Author Topic: Robots and their impact on the future  (Read 360976 times)

big_owl

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #600 on: May 12, 2016, 11:19:58 AM »
You'll have to color me skeptical about this whole self-driving car thing.  I would certainly rather own a self-driving car, and I typically commute by motorcycle so feel it would probably be safer for me if cars were self-driving.  Then people could shove their smartphones down their throats without it being a risk to me.  But I still think there are too many details that need to be worked out that make the whole thing further off than is advertised.  Just today leaving from the gym on the Ducati I was playing through all the steps that would be required if I was commuting to work via SD car.  There just seem to be too many things that have to go right - from navigating a parking lot to collision avoidance, dealing with road markings, faded or missing lines, GPS irregularities, other people, training/licensing, etc.  Maybe it's just the engineer in me, but I have trouble envisioning this sort of thing with our current road system. 

As an engineer as well (software), I highly suggest looking at some of the interface that Self Driving cars use. A fair amount of it is shown in this Ted Talk (link) and if the engineer part of your brain is anything like mine, you will pause on that interface and look at all the things it takes into account. It's insanely awesome.

As far as the challenges go, there are a lot of them. If we had consistent infrastructure, or were willing to rebuild it, the tech from about 10 years ago would have made it possible. However, our infrastructure is not consistent. One of the things I really like about the SD cars is how they kind of gave up on designing decent infrastructure, and coding for what is (worst case) there, and not what should be (best case). I'd highly suggest watching the whole Ted Talk, but I took the liberty of finding the interface part. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/tiwVMrTLUWg?t=7m50s.

I totally understand the concerns, and I thought the same way until I started really looking into it. I was thinking how big of a pain in the ass it would be to account for all of those variables. And then I looked at some of the things they are doing, and OMG they are accounting for them all!! I still don't know quite how they would deal with the faded lines, but I do know they are able to identify the signs and road markings (even last year, they were able to identify cones and what they signify). They actually just made their vision API available through GCP, and even the free version can read all the common signage in english (I suppose that starting with facial recognition makes something like a sign pretty freaking easy).


I watched the interfacing part and you're right it is very cool.  I think I can convince myself that everything more or less works once you're out on an actual defined road and commuting.  The major probem I have is the final 1/4 mile or so.  Things like parking lots where there often aren't markings or signage and it's more or less a free-for-all.  Same with residential streets without markings and also dirt roads.  The final 1/4 mile of my commute isn't even on a GPS or map because it's new construction and it's all gravel roads in the boons.  Maybe then you have to switch over to manual mode...but then you open up other regulatory issues....how do we decide when you can or cannot switch to manual or auto mode?  Does everybody need re-training and some sort of license so they know when it's safe to switch from auto-manual or manual-auto?  New laws need to be enacted, beauracracy...my mind just keeps going on and on thinking of problems that need to be solved. 

I have no doubt they'll be solved eventually, I just don't think it'll be in time for his children to turn 16yo.  I still say the sooner the better as long as I can keep riding motorcycles.

jordanread

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #601 on: May 12, 2016, 11:26:24 AM »
I watched the interfacing part and you're right it is very cool.  I think I can convince myself that everything more or less works once you're out on an actual defined road and commuting.  The major probem I have is the final 1/4 mile or so.  Things like parking lots where there often aren't markings or signage and it's more or less a free-for-all.  Same with residential streets without markings and also dirt roads.  The final 1/4 mile of my commute isn't even on a GPS or map because it's new construction and it's all gravel roads in the boons.  Maybe then you have to switch over to manual mode...but then you open up other regulatory issues....how do we decide when you can or cannot switch to manual or auto mode?  Does everybody need re-training and some sort of license so they know when it's safe to switch from auto-manual or manual-auto?  New laws need to be enacted, beauracracy...my mind just keeps going on and on thinking of problems that need to be solved. 

I have no doubt they'll be solved eventually, I just don't think it'll be in time for his children to turn 16yo.  I still say the sooner the better as long as I can keep riding motorcycles.

Yeah, I could see that being an issue, and I think crowd sourcing the problem (essentially watching how people manually drive on that road) will be enough to where after a month or so of driving, the self driving bit could take over. As far as the new laws and everything, I found out that one of the reasons there has been so much success is actually the lack of laws pertaining to self driving cars. It was assumed to be so far off, and assumed to be much slower progress, that they can do this stuff because all the written laws are still being followed (except that one incident of the Google car getting pulled over for driving too slow). If you ever want to spend a touch of time reading a really fun experience with SD cars, I'd highly suggest reading this Oatmeal "article". It's a fun read.

AlanStache

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #602 on: May 12, 2016, 12:59:00 PM »
You'll have to color me skeptical about this whole self-driving car thing.  I would certainly rather own a self-driving car, and I typically commute by motorcycle so feel it would probably be safer for me if cars were self-driving.  Then people could shove their smartphones down their throats without it being a risk to me.  But I still think there are too many details that need to be worked out that make the whole thing further off than is advertised.  Just today leaving from the gym on the Ducati I was playing through all the steps that would be required if I was commuting to work via SD car.  There just seem to be too many things that have to go right - from navigating a parking lot to collision avoidance, dealing with road markings, faded or missing lines, GPS irregularities, other people, training/licensing, etc.  Maybe it's just the engineer in me, but I have trouble envisioning this sort of thing with our current road system. 

As an engineer as well (software), I highly suggest looking at some of the interface that Self Driving cars use. A fair amount of it is shown in this Ted Talk (link) and if the engineer part of your brain is anything like mine, you will pause on that interface and look at all the things it takes into account. It's insanely awesome.

As far as the challenges go, there are a lot of them. If we had consistent infrastructure, or were willing to rebuild it, the tech from about 10 years ago would have made it possible. However, our infrastructure is not consistent. One of the things I really like about the SD cars is how they kind of gave up on designing decent infrastructure, and coding for what is (worst case) there, and not what should be (best case). I'd highly suggest watching the whole Ted Talk, but I took the liberty of finding the interface part. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/tiwVMrTLUWg?t=7m50s.

I totally understand the concerns, and I thought the same way until I started really looking into it. I was thinking how big of a pain in the ass it would be to account for all of those variables. And then I looked at some of the things they are doing, and OMG they are accounting for them all!! I still don't know quite how they would deal with the faded lines, but I do know they are able to identify the signs and road markings (even last year, they were able to identify cones and what they signify). They actually just made their vision API available through GCP, and even the free version can read all the common signage in english (I suppose that starting with facial recognition makes something like a sign pretty freaking easy).


I watched the interfacing part and you're right it is very cool.  I think I can convince myself that everything more or less works once you're out on an actual defined road and commuting.  The major probem I have is the final 1/4 mile or so.  Things like parking lots where there often aren't markings or signage and it's more or less a free-for-all.  Same with residential streets without markings and also dirt roads.  The final 1/4 mile of my commute isn't even on a GPS or map because it's new construction and it's all gravel roads in the boons.  Maybe then you have to switch over to manual mode...but then you open up other regulatory issues....how do we decide when you can or cannot switch to manual or auto mode?  Does everybody need re-training and some sort of license so they know when it's safe to switch from auto-manual or manual-auto?  New laws need to be enacted, beauracracy...my mind just keeps going on and on thinking of problems that need to be solved. 

I have no doubt they'll be solved eventually, I just don't think it'll be in time for his children to turn 16yo.  I still say the sooner the better as long as I can keep riding motorcycles.

re off road:  see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA_Grand_Challenge  Stanley did many miles off road way back in 2005, also is a good documentary on that race (netflix maybe).  Yes the undocumented roads will have to be documented somehow but once on the map they will be shared and known to all.  I got to see some of the self driving cars in the wild while in pal-alto last year it was very cool, but also very normal there really just another car on the road.

Albert

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #603 on: May 12, 2016, 01:05:19 PM »
Is the current generation of self driving cars dealing well with bad weather (snow, ice, heavy rain etc)? Few years ago at least Google could only test in sunny California...

jordanread

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #604 on: May 12, 2016, 01:21:35 PM »
Is the current generation of self driving cars dealing well with bad weather (snow, ice, heavy rain etc)? Few years ago at least Google could only test in sunny California...

I can't find the source right now, but they are getting better. Traction control and the like. However, I do not know about corrective behavior (like coming out of a slide) as it all seems to be about avoiding the need for corrective behavior. Now that you mention it, I might do a touch of research on power slides with self driving cars, because that would be awesome.

AlanStache

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #605 on: May 12, 2016, 01:50:21 PM »
Is the current generation of self driving cars dealing well with bad weather (snow, ice, heavy rain etc)? Few years ago at least Google could only test in sunny California...

I can't find the source right now, but they are getting better. Traction control and the like. However, I do not know about corrective behavior (like coming out of a slide) as it all seems to be about avoiding the need for corrective behavior. Now that you mention it, I might do a touch of research on power slides with self manually driving cars, because that would be awesome.

Fixed that for you.

I have done some simulation work with hydroplaning and its effects on the vehicle, the physics go from simple rules of thumb to f-ing complex real quick. 

Any SD car would know if it were in icing conditions from weather reports, also the control system would be continually monitoring the difference between expected response from actual response to all wheel/throttle/brake commands so ice would be quickly detected.  Where I live the few days per year we get iced roads I dont manually drive anyway, YMMV in Switzerland.

big_owl

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #606 on: May 12, 2016, 05:20:13 PM »
Is the current generation of self driving cars dealing well with bad weather (snow, ice, heavy rain etc)? Few years ago at least Google could only test in sunny California...

I can't find the source right now, but they are getting better. Traction control and the like. However, I do not know about corrective behavior (like coming out of a slide) as it all seems to be about avoiding the need for corrective behavior. Now that you mention it, I might do a touch of research on power slides with self driving cars, because that would be awesome.

I'd be more interested in how the sensors handle icing, being snowed over, splashed with mud, covered in dust or stuff like that.  I think traction control can be solved easily with existing technology.  It seems like somehow though the Achilles heal of the self driving car is the "vision" system.  It would need to be able to see the road at all times.  Maybe it would need its own heater and cleaning system similar to windshield wipers. 

Primm

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #607 on: May 12, 2016, 06:29:01 PM »
Is the current generation of self driving cars dealing well with bad weather (snow, ice, heavy rain etc)? Few years ago at least Google could only test in sunny California...

I can't find the source now, so I may be making this up, but I'm sure I read not long ago that Google are bringing a fleet (1 or 2 maybe?) of self-driving cars over to Australia to test them on outback roads with kangaroos to fine-tune the algorithms for dealing with unpredictable VRUs.

MrsCoolCat

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #608 on: May 14, 2016, 08:23:59 PM »
OMG yes, I just thought about this & started a thread loosely based on this as one of the questions. Yeah, so are these have not's going to be homeless, my taxes will just increase to help them, or will they tap into some kinda survival of the fittest whatever & adapt (that or friggin rebel & attack the haves) Idk but it always amazed me how even among the rich & famous they always need to have others that serve these ppl. Will these servers get replaced by robots... The simple yet odd equilibrium or whatever of life is... Interesting. The reality is not everyone is or can be smart. Hell there are smart ppl that aren't book smart or can pass an exam bc of "efficient laziness" (or rebellion/stubbornness). What the hell's gonna happen if humans can build things smarter than the have not humans? Conspiracy theories & just theories I know. I am excited to see many ppl have responded as I'm curious to see what others think.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #609 on: May 16, 2016, 06:06:54 AM »
OMG yes, I just thought about this & started a thread loosely based on this as one of the questions. Yeah, so are these have not's going to be homeless, my taxes will just increase to help them, or will they tap into some kinda survival of the fittest whatever & adapt (that or friggin rebel & attack the haves) Idk but it always amazed me how even among the rich & famous they always need to have others that serve these ppl. Will these servers get replaced by robots... The simple yet odd equilibrium or whatever of life is... Interesting. The reality is not everyone is or can be smart. Hell there are smart ppl that aren't book smart or can pass an exam bc of "efficient laziness" (or rebellion/stubbornness). What the hell's gonna happen if humans can build things smarter than the have not humans? Conspiracy theories & just theories I know. I am excited to see many ppl have responded as I'm curious to see what others think.

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Schaefer Light

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #610 on: May 16, 2016, 06:34:22 AM »
I just want to know how long it will be before I can drink all the beer I want and ride home (legally) in my self-driving car ;).

Metric Mouse

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #611 on: May 16, 2016, 06:37:44 AM »
I just want to know how long it will be before I can drink all the beer I want and ride home (legally) in my self-driving car ;).

Probably not until long after you've lost the urge to go out and drink that much beer.  I would imagine even after self-driving cars become accepted, it will still be required to have a sober operator on-board 'just in case.' 

Schaefer Light

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #612 on: May 16, 2016, 06:42:57 AM »
I just want to know how long it will be before I can drink all the beer I want and ride home (legally) in my self-driving car ;).

Probably not until long after you've lost the urge to go out and drink that much beer.  I would imagine even after self-driving cars become accepted, it will still be required to have a sober operator on-board 'just in case.'
Then what's the point of self-driving cars? ;)  I enjoy driving most of the time.  I'd only want one to take me home from the bars or a football game.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #613 on: May 16, 2016, 06:51:28 AM »
I just want to know how long it will be before I can drink all the beer I want and ride home (legally) in my self-driving car ;).

Probably not until long after you've lost the urge to go out and drink that much beer.  I would imagine even after self-driving cars become accepted, it will still be required to have a sober operator on-board 'just in case.'
Then what's the point of self-driving cars? ;)  I enjoy driving most of the time.  I'd only want one to take me home from the bars or a football game.

I would agree. I'm just of the opinion that legislation often lags technological advances, and thus the basis for my guess.

sol

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #614 on: May 16, 2016, 09:46:12 PM »
I just want to know how long it will be before I can drink all the beer I want and ride home (legally) in my self-driving car ;).

This is a solution in search of a problem.  Just get a taxi.  They drive themselves.

Of if you're too hip for that, get an Uber.  They also drive themselves.  Why go through all of the trouble to automate what low-wage humans are already willing to do? 

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #615 on: May 17, 2016, 06:32:21 AM »
I just want to know how long it will be before I can drink all the beer I want and ride home (legally) in my self-driving car ;).

This is a solution in search of a problem.  Just get a taxi.  They drive themselves.

Of if you're too hip for that, get an Uber.  They also drive themselves.  Why go through all of the trouble to automate what low-wage humans are already willing to do?
Because a taxi or Uber ride would cost a small fortune to get me home from a football game that's 100 miles away.  And I'm going to have a car that I drive most of the time.  It would just be nice to have the option to put it on "auto-pilot" sometimes.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #616 on: May 17, 2016, 06:39:44 AM »
I just want to know how long it will be before I can drink all the beer I want and ride home (legally) in my self-driving car ;).

This is a solution in search of a problem.  Just get a taxi.  They drive themselves.

Of if you're too hip for that, get an Uber.  They also drive themselves.  Why go through all of the trouble to automate what low-wage humans are already willing to do?
Because a taxi or Uber ride would cost a small fortune to get me home from a football game that's 100 miles away.  And I'm going to have a car that I drive most of the time.  It would just be nice to have the option to put it on "auto-pilot" sometimes.

Just hire a private limo! It's the same thing! And the same number of face punches as a taxi! :D

theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #617 on: May 17, 2016, 06:44:02 AM »
I just want to know how long it will be before I can drink all the beer I want and ride home (legally) in my self-driving car ;).

This is a solution in search of a problem.  Just get a taxi.  They drive themselves.

Of if you're too hip for that, get an Uber.  They also drive themselves.  Why go through all of the trouble to automate what low-wage humans are already willing to do?

I actually look forward to the advent of self-driving cars because I think they'll be much safer than cars driven by humans. And definitely much much safer than cars driven by taxi / uber drivers (I wonder if the low-wage is the reason they drive to aggressively, because they need to travel further and collect more fares to make a decent living).

Also, if the fact you could pay a low-wage human for it meant automation was unnecessary then most mechanisation wouldn't have taken place. Factory workers are replaced by robots because even at a -low- wage they are still more expensive, requiring breaks, holidays, getting sick, retirement benefits etc than a high one-time cost robot.

Think of Amazon's automated warehouses. You certainly could pay low-wage humans to walk around and pick items, but why would you when a robot can do it more cheaply, more efficiently, and with fewer errors?

AlanStache

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #618 on: May 17, 2016, 07:30:09 AM »
I just want to know how long it will be before I can drink all the beer I want and ride home (legally) in my self-driving car ;).

This is a solution in search of a problem.  Just get a taxi.  They drive themselves.

Of if you're too hip for that, get an Uber.  They also drive themselves.  Why go through all of the trouble to automate what low-wage humans are already willing to do?

Some 30,000 people die anally on US roads. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year
One of many major benefits to self driving cars is that this number will go to near zero.

Also found while poking around:
http://time.com/4215387/google-self-driving-cars-real-drivers/
Looks like we are even closer than we thought.

Edit:
Even if all you care about is riding a bike on the roads, bettering the perception of cycling safety will increase the number of cyclists and in turn better the cycling infrastructure.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 07:48:07 AM by AlanStache »

sol

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #619 on: May 17, 2016, 08:04:08 AM »
Some 30,000 people die anally

That's horrible!  What a shitty way to go.

jordanread

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #620 on: May 17, 2016, 08:24:06 AM »
Some 30,000 people die anally

That's horrible!  What a shitty way to go.

Bwahahahahaha

Metric Mouse

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #621 on: May 17, 2016, 08:52:07 AM »
Some 30,000 people die anally

That's horrible!  What a shitty way to go.

When he realizes his mistake, he's going to feel like an ass...

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #622 on: May 17, 2016, 08:56:12 AM »
Some 30,000 people die anally

That's horrible!  What a shitty way to go.

When he realizes his mistake, he's going to feel like an ass...

I am sure technology will be developed so there will be less deaths in that department.  Very funny stuff.

jordanread

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #623 on: May 17, 2016, 09:11:13 AM »
Some 30,000 people die anally

That's horrible!  What a shitty way to go.

When he realizes his mistake, he's going to feel like an ass...

I am sure technology will be developed so there will be less deaths in that department.  Very funny stuff.

<insert joke about automatic vs manual transmissions and stick shifts>

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #624 on: May 23, 2016, 01:27:27 PM »
When Chinese companies are using robots and AI to reduce labor that was costing them $4,000 per capita, you know that US jobs will be effected in the near future.

"Thirty-five Taiwanese companies, including Apple's supplier Foxconn, spent a total of 4 billion yuan (HK$4.74 billion) on artificial intelligence last year, according to the Kunshan government's publicity department."

"The Foxconn factory has reduced its employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000, thanks to the introduction of robots. It has tasted success in reduction of labor costs," said the department's head Xu Yulian.

"More companies are likely to follow suit."

As many as 600 major companies in Kunshan have similar plans, according to a government survey.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/22/rise-of-the-robots-60000-workers-culled-from-just-one-factory-as-chinas-struggling-electronics-hub-turns-to-artificial-intelligence.html


tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #625 on: May 23, 2016, 05:59:20 PM »
Self driving cars are here, but people are currently not wanting them.  Apple, Tesla and Google will make them cool and this will most likely change quickly.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/tesla-google-cadillac-self-driving-cars-160441498.html#

"In the Michigan survey, 38.7% of drivers said they’d prefer a “partially self-driving” car, while 45.8% said they’d want no self-driving capability at all. The biggest perception problem seems to be safety, with 66.6% of drivers saying they’d be very or moderately concerned about riding in a self-driving car. Only 9.7% said they’d be unconcerned."

"The Michigan study found that younger drivers were far more receptive to autonomous vehicles than older ones, which is similar to comfort levels toward other types of technology."

matchewed

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #626 on: May 23, 2016, 06:36:19 PM »
Self driving cars are here, but people are currently not wanting them.  Apple, Tesla and Google will make them cool and this will most likely change quickly.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/tesla-google-cadillac-self-driving-cars-160441498.html#

"In the Michigan survey, 38.7% of drivers said they’d prefer a “partially self-driving” car, while 45.8% said they’d want no self-driving capability at all. The biggest perception problem seems to be safety, with 66.6% of drivers saying they’d be very or moderately concerned about riding in a self-driving car. Only 9.7% said they’d be unconcerned."

"The Michigan study found that younger drivers were far more receptive to autonomous vehicles than older ones, which is similar to comfort levels toward other types of technology."

Much like many activities we've outsourced to a technology there will be some initial pushback. I have a feeling that driving may be considered only a hobby in one hundred years.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #627 on: May 23, 2016, 07:58:00 PM »
Partially self-driving cars have been on the market for a few years, and are becoming increasingly... whats the word for "not just luxury level"?
They just don't use the phrase "self-driving", they call it "predictive braking" or "collision avoidance", "lane departure correction", and "adaptive cruise control"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collision_avoidance_system#List_of_cars_with_collision_avoidance_features_available

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lane_departure_warning_system#Vehicles


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_cruise_control_system#Vehicle_models_supporting_adaptive_cruise_control

A vehicle with these features (and there are tens of thousands on the road already) is essentially capable of being self-driving (at least on the highway), except that they deliberately build in checks to have the driver stay engaged.


There would be push back if we were all driving manual transmission cars with manual chokes, no synchromesh, and were watching 8 analog gauges and double-clutching based on the tach - and we went directly from that to zero driver input.  But we aren't, and we won't.  We have been giving more and more control to the car for 100 years, and it will continue to be gradual incremental changes that no one thinks of as "self-driving" even though it really is.

theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #628 on: May 24, 2016, 03:16:29 AM »
I believe in the Queen's speech the British Government announced it's intention to introduce new legislation to make self-driving cars road-legal in the UK.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/18/bill-announced-in-queens-speech-will-help-britain-become-leader/

Nissan will be building self-driving cars in their Sunderland factory from 2017.

Interesting quotation from article linked above for those who don't have time to read: "Legally, Britain already has a headstart over many other nations in autonomous vehicles because the UK never ratified the Vienna Convention, which requires that “every driver shall at all times be able to control his vehicle”. This means Britain does not face as massive an overhaul of regulation to start testing automated vehicles as those countries which did adopt the legislation."

Go Britain!

seathink

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #629 on: May 24, 2016, 11:50:14 AM »
Finally finished this thread, it is amazing!!

My take on self-driving cars is that they are going to be sponsored self-driving cars. Already Uber keeps reminding me that I can sync my Spotify to my ride. I can see content-makers getting their own fleets. You wouldn't get a Lyft or an Uber but a Hulu or a Netflix. Watch a couple of ads and ride for free (more ads for longer trips), or use your subscriptions.

Keeping the advertising machine going also helps when all the plebes are on a basic income. They can still live like the rich, and even for free, if they just watch the following sponsored messages. Also, if housing is in cut-up malls, then entertainment (bread and circuses) will go through the roof.

Also, I think that whoever it was a couple back who said VR would trump AI, is kind of on to something. If Julia the Robot can learn cooking from YouTube, pixel by pixel, imagine how much better she can learn cooking in a full VR kitchen. If she were 'watching' the full immersion episodes of Top Chef she could get mad skills.

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #630 on: May 24, 2016, 09:47:52 PM »
Finally finished this thread, it is amazing!!

Are you AI or a robot?  That is a lot of reading. Thanks for joining in.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 09:50:22 PM by tomsang »

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #631 on: May 25, 2016, 11:28:59 AM »
http://www.newsmax.com/US/Ed-Rensi-McDonalds-Cheaper-Robots/2016/05/25/id/730583/

"The former CEO said automation will be the result of a higher minimum wage because "if you can't get people at a reasonable wage, you're going to get machines to do the work. It's just common sense, it's going to happen whether you like it or not.""

"it's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who's inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries."

I 100% agree with him. It is also why I believe the country and world will need a "Basic Income" in the near future funded by higher taxes worldwide.  This is coming from someone who is a 1%er and pays a lot of taxes..


seathink

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #632 on: May 25, 2016, 01:09:53 PM »
Finally finished this thread, it is amazing!!

Are you AI or a robot?  That is a lot of reading. Thanks for joining in.

Haha! I'm in one of those easy to computerize jobs (legal assistant!) with a lot of downtime until the Overlords come. :)

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #633 on: May 26, 2016, 06:59:28 AM »
http://www.newsmax.com/US/Ed-Rensi-McDonalds-Cheaper-Robots/2016/05/25/id/730583/

"The former CEO said automation will be the result of a higher minimum wage because "if you can't get people at a reasonable wage, you're going to get machines to do the work. It's just common sense, it's going to happen whether you like it or not.""

"it's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who's inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries."

I 100% agree with him. It is also why I believe the country and world will need a "Basic Income" in the near future funded by higher taxes worldwide.  This is coming from someone who is a 1%er and pays a lot of taxes..


Which is why the fight should be for lower working hours, instead of a mandatory minimum wage.
Last time automation displaced tens of thousands of jobs (the industrial revolution), we cut working hours in half.  Each person working half as much meant twice as many available jobs, and a job market that needs more people (instead of having too many) naturally pays better due to good old fashioned supply and demand.  Too bad we didn't fix overtime laws to productivity, instead of making it a arbitrary fixed number - we would all have a 7-hour work week right now.

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tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #635 on: May 31, 2016, 11:09:01 AM »
Regarding restaurants, from the horses mouth:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2016/05/27/mcdonald_s_ceo_says_chain_will_use_robots_in_the_future.html

'According to McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook, the fast-food chain won't replace workers with machines—even if restaurant operators have to pay the $15 hourly wage that protesters are demanding. "I don't see it being a risk to job elimination,""

"Instead, Easterbrook said, the company would look to automating food preparation, allowing more employees to work directly with guests and boosting customer service."

Funny, how he starts off saying that McDonalds will not replace workers with machines, but then says they would just automate so the employees can directly work with the guests.  Typically, there is a significant number prepping food for each cashier.  I am not sure the multiple, but it would not surprise me if it wasn't 5 to 1.  So you eliminating the 5 prep staff, but keeping the 1 cashier is not really all that positive to workers.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #636 on: May 31, 2016, 11:22:21 AM »
Regarding restaurants, from the horses mouth:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2016/05/27/mcdonald_s_ceo_says_chain_will_use_robots_in_the_future.html

'According to McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook, the fast-food chain won't replace workers with machines—even if restaurant operators have to pay the $15 hourly wage that protesters are demanding. "I don't see it being a risk to job elimination,""

"Instead, Easterbrook said, the company would look to automating food preparation, allowing more employees to work directly with guests and boosting customer service."

Funny, how he starts off saying that McDonalds will not replace workers with machines, but then says they would just automate so the employees can directly work with the guests.  Typically, there is a significant number prepping food for each cashier.  I am not sure the multiple, but it would not surprise me if it wasn't 5 to 1.  So you eliminating the 5 prep staff, but keeping the 1 cashier is not really all that positive to workers.

I thought it was entertaining that he said they were primarily about service. There was no mention about food quality in there, so I think this guy understands exactly what it is about McDonalds that makes people go there. :)

mozar

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #637 on: May 31, 2016, 07:58:47 PM »
When I read the article I thought I don't care how "high touch" the service is if the food is still crap.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #638 on: June 01, 2016, 07:22:04 AM »
Regarding restaurants, from the horses mouth:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2016/05/27/mcdonald_s_ceo_says_chain_will_use_robots_in_the_future.html

'According to McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook, the fast-food chain won't replace workers with machines—even if restaurant operators have to pay the $15 hourly wage that protesters are demanding. "I don't see it being a risk to job elimination,""

"Instead, Easterbrook said, the company would look to automating food preparation, allowing more employees to work directly with guests and boosting customer service."

Funny, how he starts off saying that McDonalds will not replace workers with machines, but then says they would just automate so the employees can directly work with the guests.  Typically, there is a significant number prepping food for each cashier.  I am not sure the multiple, but it would not surprise me if it wasn't 5 to 1.  So you eliminating the 5 prep staff, but keeping the 1 cashier is not really all that positive to workers.

I thought it was entertaining that he said they were primarily about service. There was no mention about food quality in there, so I think this guy understands exactly what it is about McDonalds that makes people go there. :)
It's the french fries.

davisgang90

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #639 on: June 01, 2016, 07:54:42 AM »
Uber sees huge advantage in removing the most costly part of their business model.  The driver.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/magazine/uber-would-like-to-buy-your-robotics-department.html?_r=0

seathink

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #640 on: June 01, 2016, 04:04:59 PM »
Regarding restaurants, from the horses mouth:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2016/05/27/mcdonald_s_ceo_says_chain_will_use_robots_in_the_future.html

'According to McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook, the fast-food chain won't replace workers with machines—even if restaurant operators have to pay the $15 hourly wage that protesters are demanding. "I don't see it being a risk to job elimination,""

"Instead, Easterbrook said, the company would look to automating food preparation, allowing more employees to work directly with guests and boosting customer service."

Funny, how he starts off saying that McDonalds will not replace workers with machines, but then says they would just automate so the employees can directly work with the guests.  Typically, there is a significant number prepping food for each cashier.  I am not sure the multiple, but it would not surprise me if it wasn't 5 to 1.  So you eliminating the 5 prep staff, but keeping the 1 cashier is not really all that positive to workers.

I thought it was entertaining that he said they were primarily about service. There was no mention about food quality in there, so I think this guy understands exactly what it is about McDonalds that makes people go there. :)
It's the french fries.

Damn right! :)

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #641 on: June 07, 2016, 07:49:25 AM »
...
Which is why the fight should be for lower working hours, instead of a mandatory minimum wage.
Last time automation displaced tens of thousands of jobs (the industrial revolution), we cut working hours in half.  Each person working half as much meant twice as many available jobs, and a job market that needs more people (instead of having too many) naturally pays better due to good old fashioned supply and demand.  Too bad we didn't fix overtime laws to productivity, instead of making it a arbitrary fixed number - we would all have a 7-hour work week right now.

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.  Many aspects of software are still in the custom one off-paradigm similar to blacksmithing before industrialization, "you want some new door hinges - ok let me start a fire and hit hot metal with a hammer", "you want an module to pull those data into a common format - ok let me go read up on the APIs and work out what computer language is best".  Bakari you many not have been referring to tech jobs but half this thread is devoted to saying that only tech/artistic will be left.

Re mcd: I thought the cashier was already mostly automated at lots of fast food places built within gas stations?  Was it in here that someone mentioned Olive Garden eliminating servers taking orders, I have seen this in several airport restaurants. 

theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #642 on: June 07, 2016, 09:09:07 AM »
...
Which is why the fight should be for lower working hours, instead of a mandatory minimum wage.
Last time automation displaced tens of thousands of jobs (the industrial revolution), we cut working hours in half.  Each person working half as much meant twice as many available jobs, and a job market that needs more people (instead of having too many) naturally pays better due to good old fashioned supply and demand.  Too bad we didn't fix overtime laws to productivity, instead of making it a arbitrary fixed number - we would all have a 7-hour work week right now.

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.  Many aspects of software are still in the custom one off-paradigm similar to blacksmithing before industrialization, "you want some new door hinges - ok let me start a fire and hit hot metal with a hammer", "you want an module to pull those data into a common format - ok let me go read up on the APIs and work out what computer language is best".  Bakari you many not have been referring to tech jobs but half this thread is devoted to saying that only tech/artistic will be left.

Re mcd: I thought the cashier was already mostly automated at lots of fast food places built within gas stations?  Was it in here that someone mentioned Olive Garden eliminating servers taking orders, I have seen this in several airport restaurants.

This just doesn't make any sense. If you work half the number of hours each work, you will get roughly the same amount of stuff done each fortnight. If you need it done more quickly, you employ two people each working half a week and the work is done in the same amount of time.

As for the, "my work couldn't be split between more than one person" argument, I used to believe that too. My friend was going part-time and I said it wouldn't be possible for me - I'm the only one who does what I do etc.

She explained it really well for me. She said if the workload got bigger, what would I do? Like, say the whole organisation was just bigger, I can't just magic up more hours, what would I do? So I said, well, I'd give x function to someone else, and y function to someone else. But whilst we're small I have to do it all.

And she was like, why? Just give x function to someone else now.

Part-time work and job shares are becoming much much more common in the UK, and from what I have seen and experienced, it works well.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #643 on: June 07, 2016, 09:53:05 AM »
...
Which is why the fight should be for lower working hours, instead of a mandatory minimum wage.
Last time automation displaced tens of thousands of jobs (the industrial revolution), we cut working hours in half.  Each person working half as much meant twice as many available jobs, and a job market that needs more people (instead of having too many) naturally pays better due to good old fashioned supply and demand.  Too bad we didn't fix overtime laws to productivity, instead of making it a arbitrary fixed number - we would all have a 7-hour work week right now.

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.  Many aspects of software are still in the custom one off-paradigm similar to blacksmithing before industrialization, "you want some new door hinges - ok let me start a fire and hit hot metal with a hammer", "you want an module to pull those data into a common format - ok let me go read up on the APIs and work out what computer language is best".  Bakari you many not have been referring to tech jobs but half this thread is devoted to saying that only tech/artistic will be left.

Re mcd: I thought the cashier was already mostly automated at lots of fast food places built within gas stations?  Was it in here that someone mentioned Olive Garden eliminating servers taking orders, I have seen this in several airport restaurants.

This just doesn't make any sense. If you work half the number of hours each work, you will get roughly the same amount of stuff done each fortnight. If you need it done more quickly, you employ two people each working half a week and the work is done in the same amount of time.

As for the, "my work couldn't be split between more than one person" argument, I used to believe that too. My friend was going part-time and I said it wouldn't be possible for me - I'm the only one who does what I do etc.

She explained it really well for me. She said if the workload got bigger, what would I do? Like, say the whole organisation was just bigger, I can't just magic up more hours, what would I do? So I said, well, I'd give x function to someone else, and y function to someone else. But whilst we're small I have to do it all.

And she was like, why? Just give x function to someone else now.

Part-time work and job shares are becoming much much more common in the UK, and from what I have seen and experienced, it works well.

People doing technical/creative work are not fungible.  Splitting software development between people can really suck, each person is dependent upon the output of the others to be able to do there own tasks.  I cant start trying do X until Able finishes Y, Able cant finish Y until Bob merges and commits Z - I dont care about Z but without it the compile fails.  Bob was tasked to only work Q this week because Charley has to travel to setup T next week; I can make a patch to get around Q but then Bob has to go back and redo my efforts and we all have to retest once the proper fix is released, or we could find someone new to do Q but then Bob has to train them.  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.  I agree having some people go to part time is very doable but scaling it up to a significant percent of an organization would be very hard.  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.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #644 on: June 07, 2016, 10:00:40 AM »
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.

it's usually referred to as the mythical man-month and it's cited as the reason for 10X pay.
The very talented engineers produce so much more work product that it justifies an enormous range in salaries.

AlanStache

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #645 on: June 07, 2016, 10:40:13 AM »
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.

it's usually referred to as the mythical man-month and it's cited as the reason for 10X pay.
The very talented engineers produce so much more work product that it justifies an enormous range in salaries.

Have not read the full version but I am mostly in agreement with the major themes from the wiki.  I have not seen 10x pay but yes a small number of people are responsible for the bulk of a projects success, these are often the only people who really know what is going on.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Man-Month

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #646 on: June 07, 2016, 11:46:51 AM »

Bakari you many not have been referring to tech jobs but half this thread is devoted to saying that only tech/artistic will be left.


I'm not referring only to the distant future, when robots can do everything a human can do better (I'm not sure why tech jobs would be spared at that point though - the computers will be able to write better code than programmers - they will probably use the word "programmer" to refer to tech writing software, just like how the original meaning of computers (people who do calculations) got coopted!)

I'm referring to right now, and including all the time up until that point.  When only artistic jobs are left, we will need a much more massive and radical change in thinking about wealth, earning, deserving, labor, capital, etc, but dealing with the already existing problem now would help make the transition a lot easier.



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).


Quote
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.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 11:53:26 AM by Bakari »

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #647 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 #648 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).


Quote
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?

Quote
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.

theadvicist

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #649 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.