Author Topic: Robots and their impact on the future  (Read 179943 times)

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #650 on: June 07, 2016, 08:20:59 PM »
There was a book written a long time ago about throwing people at a project to speed up its completion, CliffsNotes version: it does not work well and actually slows things down.

I actually believe that there will be a point where throwing any human at the problem will slow things down.  In the Amazons and Teslas of the world you will see this in the next 5 years.  Currently Amazon hires 100's of thousands of temp employees during the rush.  I could see that going away by 2021, replaced by robots.  People would just slow the robots down.

Engineering, coding, etc. will be done by computers at an exponentially faster pace in the near future.   

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #651 on: June 08, 2016, 01:01:38 PM »

Doubling or tripling the number of people in the mix and having each only work 2 days per week (that may not overlap) would be a royal hassle and slow productivity to a crawl.

You make a good point about certain industries being easier than others.
I'd imagine its a part of the reason that professionals (doctors, lawyers, some engineers), and executives are all exempt from overtime pay.

But on a more general level, these same arguments were made when we went from an 80-hour standard work week to a 40-hour one.
Of course it was a hassle, and it did (temporarily) slow productivity growth, but in the long run those hick-ups didn't matter. The redistributive effects (from capital to labor) remained (at least until computers and the global economy).


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CliffsNotes version: it does not work well and actually slows things down.


Even if things did slow down, a large part of my larger argument is that it is OK if things slow down.  Infinite growth is not possible, regardless of technology, there are limiting factors.  So a system dependant on growth either has to change dramatically, or else eventually fail.  Our current system is dependant on infinite growth.  If we reevaluate our priorities, acknowledge that we have more than enough already, and begin to value sustainability of the system over growth, then we can allow things to slow down all the way down to replacement level.

80->40hr/wk:   Yes and no.  I think it is more quantity vs quality, both have a place at a time.  After a few weeks high quantity hour produce low quality work, at least in fields I have worked in.

Slow down: I have trouble seeing this happening naturally, how would individual actors see it in there best interest to slow down?  Anyone or any company that did choose to compete at a slower rate would be at a disadvantage and risk going broke.  With UBI maybe this risk of going broke matters less?  Some interesting dynamics would be created; would the companies/people willing to work at full rate be in such demand they could not fill all the demand and partial rate companies/people would have to be hired?

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I actually believe that there will be a point where throwing any human at the problem will slow things down.  In the Amazons and Teslas of the world you will see this in the next 5 years.  Currently Amazon hires 100's of thousands of temp employees during the rush.  I could see that going away by 2021, replaced by robots.  People would just slow the robots down.

Engineering, coding, etc. will be done by computers at an exponentially faster pace in the near future. 

Keeping humans in the loop is a pain.

Amazon scaled the number of servers they have for xmass shopping, this is generally more than they need year round so they sell the excess computing power.  Amazon could not sell excess warehouse capacity 9 months per year so they will either have to scale the robot warehouse workforce for xmass or continue to hire carbon based temps.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #652 on: June 08, 2016, 08:53:03 PM »
Walmart Looks to Drones to Speed Distribution

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In six to nine months, the company said, the machines may be used in one or more of its distribution centers.
...
Shekar Natarajan, the vice president of last mile and emerging science, explained that the machines could help catalog in as little as a day what now takes employees about a month.

theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #653 on: June 09, 2016, 02:18:14 AM »

But on a more general level, these same arguments were made when we went from an 80-hour standard work week to a 40-hour one.
Of course it was a hassle, and it did (temporarily) slow productivity growth, but in the long run those hick-ups didn't matter. The redistributive effects (from capital to labor) remained (at least until computers and the global economy).

Yes. And also, a 40 hours work week is already an arbitrary amount of time for someone to be working. It wasn't figured out based on how productive people are, or how to get the most out of a workforce. It's just the way things have always been done - a week divided into 7 days, no work on the Sabbath etc. It has a lot more to do with the Bible than maximising man's productivity.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #654 on: June 09, 2016, 12:11:03 PM »

But on a more general level, these same arguments were made when we went from an 80-hour standard work week to a 40-hour one.
Of course it was a hassle, and it did (temporarily) slow productivity growth, but in the long run those hick-ups didn't matter. The redistributive effects (from capital to labor) remained (at least until computers and the global economy).

Yes. And also, a 40 hours work week is already an arbitrary amount of time for someone to be working. It wasn't figured out based on how productive people are, or how to get the most out of a workforce. It's just the way things have always been done - a week divided into 7 days, no work on the Sabbath etc. It has a lot more to do with the Bible than maximising man's productivity.


Ah, but that's the thing: it ISN'T how things were always done, not by a long shot.  It is only how things have been done for the lifetime of people currently in the work force.  It is only 76 years old, having gone into effect in 1940.  It had been pushed for since the 1800s (industrial revolution), but didn't gain enough support to become law until after the Great Depression.


Prior to that is was not at all uncommon for people to work 10-12+ hours days, 6 or even 7 days a week.


The 8 hour work day was picked perhaps mostly because it divides a day up into neat even categories, which readily made itself available for a slogan - 8 for sleep, 8 for work, 8 for yourself.


Slow down: I have trouble seeing this happening naturally, how would individual actors see it in there best interest to slow down?
Isn't that the primary focus of the MMM blog, and presumably most of the people who are devoted enough to the concept to participate on the MMM forum?
Once you have enough, the marginal utility of more becomes less than the effort required to achieve it.


Sure, there will always be some mentally unhealthy millionaires who still eat food a soup kitchens and don't turn on the heat in winter to keep the gas bill low, but the majority of people are capable of realizing a balance. 
So it isn't a totally radical concept, the change would be qualitative, not quantitative.
One thing it is easy to forget is that there is really no such thing as "a company".  There is just people.  Collections of people.  If every individual sees it in their own best interest to take weekends off, work no more than 8 hours a day, and have an occasional vacation, then it is in the best interests of "the company" to allow its employees (including management) to do so. 
 40 hours already IS a slow down compared to the 60-80 hour work week that preceded it, and people, collectively, did decide it was in their (our) best interests.


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Anyone or any company that did choose to compete at a slower rate would be at a disadvantage and risk going broke.


That's a very common economic claim, but I don't think it is in any way valid.  You don't compete at a "rate", you compete for customers.
Company A makes and sells 1000 widgets a day, as does Company B.
The market sustains 2000 widget consumers.
Now say Company A decides to scale back, and only produces 500.
Either B can speed up to take up the slack, or a Company C can come into existence, (or 500 people can go without widgets)
Regardless of which outcome occurs, there is no reason to assume that Company As remaining 500 customers would all of a sudden want to switch companies, leaving them with no customers.  Why would those things be correlated?
There are millions of small businesses, independent boutiques, self-employed people who work part-time, and they don't fail just because others in the same industry work longer hours or produce more output.


There is this assumption that the only options are growth or failure, but there is also sustainable, right in the middle.

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theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #655 on: June 10, 2016, 04:39:44 AM »

But on a more general level, these same arguments were made when we went from an 80-hour standard work week to a 40-hour one.
Of course it was a hassle, and it did (temporarily) slow productivity growth, but in the long run those hick-ups didn't matter. The redistributive effects (from capital to labor) remained (at least until computers and the global economy).

Yes. And also, a 40 hours work week is already an arbitrary amount of time for someone to be working. It wasn't figured out based on how productive people are, or how to get the most out of a workforce. It's just the way things have always been done - a week divided into 7 days, no work on the Sabbath etc. It has a lot more to do with the Bible than maximising man's productivity.


Ah, but that's the thing: it ISN'T how things were always done, not by a long shot.  It is only how things have been done for the lifetime of people currently in the work force.  It is only 76 years old, having gone into effect in 1940.  It had been pushed for since the 1800s (industrial revolution), but didn't gain enough support to become law until after the Great Depression.


Prior to that is was not at all uncommon for people to work 10-12+ hours days, 6 or even 7 days a week.


The 8 hour work day was picked perhaps mostly because it divides a day up into neat even categories, which readily made itself available for a slogan - 8 for sleep, 8 for work, 8 for yourself.



Sorry, I wasn't clear. We are in agreement. The 40 hour work week is arbitrary. We haven't always worked for 40 hours a week, on the contrary, we used to work all daylight hours except for proscribed rest days.

And yet... when we got people to stop working 90 hours and they went down to 40 hours... we survived. We didn't just become more productive as a species, technology took off.

That is what I'm saying. The 40 hour work week was never designed to make us as productive as possible, it's a hangover. Which is why AlanStache* saying that if he suddenly doesn't work 40 hours a week anymore he won't get anything done... makes no sense to me. Bakari, we are in total agreement that a shorter working week for the same number of people overall is the best outcome of technological advances.

*quote from AlanStatche to which I am referring:

On a practical level I dont think it would be possible for many of the creative tech peoples to work radically short weeks and still get something done.  It takes time to think and test and apply new ideas to make something that is unique and new.  I truly fail to see how my work could be split between two or three people, the coordination and communication would be a total bear in it self...

maizeman

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #656 on: June 10, 2016, 06:43:17 AM »
Company A makes and sells 1000 widgets a day, as does Company B.
The market sustains 2000 widget consumers.
Now say Company A decides to scale back, and only produces 500.
Either B can speed up to take up the slack, or a Company C can come into existence, (or 500 people can go without widgets)
Regardless of which outcome occurs, there is no reason to assume that Company As remaining 500 customers would all of a sudden want to switch companies, leaving them with no customers.  Why would those things be correlated?
There are millions of small businesses, independent boutiques, self-employed people who work part-time, and they don't fail just because others in the same industry work longer hours or produce more output.

I don't have a particular dog in the original debate, but I do what to point out that this example only works for things where the cost of production and running a business scales linearly.  If company A and company B each had to buy a $1M widget-making-press, then once company A scales back, they'll have to raise their price per widget just to break even, and as company B increases production (maybe they hire a night shift to keep that press running 24 hours a day), they'll be able to sell their widgets less per unit and still break even. So now the customers company A has left start switching over to company B, which drives A's break even price higher and B's break even price lower.

Areas where most costs scale linearly are where you tend to see a lot more small and private businesses (plumbing, legal work, stuff like that) competing in the same niche, while areas with lots of fixed costs (manufacturing, social networking, pharmaceuticals, and what have you) and very little marginal cost per additional customer there tend to be only a few major players in a particular niche.

I imagine the same reasoning applies to different jobs. In some fields it's easy to replace me working 40 hours with me working 20 and someone else working 20. For example when I was in high school I detasseled corn, and you really could finish the same field in half the time with twice the people. In other fields you can hire three people working 20 hours a week and get a lot less done than one person working 40. For whatever reason, intellectual jobs seem to be ones that don't scale well. Try hiring twice as many engineers and you don't get work done twice as fast. Same for computer programmers. Or molecular biologists. Or statisticians.
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tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #657 on: June 10, 2016, 07:37:00 AM »
Try hiring twice as many engineers and you don't get work done twice as fast. Same for computer programmers. Or molecular biologists. Or statisticians.

When computers, technology, robots are doing the heavy lifting 24/7, then the number of human bodies will not materially contribute to the production.  Currently, programmers, biologist, statisticians are being replaced by automation.  In the near future, they will be severely slowing down the process.

maizeman

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #658 on: June 10, 2016, 09:28:41 AM »
Try hiring twice as many engineers and you don't get work done twice as fast. Same for computer programmers. Or molecular biologists. Or statisticians.

When computers, technology, robots are doing the heavy lifting 24/7, then the number of human bodies will not materially contribute to the production.  Currently, programmers, biologist, statisticians are being replaced by automation.  In the near future, they will be severely slowing down the process.

Oh I'm not arguing with you about the potential for automation. My point was about the potential for dividing full time jobs for one person into mini-jobs for several.

My point is that however many hours of programmers, biologists, or statistician work you need, you get a lot more productivity out of X people working 40 hours than 2X people working 20 hours. So as the jobs go away in those fields it will result in a lot of unemployed statisticians/programmers/biologists and a few who are still putting in 40-60 hour weeks rather than a lot of statisticians/programmers/biologists working 10 hours a week.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 09:32:57 AM by maizeman »
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Albert

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #659 on: June 10, 2016, 01:53:15 PM »
Try hiring twice as many engineers and you don't get work done twice as fast. Same for computer programmers. Or molecular biologists. Or statisticians.

When computers, technology, robots are doing the heavy lifting 24/7, then the number of human bodies will not materially contribute to the production.  Currently, programmers, biologist, statisticians are being replaced by automation.  In the near future, they will be severely slowing down the process.

If you don't need humans at all in some position X then obviously you hire no one, but if you do need them then I agree with those here who say that it's a lot more efficient having one guy working 40-50 h/week than two guys 20 h each.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #660 on: June 10, 2016, 02:47:43 PM »
The discussion regarding 1 person working 40hrs/week, or 2 people working 20hrs/week is interesting to watch unfold. Is there anything that can be linked to that shows empirically that one is more efficient? I know anecdotally it seems to be the case, but I think that's more related to the structure we currently have.

Things are designed to be done by 1 person in 40hrs, but if things were to switch to 2 people in 20hrs each, the design of the structure would change. It's akin to the modularization of complicated software, and making sure that everything is decoupled from everything else. Only one person needs to know how everything fits together, and everyone else just does their small part.

Even the person who needs to know how everything fits together wouldn't have to actually be involved for a longer period of time, so long as there are decent ways to ensure the disparate parts come together, but again, that has to do with the structure of the work, not  human nature or anything.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #661 on: June 11, 2016, 08:39:10 AM »


Oh I'm not arguing with you about the potential for automation. My point was about the potential for dividing full time jobs for one person into mini-jobs for several.

My point is that however many hours of programmers, biologists, or statistician work you need, you get a lot more productivity out of X people working 40 hours than 2X people working 20 hours.


I acknowledged as much from the beginning.
Part of my argument is that we don't NEED any more productivity.  We, collectively (in the developed world), have significantly more than enough already.  We are well past the point where there is any marginal utility of additional wealth.  The only issue is the distribution.
Optimizing productivity is of no particular value to society if all of the proceeds of that productivity go to just a couple people.


The automation itself already ensures that productivity overall increases - just like technology more than made up for the loss of human hours from the 40hr week.


So let it take 20% longer for the 3 statisticians who have to coordinate with each other finish the report.



I don't have a particular dog in the original debate, but I do what to point out that this example only works for things where the cost of production and running a business scales linearly.  If company A and company B each had to buy a $1M widget-making-press, then once company A scales back, they'll have to raise their price per widget just to break even, and as company B increases production (maybe they hire a night shift to keep that press running 24 hours a day), they'll be able to sell their widgets less per unit and still break even.


If they have already paid for the $1M equipment, then the cost no longer scales.  Its like if you own a car, you don't pay less per mile if you drive it more.
Besides, Company B hiring a night shift is exactly what I'm suggesting - keeping productivity levels by hiring more people.  Surely they could keep costs down if they made the day shift workers also work the night shift (no additional per-employee costs).  But we (via the government) say that they can't do that.  If they want more production, they have to hire more people.

Similarly, no company is at any competitive disadvantage if everyone is required to pay double time after 20 hours.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #662 on: June 11, 2016, 10:38:13 AM »
Two clarifications:

1. We could debate how to treat the opportunity costs of the money tied up in capital investments, but instead, let me revise my original scenario so that firm A and firm B each financed their purchases of the $1M widget presses and have to make fixed monthly loan payments to whoever loaned them the money.

2. I think you're talking about total productivity of the economy when you say we don't need any more. I'm saying it doesn't make sense to artificially reduce productivity per hour.

In your example, a company has to hire three 20/week statisticians to take 20% longer to do what one statistician could do in 40 hours a week. That implies a half time statistician is only about 56% as productive per hour as a full time statistician.* If the company pays the same total salary for the same number of reports, the new system has each statistician working half as much, but only getting paid 28% as much.

*Let's say the 40 hour/week statistician writes one report per five day workweek. That's 2.5% of a report per hour. The three 20 hour/week statisticians take six work days (20% longer) to write a report. They each work 4 hours/day so 4 hours * 3 statisticians * 6 days = 72 hours to write one report. That's 1.4% of a report per hour. 1.4/2.5= 55.6%.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #663 on: June 11, 2016, 12:35:11 PM »
Bakari: Thank you for your thought provoking responses.  I wish I were able to allocate more time in the recent days to this conversation :-)

regarding the 40hr week:  I think the most total productivity week over week can (not talking about short term crunch situations) be done with something not much under 30hr/wk to not much more than 50hr/wk.  Less than that the over head of communication takes to high a cost as well as having to make a system so you remember what you were doing three/four days ago.  Much above 50hr/wk and you get burnt out and make more mistakes.  40 is a nice number as it divides evenly into 24 hour days.  I did google around and found fairly little published info on the optimal volume of work for engines/scientists/etc, this maybe because it is very hard to quantify productivity for these fields.  There have been times when my boss and I spend two days looking at code together only to add half a line to fix the problem, how do you quantify that productivity?  How do you compare it with someone in a different industry. 

My employer very rarely sells a standardized widget.  There are very few alternatives if one wants to buy from someone else, this does not let is charge what we want.  We find that if we are not able to build the widget for the price the customer wants and deliver it before a calendar date the costumer wants then they will find alternatives to buying a widget.  We are not in a zero sum game. 

One thing that has not been mentioned in this (at least recently-am not willing to go back and reread this entire thread) is technical people working +30ish hours for a hand full of weeks on a specific task then working minimal if any hours for a few weeks while they are not as needed.  This would result in a yearly average much less than than 40hr/wk but still maintain usefulness while in the office.  There would definitely be down sides to this model but it might be worth it. 

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #664 on: June 11, 2016, 04:17:37 PM »
1. We could debate how to treat the opportunity costs of the money tied up in capital investments, but instead, let me revise my original scenario so that firm A and firm B each financed their purchases of the $1M widget presses and have to make fixed monthly loan payments to whoever loaned them the money.
acknowledged - but getting into my thoughts around financing growth takes us too far from the robots taking our jobs discussion.

Short response would be that a part of that reduction in growth rate should come from a reduction in financing.


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2. I think you're talking about total productivity of the economy when you say we don't need any more. I'm saying it doesn't make sense to artificially reduce productivity per hour.
not seeing the distinction.  The total economy is made up of all of the individual labor-hours put together.

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If the company pays the same total salary for the same number of reports, the new system has each statistician working half as much, but only getting paid 28% as much.


Ah, also implicit in my idea is that people would make significantly more per hour (ideally, the same total take home pay as they used to make with 40 hours, though probably not realistically).  This wouldn't have to be mandated, as with twice the jobs there is more work than employees, and supply and demand means employers have to compete with higher wages. 
When you have unemployment, workers are competing for jobs, by accepting lower and lower pay (bad pay is better than none).
(Granted, this will also incentivise building robot workers faster, but there's no reason to assume it isn't already being developed as quickly as is possible.  We are just talking about the ever decreasing human only type jobs). 


Some industries would suffer from the reduced profit margins (though with narrow margins would either fold or have to develop a new model) but that the system as a whole can afford that extra labor pay is demonstrated by the unprecedented rise in wealth inequality between the top 0.1% and everyone else (including the much maligned 1%) which not coincidentally corresponds with several decades of replacing labor with outsourcing, corporate consolidation, and most of all, computers and robots. 


Our rate of productivity (per worker) is somewhere on the order of 7 to 20 times higher than it was in 1940 when the 40 hour week became standard.  Inflation adjusted median individual income is not even twice as high.  All of that additional value created by the increased productivity per worker was "skimmed off the top", if you will, by that 0.1% 


The tragic irony is that they are well beyond the point where additional wealth has any marginal utility toward happiness or well-being - its just that our system is set up so that the value produced by technology goes 100% to the investor/owner and 0% to the employee
(for example, when Amazon replaces all its workers with robots).


I don't see any way out of that other than tying working hours to productivity, regardless of what complications that may cause, (at least until the robots get so good that 90-99% of people are unemployed, and we have to figure out an entirely different system from the ground up).
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #665 on: June 11, 2016, 05:10:10 PM »
I gotcha. Okay, yes, assuming it did work out that the shift from 40 hour weeks to 20 hour weeks brought with it a big shift in how much of the benefits of productivity went to the workers and how much went to the business owners, I can see it could be made to work.

Personally my preference would still be to fund a universal basic income, but the end result is essentially the same (moving a chunk of income from capital owners who benefit from increasing automation to people who would otherwise be rendered unemployed by automation).

About point #2. The distinction is that if we somehow fixed the total size of the economy, growing productivity per hour would result in fewer total hours worked across the whole population, while decreasing productivity per hour means more people have to work more hours to produce essentially the same overall standard of living for our society.
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maizeman

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #666 on: June 11, 2016, 05:16:32 PM »
Alan, I agree with you that for work that requires thinking and creativity 30-50 hours is a reasonable sweet spot with burn out if you go too high and increasing overhead of just keeping up with what you're supposed to be doing below that. But I don't have any empirical data to back it up.

Taken to its logical extreme, the idea of working 30-50 hour weeks for a while and then taking time off is essentially what FIRE is all about. I'm not sure what the trade offs would be in terms of productivity or people's happiness from spending time working at a career continuously until one hit their total work hours for a lifetime vs 3-4 weeks of work followed by a 3-4 week break.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #667 on: June 11, 2016, 06:36:59 PM »
About point #2. The distinction is that if we somehow fixed the total size of the economy, growing productivity per hour would result in fewer total hours worked across the whole population, while decreasing productivity per hour means more people have to work more hours to produce essentially the same overall standard of living for our society.


Good point.


Taken to its logical extreme, the idea of working 30-50 hour weeks for a while and then taking time off is essentially what FIRE is all about. I'm not sure what the trade offs would be in terms of productivity or people's happiness from spending time working at a career continuously until one hit their total work hours for a lifetime vs 3-4 weeks of work followed by a 3-4 week break.


Ah, also very good point... or another way to essentially have the same end result would be if people had 7-10 year careers, instead of 40-50 years of employment (and worked the normal 40-hours, 50 weeks a year when they were employed).


And indeed, that's what a "Mustachian" career looks like, more or less, as long as a person figures out frugality, saving, and investing at a young enough age.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #668 on: June 13, 2016, 07:15:11 AM »
The sticking point comes as to how the 'resting' human employees will receive ongoing training to keep them relevant and competitive with workers new to the workforce.  For jobs that are automated, robots can simply be turned on and off as necessary, and upgraded to continously increase productivity with no declines due to time off and no moral or economic disasters caused by their obselescence.  In a generation or two, I really don't see enough careers lasting for folks into their 50's and beyond.  Not as big a deal if we all are FIRE chasers, but we also acknowledge that anti-consumerism isn't how the US economomy is set up.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #669 on: June 13, 2016, 08:20:09 AM »
The sticking point comes as to how the 'resting' human employees will receive ongoing training to keep them relevant and competitive with workers new to the workforce.  For jobs that are automated, robots can simply be turned on and off as necessary, and upgraded to continously increase productivity with no declines due to time off and no moral or economic disasters caused by their obselescence.  In a generation or two, I really don't see enough careers lasting for folks into their 50's and beyond.  Not as big a deal if we all are FIRE chasers, but we also acknowledge that anti-consumerism isn't how the US economomy is set up.

Now that is an interesting point, that touches on a bit how I think this will have to play out. EV2020 hit the nail on the head (for me). Anti Consumerism is not how the US economy is set up. I think that will have to change, otherwise the tech is going to be limited, only to give people the chance to be better consumers. Without the consumer mindset, I believe this is a relatively simple shift. But all of the different viewpoints earlier are based on something I missed: What would happen if this stuff didn't change?

It almost sounds like Bakari is in a similar boat to me, while maizeman, theadvicist,and alanstache are all operating under the idea that ideas will remain the same as far as consumerism and the like.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #670 on: June 13, 2016, 03:44:07 PM »
Foxconn to eliminate half of their workforce with AI robots.

http://observer.com/2016/05/apples-supplier-is-replacing-60000-workers-with-ai-robots/

When a robot is replacing a human that makes 31 cents per hour, you know that there is trouble in the near future for those doing menial tasks. 
 
"The manufacturing company has long been under fire for various forms of labor abuse. Workers claim to work 35-hour shifts for a wage of 31 cents per hour."

Foxconn "laid off 60,000 employees, which will reduce the workforce in a single Taiwanese factory from 110,000 to 50,000."

When you look at the US and probably more importantly the rest of the developing world, we are going to have significant disruptions in employment as AI Robots replace the need for workers.  How or what do people do for a living?  In capitalistic countries the spoils will go to the Owners, where more socialistic companies will have an easier time spreading the AI wealth to their population.  Interesting times ahead.  Basic income will need to occur sooner, rather than later.



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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #671 on: June 13, 2016, 04:10:36 PM »
The sticking point comes as to how the 'resting' human employees will receive ongoing training to keep them relevant and competitive with workers new to the workforce.  For jobs that are automated, robots can simply be turned on and off as necessary, and upgraded to continously increase productivity with no declines due to time off and no moral or economic disasters caused by their obselescence.  In a generation or two, I really don't see enough careers lasting for folks into their 50's and beyond.  Not as big a deal if we all are FIRE chasers, but we also acknowledge that anti-consumerism isn't how the US economomy is set up.

Now that is an interesting point, that touches on a bit how I think this will have to play out. EV2020 hit the nail on the head (for me). Anti Consumerism is not how the US economy is set up. I think that will have to change, otherwise the tech is going to be limited, only to give people the chance to be better consumers. Without the consumer mindset, I believe this is a relatively simple shift. But all of the different viewpoints earlier are based on something I missed: What would happen if this stuff didn't change?

It almost sounds like Bakari is in a similar boat to me, while maizeman, theadvicist,and alanstache are all operating under the idea that ideas will remain the same as far as consumerism and the like.

Consumerism...

No I dont think the national mindset will be radically different regarding the acquisition of cheap-plastic-crap in the next 50 years.  +50 year... not sure.  If we look at the rate of change of other cultural aspects (bigotry, racism, homophobia, etc) I am encouraged that we can change but somethings take time.

Would I love for us to stop wasting time/resources/brain power on how to make TV's curved so we can get on with exploring the galaxy?  Fuck yes, never mind stopping polluting our home.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #673 on: June 14, 2016, 03:47:53 AM »
Consumerism...

No I dont think the national mindset will be radically different regarding the acquisition of cheap-plastic-crap in the next 50 years.  +50 year... not sure.  If we look at the rate of change of other cultural aspects (bigotry, racism, homophobia, etc) I am encouraged that we can change but somethings take time.


One thing I do see changing - we'll all be printing our own cheap plastic crap at home. So that removes a lot of jobs as well - manufacturing, shipping, handling, retailing.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #674 on: June 14, 2016, 09:04:21 AM »
Foxconn to eliminate half of their workforce with AI robots.

http://observer.com/2016/05/apples-supplier-is-replacing-60000-workers-with-ai-robots/

https://motherboard.vice.com/read/foxconn-robots-replace-workers

Thanks for the updated story.  Interesting that this is sourced by an ex Foxconn guy.  Also, he is pretty much stating that Foxconn and everyone else is replacing workers with automated processes.  It will be interesting to see what the actual impact will be over the next five years.  When 31 cents an hour is one of the most expensive parts of China it shows you what the US worker is competing with.  These companies are investing significant money to automate processes.  They are working up the chain.

"When you think robots, you think an entirely automated semiconductor factory where thereís no humans, but what Foxconn does with robots [is] theyíll mechanize a given job. Anything thatís kind of a like a routine job, theyíll mechanize it. So there will be some human, some machine interaction, just to speed up that process. Itís not like a full automated factory, where thereís nothing but robots. No, no, no.Ē

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #675 on: June 14, 2016, 10:07:59 AM »
The further along we go, the more automated most production and industry will be.  We have the mis/fortune to be caught up in the middle of the process.

What that means is that we mostly still carry around 18th and 19th century values about work and the value of a person (i.e. only lazy bums don't work - unless they are rich or retired).  I look at my kids and I honestly have no idea what work will look like for them in 30 years, or 40.

At some point the concentration of money and production into capital will create a crisis (see: Sanders, Trump as precursors).  We will either end up in a hugely unequal and fascist sort of situation where the vast majority have no hope of betterment outside of uniformed work (Trump) or something more balanced (Sanders).  Not that those two will necessarily result in those outcomes, but they do represent two responses to the same historical changes going on.


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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #676 on: June 14, 2016, 01:11:22 PM »
Consumerism...

No I dont think the national mindset will be radically different regarding the acquisition of cheap-plastic-crap in the next 50 years.  +50 year... not sure.  If we look at the rate of change of other cultural aspects (bigotry, racism, homophobia, etc) I am encouraged that we can change but somethings take time.


One thing I do see changing - we'll all be printing our own cheap plastic crap at home. So that removes a lot of jobs as well - manufacturing, shipping, handling, retailing.

http://www.vox.com/2016/6/6/11693388/makerbot-home-3d-printers

"Why home 3D printing never lived up to the hype"

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #677 on: June 16, 2016, 02:25:25 AM »
Consumerism...

No I dont think the national mindset will be radically different regarding the acquisition of cheap-plastic-crap in the next 50 years.  +50 year... not sure.  If we look at the rate of change of other cultural aspects (bigotry, racism, homophobia, etc) I am encouraged that we can change but somethings take time.


One thing I do see changing - we'll all be printing our own cheap plastic crap at home. So that removes a lot of jobs as well - manufacturing, shipping, handling, retailing.

http://www.vox.com/2016/6/6/11693388/makerbot-home-3d-printers

"Why home 3D printing never lived up to the hype"

Yeah the technology is fairly new, not that great and expensive. But I fundamentally disagree with a lot of that article:

"But it turned out that the average household doesn't have a lot of need for 3D-printed goods. And when they do have use for them, it's simpler to order from an online 3D printing service than to buy a 3D printer."

What? We all use items made entirely of plastic all day long. For example, a toothbrush. Instead of buying one at the store, you just send one to the printer. Yes, it's simpler to have someone else do it NOW, just like the average household didn't have a PC in the 70s.

""This notion of consumers buying their own machine and printing for themselves just is not working out, because it's not easy," he said. "You need to have some design talent, and most people aren't designers. You need to learn design software, and most people don't want to mess with it.""

You won't have to design your own toothbrush! You'll just to an online marketplace, pay a few pennies for the design, and set the printer going. No design skills needed.

We all have need for plastic items. Mindless consumers especially. Imagine being able to print custom sized storage containers. Mindless consumers love organising all their crap, but often bemoan how hard it is to find baskets in the correct dimensions. Solved. Look around you at everything made of plastic. All of that could be 'printed' at home as technology gets better. I think that will really disrupt things.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #678 on: June 16, 2016, 05:19:55 AM »
But the majority of those plastic items are in fact just storage for non-plastic items. I think the point is valid that 3D printing for random one off things is a cost prohibitive model.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #679 on: June 16, 2016, 07:14:13 AM »
But the majority of those plastic items are in fact just storage for non-plastic items. I think the point is valid that 3D printing for random one off things is a cost prohibitive model.

At present it's cost prohibitive. Just like have a single book delivered to your door tomorrow (or within 1 hour) used to be cost prohibitive, and is now often... free.

Seriously, I am looking around me, and perhaps I'm unusual, but at lease 50% of the items I can see are plastic (or plastic with some metal). I see no reason why coils of metal can't eventually also be used as 'ink' in the future - am I oversimplifying things?

Eg a new phone charging cable. I really can't see why that can't be 'printed' (one day), but I'd love to hear from people who know more about this than me and can explain the limitations.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #680 on: June 16, 2016, 08:02:23 AM »
But the majority of those plastic items are in fact just storage for non-plastic items. I think the point is valid that 3D printing for random one off things is a cost prohibitive model.

At present it's cost prohibitive. Just like have a single book delivered to your door tomorrow (or within 1 hour) used to be cost prohibitive, and is now often... free.

Seriously, I am looking around me, and perhaps I'm unusual, but at lease 50% of the items I can see are plastic (or plastic with some metal). I see no reason why coils of metal can't eventually also be used as 'ink' in the future - am I oversimplifying things?

Eg a new phone charging cable. I really can't see why that can't be 'printed' (one day), but I'd love to hear from people who know more about this than me and can explain the limitations.
If it's something that's just made of plastic, then it probably can be printed.  But that cable you mentioned has conductors inside of it and special connectors on each end.  I could be wrong, but I don't think 3D printers can put insulation over an inner conductor or attach connectors to a cable. 

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #681 on: June 16, 2016, 08:12:09 AM »
But the majority of those plastic items are in fact just storage for non-plastic items. I think the point is valid that 3D printing for random one off things is a cost prohibitive model.

At present it's cost prohibitive. Just like have a single book delivered to your door tomorrow (or within 1 hour) used to be cost prohibitive, and is now often... free.

Seriously, I am looking around me, and perhaps I'm unusual, but at lease 50% of the items I can see are plastic (or plastic with some metal). I see no reason why coils of metal can't eventually also be used as 'ink' in the future - am I oversimplifying things?

Eg a new phone charging cable. I really can't see why that can't be 'printed' (one day), but I'd love to hear from people who know more about this than me and can explain the limitations.

After your first post I looked over my last two years of orders for Amazon and ~8% could have maybe-someday been printed by me at home if the printer could also do some 'simple' work with metal/wires/insulation.  On demand production by a local Amazon/HomeDepot/etc facility where they can have a proper industrial printer that can handle big stiff with complex internals - sure I can see that but I just dont see a need or financial benefit for me to have a home printer.

After writing the above I did some math.

On Amazon right now printer filament runs about 15$/lb.
I can get a 6 pack of toothburshes for 6.65$ with shipping weight of 4.2oz
4.2oz = 0.2625lb;   (15$/lb) * 0.2625lb = 4$

So even given some printer waste it could be cost competitive in materials to print your own toothbrush today.  I was supersized by this.  That said I dont think todays home printers could make a viable toothbrush.  Yes todays you can always argue that tomorrows tech will be 1000 times awesomer, but we need to be very careful to NOT apply Moores law to the macro-physical world. 

I ask you all to look over your recent Amazon purchases and see how may could have been printed at home and at what cost in materials.  I would love to be proven wrong about this and have my own micro factory saving me money.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #682 on: June 16, 2016, 08:28:31 AM »
I ask you all to look over your recent Amazon purchases and see how may could have been printed at home and at what cost in materials.  I would love to be proven wrong about this and have my own micro factory saving me money.

Be sure to exclude items including metal or (this one people seem to miss more often) flexible plastic.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #683 on: June 16, 2016, 08:33:05 AM »
replacement lids for tupperware.. thats what i need to print
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #684 on: June 16, 2016, 08:42:03 AM »
replacement lids for tupperware.. thats what i need to print

Few years ago I got so sick of this I recycled all my tupperware and spent like 30$ at costco to replace it all with a new set that was 100% matching.  Very much worth it :-)

"Be sure to exclude items including metal or (this one people seem to miss more often) flexible plastic."
I thinking that we could even wave our hand and include those, my starting hypothesis is that even allowing simple metals and flexible plastic the number of included items will be very low and not worth the trouble of having a home factory.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #685 on: June 16, 2016, 08:59:02 AM »
replacement lids for tupperware.. thats what i need to print

Few years ago I got so sick of this I recycled all my tupperware and spent like 30$ at costco to replace it all with a new set that was 100% matching.  Very much worth it :-)

"Be sure to exclude items including metal or (this one people seem to miss more often) flexible plastic."
I thinking that we could even wave our hand and include those, my starting hypothesis is that even allowing simple metals and flexible plastic the number of included items will be very low and not worth the trouble of having a home factory.

I do see where you're coming from, and I know it's not viable now. And I know I mustn't expect the pace of change for all things to be the same. When the first printing press was invented I doubt they would have believed we'd all be printing anything and everything cheaply at home one day. But then, that took, what, 400 years?!

So we're probably all right, but this thread is about the future, and I'd like to believe anything is possible!

Thanks also for doing the maths on toothbrushes AlanStache - very suprising!

My amazon orders are 90% kindle books and music downloads - so no 'printing' required for either - we've gone beyond that!

Other things include a glass travel mug with silicon lid (not printable), some rotary cutter blades (metal - so maybe one day?), silicon travel toiletry bottles (not printable) and plastic lip balm tubes (I make my own toiletries, these would be printable now), and some plastic bobbins for my sewing machine (possible now).

And I'm another one who bought a full matching 'tupperware' set, although I went Glasslock, and wow, my life is transformed. All the lids fit each other, we have plenty, my frustration levels majorly decrease! However, two caveats - don't put plastic lids in the dishwasher, even top rack, as the heat warps them, and look after them if you take them to the work kitchen! I keep food in the fridge and then immediately put the bowl and lid straight in my bag to take home.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #686 on: June 16, 2016, 09:07:02 AM »
I was listening to some information on corporate espionage from someone in the intelligence community who stated that when corporations do business in China and they set up shop, all their manufacturing secrets and capabilities are immediately vulnerable. I would suggest that we are quickly approaching a point in time where manufacturing new tech can be almost 100% automated, and when we approach this point corporations will abandon manufacturing in China in favor of cheap automated factories in the US/Mexico where they can better control their trade secrets. I think that will be a net gain for the US economy, because someone is going to have to set up and maintain that equipment 24/7, that will be a high paying job, unlike the manufacturing capacity the machines are replacing.

If not for cheap labor, and lax environmental/safety controls, what is the point of manufacturing in China if your trade secrets are going to be stolen and exploited almost immediately by competitors?

One day we may be purchasing VR equipment or projection tech made in America.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #687 on: June 16, 2016, 10:04:27 AM »
replacement lids for tupperware.. thats what i need to print

Few years ago I got so sick of this I recycled all my tupperware and spent like 30$ at costco to replace it all with a new set that was 100% matching.  Very much worth it :-)

"Be sure to exclude items including metal or (this one people seem to miss more often) flexible plastic."
I thinking that we could even wave our hand and include those, my starting hypothesis is that even allowing simple metals and flexible plastic the number of included items will be very low and not worth the trouble of having a home factory.

I do see where you're coming from, and I know it's not viable now. And I know I mustn't expect the pace of change for all things to be the same. When the first printing press was invented I doubt they would have believed we'd all be printing anything and everything cheaply at home one day. But then, that took, what, 400 years?!

So we're probably all right, but this thread is about the future, and I'd like to believe anything is possible!

Thanks also for doing the maths on toothbrushes AlanStache - very suprising!

My amazon orders are 90% kindle books and music downloads - so no 'printing' required for either - we've gone beyond that!

Other things include a glass travel mug with silicon lid (not printable), some rotary cutter blades (metal - so maybe one day?), silicon travel toiletry bottles (not printable) and plastic lip balm tubes (I make my own toiletries, these would be printable now), and some plastic bobbins for my sewing machine (possible now).

And I'm another one who bought a full matching 'tupperware' set, although I went Glasslock, and wow, my life is transformed. All the lids fit each other, we have plenty, my frustration levels majorly decrease! However, two caveats - don't put plastic lids in the dishwasher, even top rack, as the heat warps them, and look after them if you take them to the work kitchen! I keep food in the fridge and then immediately put the bowl and lid straight in my bag to take home.

yeah we have a matching set of pyrex with tons of differnt sizes but one size we have one missing lid so when i get down to my last dish there it cant be used.
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theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #688 on: June 17, 2016, 02:20:04 AM »
I was listening to some information on corporate espionage from someone in the intelligence community who stated that when corporations do business in China and they set up shop, all their manufacturing secrets and capabilities are immediately vulnerable. I would suggest that we are quickly approaching a point in time where manufacturing new tech can be almost 100% automated, and when we approach this point corporations will abandon manufacturing in China in favor of cheap automated factories in the US/Mexico where they can better control their trade secrets. I think that will be a net gain for the US economy, because someone is going to have to set up and maintain that equipment 24/7, that will be a high paying job, unlike the manufacturing capacity the machines are replacing.

If not for cheap labor, and lax environmental/safety controls, what is the point of manufacturing in China if your trade secrets are going to be stolen and exploited almost immediately by competitors?

One day we may be purchasing VR equipment or projection tech made in America.

Very interesting. Also, if they are producing goods for the US market it definitely makes sense to produce them locally as the transportation costs will be lower as well. As you say, the advtanges to offshoring - less costly regulation and cheap labour - won't be as important with machines doing the work.

I do think machines will be able to fix machines in the future though. (We're already on the way - my husband plugs his laptop into his car to diagnose issues, it's just that he then has to carry out the repairs. But a machine diagnosing an error with another machine is pretty cool, and this is old technology - 2002 car). Anyone know of any examples of machines being maintained / repaired by machines? 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 02:22:47 AM by theadvicist »

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #689 on: June 17, 2016, 07:05:32 AM »
I was listening to some information on corporate espionage from someone in the intelligence community who stated that when corporations do business in China and they set up shop, all their manufacturing secrets and capabilities are immediately vulnerable. I would suggest that we are quickly approaching a point in time where manufacturing new tech can be almost 100% automated, and when we approach this point corporations will abandon manufacturing in China in favor of cheap automated factories in the US/Mexico where they can better control their trade secrets. I think that will be a net gain for the US economy, because someone is going to have to set up and maintain that equipment 24/7, that will be a high paying job, unlike the manufacturing capacity the machines are replacing.

If not for cheap labor, and lax environmental/safety controls, what is the point of manufacturing in China if your trade secrets are going to be stolen and exploited almost immediately by competitors?

One day we may be purchasing VR equipment or projection tech made in America.

Very interesting. Also, if they are producing goods for the US market it definitely makes sense to produce them locally as the transportation costs will be lower as well. As you say, the advtanges to offshoring - less costly regulation and cheap labour - won't be as important with machines doing the work.

I do think machines will be able to fix machines in the future though. (We're already on the way - my husband plugs his laptop into his car to diagnose issues, it's just that he then has to carry out the repairs. But a machine diagnosing an error with another machine is pretty cool, and this is old technology - 2002 car). Anyone know of any examples of machines being maintained / repaired by machines?
On the same subject of manufacturing in China being a bad deal for US tech companies, here is an example. Selective enforcement of Intellectual Property in a way that is detrimental to foreign companies and protects local manufacturers.

Quote
It's tough for foreign companies to do business in China, so much that even Apple is having a hard time. After the iTunes Movies and iBooks Store ban back in April, the previous generation of iPhones have recently been accused of infringing the design patent of some random Chinese company's "100C" smartphone under the "100+" brand. Don't laugh, because the Beijing Intellectual Property Office has since ordered Apple to stop selling its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in Beijing, with the reason being the general consumers won't be able to tell the "minute differences" between Apple's design and the 100C. No, really.

Of course, Apple and its distribution partner aren't having any of this, so they have initiated an administrative litigation to reverse the ban. But given Apple's previous failed attempt in China, they're going to need a lot of luck to win this fight.

https://www.engadget.com/2016/06/16/chinese-firm-claims-apple-copied-its-design-for-iphone-6/


As for machines fixing/making machines, thats been going on for decades in some advanced heavy manufacturing facilities in the form of giant lines of mill and drill machines that truck parts from one operation to the next in an automated sequence to produce or repair a part. Problem is they often leak oil/fluids everywhere, they need constant service to keep their cutting fluid and lubrication up to standard, they produce scrap metal shavings that are flammable depending on the material, and they need their cutting heads maintained (I'm sure there are more issues, I've never operated one). From what I've seen, even then people need to step in and tweak things here and there to make things fit correctly if there was wear and tear on a part, and inspect to ensure there is no sub-surface distortion or cracks. But thats a high quality QA/QC program, maybe if you're cranking out toilet seats it doesn't matter if 1 in 100 cracks in half.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #690 on: June 17, 2016, 10:46:38 AM »
I ask you all to look over your recent Amazon purchases and see how may could have been printed at home and at what cost in materials.  I would love to be proven wrong about this and have my own micro factory saving me money.

Be sure to exclude items including metal or (this one people seem to miss more often) flexible plastic.


https://3dprint.com/138446/materialise-stainless-steel/


http://3dprintingindustry.com/news/sub-4000-metal-3d-printer-33474/




At present it's cost prohibitive. Just like have a single book delivered to your door tomorrow (or within 1 hour) used to be cost prohibitive, and is now often... free.

Seriously, I am looking around me, and perhaps I'm unusual, but at lease 50% of the items I can see are plastic (or plastic with some metal). I see no reason why coils of metal can't eventually also be used as 'ink' in the future - am I oversimplifying things?

Eg a new phone charging cable. I really can't see why that can't be 'printed' (one day), but I'd love to hear from people who know more about this than me and can explain the limitations.
If it's something that's just made of plastic, then it probably can be printed.  But that cable you mentioned has conductors inside of it and special connectors on each end.  I could be wrong, but I don't think 3D printers can put insulation over an inner conductor or attach connectors to a cable. 


https://3dprint.com/47065/argentinian-3d-metal-printer/
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #691 on: June 17, 2016, 11:14:45 AM »
3D printing at home is different from paying a company to 3D print something and ship it to you. Those folks can afford to buy or design and build the multi-million dollar 3D printers used to print airline parts.

OTOH the second link is to a company that claims they'll be able to sell you a machine that can 3D print metal for a couple of thousand bucks. If/when that ships that would be much more of a game changer.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #692 on: June 18, 2016, 07:51:46 AM »
3D printing at home is different from paying a company to 3D print something and ship it to you. Those folks can afford to buy or design and build the multi-million dollar 3D printers used to print airline parts.

OTOH the second link is to a company that claims they'll be able to sell you a machine that can 3D print metal for a couple of thousand bucks. If/when that ships that would be much more of a game changer.


The point is the technology already exists, today.
In the future we expect prices to drop, and home units to get simpler and more popular.


My point was there is no reason to assume that the (home) 3D printers of tomorrow will be limited to plastic, and in fact good reason to assume they won't.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #693 on: June 29, 2016, 01:33:37 AM »
well, that, and the quants themselves are still programed by people. 
(that's what Jacob of Early Retirement Extreme - arguably the reason MMM got so big so quickly - un-retired to go do)

In the (probably near?) future when AI software is advanced enough to create better AI software than human minds can, then it will probably go to 8/8

Didn't even realize that Jacob unretired. When AI can create better AI, that is going to be awesome. Possibly end the Human Race, but awesome nonetheless.

It's already happened, for decades, around computer chip design.  I'd be surprised if it isn't already happening in trading.

But ASI will do that in every sector/field, and that exponential growth will be something we can't comprehend.  To paraphrase Wait But Why, our problems suddenly become "pick up the pencil on the floor" problems.

I think the proposal to tax robots proposed in Europe is a good one:
https://www.yahoo.com/tech/europes-robots-become-electronic-persons-under-draft-plan-170708335--sector.html

Quote
Europe's growing army of robot workers could be classed as "electronic persons" and their owners liable to paying social security for them if the European Union adopts a draft plan to address the realities of a new industrial revolution.

The 1% will be getting rich on robot labor, and it's a good source of funds for a basic minimum income.

I recently re-read Manna:
http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm

A short fiction piece about robots starting to take jobs.  Worth reading.

And am in the middle of his next work, The Second Intelligent Species:
http://marshallbrain.com/second-intelligent-species.htm

Also enjoyable, so far.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #694 on: June 29, 2016, 01:29:32 PM »
on a pessimistic note-
a recent podcast episode reminded me of this thread.
http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/home-on-lagrange/

Excitement about space was sky high after the moon landing.
There was a great swell of optimism about how far into space humans would explore and colonize.
It looked like the beginning of a technology S curve.
Instead, it turns out that the 60's was a local peak and human space flight has not surpassed it since.
No one alive at the time predicted the way space exploration would unfold.

Part of me can't wait for AI to disrupt our entire economy.
The other part wonders if it's all a mirage and some unseen barrier will arise.
Will AI be more like computers and internet? 
Or will it be more like space travel, nuclear energy... and other sorts of unfulfilled promises?

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #695 on: June 29, 2016, 03:14:35 PM »
I think the future will be exciting but almost no one will be excited about it. I was reading an article about driverless cars. It was asking if anyone will notice that there is no driver in the front seat of their uber. Which reminds me of my grandmother who was born in the 1930's. She never seemed particularly interested in how her lifestyle was able to change considerably over her lifetime. She sure liked crime shows though.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #696 on: June 29, 2016, 06:47:51 PM »
on a pessimistic note-
a recent podcast episode reminded me of this thread.
http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/home-on-lagrange/

Excitement about space was sky high after the moon landing.
There was a great swell of optimism about how far into space humans would explore and colonize.
It looked like the beginning of a technology S curve.
Instead, it turns out that the 60's was a local peak and human space flight has not surpassed it since.
No one alive at the time predicted the way space exploration would unfold.

Part of me can't wait for AI to disrupt our entire economy.
The other part wonders if it's all a mirage and some unseen barrier will arise.
Will AI be more like computers and internet? 
Or will it be more like space travel, nuclear energy... and other sorts of unfulfilled promises?

There's a large profit motive to AI.  Not so much to space, so far.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #697 on: June 29, 2016, 07:52:41 PM »
Yeah no way this is a mirage. Comparing it to space isn't a good analogy. That's like comparing the industrial revolution to westward expansion. While both use technology and advancement in tech. One has a very finite cap. And currently space exploration is capped by speed of travel to other locations and the expense. I mean what's the roi on a martian colony vs a machine that replaces 3 workers.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #698 on: June 30, 2016, 05:08:32 AM »
Yeah no way this is a mirage. Comparing it to space isn't a good analogy. That's like comparing the industrial revolution to westward expansion. While both use technology and advancement in tech. One has a very finite cap. And currently space exploration is capped by speed of travel to other locations and the expense. I mean what's the roi on a martian colony vs a machine that replaces 3 workers.

The roi on a martian base is that humanities Gross Domestic Species Production will be less likely to go to zero.  But yes space has always been stupidly expensive/dangerous/difficult with unknown finical return. 
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #699 on: June 30, 2016, 07:36:32 AM »
AI beats fighter pilot:

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2016/06/ai-downs-fighter-pilot.html

The universe of things humans can do better than software/robotics is rapidly declining each day