Author Topic: Robots and their impact on the future  (Read 366023 times)

Optimiser

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1550 on: September 15, 2017, 02:24:59 PM »
"JP Morgan recently marshaled an army of developers to build software that can do in seconds what it took lawyers 360,000 hours to do previously, the company said."

This is quite impressive assuming that:
A) Lawyers were previously the best at doing whatever this thing is
B) This thing is something worth doing

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1551 on: September 22, 2017, 08:48:11 AM »
Putin is scared about Robots eating us...  Does he know something? At first I thought it was a translation error.  Like technology is going to eat us alive when it comes to jobs.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4909172/Putin-reveals-fears-robots-one-day-eat-us.html

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1552 on: September 22, 2017, 09:46:02 AM »
Putin is scared about Robots eating us...  Does he know something? At first I thought it was a translation error.  Like technology is going to eat us alive when it comes to jobs.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4909172/Putin-reveals-fears-robots-one-day-eat-us.html

Wow, of all the things I worry about with AI, being eaten is bizarre.  I guess the reasoning goes that humans eat things like chickens and cows, but beyond that the logic breaks down.  Enslave us, shoot us, imprison us in virtual reality, cause unemployment, drive over us, turn us in to helpless consumers with weaponized advertising - sure, lots of reasonable possibilities, but eat us?  If it wasn't Putin, I'd think the guy was completely bonkers.

OurTown

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1553 on: September 22, 2017, 09:53:24 AM »
It's like "Troll 2" but with robots.

Bakari

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1554 on: September 22, 2017, 09:58:41 AM »
Granted it made no sense - the very premise violates the most basic law of thermodynamics - but being eaten by robots was the backstory of the incredible popular "Matrix" movie series.


Remember?  Nuclear war or something blots out the sun,  so there is no longer any energy input, so the machines create human farms so they can extract energy from us.  How do we get the energy to continue to live?  Why, they feed us other humans of course!  That's not circular at all...


The entire fantasy land of the matrix itself was because humans apparently spontaneously die when in lifelong sensory deprivation.  And creating an interconnected detailed fantasy world is obviously a much better solution than just using, say, algae as a perpetual motion style energy source.


Maybe Putin just saw "The Matrix" for the first time.

Bakari

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1555 on: September 22, 2017, 10:04:59 AM »

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1556 on: September 22, 2017, 10:51:30 AM »
Granted it made no sense - the very premise violates the most basic law of thermodynamics - but being eaten by robots was the backstory of the incredible popular "Matrix" movie series.

Remember?  Nuclear war or something blots out the sun,  so there is no longer any energy input, so the machines create human farms so they can extract energy from us.  How do we get the energy to continue to live?  Why, they feed us other humans of course!  That's not circular at all...

The entire fantasy land of the matrix itself was because humans apparently spontaneously die when in lifelong sensory deprivation.  And creating an interconnected detailed fantasy world is obviously a much better solution than just using, say, algae as a perpetual motion style energy source.

Maybe Putin just saw "The Matrix" for the first time.

Yeah, using Humans as an energy source was a logical error debunked by Futurama!  https://youtu.be/wSVlOAocn8E?t=3m40s  Surely Putin has someone on his staff that can inform him of this before he goes off the rails.

GuitarStv

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1557 on: September 22, 2017, 11:06:25 AM »
C'mon, cut Putin some slack.  How many folks does he regularly come into contact with that you think would openly disagree with him no matter how crazy he sounds on an issue?  He's doing pretty well for his situation . . .

:P

Bakari

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1558 on: September 24, 2017, 09:32:26 PM »
Yeah, using Humans as an energy source was a logical error debunked by Futurama!  https://youtu.be/wSVlOAocn8E?t=3m40s  Surely Putin has someone on his staff that can inform him of this before he goes off the rails.


holy crap, that makes so much sense!  Now I want to actually see that again, and the rest of them!

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1559 on: October 07, 2017, 07:35:20 PM »
http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/10/05/study-public-fears-growing-dominance-of-robots/


"White collar workers see tech as something positive that helps them get ahead and has improved their opportunities for career advancement, giving them agency to do their jobs better, make more money and get promotions. When we asked the same questions of working class folk, you don’t get the same sense that it’s something that is helpful to them or improves access to career opportunities.

He said that “the American public does not buy the notion that it will be good for everyone.” Americans believe that “a small number of people [will] do well and everyone else loses their jobs to the robots.” It turns out, they may be right."


jordanread

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1560 on: October 07, 2017, 09:15:12 PM »
I'll have to look up the references, but an AI caucas was just formed.

arebelspy

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1561 on: October 11, 2017, 10:39:29 PM »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1562 on: October 14, 2017, 04:08:31 PM »
https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/google-pledges-1-billion-prepare-153900399.html

Google appears to be providing serious money to address this issue. I need to dig in more to see what it means.

mozar

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1563 on: October 14, 2017, 07:40:38 PM »
I walked into my manager's office last week and on his screen was a powerpoint presentation about how the office is planning on automating 20 to 90 percent of activities. He must have seen my eyes get big because he then clicked out of it.

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1564 on: October 16, 2017, 09:52:25 AM »
I walked into my manager's office last week and on his screen was a powerpoint presentation about how the office is planning on automating 20 to 90 percent of activities. He must have seen my eyes get big because he then clicked out of it.

Wow!  That would be a bit unsettling.  Would you be on the team to implement said change or are you looking for other outside opportunities?

mozar

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1565 on: October 16, 2017, 07:32:26 PM »
Quote
Wow!  That would be a bit unsettling.  Would you be on the team to implement said change or are you looking for other outside opportunities?

I'm definitely not looking for a new job. I don't feel like hopping again, especially so close to FIRE.

Even though I wasn't supposed to see that yes I am on the team to implement change. There is a member on my team whose sole job is to automate and we work together (he automates something, I write the new process). The office has tried and failed to automate but has failed miserably so we are the consultants who have come in to "improve" things.

maizeman

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1566 on: October 29, 2017, 01:38:27 PM »
Walmart is expanding the use of robots which run the aisles checking for merchandise that needs to be restocked to another 50 store. Pretty basic tech compared to a lot of what is discussed in this thread, but I though it was interesting that these two ideas could be presented in the same paragraph:

Quote
Walmart stresses that the robots are there to supplement humans, not replace them...And the chief of Bossa Nova rival Simbe Robotics, Brad Bogolea, added that shelf checks can cost a major retailer hundreds of millions of dollars per year. However expensive the robots may be, they could pay for themselves very quickly.

Can people really read "we're not going to replace humans with these robots, but these robots are going to save us lots of money [presumably because they don't have to pay humans to do that work anymore]" and not see that these two statements contradict each other?

https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/26/walmart-tests-shelf-scanning-robots/

matchewed

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1567 on: October 30, 2017, 05:10:27 AM »
Walmart is expanding the use of robots which run the aisles checking for merchandise that needs to be restocked to another 50 store. Pretty basic tech compared to a lot of what is discussed in this thread, but I though it was interesting that these two ideas could be presented in the same paragraph:

Quote
Walmart stresses that the robots are there to supplement humans, not replace them...And the chief of Bossa Nova rival Simbe Robotics, Brad Bogolea, added that shelf checks can cost a major retailer hundreds of millions of dollars per year. However expensive the robots may be, they could pay for themselves very quickly.

Can people really read "we're not going to replace humans with these robots, but these robots are going to save us lots of money [presumably because they don't have to pay humans to do that work anymore]" and not see that these two statements contradict each other?

https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/26/walmart-tests-shelf-scanning-robots/

Yeah that's been a common refrain. In my job world (mfg) that also has been the message while the apparent reality is that automation has absolutely reduced the number of jobs and grown a divide in the complexity of the jobs. Whereas you needed a fairly even spread of knowledge and skills across your various jobs within a facility now you need a more bimodal spread with peaks at the higher end and lower end of the knowledge/skill spectrum.

dougules

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1568 on: October 30, 2017, 10:34:50 AM »
Walmart is expanding the use of robots which run the aisles checking for merchandise that needs to be restocked to another 50 store. Pretty basic tech compared to a lot of what is discussed in this thread, but I though it was interesting that these two ideas could be presented in the same paragraph:

Quote
Walmart stresses that the robots are there to supplement humans, not replace them...And the chief of Bossa Nova rival Simbe Robotics, Brad Bogolea, added that shelf checks can cost a major retailer hundreds of millions of dollars per year. However expensive the robots may be, they could pay for themselves very quickly.

Can people really read "we're not going to replace humans with these robots, but these robots are going to save us lots of money [presumably because they don't have to pay humans to do that work anymore]" and not see that these two statements contradict each other?

https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/26/walmart-tests-shelf-scanning-robots/

This is exactly what I think is happening that automation is going to be incremental like it has been since the industrial revolution, except that it's accelerating. 

Bateaux

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1569 on: October 31, 2017, 06:21:34 AM »
It's been my experience in 25 years of chemical plant production that the more we automate, the smoother things run.  Job tasks of humans that were reduced did not result in overall job loss.  We have greater production and more employees than ever.   

robartsd

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1570 on: October 31, 2017, 09:09:08 AM »
We have greater production and more employees than ever.
Yes, but how many jobs at other opperators did you eliminate by taking over their production? Being at a company that successfully automates early enough to have a competative advantages in the industry is proabably good for job security. Being at a company that is automating to try to catch up with competition might be not so good for job security.

pdxmonkey

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1571 on: October 31, 2017, 02:37:00 PM »
Also possible: chemicals become cheaper, causing more use than ever.. Expanding the industry and needing just as many people to monitor the now greater amount produced via automation as we're previously required to produce a lesser quantity of chemicals.. Resulting in net zero job losses, but they loss of all production level jobs.

TempusFugit

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1572 on: October 31, 2017, 05:54:46 PM »
I think the pure economists' view would be that humans displaced from the job (or simply not hired to do it in the first place) can get a 'better' job doing something that a machine can't do as well as a human. 

How well that will actually work out in practice is something we are about to find out, I think. 

Fact is that humans can do lots of things but low skill things often are done by humans who don't really give a crap and thus do it very poorly.   Watching borderline morons bag my groceries is one of my life's little trials.  I always want to just push them aside and do it myself.   Of course, I also hate the damn machine at the self checkout repeatedly asking me to 'remove the item from the bagging area.'    So I guess it's a wash. 

dougules

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1573 on: November 01, 2017, 11:22:17 AM »
I think the pure economists' view would be that humans displaced from the job (or simply not hired to do it in the first place) can get a 'better' job doing something that a machine can't do as well as a human. 

How well that will actually work out in practice is something we are about to find out, I think. 

Fact is that humans can do lots of things but low skill things often are done by humans who don't really give a crap and thus do it very poorly.   Watching borderline morons bag my groceries is one of my life's little trials.  I always want to just push them aside and do it myself.   Of course, I also hate the damn machine at the self checkout repeatedly asking me to 'remove the item from the bagging area.'    So I guess it's a wash.

Even when people do move to a better job, it's not an easy transition.  Think about your parents, grandparents, or great grandparents moving from farm life to working in a factory, a mine, or an office.  We just accept that you might only see your grandparents and cousins once every year or two, but that was a big deal not long ago. 

A lot of people have long unemployment periods, and maybe have to spend time and money on school or training.  It's good for society in the long run, but in the short run automation causes a lot of turmoil. 

maizeman

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1574 on: November 17, 2017, 07:19:26 AM »
Training a radiologist takes four years after four years of general medical school training, which comes after four years of college, so 12 years total of specialized training.

With a big enough training dataset (100,000 images), AI can be trained to diagnosis diseases like pneumonia was well or better than radiologists in two months. ... and of course the AI can interpret xrays all over the world, at any time of day or night.

Popular press article: https://qz.com/1130687/stanford-trained-ai-to-diagnose-pneumonia-better-than-a-radiologist-in-just-two-months/

Scientific preprint: https://arxiv.org/abs/1711.05225

jordanread

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1575 on: November 17, 2017, 08:11:19 AM »
Training a radiologist takes four years after four years of general medical school training, which comes after four years of college, so 12 years total of specialized training.

With a big enough training dataset (100,000 images), AI can be trained to diagnosis diseases like pneumonia was well or better than radiologists in two months. ... and of course the AI can interpret xrays all over the world, at any time of day or night.

Popular press article: https://qz.com/1130687/stanford-trained-ai-to-diagnose-pneumonia-better-than-a-radiologist-in-just-two-months/

Scientific preprint: https://arxiv.org/abs/1711.05225

In the same vein, don't forget Brittany Wenger, who did the same thing in 2012 at 17!
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/budding-scientist/google-recognizes-teens-for-tackling-hearing-loss-breast-cancer-and-water-quality/

Just Joe

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1576 on: November 28, 2017, 07:35:59 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRj34o4hN4I

There is a 20 seconds blooper reel after the end of the video. Just keep watching. 

Just Joe

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1577 on: November 28, 2017, 07:46:31 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.

The counter-point:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOT0GOyw2pY

Not sure who I believe b/c Vox also said that truck driving is one of the more future proof jobs and I think that has been shown to be wrong. Unless I'm missing something.

Just Joe

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1578 on: November 28, 2017, 08:17:14 AM »
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.

Well ebikes do make sense but in the US city (NYC) where it would make the most sense the mayor has banned ebikes and police confiscate them... 

aspiringnomad

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1579 on: November 28, 2017, 08:25:07 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.

Well ebikes do make sense but in the US city (NYC) where it would make the most sense the mayor has banned ebikes and police confiscate them...

Seriously?! I had no idea they were illegal in NYC. They're everywhere in DC and the city has even allowed a dockless ebike system among several other dockless bike systems undergoing a "demonstration period". I get that NYC is crowded but banning ebikes is crazy.

Zola.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1580 on: November 29, 2017, 06:07:43 AM »
People do business with people. Soft skills are the future. If you don't have them, you will need them...

matchewed

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1581 on: November 29, 2017, 07:10:34 AM »
People do business with people. Soft skills are the future. If you don't have them, you will need them...

As people keep ordering stuff online rather than go to a brick and mortar store, as people automate their banking activities, as people automate their bill payments, as people ask a phone for a ride...

I'm not sure your blanket statement is 100% applicable to all scenarios.

Just Joe

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1582 on: November 29, 2017, 01:26:37 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.

Well ebikes do make sense but in the US city (NYC) where it would make the most sense the mayor has banned ebikes and police confiscate them...

Seriously?! I had no idea they were illegal in NYC. They're everywhere in DC and the city has even allowed a dockless ebike system among several other dockless bike systems undergoing a "demonstration period". I get that NYC is crowded but banning ebikes is crazy.

https://slate.com/business/2017/10/bill-de-blasios-crackdown-on-e-bikes-is-a-truly-bad-idea.html

robartsd

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1583 on: November 30, 2017, 10:56:00 AM »
Well ebikes do make sense but in the US city (NYC) where it would make the most sense the mayor has banned ebikes and police confiscate them...

Seriously?! I had no idea they were illegal in NYC. They're everywhere in DC and the city has even allowed a dockless ebike system among several other dockless bike systems undergoing a "demonstration period". I get that NYC is crowded but banning ebikes is crazy.

https://slate.com/business/2017/10/bill-de-blasios-crackdown-on-e-bikes-is-a-truly-bad-idea.html
NY State has not yet enacted any e-bike laws. NY DMV says they do not qualify to be registered as motor vehicles. Appearently they are being treated under NY State law as illegal motor vehicles rather than as bicycles. There is a bill in NY's Assembly Transportation committee (since Jan 10, 2017) that would allow e-bikes (matching the federal definition).

FIRE Artist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1584 on: November 30, 2017, 01:59:50 PM »

Yankuba

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1585 on: November 30, 2017, 02:15:13 PM »
People do business with people. Soft skills are the future. If you don't have them, you will need them...

As people keep ordering stuff online rather than go to a brick and mortar store, as people automate their banking activities, as people automate their bill payments, as people ask a phone for a ride...

I'm not sure your blanket statement is 100% applicable to all scenarios.

+1

A guy I work with decided on an online graduate degree versus going a couple of subway stops to the local commuter school which has a much better reputation. I said "you will make so many friends going to the actual school - maybe even find a girlfriend or two" and he was like "why do I want to travel to school when I can do everything from my couch." He is in his late 20s.

I'm bearish on people's ability to use charm and soft skills to outrun the robots and software.

Brother Esau

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1586 on: November 30, 2017, 04:37:15 PM »
Adding this robotic total station and data collector to our arsenal next year. I'm a Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor.

dougules

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1587 on: December 01, 2017, 11:28:31 AM »

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1588 on: January 04, 2018, 09:55:20 PM »

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/04/south-koreas-lg-electronics-to-introduce-new-robots-at-ces-2018.html

LG is rolling out three new prototype service robots.  Some of the quotes from the article are interesting.  The numbers are staggering and the dates are not that far out.  In twelve years, they are projecting 800 million workers globally can be replaced.  Even if they are off by a decade, this will still be very disruptive to those that make money through manual and intellectual labor.  Our children will be experiencing a new paradigm for earning income.  Fill up the Stache so that you are owning the companies that will be causing the disruption.

"Meanwhile, a report released by McKinsey & Company last November suggested that by 2030, as many as 800 million workers globally could be replaced by robots. Even if automation adoption is slower, as many as 400 million people could still be affected, the report said."

"But not everyone is convinced by the argument that automation will create enough new jobs — especially to service and program AI and robots. The former president of Google China told CNBC in November that robots are "clearly replacing people jobs. They're working 24 by 7. They are more efficient. They need some programming. But one programmer can program 10,000 robots."

toganet

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1589 on: January 05, 2018, 08:48:28 AM »
Might it be time to look at some targeted ETFs like ROBO or BOTZ?  Their performance has been impressive over the short term, but I'm not one to recommend a narrow focus.

maizeman

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1590 on: January 05, 2018, 09:32:55 AM »
A lot of the innovation in machine learning and robotics is coming from either small startups (privately held), or large diversified corporations where robotics are a small fraction of what the organization does (think amazon's warehouse robots, or google's self driving cars). The first group tends to get acquired by the second group if successful rather than going public.

I don't think there is a better hedge against automation than "hold the whole market." And and to make sure you are working on hitting FI whether or not you value RE because your job may very well disappear in the decades between now and conventional retirement age.

dougules

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1591 on: January 05, 2018, 10:28:02 AM »
A lot of the innovation in machine learning and robotics is coming from either small startups (privately held), or large diversified corporations where robotics are a small fraction of what the organization does (think amazon's warehouse robots, or google's self driving cars). The first group tends to get acquired by the second group if successful rather than going public.

I don't think there is a better hedge against automation than "hold the whole market." And and to make sure you are working on hitting FI whether or not you value RE because your job may very well disappear in the decades between now and conventional retirement age.

At least if automation really kicks into high gear, it should goose the economy while holding inflation down.  Lower cost of living in relation to the economy will make FI easier to get to for those that don't get replaced.   

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1592 on: January 05, 2018, 10:54:40 AM »
A lot of the innovation in machine learning and robotics is coming from either small startups (privately held), or large diversified corporations where robotics are a small fraction of what the organization does (think amazon's warehouse robots, or google's self driving cars). The first group tends to get acquired by the second group if successful rather than going public.

I don't think there is a better hedge against automation than "hold the whole market." And and to make sure you are working on hitting FI whether or not you value RE because your job may very well disappear in the decades between now and conventional retirement age.

At least if automation really kicks into high gear, it should goose the economy while holding inflation down.  Lower cost of living in relation to the economy will make FI easier to get to for those that don't get replaced.   

I agree. To me the twist to this, which may be anti-mustachian, is do you earn more so that your children can be gifted ownership in the companies making the money/power?  If they don't have the same opportunities that we had to make a living, are you morally obligated to help them out by providing some of your stache to them? 

maizeman

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1593 on: January 05, 2018, 11:06:06 AM »
I actually struggle a bit with that exact question (although somewhat academically since I don't have any children at the moment, although it's certainly possible I may in the future).

It is certainly possible that society may shift a lot in the future, but if present trends continue, I think it will be significantly harder for future generations to achieve FI by selling their labor for 5-20 years than it is today for those of us fortunate enough to have in demand skill sets.

sol

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1594 on: January 05, 2018, 12:06:38 PM »
I think it will be significantly harder for future generations to achieve FI by selling their labor for 5-20 years than it is today for those of us fortunate enough to have in demand skill sets.

Nah, there will always be work for people willing to work hard.  It may be very different kinds of work, or require specialized training or education not offered by our current system, but I can't envision a human economy with no demand for human labor.

I can envision a national economy run by robots in which humans are incidental, but those profits will still flow to humans and those humans will want other humans to do their bidding.  We could have an elite ownership class that controls 99% of all capital, but I think that class will always redistribute some portion of their earnings to non class members, and some of those folks will find a way to join the member class.

It could certainly get harder than it is today, I suppose.  It seems easy if you make 100k/yr and save/invest half for a decade, but not everyone currently has that opportunity and most people who do don't take it. 

maizeman

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1595 on: January 05, 2018, 12:22:05 PM »
There is an awful lot of space between the situation we have today where a little more than half of total national income is being being paid to people for providing human labor with the balance being paid out to owners of capital (including -- though it's a small fraction of total capital today -- the owners of robots and server farms running machine learning algorithms), and a world where there is zero demand for any human labor, ever.

Yankuba

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1596 on: January 05, 2018, 01:02:46 PM »
Might it be time to look at some targeted ETFs like ROBO or BOTZ?  Their performance has been impressive over the short term, but I'm not one to recommend a narrow focus.

I talked my friend into investing in BOTZ but I haven’t convinced myself to invest. One of the two has a tiny number of companies in the index and both have high P/E ratios.

Bakari

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1597 on: January 06, 2018, 09:47:52 AM »
I think it will be significantly harder for future generations to achieve FI by selling their labor for 5-20 years than it is today for those of us fortunate enough to have in demand skill sets.

Nah, there will always be work for people willing to work hard.  It may be very different kinds of work, or require specialized training or education not offered by our current system, but I can't envision a human economy with no demand for human labor.

I can envision a national economy run by robots in which humans are incidental, but those profits will still flow to humans and those humans will want other humans to do their bidding.  We could have an elite ownership class that controls 99% of all capital, but I think that class will always redistribute some portion of their earnings to non class members, and some of those folks will find a way to join the member class.

It could certainly get harder than it is today, I suppose.  It seems easy if you make 100k/yr and save/invest half for a decade, but not everyone currently has that opportunity and most people who do don't take it.

I agree entirely with what you are saying, but I don't think it conflicts with what Maizeman said.
He only said it would be harder, not that it would be impossible.

If robots and AI displace, say, 70% of the work force, with our current economic system (where wages are set by supply and demand), then either 70% of people will not be able to achieve FI through earning wages, or, best case scenario it will take everyone at least 70% longer to do so (assuming the cuts are distributed evenly all around, which seems very unlikely, and assuming spending wasn't already at a fixed minimum and could be scaled back proportionately to maintain the same overall savings rate, which seems even more unlikely).

Either way, that would constitute being significantly harder.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1598 on: January 06, 2018, 01:29:23 PM »
I haven’t read this entire thread yet (I will, it’s fascinating), but I wonder how much the concept of resistance gets discussed? Yes, robots and AI are going to replace much, but I also see separate societies forming, like the Amish, but not based on religion, simply based on human relevance. Look at Hipsters, there will always be people who want to live in the past to some degree, experience what is lost. Humans are designed to work and be active to some degree. We might have situation where lower skilled and motivated work for the machines and the rest who aren’t running things, move somewhere else, banning technology or limiting it. People who retain the old way of doing things will become invaluable but they will be limited, and rich—like the Amish.

Bateaux

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1599 on: January 06, 2018, 02:18:53 PM »
Will we desire to be more like the Amish?  I doubt it.  This is big business.   Think logging, a little more than a century ago we still used crosscut saws, axes and draft animals.  We still used hand picks and hand shovels in coal mines.  We had coal stokers feed boilers on locomotives and steamships.  We still have logging although we use gasoline saws and heavy equipment.  We still mine coal using heavy equipment.  We still have locomotives and ships but very few are coal driven.  The technology that replaced the human labor was thousands of times more efficient and eliminated millions of hard and dangerous jobs with machinery.   Why can't this continue?  We get better and better jobs that we dont have to hate or risk lives for.  Truck driving, cab driving, warehouse work, assembly lines, welding, smelting, firefighting, security...there are hundreds of jobs fields that we would gladly allow automation to assist us and make the human part safer, more desirable and more efficient.