking about every square foot of space monitored at all times by cameras?

At least in terms of monitoring vehicles, yes.

The advantages of self driving cars are not that their reaction times are faster, it's that they can be networked together.  They're not trying to be safer in the way that individual human drivers are, they're changing the way the roads are used.  Long distance travelers can form peletons for reduced wind resistance at higher speed.  GPS tracking of other AI cars facilitates adaptive routefinding to avoid traffic.  In busy urban areas, network connections to traffic lights automate signal cycles.  Like with everything else technology does, the real benefits are not in playing the game better, but in changing the game.

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originally the thread was more about the real world impact on the economy and labor markets specifically

I still think most people underestimate the potential impacts on the economy and the labor market, because they fail to see the coming changes.  Like Henry Ford saying people wanted faster horses, but the automobile completely revolutionized the transportation industry in ways that the our horse-riding ancestors couldn't see coming.  The Pony Express was a revolutionary application of its day's technology, but they didn't see stack interchanges coming and would have laughed at the very idea that people would spend a billion dollars and five years of construction just to allow two roads to cross.  I think many of the things that you think are too hard, or too crazy, or too illegal, will eventually seem as commonplaces as freeway interchanges do to us now.  And for exactly the same reasons.  We just don't see how dramatically the new technology will change the way we do seemingly unrelated things.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 11:00:19 PM by sol »

Bateaux

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1505 on: August 02, 2017, 11:12:04 PM »
I agree Sol.  People have blinders on to the things that exist right now.  Cars alone are about to be incredibly smart.  The air controlled suspension on a premium car will remember bumps in the road or have the data shared from lead cars.  You'll no longer feel railroad tracks because the car will adjust for it in advance.  These are not things humans can even do. 
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Bateaux

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1506 on: August 02, 2017, 11:26:45 PM »
I used to operate a chemical plant using an Emerson Delta V DCS.  The automated sections of the plant were almost completely controlled without human input.  Most of the problems and variables came with human input.  The plant is nearly 30 years old and full automation isn't really cost effective for the production to be gained.  However, a new plant could be designed with full automation that would eliminate most of the human jobs and therefore most of the errors and accidents.  Hundreds of millions in capital would be needed to build a new plant.  Not worth it.  However, if a new product is desired where capacity doesn't exist, then it will be automated fully.  If the new product is more desirable than the old product then the old plant will close rapidly.  The jobs were eliminated because another product made with automation replaced it.  No robots were built to take the old jobs.  The whole process was scrapped.
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bender

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1507 on: August 03, 2017, 10:45:15 AM »
Great comments on car automation.  I like the suspension memory and the peleton ideas.  The efficiency of cars will increase dramatically.  Imagine intersections where cars never queue at a red light because they moderated their acceleration in advance to reach the intersection when the light is green.  I try to do this manually for some lights that I can see from a large distance, but it's pretty tricky.

Bakari

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1508 on: August 03, 2017, 11:16:52 AM »
Now we are talking about every square foot of space monitored at all times by cameras?

At least in terms of monitoring vehicles, yes.
I was referring to Bateaux's claim that there will be no need for police or judges because AI will be able to identify every person with 100% accuracy from the way they walk.  That assumes every square foot of the world is monitored at all times by camera.  That isn't even a tech issue, its a question of whether humans will ever feel that making sure every criminal is caught is worth zero privacy, ever.
And its a perfect example how something which may be technologically feasible isn't necessarily likely and certainly not inevitable.

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The advantages of self driving cars are not that their reaction times are faster, it's that they can be networked together.  They're not trying to be safer in the way that individual human drivers are, they're changing the way the roads are used.
As far as safety, all they need to do is obey speed limits and other existing laws, maintain proper following distances, and pay attention at all times, and the accident rate would already drop by around 99%.  We are probably only a few years out from that, no networking or rebuilding of roadways required.


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Long distance travelers can form peletons for reduced wind resistance at higher speed.  GPS tracking of other AI cars facilitates adaptive routefinding to avoid traffic.  In busy urban areas, network connections to traffic lights automate signal cycles.  Like with everything else technology does, the real benefits are not in playing the game better, but in changing the game.
And all of things will probably happen, and probably marginally help, temporarily.
Ultimately they are likely to have about as much impact on revolutionizing transportation as power windows did.
Again, its not a tech issue.  There is a theoretical maximum of vehicles a given roadway can support at a given speed.  Its smaller than the number of people who can be housed in a given area.  As the advances you note start to happen, commuting gets easier - so more people start driving personal autos instead of taking transit, people stop bothering to carpool, people buy houses further from work, and very soon there are so many cars on the road that even with traffic patterns optimized in every way, cars are still averaging 15mph.

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I think many of the things that you think are too hard, or too crazy, or too illegal, will eventually seem as commonplaces as freeway interchanges do to us now.
I do think we will eventually have robots that can do general handyman work, run an ANW course, and maybe even do abstract intellectual thinking.  I just don't think those are coming in the next 5-10 years.


Seriously, I don't think we disagree much, if at all, people just keep reading absolutes into my comments that aren't there.


Great comments on car automation.  I like the suspension memory and the peleton ideas.  The efficiency of cars will increase dramatically.  Imagine intersections where cars never queue at a red light because they moderated their acceleration in advance to reach the intersection when the light is green.  I try to do this manually for some lights that I can see from a large distance, but it's pretty tricky.


I've thought about how theoretically you could put downward facing cameras on the front bumper that would allow suspension to adjust in real time for every bump.  Which would be cool, maybe add a tiny bit of control and efficiency, mostly just improve comfort, but, again, would have as much impact on transportation as power windows.

The peleton idea already exists, in the form of "train".  Its also often used by long haul truckers on long straight highways.  Not saying that capacity given to cars wouldn't also marginally improve efficiency, but if that was a serious goal, cars would be shaped much more aerodynamically, which we have had the knowledge and tech to do for about 100 years.


The last part, again, we could already do, but usually choose not to.  Its called "timed lights".  Cities don't often invest in it, cause having regular lights is cheaper and easier, but when they do, you just drive at exactly the speed limit, and you are guaranteed to hit every green light down the entire street.
Trying to do it yourself on a street without timed lights is called "hypermiling", its part science part art, and has a big following of people (including MMM who wrote a post about it once, and myself, who was briefly a blogger for ecomodder.com).  Unfortunately, no matter how good you are, many times it simply isn't possible with non-timed lights, and that would be no less true for a AI driver.  Is a city which isn't willing to spend the money on a timed light system any more likely to spring for an entire network interface with cars?
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bender

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1509 on: August 03, 2017, 11:37:47 AM »
I think that networking cars will be a wireless standard defined by a consortium of auto manufacturers.  The infrastructure will be in the cars themselves.  Information could be relayed from car to car, so each car is able to collect the information it needs, and serve as a relay to others around it.  Any legacy cars would still be handled by standard safety protocol (safe distance, etc).  If you ever used the Waze app while driving, its the same concept, but exponentially more information that an AI driver can use.

The improvements in fuel efficiency for drafting alone have been shown to be 40%, so that's a significant savings.  Planning acceleration/braking based on road conditions yield more benefits.  This would be hypermiling on steroids.  I would guess networked cars could save 50% on energy costs overall.

Bakari

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1510 on: August 03, 2017, 01:58:14 PM »
A good hypermiler can get 50%.  I think it would be even more, at least in terms of private auto energy use.

Of course, that's assuming any one actually cared enough to do it.  Auto manufacturers could easily produce cars that get over 100mpg today, at no more cost than current cars, if they wanted, but they think (correctly) that there is no market for them, because they would "look funny" and be "slow".  Another example of what is possible being limited not by technology, but by human nature effect on market forces
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 08:53:02 PM by Bakari »
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toganet

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1512 on: August 04, 2017, 04:32:02 AM »
As a technologist and a parent with two small children I think about this a lot.

My view on what is likely to happen if trends are left to develop on their own is we will see a sudden, previous drop in demand for jobs across many areas of the service and knowledge economy. That includes agriculture, construction, transportation, accounting, law, medicine -- and even on the trades.  This reflects a general trend toward the capitalization of labor that is driven by the capital class.

In recent years capital has been directed toward this effort via investments in robotics and AI.  These fields are converging, and will lead to a drastic shift in our culture and economy. How that plays out depends on what role government and corporations take in regulating the development and application of our robot overlords.

(For the record, I side with Elon Musk in this debate).

Some economists have suggested that the jobs left for humans might be the ones we are actually better than robots at: nursing and 'caring' in general.

We might get slightly lucky from a demographic / timing standpoint. As in, the rise of the robots may coincide with the retirement of the Boomers, and Millennials might make a living caring for their welders and creating art, science, and culture.

It's hard to imagine how an economy where a large part of the work of production is handled by depreciating assets that don't consume anything much being electricity can function in any way like our current consumer-driven one.  How will the consumers have any money to buy the widgets churned out but the robots?

I read a lot of hand-wavy stuff about UBI, etc. and I guess you could contrive some way to share the wealth.  But then I hear the President talk and am reminded of reality.

So I'm less optimistic. I tend to interpret the drivers for this whole pattern as the same one that led to slavery (chattel, wage, and offshored).  Heck, the word 'robot' basically means slave.

So once humanity has perfected slavery, what comes next will probably only be good for the slaveowners.

I guess index funds count in that category ;)

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tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1513 on: August 04, 2017, 10:04:23 AM »
https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/4170364/former-facebook-executive-says-society-will-collapse-within-30-years-as-robots-put-half-of-humans-out-of-work/

"There are 300 million guns in this country, one for every man, woman and child, and they're mostly in the hands of those who are getting economically displaced. There could be a revolt.

"You don't realise it but we're in a race between technology and politics, and technologists are winning. They're way ahead.

"They will destroy jobs and disrupt economies before we even react to them and we really should be thinking about that."

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1514 on: August 04, 2017, 10:10:55 AM »
Some economists have suggested that the jobs left for humans might be the ones we are actually better than robots at: nursing and 'caring' in general.

There are a number of articles that show/explain why robots are better at nursing and caring than humans.  They never get upset, they are there 24/7, they have the ability to monitor health in real time, etc.

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/opinion/sunday/the-future-of-robot-caregivers.html?_r=0

Imagine this: Since the robot caregiver wouldn’t require sleep, it would always be alert and available in case of crisis. While my patient slept, the robot could do laundry and other household tasks. When she woke, the robot could greet her with a kind, humanlike voice, help her get out of bed safely and make sure she was clean after she used the toilet. It — she? he? — would ensure that my patient took the right medications in the right doses. At breakfast, the robot could chat with her about the weather or news.

And then, because my patient loves to read but her eyesight is failing, the caregiver robot would offer to read to her. Or maybe it would provide her with a large-print electronic display of a book, the lighting just right for her weakened eyes. After a while the robot would say, “I wonder whether we should take a break from reading now and get you dressed. Your daughter’s coming to visit today.”

Are there ethical issues we will need to address? Of course. But I can also imagine my patient’s smile when the robot says these words, and I suspect she doesn’t smile much in her current situation, when she’s home alone, hour after hour and day after day.



toganet

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1515 on: August 04, 2017, 10:34:50 AM »
Some economists have suggested that the jobs left for humans might be the ones we are actually better than robots at: nursing and 'caring' in general.

There are a number of articles that show/explain why robots are better at nursing and caring than humans.  They never get upset, they are there 24/7, they have the ability to monitor health in real time, etc.

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/opinion/sunday/the-future-of-robot-caregivers.html?_r=0

Imagine this: Since the robot caregiver wouldn’t require sleep, it would always be alert and available in case of crisis. While my patient slept, the robot could do laundry and other household tasks. When she woke, the robot could greet her with a kind, humanlike voice, help her get out of bed safely and make sure she was clean after she used the toilet. It — she? he? — would ensure that my patient took the right medications in the right doses. At breakfast, the robot could chat with her about the weather or news.

And then, because my patient loves to read but her eyesight is failing, the caregiver robot would offer to read to her. Or maybe it would provide her with a large-print electronic display of a book, the lighting just right for her weakened eyes. After a while the robot would say, “I wonder whether we should take a break from reading now and get you dressed. Your daughter’s coming to visit today.”

Are there ethical issues we will need to address? Of course. But I can also imagine my patient’s smile when the robot says these words, and I suspect she doesn’t smile much in her current situation, when she’s home alone, hour after hour and day after day.

I don't disagree, though I think the robot in that scenario is farther off than others.  So maybe it's a matter of when vs. if.  I was thinking of the nearer (20-30 years) term, as in this article: https://www.vox.com/2017/7/3/15872260/health-direct-care-jobs

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1516 on: August 04, 2017, 11:07:29 AM »
I don't disagree, though I think the robot in that scenario is farther off than others.  So maybe it's a matter of when vs. if.  I was thinking of the nearer (20-30 years) term, as in this article: https://www.vox.com/2017/7/3/15872260/health-direct-care-jobs

These robots are currently being used in Japan and throughout the world.  They may not be widely used today, but there are a lot of investment and evaluation going on right now with these robots.  As they become more sophisticated and the population continues to age, they will be used in greater numbers.  The articles that I find interesting are the ones that evaluate how the patients react to the robots.  They tend to like the robots better than the humans as the robots are always patient, always kind, always helpful, always there.  Humans get frustrated, tired, and are not available. 

When you say nearer term, there is a lot of articles and expectations that robots will be fully involved in eldercare within 15 years.  When I see people saying 20 years+, I have a hard time understanding what the technology could be like in that time.  Currently robots/AI are doubling in complexity and features every two years or so. AI/Robots in 20 years will be like us talking about a flip phone vs. the latest Iphone.  The features and abilities are hard to comprehend.

I also see/hear from nurses that robots could never take their jobs.  When you start analyzing what they currently are doing, you can see that a nurse could be replaced very quickly.  Taking blood pressure, weight, heart rate, and other vitals, drawing blood, giving shots, and recording information in the system are all areas that robots and technology can do today better than humans. 

This is going to be a crazy few decades.   

toganet

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1517 on: August 04, 2017, 11:23:29 AM »
Honestly, I think there is a chance we are going to hit an economic inflection point prior to a technological one, due to converging factors of accelerating retirement, automation, and reduction in tax revenues (lower taxes and fewer gainfully employed workers).  I'm only guessing at relative rates here, but I think the timing is close enough to worry about.

In other words, I worry about the scenario where large numbers of Boomers are drawing on social security, others are entering care facilities that are funded by medicare, etc., and at the same time the number of workers needed to support those government-funded programs has decreased due to demographic, skill-match, and tax policy interplay.

And I have even less confidence that corporations would do a better job preventing chaos, as I am not sure where their revenues will be coming from if folks stop having money to spend.

Interesting times, indeed.

theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1518 on: August 07, 2017, 05:17:52 AM »

The last part, again, we could already do, but usually choose not to.  Its called "timed lights".  Cities don't often invest in it, cause having regular lights is cheaper and easier, but when they do, you just drive at exactly the speed limit, and you are guaranteed to hit every green light down the entire street.
Trying to do it yourself on a street without timed lights is called "hypermiling", its part science part art, and has a big following of people (including MMM who wrote a post about it once, and myself, who was briefly a blogger for ecomodder.com).  Unfortunately, no matter how good you are, many times it simply isn't possible with non-timed lights, and that would be no less true for a AI driver.  Is a city which isn't willing to spend the money on a timed light system any more likely to spring for an entire network interface with cars?

Again, Bakari, you're looking at how AI can do things humans do, without considering that they won't need to.

Traffic lights will be obsolete, because all vehicles will know where all other vehicles are. They will weave around one another according to set rules and never crash. They might become stationery when there is a huge volume of traffic. But it won't be traffic lights telling them what to do. They will know.

As for your concerns about people giving up privacy, for example regarding surveillance cameras, I really think people care less about privacy than they think. Most people, in general, want 'privacy'. But think how much information millions of people willingly give to Facebook, or Google. And all they get in return is a bit of entertainment and questions answered quickly. Amazon practically knew I was pregnant before my husband did. Facebook sure knew (I could tell from the ads I was seeing) before I even told my parents. When they see benefits (even these small ones) people willingly give up a lot of things they thought were important.

Much of the UK is covered in cameras (in built up areas. That the rest isn't is more of a cost issue than the people revolting). ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) to check that cars are insured, paying the correct taxes etc. Street surveillance to assist in traffic management, policing, crowd control.

From what I see, no-one cares. In fact, if anything, the general public seems to love the cheap TV that comes out of it. I only had to glance at today's listings to see that THE PRIME SLOT on the biggest commercial channel here (9pm on ITV) is a programme called "Caught on Camera". Every night it's a different take - police chases with footages from inside the police car, immigration officers with footage from their body cams and the interrogation rooms. Faces of the guilty are sometimes blurred out. But this footage is being taken all day every day, and the public seem not only unphased by it, but entertained by it. The public here doesn't seem bothered by the multitude of cameras. In fact, many homeowners are putting up their own.

The younger generation are used to it. They unpack their shopping on YouTube and call it a 'haul'. They Facebook live the most mundane events (yesterday in my feed two kids padding in the sea on vacation).

I'm not saying there aren't people opposed to it, there are people opposed to everything. But all you need is a general consensus that cameras everywhere are a good thing and it will happen.

LessIsLess

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1519 on: August 07, 2017, 09:02:35 AM »
Technology can do a lot, but the pace of change will likely be gradual.  Society will have time to adapt.  One thing about technology -- it always malfunctions at the worst possible time.   

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1520 on: August 07, 2017, 09:34:10 AM »
One thing about technology -- it always malfunctions at the worst possible time.

I think that is just your perception. I can think of a lot of really terrible times for technology failures that never occurred.

For example, my car could have broken down on my way to my first day at my job, but it didn't. My office's accounting software could have crashed the day before taxes were due, but it didn't. The hospital's power and backup generators could have gone out when my wife was in labor, etc. It's justt that things work so well so often that we become dependant on them to the point that we abandon the old ways. Then when our car or our computer or whatever piece of technology breaks it seems like the worst time because we need something done and we don't know of another way to do it.

prognastat

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1521 on: August 07, 2017, 09:37:48 AM »
Technology can do a lot, but the pace of change will likely be gradual.  Society will have time to adapt.  One thing about technology -- it always malfunctions at the worst possible time.
This sentence is just as if not more true:
Humans can do a lot, but their pace of change will likely be gradual.  Society will have time to adapt.  One thing about humans -- they always make mistakes at the worst possible time.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 01:39:03 PM by prognastat »

Roe

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1522 on: August 07, 2017, 01:30:59 PM »

"You don't realise it but we're in a race between technology and politics, and technologists are winning. They're way ahead.


Very true. If those things continue at their respective paces, we are headed for a dystopian society of post apocalyptic scale.

Luckily it most likely wont be that bad, since its unlikely that the pace will stay the same. The further along the tech gets, the bigger the pressure on politics to fix things.

Issue, big one, is that the longer it takes politic to catch up, the larger the risk that the solutions will be inadequate. It would be better if that pressure was already there, and we had more time to implement and tweak solutions.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1523 on: August 07, 2017, 03:56:20 PM »

"You don't realise it but we're in a race between technology and politics, and technologists are winning. They're way ahead.


Very true. If those things continue at their respective paces, we are headed for a dystopian society of post apocalyptic scale.

I am not worried.  I don't think it's a problem.  We should all want the technologists to win, right?  In what bizarre alternate universe are old politicians righteous and just while technology leads to enslavement?

The whole premise of your statement is that technological progress is a bad thing, and I think all of human history disproves that point. 

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1524 on: August 07, 2017, 05:24:25 PM »

"You don't realise it but we're in a race between technology and politics, and technologists are winning. They're way ahead.


Very true. If those things continue at their respective paces, we are headed for a dystopian society of post apocalyptic scale.

I am not worried.  I don't think it's a problem.  We should all want the technologists to win, right?  In what bizarre alternate universe are old politicians righteous and just while technology leads to enslavement?

The whole premise of your statement is that technological progress is a bad thing, and I think all of human history disproves that point.

I see what you are saying, and agree that technological progress is a good thing. But what happens if significant automation and subsequent unemployment happens without a change in politics? If 50% of the jobs are eliminated, what do the newly unemployed do when their unemployment runs out and the gov't is still more concerned with corporate tax cuts than UBI?

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1525 on: August 07, 2017, 06:05:04 PM »
I see what you are saying, and agree that technological progress is a good thing. But what happens if significant automation and subsequent unemployment happens without a change in politics? If 50% of the jobs are eliminated, what do the newly unemployed do when their unemployment runs out and the gov't is still more concerned with corporate tax cuts than UBI?

We heard the same argument from plantation owners about all of the problems that free slaves would cause.  White male politicians used to stoke the same fears about skyrocketing unemployment when women were first allowed to join the workforce, or vote.  Then it was all about the Mexicans who took er jerbs.  Now people are worried about robots.  When will we learn that the economy isn't as fragile as we all seem to think it is, or at least isn't as vulnerable to the specific threat of overproduction as we think it is?

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1526 on: August 07, 2017, 07:05:19 PM »
For those in Australia, on ABC tonight at 8.30:

The AI Race: We explore how Artificial Intelligence will change your job as new research shows how much of what you do could be done by robots. From truckies to lawyers and doctors, we bring affected workers face to face with AI experts.
Late to FI; but better late than never!

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1527 on: August 08, 2017, 04:37:39 AM »

I see what you are saying, and agree that technological progress is a good thing. But what happens if significant automation and subsequent unemployment happens without a change in politics? If 50% of the jobs are eliminated, what do the newly unemployed do when their unemployment runs out and the gov't is still more concerned with corporate tax cuts than UBI?

50% of jobs have been eliminated before, more than once. Think of agriculture, or weaving. We didn't all become unemployed, we did different things. No-one worked in an HR department in 1850, you know? No-one was programming iphones or delivering babies in hospitals, or many of the jobs that are now done.

Just like an unemployed farm labourer couldn't imagine a person who's full-time job was to implement company policy and advise workers on their rights, so we can't imagine what form jobs will take in the future.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1528 on: August 08, 2017, 07:24:51 AM »

I see what you are saying, and agree that technological progress is a good thing. But what happens if significant automation and subsequent unemployment happens without a change in politics? If 50% of the jobs are eliminated, what do the newly unemployed do when their unemployment runs out and the gov't is still more concerned with corporate tax cuts than UBI?

50% of jobs have been eliminated before, more than once. Think of agriculture, or weaving. We didn't all become unemployed, we did different things. No-one worked in an HR department in 1850, you know? No-one was programming iphones or delivering babies in hospitals, or many of the jobs that are now done.

Just like an unemployed farm labourer couldn't imagine a person who's full-time job was to implement company policy and advise workers on their rights, so we can't imagine what form jobs will take in the future.

Yeah, but a factory, shipping company or delivery company thats been fully automated also doesn't need an HR department. Also though it is further in the future people are working towards AI that can write software.

The point isn't just that these jobs are going away, but as robot capabilities become more generalized and AI improves new jobs can be automated away at a much more rapid pace.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1529 on: August 08, 2017, 08:55:21 AM »

I see what you are saying, and agree that technological progress is a good thing. But what happens if significant automation and subsequent unemployment happens without a change in politics? If 50% of the jobs are eliminated, what do the newly unemployed do when their unemployment runs out and the gov't is still more concerned with corporate tax cuts than UBI?

50% of jobs have been eliminated before, more than once. Think of agriculture, or weaving. We didn't all become unemployed, we did different things. No-one worked in an HR department in 1850, you know? No-one was programming iphones or delivering babies in hospitals, or many of the jobs that are now done.

Just like an unemployed farm labourer couldn't imagine a person who's full-time job was to implement company policy and advise workers on their rights, so we can't imagine what form jobs will take in the future.

Yeah, but a factory, shipping company or delivery company thats been fully automated also doesn't need an HR department. Also though it is further in the future people are working towards AI that can write software.

The point isn't just that these jobs are going away, but as robot capabilities become more generalized and AI improves new jobs can be automated away at a much more rapid pace.

You're missing my point - I'm not saying we'll all do HR jobs. I'm saying that just like 'HR' was an unimaginable concept to a factory hand a century ago, so are the jobs that we will create out of thin air this go around.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1530 on: August 08, 2017, 09:14:11 AM »

I see what you are saying, and agree that technological progress is a good thing. But what happens if significant automation and subsequent unemployment happens without a change in politics? If 50% of the jobs are eliminated, what do the newly unemployed do when their unemployment runs out and the gov't is still more concerned with corporate tax cuts than UBI?

50% of jobs have been eliminated before, more than once. Think of agriculture, or weaving. We didn't all become unemployed, we did different things. No-one worked in an HR department in 1850, you know? No-one was programming iphones or delivering babies in hospitals, or many of the jobs that are now done.

Just like an unemployed farm labourer couldn't imagine a person who's full-time job was to implement company policy and advise workers on their rights, so we can't imagine what form jobs will take in the future.

Yeah, but a factory, shipping company or delivery company thats been fully automated also doesn't need an HR department. Also though it is further in the future people are working towards AI that can write software.

The point isn't just that these jobs are going away, but as robot capabilities become more generalized and AI improves new jobs can be automated away at a much more rapid pace.

You're missing my point - I'm not saying we'll all do HR jobs. I'm saying that just like 'HR' was an unimaginable concept to a factory hand a century ago, so are the jobs that we will create out of thin air this go around.
From the same post:
The point isn't just that these jobs are going away, but as robot capabilities become more generalized and AI improves new jobs can be automated away at a much more rapid pace.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1531 on: August 08, 2017, 10:09:56 AM »

The last part, again, we could already do, but usually choose not to.  Its called "timed lights".  Cities don't often invest in it, cause having regular lights is cheaper and easier... Is a city which isn't willing to spend the money on a timed light system any more likely to spring for an entire network interface with cars?

Again, Bakari, you're looking at how AI can do things humans do, without considering that they won't need to.

Traffic lights will be obsolete, because all vehicles will know where all other vehicles are. They will weave around one another according to set rules and never crash. They might become stationery when there is a huge volume of traffic. But it won't be traffic lights telling them what to do. They will know.


I'm not saying that vision of fully networked AI traffic isn't technically possible, I'm saying that not everything possible gets implemented.  We have a mostly car based society.  Yet there is no universal law that says bikes and pedestrians, or even horse drawn carriages, are all banned from all public roadways.  In Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana its common to see horse drawn buggies on the street.

What reason do we have to assume that one day soon 100% of the population is going to go out and buy full AI cars with no possibility for driver input?  No one will bike or walk or ride a horse, or even keep their old car, ever again?  That does not seem remotely realistic, at least not in the forseeable future. 


Someone who buys a new car in 2018 is going to go along with it when in 2028 the federal government decides all cars operated by humans are now banned on all public roadways? 
This is a democracy.  And people don't make decisions based purely on what is the most rational approach to benefit society as a whole in the long run.

Which means that intersections in cities still need to accommodate flesh brains which don't have access to the traffic-net that AI taps into. 
In other words: street lights and stop signs.

My point in mentioning timed lights was that many of the benefits of networked cars could already easily be implemented with today's technology, and yet it isn't done.


Private auto manufacturers will not be able to implement a fully autonomous traffic-net which includes re-configuring all traffic laws, independent of government, even if there was any economic incentive for them to.  Which there isn't.


Quote
As for your concerns about people giving up privacy, for example regarding surveillance cameras, I really think people care less about privacy than they think. Most people, in general, want 'privacy'. But think how much information millions of people willingly give to Facebook, or Google. And all they get in return is a bit of entertainment and questions answered quickly.
It isn't my concern!
I just don't think having cameras on you 24/7, including in your personal bedroom, in all bathrooms public and private, and literally all other places, is equivalent to the information we give to facebook or cameras in public areas.

What I write keeps being taken out of context.  That comment was in response to the claim that there will be no crime in the future because everyone will be guaranteed to be caught.  Plenty of crime happens in personal homes, including bedrooms and bathrooms.

While I agree that tech will develop faster than most people think, many on this thread seem to think that tech is the ONLY factor in shaping society, and that anything which is technically possible will definitely happen.
 All the technologies we already have, that aren't implemented in every way they could conceivably be, is proof enough that it isn't.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 10:16:57 AM by Bakari »
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1532 on: August 08, 2017, 10:22:59 AM »

"You don't realise it but we're in a race between technology and politics, and technologists are winning. They're way ahead.


Very true. If those things continue at their respective paces, we are headed for a dystopian society of post apocalyptic scale.

I am not worried.  I don't think it's a problem.  We should all want the technologists to win, right?  In what bizarre alternate universe are old politicians righteous and just while technology leads to enslavement?

The whole premise of your statement is that technological progress is a bad thing, and I think all of human history disproves that point.

Not at all, technological progress is awesome, and if we handle this smart we might be heading for a fantastic world. Worryingly, history tells us we have not always been smart.

My statement about a dystopian future if tech wins was in regards to Tomsangs quote about a race. Tech winning that race is bad. Not because tech itself is bad, but because we now have societies adapted to most working. What our society isn't adapted to is massive amounts of people suddenly not working.

We want the tech advancements, but we want politics to be ahead of it. Not necessarily changing everything, but building a more adaptable society.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1533 on: August 08, 2017, 10:35:15 AM »
What I write keeps being taken out of context. 

Yes, we've sort of latched onto your rather reasonable opinions as points of contention, because many of us are optimistic about the future and you sound like you are not.

I agree that we will always have stop lights, because we will always have some human drivers in the mix and the traffic system will have to accommodate them somehow.  Maybe not on all roads, though.

The overall trend of technology, though, has always been to displace old ways of doing things to make room for different and seemingly foreign alternatives.  My grandma hated plucking kitchens when she was little, now nobody plucks chickens anymore and we pay people to regulate how much trans fat is in the KFC deep fryer.  Every job has been somehow changed by technology, and yet we keep finding new jobs in fields that didn't even exist before the technology came along.

So I'm not too worried about the robots and the super AI.  We'll all manage to get along.  We've survived multiple global military conflicts and come out just fine, do we really think robots taking our jobs is going to be worse than that?

We want the tech advancements, but we want politics to be ahead of it. Not necessarily changing everything, but building a more adaptable society.

I suspect that our society is already far more adaptable than we generally give it credit for.  We dealt with women joining the workforce, and freeing a nation's worth of slaves, and resource shortages and capital freezes and staggering inflation and yes, even the military murder of an entire generation of our young men.  Now everyone is freaking out about having too much free time on their hands, like that's what will end America?

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1534 on: August 08, 2017, 10:48:29 AM »

50% of jobs have been eliminated before, more than once. Think of agriculture...
This wasn't all made up for with new jobs.  People age 8 to 18 no longer work.  People retire younger than "physically unable to work anymore".  And we only work 8 hour days, instead of "as long as the sun is up" and 5 day weeks.  50% less jobs, and 50% less total work done, its a wash. 
The tech allows us to be paid more for the same work, while each person works less over their lifetime.
This was win/win.
Hopefully its what we do this time too.
Actually, I'm sure it is, the only question is how long will it take / will the transition be painful?

Quote
We didn't all become unemployed, we did different things. No-one worked in an HR department in 1850, you know?
Sure they did, it just wasn't called that. 
The boss, supervisor, or nobleman, or whoever, just had that responsibility, but the equivelant sort of things were done.  Someone made the decision of who to hire, who to fire, whether to except an illness as an excuse for missing work. It wasn't neccassary to have an entire "department" since things were rarely organized on such a large scale as is common today. 
Technology has little to do with the existence of HR - we just have a lot more people, and politics and corporations organized on a larger scale.  Its more a result of capitalism, and how it can make inefficiency sustainable as long as the gross is high enough.

Quote
so we can't imagine what form jobs will take in the future.
But what makes you think those future jobs won't also be automated?
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1535 on: August 08, 2017, 10:54:08 AM »
What I write keeps being taken out of context. 

Yes, we've sort of latched onto your rather reasonable opinions as points of contention, because many of us are optimistic about the future and you sound like you are not.


lol I don't mean to come across that way!
I am very looking forward to AI drivers, because humans are terrible at it.  I wish it could go faster and be more complete than it will, but even the milder version that will happen will be better.


I think robots displacing jobs is also very good, just like the industrial revolution permanently displacing jobs, allowing the development of the 8 hour day, weekends, paid vacation, benefits, and retirement, even while increasing profits and investment, was a very good thing. 
And I'm even lucky enough to have one of those sort of jobs that will take a lot longer to automate, due to its complexity (not to mention some capital!)


I have some question as to how painless the transition, politically and economically, will be to a new social model where there isn't enough labor for humans to have "job" as the basis for sustenance, but one way or the other we will get through it with a better life for everyone.


All that is totally separate from my instinct to call out and correct factually incorrect information I find on internet forums ;-P
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1536 on: August 08, 2017, 01:29:52 PM »

We want the tech advancements, but we want politics to be ahead of it. Not necessarily changing everything, but building a more adaptable society.

I suspect that our society is already far more adaptable than we generally give it credit for.  We dealt with women joining the workforce, and freeing a nation's worth of slaves, and resource shortages and capital freezes and staggering inflation and yes, even the military murder of an entire generation of our young men.  Now everyone is freaking out about having too much free time on their hands, like that's what will end America?

Too much free time isn't what people are freaking out over.

When spinning jenny came, workers sabotaged the machines because they were worried they might be out of a job. Many were, but that's long ago, and in the grand scheme of things we are better of with that invention than without it.

Looking at history doesn't make me less worried tough. A man loosing his cushy job as a weaver maybe went to the docks and got another job there. Heavy labor, and less money. From our viewpoint not that much different. Society now is different. There is WIC, the dole, SS. We live longer. We expect more. If we fall, we have a higher place to fall from than before in history. Many wouldn't know how to handle it, and many would feel resentment at loosing the life they had.

Not saying that is what will happen. Im saying that all the times this happened before happened in another context.

Another reason I worry is that the transition will happen in our time. No matter how awesome the industrial revolution is for us, it was fairly shitty for many that ended up in the middle of it. That weaver turned dock-worker probably wouldnt agree with me about it being "not that much different".

Anyways, I hope you are right. I would enjoy that free time.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1537 on: August 08, 2017, 06:30:19 PM »
From researching the future with AI/Robots, the thing that keeps popping up is the need to get ahead of it with legislative, tax, legal, rules.  The issues that can/will pop up will be unprecedented.  Most likely in a very positive way if managed properly, but in areas that will surprise many, and a few that are truly scary.

"As the sale and use of lifelike sex robots that allow people to simulate rape continues to gain steam, one famed law professor is sounding the alarm."

https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/35300/

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1538 on: August 08, 2017, 07:53:50 PM »
While correlation can never prove causation, simulated sex tech (in the form of porn) is associated with significant decreases in all forms of sex crime.
There was a big drop in rape rates when the VCR was invented, and another drop when the internet came along.  Except, that is, in places where it was banned.
Bots should, if anything, do an even better job of giving potential rapists a neutral outlet. 
As uncomfortable as it is to acknowledge the "animal" side of sexuality, sex drive is pretty much universal, everyone has their own attractions, but not everyone is attractive to the object of their desire. 
Repression has never worked particularly well.  In fact, it pretty much always backfires - the more repressed a society is, the higher the levels of everything from sexual violence to STD rates, teen pregnancies and gender inequality.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1539 on: August 14, 2017, 02:54:34 PM »
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/14/oil-trading-god-andy-hall-says-hes-met-his-match-robots.html

Oil trading 'god' Andy Hall says he's met his match in robots

"Algorithmic trading systems have increasingly come to dominate," Hall wrote. "Investing in oil under current market conditions using an approach based primarily on fundamentals has therefore become increasingly challenging. It seems quite likely this will continue to be the case for some time to come."

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1540 on: August 16, 2017, 07:30:01 PM »
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/16/billionaire-richard-branson-weighs-in-on-free-cash-handouts.html

"With the acceleration of [artificial intelligence] and other new technology ... the world is changing fast," Branson writes in a post published this week.

"A lot of exciting new innovations are going to be created, which will generate a lot of opportunities and a lot of wealth, but there is a real danger it could also reduce the amount of jobs," he says.


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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1541 on: August 29, 2017, 03:33:21 PM »
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/08/28/ford-and-dominos-team-up-test-driverless-pizza-delivery/610350001/

Quote from: From the article
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Someday, the Domino's pizza you order might show up in a car that drives itself.

Domino's and Ford Motor began testing Tuesday in Ann Arbor, where Domino's is based, to see whether customers like the idea of driverless-car delivery or stumble over what amounts to a self-serve pickup process once the pizza arrives.

The test involves using a Ford Fusion sedan with markings and gear on the roof to indicate it is self-driving.

Ford said the Fusion hybrid is capable of driving itself but is driven by an engineer for the purposes of the testing. The windows will be tinted to prevent the customer from seeing the driver. The main intent of the project is to test customer reaction and the customers will think the vehicle is driving itself.

The customer will receive a text message when the vehicle arrives and then go out to the car.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1542 on: August 29, 2017, 05:47:08 PM »
So using human beings to simulate an employee free experience? Sounds like the (original) Mechanical Turk.

Personally I'd imagine an entirely automated pizza delivery experience would be popular. All of the delicious unhealthy food, none of the judgment or need to change out of a bathrobe. ;-)
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1543 on: August 29, 2017, 06:00:40 PM »
Except that you have to actually leave your house and go out to the driveway. It's actually a bit more effort than people are used to which I think is why they are testing customers' reactions.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1544 on: August 30, 2017, 01:55:47 PM »
The baking can be done en-route as well ensuring a hot fresh pizza every time!
True, but that could be done now...
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1545 on: August 30, 2017, 03:28:24 PM »
The Kiwis had the right idea- use drones:

"According to Meij, the company had been investigating delivery options for a while, saying that it didn't make sense to have a two tonne machine delivering a two kilogram order.

He said the use of drones offered a faster and safer option as well as removing barriers such as traffic and distance, meaning they could deliver further afield and faster in urban areas.

"Domino's is all about providing customers with choice and making customer's lives easier," Meij said. "Adding innovation such as drone deliveries means customers can experience cutting-edge technology and the convenience of having their Supreme pizza delivered via air to their door. This is the future.""

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1546 on: August 30, 2017, 04:09:42 PM »
I have to say, when I saw the headline about driverless pizza delivery I was expecting something a lot more efficient than a full size sedan. Drones would be super cool, but even a very small and efficient electric car of some sort would work.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1547 on: August 30, 2017, 04:13:15 PM »
When I saw Ford was involved, I knew they were going to go at least semi-retard. In Germany they use mopeds, which makes a lot more sense than cars too.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1548 on: August 30, 2017, 04:14:40 PM »
The Dominos I saw in Belgium had electric bikes for delivery. I assume it is more difficult to make something on two wheels autonomous though.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1549 on: August 31, 2017, 04:08:49 AM »
In Germany they use mopeds, which makes a lot more sense than cars too.

What, in the States, pizzas are delivered by car?! Always a moped here - you can tell it's a pizza one from the shape of the box on the back! Ubereats and Deliveroo use a mix of bicycles and moped near me (I'm in the UK).

I agree drones would be better. Aren't Amazon trialling drone deliveries in Cambridgeshire, or was that a publicity stunt?