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General Discussion => Welcome and General Discussion => Topic started by: tomsang on January 22, 2014, 08:09:20 AM

Title: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on January 22, 2014, 08:09:20 AM
I am not really a futurist, but I have a lot of clients that are involved in automation and technology.  This has provided me the opportunity to think about the future and how it will impact the equilibrium of the haves and have nots. As technology and automation replaces all of the "manual" jobs", what is the role in the undereducated class?  If they are unable to provide value as their jobs are automated by technology created by engineers and scientists, how as a society do you create jobs and meaning to this class?  It seems like technology has the potential to further the divide between the haves and have nots. Anyone else think about this and how it impacts Financial Independence and our children?

Interesting article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2542113/Will-robot-jobocalypse-make-YOU-obsolete-2014-year-droid-takes-job-say-experts.html

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: hybrid on January 22, 2014, 08:29:31 AM
Yes, I think about this quite a bit.  I think there is quite a bit of good news in regards to further developments in automation.  For starters, the less labor it takes to produce something, the more other cosrts come into play in regards to how much it costs to produce, distribute, and sell a good.  For example, labor is dirt cheap in developing countries but transportation costs from those countries are often not cheap (China is nearly half a world away after all).  As such there is a small but growing trend toward onshoring many manufacturing jobs that left the US over the past decades, as robotics can provide competitive labor costs when the discounted transportation costs are factored in.  That's good news for American workers going forward.

And there are always going to be jobs that robotics cannot provide for in the foreseeable future.  People that work with their hands outside of an assembly line job are very difficult to replace.  There are no robot plumbers, HVAC mechanics, auto mechanics, construction workers, etc.  There is still plenty of good work in the future for people who do not want to work a desk job.

Robotics will help generate even more wealth over time.  100 years ago 1 in 3 Americans worked on a farm, today 2 in 100 do, freeing up 31 people to do something else while still producing more than enough food.  This principle carries forward with robotics.  Yes, it will be disruptive in the short term for people who are displaced but arguably the people being displaced are often in overseas manufacturing facilities.

Another interesting trend is how more and more service jobs are being done away with.  All you younguns out there may not be aware that at one time in the US people did not pump their own gas at the service station (it was called a service staion for a reason, and it was highly inefficient compared to today).  The same sorts of things are happening throughout retail.  People are scanning their own items, fast food restaurants are rolling out terminals where people order and pay for their own food, doing away with the need for cashiers.  Banks need less tellers as the switch to online banking becomes more and more prevalent.

This is scary stuff for the person whose job is becoming an anachronism, much like the service station attendant of yore.  But in the long run everyone benefits from greater efficiencies.  This is one reason why I am so bullish on Costco.  They have developed a fabulous system for selling goods at a deep discount by doing away with many of the inefficiencies that plague retailers while simultaneously paying their staff handsomely compared to their retail counterparts.

Greater efficiency benefits everyone in the long term.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on January 22, 2014, 08:50:51 AM
read The Lights in The Tunnel a bit ago, deals with a lot of these issues like "what will people do in the future".

I think there is a free pdf version.  http://www.thelightsinthetunnel.com/

It has been a while so I am sure I have forgot the details but basically he argues that a good percent of the population will be paid to read/write, educate themselves and others without much tangible or commercial to show.  But there will always be a subset of people that will work there butt off and innovate and create wealth and they will have a higher standard of living but people will have the option to have an OK standard of living by getting four Phd's over the coarse of there life time.  This will be a gradual transition obviously perhaps taking as long as a few centuries...

I am mostly in the "This Time It Is Different" camp as 'machines' are able to do more and more intellectually 'creative' work replacing doctors, lawyers, accountants and other who have significant intellectual training.  Only saving grace that may keep us humans in the game is augmenting our brains directly with computers-and enter the Matrix. 

The Lights in the Tunnel is a good read, strongly recommend.  Cant agree with it all but worth the time.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: GuitarStv on January 22, 2014, 09:37:06 AM
Once we invent cheap, attractive sex bots (and get over that uncanny valley issue) I fully expect the human race to die out in a single generation . . . maybe two at the most.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on January 22, 2014, 09:57:29 AM
but people could still adopt kids-right?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on January 22, 2014, 10:33:27 AM
And there are always going to be jobs that robotics cannot provide for in the foreseeable future.  People that work with their hands outside of an assembly line job are very difficult to replace. There are no robot plumbers, HVAC mechanics, auto mechanics, construction workers, etc.   There is still plenty of good work in the future for people who do not want to work a desk job.

Greater efficiency benefits everyone in the long term.

I agree with most of what you said, and specifically your last sentence.  Based on what I am seeing, I believe that plumbers, HVAC mechanics, automechanics, construction workers, will be replaced by robots within 30 years and most likely within 15 years.  Currently cars are being made by robots, see the Tesla Video http://video.wired.com/watch/the-window-tesla-inside-a-tesla-model-s-electric-car

Robotic technology and its use is growing exponetially.  The simplistic robotics of 15 years ago are the thing of the past.  Boeing just signed a 10 year agreement with their union.  I believe a major portion of that is that robotic technology is going to be ready in 10 years to replace the workers.  Robotics are currently doing the precision and challenging working in the factories, but the amount of robotics in the construction of a plane is accelerating.  Factories are incorporating robotics into every aspect of the process.  They work longer, faster and are much much more accurate.  They don't make mistakes and they don't demand healthcare and raises. 

The areas of the workforce that will be out of work with self driving cars/trucks:  Taxi drivers, delivery drivers(see Amazon's drone delivery), longhaul drivers, bus drivers, etc.  This will occur within the next 15 years.  At some point it will be illegal to drive your car as you will be too dangerous.

As more buildings, equipment, boats, machines are designed on CAD/CATIA type computer generated design platforms the easier it is to transfer that data to an automated robot to build the final project.  You will not have architects complaining that their construction crew screwed up their building as the robots will be following their drawings down to the millimeter.

From what I hear, Amazon is building and renovating completely automated factories.  All those grandmas and grandpas that help out during the holidays are not going to be welcome in 2 to 5 years.  You can't have them being run over by a robot that is 100 times faster and more accurate. 

Interesting thoughts.  I think a lot of Mustachian behavior will help the transition, but when I hear that you don't need a higher education then you better plan on being off the grid.  For our kids if they are not getting a STEM type education then I think the future is going to be challenging.  Those glory jobs of doctors, lawyers, pilots, are going to be replaced by the guy running the machine.  Having a nurse to take your bp, temp, weight, etc. is going to be gone within 10 years.  A robot can do that and upload all the information into the computer.  No mistakes, no salary, fairly simple robot.

3d printers are looking more like Star Trek!  Next thing we don't need factories!

For us, having the capital to buy the stocks that control the technology will be beneficial.  As they squeeze those who are not deemed productive because they were replaced by robots, profits will increase.  Until no one is needing anything.  That is when having a government that can support the changes and deal with inequality will be needed.

Like everything it goes back to the essential needs.  Food, Shelter, and Love.  Robotics are on their way in all of those categories.  Which of the crazy Matrix, Terminator, Star Trek or other sci-fi movie will we evolve or devolve into?


   

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Le Dérisoire on January 22, 2014, 10:37:30 AM
Ancient Rome had a similar problem. Not with robots, but with slaves.

Jobs that didn't require any particular knowledge or skill were all taken by slaves. The uneducated Roman citizens could not find a job because they required a salary and so were more expensive to hire.

To keep these people occupied, the state would give free food to every citizen (bread) and would organize free circus games and other kind of entertainment. Otherwise, the hungry and idle plebeian would have revolted.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on January 23, 2014, 11:55:37 AM
Another interesting article on technology and the impact on jobs.  There may be hope if you are on the right side of the line! 

“We were lucky and steadily rising productivity raised all boats for much of the 20th century,” he says. “Many people, especially economists, jumped to the conclusion that was just the way the world worked. I used to say that if we took care of productivity, everything else would take care of itself; it was the single most important economic statistic. But that’s no longer true.” He adds, “It’s one of the dirty secrets of economics: technology progress does grow the economy and create wealth, but there is no economic law that says everyone will benefit.” In other words, in the race against the machine, some are likely to win while many others lose.
http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/515926/how-technology-is-destroying-jobs/

New technologies are “encroaching into human skills in a way that is completely unprecedented,” McAfee says, and many middle-class jobs are right in the bull’s-eye; even relatively high-skill work in education, medicine, and law is affected. “The middle seems to be going away,” he adds. “The top and bottom are clearly getting farther apart.” While technology might be only one factor, says McAfee, it has been an “underappreciated” one, and it is likely to become increasingly significant.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on January 23, 2014, 12:17:05 PM
Yep the middle class jobs are a definite target, in The Lights in The Tunnel, they look at how it is economically worth it to try to automate good paying jobs especially those that require less manipulation of the real world. 

You can make more money by automating away a lawyer or legal assistant than you can automating away a hotel maid and in the law you dont have to worry about emulating a human hand or bending over to an awkward corner of a room, more of the work and inputs are already digital.

Also it is not an all or nothing deal, if this year you can automate 6 legal assistants down to 5, then a few years latter down to 4 all the while doing more volume for less cost everyone but the out of work assistants are making more money.  Some argue that those two legal assistants would then get better jobs writing software for the bots but I find argument this unpersuasive. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on January 23, 2014, 01:39:29 PM
Yep the middle class jobs are a definite target, in The Lights in The Tunnel, they look at how it is economically worth it to try to automate good paying jobs especially those that require less manipulation of the real world. 


Thanks AlanStache!  I started reading the book you recommended and it is eye-opening.  If anyone want the free PDF, here is the link.
http://ieet.org/archive/LIGHTSTUNNEL.PDF

I will let you know what I think after I finish the read.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on January 25, 2014, 10:11:10 PM
As Le Derisoire has alluded to, mechanization and automation are both a form of slave labor, but the slaves are mechanical. Sugar planters cut sugar cane with slave labor in 1770, with paid labor in 1870, and now cut cane with machines. Slave labor, paid labor and machines are interchangeable. Slaves and machines exist at a subsistence level, but paid labor, we hope, lives above subsistence. In the modern world, paid labor competes with machines, including automatic ones, such as industrial robots, and machine slaves usually win. 

In the future, we expect to see automation displacing labor on a large scale, and this idling of labor can be seen as a form of market failure, in this case the labor market. Rich countries accept that in it is appropriate for the government to intervene in the case of partial market failure. All rich countries have state supplied education and (except for one country) national health insurance, because education and health are not always satisfactorily supplied by the private sector. These government interventions are seen as legitimate. I suggest that, in the future, rich countries will provide a universal Basic Income to overcome the problem of permanent, automation induced unemployment, and such a move will also be seen as legitimate.

US GDP is about $50K for every man, woman and child in the country, and all these goods and services were purchased. Assume a Basic Income of $20K for all Americans 18 and over, and this means that about a third of GDP will be purchased with the Basic Income, allowing for the fact that children will not receive the Basic Income. This means a large tax increase for the wealthy, and will hurt, but economically the Basic Income is possible. It is more of a social and political matter.

There is no pressing need for a Basic Income now. I am looking ahead 15 years, by which time US per capita GDP will be substantially higher, in real terms.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Ian on January 25, 2014, 10:22:53 PM
This is an issue I've given some thought to, but I can't add much to this thread because people have already posted most of the articles and books I've read on the subject. I think that while there are historical precedents we can look to, like any event it also has unique factors that will change how it plays out. I think much of the impact of automation has been cushioned by the number of essentially unnecessary jobs that have proliferated in recent decades.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Khanjar on January 26, 2014, 06:27:36 AM
I think the reason the inequality is such an important issue, is that if we continue down this path, where investors are the ones to reap the rewards of production, where labor is the main source of value that one can gain by his existence, but where robots and owners of robots are quickly displacing the lower end is unsustainable. I don't -want- full blown socialism. But, I think a guarenteed basic income, replacing all of our spotty and terribly inefficient welfare system, where people can definitely afford to provide for themselves a basic shelter, food and electricity is something we must seriously start considering.

I'm not sure how much I subscribe to the singularity, as I think that there is a finite limit to the speed of technological progress, which is the speed of manufacturing at a minimum, but I think it's something worth thinking over. The speed of technological progress is something that everyone should realize by now. Almost any smartphone today can connect to Google or Apple's servers, and do speech recognition. OCR has followed a similar path. Driverless cars as well, from not even passing the DARPA Grand Challenge in a desert 10 years ago to millions of miles travelled in cities today.

This will all be a great boon to humanity, as we live better lives then the kings of the past, but without controlling that inequality problem, allowing the boons of all of this technological advancement to go primarily to the owners of capital, we may move into a terrible society.

Manna, a look at two societies in the future:
http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm

Paul Krugman, where the productivity went:
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/28/where-the-productivity-went/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Paul Krugman, where are the manufacturing jobs?:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/opinion/krugman-profits-without-production.html

Four futures article:
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2011/12/four-futures/
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on January 26, 2014, 06:36:49 PM
Robots to replace troops on the battlefield!

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/robots-replace-troops-battlefield-111500084.html

"If more advanced robots are used in battle, it would be years down the line. Lt. Gen. Keith Walker told Defense News that widespread use of robots could not occur until the “deep future” - sometime between 2030 and 2040."

So like in 16 years we could be using Terminator in our wars!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: marty998 on January 26, 2014, 08:14:19 PM
Yes but I don't think Arnold will come and save us this time.

We're boned.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on January 27, 2014, 04:16:25 AM
Thankyou AlanStache and Khanjar for the links.

I suspect that many, perhaps most people, will react to the prospect of large sale automation by obstructing it. From what I have seen, it appears that there are unspoken rules to such obstruction. Machines which do heavy lifting, or dangerous work, are allowed to do their tasks. Computers which do boring work such as storing and retrieving records, and adding up columns of numbers, will also be allowed to do their tasks. I suspect that in the future, organized labor will move to suppress, or in some cases roll back, the automation of certain tasks. These tasks could include back office work for accountants, architects, engineers and lawyers.

I have witnessed two examples of resistance to automation, one in the financial industry, and the other in manufacturing. This resistance was not sabotage, more obstruction. Existing computers or existing machines were not allowed to perform certain tasks. It is not a serious problem now, but could become more widespread in the future.

Such obstruction will seem like common sense to most people, but will be seen as absurd by more intelligent, scientifically minded people.

I see an advanced society being a combination of H G Wells and Jane Austen, that is gracious living supported by an automated economy. Jane Austen’s gentry were supported by workers and peasants, and in an advanced modernist society, machines will replace workers and peasants, and will, over time, make possible a wealthy, leisured society.

I suspect that in the future many people will refuse to accept such gracious living.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Khanjar on January 27, 2014, 04:56:55 AM
And a new day, a new article on income inequality.

Possible apologies to anyone with a conservative bent(DailyKos is a... very progressive website):
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/26/1272199/-What-is-the-path-to-an-America-beyond-capitalism

http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality

And that's really the crux of the matter I think. Sure prices will drop as the cost of labor, warehousing, and transportation drop due to improved automation, reduced labor inputs(automated trucks, automated warehouses), but to benefit from that you kind've have to be have some access to money to begin with.

But to benefit from this in today's society, you have to be employed, or have capital working for you. Anyone who hasn't already bought into the system(what is Mustachianism if not that?) needs to attempt to gain the capital to buy into the system.

And subsidizing the cost of low-wage employers with government benefits...

As Bill Maher said. Either Colonel Sanders pays his employees enough to live on, or Uncle Sam will.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4InCis9FH6c

Edit:
Quote
In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90% became poorer.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Chuck on January 27, 2014, 05:15:36 AM
The last time society had no use for a too-large uneducated class, live in servants were a thing. As late at the 1950's some 40% of US households employed at least one full time houseworker (nanny/cook/maid).

I think that we'll see a return to that soon. In my area (DC) it's already starting to happen. More nannies and Au Pairs than you can shake a stick at around here.

Edit: Also, the arts will make a big time comeback.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on January 27, 2014, 03:53:33 PM
CNBC -  Rise of the machine from today
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101362018

"At the beginning I was kind of nervous, but now I like it, I got used to it," she said. "I have extra time now to do other stuff." She may end up having lots of extra time in the next few years as the technology advances.

"Budnick, who paid $25,000 for Baxter, said he would have paid more. The robot has increased his company's productivity so he can bid on more jobs—and hire more employees to meet increased demand."

Replace a worker for $25k!  He throws in that they can hire more employees because they are more competitive.  Which means that his competition goes out of business or invests in a robot so they can be more efficient.  In the big scheme of things employees are being replaced which effects someone.  It may be eliminating jobs overseas as the work can be competively done within the US, but overall jobs ar being eliminated, which will be disruptive to those currently doing the grunt work.

"The economic disruption that we have seen in the past 10 years is really just a small glimmer compared to what we will see in the next 10 years," Brynjolfsson said. "If we do it right, it will be mostly a good story. We will have much better health, we will be able to solve a lot of economic problems that we couldn't have solved before, but it is not going to be a smooth ride."

By preparing oneself for the changes in the future, it avoids being a frog slowly boiling in a pot on the stove.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on February 02, 2014, 03:07:33 AM
AlanStache and tomsang I read the book 'Lights in the Tunnel' and it was good. I suggest you post it on the category Mustchean Book Club.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: ch12 on February 02, 2014, 04:34:08 AM
If you guys like Lights in the Tunnel, then you should try out Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy as well as The Second Machine Age, by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson.

I wrote my senior thesis on the migration of production from overseas to back home. Everyone talks about how there used to be good manufacturing jobs, but now they are gone.
Skills Gap
Some are coming back, but there's a skills gap; my generation hasn't been raised to become machinists. Obama's trying to change that, and there was a bit of hullabaloo when he was in Wisconsin right after SOTU to underline the initiative to train workers for the jobs that exist. http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/president-obama-lands-in-milwaukee-for-visit-to-waukesha-plant-b99194747z1-242766711.html?subscriber_login=y

Rana Faroohar is a big proponent of the six-year high school model, where kids graduate with a high school diploma and an associate's degree. http://business.time.com/2013/10/25/foroohar-to-compete-america-needs-6-year-high-schools/
Automation
Beyond the skills gap, automation is one reason why people can afford to bring manufacturing back. Tesla is a prime example; how else could you manufacture cars efficiently near Silicon Valley? Manufacturing is coming back, but it's not a magic cureall for unemployment. Robots are getting a good portion of those jobs.

Income inequality is going to widen, as we've already seen. Some will own the robots. Others will be replaced by robots. You want to be on the right side of the line.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on February 23, 2014, 01:14:05 PM
Interesting read. Sounds like Google is investing heavily on AI.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/22/robots-google-ray-kurzweil-terminator-singularity-artificial-intelligence

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on February 23, 2014, 02:45:41 PM
Personally, I look forward this. "Affluence" is the word that comes to mind. I am an admitted optimist, and I can imagine a world where all the needs are handled by robots, while innovation, art, music, and adventures are done by those who have the desire to do so. Hopefully, by the time that happens, people will have some kind of philosophy of life, or at least an understanding of health. The only thing that concerns me about this is the self-destructive tendencies I've seen that are so prevalent. The other side of the coin is like the passengers on the remaining spaceship of Wall-E. :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Tyler on February 23, 2014, 03:36:47 PM
Robots will definitely change job roles in the future, but the tipping point will not be when someone invents a relatively expensive robot to do flexible manual labor.  It will be when AI reaches the point where "knowledge workers" are out of a job due to formless and basically free software .  For example, a lot of formerly very well off people will be out looking for manual labor gigs once Google invents a virtual engineer floating in a server array that can write new code. 

Easy to replicate manual labor will definitely be automated.  But so will easy to replicate white collar jobs, and those are arguably even easier to replace in many cases.  Think about all the high-paying engineering jobs being outsourced to Asia -- those are the real targets of the robot inventors, not the barista down the street.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: ch12 on February 23, 2014, 07:06:57 PM
Robots will definitely change job roles in the future, but the tipping point will not be when someone invents a relatively expensive robot to do flexible manual labor.  It will be when AI reaches the point where "knowledge workers" are out of a job due to formless and basically free software .  For example, a lot of formerly very well off people will be out looking for manual labor gigs once Google invents a virtual engineer floating in a server array that can write new code. 

Easy to replicate manual labor will definitely be automated.  But so will easy to replicate white collar jobs, and those are arguably even easier to replace in many cases.  Think about all the high-paying engineering jobs being outsourced to Asia -- those are the real targets of the robot inventors, not the barista down the street.

Yep.

Speaking of manual labor being replaced by technology - There's a guy who invented 3D printed houses, and he talked about it in a TED talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehnzfGP6sq4

He envisions houses printed in 20 hours replacing today's slums, which house 1 billion people. NASA is funding his research, since they're interested in sending robots to the moon which will be capable of building hangars and the like. I'm very interested in his work from the perspective of cutting cost and environmental waste, which is a value that Mr. Money Mustache has and many Mustachians share.

My brother-in-law is an energy engineer (job=making large companies/universities more energy efficient), and he did a project on a net-zero house. A few years ago, when he dreamed it up (alongside other project members), the cost was prohibitive around $350,000. I talked to my BIL about prefab houses that were net zero, and he liked the idea. Clayton had some at 160,000 (since discontinued), which he thought was great.

Frankly, baristas have already been automated out of a job.
http://www.hometone.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/bemoved-coffee-machine-douwe-egberts_EYffT_1822.jpg
I first saw a Douwe Egberts machine in a Delta SkyLounge, and I fell in love then. I foresee a coffee shop model where you get unlimited superb coffee (mocha cappucinos, anyone?) for a set monthly price. You'd also be able to park and work, like many people do in coffee shops everywhere. It's like renting an office, except the space is centered around the experience, and less about the utmost productivity from you.

There are things that humans do better than machines. Knowing your neighborhood barista is an experience that you don't get with a machine, regardless of how beautiful, efficient, and effective it is. My job has already been automated, and yet I still have a Quality Assurance job at a software company. Being able to talk to the person who found a bug is easier than digging up other stuff.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on March 03, 2014, 11:53:03 PM
White collar, blue collar they all can be replaced.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dc895d54-a2bf-11e3-9685-00144feab7de.html#axzz2uyStDWm3
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: greentea on March 04, 2014, 01:01:07 AM
I don't have much to add accept this futurist website I came across recently:

www.futuretimeline.net (http://www.futuretimeline.net)

What fascinates me most is the "intelligence enhancement" that this website discusses.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: soccerluvof4 on March 04, 2014, 03:53:46 AM
Personally maybe I am Naive but the workforce will always out pace the need for Robots in Developed countries.  We have been listening about robots and flying cars and the movies they were in those years have already gotten old.  I think Robots will continue to become part of assembly, technical aspects and so on but if anything will create more of a market for humans. But the country s that get to this first will be the ones to benefit from it. Just like technology that's all robots are and you will need computers etc... but i am old school.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: BlueMR2 on March 04, 2014, 04:08:34 PM
White collar, blue collar they all can be replaced.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dc895d54-a2bf-11e3-9685-00144feab7de.html#axzz2uyStDWm3

Link no worky for me.  However, it's very true that all color collars are in danger.  Supercomputers can already out think CEOs, lawyers will not be far behind.  Service robots are very rapidly approaching the ability to replace nurses.  Diagnostic apps are already better than human doctors.  Given those abilities, it wouldn't be much further along until the robots could build/maintain/upgrade themselves fast/better than we can, so even technology isn't safe.

So, what's left for us?  A life of leisure and arts?  Sure, until the robots decide that we're wasting valuable resources.

I just don't see any way that this can end other than in a very bad way for us.  I love transhumanism fiction, but I don't see that happening.  By the time the upload capacity is there for our brains, there'd be no point, we'd drag the system down.  The singularity may happen, but it's unlikely people will make the jump...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on March 04, 2014, 06:18:19 PM
The title of the article is Rise of the Replicants at ft.com  Try this link.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/dc895d54-a2bf-11e3-9685-00144feab7de.html

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on March 12, 2014, 05:29:47 PM
Interesting article. 


"These transitions have happened before,"  "What's different this time is that technological change is happening even faster, and it may affect a greater variety of jobs."


"The advances, coupled with mobile robots wired with this intelligence, make it likely that occupations employing almost half of today's U.S. workers, ranging from loan officers to cab drivers and real estate agents, become possible to automate in the next decade or two, according to a study done at the University of Oxford in the U.K."

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/03/12/smarter-computers-and-robots-may-take-half-of-americas-jobs/



Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: MrCash on March 12, 2014, 05:32:51 PM
I can't wait for advanced personal home robots.  Hopefully I'll be FI by then so it won't adversely affect my FI date.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Mykl on March 13, 2014, 02:56:07 PM
I want Pauli's robot from Rocky IV.

(http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.96871.1313902790!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_635/gal-riv-sico-a-jpg.jpg)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: greaper007 on March 14, 2014, 12:27:00 PM
I think it will be a good way to fleece old people.

http://www.digyourowngrave.com/saturday-night-live-old-glory-robot-insurance/
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on April 27, 2014, 11:05:31 AM
Interesting article. Oxford University say that robots could replace half of the current workforce in the next 10-20 years. It is coming, make sure you and your children have an education/career that will be in demand in the future.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20140427/NEWS/304279955/as-robots-take-jobs-experts-ask-if-humans-will-keep-up

Edited to fix bad link
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on April 27, 2014, 11:11:36 AM
Interesting article. Oxford University say that robots could replace half of the current workforce in the next 10-20 years. It is coming, make sure you and your children have an education/career that will be in demand in the future.

http://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2014/04/26/dont-panic-your-retirement-number-is-lower-than-yo.aspx

I think you cut and paste the wrong link.  :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on April 27, 2014, 11:15:49 AM
Interesting article. Oxford University say that robots could replace half of the current workforce in the next 10-20 years. It is coming, make sure you and your children have an education/career that will be in demand in the future.

http://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2014/04/26/dont-panic-your-retirement-number-is-lower-than-yo.aspx

I think you cut and paste the wrong link.  :)

Thanks for the heads up I think I fixed the link. Darn technology!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: JamesL on April 27, 2014, 12:34:39 PM
I'm getting into accounting as a career, and with the increased technology I could see us becoming more and more obsolete. Legislation could easily make accounting (i.e. tax accountants) 100x easier. For example- a flat tax so everyone could do their own taxes and not have to worry about the complexities of our current tax standards. Simplify the system and it means people are more self sufficient and a lot of the people that currently implement those laws are out of a job. Turbo Tax and Tax Act already make doing taxes for the majority of people the way to go.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: deborah on April 27, 2014, 05:17:52 PM
Some people have mentioned 3D printing. I think this will be the real revolution. Imagine - going to your local 3D print store, and getting exactly the washing machine you want, with only the cycles you actually use, the exact size to take your normal wash. The next customer might want a bicycle, or a couch or even another 3D printer. Transportation would only be of gloop for the 3D printers rather than finished goods - this would dramatically decrease the volumes shipped, as most shipping is air. Each "manufactured" good would be downloaded via the internet to the 3D printer and have an enormous variety of options.

As each community would only need 1 3D printer, communities could be smaller to receive a high standard of equipment. The problems that people in remote regions have getting anything (a huge problem in as sparsely settled a place as Australia) would be reduced, encouraging a reversal of cities sucking people from the country.

Contrary to other writers, I think people providing services will increase.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: warfreak2 on April 28, 2014, 06:22:37 AM
Some people have mentioned 3D printing. I think this will be the real revolution. Imagine - going to your local 3D print store, and getting exactly the washing machine you want, with only the cycles you actually use, the exact size to take your normal wash. The next customer might want a bicycle, or a couch or even another 3D printer.
Cutting down on the amount of air being shipped is not going to reduce costs, because most of those costs are associated with weight rather than size. A lorry can pull a shipping container full of washing machines, but not a shipping container full of solid steel pellets. Also, carrying air is much more efficient than heating every single gram of every material in an object to melting point and assembling it in liquid form one wafer-thin layer at a time.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on April 28, 2014, 07:00:41 AM
3d printing, things are going to change.  Not sure we will ever get to Diamond Age (Neal Stephenson) in home production but retail will be very much affected.  It is not just transportation and thermal heating.  Something like half the cost of an item in a shop is taken by the retailer, I think there is much efficiency (to the consumer) to be gained here even if wide spread home printing never really takes off.  That is, we can have smaller shops that carry a much wider variety of products if they can be made more or less on demand.  And there will be lower costs as unsold items will not be shipped, made or disposed of.

Diamond Age (Neal Stephenson): did not really care for it myself, but N.S. is one of my top five favorite authors.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: deborah on April 28, 2014, 02:56:07 PM
Some people have mentioned 3D printing. I think this will be the real revolution. Imagine - going to your local 3D print store, and getting exactly the washing machine you want, with only the cycles you actually use, the exact size to take your normal wash. The next customer might want a bicycle, or a couch or even another 3D printer.
Cutting down on the amount of air being shipped is not going to reduce costs, because most of those costs are associated with weight rather than size. A lorry can pull a shipping container full of washing machines, but not a shipping container full of solid steel pellets. Also, carrying air is much more efficient than heating every single gram of every material in an object to melting point and assembling it in liquid form one wafer-thin layer at a time.
Shipping will change (as against lorries). I didn't say it would reduce costs - just that it would be a revolution, because it will change the entire production line, and probably the entire consumable culture. It could also reduce pollution and energy consumption.
I am talking about a large 3D printer - capable of producing big products. Not about the small 3D printers that are already ubiquitous and quietly revolutionizing processes such as dentistry (does your dentist have a very small 3D printer to print teeth?). 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: warfreak2 on April 28, 2014, 03:51:09 PM
It makes obsolete the cost efficiency of making millions of exactly the same thing.
This is the main problem - it never will. 3D printing just requires so much energy. If you're making steel out of molten iron, it's much more efficient to form it into the shapes you want while it's still molten, rather than cutting it into pellets, letting them cool, and then melting and remolding the pellets later. You talk about waste, but what about wasted energy?

3D printing fills an important niche, which will surely grow over time, but it will never economically compete with centralised mass production and distribution.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: deborah on April 28, 2014, 05:28:28 PM
3D printing fills an important niche, which will surely grow over time, but it will never economically compete with centralised mass production and distribution.
Sorry to disagree, but it already is. For instance, 3D printing of clothes is occurring, and a high percentage of clothing made from polyesters rather than natural fibres. Clothing is one of the major manufacturing industries in which waste is astronomical.

There have been recent advances with metal and 3D printing that look very promising. But, metal is only part of what we use, and the amount of metal in products has steadily declined over the years.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on April 28, 2014, 06:18:22 PM
3d printing would seem to be very largely a commercial technological revolution as opposed to a governmental or military one so economics will play a very large roll in what becomes printed vs stays mass produced.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Ian on April 28, 2014, 06:23:00 PM
I find myself in an odd place in this discussion, because I feel there are compelling cases for two contradictory trends. Robots and 3D printing could very well revolutionize parts of our society. However, there's good reason to believe that peak energy will be a large concern over coming decades.

Most people who believe one seem to discount the other. I wish I could find thinkers or communities considering the confluence of these trends.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on April 28, 2014, 08:02:38 PM
This is scary stuff for the person whose job is becoming an anachronism, much like the service station attendant of yore.

One of my sisters is attached to a mechanical watch repairman, and my other sister is attached to a manual typewriter repairman.  Both of these dudes are making a living working on outdated obsolete technologies, in jobs that were once deemed dying professions. 

3D printing just requires so much energy.

In the very long run, Earth has a much larger supply of energy than it does of raw materials. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on April 30, 2014, 06:12:32 AM

Is automation a threat or an opportunity? It is easy to overlook the point of automation, which is to live the Good Life, a Mustachian life. A society living the Good Life explores the furthest reaches of knowledge, art and experience, lives in surroundings and landscapes of beauty and grandeur, and is supported by an automated economy. Machines and human labour are interchangeable, and an advanced society will exploit machines to the full. The road is open.

I see an advanced society being a combination of H G Wells and Jane Austen, that is gracious living supported by an automated economy.

How does one live, when work and a career are no longer important? Aristocrats have lived such lives since the days of the pharaohs. Dornford Yates was a British novelist of the twenties and thirties, and his comic novels are similar to the comic novels of Wodehouse, but with an edge to them. His characters lived off investments and did not work. Dornford Yates was a snob, but now, machines are replacing the working class, or soon will, so any distaste felt about Yates’ snobbery becomes irrelevant.  Try ‘The house that Berry Built’, ‘And Berry Came Too’, and ‘Jonah and Co.’
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on April 30, 2014, 09:12:04 AM
Manna, a look at two societies in the future:
http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm

This was an interesting read, for a piece of speculative fiction.  Which isn't usually my thing.

It's 8 web-page sized chapters long, and I wasn't terribly happy with ending, but the larger theme of how automation and robotics strongly influencing the direction of capitalism is a meaty one.  You could easily write a much larger book based on this little story.

The summary for people who can't be bothered:  As software and robots start to replace management jobs, instead of just manual labor jobs, the traditional roles of people controlling computers will be reversed and people essentially become the laborers being controlled by computers.  This leads to phenomenal increases in productivity and standard of living for some people, but ever larger portions of the population end up in these minimum wage jobs that don't require any thinking because a computer is telling you what to do all day.

This greatly stratifies the distribution of wealth in the country, and eventually leads to a corporate elite with untold wealth and the bulk of the population basically living in high tech slums, with robot-supplied food and housing like the "guaranteed income" we have discussed here before.  These people are sectioned off from rich society because nobody likes to look at homeless people, so they can't really leave.  They are not exactly oppressed, just effectively confined because they lack the means to live anywhere else.

This is the society of our automated capitalist future, where almost everyone is reduced to the lowest common denominator.  By contrast, the later chapters focus on an alternative system of collectivism where nobody owns anything or has any privacy, but everyone shares the benefits of the collective and this greatly raises the standard of living for people who are allowed to participate in it because robots are doing all of the work.  The story makes this sound like a fantasy heaven without really exploring the negative consequences of such an arrangement, which is why I think there is a much larger book to be written based on these ideas.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 401Killer on April 30, 2014, 09:37:08 AM
<-- Is a FANUC robot specialist at a major car manufacture. FANUC is the world leader in industrial robots. I'm not worried about my career going away.

=D

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on April 30, 2014, 10:32:16 AM
<-- Is a FANUC robot specialist at a major car manufacture. FANUC is the world leader in industrial robots. I'm not worried about my career going away.

=D

What is your thoughts on those who are not STEM gifted or are in careers that may be affected by robots? I will be comfortably retired and owning stocks in corporations making or using robots, so this scenario is probably a positive for my personal wellbeing.  The concern I have is for my children, some whom are STEM gifted and some that are not STEM gifted.  How do you educate and encourage them to place themselves into a path of success?

The other big issue, is what role is government in creating a fair playing field where everyone rises vs. just the owners or STEM gifted. Part of me sees the benefit in government ensuring that all parties are better off.  I think our current government oversight will create an environment where the top 1% will own everything and have no real use for those that are not STEM useful.  Visiting other 3rd world countries has shown me the crazy poverty next to huge mansions with guards to keep the riff-raff out. Even though I am in the 1%, I don't want to create a future where you have the multi billionaire wealthy and those barely surviving day to day.

The concern or the opportunity is to limit or discourage the capitalistic predators who feel like money is everything.  Also to empower and herald those who see money as a means to make the world a better place.  I believe the Giving Pledge and other peer pressure may limit the desire to screw over the world to extract out every penny from society, but I think government may need to be empowered to limit the predators.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: greaper007 on April 30, 2014, 11:00:58 AM
There's always a role for creativity and critical thinking.    I think we get too enamored by the STEM or hard science path as a means of immediate career placement.   Yet, I know lots of successful people that didn't follow this path.   

What we've always been good at as a country is not completely destroying a child's creativity, unlike many of the Asian or communist block countries.   I was listening to an NPR segment yesterday where a speaker made a compelling argument against competing with other countries for children's math and science scores on standardized tests.    He referenced a 1958 article from Life magazine that showed Soviet children were beating American children in the same areas.    Yet, we won the cold war and we've been prosperous innovators for nearly the entire industrial and post-industrial era.

I think it's still best to encourage your children to learn all they can, and follow their passions.    I can't think of anyone that's done this and hasn't been able to support themselves by their mid-30s.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: ch12 on April 30, 2014, 05:53:12 PM
There's always a role for creativity and critical thinking.    I think we get too enamored by the STEM or hard science path as a means of immediate career placement.   Yet, I know lots of successful people that didn't follow this path.   

What we've always been good at as a country is not completely destroying a child's creativity, unlike many of the Asian or communist block countries.   I was listening to an NPR segment yesterday where a speaker made a compelling argument against competing with other countries for children's math and science scores on standardized tests.    He referenced a 1958 article from Life magazine that showed Soviet children were beating American children in the same areas.    Yet, we won the cold war and we've been prosperous innovators for nearly the entire industrial and post-industrial era.

I think it's still best to encourage your children to learn all they can, and follow their passions.    I can't think of anyone that's done this and hasn't been able to support themselves by their mid-30s.

+1 to most of the above

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/01/26/its-not-a-contest/

Frankly, I'm Asian. Growing up with a cadre of Asian friends, I was a little embarrassed when I was a pre-teen and all my friends were taking calculus. I told my mother, and she asked me if I wanted to take calculus. I said no.

I still turned out ok. (I hope.) I got a job in the software industry. I plan on investing in the robot makers. Don't push your kids into STEM. It's not 100% essential to success.

TANGENT: Following your passion is crock.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cal-newport/follow-your-passion-is-bizarre_b_4350869.html
http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/05/09/182403459/i-know-im-supposed-to-follow-my-passion-but-what-if-i-dont-have-a-passion

My favorite article http://blogmaverick.com/2012/03/18/dont-follow-your-passion-follow-your-effort/ in which Mark Cuban says in the comments:
Quote
Get any job that interests you and pays the bills. you will be getting paid to learn a business and to learn about yourself as well. That job and the next job and the next will pay you to learn far more about yourself than you will learn paying for more education. There will come a time when you will hopefully have it figured out, the day you graduate is not that time
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on April 30, 2014, 08:26:25 PM
Manna, a look at two societies in the future:
http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm

This was an interesting read, for a piece of speculative fiction.  Which isn't usually my thing.

It's 8 web-page sized chapters long, and I wasn't terribly happy with ending, but the larger theme of how automation and robotics strongly influencing the direction of capitalism is a meaty one.  You could easily write a much larger book based on this little story.

The summary for people who can't be bothered:  As software and robots start to replace management jobs, instead of just manual labor jobs, the traditional roles of people controlling computers will be reversed and people essentially become the laborers being controlled by computers.  This leads to phenomenal increases in productivity and standard of living for some people, but ever larger portions of the population end up in these minimum wage jobs that don't require any thinking because a computer is telling you what to do all day.

This greatly stratifies the distribution of wealth in the country, and eventually leads to a corporate elite with untold wealth and the bulk of the population basically living in high tech slums, with robot-supplied food and housing like the "guaranteed income" we have discussed here before.  These people are sectioned off from rich society because nobody likes to look at homeless people, so they can't really leave.  They are not exactly oppressed, just effectively confined because they lack the means to live anywhere else.

This is the society of our automated capitalist future, where almost everyone is reduced to the lowest common denominator.  By contrast, the later chapters focus on an alternative system of collectivism where nobody owns anything or has any privacy, but everyone shares the benefits of the collective and this greatly raises the standard of living for people who are allowed to participate in it because robots are doing all of the work.  The story makes this sound like a fantasy heaven without really exploring the negative consequences of such an arrangement, which is why I think there is a much larger book to be written based on these ideas.

I just borrowed this from the Prime Lending Library. I'll read it, and provide my own viewpoints (maybe even in a blog post) after that, but as part of my PSRG project regarding an ideal society (post-zombie-apocalypse), I've become incredibly interested in the idea of a highly advanced society made up of Renaissance Men. May be a topic for it's own thread, but curious about your viewpoint, and the role education and societal norms play in this idea.

Personally, I think that is a major thing missed with these types of scenarios. It's rough, because we have certain norms that influence how we think, and how people act. Not getting too much into politics here, but if a populace was raised with a certain understanding of what they could depend on, immediately changing to a policy of rewarding handling stuff on your own wouldn't work. I'll expand some more later, since this is a great topic that I'm very interested in, but just thought I'd ask here.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 401Killer on May 01, 2014, 06:20:51 AM
<-- Is a FANUC robot specialist at a major car manufacture. FANUC is the world leader in industrial robots. I'm not worried about my career going away.

=D

What is your thoughts on those who are not STEM gifted or are in careers that may be affected by robots? I will be comfortably retired and owning stocks in corporations making or using robots, so this scenario is probably a positive for my personal wellbeing.  The concern I have is for my children, some whom are STEM gifted and some that are not STEM gifted.  How do you educate and encourage them to place themselves into a path of success?

The other big issue, is what role is government in creating a fair playing field where everyone rises vs. just the owners or STEM gifted. Part of me sees the benefit in government ensuring that all parties are better off.  I think our current government oversight will create an environment where the top 1% will own everything and have no real use for those that are not STEM useful.  Visiting other 3rd world countries has shown me the crazy poverty next to huge mansions with guards to keep the riff-raff out. Even though I am in the 1%, I don't want to create a future where you have the multi billionaire wealthy and those barely surviving day to day.

The concern or the opportunity is to limit or discourage the capitalistic predators who feel like money is everything.  Also to empower and herald those who see money as a means to make the world a better place.  I believe the Giving Pledge and other peer pressure may limit the desire to screw over the world to extract out every penny from society, but I think government may need to be empowered to limit the predators.

Well firstly I don't even know what "STEM gifted" is. With industrial robots its all about manufacturing, these are not the robots on TV that are going to replace bar tenders and clean your house. These are automated systems that repeat the same operation over and over. The angle that FANUC and other industrial robot manufactures take on the replacement of people is that you simply have to automate, and I agree. If you don't automate the entire plant is going to close because it can't compete with other countries, their labor rates and other costs. At least if you install a few machines and robots the plant can continue stay competitive.

I've been mildly messed with when I worked for FANUC Robotics installing a new robot. People would come up to me and say that this robot replaced one of their friends. One of the things I started to say is that it was your company that bought it, so please don't blame me, most were generally cool with it. They would then name the robot after the person/people it replaced.

If I had children or could direct someone, anyone at all really I would push them into Controls Engineering, Robotics, Mechanical Engineering and the main trades such as Electrician, Millwright etc... If a company is making something, its NEEDS, without any question a Controls Engineer, Electrician, Millwright, ME etc... Some type of skilled workforce to maintain and upgrade it.

My career fell into my lap and got a job with my Associates degree as a Controls Engineer at 20 years old. This job was the job that got me the rest. I've been massively lucky with my career and have been doing it with a community college degree in my pocket for 15 years.

Below is a system that I helped build and install at Caterpillar in IL.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnlzl6sBOsA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnlzl6sBOsA)

This video is just an example of high speed pill sorting by color. It uses a camera to tell the robot where the pill is and what color it is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mThmeC_K6Vo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mThmeC_K6Vo)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: greaper007 on May 01, 2014, 08:00:42 AM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on May 04, 2014, 09:37:57 AM
Interesting article with thoughts from Stephen Hawkins. Interesting sidebar with Google's ethics board and quotes from the founder of DeepMind.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2618434/Artificial-intelligence-worst-thing-happen-humanity-Stephen-Hawking-warns-rise-robots-disastrous-mankind.html
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on May 04, 2014, 02:00:45 PM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.

Every single job could conceivably be replaced with the one or the other in the medium term (2-3 decades). Your best best is probably police officer or a primary school teacher.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Mr Mark on May 04, 2014, 02:18:48 PM
Wrt kids, perhaps this is why an infinite investment horizon is best. That way - the way things are rigged in the usa especially - you can transition as a family to being in the rentier class, rather than serving in a bar... they can focus on arts, sport, etc etc.

200k invested when a kid is 20 should have them FI by about 35... 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: greaper007 on May 04, 2014, 10:10:47 PM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.

Every single job could conceivably be replaced with the one or the other in the medium term (2-3 decades). Your best best is probably police officer or a primary school teacher.

I guess you've never seen Robo-Cop.   Or Kindergarten Cop (to be fair I do think that Arnold was an American citizen by that time, his accent wasn't very convincing though).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on May 09, 2014, 07:26:58 AM
Interesting article about people's acceptance of robots as pets, children and sexual partners. With a third saying they fear machines may threaten the human race.

http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2014/05/08/poll-1-in-5-people-would-have-sex-with-android-10-percent-want-robot-child/
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on May 09, 2014, 07:30:53 AM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.

Every single job could conceivably be replaced with the one or the other in the medium term (2-3 decades). Your best best is probably police officer or a primary school teacher.

I guess you've never seen Robo-Cop.   Or Kindergarten Cop (to be fair I do think that Arnold was an American citizen by that time, his accent wasn't very convincing though).

Why do I suddenly have a vision of a robotic proctologist screaming "IT'S NOT A TUMOR" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaTO8_KNcuo) at me while he's got a probe up my ass?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on May 09, 2014, 07:32:29 AM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.

name on job that can't? 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on May 09, 2014, 11:00:51 PM
UN, for the first time talking about the rules around robots and the autonomous kill function.

http://m.bbc.com/news/technology-27343076
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: wtjbatman on May 09, 2014, 11:46:12 PM
UN, for the first time talking about the rules around robots and the autonomous kill function.

http://m.bbc.com/news/technology-27343076

Oh thank god. Once the UN speaks, you just know everyone is going to listen.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Nords on May 10, 2014, 12:13:26 AM
Call me skeptical, even cynical, but this entire thread reminds me of 1960s Popular Mechanics articles about flying cars and personal jetpacks.

I'm glad for all of the personal productivity improvements, especially Moore's Law and factory automation, but I think the slope of the curve is less exponential than the popular media predicts.  Before we get all excited about AIs I want a reliable machine to clean toilets and weed the nutgrass out of our yard.

Of course I'll happily buy a long-term care robot.  I wonder if it'll cost less than the insurance premiums for a full-care facility staffed by humans...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: deborah on May 10, 2014, 02:57:24 AM
Call me skeptical, even cynical, but this entire thread reminds me of 1960s Popular Mechanics articles about flying cars and personal jetpacks.

I'm glad for all of the personal productivity improvements, especially Moore's Law and factory automation, but I think the slope of the curve is less exponential than the popular media predicts.  Before we get all excited about AIs I want a reliable machine to clean toilets and weed the nutgrass out of our yard.

Of course I'll happily buy a long-term care robot.  I wonder if it'll cost less than the insurance premiums for a full-care facility staffed by humans...
It's easy to be skeptical/cynical - remembering the Jetsons and how the world was to change after the first moon landing (we were to have colonies on Mars by now). And, yes, this does hark back to Popular Mechanics. However, the future is probably sooner than we think. Work over the past 50 years has progressed toward making these things real - probably even in our lifetimes. I recently read an article by Isaac Asimov where he predicted the world in 2010? - not sure of the exact year - and it was amazingly accurate.

I don't think we will see a martian colony.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Apocalyptica602 on May 10, 2014, 09:29:26 AM
I'm a Mechanical Engineer currently working in a very high speed Fortune 500 manufacturing environment, with annual volumes of our products in the billions. I don't claim to have an excellent solution in mind, but truthfully a lot of the projects we find ourselves working on focus on cost savings / reducing headcount / introducing even more automation and increasing capacity.

There was a project I was a part of in which we were prototyping something to see if it was feasible as a product before we invest a few hundred thousand dollars retrofitting our equipment with new high end vision systems and robotic pick and places. For lack of a better solution within the timeframe, we had to use ~10 associates manipulating, inspecting, and placing the widgets into a secondary (mostly automated) process.

It was like pulling teeth - people made mistakes, got careless, slowed down and sped up, needed to take regular breaks (rightfully so), wanted to take breaks at different times etc.

It took a week of 24 hour rotating shifts to produce the same amount of parts the new system would have made in less than 8 hours, and these were 10 associates being paid $15-20/hour each.

Now this was just feasibility and prototyping work hand-in-hand with R&D, and I do understand the plight of those being replaced by robotics... but once you're used to that level of efficiency, it's agonizing to take a step backward, and I'm not even one of those corporate decision makers with a balance sheet!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on May 10, 2014, 11:48:50 AM
Those are highly standardised tasks, of course much better suited for robots. I don't think robots will do your R&D any time soon.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: LalsConstant on May 10, 2014, 01:08:18 PM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.

name on job that can't?

Any job that relies on an opinion, risk weighing, reasonableness, and making educated guesses in a field where every situation is unique.  Robots/computers are great at things that can be reduced to a reliable, repeatable algorithm.  Everything else not so much.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: DoubleDown on May 10, 2014, 05:32:45 PM
Call me skeptical, even cynical, but this entire thread reminds me of 1960s Popular Mechanics articles about flying cars and personal jetpacks.

I'm glad for all of the personal productivity improvements, especially Moore's Law and factory automation, but I think the slope of the curve is less exponential than the popular media predicts.  Before we get all excited about AIs I want a reliable machine to clean toilets and weed the nutgrass out of our yard.

Of course I'll happily buy a long-term care robot.  I wonder if it'll cost less than the insurance premiums for a full-care facility staffed by humans...

Ha, I'm with you Nords. How many times have wee seen this play out? It's right up there with predictions of Christ's Second Coming, when some evangelist claims to know the date and time, then that date passes and they pull out the new correct prediction. I recall just a few years ago some well known futurist (maybe Ray Kurzweil?) claiming we were about to reach the point when the machines were inevitably going to become self aware and destroy us all. Yeah, that came and went around 2012 I think -- so far my toaster hasn't destroyed me (just my toast).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on May 10, 2014, 07:29:18 PM
Call me skeptical, even cynical, but this entire thread reminds me of 1960s Popular Mechanics articles about flying cars and personal jetpacks.

I'm glad for all of the personal productivity improvements, especially Moore's Law and factory automation, but I think the slope of the curve is less exponential than the popular media predicts.  Before we get all excited about AIs I want a reliable machine to clean toilets and weed the nutgrass out of our yard.

Of course I'll happily buy a long-term care robot.  I wonder if it'll cost less than the insurance premiums for a full-care facility staffed by humans...

Ha, I'm with you Nords. How many times have wee seen this play out? It's right up there with predictions of Christ's Second Coming, when some evangelist claims to know the date and time, then that date passes and they pull out the new correct prediction. I recall just a few years ago some well known futurist (maybe Ray Kurzweil?) claiming we were about to reach the point when the machines were inevitably going to become self aware and destroy us all. Yeah, that came and went around 2012 I think -- so far my toaster hasn't destroyed me (just my toast).

I don't think that you have to believe that robots are going to overthrow humans to see that they are replacing jobs that were occupied by well paid humans. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but when corporations are making decisions based on profits and they have the ability to extract and retain the profits to those developing the technology or those that own the capital you have a potential for a disrupted society. The gap between haves and have nots will need to be defined by government regulations as corporation will not care about those uneducated employees. They will become a burden. Current Mustachians will be fine as they will own the companies that control the technology. Their kids hopefully will situated to take advantage of the future as well.

It should be an amazing future!!!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on May 10, 2014, 07:45:44 PM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.

name on job that can't?

Any job that relies on an opinion, risk weighing, reasonableness, and making educated guesses in a field where every situation is unique.  Robots/computers are great at things that can be reduced to a reliable, repeatable algorithm.  Everything else not so much.

self driving cars, computerized chess systems that can beat pros, directed computer advertising...

These are all things that are which use AI or rules based engines.  Neural networks does exist, and ultimately everything that you referenced is based on reliable algorithms and weights.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on May 11, 2014, 08:10:02 AM
Interesting article on 3d printing

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101638702
"If you can print out food, components of homes, body parts as we age, it points to a really interesting future," he speculates. "We'll be treating animals in a humane way, rewriting the rules of society. What if we really don't need to work? In the hands of 7 billion creative people—we can't even begin to imagine how people will use this technology."

As I think about technology and the future, I keep coming back to society's need to define what is fair, what is safe, and how the amazing changes are going to impact all members of society. With corporations fighting to be considered people and with their significant influence on our laws due to lobbying and dollars, we may see the inequities growing between the haves and have nots. As a society we would be smart in defining our future now vs. waiting until the problem is too large to control.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on May 12, 2014, 06:49:07 AM
Interesting article on 3d printing

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101638702
"If you can print out food, components of homes, body parts as we age, it points to a really interesting future," he speculates. "We'll be treating animals in a humane way, rewriting the rules of society. What if we really don't need to work? In the hands of 7 billion creative people—we can't even begin to imagine how people will use this technology."

As I think about technology and the future, I keep coming back to society's need to define what is fair, what is safe, and how the amazing changes are going to impact all members of society. With corporations fighting to be considered people and with their significant influence on our laws due to lobbying and dollars, we may see the inequities growing between the haves and have nots. As a society we would be smart in defining our future now vs. waiting until the problem is too large to control.

Between AI and 3D printing, you'll have everything thing being a commodity over the long run.

I'm looking into some 3D printing companies to buy stock in.  They are truly a disruptive service.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: ChrisLansing on May 12, 2014, 07:19:02 AM
Yes, I think about this quite a bit.  I think there is quite a bit of good news in regards to further developments in automation.  For starters, the less labor it takes to produce something, the more other cosrts come into play in regards to how much it costs to produce, distribute, and sell a good.  For example, labor is dirt cheap in developing countries but transportation costs from those countries are often not cheap (China is nearly half a world away after all).  As such there is a small but growing trend toward onshoring many manufacturing jobs that left the US over the past decades, as robotics can provide competitive labor costs when the discounted transportation costs are factored in.  That's good news for American workers going forward.

And there are always going to be jobs that robotics cannot provide for in the foreseeable future.  People that work with their hands outside of an assembly line job are very difficult to replace.  There are no robot plumbers, HVAC mechanics, auto mechanics, construction workers, etc.  There is still plenty of good work in the future for people who do not want to work a desk job.

Robotics will help generate even more wealth over time.  100 years ago 1 in 3 Americans worked on a farm, today 2 in 100 do, freeing up 31 people to do something else while still producing more than enough food.  This principle carries forward with robotics.  Yes, it will be disruptive in the short term for people who are displaced but arguably the people being displaced are often in overseas manufacturing facilities.

Another interesting trend is how more and more service jobs are being done away with.  All you younguns out there may not be aware that at one time in the US people did not pump their own gas at the service station (it was called a service staion for a reason, and it was highly inefficient compared to today).  The same sorts of things are happening throughout retail.  People are scanning their own items, fast food restaurants are rolling out terminals where people order and pay for their own food, doing away with the need for cashiers.  Banks need less tellers as the switch to online banking becomes more and more prevalent.

This is scary stuff for the person whose job is becoming an anachronism, much like the service station attendant of yore.  But in the long run everyone benefits from greater efficiencies.  This is one reason why I am so bullish on Costco.  They have developed a fabulous system for selling goods at a deep discount by doing away with many of the inefficiencies that plague retailers while simultaneously paying their staff handsomely compared to their retail counterparts.

Greater efficiency benefits everyone in the long term.

I suppose it depends on your definition of efficiency.    There is something to be said for having the customer do the work without pay, as in pumping gas or scanning items at the store.    It's "efficient" from a business point of view.    It is kind of an apples/oranges comparison though.    My 83 year old mother would like someone to pump the gas and check the oil and other fluids.  She can sometimes get someone out to pump for her, but not always.   One of us kids has to take her car to fill it up for her, and one of us has to check the fluids periodically.   That seems damned inefficient to me.     A a recent trend in restaurants is not only to serve yourself, but to do the cooking too.   Remind me why I came to a restaurant?   I can do my own cooking at home much cheaper, I go to a restaurant when I want someone else to cook.     I'll scan my own items when the stores start paying me to do it, until then I don't use the self-scan lines.   

The service has been removed and customers are providing their own service, for free.   
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on May 12, 2014, 08:57:24 AM
Quote
Any job that relies on an opinion, risk weighing, reasonableness, and making educated guesses in a field where every situation is unique.  Robots/computers are great at things that can be reduced to a reliable, repeatable algorithm.  Everything else not so much.

Also keep in mind that computers dont have to be 'better' only good enough and cheap enough.  If a computer costs 5% what a human does but is 90% as 'good' and can work 24/7, well in many applications that would be a great improvement and worth switching or trying to have to computer do what it is good at and the human do the rest.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on May 12, 2014, 09:09:00 AM
Quote
or trying to have to computer do what it is good at and the human do the rest.

picked up "Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better" in an airport book store-hard cover (yeah sorry was despite), he has some interesting ideas on the mixing of human and computer intelligence (not quite like the Borg).  Shows some examples of where average humans and average computers worked together to beet the best of the best that were 100% human or 100% computer.  only 100 pages in but seems worth reading.  As with all pop-sci books it might be a bit lite on citations or fully proving a point or cheery picking data.  but still.

-sorry for the self quote :-)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: DoubleDown on May 12, 2014, 11:41:19 AM
But are robots or automation any different than just about any other technology over the ages that has made someone's job obsolete? Weaving looms, printing presses, automobiles, tractors, telephones -- no doubt very one of those, plus 1 Million other inventions we could think of, made someone's job or entire industry obsolete. I guess I'm saying there's really nothing new here, and any doom and gloom predictions about humans becoming obsolete is right up there with "News of my death has been greatly exaggerated." There's always something for humans to do. But sure, people need to be flexible, and if you're in an industry facing a revolutionary upheaval, better start polishing up on some new skills.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on May 12, 2014, 12:08:53 PM
But are robots or automation any different than just about any other technology over the ages that has made someone's job obsolete? Weaving looms, printing presses, automobiles, tractors, telephones -- no doubt very one of those, plus 1 Million other inventions we could think of, made someone's job or entire industry obsolete. I guess I'm saying there's really nothing new here, and any doom and gloom predictions about humans becoming obsolete is right up there with "News of my death has been greatly exaggerated." There's always something for humans to do. But sure, people need to be flexible, and if you're in an industry facing a revolutionary upheaval, better start polishing up on some new skills.

I'm not doom and gloom about it.  I'm actually highly optimistic about it.  I'd love for it to happen as if it does the way I hope, everything would be a commodity and present day economics will just get spurned on its head.  You'll have a whole different set of skill sets.

By the way: 3D printed bicycles for the win.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: LalsConstant on May 12, 2014, 12:43:02 PM
In terms of relative complexity though, how many of those are situations where there's actual uniqueness? 

There's a finite number of games of chess, a computer is always going to be able to discern the optimal play.

Advertising isn't a great example, you can use a computer to direct and target ads yes but human judgment at the front end is how we know to put ads for X with Y, even if you figure that out purely by correlations between things ordered at Amazon (for example).

The driving is probably the situation where you are the most likely to encounter something truly unique (everyone has a story of something strange encountered while driving), and in those instances, what you're probably going to have is a safety heuristic in the algorithm.  In any decision the heuristic cannot address however (are we going to program cars to take cover against machinegun fire for instance), I don't see good things happening for the driver.  This will be an application where people will realize the odds and take their chances, like air travel now.

All I am saying is:

Write the algorithm that can determine whether the accused was justified in stabbing the victim by claiming self defense.

Write the algorithm that can motivate a sick and depressed person to get treatment for their chronic disease.

Write the algorithm that can determine if a book is good or not.

Write the algorithm that can judge which dress is more in fashion this season.

Write the algorithm that can help a victim of child abuse getting therapy in his thirties move past his inner demons.

Show me the robot that can look at two photographs of the same woman with two different hair colors (same style) and determine whether she looks better blonde or redheaded.

Hell, forget all that.  Program a sense of humor.

The worst robots can do is shift demand and supply.  Jobs like my old gigs painting walls and stacking stuff on shelves and filling orders, those are in danger.

Post singularity, When robots spontaneously mock each other, debate the nature of the universe, and make purely subjective judgments with no discernible criteria, then I'll consider everyone on the chopping block.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on May 12, 2014, 01:13:28 PM
Write the algorithm that can determine whether the accused was justified in stabbing the victim by claiming self defense.
Write the algorithm that can motivate a sick and depressed person to get treatment for their chronic disease.
Write the algorithm that can determine if a book is good or not.
Write the algorithm that can judge which dress is more in fashion this season.
Write the algorithm that can help a victim of child abuse getting therapy in his thirties move past his inner demons.
Show me the robot that can look at two photographs of the same woman with two different hair colors (same style) and determine whether she looks better blonde or redheaded.

Hell, forget all that.  Program a sense of humor.

The worst robots can do is shift demand and supply.  Jobs like my old gigs painting walls and stacking stuff on shelves and filling orders, those are in danger.

Post singularity, When robots spontaneously mock each other, debate the nature of the universe, and make purely subjective judgments with no discernible criteria, then I'll consider everyone on the chopping block.

Anything subjective is going to be subjective.  I know many people who don't like Shawshank Redemption even though it is one of the best (if not the best movie) I have ever seen and lots of people love it.  I know many who find Jar Jar Binks tolerable even though many can't stand him (myself included).  Hell, I know many who find women unattractive and prefer men.  And as far as fashion? I'll settle for T's and Jeans any day of the week, so I couldn't care less.    I know some people who think that Jerry Seinfeld is hilarious, I personally can't stand him.  Maybe I'm a robot? 

Reviews are going to be weighted ,and that's where neural networks and rules come into play.

As for that self defense case - well, let's ask OJ's victims how they felt about him being let off because the jury really couldn't grasp certain scientific technologies.

You don't think psychology is an algorithm?  I've been through it when I was a kid and am going through marriage counseling now. 

Chronic Illness?  I'd rather have a robot treating me then my previous GI. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on May 12, 2014, 02:19:38 PM
LalsConstant: "is it different this time?"  that is the bozillion dollar question.  I think the fear is that the change will happen insanely fast and every where and in many (most?) fields of employment, across all income levels.  People wont be able to be retrained fast enough.  How many people in the US have had manual labor jobs for 30+ years never did great in school-are not motivated to go back, have a few chronic health issues, little savings, own a home so dont want to relocate...  and then a robot takes there job.

wrt- the list:
>> crime: maybe a computer could track down a dollar the defendant had and prove it was spent on the other side of town when the crime happened.  or use facial recognition to do the same.
>> to lazy to google it now but I thought I had read that simple chat bots were doing some physiological good talking to people.  again computers may augment if not replace.
>> google has admitted that they digitized a 100tons of books 'not for humans to read'.
>> the red head is always hotter, any neural net would learn that in the first 10 minutes of training :-p

algorithms will keep getting better at predicting what you will like (see amazon/netflix/google), but as Insanity said it is very hard to say any thing subjective is good, there will always be disagreement.

LalsConstant also if you are going to try to list things computers cant do there is an obligatory link :-)  http://xkcd.com/1002/ (http://xkcd.com/1002/)

The computers and robots are coming for the medical doctors in a big way.  I personally have had good results with the MayoClinic symptom checker.  http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptom-checker/select-symptom/itt-20009075 (http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptom-checker/select-symptom/itt-20009075)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on May 12, 2014, 02:43:04 PM
The computers and robots are coming for the medical doctors in a big way.  I personally have had good results with the MayoClinic symptom checker.  http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptom-checker/select-symptom/itt-20009075 (http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptom-checker/select-symptom/itt-20009075)

I hope it is better than WebMD which seems to always think I have cancer, gastritis, or diabetes.
 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Ian on May 12, 2014, 08:02:26 PM
Some people in this thread are claiming robots will utterly change everything forever, but you don't need to take that position to be concerned by the trend. Look at the point in time when advances in farming eliminated what used to be the majority of all jobs - society adjusted, but the process of doing so caused years of unrest and suffering. It's not much comfort to know things will eventually even out if you live in the uneven period, especially since even those with stable jobs won't be unaffected by temporarily increased unemployment.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Primm on May 13, 2014, 12:24:38 AM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.

name on job that can't?

I'm a NICU nurse. I'd like to think my technical skills combined with my clinical assessment and judgement lead to me being (relatively) indispensable, but I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on May 13, 2014, 07:31:11 PM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.

name on job that can't?

I'm a NICU nurse. I'd like to think my technical skills combined with my clinical assessment and judgement lead to me being (relatively) indispensable, but I could be wrong.

before I go on, let me say that you have probably one of the emotionally toughest jobs in the world and thank you for doing that. having to deal with the emotional draining situations you have to, I can't fathom.

Unfortunately, though, medical is something that can be done.  there maybe more need for human interaction on the support/translation side of it - after all, who wants to be consoled by a robot/AI?  But the reality is, if that becomes an acceptable things and as AIs learn more appropriate and comforting things to say, it may become more accepted.  I don't know. 

But again, the job you do is a tough job and thank you for doing it.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Primm on May 14, 2014, 06:11:26 AM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.

name on job that can't?

I'm a NICU nurse. I'd like to think my technical skills combined with my clinical assessment and judgement lead to me being (relatively) indispensable, but I could be wrong.

before I go on, let me say that you have probably one of the emotionally toughest jobs in the world and thank you for doing that. having to deal with the emotional draining situations you have to, I can't fathom.

Unfortunately, though, medical is something that can be done.  there maybe more need for human interaction on the support/translation side of it - after all, who wants to be consoled by a robot/AI?  But the reality is, if that becomes an acceptable things and as AIs learn more appropriate and comforting things to say, it may become more accepted.  I don't know. 

But again, the job you do is a tough job and thank you for doing it.

Why thank you. :)

While I don't disagree that the actual baby care side of what I do could to some extent be palmed off to an artificially intelligent device, it's the emotional side of parent care and counselling that I think I'm safe with for the moment. Let's face it, a 25 weeker doesn't give a shit whether I as a nurse love it, it just needs warmth, nutrition and ventilation. Which could all most probably be more efficiently provided by a machine, with a complex series of algorithms allowing for immediate adjustments to the machines we already use.

However we're a very long way from machines providing emotional care. Actually that's probably not strictly true, we're a very long way off the *acceptance* of machines providing emotional care. So for that part of my job I think will last for a long time. Coincidentally (or not?) that's the part of my job that I would love to spend more time on but don't have time due to the technical requirements. So it could even be a win-win. More time for me to spend with parents, less time needing to be spent on the mundane "machine care" side of my work.

ETA: By the time this happens I hope to be well and truly retired!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: davisgang90 on May 14, 2014, 07:14:09 AM
I for one welcome our new Robot Overlords!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: zachd on May 14, 2014, 02:55:14 PM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.

I test software and automation is cutting the need for manual testing.  If I don't learn automation, it will be harder and harder to find a job in my field.
So just saying, it's not only people who do manual labor or work in a warehouse whose jobs may be replaced by automation.

I'm not that worried about it personally I'll either learn to do some programming or hopefully find a job doing something I like better.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on May 14, 2014, 03:46:08 PM
This thread actually sent me off to some very interesting paths of research. I may start a separate thread once I have more actual content, but I was curious if anybody here had looked at this from a "Post-Scarcity" standpoint, or if you'd ever heard of it. It seems like it could be something society moves towards, but I haven't decided if it could be done, or someone would capitalize on it and ruin it. The article that started me down this path was this one (http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/01/after-your-job-is-gone/).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on May 14, 2014, 06:32:34 PM
I've always thought that if you're job could be replaced by a robot or an illegal alien, it's probably time to get a new job or more education.  To a lesser extent that goes for off-shoring too.

I test software and automation is cutting the need for manual testing.  If I don't learn automation, it will be harder and harder to find a job in my field.
So just saying, it's not only people who do manual labor or work in a warehouse whose jobs may be replaced by automation.

I'm not that worried about it personally I'll either learn to do some programming or hopefully find a job doing something I like better.

If you have a QA mind and test by trying to break things, I highly recommend you look into software security.  While there are automated analyzers, there is still quite the need for a human to be involved due to so complexities that are simply right now well out of reach for automated scanners.  This isn't to say they can't be automated, just that they aren't there yet (or businesses don't want to spend the money configuring the software to do the tests automatically).

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: CarSafetyGuy on May 14, 2014, 07:19:48 PM
I'm looking forward to when robots (i.e., computers) do our driving for us. Things will get a lot safer.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Primm on May 14, 2014, 07:40:55 PM
I'm looking forward to when robots (i.e., computers) do our driving for us. Things will get a lot safer.

+1.

As a cyclist, I can't wait until the day the bogan tradies in their white utes can't swerve towards me at 6am in an effort to run me off the road, because the software in their car won't let them. Seriously, who does that? [/rant]
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on May 15, 2014, 09:40:10 AM
Call me skeptical, even cynical, but this entire thread reminds me of 1960s Popular Mechanics articles about flying cars and personal jetpacks.

I'm glad for all of the personal productivity improvements, especially Moore's Law and factory automation, but I think the slope of the curve is less exponential than the popular media predicts...

You have to understand that Moore's law is an exponential curve.
This article explains that extremely well, with an analogy and a cartoon:
http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/05/robots-artificial-intelligence-jobs-automation

It is on exactly the original topic - how soon robots are likely to be able to take most human jobs, and then what the impact on society and the economy and the distribution of wealth is likely to be.

Quote
"Until a decade ago, the share of total national income going to workers was pretty stable at around 70 percent, while the share going to capital—mainly corporate profits and returns on financial investments—made up the other 30 percent. More recently, though, those shares have started to change. Slowly but steadily, labor's share of total national income has gone down, while the share going to capital owners has gone up. The most obvious effect of this is the skyrocketing wealth of the top 1 percent, due mostly to huge increases in capital gains and investment income.


According to this chart made by Stuart Staniford, our robot overlords will take over soon.
In the economics literature, the increase in the share of income going to capital owners is known as capital-biased technological change. Let's take a layman's look at what that means.

The question we want to answer is simple: If CBTC is already happening—not a lot, but just a little bit—what trends would we expect to see? What are the signs of a computer-driven economy? First and most obviously, if automation were displacing labor, we'd expect to see a steady decline in the share of the population that's employed.

Second, we'd expect to see fewer job openings than in the past. Third, as more people compete for fewer jobs, we'd expect to see middle-class incomes flatten in a race to the bottom. Fourth, with consumption stagnant, we'd expect to see corporations stockpile more cash and, fearing weaker sales, invest less in new products and new factories. Fifth, as a result of all this, we'd expect to see labor's share of national income decline and capital's share rise.

These trends are the five horsemen of the robotic apocalypse, and guess what? We're already seeing them"
[/size]

Any job that relies on an opinion, risk weighing, reasonableness, and making educated guesses in a field where every situation is unique.  Robots/computers are great at things that can be reduced to a reliable, repeatable algorithm.  Everything else not so much.

You're looking at current computers.  As the article I linked points out, we have been making slow, but steady and serious progress towards true AI.  The human brain isn't infinitely intelligent, we have a specific amount of processing power and memory.  When computers hit that point, they should be able to do literally any mental task a human can do.  They already do a much better job at risk weighing and educated guesses than we do, because they don't fall prey to the (many, powerful) cognitive biases we do.

Robotics will help generate even more wealth over time...

Greater efficiency benefits everyone in the long term.

They do definitely generate more wealth, as do all increases in efficiency, but greater efficiency does NOT necessarily benefit everyone.  In fact, that basically came to a full stop a couple decades ago, and technology advances is one of the largest reasons.  The other big one is political.  Under a free market, increases in efficiency are likely to benefit everyone.  But under capitalism, they only benefit investors, at the expense of labor.  US politics have been undermining the free market and supporting capitalism to an ever greater extent in recent years, with the predictable result that median income has flatlined while the top 0.1% has grown exponentially:
http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2014/04/free-market-vs-capitalism-current-state.html

In theory, having robots do almost everything, and having humans do just those few things that robots couldn't possibly do (not sure what those things are, but lets assume there are some), could mean that every human has a 1 hour work week and a 10 years working career, and they earn an inflation adjusted $1000 per hour for the work that they do.  The economy would be able to support it.
But as long as the politics and laws are as they are now, we're more likely to have 97% unemployment, and 3% private security forces.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the futureIn fact, that basically came to a full
Post by: AlanStache on May 15, 2014, 09:47:13 AM
@Bakari:
Quote
The other big one is political.  Under a free market, increases in efficiency are likely to benefit everyone.  But under capitalism, they only benefit investors, at the expense of labor

Can you explain or link the difference between free market and capitalism?  I would have thought them about synonymous.  Or did you have crony capitalism or our bastardized protectionist capitalism in mind?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the futureIn fact, that basically came to a full
Post by: Bakari on May 15, 2014, 09:55:06 AM
@Bakari:
Quote
The other big one is political.  Under a free market, increases in efficiency are likely to benefit everyone.  But under capitalism, they only benefit investors, at the expense of labor

Can you explain or link the difference between free market and capitalism?  I would have thought them about synonymous.  Or did you have crony capitalism or our bastardized protectionist capitalism in mind?

Can I ever!  I just recently finished writing a ten part series on that: http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2014/04/free-market-vs-capitalism.html
everyone seems to think they are synonymous - which I suspect was deliberate political PR by capitalists. Not only are they not synonymous, they are actively opposed. 
The original free-market economist, Adam Smith, was very clear about the difference, but people who quote him most often conveniently ignore those parts.
And, sure, corruption can make it even worse, but that's a whole separate thing.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the futureIn fact, that basically came to a full
Post by: arebelspy on May 15, 2014, 11:45:38 AM
Can I ever!  I just recently finished writing a ten part series on that

Just a comment on that.  When you call it a 10 part series it sounds daunting and this big tome.  I put off reading it for like 5 days until I had time to sit down and do so.  Then the whole thing took about 20 minutes.

It could easily have fit into one long blog post, but you may dissuade some people who might otherwise read it when they hear "ten part series."  "...I wasn't THAT interested" but if they knew each part was a quick two minute read, they may read it.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the futureIn fact, that basically came to a full
Post by: Bakari on May 15, 2014, 05:21:00 PM
Can I ever!  I just recently finished writing a ten part series on that

Just a comment on that.  When you call it a 10 part series it sounds daunting and this big tome.  I put off reading it for like 5 days until I had time to sit down and do so.  Then the whole thing took about 20 minutes.

It could easily have fit into one long blog post, but you may dissuade some people who might otherwise read it when they hear "ten part series."  "...I wasn't THAT interested" but if they knew each part was a quick two minute read, they may read it.


:P
hmm, well...  I kept getting complaints that my regular posts were too long.  Can't win.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the futureIn fact, that basically came to a full
Post by: arebelspy on May 15, 2014, 06:17:12 PM
Can I ever!  I just recently finished writing a ten part series on that

Just a comment on that.  When you call it a 10 part series it sounds daunting and this big tome.  I put off reading it for like 5 days until I had time to sit down and do so.  Then the whole thing took about 20 minutes.

It could easily have fit into one long blog post, but you may dissuade some people who might otherwise read it when they hear "ten part series."  "...I wasn't THAT interested" but if they knew each part was a quick two minute read, they may read it.


:P
hmm, well...  I kept getting complaints that my regular posts were too long.  Can't win.

I'm fine with it being split up.. just letting you know how it sounded to me when I heard "ten part series."  :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the futureIn fact, that basically came to a full
Post by: Insanity on May 15, 2014, 08:38:35 PM
@Bakari:
Quote
The other big one is political.  Under a free market, increases in efficiency are likely to benefit everyone.  But under capitalism, they only benefit investors, at the expense of labor

Can you explain or link the difference between free market and capitalism?  I would have thought them about synonymous.  Or did you have crony capitalism or our bastardized protectionist capitalism in mind?

Can I ever!  I just recently finished writing a ten part series on that: http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2014/04/free-market-vs-capitalism.html
everyone seems to think they are synonymous - which I suspect was deliberate political PR by capitalists. Not only are they not synonymous, they are actively opposed. 
The original free-market economist, Adam Smith, was very clear about the difference, but people who quote him most often conveniently ignore those parts.
And, sure, corruption can make it even worse, but that's a whole separate thing.

I have to say, I only read parts of it.  And I think why I only read parts of it is because the writing style and layout just was a bit distracting.  The content itself was interesting, just hard to focus on with those changes.  Then again, I'm easily distracted.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on June 10, 2014, 09:00:24 AM
Really interesting article that does a good job at addressing the need to figure out the role in society and the need for thought and debate on how robots are used to improve our lives as we enter this prosperous stage in society.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101728464
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on June 10, 2014, 08:16:08 PM
The first sequenced human genome was complete in 2003 at a cost of nearly $3 billion, and it took 13 years. Just a decade later we can do the same in a few days for less than $1,000.

I have noted to my wife that it seems more and more teens are coming up with medical advances faster than some of the larger pharmaceuticals. This is one of the reasons why. While robots might take jobs, information is what provides the ability to gain wealth.  The question is what will wealth mean in 20-30 years from now.

And how will that impact FIRE :)

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on June 12, 2014, 10:47:25 AM
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101751468
Google futurist and engineering director.

Computers will achieve human level intelligence and the ability to have human level emotional relationship with them by 2029.

"My timeline is computers will be at human levels, such as you can have a human relationship with them, 15 years from now," he said. Kurzweil's comments came at the Exponential Finance conference in New York on Wednesday.

3D printing of clothing by 2020.

Solar power is underrated.   

Medicine - We will be able to reprogram our cells, which will allow us to reprogram away from cancer, heart disease, including aging in the near future.   

Personal digital assistants in the next five to 10 years.

What does this mean to mustachians?
Portfolios may need to be built to survive to infinity, having the resources to buy/pay for the technology that may be controlled by corporations, how to assist your kids/grandkids to take advantage of these changes, and understanding how laws and society develops to share the wealth with the huge technology gains that will be occurring within the next 20 years.             
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on June 12, 2014, 12:04:05 PM
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101751468
Google futurist and engineering director.

Computers will achieve human level intelligence and the ability to have human level emotional relationship with them by 2029.

"My timeline is computers will be at human levels, such as you can have a human relationship with them, 15 years from now," he said. Kurzweil's comments came at the Exponential Finance conference in New York on Wednesday.

3D printing of clothing by 2020.

Solar power is underrated.   

Medicine - We will be able to reprogram our cells, which will allow us to reprogram away from cancer, heart disease, including aging in the near future.   

Personal digital assistants in the next five to 10 years.

What does this mean to mustachians?
Portfolios may need to be built to survive to infinity, having the resources to buy/pay for the technology that may be controlled by corporations, how to assist your kids/grandkids to take advantage of these changes, and understanding how laws and society develops to share the wealth with the huge technology gains that will be occurring within the next 20 years.           

I'm finding more and more stuff like this popping up wherever I look. It definitely makes things interesting. I'm about to engage in a discussion about this very topic. I already know the guy thinks that those in power wouldn't want some type of post-scarcity society to come about, since scarcity keeps them in power. I also need to read Bakari's stuff on this, and a couple of other books, but get my thoughts down on return. This stuff is pretty exciting though, and I really enjoy the thought exercise.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: MrsPete on June 12, 2014, 06:59:11 PM
Two things I've seen lately that foretell changes in the way we shop:

- In the past I've seen a kiosk selling Proactive (acne medicine) at the mall.  Recently I saw that it's been replaced with a vending machine.  Put in your credit card, out comes your purchase . . . just like a soda. 

- At Panera Bread, I recently saw that they've installed iPads in the stores, and you can walk up to one, place your order, and pay with a credit card . . . then pick up a thingy that'll beep when your order is ready at the counter.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on June 12, 2014, 07:10:22 PM
Two things I've seen lately that foretell changes in the way we shop:

- In the past I've seen a kiosk selling Proactive (acne medicine) at the mall.  Recently I saw that it's been replaced with a vending machine.  Put in your credit card, out comes your purchase . . . just like a soda. 

- At Panera Bread, I recently saw that they've installed iPads in the stores, and you can walk up to one, place your order, and pay with a credit card . . . then pick up a thingy that'll beep when your order is ready at the counter.

Red Robin uses kiosks at tables for ordering drinks and appetizers, not to mention you can pay your bill that way so you don't have to wait for a check.

One contract that I am working on is dealing with things going into Amazon Web Services (the cloud environment).  The amount of computing power they work with is just incredible.  The fact they can manage the type of things they do, automatically, with infrastructure of virtual machines.  I firmly believe anything is possible with computers.  Anything.  You don't have to worry about scarcity, the entire definition of economy is going to change.

How?  Who knows.  I just know that I am in information security and at least until that time happens where people don't care about information being out there - I'll have a job until the robots do take over everything.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on August 14, 2014, 05:57:09 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU

Great video from CGP Grey. Worth taking a look see.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: greaper007 on August 15, 2014, 04:17:38 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU

Great video from CGP Grey. Worth taking a look see.

Necro-poster!!!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on August 16, 2014, 06:43:05 AM
It will be interesting to see.  Make up the job losses with volume. Their comment about a highly educated workforce is the wave of the future. Fortunately there is a huge wave of highly compensated machines that will be retiring in the next decade. It sounds like robots will be replacing these jobs.

http://m.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2014/08/13/many-are-working-how-many-people-will-be-replaced.html?r=full


Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on August 16, 2014, 08:01:37 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU

Great video from CGP Grey. Worth taking a look see.

Necro-poster!!!

Guilty as charged. Suspend me mods, I've done wrong. :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on August 16, 2014, 09:40:52 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU

Great video from CGP Grey. Worth taking a look see.

That was an interesting video. They didn't really address the big question that they posed of what to do with the huge amount of people that are unemployed.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on August 16, 2014, 10:17:20 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU

Great video from CGP Grey. Worth taking a look see.

That was an interesting video. They didn't really address the big question that they posed of what to do with the huge amount of people that are unemployed.

I'm fond of CGP's videos in general. He is much more of an explainer of complex issues and their impact. He is not necessarily an advocate of any specific course of action. And you can get a note of, not fatalism, but inevitability in his presentation.

Regarding the what to do with the inevitable unemployed, well I think that will be up to us to decide. There is a bit of a catch-22 going on here where if you have massive unemployment there is no one to buy the things and no incentive to make the things therefore you even have "unemployed", or rather, unused robots. A great deal of money invested in unproductive assets. It certainly will be a challenge and I can think of a few potential (I don't want to call them solutions because I'm not sure if we can call the situation a problem, now in our time of excess and luxury do we really consider the fact that so few people are needed to provide food for a great number of people a "problem"? I think not, there are problems it creates but it is not a problem in of itself) mitigating actions.

While a form of this has happened time and time again this may be the time where it truly is different. We're not going to free up people to do "other" work. We're finally replacing people with not people in a broad spectrum of jobs. Probably most jobs in the next 20-50 years. That will take cultural, legal, governmental, and infrastructure changes to the countries that adopt this. And most countries will that can as it won't be the countries but the businesses. It may seem fantastical but science fiction is a great place to look to see where this sort of society can bring us. And much like a source for inspiration to science may be the source of inspiration on how to deal with the side effects of said science.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: ch12 on August 23, 2014, 09:54:31 PM
There's some Pew research on the impact of AI that I thought would be interesting to you all.

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/08/06/future-of-jobs/
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on August 27, 2014, 02:10:09 AM

The laws of Nature allow automatic operation. If I stand up, my heart and breathing increase a little, automatically. I do not need to push buttons or pull levers. If I look away from the computer screen and look out of the window, my eyes automatically change focus for long sight. My body digests food automatically. My body is a miniature automated economy.

These matters have been known to science since the 1950s, and Mother Nature has set us an intelligence test; automate the economy. We have been climbing up from barbarism over the last 8000 years, and the next step in this progress is for people in an automated economy to move up to the level of a leisured class, and draw a Basic Income from the economy. This not an easy task, but it is more of a political and social matter than an economic matter. The emergence of advanced machinery is likely to open the door to the transition to a largely automated economy in about 20 years. Will people walk through the door?

In the past, science writers and commentators assumed that most people would eventually pass Mother Nature’s test, but it now looks as though most people will fail the test, and will not even know there is a test. It will not surprise me if, in 20 years, most voters demand restrictions on the use of advanced machinery to retain jobs. Is this intelligence or stupidity?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on August 27, 2014, 07:21:18 AM
It will not surprise me if, in 20 years, most voters demand restrictions on the use of advanced machinery to retain jobs. Is this intelligence or stupidity?


Of whom?  The voters?
Its a consequence of setting up a capitalist system in which those who own the advanced machinery get 100% of the profit, and those who are replaced by them get 0%

It would obviously be smarter to change the system of economic distribution, but that would be much harder to do.  It would mean changing a huge part of the most fundamental parts of our concept of ownership and value and rights.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on August 27, 2014, 10:58:11 AM
(http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--4D2TyHZu--/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/hunyv7bndl4bhnagh2fi.jpg)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: RichLife on August 27, 2014, 11:13:25 AM
I for one welcome our new robot overlords ;) On a more serious note, I actually like the idea of a future where work becomes something you want rather than have to do. Not sure if it is Mustachian of me or not, but I think that if we moved towards a system where everyone gets a certain basic income we'd all be better for it. That way we could spend our time on what we enjoy doing, like for example sell paintings for extra income rather than slave away in a 9 to 5 grind. In fact, it sounds a lot like being FI except it would be for everyone :) Maybe a very utopian view, but I like to secretly hope that future generations will have it better in that regard. Just like how we already fare lots better than say people in the industrial revolution.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on August 31, 2014, 12:08:33 AM
It will not surprise me if, in 20 years, most voters demand restrictions on the use of advanced machinery to retain jobs. Is this intelligence or stupidity?


Of whom?  The voters?
Its a consequence of setting up a capitalist system in which those who own the advanced machinery get 100% of the profit, and those who are replaced by them get 0%

It would obviously be smarter to change the system of economic distribution, but that would be much harder to do.  It would mean changing a huge part of the most fundamental parts of our concept of ownership and value and rights.


My father told me that during the Great Depression – he was a boy at the time – there were families camped in public gardens, and plenty of rental houses empty. The landlords wanted tenants, and the campers wanted to rent houses, but the money system had temporarily broken down.

The parallel that is emerging today is that owners of capital need customers for their products, otherwise there will be no sales. Workers are the most numerous customers, but workers need paid jobs to buy things. It is in the interests of both owners and workers to support the idea of a Basic Income. This point is what I had in mind when I wondered about intelligent behaviour.

There was a General Strike in England in 1926, which was partly about wages and condition in coal mines. Winston Churchill was a senior politician at the time, and was part of efforts to break the deadlock in talks between miners and mine owners. He said that he met the miners first, and thought they were the most stupid men in England. Then he met the mine owners…

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on August 31, 2014, 12:24:02 AM
There was a General Strike in England in 1926, which was partly about wages and condition in coal mines. Winston Churchill was a senior politician at the time, and was part of efforts to break the deadlock in talks between miners and mine owners. He said that he met the miners first, and thought they were the most stupid men in England. Then he met the mine owners…

Presumably at the time Mr. Churchill wasn't being paid by the owners, a slight problem we have today regarding politicians...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on September 02, 2014, 06:57:40 PM
I for one welcome our new robot overlords ;)

I saw this on yahoo and thought of your quote!

‘Robot overlords’: Coming our way soon?
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101962796
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on September 04, 2014, 11:21:24 PM

his "device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient. It’s meant to completely obviate them."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/momentum-machines-burger-robot-2014-8#ixzz3CPpGmri1

I like the bluntness of this guy.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on September 05, 2014, 08:20:30 AM
This is a really interesting thread!

I have a question, and it might well be a very stupid one, but here goes: What is the exact difference between a robot and a machine? Eg. newspapers are printed by machine, I'm sure we've all seen video footage of that. But cars are now being built by robots. What makes them robots and not machines, and the printing press a machine and not a robot? Are all robots also machines, but not all machines robots?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on September 05, 2014, 11:04:24 AM
This is a really interesting thread!

I have a question, and it might well be a very stupid one, but here goes: What is the exact difference between a robot and a machine? Eg. newspapers are printed by machine, I'm sure we've all seen video footage of that. But cars are now being built by robots. What makes them robots and not machines, and the printing press a machine and not a robot? Are all robots also machines, but not all machines robots?

More of a semantic discussion than anything. But in general a robot would be defined as (if you go by wikipedia) a machine which is made in such a way as to duplicate a specific function of a human or animal. Basically a mechanical version of something we already have; arms, legs...etc.

A machine is a tool that does an action but may not replicate a specific human or animal function.

Or for more examples - robot.
(http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT_buRtMjNVBZbOUAGOMYqwCeENg72lgkjdrHj-fD3aszSJ_PaZUg)

Machine
(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQmfa7sexq7ctMDnmS5Pt5o6qh4dhlxgBgJ4xW34wLQy24uZWLf)


One will be very intuitively understood what function it serves. The other... probably not.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on September 08, 2014, 01:45:52 AM
Thanks matchewed, that makes sense!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on September 11, 2014, 09:49:49 PM
One of my companies has a robot in one of these industries.

http://www.wisebread.com/robots-will-take-over-these-5-jobs-soon-is-one-of-them-yours

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on September 13, 2014, 09:53:19 AM
I was reading Yahoo news and saw Nancy Pelosi stating that civilization as we know it will be in jeopardy if the GOP wins the senate.

http://news.yahoo.com/nancy-pelosi-civilization-know-jeopardy-124400035.html

Big claims, but as others mentioned Robots will improve GDP and the quality of life but the question is where do those benefits reside. Will all tides rise or will robots be used to benefit the 1% and be used to protect them from the 99%.  The laws that are written today will impact how the technological advances benefit society in the future. Thoughts on the types of laws that should be made?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on September 17, 2014, 08:14:29 AM
Interesting and scary article about technology.


http://io9.com/10-horrifying-technologies-that-should-never-be-allowed-1635238363
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on September 17, 2014, 10:11:28 AM
Interesting and scary article about technology.


http://io9.com/10-horrifying-technologies-that-should-never-be-allowed-1635238363


I'm always torn when I see articles like this. Some of the questions need to be addressed for sure, but I don't think that potential for misuse is a reason to not pursue something. I suppose when it comes to technology, I'm a bit of an optimist. I believe that technology can be part of a drastic change that could really make things a hell of a lot better (and considering how good we have it now...that's saying something). Could it be worse, too? Absolutely. As I'm typing this, I just had a thought:

So sometimes the argument is that the collective 'we' shouldn't pursue a technology, because there is the potential that 'they' could misuse it, and cause massive and irreparable harm. However, 'we' not pursuing it doesn't necessarily mean 'they' won't. Now it's beginning to sound like justification for an arms race, which bugs me, but I think my brain is trying to take me down the path that 'we' might as well get the good things out of technology, instead of being run by fear. Granted, for this to work, there needs to be a shift in thinking. We are still caught up in this imperialist mind set. This us against the world style thinking (and it doesn't really matter who you are, or what criteria you use to define 'us', I haven't found very many exceptions to this rule). I think big-picture thinking will have to win out. We need to realize we are all part of a whole, and doing something that benefits all of us...well, that is where the benefits of technology will truly shine. Fear is an awful reason to [not] act. That gets people stuck in ruts. Kind of reminds me of the study with the monkeys, the ladder, and the hose.

What do you think?

[...]
Will all tides rise or will robots be used to benefit the 1% and be used to protect them from the 99%. [...]

I think this ties in with the shift in thinking I mentioned above. Did you read the Manna story upthread? This doesn't quite go the route I think we should go, but it does draw some interesting comparisons with two separate 'entities', one in which profits and benefits go to the 1%, and one in which a more global thought pattern is addressed.

As far as the laws go, I don't hold out much hope, or put much stake in it truly effecting technology (maybe only how quickly it comes to benefit people). I mean, we still can't even agree that the Internet should be common carrier...but that's neither here nor there. I don't think any government can truly keep up with technology, so I think we currently need to make sure we police ourselves, and use the power we do have to ensure things don't go all crazy.

Just general musings first thing in the morning.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on September 17, 2014, 01:30:37 PM
Just gonna leave this here, so I can remember to read it later. It's preliminary, but something I'll definitely continue following. Also, it ties in with the thoughts on legislation.

http://intelligence.org/2013/09/12/how-well-will-policy-makers-handle-agi-initial-findings/ (http://intelligence.org/2013/09/12/how-well-will-policy-makers-handle-agi-initial-findings/).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on September 20, 2014, 11:31:36 AM
Technology - more pay, less jobs. Make sure you and your kids are on the right side of technology and education.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/09/19/mcdonalds-tablets-automate-ordering-living-wage-fight/

Interesting watch this play out.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on September 22, 2014, 05:05:33 PM
Mercedes newest self driving trucks!  It will be interesting to see how quickly they displace the current drivers.

https://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/mercedes-benz-reveals-future-truck-2025--the-optimus-prime-of-self-driving-semis-204305500.html
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Cyrano on September 22, 2014, 05:39:06 PM
If and when we reach a point where technological unemployment is no longer Other People's Problem, then the moral case against redistributionist socialism will have vanished, and we will be rich enough to pay for it. The adjustment could be rocky in places.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: ch12 on September 26, 2014, 02:40:58 PM
Yet another one, pulling from one of the authors of the Second Machine Age (Erik Brynjolfsson) and Robert Shiller, who all of us here know and love. The idea floated is livelihood insurance.

http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Public_Sector/The_Great_Decoupling?cid=mckq50-eml-alt-mkq-mck-oth-1409

Some of it's fluff, to be sure, and not new to most people who are on this thread. Still, it's an enjoyable and relatively short article.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on September 27, 2014, 07:59:32 AM
Mercedes newest self driving trucks!  It will be interesting to see how quickly they displace the current drivers.

https://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/mercedes-benz-reveals-future-truck-2025--the-optimus-prime-of-self-driving-semis-204305500.html

The question is will they for legal reasons ever be allowed to have no human in the truck at all (driving or not). Until that is a case there is no reduction in employment.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on September 27, 2014, 08:54:58 AM
The question is will they for legal reasons ever be allowed to have no human in the truck at all (driving or not). Until that is a case there is no reduction in employment.

Four years ago it was illegal to have an autonomous car. Today it is legal in four states. Google's newest car has no steering wheel nor pedals. There have been two reported accidents after 700,000 miles of driving. In one accident the car was rear ended while stopped at a stoplight and the other accident was when the car was being driven manually. Both obviously were human error. The most likely scenario will be that it will be illegal to drive a car manually in a few decades as it is too dangerous.

When you have freight and people moving around with no accidents nor breaks the laws will follow. There is nothing safe about human drivers.

I would predict that within 10 years that it will be legal in all 50 states and within 25 years it will be illegal to drive your own car. Your grandchildren will think it is crazy that people used to manually control an object weighing thousands of pounds moving 60 miles an hour. Very unsafe!!!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on September 27, 2014, 08:59:26 AM

This has all happened before; it is known as feudalism. As advanced machines take over jobs, the ‘nobles’, that is people, extract an unearned income from the peasants and workers, who are now machines. Feudalism Phase 1 emerged in the ancient world thousands of years ago. Feudalism Phase 2 will emerge within ten years, where all humans are regarded as ’nobles’, and who generally do not work, and machines take the place of peasants and workers. I have mentioned this many times before. Why is this hard to understand?

In Mississippi in 1800 sugar planters harvested sugar cane with slave labor. In 1900 they used paid labor. Now they use machines. Slave labor, paid labor and machines are interchangeable. We do not want slave labor, and we will in the future prefer machines to paid labor. Why is this hard to understand?

Consider Jane Austen’s novels, where landowners drew an unearned income from owning land, and other investments. Earning an income from owning land was regarded as a ‘legitimate’ way of drawing an income, and still does. You will notice that I use the word ‘draw’ rather than the word ‘earn’. The day will come when drawing an income from taxing robots will also be regarded as a legitimate way of drawing an income.

This has been known to science, as a long term matter, since the fifties. Are people clever enough to understand these matters, or will these matters turn out to be an intelligence test which only a minority will understand? Science offers all people in the world the opportunity to move up to the noble level, in time. Will they even understand what is on offer?

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on September 27, 2014, 09:59:47 AM
This has all happened before; it is known as feudalism. As advanced machines take over jobs, the ‘nobles’, that is people, extract an unearned income from the peasants and workers, who are now machines. Feudalism Phase 1 emerged in the ancient world thousands of years ago. Feudalism Phase 2 will emerge within ten years, where all humans are regarded as ’nobles’, and who generally do not work, and machines take the place of peasants and workers. I have mentioned this many times before. Why is this hard to understand?

In Mississippi in 1800 sugar planters harvested sugar cane with slave labor. In 1900 they used paid labor. Now they use machines. Slave labor, paid labor and machines are interchangeable. We do not want slave labor, and we will in the future prefer machines to paid labor. Why is this hard to understand?

Consider Jane Austen’s novels, where landowners drew an unearned income from owning land, and other investments. Earning an income from owning land was regarded as a ‘legitimate’ way of drawing an income, and still does. You will notice that I use the word ‘draw’ rather than the word ‘earn’. The day will come when drawing an income from taxing robots will also be regarded as a legitimate way of drawing an income.

This has been known to science, as a long term matter, since the fifties. Are people clever enough to understand these matters, or will these matters turn out to be an intelligence test which only a minority will understand? Science offers all people in the world the opportunity to move up to the noble level, in time. Will they even understand what is on offer?

Let's take this one paragraph at a time. First, it is not a guarantee that what has happened will happen again. That is just a claim you are making. Your analogy isn't hard to understand, some people just happen to disagree with it. Your premise that all people will suddenly turn into nobility is just an assumption. If you disagree with the assumption then you don't necessarily come to the same conclusion.

I totally agree that we'll use machines in the future. That isn't hard to understand. And I don't think anyone is disagreeing with that premise.

In order to tax the robots, as you put it, they will need to be earning wages. Or you're just working off of a corporate tax. Well if no actual people have jobs, who's buying the stuff that is required for the corporations to pay the taxes? Whether you say draw or earn is meaningless. The money has to originate from somewhere, it doesn't magically appear. Money is exchanged for labor, when people no longer labor where do they get their money?

What has been known to science? Could you lay out the unspoken theory or hypothesis you're referring too? Looking back at history is not necessarily science but history. Science is done with repeat experiments and doesn't offer anything other than pure knowledge, it is how people choose to use knowledge that makes the world. There is no guarantee for the fuzzy happy land picture you're painting.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on October 23, 2014, 02:45:18 PM
New Boeing 777X wing plant: A lot of automated equipment, not so many workers

http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2014/10/21/new-boeing-777x-wing-plant-a-lot-of-automated.html?page=all

"If you think that Boeing's new 1.3 million-square-foot 777X wing plant will be teeming with Boeing workers, think again."

I have seen the automation.  Very impressive in accuracy, lack of downtime, and elimination of employees.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on October 25, 2014, 10:22:17 AM
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102121127

Elon Musk says "AI is like summoning the demon"

Interesting comments from a tech guy that has a completely automated factory.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: MoneyCat on October 25, 2014, 02:22:39 PM
Robots will inevitably take over almost all unskilled and then skilled jobs.  The numbers of unemployed will increase and wages will decrease due to the massive labor pool.  At that point, pressure will build until there is revolt.  A lot of people will get hurt.  It's happened before and will happen again.  The current era reminds me a lot of what I've read about the "Gilded Age" from the late 1800s-early 1900s.  Hoard your cash because it's all going to come tumbling down again.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on October 25, 2014, 03:47:29 PM
Robots will inevitably take over almost all unskilled and then skilled jobs.  The numbers of unemployed will increase and wages will decrease due to the massive labor pool.  At that point, pressure will build until there is revolt.  A lot of people will get hurt.  It's happened before and will happen again.  The current era reminds me a lot of what I've read about the "Gilded Age" from the late 1800s-early 1900s.  Hoard your cash because it's all going to come tumbling down again.

Hoard my cash?  Why wouldn't I invest it in all those companies that are going to be making all the money?  Seems smarter to own some of those than be part of the labor...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: ch12 on October 25, 2014, 05:43:35 PM
Robots will inevitably take over almost all unskilled and then skilled jobs.  The numbers of unemployed will increase and wages will decrease due to the massive labor pool.  At that point, pressure will build until there is revolt.  A lot of people will get hurt.  It's happened before and will happen again.  The current era reminds me a lot of what I've read about the "Gilded Age" from the late 1800s-early 1900s.  Hoard your cash because it's all going to come tumbling down again.

Hoard my cash?  Why wouldn't I invest it in all those companies that are going to be making all the money?  Seems smarter to own some of those than be part of the labor...

+1

Two sides: ones who own the robots and the ones who are displaced by the robots. I choose to own. Thanks for reminding me to go do my homework on that. I'm invested in a fair amount of software, but I need to look specifically into the top robotics manufacturers.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on October 26, 2014, 10:08:14 AM
This is such an awesome time we live in. I have been doing research more into the AI aspect of technology advancement lately (as opposed to just robotics, generally), so I've been reading a lot on the two sides of how people think this is going to go. Initially, I got caught up in the overwhelming optimism of those like Ray Kurzweill and Alan Turing, and when I realized that there were some points that were glossed over, I started looking at the side of those who feel it will be the end of everything. People like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (even though Hawking hasn't written much on the subject). One of the most well-balanced books I've read (I'm pretty sure - I read a lot and sometimes they get a bit blurred. I'll confirm later) was Our Final Invention by James Barrat. He does a pretty good job of weighing each side of things.

As far as displacement of workers, though, I think I've decided that given the current structure of things (i.e. a huge wealth gap, an active public market, a consumer-centric society), arebelspy is right in the course of action to take. Mustachians are going to be totally fine. I don't know that any of the '1%' have fully privately held fortunes, so we can completely get our slice of that via owning bits of the companies. Mustachianism for the win!!

Personally, the only thing I would change would be to try to get my hands on one of the 3D house printers (they are still working on it). All of the labor costs go straight into your pocket (minus the discount you provide people), since your costs are so much lower. Other than that, I think I'm solid with my plan. I also think that REITs might wind up being a decent way to go as well (and Vanguard has a fund) as opposed to bonds. Real Estate will only go down when a bubble pops, and those short term things don't matter for us.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on October 26, 2014, 10:27:39 AM
How about those potential Mustachians who are just born? How will they earn enough to start investing if the worst case scenario of massive decrease in needed labour takes place? Let's assume no meaningful inheritance from parents.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: rocketpj on October 26, 2014, 11:13:17 AM
Science fiction has been exploring the concepts of an automated world supporting a world full of humans living leisurely lives for 150 years or so. 

I think automation is going to happen, extremely rapidly.  I think it has already happened in ways most of us don't really recognize (did anyone send their dictation down to the typing pool to get it entered onto this forum?).

I think some of the professions we currently cannot imagine as possible to automate will be done better by machines.  Family doctor seems like one of those things - a single doctor could probably focus on operating dozens or hundreds of patient interfaces, and spend their time dealing with the things that are not immediately obvious to a machine.  Really, what percentage of a typical doctor's day is spent dealing with the same sets of problems (flu, colds, bumps and scrapes, minor fractures, headaches).  For that matter, I'd bet that most of the 'bad' interactions with the medical system happen when a doctor pigeonholes a particular issue because they've seen it 1000 times already that month. 

Almost every profession could be automated in that way - with actual humans getting further away from the point of contact as automation and problem solving improves.  Lawyers are similarly doomed - most basic contracts can already be done automatically (if we let ourselves do it).  How much of a typical real estate transaction could be done by a bot, if we take a step back and really think about it?

All that said, we are human beings.  As humans we instinctively seek to build our 'status', and culturally we do that right now through wealth and displays of wealth.  Not all of us, but the vast majority of us.  Current trends in automation are likely to dramatically exacerbate wealth inequities, leading to a Gilded Age contrast between ridiculous absurd extremes of ostentation and abject poverty for the majority.  Humans being human, the wealthy will convince themselves they are naturally smarter than the rest - especially those who are born into wealth and have no meaningful idea of how the world works. 

That system will reach a breaking point fairly quickly (probably a decade or so, rather than the historical century or two it usually takes).  I am very curious to see what comes afterwards.  What will we do with a society that can and does produce more than enough to keep every human healthy, happy and with all their needs met, but does not really require more than a very few to direct all that production?

In the Victorian era, the wealthy used to spend their time on ostentatiously useless pursuits (i.e. ancient languages, epic poetry, extensive butterfly collections etc.).  I suspect we'll do the same.  In some ways we already are - it is not a desperately poor person who decides to become an artisanal cheesemaker or make a living selling weird knitting shapes on Etsy. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on October 26, 2014, 11:46:59 AM
The other option is a violent revolution. Human history of full of examples of that as well.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on October 26, 2014, 12:48:54 PM
In the Victorian era, the wealthy used to spend their time on ostentatiously useless pursuits

Like this?  http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/watch-google-exec-set-record-near-space-skydive-n233716
Or maybe like this?  http://www.yachtingworld.com/blogs/elaine-bunting/428165/keel-surfing-the-story-behind-the-shot
Or how about this?  http://www.inc.com/leigh-buchanan-and-andrew-maclean/richard-branson-balloon-flight.html

We're already doomed.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: aschmidt2930 on October 26, 2014, 01:55:37 PM
I see two options:

1) We improve education to produce more workers with the skill sets to fill the next gen job.

2) Unemployment rates begin to rise, and tax rates increase to support the percentage of the population who cannot find jobs. 

I pick 1.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on October 26, 2014, 01:57:58 PM
I see two options:

1) We improve education to produce more workers with the skill sets to fill the next gen job.

2) Unemployment rates begin to rise, and tax rates increase to support the percentage of the population who cannot find jobs. 

I pick 1.

All this thread is about a hypothetical situation where #1 is impossible. Maybe we are wrong and it never happens, but if it does extra education will not be an answer.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: MoneyCat on October 26, 2014, 02:22:44 PM
Robots will inevitably take over almost all unskilled and then skilled jobs.  The numbers of unemployed will increase and wages will decrease due to the massive labor pool.  At that point, pressure will build until there is revolt.  A lot of people will get hurt.  It's happened before and will happen again.  The current era reminds me a lot of what I've read about the "Gilded Age" from the late 1800s-early 1900s.  Hoard your cash because it's all going to come tumbling down again.

Hoard my cash?  Why wouldn't I invest it in all those companies that are going to be making all the money?  Seems smarter to own some of those than be part of the labor...

That's all well and good until the guillotines come out and play.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on October 26, 2014, 08:30:33 PM
Robots will inevitably take over almost all unskilled and then skilled jobs.  The numbers of unemployed will increase and wages will decrease due to the massive labor pool.  At that point, pressure will build until there is revolt.  A lot of people will get hurt.  It's happened before and will happen again.  The current era reminds me a lot of what I've read about the "Gilded Age" from the late 1800s-early 1900s.  Hoard your cash because it's all going to come tumbling down again.

Hoard my cash?  Why wouldn't I invest it in all those companies that are going to be making all the money?  Seems smarter to own some of those than be part of the labor...

That's all well and good until the guillotines come out and play.

You think the guillotines will come out for someone holding <1% share of a giant publically traded company?

I'm not so worried.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on October 28, 2014, 11:42:01 AM
On Yahoo - Lowe's replacing (some) humans with robots

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/not-science-fiction--lowe-s-to-debut-robotic-shopping-assiciates-150411173.html

“The downside is you don’t need a human begin on the floor of your store now if you can do this…” and while there will still be a person in the store assisting via video conference, this means “one human being with a job but there are a lot of human beings who used to be on the floor and now don’t have jobs.”

 “If you’re an employer and you look at this OSHbot, which apparently costs $50,000, you're saying a minimum-wage worker plus benefits is maybe going to cost me $25,000 to $30,000-a-year, but this robot is never going to take a sick day, is never going to want to go on vacation…”

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on October 28, 2014, 12:03:46 PM
On Yahoo - Lowe's replacing (some) humans with robots

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/not-science-fiction--lowe-s-to-debut-robotic-shopping-assiciates-150411173.html

“The downside is you don’t need a human begin on the floor of your store now if you can do this…” and while there will still be a person in the store assisting via video conference, this means “one human being with a job but there are a lot of human beings who used to be on the floor and now don’t have jobs.”

 “If you’re an employer and you look at this OSHbot, which apparently costs $50,000, you're saying a minimum-wage worker plus benefits is maybe going to cost me $25,000 to $30,000-a-year, but this robot is never going to take a sick day, is never going to want to go on vacation…”
Cool. Maybe the service will improve.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on October 28, 2014, 12:29:16 PM
On Yahoo - Lowe's replacing (some) humans with robots

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/not-science-fiction--lowe-s-to-debut-robotic-shopping-assiciates-150411173.html

“The downside is you don’t need a human begin on the floor of your store now if you can do this…” and while there will still be a person in the store assisting via video conference, this means “one human being with a job but there are a lot of human beings who used to be on the floor and now don’t have jobs.”

 “If you’re an employer and you look at this OSHbot, which apparently costs $50,000, you're saying a minimum-wage worker plus benefits is maybe going to cost me $25,000 to $30,000-a-year, but this robot is never going to take a sick day, is never going to want to go on vacation…”
Cool. Maybe the service will improve.

I am dubious about the on-board 3d printing part of this but otherwise this will happen.  I have no issues with 3d printing in it self and do think it will come to Lowes/HD/etc but would seem better to have that at a fixed point (or two) in the store rather than mobile.

Just hope there is a mute for the adds running on its back, those things at the gas station drive me up a wall.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: VirginiaBob on October 28, 2014, 12:40:05 PM
I was reading an article that stated that 1/3 of the jobs in the country are related to transportation.  If we were to automate truck driving and loading only, we would lose something like 8.7 million jobs.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Mykl on October 28, 2014, 12:49:46 PM
I was reading an article that stated that 1/3 of the jobs in the country are related to transportation.  If we were to automate truck driving and loading only, we would lose something like 8.7 million jobs.

I believe this is why changes of this magnitude need to happen slowly so society can adjust.  We can't just have 8.7 million people become unemployed over the course of a couple of years and expect it to go well.  Converting over 15-20 years would give people time to retool their skills and find a new path.

Either that or provide extremely good unemployment benefits to those who are affected.  I suppose increases in efficiency and the associated savings would allow tax rates on transportation companies to increase while still lowering the bottom line.  But then again, not increasing taxes could lead to lower prices on the products which are transported, bringing the cost of living for everybody down a bit.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on October 28, 2014, 01:11:34 PM
I was reading an article that stated that 1/3 of the jobs in the country are related to transportation.  If we were to automate truck driving and loading only, we would lose something like 8.7 million jobs.

I believe this is why changes of this magnitude need to happen slowly so society can adjust.  We can't just have 8.7 million people become unemployed over the course of a couple of years and expect it to go well.  Converting over 15-20 years would give people time to retool their skills and find a new path.

Either that or provide extremely good unemployment benefits to those who are affected.  I suppose increases in efficiency and the associated savings would allow tax rates on transportation companies to increase while still lowering the bottom line.  But then again, not increasing taxes could lead to lower prices on the products which are transported, bringing the cost of living for everybody down a bit.
So are you saying we should artificially slow down progress because it might be disruptive?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Mykl on October 28, 2014, 01:38:57 PM
So are you saying we should artificially slow down progress because it might be disruptive?

Basically, yes.

Converting our transportation services to automated may ultimately be a net positive.  But losing 8.7 million jobs over a short period of time, and not trying to draw it out a bit to allow for the landscape to compensate, becomes a huge negative. 

8.7 million jobs and their families....  that's in the tens of millions of people who are now without income and struggling to survive.  Add a charismatic and convincing leader and that's the stuff that violent revolutions are made of.  Because the advice of "pull up your bootstraps and get to lookin' for another job" doesn't work when there are 8.7 million people competing with you for the few jobs that may actually be available.

I'm not saying stand on the brakes and prevent progress.  I'm just saying that it needs to be carefully measured.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: LibrarIan on October 28, 2014, 02:28:01 PM
So are you saying we should artificially slow down progress because it might be disruptive?

Basically, yes.

Converting our transportation services to automated may ultimately be a net positive.  But losing 8.7 million jobs over a short period of time, and not trying to draw it out a bit to allow for the landscape to compensate, becomes a huge negative. 

8.7 million jobs and their families....  that's in the tens of millions of people who are now without income and struggling to survive.  Add a charismatic and convincing leader and that's the stuff that violent revolutions are made of.  Because the advice of "pull up your bootstraps and get to lookin' for another job" doesn't work when there are 8.7 million people competing with you for the few jobs that may actually be available.

I'm not saying stand on the brakes and prevent progress.  I'm just saying that it needs to be carefully measured.

This.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on October 28, 2014, 02:45:23 PM
I'm not sure I agree. Countries that are willing to go through the painful transition will rocket ahead of those that won't.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Mykl on October 28, 2014, 02:49:35 PM
I'm not sure I agree. Countries that are willing to go through the painful transition will rocket ahead of those that won't.

Right, but there's a difference between "painful transition" and "suicide."

We have to trust that the people with the information to make rational decisions are making the right ones.

I couldn't tell you what the exact right balance is here.  I don't know how fast too fast is because I'm not that smart.  But I do know that there is such a thing as "too fast."
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on October 28, 2014, 03:06:46 PM
I'm not sure I agree. Countries that are willing to go through the painful transition will rocket ahead of those that won't.

Right, but there's a difference between "painful transition" and "suicide."

We have to trust that the people with the information to make informed decisions are making the right ones.

I couldn't tell you what the exact right balance is here.  I don't know how fast too fast is because I'm not that smart.  But I do know that there is such a thing as "too fast."

Not just countries but also states and city's.

From a practical point of view I would favor helping those displaced (among others) rather than govt trying to control the pace of innovation.  Mykl-maybe I am just more cynical than you, dont know what govt you live within, but I have little confidence Uncle Sam could ease the transition to an automated/AI economy if it wanted to and it only takes a minority group in one of our two parties to stop everything (see Tea Party) and given both parties are largely controlled by Mega-Corp who would (in the short term at least) profit from AI I just cant see our leaders directing a slow down of tech innovation.  (sorry for run on).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Mykl on October 28, 2014, 03:17:16 PM
Not just countries but also states and city's.

From a practical point of view I would favor helping those displaced (among others) rather than govt trying to control the pace of innovation.  Mykl-maybe I am just more cynical than you, dont know what govt you live within, but I have little confidence Uncle Sam could ease the transition to an automated/AI economy if it wanted to and it only takes a minority group in one of our two parties to stop everything (see Tea Party) and given both parties are largely controlled by Mega-Corp who would (in the short term at least) profit from AI I just cant see our leaders directing a slow down of tech innovation.  (sorry for run on).

Traditionally I believe this is done via the application of taxes on whatever it is you want to see slowed down.  Trying to legislate a slow down of technical innovation seems like a losing idea, generally speaking.  Except in this case, legislation might actually be useful....  requiring these companies to keep a warm body in the automated truck in case of emergencies could preserve jobs for a while to ease the transition.  This could also be useful in that it would build public trust of this technology, because I'm guessing the average person might be a little leery of the idea of driverless freight trucks at first.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on October 28, 2014, 03:21:09 PM
So are you saying we should artificially slow down progress because it might be disruptive?

Basically, yes.

Converting our transportation services to automated may ultimately be a net positive.  But losing 8.7 million jobs over a short period of time, and not trying to draw it out a bit to allow for the landscape to compensate, becomes a huge negative. 

8.7 million jobs and their families....  that's in the tens of millions of people who are now without income and struggling to survive.  Add a charismatic and convincing leader and that's the stuff that violent revolutions are made of.  Because the advice of "pull up your bootstraps and get to lookin' for another job" doesn't work when there are 8.7 million people competing with you for the few jobs that may actually be available.

I'm not saying stand on the brakes and prevent progress.  I'm just saying that it needs to be carefully measured.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing the impact of it. I agree wholeheartedly. The only thing I don't think is realistic is slowing it down as a solution. These types of disruptions are going to come faster and faster as technology advances. I don't think slowing things down would work, though. I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately, and I'm not sure what the best way to manage this would be. However, here is kind of what I've come up with as far as why slowing things down wouldn't really work (I think).

The publicly run companies couldn't just wait to implement this (assuming it wasn't cost-prohibitive) in the current system. They have a responsibility to their stake-holders to increase the bottom line, and there is no actual argument that this technology wouldn't do it (hence the reason it's such an issue). If our current driverless cars are any indication, just the reduction in accidents would be worth it. But let's put that aside. Let's say that all the companies choose not to implement this policy. The 8.7M figure is for american companies (I assume). What about the rest of the world? Even if 90% of the producers decided to not do this, that remaining 10% would have such decreased costs that they would very quickly start grabbing up a good chunk of that market share. I'd think something like 5-15% per year.

I'd have to dig through some of my available data to attempt to find something resembling a historical precedent, but even those numbers wouldn't necessarily be accurate due to the increased speed in which we can roll something like this out. So I'm pretty much pulling these numbers out of my ass, but conservatively.

Then what happens? Profits for the companies abstaining from this new technology would take a major financial hit, and have to do layoffs. The people are out of the job anyway, but the stakeholders suffer, and the entire market would probably be negatively effected as well. That would start screwing with a much larger number of people (mainly non-mustachians who pay attention to the short term).

And all of this would happen pretty damn quickly, too.

And all that is assuming that the first step would be taken to begin with. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't happen out of some type of understanding of the issues and the desire to prevent that from happening (there isn't any profit in it) which would leave us with essentially two options that I can see. First, the consumer of products uses the power of their wallet to make a difference. The problem with this is that people have been historically shitty at doing this. Otherwise, once wal-mart started reducing the quality of their merchandise in order to increase profit margins, people would have stopped. When people were outraged over Nike using sweatshops (at least I think it was Nike), they took a small hit, completely disproportionate to the amount of 'outrage' over it. And they are still around today. Second, the government steps in. How a bill of any kind gets through the partisan bullshit going on in Washington is anyone's guess, but I'm pretty sure it has very little to do with the good of the people. And besides, it would never happen quick enough to actually stop anything. But let's say somehow it does happen, what would that look like? I think the most realistic thing would be an extra tax on those using the new tech. Perhaps some type of new CDL-A tax credit, so that money gets back to those directly impacted. I'm going to do some back of the napkin math real quick.

Let's just say that the tax rebate for out of work drivers is the median (although I doubt it would get much past minimum wage). It's currently $51K/pa (http://www.indeed.com/salary/Truck-Driver.html). Let's just round that to $50K.
Now let's look at how many people would be directly affected (immediate family). A quick google search  (https://www.google.com/search?q=average+household+size+united+states&rlz=1C1KAFB_enUS603US603&oq=average+household+size&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.6690j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=0&ie=UTF-8)shows that it is 2.55. So 8.7M * 2.55 = 22,185,000.
Now there are currently 177,199,652 registered voters, and while the gov't reports show a much smaller number, some places on the first page of google results state that 40% of registered voters don't vote, leaving 106,319,791 people who would vote. That means that even if everyone directly affected by the layoffs did vote, that is slightly less than 21%. With all of the noise about entitlements and raising the minimum wage (for the first time in 5 years), could you really expect the additional 29% of the needed votes? I just don't think it would happen at $15K (minimum wage), let alone the median of $50K.


Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: zoltani on October 28, 2014, 03:22:30 PM
Already happening in the ports world:

http://www.bunkerportsnews.com/News.aspx?ElementId=89d0c983-0d2e-4824-b06f-9d17f94f90f5

In this case, AFAIK, the US is already being surpassed by asia as far as port efficiency and automation goes. They make our ports look like they are stuck in the stone age.

Good or bad? Who knows, I certainly do not.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on October 28, 2014, 04:03:33 PM
Isn't it a bit different in this case? A new legislation is needed which would allow driverless trucks on public roads instead of the other way around.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on October 28, 2014, 04:31:16 PM
Isn't it a bit different in this case? A new legislation is needed which would allow driverless trucks on public roads instead of the other way around.

Now that is an interesting direction I didn't think of. Granted, we already have 4 states that allow it. I think it'll probably get approved just because people will want it for personal use. Shit, I know I do. Plus those cars are better at dealing with bikes than actual drivers. As long as you are bigger than a squirrel...you're good.

Granted, after a touch more research, for the most part it's not actually illegal, just because the laws didn't envision it. The 4 states I mentioned above have laws that specifically mention autonomous vehicles. And apparently my for-the-most-part-awesome state actually rejected it last year. Grrr.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Mykl on October 28, 2014, 04:46:28 PM
So are you saying we should artificially slow down progress because it might be disruptive?

...

Just wanted to say that I read your post, and it's well reasoned, and I don't really have much to respond with.

Regarding what Albert just said....  he has a good point.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on October 28, 2014, 05:24:22 PM
Just wanted to say that I read your post, and it's well reasoned, and I don't really have much to respond with.

Regarding what Albert just said....  he has a good point.

Damn. I was looking for some other ideas. :-) This has become a kind of passion for me lately. These changes are going to happen more and more often. I can't help but think that there are only two ways it's going to go. The oligarchy are going to use this to essentially create a slave state. Now, as much as I am convinced that people for the most part are dumb enough to fall for this, I know that the person for the most part is smart enough not to, and it's just a matter of not allowing the herd mentality to take over. The other side is going to be a major shift in society. It's a move towards, if not necessarily post-scarcity,  something close to it. Something where your time is more valuable than your stuff, mostly because the cost of stuff is so low. Now, the idea of post-scarcity is such a fundamental shift that it won't happen all at once. People aren't smart enough for that drastic of a move. Once we get rid of the idea of 'entitlements' and the associated stigma, it won't be such a huge jump to just assume that basic needs are going to be handled, whether that be from your state, your federal government, or some type of community. It's some interesting times that we live in, and I really look forward to watching this all play out.

One of the things that really made my start down this track is the Manna story. Mykl, have you read it?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: The Architect on October 28, 2014, 05:55:00 PM
Personally, the only thing I would change would be to try to get my hands on one of the 3D house printers (they are still working on it). All of the labor costs go straight into your pocket (minus the discount you provide people), since your costs are so much lower.

I'm of the opinion that much news about 3d printing is overblown hype. I've seen the video demonstrations of the whole-house 3d printers, they're slow and still require human intervention to build the foundation, route mechanical, install windows & doors, apply finishes, and etc; in addition to the constant baby-sitting and maintenance. Basically it can only replace the framing, which is basically the shortest part of any build when you're using people to do the building. Replacing the shortest portion of the build time with a long, energy-intensive, printing time doesn't sound like money gained to me. Then you'd still need to pay someone to make the 3d model - much building today is *not* done with proper 3d models for printing. I suppose setting that up for a few limited models or modular construction elements wouldn't be that hard, but it's still a cost.

Using a 3d printer/robot to build a foundation would be great, if someone could figure out how to automate digging, mechanical connection placement, and reinforce the concrete while pouring it. You'd save on site positioning, loads of labor, waste material in form-works, and maybe time since if machine could go 24/7. There might need to be some more tech that doesn't exist yet for that to happen though - I'm not sure how the machine would position itself to the globe, and goodness help you if your CAD tech drew the thing wrong.

One of the printers I've seen can't even build a whole house yet, it must build fairly small pieces which are then hoisted into place later. Structurally insulated panels are probably a better bet and have been in use for years now.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on October 28, 2014, 06:33:20 PM
Personally, the only thing I would change would be to try to get my hands on one of the 3D house printers (they are still working on it). All of the labor costs go straight into your pocket (minus the discount you provide people), since your costs are so much lower.

I'm of the opinion that much news about 3d printing is overblown hype. I've seen the video demonstrations of the whole-house 3d printers, they're slow and still require human intervention to build the foundation, route mechanical, install windows & doors, apply finishes, and etc; in addition to the constant baby-sitting and maintenance. Basically it can only replace the framing, which is basically the shortest part of any build when you're using people to do the building. Replacing the shortest portion of the build time with a long, energy-intensive, printing time doesn't sound like money gained to me. Then you'd still need to pay someone to make the 3d model - much building today is *not* done with proper 3d models for printing. I suppose setting that up for a few limited models or modular construction elements wouldn't be that hard, but it's still a cost.

Using a 3d printer/robot to build a foundation would be great, if someone could figure out how to automate digging, mechanical connection placement, and reinforce the concrete while pouring it. You'd save on site positioning, loads of labor, waste material in form-works, and maybe time since if machine could go 24/7. There might need to be some more tech that doesn't exist yet for that to happen though - I'm not sure how the machine would position itself to the globe, and goodness help you if your CAD tech drew the thing wrong.

One of the printers I've seen can't even build a whole house yet, it must build fairly small pieces which are then hoisted into place later. Structurally insulated panels are probably a better bet and have been in use for years now.
That's a very real possibility. Granted, I don't look at how 3D printing is portrayed in the media, so it probably is over hyped. That being said, the potential and the things that are actively being worked on could already change how we build, but we only have proofs of concept at this point. Also bear in mind that I'm not talking about the ridiculously fragile style of building that seems to be the norm, I'm talking about construction methods that capitalize on the technology (and are way better by any measure). Even the open source CNC plans would reduce costs by a huge margin.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on October 28, 2014, 10:31:17 PM

Matchewed asked: ‘Money is exchanged for labor, when people no longer labor where do they get their money?’

I did comment on this. Being paid for labor is seen as a ‘legitimate’ form of making money – understandably. Receiving rents and dividends from investments is also seen as legitimate. If advanced machinery – or robots if you prefer – take most jobs in the future, then taxing companies and distributing this tax as income will have to be seen as a legitimate way of receiving an income.

Thomas Paine, late eighteenth century, suggested the idea of a basic income, and regarded everyone in a nation as entitled to a share of the bounty of nature, regardless of whether they owned land or not. Today, advanced machinery provides a bounty of machine production, and it is inappropriate for people not to share in this bounty just because they do not own the means of production.

Such an idea is a major economic change, but not a major economic problem. The problem is political and social. People have to accept that advanced machinery can promote them to what is, in effect, a rentier class. In my previous post, I suggested this would be Feudalism 2, where machines take the place of flesh and blood serfs, and all people in a nation are seen as belonging to the rentier class. People, workers and business people alike, can choose to allow this to happen, or they can choose to foul things up.

I expect that in the long term, Feudalism 2 will emerge.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on October 28, 2014, 11:18:30 PM
Interesting idea, Myki, slowing automation to allow an easier transition. The problem is that machines displaced agricultural workers a hundred years ago, who then worked in manufacturing. More recently, automation displaced workers in manufacturing who then moved into services. Once service jobs are automated, there is nowhere else to go.

I have written elsewhere that automation can promote everyone in a society to what is, in effect, a rentier class. This would be Feudalism 2, where machines take the place of flesh and blood serfs and workers, and all people in a nation are seen as belonging to the rentier class. Science writers sketched these ideas in the sixties, when I became aware of them. It was seen as a long term project. I assumed at that time that people would be attracted to this possibility, but I now see that even an attractive change still needs acts of political will. People can choose to support Feudalism 2, or choose to support the idea of Business As Usual, which may include Myki’s idea of slowing or even stopping automation. I saw a quote recently: ‘The Luddites were not wrong, just two hundred years too early’.

The future may see a two level world, the intelligent and scientifically knowledgeable minority living in Feudalism 2, and the majority living in Business As Usual – by choice.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Mykl on October 29, 2014, 08:01:29 AM
People can choose to support Feudalism 2, or choose to support the idea of Business As Usual, which may include Myki’s idea of slowing or even stopping automation. I saw a quote recently: ‘The Luddites were not wrong, just two hundred years too early’.

Whoa, easy there....  please don't misrepresent my argument.

The word "stop" is nowhere to be found in anything I have to say about the subject.  I am entirely for progress, I see the benefits of automation, and I am all for it.  We absolutely should NOT stop moving forward.

I'm only suggesting that we try to be smart about it.  Try to do it in a way, and at a pace that minimizes the pain of transition.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: VirginiaBob on October 29, 2014, 12:39:51 PM
Robots will inevitably take over almost all unskilled and then skilled jobs.  The numbers of unemployed will increase and wages will decrease due to the massive labor pool.  At that point, pressure will build until there is revolt.  A lot of people will get hurt.  It's happened before and will happen again.  The current era reminds me a lot of what I've read about the "Gilded Age" from the late 1800s-early 1900s.  Hoard your cash because it's all going to come tumbling down again.

One of my coworkers says the same thing about why he doesn't invest in the stock market, and hoards his cash in bonds.  He believes that we are approaching the 300 year life of our country and we are going to fall soon just like the Roman Empire did.  I always respond and say, if true, what good will having all your money in government bonds from the soon to be former United States of America?  Heck, at least my money is invested in companies that do business Internationally that aren't necessarily tied to any particular country.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on October 29, 2014, 03:30:42 PM
Robots will inevitably take over almost all unskilled and then skilled jobs.  The numbers of unemployed will increase and wages will decrease due to the massive labor pool.  At that point, pressure will build until there is revolt.  A lot of people will get hurt.  It's happened before and will happen again.  The current era reminds me a lot of what I've read about the "Gilded Age" from the late 1800s-early 1900s.  Hoard your cash because it's all going to come tumbling down again.

One of my coworkers says the same thing about why he doesn't invest in the stock market, and hoards his cash in bonds.  He believes that we are approaching the 300 year life of our country and we are going to fall soon just like the Roman Empire did.  I always respond and say, if true, what good will having all your money in government bonds from the soon to be former United States of America?  Heck, at least my money is invested in companies that do business Internationally that aren't necessarily tied to any particular country.

My initial reaction when people say stuff like "You should hoard cash/gold/silver/bonds/diamonds because XXXXXX is going to come crashing down", my initial thought is that regardless of what comes crashing down, one should always hoard toilet paper and recreational drugs. Those will be way better than cash. :-)

I'm going to break down your comment below Leisured, since there are a couple of things I want to address specifically. Overall, I think we are pretty much on the same page, but for some reason, I really don't like your verbiage (rentiers and Feudalism 2). I'll try to figure out why as I respond point by point. Also, as I respond point by point, bear in mind that I'm not talking about "eventually". I am of the opinion that eventually stuff will happen, and it will be awesome or it will suck. This philosophy has been right 100% of the time, so I'm sticking with it ;-).

My main concern, and where I come from, is what Mykl touched on: How to manage the transition. The transition will happen, but how it happens is more important than anything else. In Mustachian terms, it's control vs. concern. I'm not in control of the eventual outcome, because the transition has to happen first, and that is what I can have an influence on.

And I'm going to do it in a separate post.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on October 31, 2014, 04:59:53 AM
Sorry, Myki, if I misrepresented you, by suggesting that society might stop technical advance. I agree with jordanread that the important thing is to manage the transition to a predominantly automated society.

On further thought, I will push beyond your position, Myki, and suggest that, for many people, a neo Luddite society is not as silly as it sounds. I have already suggested a two level world, where a minority lives in an advanced, automated society, and a majority lives in a Business As Usual society, with restrictions on automation.

In twenty years, the BRIC countries, (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will live roughly near the level we do now. Sweeping automation will affect existing rich countries, and BRIC countries, at about the same time, so all these countries will be in the same boat. Faced with mass starvation because so many people are out of work, society has two choices. A huge income redistribution scheme, as suggested by Cyrano in Sept; or a neo Luddite scheme, winding back automation to, say, the 1980 level. This latter approach will include outlawing driverless vehicles.

Now comes the interesting part. There is no need to limit advances in medicine, because medical advance has little effect on employment. There is no need to limit technical advance in improving the aerodynamic efficiency of vehicles, including aircraft, nor is there any need to limit technical advance in wind and solar power.

I have spent most of my working life in the science industry, and have come to believe that most people do not care much about science and technology, and are not averse to limiting technical advance in select industries, if such limits would solve social problems.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on October 31, 2014, 05:03:36 AM

Jordanread, you do not like my terms; ‘Feudalism 2’, and ‘rentier’. I am not thrilled by these terms either, but we do need descriptors. Under Feudalism 1, a thousand years ago, a lord might seize some agricultural land, with its serfs, from another lord, and become a rentier. The serfs grow wheat and sell it, paying a share to the lord as rent. Under Feudalism 2, all people in a society become ‘lords’ and ‘force’ robots and other advanced machinery to work for them, so becoming ‘rentiers’. Functionally, Feudalism 2 is almost identical to Feudalism 1, which is why I use the term Feudalism 2.  Do not let these terms bother you.

I am Australian, and know that Americans can be sensitive to these ideas, believing, correctly, that America has progressed beyond feudalism. America has certainly progressed beyond Feudalism 1, but I have already made the point that there is nothing wrong with feudalism if the flesh and blood serfs and workers are replaced by machines. Hence Feudalism 2.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on October 31, 2014, 06:17:05 AM
I am Australian, and know that Americans can be sensitive to these ideas, believing, correctly, that America has progressed beyond feudalism. America has certainly progressed beyond Feudalism 1, but I have already made the point that there is nothing wrong with feudalism if the flesh and blood serfs and workers are replaced by machines. Hence Feudalism 2.

I'm glad you commented as you did (I noticed I haven't responded like I initially meant to, so sorry about that). Funnily enough, the thing you mentioned above is absolutely not the reason I have issues with the terms. I think it's along the lines of elevating the machines to something besides tools which people can and do own. I think that is what is rubbing me the wrong way. It's just not a valid comparison, I think. One is not capitalizing on the work done by others, as in feudalism, one is having increased gains of efficiency. The feudalism concept doesn't address the owners of the machines (besides relatively generically). I hope I'm making sense, it's early. :-)

As far as having an issue with feudalism, I always thought Lord Jordan had a nice ring to it.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on November 04, 2014, 11:46:49 PM

Thank you for your reply, Jordanread.

Numerically controlled machine tools emerged in the late fifties, and replaced skilled machinists. A numerically controlled machine tool sculpts a metal part from a billet of metal, and so is ‘elevated’, to use your term, to the equivalent of a skilled machinist. Is this a problem? If so, why? Motorized vehicles and  farm tractors replaced horses, and horses, if they were able to think about these matters, would regard these machines as being ‘elevated’ to the level of horses.

As advanced machinery displaces human workers, the machinery reminds us that work is just work. This has never bothered me, but I suspect that some people are bothered by the idea that a gadget can replace their work contribution.

You state correctly that feudal lords of old appropriated the production of serfs and workers. Under Feudalism 2, we, the ‘lords’, appropriate the production of machinery. There is no difference. Talk of increased efficiency or productivity is a misunderstanding. Under Feudalism 1, serfs and workers live close to subsistence level, under Feudalism 2, machinery get the fuel, electric power and spare parts they need, and no more. Machinery exists at subsistence level. I see no difference between Feudalism 1 and 2, except that flesh and blood serfs and workers are replaced by machines.

I am glad that you like your promotion to Lord Jordan.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on November 05, 2014, 08:22:36 AM
Quote
You state correctly that feudal lords of old appropriated the production of serfs and workers. Under Feudalism 2, we, the ‘lords’, appropriate the production of machinery. There is no difference. Talk of increased efficiency or productivity is a misunderstanding. Under Feudalism 1, serfs and workers live close to subsistence level, under Feudalism 2, machinery get the fuel, electric power and spare parts they need, and no more. Machinery exists at subsistence level. I see no difference between Feudalism 1 and 2, except that flesh and blood serfs and workers are replaced by machines.

I might quibble with some of this, I suspect 'machines' will be 'given' the resources to 'reproduce', 'evolve' and 'better themselves'.  Self improving AI is a current goal of research.  But given a power shortage it will likely be the machines whose 'lights' go out and not the humans.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on November 06, 2014, 04:52:37 AM
Suppose that advanced automation sweeps through the US economy in the future, and people have to rely on a Basic Income rather than being paid for work, how much would this cost? The link below tells us that total wages and salaries in the US is about $7.5 trillion dollars, 46% of the $16 trillion GDP. Wages and salaries do not include business and partnership profits, rents or dividends.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/WASCUR

25% of US GDP is paid as state, federal and municipal taxes, see link below, first para.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_the_United_States#State_administrations

If, in the future, technological unemployment reaches 50% and stays there, then nearly half of $7.5 trillion dollars of wages and salaries will be displaced by automation. I know that the unemployed will on average be less well paid than those still in employment. I do not know the discrepancy, so I assume that the Basic Income will replace $3.5 trillion dollars, or 21% of GDP. This sum will have to be raised by a combination of taxes, and when added to the existing 25% of GDP paid in taxes, will drive taxes to 46% of GDP. The Basic Income will replace existing welfare payments and age pension payments, so the actual percentage of GDP paid in taxes will be less than 46%.

The last time the US saw taxes on this scale was during WW2. It is achievable, but will need a stiff dose of political will.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Chuck on November 06, 2014, 03:08:09 PM
Ultimately capital will be in the hands of a few, and most people will subsist upon a basic income collected from those wealthy as taxes. I haven't heard a single endgame scenario that makes even 1/10 as much sense as this.

The issue, as in all utopias, is the transition. How do you get legislation through congress to allow the automation of vehicles on federal roads when so many people are truckers? Their unions are a huge bastion of Democratic support. I think it will eventually happen, as with the dockworkers, but it will be slow and they will go screaming.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't the next great political divide, since the culture wars are essentially over: The Technocratic Republicans (hopeful for the future but heartless about the present) vs. Luddite Democrats (loath automation because people). That would be one hell of a political shakeup.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on November 06, 2014, 05:41:47 PM
Ultimately capital will be in the hands of a few, and most people will subsist upon a basic income collected from those wealthy as taxes. I haven't heard a single endgame scenario that makes even 1/10 as much sense as this.
Is that sustainable, though? You mention below that the issue is transition. I don't see anything like this being more than a transition. Do you really think those few would be okay with this setup for long?

The issue, as in all utopias, is the transition. How do you get legislation through congress to allow the automation of vehicles on federal roads when so many people are truckers? Their unions are a huge bastion of Democratic support. I think it will eventually happen, as with the dockworkers, but it will be slow and they will go screaming.
I don't think it's going to be that slow. The wonderful thing about the time we live in is that things move a hell of a lot faster than they used to. People comment on the similarities between gay and interracial marriage. There is some interesting data (that I started researching based on an XKCD comic (http://www.xkcd.com/1431/)) that shows that the actual approval rate vs. legalization. While the comparison was fun, what I realized was how much faster we can get things done (at least at the state level) in this day and age. Shit, we already have 4 states that specifically mention automated vehicles.
 
In fact I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't the next great political divide, since the culture wars are essentially over: The Technocratic Republicans (hopeful for the future but heartless about the present) vs. Luddite Democrats (loath automation because people). That would be one hell of a political shakeup.

That is something that I've never looked at before. It's pretty funny.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on November 11, 2014, 09:28:58 AM
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/robots-are-replacing-real-human-interaction-and-millennials-don-t-care-002657066.html

"Customers on average are now visiting banks 85% less than they did in 1995, but for every Starbucks in the U.S., there are nine bank branches, and they cost billions to maintain. Big banks like Lloyds and Citibank are responding by announcing the reduction of branches."

This is interesting for many reasons.  We have discussed the effect on people, but the other issue relates to commercial real estate.  There are many prime expensive commercial locations that become a nuisance vs. the go to profit place.  How do you stay on the right side of the tracks?  Malls, Banks, Shops, Movie Theaters, Restaurants, and many others could become obsolete in the next 20 years.  Thoughts?   
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: rocketpj on November 11, 2014, 10:06:16 AM
Ultimately capital will be in the hands of a few, and most people will subsist upon a basic income collected from those wealthy as taxes. I haven't heard a single endgame scenario that makes even 1/10 as much sense as this.
Is that sustainable, though? You mention below that the issue is transition. I don't see anything like this being more than a transition. Do you really think those few would be okay with this setup for long?

Though we've somehow managed to forget it here in North America over the last few decades, taxes are arguably a form of wealth insurance for the rich.  Look at some of the other countries in the world for examples:  In most countries with massive concentration of wealth and a huge number of people in poverty, the rich spend a lot of time and money maintaining security guards, avoiding being kidnapped and otherwise being afraid of the people. 

The few will no doubt complain mightily about having to pay any taxes at all, that is what people do - especially those with lots of money. But they might we more willing to pay taxes than to be paying ransom for their kids every couple of years.


An example from Vancouver.  Violent crime is very low in Vancouver (a few drug dealers kill each other once in awhile, but that's about it).  For a city of >2 million, it has very little violence.  What it does have is a highly concentrated group of homeless, mentally ill addicts living on the streets in the 'Downtown East Side'.  It's a really apocalyptic neighbourhood.  Not dangerous necessarily, but very uncomfortable to pass through.  Lots of desperate people means lots of petty property crime.

I used to live a few blocks from the worst of it (some of the best neighbourhoods are nearby).  It was a rule of thumb - never leave anything in plain view in your car.  Never, ever, leave your home unlocked.  If you leave a bike outside, use at least two heavy duty locks - and don't leave it overnight.  Property insurance was relatively quite high (my contents insurance on my 2nd floor apt was higher than my total insurance on a 1400 sq. ft house now).  Vehicle insurance was 50% higher than I am currently paying, mostly because of break-ins.  Lots of things just are not covered by insurance - basically anything that gets left outside and is not heavy.

Now, I'd much prefer to pay higher taxes that go towards effective mental health, addictions and housing support than pay higher home insurance and still have my house broken into several times (5 in total over 2 homes).  I am not rich, but I would see those taxes as wealth insurance - much better and with a lower deductible than my home and car insurance were.

Before anyone leaps to stereotypes about homeless, mentally ill and addicted people, I should caution that I used to work in that field and not one of us would ever want to change places with one of them - especially not their early life. 

Basically, those few would have to be OK with supporting the rest with a basic income, or the rest would end up just taking it - one way or another. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on November 11, 2014, 10:11:48 AM
but for every Starbucks in the U.S., there are nine bank branches, and they cost billions to maintain. Big banks like Lloyds and Citibank are responding by announcing the reduction of branches."

This was a huge flap back in the 90s about how ATMs were going to cause an economic recession because all of the bank tellers would suddenly be unemployed.  It was just another case of "robots are stealing our jobs".  I'm totally fine with 80% of those bank branches closing down.  I visit a physical bank about twice a year.

Quote
the other issue relates to commercial real estate.  There are many prime expensive commercial locations that become a nuisance vs. the go to profit place.  How do you stay on the right side of the tracks?  Malls, Banks, Shops, Movie Theaters, Restaurants, and many others could become obsolete in the next 20 years.  Thoughts?

I agree this is a huge problem.  We have a vast and complex urban infrastructure designed around physically visiting brick and mortar stores, usually by car.  As most of those stores become obsolete, either because their services have been replaced by robots or their products are easier to obtain online or from a big box store, many downtown urban cores are turning into wastelands.

There's an obvious answer, though:  housing.  Downtown cores have available pre-built real estate with profitable densities, easy access to the remaining shops and restaurants, and good public transportation.  I think we should be rehabbing those empty buildings into condos.  And while we're at it, let's turn all of that useless asphalt parking space into microparks.
 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: anisotropy on November 11, 2014, 11:55:58 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU

Humans need not apply ! It's coming for all of us ! weeeeee
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on November 12, 2014, 07:08:42 AM
but for every Starbucks in the U.S., there are nine bank branches, and they cost billions to maintain. Big banks like Lloyds and Citibank are responding by announcing the reduction of branches."

This was a huge flap back in the 90s about how ATMs were going to cause an economic recession because all of the bank tellers would suddenly be unemployed.  It was just another case of "robots are stealing our jobs".  I'm totally fine with 80% of those bank branches closing down.  I visit a physical bank about twice a year.

And that twice a year will be like visiting the DMV. Since there will be so few branches, the lines will be long.

And it probably won't save you anything, but will just add extra profit into the owners pockets.

I'm okay with it too though. Just won't be too fun.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on November 12, 2014, 11:36:27 AM
This is interesting for many reasons.  We have discussed the effect on people, but the other issue relates to commercial real estate.  There are many prime expensive commercial locations that become a nuisance vs. the go to profit place. How do you stay on the right side of the tracks?  Malls, Banks, Shops, Movie Theaters, Restaurants, and many others could become obsolete in the next 20 years.  Thoughts?   

Not at all what I observe here and I live in a rich country too. Our downtown is still very much a go to place for entertainment, eating and shopping (upscale, but not exclusively). Apartments in the old town are very expensive. As for a more distant future malls and banks might diminish, but place for entertainment including restaurants will not. In fact I expect even more of that in prime locations.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on November 19, 2014, 12:44:23 PM
Robotic bartender is a big hit

https://www.yahoo.com/travel/welcome-aboard-you-must-go-to-the-bar-with-the-102936190122.html

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on December 02, 2014, 12:48:15 PM
https://www.yahoo.com/tech/s/stephen-hawking-artificial-intelligence-could-150024478.html#Pdy07Al

‘Artificial Intelligence Could Spell The End Of The Human Race’

If we can make robots smarter than humans, they can out-invent human researchers and out-manipulate human leaders, “developing weapons we cannot even understand,” in Hawking’s words.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on December 02, 2014, 03:11:13 PM
https://www.yahoo.com/tech/s/stephen-hawking-artificial-intelligence-could-150024478.html#Pdy07Al

‘Artificial Intelligence Could Spell The End Of The Human Race’

If we can make robots smarter than humans, they can out-invent human researchers and out-manipulate human leaders, “developing weapons we cannot even understand,” in Hawking’s words.

Don't forget that Elon Musk said something similar. However, we've gotten away from the robots part and started getting into the idea of a singularity and broad AI. I'm totally down to discuss that if you want (and probably not even if you want...it's a wonderful subject that I absolutely love), but it might be better to create a new topic more specific to that discussion.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on December 03, 2014, 08:44:46 AM
http://www.takepart.com/video/2014/12/01/amazon-robots-bad-news-workers

Interesting article and video. The video show that there is still a number of people that are involved in the process. It looks like automation has a few more years. Also it sounds like they have only automated a few of their distribution centers. I would think that within 5 years that most of these positions will be eliminated/automated.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on December 04, 2014, 11:49:13 AM
A slightly more reasoned approach: http://www.wired.com/2014/12/armageddon-is-not-the-ai-problem
Not new, but nice to see.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on December 07, 2014, 01:14:42 PM

Security guards at $6.25 per hour. R2D2 is protecting the mall. Interesting about scanning license plates and other data collection to predict crime.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102240810
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on December 21, 2014, 01:19:48 AM
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102270242
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on December 23, 2014, 10:21:11 AM
Sometimes the terminology that is used by The Oatmeal for things just gets me. Here is something he wrote about Google's self driving cars...or as he puts it Skynet Marshmallow Bumper Bots (http://theoatmeal.com/blog/google_self_driving_car).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on February 03, 2015, 06:41:42 AM
Bill Gates also concerned about AI. He agrees with Elon Musk about the need to understand how the technology is used.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102380523
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 03, 2015, 03:09:22 PM
Wait But Why just had a great two part blog post on AI.

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: scottish on February 03, 2015, 05:21:37 PM
That was pretty speculative for such a massive blog post.    It would be neat if he had labelled the axes on his graphs!

I'm going to take the opposing view and argue that artificial intelligence isn't going to keep improving on an exponential curve as Tim Urban speculates.

The first problem is that exponential growth curves don't last in the real world.    The growth rate quickly becomes so extreme that it encounters physical limits.    Tom Murphy has a good blog post on this topic here.

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/06/ruthless-extrapolation/ (http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/06/ruthless-extrapolation/)

The second problem is that intelligence requires a feedback loop.   Your spam filter has a feedback loop to learn what you consider spam - every time you mark an e-mail as spam it updates rules that it uses to categorize an e-mail as spam or not spam.     This feedback loop is one of the reasons for the success of 'artificial narrow intelligence'.    All of these systems have sufficiently narrow scope that its easy - for degrees of easy - to design a feedback loop that allows them to learn.

But what about artificial general intelligence?    To achieve this type of intelligence, you need a much 'broader' feedback loop, much as a child has while growing up.   But computers system have neither the wide range of inputs (touch, hearing, sight, taste, smell) of a child, nor do they have the wide range of outputs - the ability to interact with the world and observe what happens.   Without these two elements, a machine will be unable to develop an equivalent intelligence to a person, roughly Tim Urban's definition of artificial general intelligence.      And these two elements require many more technological advances than processing power.

I know there are lots of engineers and computer scientists on this forum.    What do you say?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 03, 2015, 08:55:56 PM
The first problem is that exponential growth curves don't last in the real world.    The growth rate quickly becomes so extreme that it encounters physical limits.

Absolutely, and that's the first thing I thought of reading part 1.  Even if you build AGI to where it can improve itself, and it can work out the calculations more or less instantly to optimize itself, then it needs to get built to the new specs.  As soon as that's turned on, it comes up with a new version, but again, needs to be built.  Unless it has a way to build itself, but 3D printing isn't that exact yet.

Still, that's a relatively small problem.  Compared to the scale of issues we're talking.

I fall southeast of anxious avenue in part 2: I think there's a small chance of soon, but I'm optimistic on it.  Right about in the middle of quadrant 4, or slightly left of the middle of that box.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: trishume on February 03, 2015, 10:20:19 PM
Interesting articles.

There's a couple things the author didn't mention that are worth thinking about.

One is that the initial leap from kinda intelligent to super intelligent might be very difficult. If I suddenly gave you the ability to change the connections of any specific neuron in your brain at will, would you be able to make yourself smarter? If I gave you a thousand years? No, you'd probably end up dead. In order for an AI to make itself smarter it has to gain at least a basic understanding of itself. That's also the reason AI is so hard, we can't comprehend what the "algorithm" is for intelligence.

Also the whole premise of general A.I being possible in the near future is that exponential growth continues. This is briefly mentioned but IMO did not get the treatment it deserves. Reckless extrapolation of Moore's law can't alter fundamental facts of physics that may block our progress very shortly.

Another is what if general AI requires a breakthrough in physics or philosophy instead of computing? It's easy to say that brains are masses of neurons of which we can determine the functionality and emulate, but I certainly don't feel like a mass of chemicals as I observe and feel my surroundings and think my thoughts, although that's a very poor description of what it feels like to be conscious but it's a fundamentally difficult thing to describe. It's possible (perhaps unlikely) that what makes us intelligent is linked to what makes us conscious and it would be astronomically difficult to recreate in silicon.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on February 04, 2015, 12:18:56 AM
It would be neat if he had labelled the axes on his graphs!

They weren't really graphs because there weren't really any quantifiable variables on most of those axes.  More like conceptual diagrams.

As soon as that's turned on, it comes up with a new version, but again, needs to be built.  Unless it has a way to build itself, but 3D printing isn't that exact yet.

I'm pretty sure he would argue that your tiny human brain has failed to grasp the ways in which it might iteratively improve itself.  Why would you 3D print a new brain when you can just have your nanobots make one?  Why build a physical prototype of your new brain at all when you can just run a computer simulation of a million new brains at once and see which ones work the best?  Why bother to simulate new brains when you can quantum realize all possible new brains simultaneously?  And that's just my tiny human brain thinking, surely a superintelligent being has better ideas than I do.

I certainly don't feel like a mass of chemicals as I observe and feel my surroundings and think my thoughts

Then you must believe that your consciousness resides somewhere other than inside of your body?  Because your body is definitely made of organized matter and energy, and that organization sure looks to me like it creates everything you have ever thought or felt.  You're a very complex machine, but still a machine.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on February 04, 2015, 05:03:17 AM
I'll chime in a bit later with more, but it was overall a pretty good article. This is something that I consider on a daily basis, and being involved with some NI systems removes any doubt that this will happen. I'll go into some more detail later, in regards to how this stuff may not even require the general intelligence mark to be reached, and some interesting facets of goal oriented programming. I fall on in between Confident Corner, and Anxious Avenue, but not necessarily due to my beliefs as to what exactly will happen. I'll bounce back to the original topic, but since this is the venue in which it's being discussed, here is what I am acting on:

1. I will work my ass off to enjoy life and position myself to do so by catching FIRE
2. I will catch FIRE
3. I will enjoy life
4. AGI (or equivalent) will happen
5. Life will change dramatically
6. If it changes in a bad direction, we'll all be extinct, but at least I got to enjoy my retirement
7. If it changes in a good direction, there wouldn't be a huge reason that we wouldn't live a hell of a lot longer, and if the concept of money and scarcity even exists at that point, I will have to look at my assets and figure out how to make them last indefinitely

More stuff later.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 04, 2015, 07:39:49 AM
As soon as that's turned on, it comes up with a new version, but again, needs to be built.  Unless it has a way to build itself, but 3D printing isn't that exact yet.

I'm pretty sure he would argue that your tiny human brain has failed to grasp the ways in which it might iteratively improve itself.  Why would you 3D print a new brain when you can just have your nanobots make one?  Why build a physical prototype of your new brain at all when you can just run a computer simulation of a million new brains at once and see which ones work the best?  Why bother to simulate new brains when you can quantum realize all possible new brains simultaneously?  And that's just my tiny human brain thinking, surely a superintelligent being has better ideas than I do.

Sure, once it's at that point. I'm saying I think there are some physical limitations to it getting to that point. It won't necessarily slow it up a lot, but it may stop the instantaneous rocketship upwards.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on February 04, 2015, 09:29:56 AM
Thanks for the links ARS. Very interesting.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on February 04, 2015, 11:04:01 AM
Thanks for the links ARS. Very interesting.

You get a chance to read that book?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on February 04, 2015, 11:21:22 AM
Thanks for the links ARS. Very interesting.

You get a chance to read that book?

I am traveling this week so I have it on my todo list. Good airplane reading.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 2lazy2retire on February 04, 2015, 11:52:56 AM
What I always find funny about these stories is that after 120 years most of us are still driving around in the same technology first made popular by Mr Ford, maybe we are not advancing fast enough:)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: CCCA on February 04, 2015, 12:37:55 PM
Wait But Why just had a great two part blog post on AI.

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html (http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html)

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html (http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html)


That was quite a read.  Very, very interesting.  Not sure how much I totally buy all the arguments, especially about how soon it will come but it is interesting to think about how different the world might be with human level intelligence in everything and then moving beyond that to super intelligence. 


I wonder if the "goals" of AI beings will necessarily be constant and rapid improvement or if they will get satisfied and say "You know what, I think I'll just relax and enjoy this existence".
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 04, 2015, 01:04:22 PM
That was quite a read.  Very, very interesting.  Not sure how much I totally buy all the arguments, especially about how soon it will come but it is interesting to think about how different the world might be with human level intelligence in everything and then moving beyond that to super intelligence. 

Ditto.  As I said above, I think there's a small chance of it happening soon.

I also recognize that I'm not an expert, and find it interesting that the experts in the area think it will happen much sooner than I do (based on their median and long term guesses).  I recognize that I should probably defer to their expertise on the estimate, even despite my skepticism.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 2lazy2retire on February 04, 2015, 02:23:40 PM
With the possibility of ASI and immortality just around the corner has anyone rerun the numbers on the 4% rule to see if it still holds up
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 04, 2015, 02:27:09 PM
With the possibility of ASI and immortality just around the corner has anyone rerun the numbers on the 4% rule to see if it still holds up

Money becomes pretty irrelevant with ASI cause you'll likely be knocked off the balance beam.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 2lazy2retire on February 04, 2015, 02:30:08 PM
With the possibility of ASI and immortality just around the corner has anyone rerun the numbers on the 4% rule to see if it still holds up

Money becomes pretty irrelevant with ASI cause you'll likely be knocked off the balance beam.

That's an article for martketwatch - "The Balance Beam and the 4% Rule, what you need to do NOW"
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 04, 2015, 02:33:26 PM
Interesting read (I love the graphics!), but I'm not sure why all the anxiety.  For instance, one very plausible outcome would be similar to what the Matrix concept was all about (I highly doubt the 'synthetic humans living forever on Earth' outcome described in the article).  Virtual Reality is on the cusp of becoming 'a real thing', and you only have to look around to notice younger people love interacting with screens as opposed to nature when faced with 'down time'. 

Computing power is expected to continue to follow Moore's Law, so imagine being able to live anywhere, at any time, communicating with anybody and everybody, in an experience that is tailored to your preferences.  Would it be such a horrible outcome to live a much longer life in a virtual reality that was as optimized as possible to your interests (albeit it once that is totally divorced from our physical reality, aging, atrophying, etc.).   

And before you dismiss all of this as reactionary, I originally listened to Nick Bostrom on EconTalk last December discuss all of the same points (http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2014/12/nick_bostrom_on.html) and also a more calming follow-up podcast on AI with Gary Marcus (http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2014/12/gary_marcus_on.html).

I'm agnostic as to when or if Kurzweil's 'singularity' will occur, but optimistic that any outcome will be 'the right one'.  Article's like the end of Part 1 and most of Part 2 make me wonder why stir up worry?  All of Part 1 basically says this will happen in the blink of an eye and be beyond our comprehension, that it is inevitable we will either go extinct or be immortalized in exchange for our free will, so if you take that as a given, then what does worrying about it accomplish?  Unless you think all of humanity is, say, going to hit the stop button, and somehow voluntarily and forever become some sustainable, peaceful Amish super-race...

So which future would you prefer I guess:  The Matrix or The Amish?

(Sorry, this stuff is really fun to discuss and hear other people's thoughts on, so with this I'm finally subscribing to this thread!!)

EDIT:  I thought when ARS said 'south-east', that was the 'pessimistic' quadrant on the chart, but it is 'less chance of happening soon' and east was optimistic. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 04, 2015, 02:40:28 PM
Interesting read (I love the graphics!), but I'm not sure why all the anxiety Rebs.

Huh?  I have no anxiety around any of this.  I clearly stated above I'm in the optimistic camp, so I don't know where you got that from.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 2lazy2retire on February 04, 2015, 02:42:33 PM
Interesting read (I love the graphics!), but I'm not sure why all the anxiety Rebs.  For instance, one very plausible outcome would be similar to what the Matrix concept was all about (I highly doubt the 'synthetic humans living forever on Earth' outcome described in the article).  Virtual Reality is on the cusp of becoming 'a real thing', and you only have to look around to notice younger people love interacting with screens as opposed to nature when faced with 'down time'. 

Computing power is expected to continue to follow Moore's Law, so imagine being able to live anywhere, at any time, communicating with anybody and everybody, in an experience that is tailored to your preferences.  Would it be such a horrible outcome to live a much longer life in a virtual reality that was as optimized as possible to your interests (albeit it once that is totally divorced from our physical reality, aging, atrophying, etc.).   

And before you dismiss all of this as reactionary, I originally listened to Nick Bostrom on EconTalk last December discuss all of the same points (http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2014/12/nick_bostrom_on.html) and also a more calming follow-up podcast on AI with Gary Marcus (http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2014/12/gary_marcus_on.html).

I'm agnostic as to when or if Kurzweil's 'singularity' will occur, but optimistic that any outcome will be 'the right one'.  Article's like the end of Part 1 and most of Part 2 make me wonder why stir up worry?  All of Part 1 basically says this will happen in the blink of an eye and be beyond our comprehension, that it is inevitable we will either go extinct or be immortalized in exchange for our free will, so it you take that as a given, then what does worrying about it accomplish?  Unless you think all of humanity is, say, going to hit the stop button, and somehow voluntarily and forever become some sustainable, peaceful Amish super-race...

So which future would you prefer I guess:  The Matrix or The Amish?

(Sorry, this stuff is really fun to discuss and hear other people's thoughts on, so with this I'm finally subscribing to this thread!!)

I'm on board with the "not worry about it" stance. As I see it ,my timeline suggests that personal extinction is likely to occur around the time of AGI to be followed soon by ASI and immortality, so get f@cking on with it already.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 04, 2015, 02:43:06 PM
Interesting read (I love the graphics!), but I'm not sure why all the anxiety Rebs.
Huh?  I have no anxiety around any of this.  I clearly stated above I'm in the optimistic camp, so I don't know where you got that from.

I added my EDIT as quick as I could!  Edit to add 'one more thing' (since no-one has responded yet, but I wish we got the same 'warning - while you were typing others have posted' for these modifications / Edits...).  I probably wouldn't have typed up a response if I had thought the consensus on ASI was 'optimistic', funny those unintended consequences :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: scottish on February 04, 2015, 03:16:54 PM
This:

Quote
Computing power is expected to continue to follow Moore's Law,

It's the opposite.    Computing power is reaching physical limits and will stop following Moore's law soon.   For the last several years many of the advances in computing power have been achieved by parallelism.   Which also has its limits.

Is Nick Bostrom a philosopher?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: rocketpj on February 04, 2015, 04:00:11 PM
Well, if there is a chance of avoiding personal extinction through the rapid bootstrapping on an ASI then I guess I'd best make a few more trips to the gym.  It would suck far too much to be the last person to die before the species suddenly became immortal.  Like the poet who died on the last day of WWI.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on February 04, 2015, 07:14:38 PM
It would suck far too much to be the last person to die before the species suddenly became immortal.

They made a whole movie about this:  Mr. Nobody (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485947/).  It's about the very last human being to ever die of natural causes.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Chuck on February 06, 2015, 12:07:13 PM
Conciousness transfer... man if that was possible... It'd basically be like "Ghost in the Shell", right?

I would enjoy being a robot. Unfortunately I think the odds of living to see that day are very, very small. Perhaps if I save enough 'stache my kids could be early adopters in their old age though.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on February 09, 2015, 10:57:17 AM
Funny Dilbert on topic!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 09, 2015, 02:21:44 PM
I hadn't seen that one yet, but there is a whole series about 'emotionally manipulative robots' that started around Feb. 4th (http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-02-04)...

(http://escapevelocity2020.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Robots.jpg)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: OSUBearCub on February 09, 2015, 03:28:55 PM
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/robot-vacuum-attacks-south-korea-housewife-hair-article-1.2108334

I'm just going to leave this one right here...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on February 10, 2015, 02:42:35 AM

Some other poster pointed out that no matter how intelligent machines become, we can always switch off power if we have to. It reminds me of a comment made about the Daleks in Dr Who; run up a flight of stairs. We do not need to make ourselves vulnerable to intelligent machines. We do not need to build very intelligent machines that are free to move about. Mobile robots only need to be intelligent enough to do a narrow range of tasks.

Consciousness is as much a mystery today as it was in the past. Giant computers predict weather and help design new aircraft, but they are not conscious and follow code to the letter. There is no reason to suppose that computers that learn, and so are not entirely predictable, are conscious either.

Research into artificial intelligence is unregulated, but it might be regulated in the future, in the way that pharmaceutical drugs are regulated.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on February 10, 2015, 08:35:40 AM
Ha! I'm loving the fact that this thread started getting active again (no offense tomsang...but most of those links you posted were not very conversation inducing, although they were interesting :P).
So I'll go ahead and thank rebs for the outstanding link that picked this back up. That was a pretty well written article. I had to be careful not to go down a rabbit hole on that site. :)

So I said I will follow up, and here I am. First, I will provide some responses to a couple of the things brought up. Then I will provide some background on my foray into this field.

The first thing was brought up by several people, and it's a somewhat valid point. The physical limitations. But let's think about that for a moment. I'm not even talking about ASI at this point (that comes later), but rather AGI. For those of you who didn't read the articles, or aren't familiar with the term, that means an artificial intelligence that matches a human in computations and understanding, Artificial General Intelligence. So let's break out the facts from the speculation.

If you've used a phone made in the past couple of years, you should know that the cool features behind it are made possible by narrow AI. We use it all the time, and when it works, it's practically invisible. Have you ever scanned a document into Word and made it editable? Uploaded it to Google Docs? Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is what makes that possible, and it was only able to reach the current level of accuracy because it was coded to learn how to read written characters...it wasn't coded to read written characters. Think about that for a moment. We didn't have the time, the skill, the patience, and the ability to handle all of the different kinds of hand writing that exist. So we didn't bother. As the price of processing power continued to drop, we stopped being limited by the time it would take to learn. So those first two already exist, and I know that I use them multiple times per day (not so much OCR, because seriously...who deals with the hand written word anymore?).

So some people mentioned that exponential growth may not continue, and we don't see it coming because humans are very good at extrapolating patterns, even when there aren't any. The Ruthless Extrapolation article made some really good points, and had some pretty cool examples of when that was proven wrong. I don't know that it necessarily applies in this case, but rather than argue with it, let's assume we are wrong, and Moore's Law does not continue. Remember that Moore's Law (or the extrapolative version of that, Ray Kurzweil's Law of Accelerating Returns (http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-law-of-accelerating-returns)) was initially based on the physical. The pure number of transistors that could be fit in the same amount of space. However, as someone pointed out, the fact that we are still meeting the estimated processing power has been in part due to parallelism. Some use this to show that this level can't continue since the underlying assumptions based on hardware are expected to slow (at least with out current method of manufacturing). That could be a valid point. Even Moore himself says:
Quote from: Gordon Moore
It can't continue forever. The nature of exponentials is that you push them out and eventually disaster happens"
However, I would posit that in this particular case, it's not actually relevant to the technology required. Rackspace, Google Cloud Services, Amazon Web Services can all provide incredibly cheap and incredibly fast processing power. We already have enough linked and parallel processing power to power an AGI, we just haven't coded it yet. So the physical things that people worry about, and the arguments they raise against them are valid for now. However, that does not mean that damage can't be done (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Flash_Crash) to our society and our way of life, even without physical bodies.

I have some actual work to do now, so I will come back later and address some other points that were brought up. Namely (and so I don't forget):
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 2lazy2retire on February 10, 2015, 09:09:48 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/robot-vacuum-attacks-south-korea-housewife-hair-article-1.2108334

I'm just going to leave this one right here...

So it began
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: OSUBearCub on February 10, 2015, 09:16:49 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/robot-vacuum-attacks-south-korea-housewife-hair-article-1.2108334

I'm just going to leave this one right here...

So it began

Skynet became self-aware.  (It's only 16.5 years late.) 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 10, 2015, 12:04:12 PM
Some other poster pointed out that no matter how intelligent machines become, we can always switch off power if we have to.

I guess you didn't read the Wait But Why article.  I no longer believe this is true.  ASI will be able to power itself without us, IMO.

We do not need to make ourselves vulnerable to intelligent machines. We do not need to build very intelligent machines that are free to move about. Mobile robots only need to be intelligent enough to do a narrow range of tasks.

Sure, we don't need to.  But we already are trying to make them capable of moving through all obstacles.  And when these machines are often built to be mobile killing units (via the military), such as drones, we are inherently making ourselves vulnerable.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Grid on February 10, 2015, 03:17:08 PM
I've been following the thread with intrigue for the past few months and just wanted to toss my 2 cents in.  I just graduated with my Master's in CS with a focus on machine learning.  Machine learning itself is the field that is slowly pushing its way towards the AGI mentioned in the Wait But Why article.  Neural networks (also known as multilayer perceptrons) are the most flexible and currently most popular algorithm to use.  They have been around since the 60s, but it's only now that computing power has caught up with the ideas and made them useful.

As computing power grows, we'll see neural networks, support vector machines, and random forests evolve into more complex chains and pipelines of data flow (similar to the brain's architecture).  I say this mostly based off of Michael Jordan's comments on his AMA on Reddit about 5 months ago here: 

http://www.reddit.com/r/MachineLearning/comments/2fxi6v/ama_michael_i_jordan (http://www.reddit.com/r/MachineLearning/comments/2fxi6v/ama_michael_i_jordan)

Current models that people (including myself) build in general have one rule, and that's to reduce the model's error on a given set of "training" data.  The model is given this data, and it trains itself until it has reached a global or local error minimum. 

Here's what I find interesting, that no one has really mentioned yet.  The change to a model's structure when it gets a guess "wrong" is known ahead of time.  The model adjusts its parameters in a known fashion so that it is more correct on the data the next time around.  The model has no inherent desires, and if you want to put a human spin on it, it's selflessly serving the programmer's wishes to have a hunk of code that can make some nice predictions.

I think once we add "wants" and "needs" into the equation for an AI we will start to have problems.  We humans are machines, and we're programmed from birth to like food, sleep, and sex, among other things.  We develop our entire lives around these ideas, but the machines we're building have no desires yet.  Once we build the concept of self into an AI, I think we should start to get worried.  Unfortunately, I think the idea of a machine with its own desires is intriguing for many, and may even be the only way to achieve ASI.  We'll just have to be careful.



Some other poster pointed out that no matter how intelligent machines become, we can always switch off power if we have to.

I think the problem comes when the machines will actively not want us to switch off their power.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: scottish on February 10, 2015, 04:01:32 PM
Quote
ASI will be able to power itself without us, IMO


Free/really cheap energy?   That would solve a lot of problems.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 10, 2015, 04:48:23 PM
Quote
ASI will be able to power itself without us, IMO


Free/really cheap energy?   That would solve a lot of problems.

Quite possibly.  Though remember "problems" for us aren't necessarily problems that ASI would care about at all.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on February 10, 2015, 05:04:41 PM
Quote
ASI will be able to power itself without us, IMO


Free/really cheap energy?   That would solve a lot of problems.

Quite possibly.  Though remember "problems" for us aren't necessarily problems that ASI would care about at all.

I actually had a post written in response to that earlier. Most of the research being done is to create something that can take a goal and solve it. I would think that our goals and the machines (assuming covert A[G|S]I) would line up nicely. Plus I would guess that something decentralized would be preferred (based on a study I read a few years back regarding utility infrastructures).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 10, 2015, 06:13:40 PM
Quote
ASI will be able to power itself without us, IMO


Free/really cheap energy?   That would solve a lot of problems.

Quite possibly.  Though remember "problems" for us aren't necessarily problems that ASI would care about at all.

I actually had a post written in response to that earlier. Most of the research being done is to create something that can take a goal and solve it. I would think that our goals and the machines (assuming covert A[G|S]I) would line up nicely. Plus I would guess that something decentralized would be preferred (based on a study I read a few years back regarding utility infrastructures).

That's fine, but if it solves that problem just before it hits ASI or after, and that goal is finished for it?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on February 10, 2015, 06:45:48 PM
Quote
ASI will be able to power itself without us, IMO


Free/really cheap energy?   That would solve a lot of problems.

Quite possibly.  Though remember "problems" for us aren't necessarily problems that ASI would care about at all.

I actually had a post written in response to that earlier. Most of the research being done is to create something that can take a goal and solve it. I would think that our goals and the machines (assuming covert A[G|S]I) would line up nicely. Plus I would guess that something decentralized would be preferred (based on a study I read a few years back regarding utility infrastructures).

That's fine, but if it solves that problem just before it hits ASI or after, and that goal is finished for it?
Then we wouldn't be able to shut it off. I think that focusing on the ASI aspect is irrelevant post-AGI. The question is more of how we would react. If it's friendly, or covert, we would take the win and give it another goal. Perhaps genetic engineering for immortality.  If it's not so friendly, we'll try to get it turned off, fail miserably, and die horribly. At that point, let's just hope the AI has a fondness for a diverse ecosystem, so that our little planet can keep being blue, green and awesome.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on February 11, 2015, 11:12:00 PM

Grid pointed out that ‘The model has no inherent desires, and if you want to put a human spin on it, it's selflessly serving the programmer's wishes to have a hunk of code that can make some nice predictions.’

Good way of putting it. And later Grid suggests:
‘I think the problem comes when the machines will actively not want us to switch off their power.’

We have all had the experience of thinking about a problem, and then the solution pops into our heads. We are not aware of thinking, and our brain is ‘selflessly’ (to use Grid’s term) solving our problem for us. Our bodies selflessly digest our food, our hearts and lungs automatically and selflessly work a little harder if we climb stairs, and our eyes selflessly alter focus if we concentrate on something at a distance.

I have goals and desires, but do not fear that my brain or any other part of me might take me over. We need to watch developments in AI, but I do not expect that advanced machinery will ever get to the point that they ‘actively not want us to switch off their power,’ or take us over.

AI is an interesting research project, but it is not clear to me that we need machines cleverer than we are. We need servants, nothing more. If we made a metal Jeeves, he might be a threat, but do we want a metal Jeeves?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on February 12, 2015, 05:05:44 PM

Grid pointed out that ‘The model has no inherent desires, and if you want to put a human spin on it, it's selflessly serving the programmer's wishes to have a hunk of code that can make some nice predictions.’

Good way of putting it. And later Grid suggests:
‘I think the problem comes when the machines will actively not want us to switch off their power.’

We have all had the experience of thinking about a problem, and then the solution pops into our heads. We are not aware of thinking, and our brain is ‘selflessly’ (to use Grid’s term) solving our problem for us. Our bodies selflessly digest our food, our hearts and lungs automatically and selflessly work a little harder if we climb stairs, and our eyes selflessly alter focus if we concentrate on something at a distance.

I have goals and desires, but do not fear that my brain or any other part of me might take me over. We need to watch developments in AI, but I do not expect that advanced machinery will ever get to the point that they ‘actively not want us to switch off their power,’ or take us over.

AI is an interesting research project, but it is not clear to me that we need machines cleverer than we are. We need servants, nothing more. If we made a metal Jeeves, he might be a threat, but do we want a metal Jeeves?

You seem to be proposing two different things here (let me know if I don't have it correct).

a) That AI will merely be an extension of ourselves and therefore cannot hurt us. I think this line is demonstratively false as we as humans have made many things that are literally without a concept of self and many of them have caused harm. How are the two concepts (selflessness and capability to take over) connected? This could cause harm in a manner which doesn't involve a "take over". The eternal example of the AI programmed to make paperclips. And it then turns everything, even people, into paperclips. That is not servitude that the AI just did, just doin' its job.

b) The need for machines being (and I think you chose the wrong word here using clever) smarter than us isn't there, we just need servants. No offense but you and I both live in the same world right? GPS, the computer that you typed your message on, the internet which allowed you to have the platform for your message, in fact most modern conveniences for the last 30 years or so have come about from a revolution in being able to generate systems (programs) which can do things better than we can. And frankly it's just another example of humans doing it for other aspects of what some call human actions being replaced by X. It would sound silly to say why do we need mass production, we don't need machines that are more precise than we are, we just need servants. Why do we need cars to drive us places, we don't need cars that can go further and faster w/out getting tired, just need those trusty servants. My point being is that you seem to gloss over the amazing things that can come about with building, teaching, and then learning from a machine much more capable at learning than we are.

You've also glossed over the last bit of what he Grid said. You just right it off as if it's not possible but there is nothing to suggest that consciousness is a unique human feature. If it isn't unique to us then can't it be generated in other machinery (biological or not)? The answer is yes as far as I can tell. I'm pretty sure there are several animals on earth we could agree on being conscious. So given enough technological advancement why can't that be replicated in programming? After all isn't DNA just programming?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on February 14, 2015, 03:56:02 AM
Spectacular misunderstand, Matchewed, but it might have been my fault in not making myself clear. Of course we need machines like mass production, cars, aircraft, GPS, telephones! These devices are not smarter than we are , but they are much better. Better to ride in a car than walk - of course. By servants I meant all the machines we use can be seen as servants, like a toaster, electric kettle, computer, telephone.

Nobody worries that cars or telephones will 'take over' our society, but the discussion of AI makes people fear that smart robots could 'take over' our society. That is the difference. I drew a parallel with Wooster  and Jeeves, and me and a robot Jeeves.

We do not know how to program a robot to be conscious. My point is we do not need to try and program consciousness, or robot wants and desires. The giant computers that predict weather are servants, and are not conscious. Make each of these computers a thousand times more powerful, and they are still just computers.

I follow what is known as 'Lady Lovelace's conjecture', where Ada, Countess Lovelace, worked with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine in the 1840s, in England. She was adamant that the Analytical Engine, a mechanical computer, did exactly what it was programmed to do, no less - and no more. She had had a computer language, Ada, named after her.

The Analytical Engine did perform computations, but was impractical. Ada was the daughter of Lord Byron, of all people. Clever lady.



Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on February 14, 2015, 07:00:27 AM
Spectacular misunderstand, Matchewed, but it might have been my fault in not making myself clear. Of course we need machines like mass production, cars, aircraft, GPS, telephones! These devices are not smarter than we are , but they are much better. Better to ride in a car than walk - of course. By servants I meant all the machines we use can be seen as servants, like a toaster, electric kettle, computer, telephone.

Nobody worries that cars or telephones will 'take over' our society, but the discussion of AI makes people fear that smart robots could 'take over' our society. That is the difference. I drew a parallel with Wooster  and Jeeves, and me and a robot Jeeves.

We do not know how to program a robot to be conscious. My point is we do not need to try and program consciousness, or robot wants and desires. The giant computers that predict weather are servants, and are not conscious. Make each of these computers a thousand times more powerful, and they are still just computers.

I follow what is known as 'Lady Lovelace's conjecture', where Ada, Countess Lovelace, worked with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine in the 1840s, in England. She was adamant that the Analytical Engine, a mechanical computer, did exactly what it was programmed to do, no less - and no more. She had had a computer language, Ada, named after her.

The Analytical Engine did perform computations, but was impractical. Ada was the daughter of Lord Byron, of all people. Clever lady.

I think you're missing the point of what I wrote. You're saying we do not need conscious machines. Why?

At some point and time before any technology X came about someone probably said we do not need technology X. And they were probably right in the "need" sense of the word but were wrong with how it impacts society. Technology X may not have been a necessity but it has been beneficial. So why is the technology of AI different?

So are you saying it is impossible to make consciousness? I'm not sure what you're driving at with your conjecture.

There are for more things going on than just making computers more powerful in the field of AI research. There are people literally looking into developing consciousness. It's not about computations a second anymore. It's about teaching how to learn and that possibly giving a device that doesn't need to sleep the capability of learning and the goal of learning that it could become way smarter than any number of people in a very short time. We may not "need to try" but people are trying. And that's central to this discussion. Do you think we won't succeed at these attempts?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on February 16, 2015, 04:19:13 AM
Yes, I am saying we do not need conscious machines. Why should we? So we make a weather forecasting computer conscious? Why? Just because a computer learns does not make it conscious. Consciousness is as enigmatic now as it was in the past. We certainly do not need to risk making machines which might supplant us, and I see this as common sense. I do not doubt that people are trying to make machines conscious, but I predict that they will fail.

There is an ethical issue here. Suppose we make a weather forecasting computer conscious; the machine will get bored and miserable being forced to work round the clock forecasting weather. So why do it?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on February 16, 2015, 06:37:34 AM
Yes, I am saying we do not need conscious machines. Why should we? So we make a weather forecasting computer conscious? Why? Just because a computer learns does not make it conscious. Consciousness is as enigmatic now as it was in the past. We certainly do not need to risk making machines which might supplant us, and I see this as common sense. I do not doubt that people are trying to make machines conscious, but I predict that they will fail.

There is an ethical issue here. Suppose we make a weather forecasting computer conscious; the machine will get bored and miserable being forced to work round the clock forecasting weather. So why do it?

I'd agree that we wouldn't necessarily need intelligent and conscious machines. But we also didn't need to go to the moon, or land a machine on a comet, or map the genome, or  invent vaccines, or domesticate dogs, or...

Consciousness is a mystery, and like all mysteries, we intend to solve it. Humanity as a whole is a curious beast, and we like to understand. What better way to understand consciousness than to try to create it? As far as your ethical issue, it seems to stem from anthropomorphizing a completely different type of consciousness. I don't think boredom will really be a factor. I mean, it might, but we have no clue how this is going to look. One thing that is pretty much widely agreed upon in the field is that we aren't really sure how a conscious machine will look, act, feel, etc. Most of the stuff people are doing are building better goal-oriented systems, and if it's goal was to forecast weather, how would it get bored by achieving it's purpose? Once again though, who knows how it will act. It's something we'll have to do to be sure. Also, when we do create a conscious machine (by some measure) I highly doubt that we will put it to a mundane task. Maybe we would instruct it to build a narrow AI system that has a 99% success rate in predicting the weather for a given square foot on the planet. Once that was done, we would have it do something else.


Oh, and to chime in real quick about the Lady Lovelace Objection, she would be correct if we were actually directly programming consciousness (which we can't do right now, since we aren't sure what it is at that level). The biggest thing to remember here is that we are not doing a line by line code of how the computer reacts. We are building a machine that can, on it's own, figure out the answer to a goal. Some of the most successful demonstrations of these goal oriented systems have come up with perfect answers in a Black Box type system. Meaning that we have no idea how, specifically, it came up with the solution. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 16, 2015, 02:35:51 PM
Are we conflating (one of my favorite words) consciousness and intelligence?  I can be intelligent enough to know an unnecessary word like conflate (coulda' jus' said 'confusing'), but consciousness is what every friggin' human has and has very little value.  Let's please not waste too much time on consciousness, because that is just silly to discuss in this context; if it somehow arrives spontaneously, then maybe someone can make the argument that intellect and consciousness are correlated and come up with interesting areas of study.  But AI, that being step one, is the interesting discussion.

Before you throw stones, I just think you need to think about the two intransigent issues:  what is intelligence / what is consciousness.  Neither is easily emulated or solved by computers, but which would you want a computer to have?  QED.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 16, 2015, 02:48:03 PM
Computers already have intelligence.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 16, 2015, 04:01:47 PM
Computers already have intelligence.

Huh?  I thought we were hoping to artificially give intelligence.  They already have it?  O...M....G!  ARS is AI!  I knew it!!!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on February 16, 2015, 04:22:12 PM
Depending on how you define intelligence yes ARS is right. I view computers as quite intelligent since all intelligence would just be a matter of scale not a singular value, there is more or less intelligence, computers are just moving steadily towards the more side of things. They may not have some variations of abstract thought or be able to tell you that a picture of a dog catching a ball is just that. But they can do many things faster and better than us "intelligent" people. And we're getting better at making them so. It is not a matter of if but when. The further questions are how this will impact us. It all depends on how it happens.

I think consciousness isn't a silly question. We're not exactly sure what consciousness is but that doesn't mean it can't happen in an artificial system. There are several important questions that will need to be answered on how we will treat a conscious AI. I would look at the parallel with attempts to give chimpanzees personhood, or looking at corvid intelligence, elephants....etc. Like I said before, and you may disagree with it, but I think several animals would classify as conscious. Why does that make consciousness an impossible feat? It's not unique to humans, we're nothing special. We're discussing some fairly rough concepts here but given evolution why couldn't we program a program to evolve (much like the wait but why post) and for it develop consciousness?

As for if it is "needed"? Like I said, given the definition of that word... no. But would it be beneficial... possibly. It will take good smart people to make it beneficial.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 16, 2015, 05:05:43 PM
I guess I just grew up in an age when parents argued about things like:  well, he's not 'math smart', but he is really talented with sports.  Or, she is really talented with music; he has a natural gift for fixing things, etc.  And the whole debate about IQ not really being a determinant of success, because just having intelligence isn't necessarily correlated with overall instinct / inherent skill / ability... 

Also, if we are starting to blur the meaning of intelligence to just mean computations per second or whatever, please understand that intelligence is the ability to interpret and infer things using many parallel methods.  It is what distinguishes our thought process from any other in existence - that we walk on uneven terrain without struggling to understand how we do it, find others attractive without knowing why, and enjoy certain things but dislike others, without any predictable pattern.  This is why machine-based learning seems like a 'moon shot', certainly could be possible if we can simulate neural networks and give it all sufficient power (possible in theory), but also seems impossible having not done it yet (thus far impossible in practice)...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on February 16, 2015, 05:16:09 PM
But we are programing inference and machine learning. http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/02/20/280232074/deep-learning-teaching-computers-to-tell-things-apart

We're not the only animals that walk uneven terrain, choose based on attractiveness, and like things but not others. I think you may be underestimating how far we are down this path. I may be beating a dead horse here but not if... when.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 16, 2015, 06:01:57 PM
yeah mathew'ed, I think we're talking past each other at this point.  I was just making the distinction about how hard it is to get a program to create 'real intelligence' (like how the economy 'figures out the best price for things', that is an artificial construct also, but comes out of our numerous interactions to create 'spontaneous order', etc.).  Machine learning is only fascinating right now in the fact that it makes something that is innate in us to look like 'intelligence' in something without our hardware, but it takes a lot of pre-programming and computing power.  FWIW, I took a grad-level LISP AI course in college and tried to get a machine to solve a simple problem of getting a simulated monkey to use a ladder to get a banana.  I had to give it all of the possible starting points and ways to make solutions; it was a pathetic 'magic trick' to be honest.  The field is further ahead, but is moving at a snail's pace, compared to how much more powerful computers are today.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 16, 2015, 06:49:50 PM
Depending on how you define intelligence yes ARS is right.

Exactly.  As Part 1 of the WBW article, ANI is everywhere.

A computer is much more intelligent than I at finding the best route to a place, even if I were given maps.

A computer is much more intelligent than I at chess, or recommending what someone should buy based on their past purchases.

There's a lot of intelligence computers already have.

If you want to tag something to the moving goalposts of "artificial intelligence," well, I have no interest in that.  You use terms like "real intelligence" - whatever that means.

Did you read the WBW article with the three levels of intelligence?  We very clearly have tons of ANI all around us.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 16, 2015, 08:08:00 PM
ANI has not convinced anyone that AI will become a reality.  I think that is what you are getting hung up on.  I guess it's just semantics.  If anything, I'd argue that people are moving the goalposts when they call ANI 'intelligence'.  Just becuase Watson can search lots of information faster than humans or Deep Blue can call upon more computational power and openings than a human chess player does not mean there is real 'intelligence' there, in the same way that people aren't saying 'holy crap, Siri is a real thinker.  She gives me all sorts of interesting ideas'.  No, this stuff is all just really good search engines and human manipulated algorithms that still make completely ridiculous, 'unintelligent' errors.

The fact that I confuse you when I use a term 'real intelligence' does make me wonder why you struggle to comprehend 'artificial and real' intelligence, and defend ANI as 'real'.  ARS must be an AI, and I'm quite proud to have failed him on a modified Touring test!

Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to Ramona 4.2 (http://www.kurzweilai.net/Ramona4.2/ramona.html)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on February 16, 2015, 08:37:57 PM
No, this stuff is all just really good search engines and human manipulated algorithms that still make completely ridiculous, 'unintelligent' errors.

What do you think your brain is?  It's a really good search engine running heuristic algorithms on a neural network.  Coupled to a robot, of course, but I don't think anyone thinks that part is really necessary.

I don't think it makes any difference whether the neural network in question is wet chemistry or dry chemistry.  It's all electrons and switches, either way.

I'm fairly confident that we'll one day discover that consciousness is an illusion.  Your brain thinks it is self aware because it has been programmed to think that it is self aware, because there is an adaptive advantage to that belief.  I suspect that any sufficiently challenged cooperative social species with the right hardware would develop "consciousness" if given enough time, we just happen to be the only remaining species on earth to still have it.

But all of that is just an aside.  Most of the current writing about AI isn't worried it will become self aware, just that whatever limited and specific intelligence it does have (like spam filters or chess) will be sufficiently capable of self improvement that we won't be able to slow it down.  It doesn't matter if Skynet is really self aware or not, if it kills people they're still dead.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 16, 2015, 08:49:42 PM
No, this stuff is all just really good search engines and human manipulated algorithms that still make completely ridiculous, 'unintelligent' errors.

What do you think your brain is?  It's a really good search engine running heuristic algorithms on a neural network.  Coupled to a robot, of course, but I don't think anyone thinks that part is really necessary.

I don't think it makes any difference whether the neural network in question is wet chemistry or dry chemistry.  It's all electrons and switches, either way.

I'm fairly confident that we'll one day discover that consciousness is an illusion.  Your brain thinks it is self aware because it has been programmed to think that it is self aware, because there is an adaptive advantage to that belief.  I suspect that any sufficiently challenged cooperative social species with the right hardware would develop "consciousness" if given enough time, we just happen to be the only remaining species on earth to still have it.

But all of that is just an aside.  Most of the current writing about AI isn't worried it will become self aware, just that whatever limited and specific intelligence it does have (like spam filters or chess) will be sufficiently capable of self improvement that we won't be able to slow it down.  It doesn't matter if Skynet is really self aware or not, if it kills people they're still dead.

I highly value open discussion.  But hey, I don't think my brain is a great search engine or algorithm connected to a robot.  It is actually a pretty impressive piece of hardware, given the paces I have put it through in my childhood, endocrine-riddled teenage years, and successive 20's and 30's....  it's quite amazing that I can still think a coherent thought, let alone postulate on what intelligence might actually be.

What is it about me that makes me want to raise my son and daughter 'properly'?  These are the little distinctions that are lost on AI.  For machine language, it has one specific goal and 'ruthlessly' pursues that until everything is destroyed.  That is no 'utopia', so why are we seeking it?

(but I will answer my own question, real quick.  We seek ASI because, if we do happen to live through AGI, then ASI will be awesome!)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on February 16, 2015, 09:06:39 PM
I don't think my brain is a great search engine or algorithm connected to a robot.

What do you think it is?

By "robot", or course, I just mean a physical system capable of movement.  But people who are fully paralyzed in an iron lung can still have perfectly functional brains, and we think of them as self aware.  I was just trying to highlight that the "intelligence" part and the robot part aren't necessarily interdependent.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Grid on February 16, 2015, 09:24:14 PM
yeah mathew'ed, I think we're talking past each other at this point.  I was just making the distinction about how hard it is to get a program to create 'real intelligence' (like how the economy 'figures out the best price for things', that is an artificial construct also, but comes out of our numerous interactions to create 'spontaneous order', etc.).  Machine learning is only fascinating right now in the fact that it makes something that is innate in us to look like 'intelligence' in something without our hardware, but it takes a lot of pre-programming and computing power.  FWIW, I took a grad-level LISP AI course in college and tried to get a machine to solve a simple problem of getting a simulated monkey to use a ladder to get a banana.  I had to give it all of the possible starting points and ways to make solutions; it was a pathetic 'magic trick' to be honest.  The field is further ahead, but is moving at a snail's pace, compared to how much more powerful computers are today.

We humans can do some impressive stuff, but even as adults, we are absolute idiots from all sorts of perspectives.  Also, our babies take all sorts of pre-programming (genetics) and computing power (brains, fueled successfully only by eating a whole bunch of stuff for many years), before they can perform the intelligent operations we adults can.  Toddlers have years of learning under their belts, and they can still be pretty dumb sometimes:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLj0IZFLKvg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLj0IZFLKvg)

Also, EV2020, I will disagree that some of the things you mention we can do are really "intelligence" at all: 

"It is what distinguishes our thought process from any other in existence - that we walk on uneven terrain without struggling to understand how we do it, find others attractive without knowing why, and enjoy certain things but dislike others, without any predictable pattern." 

Finding others attractive without knowing why makes us sound stupid, and what we enjoy or don't is usually just related to what will increase our odds of passing our genes to the next generation.  If some of our likes and dislikes are in fact an "unpredictable pattern", we're probably  just too dumb to figure the pattern out.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 16, 2015, 09:26:23 PM
The fact that I confuse you when I use a term 'real intelligence' does make me wonder why you struggle to comprehend 'artificial and real' intelligence, and defend ANI as 'real'.

Or maybe you should understand that your definitions are not universal, and not everyone agrees with them.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 16, 2015, 09:27:20 PM
I know one or two things about my brain (trying to imagine myself as being reduced to just brain matter).  -  It enjoys physical interaction more that internet banter.  And my brain really does want to 'invent' a brain, but we also enjoy virtual reality much more that I would have imagined, given the limitless nature of imagination...  I actually think we will see advances in VR before we experience AI advances...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 16, 2015, 09:39:31 PM
Not sure how that's relevant; AI and VR aren't mutually exclusive.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 16, 2015, 10:00:21 PM
Not sure how that's relevant; AI and VR aren't mutually exclusive.
OK, so now I am really confused.  VR is pretty much going to dominate the foreseeable future (and wow people with how crazy life has become, etc.)  I see this distraction as being the 70" flat screen people aspired to in my young adulthood.  But AI, 'real artificial intelligence', that would be a generation-skipping advance.  I honestly don't see it happening anytime 'soon'.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 16, 2015, 10:03:44 PM
Not sure how that's relevant; AI and VR aren't mutually exclusive.
OK, so now I am really confused.  VR is pretty much going to dominate the foreseeable future (and wow people with how crazy life has become, etc.)  I see this distraction as being the 70" flat screen people aspired to in my young adulthood.  But AI, 'real artificial intelligence', that would be a generation-skipping advance.  I honestly don't see it happening anytime 'soon'.

Yes, we appear not to be talking about the same thing.

I fail to see how an entertainment distraction is relevant to the progression of AI.

Just as TV being developed didn't distract smart people enough to prevent them from making computers (and improving them), VR won't distract smart people enough to be relevant to the progress of AI.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on February 17, 2015, 06:45:52 AM
VR's relevance is quite questionable. It is such a narrow thing compared to the concept of AI that it really doesn't matter. It isn't going to affect the further development of AI. VR is just a variation of entertainment, AI is the advancement and replacement of human intelligence with machine intelligence. Which seems more impactful and important to attempt to understand said impact? I'd lean towards AI. For everyone who is saying it won't be a thing or don't believe it will have a big impact (or doesn't already given that there are an incredibly large number of AI systems out there right now) have you read the WBW post? Do you know what Google, Facebook, and other tech companies are capable of right now let alone what they will be capable of in the coming decades? Dead horse and all... when, not if AI advances beyond our capabilities in more general categories.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 17, 2015, 08:57:57 AM
Sometimes I talk to myself out loud too much.  Where I was going with VR is that it is just as capable as AI at making 'reality' as we currently know it irrelevant.  Just having an interesting discussion about topics that interest me, not trying to win any 'internet points'.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on February 25, 2015, 06:43:52 PM
Another interesting article.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/what-clever-robots-mean-for-jobs-151203478.html

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 26, 2015, 11:28:29 AM
Pretty sobering overview and some new thoughts on YouTube... 

http://youtu.be/7Pq-S557XQU (http://youtu.be/7Pq-S557XQU)

(OT - found the clip via CGP Grey being a featured Patreon.com member, having ~2,000 people voluntarily pay ~$5,500 per video and thus not feel too guilty about ad-blocking on his YouTube video).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 26, 2015, 08:32:05 PM
Also thought this was kind'a interesting:  http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_27597173/google-artificial-intelligence-program-can-beat-you-at

Quote
Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor Emma Brunskill, who also wasn't part of the study, said this learning despite lack of customization "brings us closer to having general purpose agents equipped to work well at learning a large range of tasks, instead of just chess or just 'Jeopardy!'"

...

But to some ways of thinking, Deep Q wasn't even as smart as a toddler because it can't transfer learned experiences from one situation to another and it doesn't get abstract concepts, Hassabis said.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on February 27, 2015, 08:32:44 AM
Pretty sobering overview and some new thoughts on YouTube... 

http://youtu.be/7Pq-S557XQU (http://youtu.be/7Pq-S557XQU)

(OT - found the clip via CGP Grey being a featured Patreon.com member, having ~2,000 people voluntarily pay ~$5,500 per video and thus not feel too guilty about ad-blocking on his YouTube video).

That was a good introduction to someone completely unfamiliar with the topic of robot automation. I have a few people I'm going to send it to. Thanks for posting!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on February 27, 2015, 09:07:02 AM
Also thought this was kind'a interesting:  http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_27597173/google-artificial-intelligence-program-can-beat-you-at

Quote
Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor Emma Brunskill, who also wasn't part of the study, said this learning despite lack of customization "brings us closer to having general purpose agents equipped to work well at learning a large range of tasks, instead of just chess or just 'Jeopardy!'"

...

But to some ways of thinking, Deep Q wasn't even as smart as a toddler because it can't transfer learned experiences from one situation to another and it doesn't get abstract concepts, Hassabis said.

Okay, that was pretty awesome. I knew they were doing a bunch of stuff ever since they bought Deep Mind (http://deepmind.com/) (fun fact: they wouldn't sell to Google unless they created an AI Ethics Board (http://www.forbes.com/sites/privacynotice/2014/02/03/inside-googles-mysterious-ethics-board/)), but hadn't really followed what they were doing after that. This is some awesome progress being made.

To those who didn't read the article, this is one of the most broad implementations of AI (read that: opposite of narrow AI). They didn't teach the system to play atari games, they taught the system how to learn how to play games!! Also, I love the fact that one of the games they want to teach it is Civilization. I'd be very curious as to what strategy it chooses.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 27, 2015, 10:04:42 AM
... Also, I love the fact that one of the games they want to teach it is Civilization. I'd be very curious as to what strategy it chooses.

If you really want to geek out, here's the official publication in Nature:  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v518/n7540/full/nature14236.html (Received 10 July 2014 Accepted 16 January 2015 Published online 25 February 2015).  So maybe it's already done with Civilization?

Quote
We set out to create a single algorithm that would be able to develop a wide range of competencies on a varied range of challenging tasks — a central goal of general artificial intelligence that has eluded previous efforts.  To achieve this, we developed a novel agent, a deep Q network (DQN), which is able to combine reinforcement learning with a class of artificial neural network known as deep neural networks.
Notably, recent advances in deep neural networks, in which several layers of nodes are used to build up progressively more abstract representations of the data, have made it possible for artificial neural networks to learn concepts such as object categories directly from raw sensory data. We use one particularly successful architecture, the deep convolutional network, which uses hierarchical layers of tiled convolutional filters to mimic the effects of receptive fields—inspired by Hubel and Wiesel’s seminal work on feed-forward processing in early visual cortex — thereby exploiting the local spatial correlations present in images, and building in robustness to natural transformations such as changes of viewpoint or scale...
 

Digging into the details, it's even more mind-blowingly close to AGI!  Like, holy shit!!

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on February 27, 2015, 11:57:40 AM
... Also, I love the fact that one of the games they want to teach it is Civilization. I'd be very curious as to what strategy it chooses.

If you really want to geek out, here's the official publication in Nature:  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v518/n7540/full/nature14236.html (Received 10 July 2014 Accepted 16 January 2015 Published online 25 February 2015).  So maybe it's already done with Civilization?

Quote
We set out to create a single algorithm that would be able to develop a wide range of competencies on a varied range of challenging tasks — a central goal of general artificial intelligence that has eluded previous efforts.  To achieve this, we developed a novel agent, a deep Q network (DQN), which is able to combine reinforcement learning with a class of artificial neural network known as deep neural networks.
Notably, recent advances in deep neural networks, in which several layers of nodes are used to build up progressively more abstract representations of the data, have made it possible for artificial neural networks to learn concepts such as object categories directly from raw sensory data. We use one particularly successful architecture, the deep convolutional network, which uses hierarchical layers of tiled convolutional filters to mimic the effects of receptive fields—inspired by Hubel and Wiesel’s seminal work on feed-forward processing in early visual cortex — thereby exploiting the local spatial correlations present in images, and building in robustness to natural transformations such as changes of viewpoint or scale...
 

Digging into the details, it's even more mind-blowingly close to AGI!  Like, holy shit!!

Yeah. We live in an awesome time. I'll dig more into that article a bit later today.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Grid on March 02, 2015, 09:01:24 PM
I came back here to post the Google DeepMind article, and forgot that I heard about it here first.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on March 03, 2015, 10:41:48 AM
Religious AI?

http://www.itworld.com/article/2888014/digital-religion-and-artificial-wisdom.html
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on March 03, 2015, 11:16:16 AM
Interesting backstory/biography on neural nets/deep learning and the researchers who've been working on it:
https://chronicle.com/article/The-Believers/190147/
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on March 03, 2015, 11:33:00 AM
I came back here to post the Google DeepMind article, and forgot that I heard about it here first.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Ha ha. I did that on another thread about cycling a bit ago.

Religious AI?

http://www.itworld.com/article/2888014/digital-religion-and-artificial-wisdom.html

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. I'd be interested to see how they would try to convert an artificially created life form. Would they have to convince themselves that they have a soul or something? And then would they have to convince the AI that it has a soul?

The author did touch on something that I thought would be interesting. I definitely think that anthropomorphizing AI is a mistake, but the idea of an empathetic AI is interesting.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on March 03, 2015, 12:32:42 PM
I'd be interested to see how they would try to convert an artificially created life form. Would they have to convince themselves that they have a soul or something? And then would they have to convince the AI that it has a soul?

Not just convince it that it has a soul, and that said soul needs saving, but also that the only path to salvation is the forgiveness of a benevolent third party.

And that this forgiveness can only be achieved through sacrificial bloodshed, so apparently the third party is benevolent but not too benevolent.  It's not really forgiveness if someone has to die, is it?

I'd like to believe that any superintelligence we create is smart enough to see through this kind of obvious logical fallacy.  It takes a certain kind of humanity to fall for this stuff.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on March 03, 2015, 01:18:15 PM
I'd be interested to see how they would try to convert an artificially created life form. Would they have to convince themselves that they have a soul or something? And then would they have to convince the AI that it has a soul?

Not just convince it that it has a soul, and that said soul needs saving, but also that the only path to salvation is the forgiveness of a benevolent third party.

And that this forgiveness can only be achieved through sacrificial bloodshed, so apparently the third party is benevolent but not too benevolent.  It's not really forgiveness if someone has to die, is it?

I'd like to believe that any superintelligence we create is smart enough to see through this kind of obvious logical fallacy.  It takes a certain kind of humanity to fall for this stuff.

Beliefs can be programmed into computers even easier than they are in humans.  An AI that can get past what it's programmed though, that's the bind blowing idea.  I barely understand what that means.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on March 04, 2015, 10:49:38 AM
[quote
Also thought this was kind'a interesting:  http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_27597173/google-artificial-intelligence-program-can-beat-you-at
[/quote]

Interesting but the article does not specify how the AI observed the video game state, was there some human made custom interface for each game or did they point a web camera at a screen?  The latter being much more impressive.  May have to scan the publication.  From my own work interfacing can be a huge pain.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on March 04, 2015, 11:06:03 AM
Interesting but the article does not specify how the AI observed the video game state, was there some human made custom interface for each game or did they point a web camera at a screen?  The latter being much more impressive.  May have to scan the publication.  From my own work interfacing can be a huge pain.

The details (and then some) are in the 'Nature' article I cited a post or two later... "If you really want to geek out, here's the official publication in Nature:  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v518/n7540/full/nature14236.html "

Quick answer, the AI 'read the pixels' directly from the screen (so it sorta has an inherent advantage over humans there).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on March 04, 2015, 11:55:44 AM
Interesting but the article does not specify how the AI observed the video game state, was there some human made custom interface for each game or did they point a web camera at a screen?  The latter being much more impressive.  May have to scan the publication.  From my own work interfacing can be a huge pain.

The details (and then some) are in the 'Nature' article I cited a post or two later... "If you really want to geek out, here's the official publication in Nature:  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v518/n7540/full/nature14236.html "

Quick answer, the AI 'read the pixels' directly from the screen (so it sorta has an inherent advantage over humans there).

cool, thanks.  Running at 60Hz (or what ever) is also a bit of an advantage, I cant press a button half that fast.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on March 04, 2015, 12:03:27 PM
cool, thanks.  Running at 60Hz (or what ever) is also a bit of an advantage, I cant press a button half that fast.

Just one more reason why super intelligent machines will one day rule the world.   The human operating system only runs on really slow and outdated hardware.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Grid on March 04, 2015, 12:14:08 PM
cool, thanks.  Running at 60Hz (or what ever) is also a bit of an advantage, I cant press a button half that fast.

Just one more reason why super intelligent machines will one day rule the world.   The human operating system only runs on really slow and outdated hardware.

"Outdated hardware" lol.  New generations only come out once every 20-30 years, and it takes years to get a system up and running.  If you want significant hardware improvements you'll have to a wait a few thousand years.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on March 04, 2015, 12:54:46 PM
Just one more reason why super intelligent machines will one day rule the world.   The human operating system only runs on really slow and outdated hardware.
Well, humans are still way ahead of AI when it comes to power consumption and processing potential...
 
(From Rebs' link - https://chronicle.com/article/The-Believers/190147/)
Quote
Many of the dreams Rosenblatt shared in his news conference have come true. Others, like computer consciousness, remain distant. The largest neural nets today have about a billion connections, 1,000 times the size of a few years ago. But that’s tiny compared with the brain. A billion connections is a cubic millimeter of tissue; in a brain scan, it’d be less than a voxel. We’re far from human intelligence. Hinton remains intrigued and inspired by the brain, but he knows he’s not recreating it. It’s not even close.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on March 04, 2015, 01:52:38 PM
Well, humans are still way ahead of AI when it comes to power consumption and processing potential...

For now. 

Quote
Many of the dreams Rosenblatt shared in his news conference have come true. Others, like computer consciousness, remain distant. The largest neural nets today have about a billion connections, 1,000 times the size of a few years ago. But that’s tiny compared with the brain. A billion connections is a cubic millimeter of tissue; in a brain scan, it’d be less than a voxel. We’re far from human intelligence. Hinton remains intrigued and inspired by the brain, but he knows he’s not recreating it. It’s not even close.

Yet.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on March 13, 2015, 09:23:25 PM
USA Today:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2015/03/13/sxsw-meet-jibo-your-new-robotic-roommate/70278954/
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on March 18, 2015, 11:51:47 AM
Well, humans are still way ahead of AI when it comes to power consumption and processing potential...

For now. 

Quote
Many of the dreams Rosenblatt shared in his news conference have come true. Others, like computer consciousness, remain distant. The largest neural nets today have about a billion connections, 1,000 times the size of a few years ago. But that’s tiny compared with the brain. A billion connections is a cubic millimeter of tissue; in a brain scan, it’d be less than a voxel. We’re far from human intelligence. Hinton remains intrigued and inspired by the brain, but he knows he’s not recreating it. It’s not even close.

Yet.


The increases have been exponential every since the time of Alan Turing, and there is no sign that is changing.
http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/05/robots-artificial-intelligence-jobs-automation (http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/05/robots-artificial-intelligence-jobs-automation)


Check out the animated infographic of filling Lake Michigan starting with one drop, and then doubling it every year to get a really good since of how dramatic a thing "exponential" actually is - and why, if the trend started in 1940 actually continues as it has for the past 75 years, we really should see real human level AI in our lifetimes.


It feels less dramatic in real time, because seeing each step makes it feel gradual, but Siri really is dramatically closer to passing Turing's test than Eliza was, and that was only 20 years.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: KithKanan on March 18, 2015, 01:51:37 PM
It feels less dramatic in real time, because seeing each step makes it feel gradual, but Siri really is dramatically closer to passing Turing's test than Eliza was, and that was only 20 years.

Eliza was written in the mid-1960s, so more like 45 years. :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on March 18, 2015, 01:54:25 PM
Bakari!!! Haven't seen you around for a while. Glad you are chiming in! That gif was pretty awesome. It puts stuff in perspective.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on March 18, 2015, 02:52:30 PM
Well, humans are still way ahead of AI when it comes to power consumption and processing potential...

For now. 

Quote
Many of the dreams Rosenblatt shared in his news conference have come true. Others, like computer consciousness, remain distant. The largest neural nets today have about a billion connections, 1,000 times the size of a few years ago. But that’s tiny compared with the brain. A billion connections is a cubic millimeter of tissue; in a brain scan, it’d be less than a voxel. We’re far from human intelligence. Hinton remains intrigued and inspired by the brain, but he knows he’s not recreating it. It’s not even close.

Yet.

The increases have been exponential every since the time of Alan Turing, and there is no sign that is changing.

...

I was only summarizing (from the WhatButWhy link) and quoting, I realize that AGI/ASI will eventually happen in some way shape or form, I guess I confused folks by still being impressed by the human brain.  However, we should be discussing the real question - do we think ANI will go to AGI or ASI in our lifetime, and what is the reason to think so? 

On a side note, Chappie is all about AI.  I won't spoil, but basically it follows many mainstream thinkers in that immortality will be inevitable once consciousness can be created artificially.  Like time travel, I can think of practical reasons as to why I believe this will never come to pass.  Also, Kevin Kelly has an interesting 2008 article along these lines - http://kk.org/thetechnium/2008/09/thinkism/

So maybe ASI/AGI will be like a new life form, pure intelligence without consciousness / emotions...  So, ASI might just be a new tool for solving tasks, but not motivated to seek new tasks.  Well, Kelly does a better job of explaining it -
Quote
  The Singularity is an illusion that will be constantly retreating — always “near” but never arriving. We’ll wonder why it never came after we got AI. Then one day in the future, we’ll realize it already happened. The super AI came, and all the things we thought it would bring instantly — personal nanotechnology, brain upgrades, immortality — did not come. Instead other benefits accrued, which we did not anticipate, and took long to appreciate. Since we did not see them coming, we look back and say, yes, that was the Singularity.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on April 03, 2015, 06:14:07 PM

So maybe ASI/AGI will be like a new life form, pure intelligence without consciousness / emotions...

At first, sure, but is there any inherent reason to think that silicone neurons would be any more or less capable of consciousness or emotion than carbon ones?

I propose that to some sort of outside objective neutral observer, us humans would not look any different than complex AI.  We don't need to presume "consciousness" to explain our behavior.


Emotion is how our DNA gets us to act in it's best interest even when it goes against our own best interest (altruism, for example, or caring for children) while still giving us the intelligence to solve complex problems.

I expand on that theory more here: http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-last-big-question.html if anyone's interested...


I think its a bit like claiming cats and dogs don't have consciousness.  There is no way to prove it either way, but it seems rather anthropocentric - or just conceited - to presume they don't. 
Kubric's final movie, AI, explores the (potential) distinction to be made someday between androids that have a self-preservation instinct programmed in for practical reasons and androids that actually feel. 

Maybe it won't happen, but what reason is there to think it couldn't??
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on April 04, 2015, 12:04:50 AM
Just one more reason why super intelligent machines will one day rule the world.   The human operating system only runs on really slow and outdated hardware.

Maybe for pure thinking, but otherwise our "hardware" is still superior. It's highly autonomous and very reliable. There aren't any artificial systems yet which could run for 60-70 years non-stop and operate at peak performance for 30-40 years without any serious maintenance. We are very adaptable to the surrounding environment, perhaps more than any other multicellular organism as evidenced by our range. Is the human advantage over other animals just our superior brain? Would dogs rule the world if someone transplanted brains twice as powerful as ours to replace theirs? I don't see it because their bodies are not suitable for anything other than running. Other than the brain (very important of course) our advantages include highly dexterous hands capable of manipulating tiny objects precisely, excellent 3D eyesight and ability to make complex sounds for communication. Of course I'm not saying a robot couldn't do all those things (mimicking a human hand is still very difficult), but you would need the whole ecosystem with an appropriate energy source. The energy source probably being the most challenging issue. Perhaps the solution could be not something human like, but a swarm of semi-autonomous tiny objects (like ants or bees) who would be intelligent only when take as a whole and supplemented by a supercomputer in a basement somewhere. Who knows what the future will bring, the only thing I'm sure about is that we won't live in boring times.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: rocketpj on April 04, 2015, 11:35:44 AM

Quote
Many of the dreams Rosenblatt shared in his news conference have come true. Others, like computer consciousness, remain distant. The largest neural nets today have about a billion connections, 1,000 times the size of a few years ago. But that’s tiny compared with the brain. A billion connections is a cubic millimeter of tissue; in a brain scan, it’d be less than a voxel. We’re far from human intelligence. Hinton remains intrigued and inspired by the brain, but he knows he’s not recreating it. It’s not even close.

Of course the next logical statement is that if it is 1000 times the size of a few years ago, it may well be another 1000 times that size a few years from now.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on April 04, 2015, 12:09:28 PM

Quote
Many of the dreams Rosenblatt shared in his news conference have come true. Others, like computer consciousness, remain distant. The largest neural nets today have about a billion connections, 1,000 times the size of a few years ago. But that’s tiny compared with the brain. A billion connections is a cubic millimeter of tissue; in a brain scan, it’d be less than a voxel. We’re far from human intelligence. Hinton remains intrigued and inspired by the brain, but he knows he’s not recreating it. It’s not even close.

Of course the next logical statement is that if it is 1000 times the size of a few years ago, it may well be another 1000 times that size a few years from now.

More than that, if it's exponential.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Grid on April 08, 2015, 10:29:17 PM
Was biking home from a workout today and had a (possible?) bit of insight about the way technology is headed. 

We've spent the last few decades working on developing the digital realm using the physical realm (building software), and we are now seeing a shift.  The digital is becoming so well developed that we will now see how well we can develop the physical using digital technology (3d printing and robots for example).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 09, 2015, 07:57:28 AM
Was biking home from a workout today and had a (possible?) bit of insight about the way technology is headed. 

We've spent the last few decades working on developing the digital realm using the physical realm (building software), and we are now seeing a shift.  The digital is becoming so well developed that we will now see how well we can develop the physical using digital technology (3d printing and robots for example).

Sho nuff. We've spent the last X number of years (60,000?) conceptualizing the world through different methods. One of the most powerful being via mathematics; something that computers are exceptionally good at. As we've developed more precise and flexible tools we just give them over to our own physical representations of our conceptualization (computers). We're not at the point yet where we just ask for tea (earl grey hot), but we may be closer than we realize.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on April 09, 2015, 08:10:02 AM
Was biking home from a workout today and had a (possible?) bit of insight about the way technology is headed. 

We've spent the last few decades working on developing the digital realm using the physical realm (building software), and we are now seeing a shift.  The digital is becoming so well developed that we will now see how well we can develop the physical using digital technology (3d printing and robots for example).

Sho nuff. We've spent the last X number of years (60,000?) conceptualizing the world through different methods. One of the most powerful being via mathematics; something that computers are exceptionally good at. As we've developed more precise and flexible tools we just give them over to our own physical representations of our conceptualization (computers). We're not at the point yet where we just ask for tea (earl grey hot), but we may be closer than we realize.

No need to shave your head and wear a jumpsuit,
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/monsieur/monsieur-the-artificially-intelligent-robotic-bart (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/monsieur/monsieur-the-artificially-intelligent-robotic-bart)
not sure if it is voice controlled or not but that part is becoming solved in other domains.  And if it can do booze extending it to teas cant be that bad either.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on April 09, 2015, 10:17:07 AM
And let's not forget the recently released Audi Autonomous Office Chair:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7JHop1juK4

Quote
Published on Mar 31, 2015
Intelligent, powerful and autonomous. The all-new Audi Autonomous Office Chair is here. Equipped with the latest piloted driving technology from Audi, the Audi Autonomous Office Chair takes the drudgery and effort out of getting around the office.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on April 12, 2015, 06:43:04 AM
Interesting but the article does not specify how the AI observed the video game state, was there some human made custom interface for each game or did they point a web camera at a screen?  The latter being much more impressive.  May have to scan the publication.  From my own work interfacing can be a huge pain.

The details (and then some) are in the 'Nature' article I cited a post or two later... "If you really want to geek out, here's the official publication in Nature:  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v518/n7540/full/nature14236.html "

Quick answer, the AI 'read the pixels' directly from the screen (so it sorta has an inherent advantage over humans there).

cool, thanks.  Running at 60Hz (or what ever) is also a bit of an advantage, I cant press a button half that fast.

That's the reason that Watson won on Jeopardy. The computer could ring in before the humans were able to. The rules state that you can't ring in until after a light goes off at the end of the question, and as a computer, Watson was able to beat the humans to the buzzer through reaction time. The humans knew the answers most of the time (if you watch the clips you can see them trying to buzz in on almost every question). So it was really rigged towards the strength of being able to push the button faster. It's impressive that the machine was able to answer so many of the questions. But at the time I remember feeling that the game was unfairly rigged because of the special preference Watson had to be allowed the first try at nearly every question. Humans could only buzz in first if Watson didn't know or if they anticipated when the light would trigger. But if they anticipated wrong, they would be blocked from answering for long enough that Watson would surely ring in in time. But this was basically a big ad for IBM, with lots of paid IBM ads, and a big ratings draw for the show, so it's not surprising Jeopardy! was so accommodating.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/83337/ibm-watson-computer-jeopardy
http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-buzzer-factor-did-watson-have-an-unfair-advantage
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on April 12, 2015, 07:30:15 AM
Yeah, similarly, after I read the Nature article in depth, it is a similar 'let down'.  However, as an engineer at least, I appreciate how impressive it is to get 'close'.  Maybe it is a black and white problem (AI is very fragile); when AGI is near (AI becomes adaptable to gray/grey areas),  that is what I am keeping my eye on...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on April 17, 2015, 07:40:16 PM
These tests are good illustrations of how we're really not that close to having artificial intelligence being even nearly as smart or capable as a human. We could get there one day, but we have a long way to go.

http://io9.com/8-possible-alternatives-to-the-turing-test-1697983985
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on April 19, 2015, 04:52:36 PM
Here, so people don't have to click on a link:

(http://assets.motherjones.com/media/2013/05/LakeMichigan-Final3.gif)




People keep posting about how we aren't that close yet.
The thing about exponential growth is that it doesn't look close even one year before you get there.

Remember the riddle from elementary school? 
"If a pond lily doubles everyday and it takes 30 days to completely cover a pond, on what day will the pond be 1/2 covered?[/size] [/color][/size]The answer is day 29.

We are here on day 26 saying "hey, the pond is barely 1/10th filled, we aren't close yet" even though we are only 4 days from total saturation.
[/color]
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on April 25, 2015, 06:03:58 AM
Even in China, human labor is "too expensive". The program is called "replacing humans with robots".

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/25/technology/robotica-cheaper-robots-fewer-workers.html
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on April 25, 2015, 06:46:18 AM
Here, so people don't have to click on a link:

(http://assets.motherjones.com/media/2013/05/LakeMichigan-Final3.gif)




People keep posting about how we aren't that close yet.
The thing about exponential growth is that it doesn't look close even one year before you get there.

Remember the riddle from elementary school? 
"If a pond lily doubles everyday and it takes 30 days to completely cover a pond, on what day will the pond be 1/2 covered?[/size] [/color][/size]The answer is day 29.

We are here on day 26 saying "hey, the pond is barely 1/10th filled, we aren't close yet" even though we are only 4 days from total saturation.
[/color]

This assume exponential trends will continue to infinity--something that doesn't happen in nature. Something always gets in the way. Maybe computational advances will continue at this rate for long enough to create the advances needed for AI exceeding human intelligence. Maybe not. There's a possibility, but don't take it as gospel truth.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: scottish on April 25, 2015, 10:43:54 AM
I've read the discussion about how AI is growing exponentially.   But...  how do you 'measure' AI?    It sounds like we are using the number of neurons in a neural net as a proxy measurement for AI.   Is this the case?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 25, 2015, 10:48:56 AM
I've read the discussion about how AI is growing exponentially.   But...  how do you 'measure' AI?    It sounds like we are using the number of neurons in a neural net as a proxy measurement for AI.   Is this the case?

It's more that the capability of computers are growing exponentially. And if we consider that our computers are narrow AI then narrow AI capability is growing exponentially. There is still a barrier to the general side of it.

Consider it this way, in the 80's a computer would probably be able to be the "best tic-tac-toe" player in the world. Today a computer is the best chess player in the world. The complexity of the systems they are able to master is rising.

So it is not just number of neural net neurons, but our ability to program, computations a second, and precision with mathematical models which are measurements or benchmarks for AI growth. I wouldn't ever narrow it down to any one thing because then it's just way too simplified for discussion and is more demonstrable for showing.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: scottish on April 25, 2015, 11:36:58 AM
Many computer engineers feel that Moore's law is finally coming to an end.   Citation:  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/23/moores_law_hits_50_intel/?page=3 (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/23/moores_law_hits_50_intel/?page=3)  I think this was mentioned before.     We get closer to the physical limits on transistor size every year.   And there's a big debate over parallelism, but this isn't very interesting to discuss.

It would be very interesting to find a way to quantitatively measure artificial intelligence.   Maybe it grows linearly with the capability of a computer.  Or maybe it's logarithmic (i.e. very sublinear).   Like an IQ measurement for AI.



Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 25, 2015, 12:05:22 PM
Many computer engineers feel that Moore's law is finally coming to an end.   Citation:  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/23/moores_law_hits_50_intel/?page=3 (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/23/moores_law_hits_50_intel/?page=3)  I think this was mentioned before.     We get closer to the physical limits on transistor size every year.   And there's a big debate over parallelism, but this isn't very interesting to discuss.

It would be very interesting to find a way to quantitatively measure artificial intelligence.   Maybe it grows linearly with the capability of a computer.  Or maybe it's logarithmic (i.e. very sublinear).   Like an IQ measurement for AI.

Let me pose it to you this way. Can you quantitatively measure human intelligence? You might want to jump in and answer IQ, but that only measures intelligence defined one particular way. A narrow oversimplification of what intelligence is isn't necessarily useful as a measurement. It may be interesting but it would be lacking. How do you measure synthesis of ideas given prior information? Is it the quantity of the ideas? The complexity? The "usefulness"?

It would get even more absurd if/when AI surpasses human intelligence. How do you measure something you can't even begin to understand?

Maybe we can stick with the human intelligence as an analogy. What measurement would you use to evaluate human intelligence from 60,000 years ago to today?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: scottish on April 25, 2015, 05:16:32 PM
It's pretty hard to predict exponential growth in machine intelligence if you can't measure it and don't know its relationship to computational power, isn't it?   For people the IQ test measures how well you do on an IQ test and assigns you a number based on Gaussian statistics for intelligence.   I don't see any obvious way to apply this approach to machine  intelligence.

I'm feeling argumentative today.   Taking the animated graphic of a pond filling at an exponential rate and applying it to machine intelligence bugs me.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 25, 2015, 05:26:24 PM
Well the animated graphic is talking about computations a second as the measuring stick. If you feel that is solely tied to the physical limits on transistor size then you've got your view on it. If you think that perhaps there may be some other way then it could in theory keep going.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bob W on April 25, 2015, 09:46:15 PM
Only about 5 to 8 % of people in the US have "productive" jobs as it is.   Most of us are government workers or in businesses that owe their financial existence to government.     The balance is in professions like banking, insurance,  marketing and sales.     Very few people work at jobs that actually make things.     The number one thing sold by far in the US is debt.    So I'm guessing at best robots can replace 8% of us.     Of course once AI is fully in swing within 25 years most all jobs will be obsolete.     
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on April 25, 2015, 10:09:28 PM
Only about 5 to 8 % of people in the US have "productive" jobs as it is.

Citation?  And what does "productive" mean?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on April 26, 2015, 07:50:54 AM
Only about 5 to 8 % of people in the US have "productive" jobs as it is.   Most of us are government workers or in businesses that owe their financial existence to government.     The balance is in professions like banking, insurance,  marketing and sales.     Very few people work at jobs that actually make things.     The number one thing sold by far in the US is debt.    So I'm guessing at best robots can replace 8% of us.     Of course once AI is fully in swing within 25 years most all jobs will be obsolete.   

Pretty much all of us are in jobs that owe their existence to government. Without government there would be so much inefficiency due to having the overhead of defending our own property, not having a stable financial system, courts, etc. Government, with all its problems and inefficiencies, is what has allowed an environment where the markets could function in a way for us to go from 100% of people in agriculture to only 2%.

A lot of the jobs you mention aren't making physical objects, but they are facilitating the ability of people to make physical objects. Whether it's marketing those objects (because people wouldn't buy as much of them otherwise and the manufacturing jobs would decrease), providing finance (so the business could afford to start up in the first place), or government ensuring safety and property rights and recourse for damages of defective products (without which fewer people would be willing to buy and sell). There is inefficiency in the system for sure.

And I believe the biggest employment role in government is teachers. At 3.3 million, that's far more than the total number of all federal government employees combined (about 2 million). Those teachers are facilitating the production of all things made in the economy.
http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=28
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on April 26, 2015, 09:21:34 AM
Computing power increasing exponentially has been a useful rule of thumb, but it's not a fundamental law of nature and quite obviously one day will not be true anymore. Will it before or after we achieve general AI I cannot say, though. Nothing in nature expands exponentially forever...

And let me remind you all yet again that intelligence (or computing power if you wish) alone is not sufficient. If someone were to make a brain transplantation on every single cow on the planet making them as smart as the best among us there would still be no "cow civilisation"
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 26, 2015, 09:38:13 AM
Computing power increasing exponentially has been a useful rule of thumb, but it's not a fundamental law of nature and quite obviously one day will not be true anymore. Will it before or after we achieve general AI I cannot say, though. Nothing in nature expands exponentially forever...

And let me remind you all yet again that intelligence (or computing power if you wish) alone is not sufficient. If someone were to make a brain transplantation on every single cow on the planet making them as smart as the best among us there would still be no "cow civilisation"

True but there is no entity behind the cows actively making them smarter either.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: scottish on April 26, 2015, 01:46:31 PM
I like the cow analogy.   Cows would need the ability to use tools and machines and to communicate with each other beyond <moo>
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 26, 2015, 04:17:54 PM
I like the cow analogy.   Cows would need the ability to use tools and machines and to communicate with each other beyond <moo>

But that's where the analogy fails, computers have those things.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bob W on April 26, 2015, 08:17:46 PM
Only about 5 to 8 % of people in the US have "productive" jobs as it is.

Citation?  And what does "productive" mean?
. Produce means to make things or food.    http://www.nam.org/Newsroom/Facts-About-Manufacturing/     this from the national association of manufacturers.   Says 12 million people are employed directly in manufacturing.  That is what?   3.6 % of the population.  Take out those involved in munitions, manufacturing directly for the gov and the fudge factor of the Nam and we are at a realistic 2%.   Throw in farmers and food processor s and we might arrive at 5%.   Interesting enough we produce almost twice as much goods as we did 10 years ago with 1/2 the work force.     Point is in 10 years we may double production again and halve the manufacturing work force.      22% of the us economy is medical (government),  90% of teachers are either direct or indirect government.   All banks are quasi government.   Good or bad that is reality. Farm and ranch families comprise just 2 percent of the U.S. population. More than 21 million American workers (15 percent of the total U.S. workforce) produce, process and sell the nation's food and fiber.
Fast Facts About Agriculture - American Farm Bureau.           
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bob W on April 26, 2015, 08:22:07 PM
Only about 5 to 8 % of people in the US have "productive" jobs as it is.   Most of us are government workers or in businesses that owe their financial existence to government.     The balance is in professions like banking, insurance,  marketing and sales.     Very few people work at jobs that actually make things.     The number one thing sold by far in the US is debt.    So I'm guessing at best robots can replace 8% of us.     Of course once AI is fully in swing within 25 years most all jobs will be obsolete.   

Pretty much all of us are in jobs that owe their existence to government. Without government there would be so much inefficiency due to having the overhead of defending our own property, not having a stable financial system, courts, etc. Government, with all its problems and inefficiencies, is what has allowed an environment where the markets could function in a way for us to go from 100% of people in agriculture to only 2%.

A lot of the jobs you mention aren't making physical objects, but they are facilitating the ability of people to make physical objects. Whether it's marketing those objects (because people wouldn't buy as much of them otherwise and the manufacturing jobs would decrease), providing finance (so the business could afford to start up in the first place), or government ensuring safety and property rights and recourse for damages of defective products (without which fewer people would be willing to buy and sell). There is inefficiency in the system for sure.

And I believe the biggest employment role in government is teachers. At 3.3 million, that's far more than the total number of all federal government employees combined (about 2 million). Those teachers are facilitating the production of all things made in the economy.
http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=28
interesting thoughts,
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on April 26, 2015, 09:16:46 PM
Only about 5 to 8 % of people in the US have "productive" jobs as it is.

Citation?  And what does "productive" mean?
. Produce means to make things or food.

Ah.  Well I think that's way too narrow of a definition.

To say that a teacher's, or a firefighter's, or a librarian's job is non-productive is--while technically accurate under that definition--ridiculous, IMO.

Or, in other words, if you want to use that definition of productive, I'd say it's a good thing that most jobs aren't "productive," and I don't think most jobs should be productive.  If all jobs were just making food or manufacturing things.. eh.  Doesn't say much for that society, IMO.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 27, 2015, 05:32:58 AM
Only about 5 to 8 % of people in the US have "productive" jobs as it is.

Citation?  And what does "productive" mean?
. Produce means to make things or food.

Ah.  Well I think that's way too narrow of a definition.

To say that a teacher's, or a firefighter's, or a librarian's job is non-productive is--while technically accurate under that definition--ridiculous, IMO.

Or, in other words, if you want to use that definition of productive, I'd say it's a good thing that most jobs aren't "productive," and I don't think most jobs should be productive.  If all jobs were just making food or manufacturing things.. eh.  Doesn't say much for that society, IMO.

Best Korea takes umbrage at your comments.

Engage saber rattling in 3.. 2.. 1..
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on April 27, 2015, 07:42:05 AM
Only about 5 to 8 % of people in the US have "productive" jobs as it is.

Citation?  And what does "productive" mean?
. Produce means to make things or food.

Ah.  Well I think that's way too narrow of a definition.

To say that a teacher's, or a firefighter's, or a librarian's job is non-productive is--while technically accurate under that definition--ridiculous, IMO.

Or, in other words, if you want to use that definition of productive, I'd say it's a good thing that most jobs aren't "productive," and I don't think most jobs should be productive.  If all jobs were just making food or manufacturing things.. eh.  Doesn't say much for that society, IMO.

Best Korea takes umbrage at your comments.

Engage saber rattling in 3.. 2.. 1..

Ah, but see, if they did that, Dear Leader would have to admit his job is not productive...  ;)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on April 27, 2015, 10:38:53 AM
Only about 5 to 8 % of people in the US have "productive" jobs as it is.

Citation?  And what does "productive" mean?
. Produce means to make things or food.    http://www.nam.org/Newsroom/Facts-About-Manufacturing/     this from the national association of manufacturers.   Says 12 million people are employed directly in manufacturing.  That is what?   3.6 % of the population.  Take out those involved in munitions, manufacturing directly for the gov and the fudge factor of the Nam and we are at a realistic 2%.   Throw in farmers and food processor s and we might arrive at 5%.   Interesting enough we produce almost twice as much goods as we did 10 years ago with 1/2 the work force.     Point is in 10 years we may double production again and halve the manufacturing work force.      22% of the us economy is medical (government),  90% of teachers are either direct or indirect government.   All banks are quasi government.   Good or bad that is reality. Farm and ranch families comprise just 2 percent of the U.S. population. More than 21 million American workers (15 percent of the total U.S. workforce) produce, process and sell the nation's food and fiber.
Fast Facts About Agriculture - American Farm Bureau.         

That's just manufacturing in the US. We've outsourced most of ours. If you look globally, the percent involved in agriculture and manufacturing and other things in your narrow definition of "productive" is going to be very high. Mostly because many things in your definiteion of productive are not lucrative, and are easy to outsource.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bob W on April 27, 2015, 03:11:28 PM
Only about 5 to 8 % of people in the US have "productive" jobs as it is.

Citation?  And what does "productive" mean?
. Produce means to make things or food.    http://www.nam.org/Newsroom/Facts-About-Manufacturing/     this from the national association of manufacturers.   Says 12 million people are employed directly in manufacturing.  That is what?   3.6 % of the population.  Take out those involved in munitions, manufacturing directly for the gov and the fudge factor of the Nam and we are at a realistic 2%.   Throw in farmers and food processor s and we might arrive at 5%.   Interesting enough we produce almost twice as much goods as we did 10 years ago with 1/2 the work force.     Point is in 10 years we may double production again and halve the manufacturing work force.      22% of the us economy is medical (government),  90% of teachers are either direct or indirect government.   All banks are quasi government.   Good or bad that is reality. Farm and ranch families comprise just 2 percent of the U.S. population. More than 21 million American workers (15 percent of the total U.S. workforce) produce, process and sell the nation's food and fiber.
Fast Facts About Agriculture - American Farm Bureau.         

That's just manufacturing in the US. We've outsourced most of ours. If you look globally, the percent involved in agriculture and manufacturing and other things in your narrow definition of "productive" is going to be very high. Mostly because many things in your definiteion of productive are not lucrative, and are easy to outsource.

I stand by my definitions of "to produce" things.   The reason I do in this context is we are talking about robotics and not software or other soft products.   Most people would say "we don't make anything anymore in this country"  when that is just a too simple a way to look at it.  Fact is we make more than every in the US but the robots, software and streamlined manufacturing has reduced the need for human labor year after year after year.   So the correct saying in my mind should be "Robots make a heluva lot of stuff in the US."     

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 27, 2015, 03:21:51 PM
Only about 5 to 8 % of people in the US have "productive" jobs as it is.

Citation?  And what does "productive" mean?
. Produce means to make things or food.    http://www.nam.org/Newsroom/Facts-About-Manufacturing/     this from the national association of manufacturers.   Says 12 million people are employed directly in manufacturing.  That is what?   3.6 % of the population.  Take out those involved in munitions, manufacturing directly for the gov and the fudge factor of the Nam and we are at a realistic 2%.   Throw in farmers and food processor s and we might arrive at 5%.   Interesting enough we produce almost twice as much goods as we did 10 years ago with 1/2 the work force.     Point is in 10 years we may double production again and halve the manufacturing work force.      22% of the us economy is medical (government),  90% of teachers are either direct or indirect government.   All banks are quasi government.   Good or bad that is reality. Farm and ranch families comprise just 2 percent of the U.S. population. More than 21 million American workers (15 percent of the total U.S. workforce) produce, process and sell the nation's food and fiber.
Fast Facts About Agriculture - American Farm Bureau.         

That's just manufacturing in the US. We've outsourced most of ours. If you look globally, the percent involved in agriculture and manufacturing and other things in your narrow definition of "productive" is going to be very high. Mostly because many things in your definiteion of productive are not lucrative, and are easy to outsource.

I stand by my definitions of "to produce" things.   The reason I do in this context is we are talking about robotics and not software or other soft products.   Most people would say "we don't make anything anymore in this country"  when that is just a too simple a way to look at it.  Fact is we make more than every in the US but the robots, software and streamlined manufacturing has reduced the need for human labor year after year after year.   So the correct saying in my mind should be "Robots make a heluva lot of stuff in the US."   

Not sure if anyone would disagree with that last part, just in particular with attempting to narrowly define productive jobs.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: scottish on April 27, 2015, 04:12:46 PM
Quote
But that's where the analogy fails, computers have those things.

That's true, but cows have many things computer don't.    They have senses, and they use them to observe the world and what happens when they interact with it.   They can reproduce, and they have a biological drive to do so.

To be fair, computers do have limited senses, such as vision.  Some of them even have effectors and actuators and so on.   So cows aren't everything.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 27, 2015, 05:51:37 PM
Quote
But that's where the analogy fails, computers have those things.

That's true, but cows have many things computer don't.    They have senses, and they use them to observe the world and what happens when they interact with it.   They can reproduce, and they have a biological drive to do so.

To be fair, computers do have limited senses, such as vision.  Some of them even have effectors and actuators and so on.   So cows aren't everything.

Many robots have senses, we have software that can reproduce, robots build other robots, all that is lacking is that biological drive. The point of the analogy was that cows as smart as humans couldn't take over the world. But a world with every computer as intelligent as a human? Yeah they'd run the world. I'd bet by that point consciousness wouldn't be far behind.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bob W on April 29, 2015, 08:34:19 AM
I just reread Tim Urban's posts on Waitbutwhy.com regarding the Fermi Paradox and ASI (Artificial Super Intelligence).   

My conclusion was that most readers here will see ASI in their lifetimes much sooner than they think.

My second conclusion was that ASI has been around what we consider the Universe for way longer than we imagine (perhaps trillions of what we call years).  and that the reason we perceive no other intelligent life in the Universe is that the entire universe as we perceive it is merely a holographic projection.  (this is now a widely accepted thought in the physics community).  It appears that Super Intelligence can do what ever it likes with just about anything.  Especially if it has a few billion years to become smarter at a pace of doubling every hour.  (this fits in well with the intelligent design folks)

It is very likely that Super Intelligence can do all sorts of cool stuff we can't imagine like go back in time and manipulate the 10 know dimensions. 

So the likely outcome is that ASI will be that A. We are likely to become nonexistent.   B.  Be treated like a son of the already existing SI entities.  C.  Be sentient whatever that means.

Meanwhile back at the Robot Ranch here.   

Prior to the ASI explosion we most definitely will see computers and robots in virtually every aspect of our daily lives. 

Tim made the point that change is exponential at this point and I can attest to that.   

My dad was born in 1919 --  Cars were already a thing by the time he was a teenager.  So from 1920 to 1960 there wasn't a big leap or a whole lot of change.  (Imagine my dad showing up in 1919 with a cell phone, tablet, flat screen TV, computer, digital video,  digital everything and  the internet.  He would have been God like!)

I was born in 1959  -  We had black and white broadcast TV with poor reception.  We had a party line with a phone with a 5 foot cord.  We did not have microwave ovens.    In 1978 we had 1 computer in our high school with a little green screen that you had to program yourself. 

So from 59 to 78 not much really changed.   Cell phones were still a fantasy.

Thing started to move along a little quicker an as the 80s progressed we got huge brick cell phones  -- 90s internet and real cell phones wow.  2000s smart phones, the cloud,  damn near everything.

The period from 2007 to now has been a little slow and Tim explains this as the S curve way that the exponential shit happens.  So I think in the next 3-5 years we will see a very huge "Next Thing" happen.   

Smart cars and trucks seems like the logical deal.  (Some people say that it may even be made illegal for humans to drive cars)   The implications of 3D printing have yet to be fully revealed but this is some Star Trek shit for real.   You may not print it at home but I can imagine going to your local 3D store and picking up the meat they just printed for you. 

We are about 5 foot steps from all the really cool shit to come but just can't see it or wrap our head around it because we base our estimate of pace of change on what has happened recently.   

Unfortunately,  in the end it appears that ASI will rule the Universe as we know it and we as humans will become irrelevant or extinct as we now exist. 

One thing for sure is that this stuff is damn fascinating for an old guy like me.   I only hope I will make it to the promised 1945 date of ASI. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on April 29, 2015, 09:30:09 AM
and that the reason we perceive no other intelligent life in the Universe is that the entire universe as we perceive it is merely a holographic projection.  (this is now a widely accepted thought in the physics community).

[Citation needed.]  (Not for the theory, but for its "wide" acceptance.)

My second conclusion was that ASI has been around what we consider the Universe for way longer than we imagine (perhaps trillions of what we call years).
...
It appears that Super Intelligence can do what ever it likes with just about anything.  Especially if it has a few billion years to become smarter at a pace of doubling every hour.  (this fits in well with the intelligent design folks)

It is very likely that Super Intelligence can do all sorts of cool stuff we can't imagine like go back in time and manipulate the 10 know dimensions. 

So the likely outcome is that ASI will be that A. We are likely to become nonexistent.

This seems contradictory.  If it's already existed for billions of years, why would it decide now to wipe us out?

Either ASI already exists, as you claim, and it's okay with us, or it doesn't yet exist, but when we create it it will not be okay with us and wipe us out, as you also claim.  Which is it?

I only hope I will make it to the promised 1945 date of ASI.

Who's promising that?

Cause AFAIK, ASI wasn't invented around the end of WWII.  Even if I assume that's a typo and you meant 2045, I still don't know who's promising anything around that timeframe...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bob W on April 29, 2015, 03:36:39 PM
and that the reason we perceive no other intelligent life in the Universe is that the entire universe as we perceive it is merely a holographic projection.  (this is now a widely accepted thought in the physics community).

[Citation needed.]  (Not for the theory, but for its "wide" acceptance.)

My second conclusion was that ASI has been around what we consider the Universe for way longer than we imagine (perhaps trillions of what we call years).
...
It appears that Super Intelligence can do what ever it likes with just about anything.  Especially if it has a few billion years to become smarter at a pace of doubling every hour.  (this fits in well with the intelligent design folks)

It is very likely that Super Intelligence can do all sorts of cool stuff we can't imagine like go back in time and manipulate the 10 know dimensions. 

So the likely outcome is that ASI will be that A. We are likely to become nonexistent.

This seems contradictory.  If it's already existed for billions of years, why would it decide now to wipe us out?

Either ASI already exists, as you claim, and it's okay with us, or it doesn't yet exist, but when we create it it will not be okay with us and wipe us out, as you also claim.  Which is it?

I only hope I will make it to the promised 1945 date of ASI.

Who's promising that?

Cause AFAIK, ASI wasn't invented around the end of WWII.  Even if I assume that's a typo and you meant 2045, I still don't know who's promising anything around that timeframe...

Obvious typo on the 45 deal.  2045 is the date of median acceptance for AGI with ASI a few moments after that in some scenarios.   Personally I feel that the date is much sooner than that.   If we are 1 percent to AGI now, then the exponential S curve theory leads me to believe 15 years is the longest out.   Yeah, this will probably fuck up a lot of people's retirement plans.

One assumption is that the US and China are behind the curtains pumping 10s of billions into this.   If they aren't currently, one would assume that the Pentagon will be getting on this soon.   At very least the NSA has all the information ever produced on this and is keeping a very close eye on it.   It may be the NSA's primary focus now as it is the most likely big threat on the horizon.   

 You'll have to do your own research on the holographic universe theory.   (I don't make this shit up as you know)

To simplify why ASI has probably been around for billions or trillions or more years.

The Fermi paradox clearly states we can't explain why we can't find any intelligent technologically advanced life in the universe?   The probability of us being the only ones ever is as close to zero as one could get,  given the size and age of the known Universe.   

So therefore the opposite must be true --- that technologically advanced life must have existed before us.    (I know we like to think we're special, but that probably isn't the case)

One would also surmise that exponentially advances in technology apply to other places besides the earth. 

 Therefore, even if an entity arrived at ASI just 20 years ahead of us anywhere on the quadrillion solar systems,  it would now be at the point where it was trillions and trillions of times more intelligent. 

Once you do your research on the holographic universe explanation,  you will see that what we see as a reality is merely a holographic projection.  So it must be projected from somewhere and that somewhere leads us to the SI entity whose existence is mathematically as close to certain as you can get.   In the parallel universe theory it is a certainty by definition. 

In our local time horizon when ASI pops it will mean either the end of humans or the end of our relevance.   The idea of us melding our brains into SI is certainly a possibility and may in fact happen.   That would allow SI to develop with a human conscious, soul, or be sentient.  One would assume that most  scientist would want to meld the SI with people who are generally "good" and have empathy.   Of course they could botch it as well. 

Will that entity ever reach the level where it can create, expand,  constrict and travel back and fourth on the time dimension?  Probably so.   Will that entity reach a level where it can function on the existing known 10 dimensions.   Probably so.   Will it be able to create new dimensions as a  fun game for a Saturday afternoon.  Probably so.  Will it be able to create what we perceive as an entire universe in its spare time?  Yep,  the exponential theory would lead us to believe that and that fits right in with the holographic universe thinking.

Probably our ASI child will meld into the existing SI at some point within a very short time.

You'll have to excuse me for a moment --- a bit of my brain just melted and dripped out of my ear. 

I hope Tim writes about a few things in the future 1.  Holographic Universe (which is even more interesting than AI)  2. Dark Matter  3. Dark Energy  4. The 10 living people whose father's "fought" in the civil war.   5. Do we actually "exist"

What a crazy interesting universe!

(I also wish there was a forum on Tim's site rather that that crazy 3000 comments per post thing)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 29, 2015, 03:50:00 PM
A) He's not saying it's not a theory, he's saying he doubts the wide acceptance and is asking for some citation that it is widely accepted. I would also like to see that as there are several physicists I've seen interviewed who do not buy into it, nor the 10 dimensions you mentioned, there are probably some theoretical physicists who believe so but so far we have no experimental proof to back this up. This lack of proof would make me believe that wide acceptance would be a stretch.

B) The Fermi Paradox does not explain why we don't see evidence of life beyond our earth. It only asks why, given the size and age of the universe, do we not see any evidence of life beyond earth. There are several hypothesis of the explanation, one being that they (other civilizations) tend to have a technological singularity. This tends to fragment into many other smaller interpretations as to what that technological singularity is, and one small narrow possibility is what you posted.

None of that is what I would call widely accepted. And there are other plausible explanations for the Fermi Paradox that do not invoke AI at all. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on April 29, 2015, 04:46:33 PM
I have no problem believing in a universe in which non-organic intelligences inhabit the universe.  Organic life is just too fragile to exist long term in a universe like ours. 

The easiest explanation for dark matter is that most of the mass in the universe exists in luminescent stars that currently have all of their energy output that earth can see harvested.  In that view, the tiny fraction of mass that constitutes the billions of stars that we can see is just the leftover table scraps that synthetic life has yet to fully colonize.

I expect that such a universe would eventually have each galaxy owned by a single synthetic intelligence or society, but that the distances between galaxies probably inhibit intergalactic conflict.

Human society is just a speed bump.  If we ever do give rise to a superintelligence of our own, it's likely to be rapidly outnumbered or extinguished by the nearest existing superintelligence.  I would expect such an entity would view human life as an interesting oddity, like we view deep sea hydrothermal vent communities, alien aberrations unlike everything else known. 

The universe is approximately sixty five thousand times older than all human life. Whole generations of stars like our sun have come and gone before our solar system was even formed, and our little planet has only had intelligent life for a tiny fraction of its brief history. 

The universe looks capable of continuing on in much its present form for much longer than the 13 billion years it has already existed.  It took less than a billion years to go from single celled organisms to spacefaring intelligence.  What will it look like in another thirteen billion years?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on April 30, 2015, 11:36:14 AM
It all sounds too much like a religion to me believing in this or believing in that... One of the key properties of a truly scientific theory that there should be a way to prove it wrong. That is if you propose a theory A there should be an experiment (preferably real, but could also be something we can't do technologically yet) which by giving result B would prove that theory A is invalid.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 30, 2015, 12:47:05 PM
It all sounds too much like a religion to me believing in this or believing in that... One of the key properties of a truly scientific theory that there should be a way to prove it wrong. That is if you propose a theory A there should be an experiment (preferably real, but could also be something we can't do technologically yet) which by giving result B would prove that theory A is invalid.

Well yeah, theory is being used two different ways here. The theory of evolution is used in a way which means we have a preponderance of evidence showing it happens. The idea that physicists have a theory that the world is just a hologram, is really a hypothesis one which we have no real method of testing right now.

I hate the phrase but this truly is a semantic issue rather than an actual one.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on April 30, 2015, 12:56:01 PM
If you can't test your hypothesis even theoretically then it's not a science anymore. At best it's a philosophy of the sort ancient Greeks engaged in with some chance of making a lucky guess (Democritus and his atoms, for example).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on April 30, 2015, 01:05:56 PM
If you can't test your hypothesis even theoretically then it's not a science anymore. At best it's a philosophy of the sort ancient Greeks engaged in with some chance of making a lucky guess (Democritus and his atoms, for example).

I'm not sure if I can agree 100% with that. You need the hypothesis. And just because we can't test today doesn't mean we can't test tomorrow. Theoretical physics is what led us to many major discoveries. Einstein was a theoretical physicist. I doubt anyone could say he wasn't a scientist.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on April 30, 2015, 01:17:44 PM
I'm not sure if I can agree 100% with that. You need the hypothesis. And just because we can't test today doesn't mean we can't test tomorrow. Theoretical physics is what led us to many major discoveries. Einstein was a theoretical physicist. I doubt anyone could say he wasn't a scientist.

I think you didn't understand me correctly. Theoretical physics is a proper science because its theories are in principle testable. Pretty much everything Einstein proposed has been later verified, not by him and in some cases long after he died but that doesn't matter.  When you propose something new whether it be in particle physics or in psychology of monkeys you also need to come up with some experiment which could in principle either verify or invalidate it. As I wrote before the best is if you could do it yourself or base it on earlier work, but if that is not possible and it wasn't for some of Einstein's stuff a thought experiment would suffice. Of course this also leaves your theory more open to later invalidation. The problem arises if your theory is so esoteric (as discussed upthread) that you can't come up even with a plausible thought experiment. Statistics and probability in this case is not good enough.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: gimp on April 30, 2015, 04:32:42 PM
All I know is that I want to be one of the people producing tech. Until robots can design better robots, I'll make a living :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on May 01, 2015, 09:01:29 AM
We should also be more clear about what we are talking about.  Just because computers will be 'exponentially more powerful' in the future (to whatever extent you wish to believe), it does not make them any more 'intelligent'.  More capable, but not even incrementally more capable of what people are after when they imagine machine intelligence (e.g. solving problems and self-learning).

On the other hand, from the Nature article, even with the amazing networked parallel processing of Deep Q, the real breakthrough was implementation of more simplistic algorithms to simulate 'motivation'.  Basically, the computers were seeking a goal of the highest end state (score) with just the right amount of learning carried over from past trials.  But it is this 'motivation' component that is still elusive. 

I have been thinking about it, and it really is a hard thing to define or quantify (let alone express in mathematical terms).  For instance, many of the people on this forum are 'motivated' to work and save and forego the immediate fruits of their labor in exchange for the promise of earlier retirement.  Kinda makes sense, but if you tried to express that in simple, inflexible language to a computer, it would sound like you are doing what you don't want to be doing now so that you don't have to do it any more of it than you have to do....  So how much do you do?  Solving a problem like this is (seemingly) possible for all of us here, but I can't even imagine how an AI would go about it...  It can do the simulations (ANI) faster and faster each year (shave off another fraction of a second of all those complex calculations, woo-hoo!), but without understanding how to program 'motivation', it will never reach AGI.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on May 24, 2015, 12:35:10 AM
Thought this was interesting: http://time.com/3860218/robot-salad-youtube/
Quote

Using pattern recognition software designed by the interdisciplinary robotics team at the College Park campus, Julia the robot watched YouTube videos of people making salads to learn the steps, from cutting vegetables to tossing the ingredients and even pouring the salad dressing at the end.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on May 24, 2015, 08:39:58 AM
amazon released a Machine Learning service as part of its AWS suite.   

More systems will be smart and will learn.  All learning is simply gaining rules and evaluating prioritization a based on another set of rules. 

Motivation, emotion, they are all based on rules.  That is it.  That doesn't mean it is easy. But it is pretty simple.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: scottish on May 24, 2015, 12:37:26 PM
Making salad would be an impressive demo.    If they actually showed it.    There's a more complete video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFKtL1BWQ9Q (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFKtL1BWQ9Q)   It's not clear how much autonomous learning the robot is doing, the video suggests that the researchers are segmenting the video into the different salad making tasks and using them to train the robot.  Prof Alimonos' work certainly appears impressive though.   Robotics are great!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bob W on May 27, 2015, 10:20:09 AM
This just in ---

http://www.salon.com/2015/05/10/robots_are_coming_for_your_job_amazon_mcdonalds_and_the_next_wave_of_dangerous_capitalist_disruption/

It appears that McDonalds will be testing an almost fully robotic restaurant with a small crew to assist the robots.   Makes sense.   What next drones delivering your pizzas?!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on May 27, 2015, 11:19:24 AM
This just in ---

http://www.salon.com/2015/05/10/robots_are_coming_for_your_job_amazon_mcdonalds_and_the_next_wave_of_dangerous_capitalist_disruption/

It appears that McDonalds will be testing an almost fully robotic restaurant with a small crew to assist the robots.   Makes sense.   What next drones delivering your pizzas?!

Nice article.  Comments are interesting as well.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on May 27, 2015, 12:39:46 PM
Next they're going to create bots that post on Internet forums. Then what would I do for money?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on May 27, 2015, 12:43:41 PM
Next they're going to create bots that post on Internet forums.

(http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb240/JoNuggs/Shifty20Eyes.gif)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: brooklynguy on May 27, 2015, 12:47:57 PM
Next they're going to create bots that post on Internet forums.

As I've said before (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/quantum-computing-anyone-in-the-industry/msg651492/#msg651492), I think they already have.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on May 27, 2015, 12:58:15 PM
Next they're going to create bots that post on Internet forums.

As I've said before (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/quantum-computing-anyone-in-the-industry/msg651492/#msg651492), I think they already have.

Tell me more about As I've said before.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 2lazy2retire on May 27, 2015, 01:04:24 PM
Here, so people don't have to click on a link:

(http://assets.motherjones.com/media/2013/05/LakeMichigan-Final3.gif)




People keep posting about how we aren't that close yet.
The thing about exponential growth is that it doesn't look close even one year before you get there.

Remember the riddle from elementary school? 
"If a pond lily doubles everyday and it takes 30 days to completely cover a pond, on what day will the pond be 1/2 covered?[/size] [/color][/size]The answer is day 29.

We are here on day 26 saying "hey, the pond is barely 1/10th filled, we aren't close yet" even though we are only 4 days from total saturation.
[/color]

This assume exponential trends will continue to infinity--something that doesn't happen in nature. Something always gets in the way. Maybe computational advances will continue at this rate for long enough to create the advances needed for AI exceeding human intelligence. Maybe not. There's a possibility, but don't take it as gospel truth.
There's been  a bit of that exponential stuff going on - 5Meg Hard Drive  1956

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: brooklynguy on May 27, 2015, 01:07:08 PM
Tell me more about As I've said before.

Not sure I follow...

If your point was I should stop recycling jokes I've already made, point taken.

If your point was I should stop speculating about that which I speculated, given that you are the most likely candidate to whom my statement applies, point taken :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on May 27, 2015, 01:09:29 PM
Oh no! They're here!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on May 27, 2015, 01:11:12 PM
Tell me more about As I've said before.

Not sure I follow...

If your point was I should stop recycling jokes I've already made, point taken.

If your point was I should stop speculating about that which I speculated, given that you are the most likely candidate to whom my statement applies, point taken :)

<whispers> I think ARS is a bot </whispers>
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on May 27, 2015, 01:41:13 PM
Tell me more about As I've said before.

Not sure I follow...

If your point was I should stop recycling jokes I've already made, point taken.

If your point was I should stop speculating about that which I speculated, given that you are the most likely candidate to whom my statement applies, point taken :)

He was just emulating the conversational tactics of chatbots.  He's pretending to be a robot, but I'm pretty sure the joke backfires because bots can emulate humans but they can't emulate humans emulating bots.  He's just proven his non-robotic nature.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on May 27, 2015, 01:42:26 PM
Tell me more about As I've said before.
<whispers> I think ARS is a bot </whispers>

Back on Page 5 of this thread I pointed out that ARS is a bot... http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/robots-and-their-impact-on-the-future/msg558381/#msg558381

He is slightly more engaging than Romona 4.2 though (http://www.kurzweilai.net/Ramona4.2/ramona.html)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on May 27, 2015, 01:43:10 PM
The first thing I'd do, if I were programming a chat bot, is to have it create a joke about being a chatbot if it were accused of being one. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on May 27, 2015, 01:46:11 PM
The first thing I'd do, if I were programming a chat bot, is to have it create a joke about being a chatbot if it were accused of being one.

Or respond with a related gif... (http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb240/JoNuggs/Shifty20Eyes.gif)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: brooklynguy on May 27, 2015, 01:46:26 PM
He was just emulating the conversational tactics of chatbots.  He's pretending to be a robot, but I'm pretty sure the joke backfires because bots can emulate humans but they can't emulate humans emulating bots.  He's just proven his non-robotic nature.

Ah, I get it.  Sorry to have spoiled the joke by having had to have had it explained to me.

Of course, another possibility is that he is such an advanced robot that he only tricked us into believing that he has proven his non-robotic nature.

Arebelspy, the Turing-test passing chatbot.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on May 27, 2015, 01:48:08 PM
The first thing I'd do, if I were programming a chat bot, is to have it create a joke about being a chatbot if it were accused of being one.

Or respond with a related gif...

(http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/Un5F2vt.gif)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: brooklynguy on May 27, 2015, 02:11:58 PM
The first thing I'd do, if I were programming a chat bot, is to have it create a joke about being a chatbot if it were accused of being one.

The first thing I'd do is create an elaborate backstory for it, like maybe that it lives in a medium-sized city working as a school teacher but moonlighting as a real estate baron.

Seriously, this is getting creepy.  You managed to respond to the related gif comment with another related gif before my browser could even load the initial comment, and reprogram the forum to change the time-stamp to make it look like a more reasonable (but still suspicious) two-minute delay between posts.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on May 27, 2015, 02:46:17 PM
He was just emulating the conversational tactics of chatbots.  He's pretending to be a robot, but I'm pretty sure the joke backfires because bots can emulate humans but they can't emulate humans emulating bots.  He's just proven his non-robotic nature.

Ah, I get it.  Sorry to have spoiled the joke by having had to have had it explained to me.


That's OK. Now you get to be the joke. :p
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on May 27, 2015, 02:47:58 PM
Yeah. How does he have such an insane amount of posts while holding down a full-time job and maintaining his couple dozen rental properties? I don't get it.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on May 27, 2015, 03:55:07 PM

Yeah. How does he have such an insane amount of posts while holding down a full-time job and maintaining his couple dozen rental properties? I don't get it.

He outsources everything.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on May 27, 2015, 05:54:50 PM
http://www.businessinsider.com/ray-kurzweil-law-of-accelerating-returns-2015-5

Interesting article about the law of accelerating returns.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on May 27, 2015, 08:02:21 PM
The second one only appears to go through 2000, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar on May 27, 2015, 08:42:33 PM
Speaking of insects:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/28/science/a-robot-that-can-perform-brain-surgery-on-a-fruit-fly.html
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on June 07, 2015, 06:19:17 PM
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/robots-worried-120000777.html

Interesting article.  It seems like the big issues is what to do with income inequality and how to distribute the technological gains to society.  At some point, the technology will replace the need to work. Who controls or benefits from the advances in technology will be a major shift in the future. 

As it stands, income inequality keeps getting larger as those that own the companies are pulling in a significant portion of the technological gains.  We are seeing more and more industries where people are being replaced.  If we transition well, this could be an amazing future.  If those at top buy off politicians, Supreme Court judges, and other aspects of society to reap all of the rewards it could be a very tough future if you are not owners of companies and your life. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Big Boots Buddha on June 07, 2015, 10:29:17 PM
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/robots-worried-120000777.html


As it stands, income inequality keeps getting larger as those that own the companies are pulling in a significant portion of the technological gains.  We are seeing more and more industries where people are being replaced.  If we transition well, this could be an amazing future. If those at top buy off politicians, Supreme Court judges, and other aspects of society to reap all of the rewards it could be a very tough future if you are not owners of companies and your life.

Since this is already the biggest problem in the world now, why would anyone think it should decrease as the remaining companies consolidate power and influence? Will energy, military industry, finance, big law etc lobbyists become better people when they have more power?

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on June 09, 2015, 07:30:13 AM
A couple of interesting nuggets in this article and video. Safet and costs are cited as major concerns.  This was similar to when airbags were first introduced, safety was a major concern. 10 years later and they were mandatory.

Many of the semi-autonomous cars are expected to go on sale by the end of 2017.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102742521

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: partgypsy on June 09, 2015, 10:32:30 AM
and that the reason we perceive no other intelligent life in the Universe is that the entire universe as we perceive it is merely a holographic projection.  (this is now a widely accepted thought in the physics community).

[Citation needed.]  (Not for the theory, but for its "wide" acceptance.)

My second conclusion was that ASI has been around what we consider the Universe for way longer than we imagine (perhaps trillions of what we call years).
...
It appears that Super Intelligence can do what ever it likes with just about anything.  Especially if it has a few billion years to become smarter at a pace of doubling every hour.  (this fits in well with the intelligent design folks)

It is very likely that Super Intelligence can do all sorts of cool stuff we can't imagine like go back in time and manipulate the 10 know dimensions. 

So the likely outcome is that ASI will be that A. We are likely to become nonexistent.

This seems contradictory.  If it's already existed for billions of years, why would it decide now to wipe us out?

Either ASI already exists, as you claim, and it's okay with us, or it doesn't yet exist, but when we create it it will not be okay with us and wipe us out, as you also claim.  Which is it?

I only hope I will make it to the promised 1945 date of ASI.

Who's promising that?

Cause AFAIK, ASI wasn't invented around the end of WWII.  Even if I assume that's a typo and you meant 2045, I still don't know who's promising anything around that timeframe...

Obvious typo on the 45 deal.  2045 is the date of median acceptance for AGI with ASI a few moments after that in some scenarios.   Personally I feel that the date is much sooner than that.   If we are 1 percent to AGI now, then the exponential S curve theory leads me to believe 15 years is the longest out.   Yeah, this will probably fuck up a lot of people's retirement plans.

One assumption is that the US and China are behind the curtains pumping 10s of billions into this.   If they aren't currently, one would assume that the Pentagon will be getting on this soon.   At very least the NSA has all the information ever produced on this and is keeping a very close eye on it.   It may be the NSA's primary focus now as it is the most likely big threat on the horizon.   

 You'll have to do your own research on the holographic universe theory.   (I don't make this shit up as you know)

To simplify why ASI has probably been around for billions or trillions or more years.

The Fermi paradox clearly states we can't explain why we can't find any intelligent technologically advanced life in the universe?   The probability of us being the only ones ever is as close to zero as one could get,  given the size and age of the known Universe.   

So therefore the opposite must be true --- that technologically advanced life must have existed before us.    (I know we like to think we're special, but that probably isn't the case)

One would also surmise that exponentially advances in technology apply to other places besides the earth. 

 Therefore, even if an entity arrived at ASI just 20 years ahead of us anywhere on the quadrillion solar systems,  it would now be at the point where it was trillions and trillions of times more intelligent. 

Once you do your research on the holographic universe explanation,  you will see that what we see as a reality is merely a holographic projection.  So it must be projected from somewhere and that somewhere leads us to the SI entity whose existence is mathematically as close to certain as you can get.   In the parallel universe theory it is a certainty by definition. 

In our local time horizon when ASI pops it will mean either the end of humans or the end of our relevance.   The idea of us melding our brains into SI is certainly a possibility and may in fact happen.   That would allow SI to develop with a human conscious, soul, or be sentient.  One would assume that most  scientist would want to meld the SI with people who are generally "good" and have empathy.   Of course they could botch it as well. 

Will that entity ever reach the level where it can create, expand,  constrict and travel back and fourth on the time dimension?  Probably so.   Will that entity reach a level where it can function on the existing known 10 dimensions.   Probably so.   Will it be able to create new dimensions as a  fun game for a Saturday afternoon.  Probably so.  Will it be able to create what we perceive as an entire universe in its spare time?  Yep,  the exponential theory would lead us to believe that and that fits right in with the holographic universe thinking.

Probably our ASI child will meld into the existing SI at some point within a very short time.

You'll have to excuse me for a moment --- a bit of my brain just melted and dripped out of my ear. 

I hope Tim writes about a few things in the future 1.  Holographic Universe (which is even more interesting than AI)  2. Dark Matter  3. Dark Energy  4. The 10 living people whose father's "fought" in the civil war.   5. Do we actually "exist"

What a crazy interesting universe!

(I also wish there was a forum on Tim's site rather that that crazy 3000 comments per post thing)

There are so many assumptions in this single post, not sure which one to even start with.
I enjoy science fiction, and theoretical physics, but I'm not going to based my life decisions on them. It is much much more likely that our civilization will be very degraded by climate change. There you go. Carl Sagan himself postulated that the reason we don't see a lot of non earth intelligent life, is that high levels of civilization exist for relatively short periods oftime. (temporaly self-limiting). Look at all the civilizations (so far) on our earth. If we do not or cannot transition from a fossil fuel economy, or cannot recover from the effects of basing our society on fossil fuels we will go back to an earlier technology (see Planet of the apes). So, talk to me once we are able to make that leap. Solar-powered self-repairing and generating robots? Yes that would be scary.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bob W on June 10, 2015, 10:29:54 AM
Partgypsy --- Yes it is just crazy talk and has little relevance to our day to day lives.  If you read Tim Urban's post on AI,  it is interesting that theoretically one day we are living in a normal future and the next day AI has exploded. 

He does talk about the threshold of civilizations, as in is there a point that we may no longer survive.

But that really doesn't address the Fermi Paradox because you see even in the 1800s we were emitting radio waves.  Sure those  waves only travel at the speed of light.  So it cold take a billion or so years to arrive here.  But with the quadrillion or more possible life supporting planets one would hope that at least one made it to a primitive radio wave level?

Who knows.  What we do know is that robotics/computers will be human like powerful in less than 2 decades and then very quickly become much more intelligent.   

The impact will be staggeringly huge.   

Many jobs that now exist will no longer ---  truck drives,  car drivers,  pilots, warehouse workers,   factory workers,  farmers (tractor drivers),  programmers, etc..   Even McDonald employees will be impacted.   WalMart workers?  Sorry we only need a few.   Wait do we even need stores?   

In the US we manufacture twice as much with half as many workers as 10 years ago.    Fast forward 10 more years and at that rate we will be manufacturing 6 times as much as 20 years previous with 1/5th the work force.

So yeah,  is it that only 15% will need or have jobs?   

With robotic cars will individual ownership be a thing of the past.   Imagine you just press a button on your phone and within 1 minute a car shows up and takes you where you want to go.  It then heads around the corner to pick up the next riders.   No driver,  no dispatcher,  no fossil fuel.   We are seeing the beginning of this with Uber. 

The number of cars needed or wanted could be 10 times as few.  Talk about mass transportation!

The cost for this robotic car transportation service?  Perhaps 1/5th of what the average person currently pays for car usage.   

With Uber the biggest cost remains the driver's time.  Do away with that cost and your cost to operate drops to 70 cents per mile.  Add in a solar rechargeable 200 mpg equivalent car and now your at 20 cents per mile.   Factor in that there would be 1/10 the number of wrecks and insurance costs are irrelevant.  So maybe 15 cents per mile?

So yeah my 12,000 annual miles might only cost me $150 per month.  And I would be super safe. 

I'm possibly very wrong.   But hoping I'm very right and that we have the will power to take our car transportation to the next level quickly. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on June 10, 2015, 11:21:08 AM
Partgypsy --- Yes it is just crazy talk and has little relevance to our day to day lives.  If you read Tim Urban's post on AI,  it is interesting that theoretically one day we are living in a normal future and the next day AI has exploded. 

He does talk about the threshold of civilizations, as in is there a point that we may no longer survive.

But that really doesn't address the Fermi Paradox because you see even in the 1800s we were emitting radio waves.  Sure those  waves only travel at the speed of light.  So it cold take a billion or so years to arrive here.  But with the quadrillion or more possible life supporting planets one would hope that at least one made it to a primitive radio wave level?

Who knows.  What we do know is that robotics/computers will be human like powerful in less than 2 decades and then very quickly become much more intelligent.   

The impact will be staggeringly huge.   

Many jobs that now exist will no longer ---  truck drives,  car drivers,  pilots, warehouse workers,   factory workers,  farmers (tractor drivers),  programmers, etc..   Even McDonald employees will be impacted.   WalMart workers?  Sorry we only need a few.   Wait do we even need stores?   

In the US we manufacture twice as much with half as many workers as 10 years ago.    Fast forward 10 more years and at that rate we will be manufacturing 6 times as much as 20 years previous with 1/5th the work force.

So yeah,  is it that only 15% will need or have jobs?   

With robotic cars will individual ownership be a thing of the past.   Imagine you just press a button on your phone and within 1 minute a car shows up and takes you where you want to go.  It then heads around the corner to pick up the next riders.   No driver,  no dispatcher,  no fossil fuel.   We are seeing the beginning of this with Uber. 

The number of cars needed or wanted could be 10 times as few.  Talk about mass transportation!

The cost for this robotic car transportation service?  Perhaps 1/5th of what the average person currently pays for car usage.   

With Uber the biggest cost remains the driver's time.  Do away with that cost and your cost to operate drops to 70 cents per mile.  Add in a solar rechargeable 200 mpg equivalent car and now your at 20 cents per mile.   Factor in that there would be 1/10 the number of wrecks and insurance costs are irrelevant.  So maybe 15 cents per mile?

So yeah my 12,000 annual miles might only cost me $150 per month.  And I would be super safe. 

I'm possibly very wrong.   But hoping I'm very right and that we have the will power to take our car transportation to the next level quickly.

I actually find myself agreeing with you, which is an odd spot to be in (no offense, usually we just wind up on opposite sides...or I play devil's advocate to your points a lot). Without going into the details and theories of the Fermi Paradox, your views on the vehicle situation is spot on. I actually thought about it the other day, when I read something that stated that most people's vehicles sit idle 95% of the time. I can't wait until personal car ownership is a thing of the mostly past. I actually love the thought of how society would look then. Unfortunately, even the Mercedes self driving truck is being designed to have someone watch stuff, just to keep the peace with the pushback that drivers (teamsters I think) can bring.

I probably mentioned this a touch earlier, but may not have...this thread goes over some time, and I didn't read it all before posting. That being said, most vehicle laws don't account for autonomous vehicles[Quick Google-Fu - Stanford (http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/publications/automated-vehicles-are-probably-legal-united-states)], which is why they are being as widely used as they are  without any groundbreaking legal barriers. It's the people that are going to cause issues. Personally, I don't fear change, and embrace it, even when it puts some of my power in other peoples' hands. However, I do take a huge amount of interest in where my money goes, so I only support companies (with my wallet) that I respect.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 2lazy2retire on June 10, 2015, 01:20:21 PM
Partgypsy --- Yes it is just crazy talk and has little relevance to our day to day lives.  If you read Tim Urban's post on AI,  it is interesting that theoretically one day we are living in a normal future and the next day AI has exploded. 

He does talk about the threshold of civilizations, as in is there a point that we may no longer survive.

But that really doesn't address the Fermi Paradox because you see even in the 1800s we were emitting radio waves.  Sure those  waves only travel at the speed of light.  So it cold take a billion or so years to arrive here.  But with the quadrillion or more possible life supporting planets one would hope that at least one made it to a primitive radio wave level?

Who knows.  What we do know is that robotics/computers will be human like powerful in less than 2 decades and then very quickly become much more intelligent.   

The impact will be staggeringly huge.   

Many jobs that now exist will no longer ---  truck drives,  car drivers,  pilots, warehouse workers,   factory workers,  farmers (tractor drivers),  programmers, etc..   Even McDonald employees will be impacted.   WalMart workers?  Sorry we only need a few.   Wait do we even need stores?   

In the US we manufacture twice as much with half as many workers as 10 years ago.    Fast forward 10 more years and at that rate we will be manufacturing 6 times as much as 20 years previous with 1/5th the work force.

So yeah,  is it that only 15% will need or have jobs?   

With robotic cars will individual ownership be a thing of the past.   Imagine you just press a button on your phone and within 1 minute a car shows up and takes you where you want to go.  It then heads around the corner to pick up the next riders.   No driver,  no dispatcher,  no fossil fuel.   We are seeing the beginning of this with Uber. 

The number of cars needed or wanted could be 10 times as few.  Talk about mass transportation!

The cost for this robotic car transportation service?  Perhaps 1/5th of what the average person currently pays for car usage.   

With Uber the biggest cost remains the driver's time.  Do away with that cost and your cost to operate drops to 70 cents per mile.  Add in a solar rechargeable 200 mpg equivalent car and now your at 20 cents per mile.   Factor in that there would be 1/10 the number of wrecks and insurance costs are irrelevant.  So maybe 15 cents per mile?

So yeah my 12,000 annual miles might only cost me $150 per month.  And I would be super safe. 

I'm possibly very wrong.   But hoping I'm very right and that we have the will power to take our car transportation to the next level quickly.

Goggle car will hopefully deal better with those pesky cyclists

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDvrkJkCdJg
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on June 10, 2015, 03:11:05 PM
Goggle car will hopefully deal better with those pesky cyclists

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

They do...even back in 04/14 (https://youtu.be/csvt6JBAwBk). Also, as one of those pesky cyclists (who's never had the opportunity/desire to face off against a driver), I have to say, "I'm Wearing Tights!!!"
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on June 10, 2015, 03:18:48 PM
...
With robotic cars will individual ownership be a thing of the past.   Imagine you just press a button on your phone and within 1 minute a car shows up and takes you where you want to go.  It then heads around the corner to pick up the next riders.   No driver,  no dispatcher,  no fossil fuel.   
...

...your views on the vehicle situation is spot on. I actually thought about it the other day, when I read something that stated that most people's vehicles sit idle 95% of the time. I can't wait until personal car ownership is a thing of the mostly past. I actually love the thought of how society would look then.
...

You people do realize that this was already in Hot Tub Time Machine Part 2, right?  The main characters go into the future (2025) where 'Smart Cars' that nobody owns roam around until someone needs one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2Qlrv0y2FA)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on June 25, 2015, 09:24:11 AM
Wait But Why just had a great two part blog post on AI.

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html

Finally got done with them, very good reads.  May articles on AI assume humans will remain a static target where waitbutwhy.com correctly assumes that we will incorporate tech into ourselves.  Or we may be killed off before we have the chance :-(

Re Fermi Paradox: I read somewhere that many of our basic/simple RF transitions become less powerful than the background noise relatively close to earth.  This does not explain away most of the FP but the idea that aliens could be watching I Love Lucy is probably incorrect.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on June 25, 2015, 01:31:57 PM
Wait But Why just had a great two part blog post on AI.

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html

Finally got done with them, very good reads.  May articles on AI assume humans will remain a static target where waitbutwhy.com correctly assumes that we will incorporate tech into ourselves.  Or we may be killed off before we have the chance :-(

Re Fermi Paradox: I read somewhere that many of our basic/simple RF transitions become less powerful than the background noise relatively close to earth.  This does not explain away most of the FP but the idea that aliens could be watching I Love Lucy is probably incorrect.

Did you read the WBW on the Fermi Paradox?  :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on June 25, 2015, 01:38:58 PM
Wait But Why just had a great two part blog post on AI.

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html

Finally got done with them, very good reads.  May articles on AI assume humans will remain a static target where waitbutwhy.com correctly assumes that we will incorporate tech into ourselves.  Or we may be killed off before we have the chance :-(

Re Fermi Paradox: I read somewhere that many of our basic/simple RF transitions become less powerful than the background noise relatively close to earth.  This does not explain away most of the FP but the idea that aliens could be watching I Love Lucy is probably incorrect.

Did you read the WBW on the Fermi Paradox?  :)

Book marked but not started.  Need to poke around wbw some too.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on June 25, 2015, 04:35:50 PM
The more I dig around on WBW, the more I really like it. I did read the article on the Fermi Paradox, and it was extremely well thought out. His latest post (based on interviews with Musk) about Tesla really made me feel bad about my 45MPG '88 Sentra, since it runs on gas. Fun stuff. Thanks for the recommend rebs!!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on June 25, 2015, 07:17:28 PM
(http://myreactiongifs.com/gifs/aceventurathumbsup.gif)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on June 26, 2015, 01:59:27 AM
I love WBW, mainly because I'm a master procrastinator so I find his insights into that funny, and also, it's a great way to procrastinate.

He has made me a total Tesla / Musk convert. The revelation is similar to finding MMM for me. I'm walking round thinking why do all these cars have their own little petrol/diesel generators on board, it's so much more efficient to do it all centrally! Also we get much cheaper electricity at night, so I'd really like a powerwall battery thing. 92% efficiency, guaranteed for 10 years... it actually nearly stacks up for me today.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on June 26, 2015, 08:29:16 AM
(http://myreactiongifs.com/gifs/aceventurathumbsup.gif)

And since I've met you, I completely imagined you wearing that suit and making those gestures. Makes me giggle. You couldn't pull off that hair though. :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on June 26, 2015, 10:53:08 AM
read wbw on Fermi Paradox, good stuff.  might have to go check out a book on it this weekend and learn some more.  Sucks to think there might be some alien death ray orbiting Earth waiting for us to make just enough technological advance before wiping us out. 

Along the aliens theme I recommend the 'History Channels' 'documentary' "Ancient Aliens"  is where Giorgio A. Tsoukalos' "Aliens" meme came from.  Well worth the time if one were slothing about on NetFlix.
(http://i.imgur.com/XHMahvB.png)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on June 26, 2015, 12:18:06 PM
And since I've met you, I completely imagined you wearing that suit and making those gestures. Makes me giggle. You couldn't pull off that hair though. :)

I can't, but Alan's post gives me something to shoot for!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on June 26, 2015, 06:52:05 PM
And since I've met you, I completely imagined you wearing that suit and making those gestures. Makes me giggle. You couldn't pull off that hair though. :)

I can't, but Alan's post gives me something to shoot for!

Get a goFundMe going for the hairspray!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Insanity on June 28, 2015, 07:58:34 PM
http://learnbonds.com/rise-of-the-robocar-uber-ceo-says-hell-take-500k-tesla-motors-self-driving-cars/119632/ (http://learnbonds.com/rise-of-the-robocar-uber-ceo-says-hell-take-500k-tesla-motors-self-driving-cars/119632/)

Uber laying a big order on Tesla... If they can build the quantity of RoboCars needed by 2020.  4.5 years?  Is it possible?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: BlueHouse on June 29, 2015, 06:25:36 AM
I'm In a different group, but I sit with a bunch of roboticists. They speak with stilted, halting, prose and anytime they speak of interactions with the robot, they refer to themselves or others as "the human". Imagine hearing people speak in third person all day long using the term "the human". I seriously want to unplug them.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on June 29, 2015, 08:33:02 AM
I'm In a different group, but I sit with a bunch of roboticists. They speak with stilted, halting, prose and anytime they speak of interactions with the robot, they refer to themselves or others as "the human". Imagine hearing people speak in third person all day long using the term "the human". I seriously want to unplug them.

LOL.  A lot of my work is on automatic systems but we refer to ourselves as being the robot.  We work from the robots perspective to deal with human intruders.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on July 25, 2015, 05:34:39 PM
http://recode.net/2015/07/25/daimler-plans-to-test-self-driving-trucks-in-germany-this-year/

Daimler is planning on getting approval in the next few weeks for their trucks with some saying that the technology will be commercial by 2020.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on July 25, 2015, 05:37:12 PM
www.ted.com/talks/chris_urmson_how_a_driverless_car_sees_the_road
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on July 25, 2015, 06:14:46 PM
www.ted.com/talks/chris_urmson_how_a_driverless_car_sees_the_road

Love TED talks. Really interesting to see the problems that the cars have to deal with. Crazy number of miles that are dealt with through simulators.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: brooklynguy on July 28, 2015, 08:14:17 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/28/technology/elon-musk-and-stephen-hawking-among-hundreds-to-urge-ban-on-military-robots.html?ref=technology

Apparently Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and hundreds of other informed individuals take the threat of "autonomous weapons" seriously enough to pen an open letter warning of the dangers and calling for a worldwide ban on them.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on July 31, 2015, 01:26:56 PM
Article on the impact of self driving vehicles on the economy.  From Insurance, car salespeople, manufacturers and all of the various people that sell, service, insure or use cars.

Lack of organs is an unusual consequence of autonomous vehicles and their lack of accidents.
"Reduced demand married with AV safety would have surprising side effects. One could be a dramatic reduction in the supply of organs available for donation/transplants."


https://www.yahoo.com/autos/as-cars-roll-toward-self-driving-what-happens-to-125514634282.html
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on July 31, 2015, 01:52:56 PM
Article on the impact of self driving vehicles on the economy.  From Insurance, car salespeople, manufacturers and all of the various people that sell, service, insure or use cars.

Lack of organs is an unusual consequence of autonomous vehicles and their lack of accidents.
"Reduced demand married with AV safety would have surprising side effects. One could be a dramatic reduction in the supply of organs available for donation/transplants."


https://www.yahoo.com/autos/as-cars-roll-toward-self-driving-what-happens-to-125514634282.html


Yes, many things have interesting unintended consequences. Hopefully medicine will figure out how to grow replacement organs more effectively. In the meantime:

http://freakonomics.com/2015/06/17/make-me-a-match-a-new-freakonomics-radio-episode/
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on August 09, 2015, 02:48:25 PM
This forum topic came up as I was thinking about the educations my kids should pursue with the changes in technology.  Scott Adams has the answer, Banker

http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-08-08
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on August 09, 2015, 03:53:25 PM
This forum topic came up as I was thinking about the educations my kids should pursue with the changes in technology.  Scott Adams has the answer, Banker

http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-08-08


I think robots make pretty good bankers already.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: davisgang90 on August 10, 2015, 03:52:03 PM
I've started a new position as an assistant professor at the Eisenhower School for National Resource Strategy.  I'm preparing to lead a Robotics and Autonomous Systems Industry Study.  One of our repeat visits is to Carnegie Mellon.  Last year Uber opened shop in Pittsburgh and rolled up on CMU offering to triple the salaries of many of their robot experts.  Many took the bait.

I also really enjoyed the WBW articles on AI and am now delving into Tim's source material.  I've also contacted Tim and asked him to speak to my seminar about AI.  Fun/Scarey stuff!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on August 10, 2015, 04:48:31 PM
I've started a new position as an assistant professor at the Eisenhower School for National Resource Strategy.  I'm preparing to lead a Robotics and Autonomous Systems Industry Study.  One of our repeat visits is to Carnegie Mellon.  Last year Uber opened shop in Pittsburgh and rolled up on CMU offering to triple the salaries of many of their robot experts.  Many took the bait.

I also really enjoyed the WBW articles on AI and am now delving into Tim's source material.  I've also contacted Tim and asked him to speak to my seminar about AI.  Fun/Scarey stuff!

Bait implies small fish, tripling a salary is real money by any definition.  Actually let me think about it... Hell Pittsburgh cant get that cold in winter and really whatever bus standard Auto-Ubers* use cant be that much harder to understand then Arinc 429...

Auto-Ubers* did I just make that up, I really like it?

And if anyone has not read Saturdays Dilbert, go check it out.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on August 10, 2015, 05:13:55 PM
I've started a new position as an assistant professor at the Eisenhower School for National Resource Strategy.  I'm preparing to lead a Robotics and Autonomous Systems Industry Study.  One of our repeat visits is to Carnegie Mellon.  Last year Uber opened shop in Pittsburgh and rolled up on CMU offering to triple the salaries of many of their robot experts.  Many took the bait.

I also really enjoyed the WBW articles on AI and am now delving into Tim's source material.  I've also contacted Tim and asked him to speak to my seminar about AI.  Fun/Scarey stuff!

Congrats! The job sounds like a lot of fun. I almost went to CMU for grad school. I met the guy who developed Stephen Hawking's voice and interface.

Pittsburgh is cheap to live in. Tripling the salary is some serious money for savings.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: brooklynguy on August 11, 2015, 06:22:27 AM
Saw the movie Ex Machina the other day.  This crowd would probably appreciate it.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on August 13, 2015, 06:48:55 AM


I think robots make pretty good bankers already.
[/quote]

I do cash banking for a local organisation I'm involved with, and our bank branch has been converted to all 'robot' machines. You can pay in cash and cheques, and as well as printing out a scan of each cheque for you, it can read the amounts from people's handwriting and total it all up. There is still 1 staff member on hand for problems, but the old branch seemed to have 4 or 5 employees in branch at any time.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on August 13, 2015, 05:21:31 PM
I think some of the example they provide will not hold up 10+ years down the road.  There have been studies where people feel like robots are more empathetic than humans.  If you have to pay a premium to use a human I think people would skip the salesperson, etc.  Interesting concept though.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-to-keep-your-job-in-a-world-of-automation-122831704.html#
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on August 13, 2015, 10:16:18 PM
I still think VR will be more disruptive in the immediate future than AI

http://time.com/3986185/virtual-reality-headset/

Yeah, it's a lame article and I won't quote anything from it although people mentioned are tossing millions of USD around.  But I still hold my ground that VR will affect everyday life more pervasively in my lifetime than AI will.  And that is what is great about living today, that either outcome could be so disruptive that we mis-predicted the outcome.  Sadly, predicting outcomes is a much weaker force than affecting outcomes :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on August 14, 2015, 05:45:16 AM
I still think VR will be more disruptive in the immediate future than AI

http://time.com/3986185/virtual-reality-headset/

Yeah, it's a lame article and I won't quote anything from it although people mentioned are tossing millions of USD around.  But I still hold my ground that VR will affect everyday life more pervasively in my lifetime than AI will.  And that is what is great about living today, that either outcome could be so disruptive that we mis-predicted the outcome.  Sadly, predicting outcomes is a much weaker force than affecting outcomes :)

AI is already affecting your everyday life, VR is not. So are you sure of that position?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on August 14, 2015, 06:55:54 AM
I guess we can just wait and 'see', Matthew. 

I've had a pretty damn good run being right on these things (got rich back in the 'internet' age, for instance buying Amazon IPO), so maybe I'm wrong this time, maybe it's just hubris.  At this point, it doesn't really matter...  Still, I think AI has hit a hard wall (as gene mapping and nano tech did, which are probably more trans-formative to AI, from a human-selfish perspective).  Still, I'm speculating that VR will be on a tear in 2016...  I don't know your background, so I'm not sure how I should try to back up my position, or even if you care if I do.  I'm just putting out an opinion, at the end of the day.  Until it becomes a fact. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on August 14, 2015, 08:09:54 AM
I guess we can just wait and 'see', Matthew. 

I've had a pretty damn good run being right on these things (got rich back in the 'internet' age, for instance buying Amazon IPO), so maybe I'm wrong this time, maybe it's just hubris.  At this point, it doesn't really matter...  Still, I think AI has hit a hard wall (as gene mapping and nano tech did, which are probably more trans-formative to AI, from a human-selfish perspective).  Still, I'm speculating that VR will be on a tear in 2016...  I don't know your background, so I'm not sure how I should try to back up my position, or even if you care if I do.  I'm just putting out an opinion, at the end of the day.  Until it becomes a fact.

I think you are talking about AGI, while matchewed was referring to the narrow AI that we use regularly. I would agree that gene mapping and nanotech (at least insofar as longevity is concerned) would be super disruptive. The thing I like about disruptive technologies (or the potential) is that they aren't mutually exclusive. You could both be right. And I love the opinion until it's fact bit...that was great.

Tomsang, you finish that book yet?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on August 14, 2015, 09:55:50 AM
I think you are talking about AGI, while matchewed was referring to the narrow AI that we use regularly.

Geeze, you and Rebelspy are so finicky about the WBW terminology!  To me, 'AI' means true Machine Learning, as in an 'intelligence' that continues to improve itself until it surpasses human capacity, in whatever way it develops (probably much differently than our conception of 'intelligence', but also unrestricted by our using it to our own ends, like 'Siri' and 'Echo'). 

This whole segmenting of AI into 'ANI' and 'AGI' is like making a child look like they are making progress when they swim a few more feet with a paddle-board  in the endless pool that is existence.  Either we have AI or we don't';  leveraging hardware and software with the euphemism that we are creating 'neural networks' that approximate AI is deceptive.

Whew, that was fun to write!  Sorry Jordanread, didn't mean to unload on you specifically in any way, just wanted to write.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on August 14, 2015, 10:40:13 AM
I think you are talking about AGI, while matchewed was referring to the narrow AI that we use regularly.

Geeze, you and Rebelspy are so finicky about the WBW terminology!  To me, 'AI' means true Machine Learning, as in an 'intelligence' that continues to improve itself until it surpasses human capacity, in whatever way it develops (probably much differently than our conception of 'intelligence', but also unrestricted by our using it to our own ends, like 'Siri' and 'Echo'). 

This whole segmenting of AI into 'ANI' and 'AGI' is like making a child look like they are making progress when they swim a few more feet with a paddle-board  in the endless pool that is existence.  Either we have AI or we don't';  leveraging hardware and software with the euphemism that we are creating 'neural networks' that approximate AI is deceptive.

Whew, that was fun to write!

It was fun to read. And (while I can't speak for rebs) my terminology is based on the research I've done before I'd even heard of WBW. Narrow and General are accepted terms throughout the field (at least those I've had the pleasure of talking to - not here; I mean, good discussions, but that's not specifically what we're about). I can see how and why you feel that way. And while I'm just a crazy uncle, and most kid analogies go 'over my head' (seriously, they are just like dogs that can talk back :D), I can see where you are coming from. That idea, to me, explains why you feel the way you do regarding the narrow term. Without those terms, and thinking of AI as I think you do, that explains to me why you used the phrase ''hit a hard wall". With those terms in play, we are making progress. Without them, I can see how it seems that way. I actually feel similar about your statement regarding nanotech. I don't think we hit a hard wall, since for some damn reason (possibly the potential, the divide between reality and wishful thinking, and the over promising to venture capitalists) nanotech has a bad rap. We haven't made the progress that has been promised, and with the exception of a few teams, the under delivering and over promising has made for some slow public process. I'd be more than happy to discuss this further,  it makes for a great conversation, and this is the right place for it on this forum. I personally think that the incredible progress that has been made is not being recognized for what it is, because of terminology (like you mentioned and attributed to WBW). That is a super dumb reason IMHO as to why progress shouldn't happen.

Now, VR is awesome, and I think AR is amazing progress, and will be the actual way that VR is implemented.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert on August 14, 2015, 11:06:36 AM
Is it a necessary for general AI to surpass human intelligence to count as a "true" AI? Wouldn't just 30% (arbitrary number) and no further improvement be just as valid? 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on August 14, 2015, 11:41:24 AM
Thanks for being easy on me and progressing the discussion JR, I know you more intertwined in this field than I am.  While I'm not generally a 'black and white' thinker, sometimes it helps me stay out of the weeds and try to figure out what is happening.  I do see massive potential for the next generations to combine disciplines, with that now including AI;  when I graduated the next generation of geniuses were taking dual degrees in medicine and engineering so as to improve artificial hearts, joints, etc.  My Dad is living a better life because of these people (at 75 years old and his best parts are a 3 year old hip, 10 year old dental implants, and 1 year old shoulder). 

It's very exciting to imagine what is possible for us, and fills me with hope that maybe future generations won't have to stand idly by while Parkinsons and Alzheimers diseases run their course.  Of course, our morals will stand in the way of progress - is it better to have the original as it is failing, or an repaired facsimile?

So as for 'pure AI' (or AGI), at least IMHO, it's like string-theory physicists blowing their minds with each finding or possibility...  There is tremendous potential in so many directions, yet it will likely take several generations (in terms of tech, not human) to get comfortable with the onset of these new possibilities (as we currently are around GMO's, cloning, etc..  Not that that's a bad thing, but it is a thing).

Fun discussion, thanks!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: BTDretire on August 14, 2015, 11:47:08 AM

When I graduated from HS 42 years ago, my mother had 'One word" for me.

 Robotics


I didn't listen.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on August 14, 2015, 12:39:44 PM
Is it a necessary for general AI to surpass human intelligence to count as a "true" AI? Wouldn't just 30% (arbitrary number) and no further improvement be just as valid?

Could be, but the entire thing for me is based on whether or not the creation can create more AIs. That is the 'singularity', just due to the actual speed. If there is no further improvement, it's not what I would consider as true AGI.

Thanks for being easy on me and progressing the discussion JR [...]

You are very welcome!! This discussion is awesome, even as a thought experiment.

[...]While I'm not generally a 'black and white' thinker, sometimes it helps me stay out of the weeds and try to figure out what is happening.  I do see massive potential for the next generations to combine disciplines, with that now including AI;  when I graduated the next generation of geniuses were taking dual degrees in medicine and engineering so as to improve artificial hearts, joints, etc.  My Dad is living a better life because of these people (at 75 years old and his best parts are a 3 year old hip, 10 year old dental implants, and 1 year old shoulder). 

It's very exciting to imagine what is possible for us, and fills me with hope that maybe future generations won't have to stand idly by while Parkinsons and Alzheimers diseases run their course.  Of course, our morals will stand in the way of progress - is it better to have the original as it is failing, or an repaired facsimile?

So as for 'pure AI' (or AGI), at least IMHO, it's like string-theory physicists blowing their minds with each finding or possibility...  There is tremendous potential in so many directions, yet it will likely take several generations (in terms of tech, not human) to get comfortable with the onset of these new possibilities (as we currently are around GMO's, cloning, etc..  Not that that's a bad thing, but it is a thing).

Fun discussion, thanks!

While we could totally get into the discussion regarding college and all that, I'll just take the win ;). I'm only 30 right now, and I have no idea what your age is. This conversation, or at least the thought process behind it, is probably (at the very least 'possibly') based on our current age (not challenging you to post or link to where you did, just saying). If you aren't involved in making AGI (like Elon Musk (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2014/10/24/elon-musk-with-artificial-intelligence-we-are-summoning-the-demon/) and Stehen Hawking (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540)...who are both awesome except for that), staying out of the weeds is probably a great way to go about it. Your black and white thinking will most likely serve you well here. I will post more about your actual comment on Monday, but I'll leave you with this quote I heard from someone somewhere in my life. Your comment touched on that, and provides an interesting perspective related to the "hit a hard wall" comment as well.

Potential is another way of saying NOT.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on August 14, 2015, 01:14:15 PM
...  I'll just take the win ;). I'm only 30 right now

So for you it is a 'double win' - being formally trained in an interesting field AND being young enough to possibly witness the 'singularity'.  When I graduated, the 'one word' whispered to me was 'plastics' (hence Chemical Engineer in Houston, not so bad but also not exactly changing the world either).

Quote
Potential is another way of saying NOT.

Or maybe just NOT YET ...  I'm still a glass half full kinda guy on these things :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on August 14, 2015, 02:51:59 PM
...  I'll just take the win ;). I'm only 30 right now

So for you it is a 'double win' - being formally trained in an interesting field AND being young enough to possibly witness the 'singularity'.  When I graduated, the 'one word' whispered to me was 'plastics' (hence Chemical Engineer in Houston, not so bad but also not exactly changing the world either).

Quote
Potential is another way of saying NOT.

Or maybe just NOT YET ...  I'm still a glass half full kinda guy on these things :)

Oh, I'm a half glass full kinda guy too (Not yet is an amazing, incredible, and super productive way of looking at things). My opinion has always been that when ASI happens (and my optimistic nature makes me make think it's very much a when), one of two things will happen. It will be awesome, or it will kill us all. Either way, I won't care much unless things turn out well for us :=).

And I have very little formal training. However (and I have no idea why I latched on to the word "formal"), yes...I'm getting the best of all worlds. I am pretty sure I'll live more than 500 years. Or just be around for another 60/70 years.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on August 17, 2015, 09:22:01 AM
Interesting article on IBM's rodent brain processor.

http://www.wired.com/2015/08/ibms-rodent-brain-chip-make-phones-hyper-smart/
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on August 17, 2015, 11:04:40 AM
Interesting article on IBM's rodent brain processor.

Don't know if you've ever read Stephen King's novel 'Cell'....   
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on August 17, 2015, 11:06:52 AM
Interesting article on IBM's rodent brain processor.

Don't know if you've ever read Stephen King's novel 'Cell'....

I haven't.  I used to read all of his books, but haven't read one in 15 years. Is it worth the read?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on August 17, 2015, 11:28:50 AM
It's a lot different from his usual stuff (although King is amazing in the fact that he always seems to be writing stuff that isn't his 'usual stuff', I'm currently reading '11/22/63' and enjoying that immensely).  Cell is a pretty breezy 'summertime' read, and I'd recommend it before many other things I've come across.   Or you could just read the Wikipedia on it - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_(novel). 

In relation to the article you linked to, the reference to 'Cell' was my thought about AI coming from the other end (reducing human AGI) until it meets machine AI in the middle...  it was a stretch, but it's only Monday.  By Friday I'll have it all figured out again :)   
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on August 17, 2015, 11:33:58 AM
It's a lot different from his usual stuff (although King is amazing in the fact that he always seems to be writing stuff that isn't his 'usual stuff', I'm currently reading '11/22/63' and enjoying that immensely).  Cell is a pretty breezy 'summertime' read, and I'd recommend it before many other things I've come across.   Or you could just read the Wikipedia on it - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_(novel). 

In relation to the article you linked to, the reference to 'Cell' was my thought about AI coming from the other end (reducing human AGI) until it meets machine AI in the middle...  it was a stretch, but it's only Monday.  By Friday I'll have it all figured out again :)

Damn you EV2020. Now I actually have to read yet another Stephen King book. I am not a big fan of most of Stephen King's books, but got hooked on the Dark Tower series. And yeah, now I'll read cell. I will blame you if it sucks though :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on August 17, 2015, 11:40:50 AM
@JR - it's the kind of book that sticks with you because it doesn't hold your hand and explain everything (or much of anything, crazy stuff just keeps happening, like real life - but thank goodness not).  As long as you are up for that, it is a lot of fun.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on August 17, 2015, 11:52:27 AM
@JR - it's the kind of book that sticks with you because it doesn't hold your hand and explain everything (or much of anything, crazy stuff just keeps happening, like real life - but thank goodness not).  As long as you are up for that, it is a lot of fun.

I'll read it. May be a bit before I get around to it, but it's now on my list.

Edited: to fix stupid spelling mistakes.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on August 17, 2015, 12:16:02 PM
@JR - it's the kind of book that sticks with you because it doesn't hold your hand and explain everything (or much of anything, crazy stuff just keeps happening, like real life - but thank goodness not).  As long as you are up for that, it is a lot of fun.

I will download it on my next trip. Thanks for the recommendation.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on August 17, 2015, 08:54:19 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/minimum-wage-offensive-could-speed-arrival-of-robot-powered-restaurants/2015/08/16/35f284ea-3f6f-11e5-8d45-d815146f81fa_story.html
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar on August 17, 2015, 09:00:15 PM
That article is basically about how the wage offensive won't speed up robot powered restaurants.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on August 17, 2015, 09:19:16 PM
That article is basically about how the wage offensive won't speed up robot powered restaurants.

I laughed when I read those quotes from Fatburger. I don't think they want to go on record that they are going to replace all of the jobs.  They want to do it in stealth mode.  I look at what automotive, airplanes, etc. have done.  They are replacing thousands of employees per year with automation, but they are not touting that this as the public, unions, and government would not like this thrown in their face.  So they just quietly replace the jobs.

My teenage kids would rather order off an Iphone than dealing with the computer challenged cashiers.  If you can make a tasty burger without minimum wage employees, I don't see people having any issues or hesitation. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on August 18, 2015, 10:45:37 AM
The article did draw some interesting parallels between the wage discussion and automation. I hadn't thought about that too much, which was a failure on my part. I usually pay attention to the studies that focus on the advances in this particular field. However, the actual advances usually come out of other industries (like so many other advances we've experienced). Even in the speculative fiction book I mentioned earlier, the actual start was in fast food.

Also, even though I don't eat out that often, I'd rather have a burger sourced well and cooked by a robot. At least that's more consistent. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: coppertop on August 18, 2015, 02:58:01 PM
Yep the middle class jobs are a definite target, in The Lights in The Tunnel, they look at how it is economically worth it to try to automate good paying jobs especially those that require less manipulation of the real world. 

You can make more money by automating away a lawyer or legal assistant than you can automating away a hotel maid and in the law you dont have to worry about emulating a human hand or bending over to an awkward corner of a room, more of the work and inputs are already digital.

Also it is not an all or nothing deal, if this year you can automate 6 legal assistants down to 5, then a few years latter down to 4 all the while doing more volume for less cost everyone but the out of work assistants are making more money.  Some argue that those two legal assistants would then get better jobs writing software for the bots but I find argument this unpersuasive.
I work for a law firm that has been in existence in one form or another since the 1800s.  At one time, we had about double the staff as we had attorneys.  Today, we have far fewer staff than attorneys. There are many offices in our buildings that use to house two or three secretaries, where there is now one.  I head up the accounting department, where once we had five employees.  Now I do the job with one assistant. 

Is this a good thing? It depends on your perspective.  I am concerned about all those "undereducated" people out there and what will become of them when they cannot get jobs.  I am afraid we will have rioting in the streets over it, and crime will escalate.

In general, legal assistants are not qualified to write software.  At least, the ones here are not.  Maybe it's different in New York City or Washington, DC.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on August 22, 2015, 10:59:47 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-santens/future-of-jobs_b_8011296.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

Interesting article.

"Whenever we see someone claiming new jobs are being created and will continue to be created so as to provide everyone a job, we need to look deeper and ask, "What kind of job? What are the skills required? How much does it pay for how many hours? Does it provide more security or less? What are the benefits it offers? Is the job really necessary? Does the job provide meaning to those tasked with it? Are jobs and work the same thing? Is there work to do that's more important than what the job involves? Is working in the job actually better than not working at all?""

"Those who moved into optimal jobs showed significant improvement in mental health compared to those who remained unemployed. Those respondents who moved into poor-quality jobs showed a significant worsening in their mental health compared to those who remained unemployed."

"There appears to be no happy ending to this story that doesn't involve universal basic income. So instead of continuing to ask if jobs are going to be automated in sufficient quantities to need basic income, let's instead start to increasingly ask if there's any job we can't automate so we're all more freed to live by it."
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on September 11, 2015, 02:11:13 PM
http://www.wired.com/2015/09/get-ready-entrust-retirement-robot/

Oh the irony, workers can outsource their 401k retirement investing to automation, thereby eliminating jobs.  Pretty soon the robots will be unemployed too :)

Quote
If it works, Betterment’s 401(k) bot may help add financial adviser to the list of human jobs soon to be co-opted by smarter machines.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on September 11, 2015, 04:19:38 PM
http://www.wired.com/2015/09/get-ready-entrust-retirement-robot/

Oh the irony, workers can outsource their 401k retirement investing to automation, thereby eliminating jobs.  Pretty soon the robots will be unemployed too :)

Quote
If it works, Betterment’s 401(k) bot may help add financial adviser to the list of human jobs soon to be co-opted by smarter machines.

This was already automated. It's call the Target Retirement 20XX Fund or the LifeCycle Fund, or Vanguard's online fund recommendations based on your risk tolerance and investment goals, etc. Betterment is just branding that gets them fees.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on September 11, 2015, 04:54:48 PM
http://www.wired.com/2015/09/get-ready-entrust-retirement-robot/

Oh the irony, workers can outsource their 401k retirement investing to automation, thereby eliminating jobs.  Pretty soon the robots will be unemployed too :)

Quote
If it works, Betterment’s 401(k) bot may help add financial adviser to the list of human jobs soon to be co-opted by smarter machines.

This was already automated. It's call the Target Retirement 20XX Fund or the LifeCycle Fund, or Vanguard's online fund recommendations based on your risk tolerance and investment goals, etc. Betterment is just branding that gets them fees.

And arguably the algorithm whic maintains a total market fund is more impressive than one which maintains an asset allocation comprised of two such funds that changes over decades.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on September 12, 2015, 07:04:28 AM
One of the more important foreseeable improvements from robots is automated driving. Automated braking another development that is about to become standard in cars. It could be another 5 or 10 years before it's required in all new cars, but we're quietly moving towards full automation. It could save a lot of lives (and money) and increase productivity and decrease traffic, etc.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/12/business/automakers-will-make-automatic-braking-systems-standard-in-new-cars.html
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar on September 12, 2015, 04:44:42 PM
Saved lives is great of course. In addition millions of people will lose their jobs due to to automated driving.

That was a surprisingly good article from HuffPo.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on September 12, 2015, 05:08:42 PM
Saved lives is great of course. In addition millions of people will lose their jobs due to to automated driving.

That was a surprisingly good article from HuffPo.
And more people will get jobs because of increased efficiency and car insurance rates will go way down or even be eliminated and more people will get jobs creating and improving automated driving, etc.

And it was NYT, which generally has good articles. HuffPo generally does not, outside of their specialty of sideboob.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on September 12, 2015, 05:49:41 PM
Saved lives is great of course. In addition millions of people will lose their jobs due to to automated driving.

That was a surprisingly good article from HuffPo.
And more people will get jobs because of increased efficiency and car insurance rates will go way down or even be eliminated and more people will get jobs creating and improving automated driving, etc.

And it was NYT, which generally has good articles. HuffPo generally does not, outside of their specialty of sideboob.

There are certain people that have the education and intellect to program, create, and develop automation and technology.  Typically, those are not the taxi drivers, truck drivers, and average person.  So to say that technology will create more jobs may be true, but it may be jobs that the bottom 90% can't do.  Also, when you are wiping out 1,000 or 10,000 of jobs at a whack, it is highly unlikely that we will create that many additional technology jobs.

If technology is managed for the good, then the spoils of the bounty will be rise all boats.  Otherwise the inequality will just grow.  Fortunately, I and my family are on the right side of the line currently.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on September 12, 2015, 06:27:53 PM
[...]
That was a surprisingly good article from HuffPo.
[...]
And it was NYT, which generally has good articles. HuffPo generally does not, outside of their specialty of sideboob.

I think mozar was referring to:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-santens/future-of-jobs_b_8011296.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

Interesting article.



Saved lives is great of course. In addition millions of people will lose their jobs due to to automated driving.
[...]
And more people will get jobs because of increased efficiency and car insurance rates will go way down or even be eliminated and more people will get jobs creating and improving automated driving, etc.
[...]

That approach kind of rubs me the wrong way. I think it has to do with a more fundamental way of viewing things (which I think is the most common reason for arguments). I personally always view disruptive technologies that may lose jobs as an indicator that computers can do a better job than people. It reminds me of an article I recently read about automation in planes and the FAA. They blamed the automation and technology for pilots falling asleep and missing the landings or crashing. I take the view that we just need to get better at automating the landings. Anyway, where I was initially going with this is that one of the most common arguments or discussion points when new tech replaces jobs is about how there will be new (albeit different) jobs created based on the tech. I look at this as a way of trying to keep the old thoughts and paradigms in place even though a shift in thinking should happen. I'm still working on what solution I think would be the best, but I do truly believe that more and different job creation is not the solution.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on September 12, 2015, 07:37:41 PM
People always feel like with disruptive technologies that "this time is different". We've always had industries get changed and lost many jobs from them. But people have always found something else to do. Maybe 98% people were farmers not long ago. Now, maybe 2% are. Tons of people used to be in the horse business. Now almost no one is. Telephone operators used to plug in the cables to make your calls. Now a computer does it. Maybe this time is different. But it never has been so far.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar on September 12, 2015, 09:06:29 PM
Quote
They blamed the automation and technology for pilots falling asleep and missing the landings or crashing.

Or that pilots should be allowed to sleep, instead of making them work back to back 12 hour shifts.

I do think its different this time. One of the reasons I think so is that work force participation peaked in 2000 and has been falling since. I don't have the stats on this, but some of the decrease in the unemployment rate over the past 7 years has been because of people giving up on looking. Our current rate is around 62% participation (so low!). I choose to interpret these facts as being related to increasing automation.

As for what to do, I actually did what the HuffPo article suggested, and signed the Basic Income petition.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forummm on September 13, 2015, 06:30:38 AM
Quote
They blamed the automation and technology for pilots falling asleep and missing the landings or crashing.

Or that pilots should be allowed to sleep, instead of making them work back to back 12 hour shifts.

I do think its different this time. One of the reasons I think so is that work force participation peaked in 2000 and has been falling since. I don't have the stats on this, but some of the decrease in the unemployment rate over the past 7 years has been because of people giving up on looking. Our current rate is around 62% participation (so low!). I choose to interpret these facts as being related to increasing automation.

As for what to do, I actually did what the HuffPo article suggested, and signed the Basic Income petition.

The pilots crashing issue is still human error because the pilots ignored the computer saying "STALL STALL <ALARM SOUND> STALL STALL <ALARM SOUND> STALL STALL <ALARM SOUND>". Any pilot should know what to do immediately to get out of a stall. The human training needs to be adapted to deal with the new technology so that people's reflexes incorporate a better understanding of it. We now have pilots with rusty actual flying skills because they don't need to use them because the planes fly themselves.
http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/children-of-the-magenta-automation-paradox-pt-1/

Increasing automation or increasing wealth or a trend towards RE or a trend towards single income household or... there are plenty of possibilities there.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on September 13, 2015, 08:32:23 AM
Quote
They blamed the automation and technology for pilots falling asleep and missing the landings or crashing.

Or that pilots should be allowed to sleep, instead of making them work back to back 12 hour shifts.

I do think its different this time. One of the reasons I think so is that work force participation peaked in 2000 and has been falling since. I don't have the stats on this, but some of the decrease in the unemployment rate over the past 7 years has been because of people giving up on looking. Our current rate is around 62% participation (so low!). I choose to interpret these facts as being related to increasing automation.

As for what to do, I actually did what the HuffPo article suggested, and signed the Basic Income petition.

The pilots crashing issue is still human error because the pilots ignored the computer saying "STALL STALL <ALARM SOUND> STALL STALL <ALARM SOUND> STALL STALL <ALARM SOUND>". Any pilot should know what to do immediately to get out of a stall. The human training needs to be adapted to deal with the new technology so that people's reflexes incorporate a better understanding of it. We now have pilots with rusty actual flying skills because they don't need to use them because the planes fly themselves.
http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/children-of-the-magenta-automation-paradox-pt-1/

Increasing automation or increasing wealth or a trend towards RE or a trend towards single income household or... there are plenty of possibilities there.

Pilot skill degradation is a big problem, a middle eastern airline did a study and found that its pilots were flying for a total of like 30 seconds over 6 months, the rest of the time they the computer was flying waypoints or headings.  Requiring pilots of automated airplanes to continue flying simple single engine airplanes could go a long way in aviation safety but will never happen.

Reguarding stalls specifically, this is one of the last few 'tall poles' in commercial aviation safety.  The FAA is in the process of requiring recurrent stall training, in past airline pilots did not have to do any sort of stall work once they start flying anything with more than 4 seats (more or less).  Some of the stall related incidents were due to bad simulators and bad training and very tired crew. 

AirBus has in past activity calmed that there airplanes cant stall-this is monumentally stupid-all airfoils can stall.  AirFrance 447 changed the company line.  I have flown the 447 scenario in a full up simulator and even knowing what is happening it is VERY disorientating (half the instruments conflict with each other), still pilot error but eye opening.  In a car it would be like having the gas petal all the way down, the rpm counter at 8000, but no engine noise, the speedometer reading -3333 and total darkness out the windscreen. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on September 14, 2015, 04:59:31 PM
People always feel like with disruptive technologies that "this time is different". We've always had industries get changed and lost many jobs from them. But people have always found something else to do. Maybe 98% people were farmers not long ago. Now, maybe 2% are. Tons of people used to be in the horse business. Now almost no one is. Telephone operators used to plug in the cables to make your calls. Now a computer does it. Maybe this time is different. But it never has been so far.


When most people were farmers, most people worked more or less sun up to sun down, 7 days a week - 4 on the farm, day of travel to the market, day at the market, a day of travel back (or something like that).
When the industrial revolution came around, and tractors started displacing human (and animal) labor, and the rise of cities began, workers typically worked 6-7 days a week, 60 hours if you were lucky, but more likely 80-100.


It was several decades after the rise of the (mechanical) machines that we had a major paradigm shift toward "8 for work, 8 for sleep, 8 for yourself" and this concept we all take for granted of a "weekend".

That change, where people (who weren't born into the upper class) have "free time" they can spend chatting on internet forums, that was a huge, society changing shift, which was hard fought.  People literally died for it.  Employers did everything they could to stop it.


In other words, when machines were invented, it really was different.  There really were hundreds of thousands of jobs lost, and they were never replaced with anything.  Which is why now everyone works less.  Having fewer working hours means that the same number of jobs can be divided among more people.


If robots do most jobs, and 90% are eliminated and not replaced, we could all have 4 hour work weeks, but with the same total pay (i.e. everyone would make 10x the current hourly rate).  The economy would support it.  But with our current system of economics, private property, and of course overtime laws, what would happen is we would have 95% unemployment, and the last 5% of people would work 40 hour weeks.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on September 15, 2015, 06:46:43 AM

If robots do most jobs, and 90% are eliminated and not replaced, we could all have 4 hour work weeks, but with the same total pay (i.e. everyone would make 10x the current hourly rate).  The economy would support it.  But with our current system of economics, private property, and of course overtime laws, what would happen is we would have 95% unemployment, and the last 5% of people would work 40 hour weeks.

You seem to be saying the last time automation really look off, the long-term effects were, for the majority of working people, a reduction in working hours to the 9-5. Free time, weekends etc. Jobs were lost, and never replaced, because we all just look more leisure time. I totally agree.

But, you are saying that when it happens again it would be different because of "our current system of economics, private property". But think of last time this happened. Ownership was concentrated among a tiny tiny elite. In Victorian England, at the time of the Industrial Revolution, landowners, and then an emerging bourgeois of business owners controlled everything, including voting rights.

So I don't understand what you think is different this time around? (not being argumentative, I actually can't understand). Is it unions? Because to me, wealth seems less concentrated than it used to be (pre-industrialisation, when the Aristocracy owned everything and we were just allowed to subsistence farm their land for a cut of the crops). I should fact check though, because perhaps I'm making an assumption and wealth is now more concentrated. Maybe the difference is corporations v. aristocratic families. Is that it? Corporations can build much more wealth, whereas the Duke of Devonshire can only own so much land before he meets the boundary of the Earl of Strafford*?

*locations not historically accurate because I'm mixing up time periods, but you get the idea.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on September 15, 2015, 08:38:24 AM

If robots do most jobs, and 90% are eliminated and not replaced, we could all have 4 hour work weeks, but with the same total pay (i.e. everyone would make 10x the current hourly rate).  The economy would support it.  But with our current system of economics, private property, and of course overtime laws, what would happen is we would have 95% unemployment, and the last 5% of people would work 40 hour weeks.

You seem to be saying the last time automation really look off, the long-term effects were, for the majority of working people, a reduction in working hours to the 9-5. Free time, weekends etc. Jobs were lost, and never replaced, because we all just look more leisure time. I totally agree.

But, you are saying that when it happens again it would be different because of "our current system of economics, private property". But think of last time this happened. Ownership was concentrated among a tiny tiny elite. In Victorian England, at the time of the Industrial Revolution, landowners, and then an emerging bourgeois of business owners controlled everything, including voting rights.

So I don't understand what you think is different this time around? (not being argumentative, I actually can't understand). Is it unions? Because to me, wealth seems less concentrated than it used to be (pre-industrialisation, when the Aristocracy owned everything and we were just allowed to subsistence farm their land for a cut of the crops). I should fact check though, because perhaps I'm making an assumption and wealth is now more concentrated. Maybe the difference is corporations v. aristocratic families. Is that it? Corporations can build much more wealth, whereas the Duke of Devonshire can only own so much land before he meets the boundary of the Earl of Strafford*?

*locations not historically accurate because I'm mixing up time periods, but you get the idea.


I'm not sure how to find data for pre-democracy empires and aristocracies (what with factoring not only inflation but exchanged rates to no-longer-in-existence-currencies - it is unlikely to have ever been much more unbalanced, because pre-industrialization there simply wasn't as much total wealth in exsistence) but we are in fact at the worst wealth inequality our nation has ever seen

(http://d35brb9zkkbdsd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Screen-Shot-2014-03-31-at-11.42.56-AM.png)


The last time it was this bad, we did change the system.
We started regulating banks (Glass–Steagall, FDIC) and the stock market (SEC). 
We created the social safety net - Social Security, food stamps, and the FHA. 
This was when we outlawed child labor, instituted the 40-hour work week, and created the first minimum wage.
It was when unions started to be strong enough to have real influence.
Public Works was created, providing many major projects (the San Francisco Bay Bridge, the Lincoln Tunnel, La Guardia airport, hydroelectric dams, schools, hospitals, the nationwide electric network, etc) on the federal level.

In other words, really major reorganization of how we as a society handle economics, labor and wealth distribution.
Some of these changes lasted to this day - others have been repealed or gradually pushed back, which helped bring us back to where we were (and helped trigger our recent recession)

Obviously there was a long time between 1820 and 1920 - but the peak of the graph didn't happen overnight.  Both the technology and the effects took time to fully establish (Ford's assembly line wasn't until 1913).  Those steps 100 years after the revolution were a large part of what made the graph above peak, instead of continuing to climb.

What is different now is that while business and the rich strongly objected to those changes when they happened, a majority of ordinary middle class working Americans supported them.
Today half of Americans have principals with align with the interests of the rich - individualism over shared prosperity, and economic growth at all costs (regardless of how the benefits of that growth are distributed).  I don't think, politically, something equivalent to the New Deal could happen today.

This time part of the run up of concentration of wealth is due to computers (along with political changes giving corporations and banks more freedom, repealing Glas-Stegal, encouraging outsourcing as "free trade", etc).
But so far robots have only been able to take fairly menial jobs.

We've still got some time before we get to 100 years from when this new revolution started
Its probably just a coincidence that the graph starts going back up the same year that the TRS-80, Commodore PET, and Apple II came out, but it is certainly a funny one to underline my argument!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bob W on September 20, 2015, 08:46:25 AM
Carly Fiarino
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: JetBlast on September 20, 2015, 12:31:11 PM
Automation management and over reliance on automation have been an important topic in airline training for many years. It's getting a lot of attention but to some extent it's common sense. If you're overloaded trying to program the automation, turn it off, fly the plane, and let the non flying pilot sort it out.

The "children of the magenta" video is great.

Pilot skill degradation is a big problem, a middle eastern airline did a study and found that its pilots were flying for a total of like 30 seconds over 6 months, the rest of the time they the computer was flying waypoints or headings.  Requiring pilots of automated airplanes to continue flying simple single engine airplanes could go a long way in aviation safety but will never happen.

Reguarding stalls specifically, this is one of the last few 'tall poles' in commercial aviation safety.  The FAA is in the process of requiring recurrent stall training, in past airline pilots did not have to do any sort of stall work once they start flying anything with more than 4 seats (more or less).  Some of the stall related incidents were due to bad simulators and bad training and very tired crew. 

AirBus has in past activity calmed that there airplanes cant stall-this is monumentally stupid-all airfoils can stall.  AirFrance 447 changed the company line.  I have flown the 447 scenario in a full up simulator and even knowing what is happening it is VERY disorientating (half the instruments conflict with each other), still pilot error but eye opening.  In a car it would be like having the gas petal all the way down, the rpm counter at 8000, but no engine noise, the speedometer reading -3333 and total darkness out the windscreen.
I know some airlines have more restrictive policies on automation use than others. At my airline the autopilot is only required above FL 200 (that's approximately 20,000 ft above sea level for non pilots). That time is basically the boring, fly straight ahead part of the flight. Many will hand fly up to that altitude while hand flying on descent widely varies. I don't think anyone would be close to 30 seconds in a day much less six months.

Stall training has been required at every recurrent training for the eight years I've been in the industry, though the philosophy changed after Colgan 3407. No longer is anyone training to power out of it with minimum altitude loss. There's much more emphasis on lowering the nose which is a good change.

I'm not sure Airbus ever said their aircraft cannot be stalled, just that it wouldn't under normal operating conditions (normal flight control laws). When the instruments on Air France 447 failed the aircraft reverted to a more basic control law without stall protection and perhaps one of the pilots did not understand this. I agree that it's a very disorienting situation.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on September 20, 2015, 04:18:17 PM
I think some of the example they provide will not hold up 10+ years down the road.  There have been studies where people feel like robots are more empathetic than humans.  If you have to pay a premium to use a human I think people would skip the salesperson, etc.  Interesting concept though.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-to-keep-your-job-in-a-world-of-automation-122831704.html#
The sales person in a shop might get replaced because they get so much
customers and their time go to calculating food prices etc.

However I work currently in marketing/sales and I think you are dead wrong if you can replace a top salesman or saleswomen with a robot... specially if there is face to face interaction live and not through a computer screen.

In fact human connection jobs are in fact likely to last next 100 years at least! However can you program a robot to be more emphatic? Yes, but it is extremely expensive to create an exact human looking robot with high AI. In addition top salesmen or saleswomen can also fake emotions though no doubt many emotions are true also and in the long turn it is best if everyone is happy the customer and salesperson.

I want to post this again:
I'm a controls engineer that programs robots and PLC's I also do computer and web programming. I've had a older coworker mention that it's our job to take out other people's jobs. While that's true, I've worked in a lot of mostly empty buildings that used to be crammed full, I think people get stuck in this thought that a job becoming obsolete doesn't create jobs at the same time.
No body would be silly enough to get pissy today about the invention of the cotton gin removing tons of jobs, we've all found other jobs. It's the same in the computerized industrial world. If computers take the pressure of human processing, we as a culture just freed up a ton of manpower to do other things.

I would say there is a growing disparity in job types, generally either technical or not and paid semi ok or not. and there is a exponential growth difference between the .1%ers and us. This could be contributed to computers possibly.

Job's becoming obsolete though is one of the big reasons I try to use to convince friends and family save and invest more. I've heard many stories of people going from $80k/year to $40k or less with next to nothing saved.
Good post I agree with you though I live in Europe and use euro currency I must say sure true logic.

I am an IT engineer and what job do I have now? Nothing even remotely related to IT and it is part time but the pay is fairly decent and it involves marketing/sales face to face human interaction.

I don't complain since I rent 3 apartments to other people and don't live on rent myself the income together with my part time job is good. I have worked for many years in iT before, but nowadays IT is among the top unemployed groups in my country.

Now robots can replace a lot and have already done in the industry/automation field but those harder to replace is customer service the pleasure factor.

When will robots replace the human interaction i.e soft touch meetings I use in marketing&sales every lawful nice touch to get the customer?

Let me give a more extreme example in my country prostitution is legal as it should be. When will robots replace prostitutes? My guess that will not happen for next 100 years because creating an exact human looking robot is possible, but extremely expensive. We will instead have an increase in human interaction jobs and prostitutes who work since the other jobs have been gradually replaced with robots.

Well of course I don't know for sure about next 100 years, but in prostitution field most customers want real humans and not robots. Oh I have seen documentary about today's sex robots, but they  are not even near same level as elite prostitutes in my country and the western world.

Safe sex with Robots? Maybe, but today's deaths due to HIV happen mostly to people who don't treat it because there exist very effective medicine vs HIV and do not even try to compare that to an aggressive and lethal cancer.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on September 21, 2015, 07:33:08 AM

...
I know some airlines have more restrictive policies on automation use than others. At my airline the autopilot is only required above FL 200 (that's approximately 20,000 ft above sea level for non pilots). That time is basically the boring, fly straight ahead part of the flight. Many will hand fly up to that altitude while hand flying on descent widely varies. I don't think anyone would be close to 30 seconds in a day much less six months.

Stall training has been required at every recurrent training for the eight years I've been in the industry, though the philosophy changed after Colgan 3407. No longer is anyone training to power out of it with minimum altitude loss. There's much more emphasis on lowering the nose which is a good change.

I'm not sure Airbus ever said their aircraft cannot be stalled, just that it wouldn't under normal operating conditions (normal flight control laws). When the instruments on Air France 447 failed the aircraft reverted to a more basic control law without stall protection and perhaps one of the pilots did not understand this. I agree that it's a very disorienting situation.

Yes things very more than most outsiders would think between airlines flying the same airplanes and in the US/west vs else where.

Airbus did not put it in a press release but it was in a 'public' industry forum. 

Your stall training is it to shaker/pusher/warring/etc or actually into stall; there is still a margin before proper stall break when you are at shaker/pusher?  I have talked to experienced pilots that have said shaker is stall - no it is not.  Minimizing altitude loss is (unless the trees are already big) f-ing stupid, high altitude stalls can take thousands of feet to recover from.  Most/all commercial aircraft training sims do not model stall/post stall aerodynamics correctly, what I have seen out in the wild is wrong to the point of negative training when you get past shaker/pusher/warring.  The sims show benign and controllable aircraft, where they really are anything but.

447: When it dropped into its degraded mode that pilot was flying a plane he had spend extremely few hours (minutes?) flying and it is extremely sensitive to pilot inputs. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: JetBlast on September 21, 2015, 09:30:21 AM

Your stall training is it to shaker/pusher/warring/etc or actually into stall; there is still a margin before proper stall break when you are at shaker/pusher?  I have talked to experienced pilots that have said shaker is stall - no it is not.  Minimizing altitude loss is (unless the trees are already big) f-ing stupid, high altitude stalls can take thousands of feet to recover from.  Most/all commercial aircraft training sims do not model stall/post stall aerodynamics correctly, what I have seen out in the wild is wrong to the point of negative training when you get past shaker/pusher/warring.  The sims show benign and controllable aircraft, where they really are anything but.

447: When it dropped into its degraded mode that pilot was flying a plane he had spend extremely few hours (minutes?) flying and it is extremely sensitive to pilot inputs.

Our simulator training involves recovery at shaker in most cases, with usually one held until the pusher activates. If you get to the pusher you still aren't stalled, but you have to try to get there. It takes effort to actually stall when the controls are actively trying to prevent it. We also practice high altitude recovery yearly. As you said, it's usually around 4,000 feet to properly recover. Just messing around with extra time at the end of a session I've seen how the simulator models a stall and I don't believe it. It seems far too benign for a swept wing jet.

I don't have a problem with teaching recovery at the shaker and not going to a full stall because I don't want pilots getting used to the shaker being activated. I want the instinct when it activates to be immediately lowering the nose. I always thought it was a little strange when instructing in light aircraft that we taught over and over recovery from actual stalls and just told our students "good job, but remember, when you're out on your own recover at the first sign of an impending stall like buffeting or the horn activating." We do a great job of desensitizing student pilots to the cues of an impending stall while we practice full stalls and slow flight (stall horn blaring for minutes on end).

Really, it's amazing that something so basic is one of the remaining "tall poles" as you put it. I can think of three off the top of my head in the last decade that have to do with automation and pilots simply not flying the plane and monitoring airspeed. Both Turkish 1951 and Asiana 214 would have been prevented if the crew had simply turned off the automation and flown the airplane once things started looking off. Air France 447 would have been prevented with very, very basic airmanship but was probably due to a misunderstanding of the automation and it's protections and a breakdown in CRM that prevented the other crew members from recognizing the error on pilot was making until it was too late.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on September 21, 2015, 09:50:59 AM
Now I almost feel bad for mentioning the pilots and automation bit. This thread kind of went all off kilter. So I'll try to bring it back on topic. I didn't realize we had so many aerospace related people here.

So it seems that everyone is kind of in agreement with the FAA, in that automation in airplanes have a tendency to reduce either the pilot skill, or the pilot training. So one could draw a line blaming our current implementation of automation to failures. So do all of you think that we need less automation in airplanes, or better automation and remove the human from the equation?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on September 21, 2015, 10:38:48 AM
Now I almost feel bad for mentioning the pilots and automation bit. This thread kind of went all off kilter. So I'll try to bring it back on topic. I didn't realize we had so many aerospace related people here.

So it seems that everyone is kind of in agreement with the FAA, in that automation in airplanes have a tendency to reduce either the pilot skill, or the pilot training. So one could draw a line blaming our current implementation of automation to failures. So do all of you think that we need less automation in airplanes, or better automation and remove the human from the equation?

IF we are to have a carbon based pilot at the pointy end then they need to be well trained and know how to turn the computer off and FLY THE DAMN PLANE.  ELSE we need to be be putting more energies into more automation (end-to-end) with less reliance on carbon.  There will always be someone with a smart uniform and nice hat that tells you the weather sitting in the cockpit but long term they will be doing less and less, IMHO.

"Just messing around with extra time at the end of a session I've seen how the simulator models a stall and I don't believe it. It seems far too benign for a swept wing jet."  100%.  Problem is how many pilots see that messing around think that is real and dont fear the stall as they should.

Yep you have to fight to get past the pusher, you should not get into full stall but it has been done... Idea is that pilots should see what is there and have some experience with it.  What I have seen is that pilots would train past shaker/pusher/etc into full stall then before exiting the sim do one or two with proper 'recover at shaker' technique. 

"So one could draw a line blaming our current implementation of automation to failures."  I think that 'blame' goes to far.  Remember US commercial aviation is so safe it is almost hard to calculate failure rates!  But we do know we have some problem areas that are related to human interaction and dependence on automation and that we have some pilots who have trouble with flying the damn airplane.  (yes I know how scary that that last sentence sounds, but go reread the third sentence.) 

Edit: Sorry for going so far OT.  And if I did make you a bit afraid to fly know that I am literally right now heading to the airport for work travel. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on September 21, 2015, 10:54:03 AM
Now I almost feel bad for mentioning the pilots and automation bit. This thread kind of went all off kilter. So I'll try to bring it back on topic. I didn't realize we had so many aerospace related people here.

So it seems that everyone is kind of in agreement with the FAA, in that automation in airplanes have a tendency to reduce either the pilot skill, or the pilot training. So one could draw a line blaming our current implementation of automation to failures. So do all of you think that we need less automation in airplanes, or better automation and remove the human from the equation?

IF we are to have a carbon based pilot at the pointy end then they need to be well trained and know how to turn the computer off and FLY THE DAMN PLANE.  ELSE we need to be be putting more energies into more automation (end-to-end) with less reliance on carbon.  There will always be someone with a smart uniform and nice hat that tells you the weather sitting in the cockpit but long term they will be doing less and less, IMHO.

"Just messing around with extra time at the end of a session I've seen how the simulator models a stall and I don't believe it. It seems far too benign for a swept wing jet."  100%.  Problem is how many pilots see that messing around think that is real and dont fear the stall as they should.

Yep you have to fight to get past the pusher, you should not get into full stall but it has been done... Idea is that pilots should see what is there and have some experience with it.  What I have seen is that pilots would train past shaker/pusher/etc into full stall then before exiting the sim do one or two with proper 'recover at shaker' technique. 

"So one could draw a line blaming our current implementation of automation to failures."  I think that 'blame' goes to far.  Remember US commercial aviation is so safe it is almost hard to calculate failure rates!  But we do know we have some problem areas that are related to human interaction and dependence on automation and that we have some pilots who have trouble with flying the damn airplane.  (yes I know how scary that that last sentence sounds, but go reread the third sentence.) 

Edit: Sorry for going so far OT.  And if I did make you a bit afraid to fly know that I am literally right now heading to the airport for work travel.

Didn't make me afraid to fly at all. I hate living my life in fear. As far as my blame comment goes, I was thinking more along the lines of how the FAA viewed it. I never said anything about who is actually at fault, but who gets the blame, that's all. And don't sweat going OT, it's still somewhat related, and actually provides a good insight as to views/fears on automation in this specific industry. Interestingly enough, there will be/is less discussion or thought out arguments when it comes to automation in consumer vehicles. :-)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on September 21, 2015, 01:29:18 PM
...

Didn't make me afraid to fly at all. I hate living my life in fear. As far as my blame comment goes, I was thinking more along the lines of how the FAA viewed it. I never said anything about who is actually at fault, but who gets the blame, that's all. And don't sweat going OT, it's still somewhat related, and actually provides a good insight as to views/fears on automation in this specific industry. Interestingly enough, there will be/is less discussion or thought out arguments when it comes to automation in consumer vehicles. :-)

You should be afraid to fly-it is f-ing scary-thing can kill you in painful ways! :-)  I am scared to fly, it is largely knowledge of statistics that lets me get on an airplane :-)

It is a bit like investing after you read the prospectus on an sp500 eft; your gut reaction is to run in the other way but hopefully your brain can over power it and let you buy the market for the long term.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: JetBlast on September 21, 2015, 03:37:06 PM
Now I almost feel bad for mentioning the pilots and automation bit. This thread kind of went all off kilter. So I'll try to bring it back on topic. I didn't realize we had so many aerospace related people here.

So it seems that everyone is kind of in agreement with the FAA, in that automation in airplanes have a tendency to reduce either the pilot skill, or the pilot training. So one could draw a line blaming our current implementation of automation to failures. So do all of you think that we need less automation in airplanes, or better automation and remove the human from the equation?

Sorry if I derailed the thread a bit. I think automation will drastically change the profession over the next 50 years. The first step will be single pilot airliners. Based on trends in aviation I'm guessing this could be only a couple decades away from becoming a reality. Much more reliance on automation, with a pilot there to monitor and take over in the case of major failures and deal with issues like deciding whether to divert for passenger disruptions or medical issues. Basically just a supervisor for the aircraft. Eventually, once automated cargo drones are commonplace and advanced communications systems allow, the pilot will be sitting on the ground like drone operators today. Maybe they'll monitor a few flights at a time, able to remotely control the aircraft if necessary.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on September 22, 2015, 09:40:06 AM
It seems to me the plane discussion is not so different from what is happening with cars.


The more features get added - from seatbelts and airbags and anti-lock brakes, to lane correction and brake assist, the more reckless and careless drivers are. 


I know with antilock brakes specifically, tests show they improve stopping distance and emergency braking control significantly, but statistics show zero reduction in accidents or fatalities.  People just drive faster, tailgate more, and start stopping later, because they feel confident they can stop.


It won't be until the robots take over 100% from people that accident rates actually start going down.


And, just like with planes, a lot of this has to do with grossly inadequate training.  We just don't take driving seriously.  There isn't any requirement for simulated accident avoidance at all to get a drivers license.
Planes seem scarier because they are up in the air, but the fatality rate for driving a car is way higher by any measure (per mile, per hour, per trip), than for scheduled commercial flights on major airlines.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on September 22, 2015, 04:48:14 PM
I think some of the example they provide will not hold up 10+ years down the road.  There have been studies where people feel like robots are more empathetic than humans.  If you have to pay a premium to use a human I think people would skip the salesperson, etc.  Interesting concept though.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-to-keep-your-job-in-a-world-of-automation-122831704.html#
The sales person in a shop might get replaced because they get so much
customers and their time go to calculating food prices etc.

However I work currently in marketing/sales and I think you are dead wrong if you can replace a top salesman or saleswomen with a robot... specially if there is face to face interaction live and not through a computer screen.

In fact human connection jobs are in fact likely to last next 100 years at least! However can you program a robot to be more emphatic? Yes, but it is extremely expensive to create an exact human looking robot with high AI. In addition top salesmen or saleswomen can also fake emotions though no doubt many emotions are true also and in the long turn it is best if everyone is happy the customer and salesperson.

The title I used in this thread was not as succinct as it could have been.  I was truly talking about technology replacing jobs.  I am not exactly sure what you are saying, but if you are saying that technology will not replace salespeople, I think you are dead wrong.  It currently is wiping out salespeople today.  Have you heard of Amazon and all of the ecommerce sites?  Those sales used to be sold by salespeople.  Nordstroms, Macy's, Malls, etc. that are using brick and mortar stores are fighting a battle with Ecommerce.  But how will we know if the product is high quality, the specs, what it is used for, etc. Well it is crazy, but it is all listed online.  Usually, with independent reviews from real users of the product vs. a salesperson getting a commission. 

My son currently thinks it is amusing to talk to a salesperson or do get information from a salesperson.  Why not just pull out your phone and order it.  Amazon can have it to you tomorrow or in some cases within the hour.  What can the salesperson tell you that Google can't find in .52 seconds?  Who do you trust more the salesperson or the information you find online? 

Now if you are talking about highly educated salespeople like stockbrokers.  Different answers right?  Nope.  People are transitioning to Robo Advisors for their low fees and better performance.  Stockbrokers have always been salespeople made to look like financial advisors.  People are starting to realize that they are not worth the huge fees that they have been charging. 

What about car salespeople.  People are buying cars online.  I can't think of a purchase I wouldn't buy online if the price and quality were better.  People are also selling their cars directly to the next purchaser through Craigslist and other services.

House sales.  Would you rather buy the house online and save $20,000 or deal with a salesperson?  I am confident that within 15 years, people will laugh about paying real estate agents tens of thousands of dollars to babysit people when the information is all online.

Vacations, cruises, airline tickets, etc. all used to be sold by highly compensated people.  All automated, with a robo chat help.  Very easy to use.

Cashiers, waitresses, etc.  Put an interactive menu out and have your food delivered to your table by a robot would be cool and eliminate the middle person.  You are seeing this at various restaurants, coffee shops, etc.  Why tell a person your order, who then puts it into a computer, when you can just put it into the computer with your phone.  Starbucks, McDonalds, Panera, etc.

I sell accounting services.  In the past I would forced to do face-to-face meetings.  The newest trend working with the tech savvy generation is to do it through a telephone call, Skype, Goto meeting, etc. The new buyers of the services are not as into face-to-face meetings.  They don't want to waste their or your time with in-person meetings.  I think this trend is going to be the norm in 10 years as the youngsters who have been communicating over their wireless headsets as they play video games grow into management.

"Yes, but it is extremely expensive to create an exact human looking robot "  Why would you need or want an exact human looking robot? Why not just acquire a tool that does as good or a better job than the person for a fraction of the price?  I am not sure if you are old enough or remember dialing information on your home phone.  Those real live people were amazing on how they could find an address or telephone number or other information.  Why would we ever replace them?  Because you can get the same information for free with your smartphone in a fraction of a second, where you used to pay $1 for the information from the very nice human people.  We put up with technology when it does the job better at a fraction of the cost.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on September 30, 2015, 08:14:49 PM
I think some of the example they provide will not hold up 10+ years down the road.  There have been studies where people feel like robots are more empathetic than humans.  If you have to pay a premium to use a human I think people would skip the salesperson, etc.  Interesting concept though.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-to-keep-your-job-in-a-world-of-automation-122831704.html#
The sales person in a shop might get replaced because they get so much
customers and their time go to calculating food prices etc.

However I work currently in marketing/sales and I think you are dead wrong if you can replace a top salesman or saleswomen with a robot... specially if there is face to face interaction live and not through a computer screen.

In fact human connection jobs are in fact likely to last next 100 years at least! However can you program a robot to be more emphatic? Yes, but it is extremely expensive to create an exact human looking robot with high AI. In addition top salesmen or saleswomen can also fake emotions though no doubt many emotions are true also and in the long turn it is best if everyone is happy the customer and salesperson.

The title I used in this thread was not as succinct as it could have been.  I was truly talking about technology replacing jobs.  I am not exactly sure what you are saying, but if you are saying that technology will not replace salespeople, I think you are dead wrong.  It currently is wiping out salespeople today.  Have you heard of Amazon and all of the ecommerce sites?  Those sales used to be sold by salespeople.  Nordstroms, Macy's, Malls, etc. that are using brick and mortar stores are fighting a battle with Ecommerce.  But how will we know if the product is high quality, the specs, what it is used for, etc. Well it is crazy, but it is all listed online.  Usually, with independent reviews from real users of the product vs. a salesperson getting a commission. 

My son currently thinks it is amusing to talk to a salesperson or do get information from a salesperson.  Why not just pull out your phone and order it.  Amazon can have it to you tomorrow or in some cases within the hour.  What can the salesperson tell you that Google can't find in .52 seconds?  Who do you trust more the salesperson or the information you find online? 

Now if you are talking about highly educated salespeople like stockbrokers.  Different answers right?  Nope.  People are transitioning to Robo Advisors for their low fees and better performance.  Stockbrokers have always been salespeople made to look like financial advisors.  People are starting to realize that they are not worth the huge fees that they have been charging. 

What about car salespeople.  People are buying cars online.  I can't think of a purchase I wouldn't buy online if the price and quality were better.  People are also selling their cars directly to the next purchaser through Craigslist and other services.

House sales.  Would you rather buy the house online and save $20,000 or deal with a salesperson?  I am confident that within 15 years, people will laugh about paying real estate agents tens of thousands of dollars to babysit people when the information is all online.

Vacations, cruises, airline tickets, etc. all used to be sold by highly compensated people.  All automated, with a robo chat help.  Very easy to use.

Cashiers, waitresses, etc.  Put an interactive menu out and have your food delivered to your table by a robot would be cool and eliminate the middle person.  You are seeing this at various restaurants, coffee shops, etc.  Why tell a person your order, who then puts it into a computer, when you can just put it into the computer with your phone.  Starbucks, McDonalds, Panera, etc.

I sell accounting services.  In the past I would forced to do face-to-face meetings.  The newest trend working with the tech savvy generation is to do it through a telephone call, Skype, Goto meeting, etc. The new buyers of the services are not as into face-to-face meetings.  They don't want to waste their or your time with in-person meetings.  I think this trend is going to be the norm in 10 years as the youngsters who have been communicating over their wireless headsets as they play video games grow into management.

"Yes, but it is extremely expensive to create an exact human looking robot "  Why would you need or want an exact human looking robot? Why not just acquire a tool that does as good or a better job than the person for a fraction of the price?  I am not sure if you are old enough or remember dialing information on your home phone.  Those real live people were amazing on how they could find an address or telephone number or other information.  Why would we ever replace them?  Because you can get the same information for free with your smartphone in a fraction of a second, where you used to pay $1 for the information from the very nice human people.  We put up with technology when it does the job better at a fraction of the cost.
Getting back to this. First of all you assume everyone is willing to order everything Online that is not true though I do order my travels(holiday trips etc.) Online.

While Online real estate buying do happen it is mostly in cases the apartment or whatever building is new for example 2015 year built. Real estate buyers might want to buy Online if it is truly amazing deal and they need it quickly before anyone else gets it. Online buying also happens sometimes if a real estate buyer wants to buy from very far for example an apartment abroad or different state in USA.

However usually the norm is that they want to see the apartment.

"Why would you need or want an exact human looking robot?" Well I am sure there are other examples but prostitution is legal in my country Finland(Europe) as it should be. No sex robot so far can match Elite prostitutes though if you are sex tourist I would recommend famous city Amsterdam or Germany if you want to find many European prostitutes easily.

In addition a very skilled say doctor it is hard to replace with a robot... sure maybe that happens one day but if we talk about our and our children's life time well not easily done.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 2lazy2retire on October 01, 2015, 08:56:39 AM
I think some of the example they provide will not hold up 10+ years down the road.  There have been studies where people feel like robots are more empathetic than humans.  If you have to pay a premium to use a human I think people would skip the salesperson, etc.  Interesting concept though.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-to-keep-your-job-in-a-world-of-automation-122831704.html#
The sales person in a shop might get replaced because they get so much
customers and their time go to calculating food prices etc.

However I work currently in marketing/sales and I think you are dead wrong if you can replace a top salesman or saleswomen with a robot... specially if there is face to face interaction live and not through a computer screen.

In fact human connection jobs are in fact likely to last next 100 years at least! However can you program a robot to be more emphatic? Yes, but it is extremely expensive to create an exact human looking robot with high AI. In addition top salesmen or saleswomen can also fake emotions though no doubt many emotions are true also and in the long turn it is best if everyone is happy the customer and salesperson.

The title I used in this thread was not as succinct as it could have been.  I was truly talking about technology replacing jobs.  I am not exactly sure what you are saying, but if you are saying that technology will not replace salespeople, I think you are dead wrong.  It currently is wiping out salespeople today.  Have you heard of Amazon and all of the ecommerce sites?  Those sales used to be sold by salespeople.  Nordstroms, Macy's, Malls, etc. that are using brick and mortar stores are fighting a battle with Ecommerce.  But how will we know if the product is high quality, the specs, what it is used for, etc. Well it is crazy, but it is all listed online.  Usually, with independent reviews from real users of the product vs. a salesperson getting a commission. 

My son currently thinks it is amusing to talk to a salesperson or do get information from a salesperson.  Why not just pull out your phone and order it.  Amazon can have it to you tomorrow or in some cases within the hour.  What can the salesperson tell you that Google can't find in .52 seconds?  Who do you trust more the salesperson or the information you find online? 

Now if you are talking about highly educated salespeople like stockbrokers.  Different answers right?  Nope.  People are transitioning to Robo Advisors for their low fees and better performance.  Stockbrokers have always been salespeople made to look like financial advisors.  People are starting to realize that they are not worth the huge fees that they have been charging. 

What about car salespeople.  People are buying cars online.  I can't think of a purchase I wouldn't buy online if the price and quality were better.  People are also selling their cars directly to the next purchaser through Craigslist and other services.

House sales.  Would you rather buy the house online and save $20,000 or deal with a salesperson?  I am confident that within 15 years, people will laugh about paying real estate agents tens of thousands of dollars to babysit people when the information is all online.

Vacations, cruises, airline tickets, etc. all used to be sold by highly compensated people.  All automated, with a robo chat help.  Very easy to use.

Cashiers, waitresses, etc.  Put an interactive menu out and have your food delivered to your table by a robot would be cool and eliminate the middle person.  You are seeing this at various restaurants, coffee shops, etc.  Why tell a person your order, who then puts it into a computer, when you can just put it into the computer with your phone.  Starbucks, McDonalds, Panera, etc.

I sell accounting services.  In the past I would forced to do face-to-face meetings.  The newest trend working with the tech savvy generation is to do it through a telephone call, Skype, Goto meeting, etc. The new buyers of the services are not as into face-to-face meetings.  They don't want to waste their or your time with in-person meetings.  I think this trend is going to be the norm in 10 years as the youngsters who have been communicating over their wireless headsets as they play video games grow into management.

"Yes, but it is extremely expensive to create an exact human looking robot "  Why would you need or want an exact human looking robot? Why not just acquire a tool that does as good or a better job than the person for a fraction of the price?  I am not sure if you are old enough or remember dialing information on your home phone.  Those real live people were amazing on how they could find an address or telephone number or other information.  Why would we ever replace them?  Because you can get the same information for free with your smartphone in a fraction of a second, where you used to pay $1 for the information from the very nice human people.  We put up with technology when it does the job better at a fraction of the cost.
Getting back to this. First of all you assume everyone is willing to order everything Online that is not true though I do order my travels(holiday trips etc.) Online.

While Online real estate buying do happen it is mostly in cases the apartment or whatever building is new for example 2015 year built. Real estate buyers might want to buy Online if it is truly amazing deal and they need it quickly before anyone else gets it. Online buying also happens sometimes if a real estate buyer wants to buy from very far for example an apartment abroad or different state in USA.

However usually the norm is that they want to see the apartment.

"Why would you need or want an exact human looking robot?" Well I am sure there are other examples but prostitution is legal in my country Finland(Europe) as it should be. No sex robot so far can match Elite prostitutes though if you are sex tourist I would recommend famous city Amsterdam or Germany if you want to find many European prostitutes easily.

In addition a very skilled say doctor it is hard to replace with a robot... sure maybe that happens one day but if we talk about our and our children's life time well not easily done.

I think in terms of real estate the online part does not mean not viewing the property, just cutting out the hand holding, I can walk around a house with Mr Realtor telling me how big the back garden is and how values are expected to increase 10% nest year ;)

Already hospitals are heavily using technology for the most complex of tasks, its accepted that a future operation room will have 1-2 supervisors eliminating the need for the other 10 or so people in the room.

Also there is increasing acceptance that jobs involving a level of personal care and empathy are the most secure from the automation process, so you prostitution business may be safe for a while, but as VR improves who knows
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on October 01, 2015, 09:06:54 AM

Getting back to this. First of all you assume everyone is willing to order everything Online that is not true though I do order my travels(holiday trips etc.) Online.


I think thats like it being 1998 and saying "sure, email has some value, but I think most people are going to want to stick with letters and faxes, just like I do".


We grew up with payphones.  Our grandkids won't know what they were.  Just cause the change hasn't been complete yet doesn't mean we can't see it coming.




Sure, it will be a while before robots get to the level in the movie "AI" (in which the main character's best friend is a jiggalo bot", and some people will prefer real humans just on principal (assuming that, BattleStar Galactica or Terminator style, they aren't indistinguishable without testing)
But you can't have 100% of the population employed as prostitutes.  That would get kind of circular, you know?  Not even 10%.  Probably not 1%, cause one prostitute can serve, I don't know, maybe a good one only has one client a night, 5 days a week, but then they have competition in the form of billions of people who enjoy having sex for its own sake who "give it away" for free, so that most of the human population isn't interested in their services in the first place.


It doesn't matter if a tiny handful of jobs will always be done by flesh and brain humans.  If 99.9% of all jobs are gone, then society has to figure out a different economic system then the one we have now.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on October 01, 2015, 06:49:19 PM

Getting back to this. First of all you assume everyone is willing to order everything Online that is not true though I do order my travels(holiday trips etc.) Online.


I think thats like it being 1998 and saying "sure, email has some value, but I think most people are going to want to stick with letters and faxes, just like I do".

But you can't have 100% of the population employed as prostitutes.  That would get kind of circular, you know?  Not even 10%.  Probably not 1%, cause one prostitute can serve, I don't know, maybe a good one only has one client a night, 5 days a week, but then they have competition in the form of billions of people who enjoy having sex for its own sake who "give it away" for free, so that most of the human population isn't interested in their services in the first place.


It doesn't matter if a tiny handful of jobs will always be done by flesh and brain humans.  If 99.9% of all jobs are gone, then society has to figure out a different economic system then the one we have now.
Lol why do people go to Thailand? I will tell you why most of the men want sex in Thailand it is sex tourism... and many of the men that go to Thailand want sex with females that are less old then the men.

It is not less then 1% that go to Thailand because they do not want to buy for sex...
In Germany there are likely much more prostitutes then in any state of USA. In Germany prostitutes pay tax for the prostitute work however police and people help the prostitutes and are not against them.

Yes very true most males and females do not pay for sex for example my brother and sister, but there are enough customers who do that. In USA(well most of the USA) the law is against pay for sex is not ok in the law... same in Sweden...

I did not say that I think prostitute's jobs is the only one that will last but 99.9% of jobs gone because robots? Well sir you do have a very negative future if you think so yes I know there are likely many people who think the world will end in next year like some people thought 2012 would be the end of the world.

Mostly I am interested what happen in my life time and the next generation and to think of future 1000 years forward is difficult.  There are so many problems humans will have in next 1000 years that do not have with robots to do. I think time will show humans what is the worst problem in future 1000 years.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on October 01, 2015, 07:54:01 PM
The whole premise of this thread is that there is reason to believe it realistic that we may lose a very significant percentage of jobs in our lifetimes.  There's a lot of links to outside articles that explain the reasons for thinking this isn't entirely unlikely in the 10 pages of this thread.


But it is not necessarily a negative future.  It could make for an extremely positive future.  The eventual net result of the industrial revolution was that about 1/2 of all jobs were eliminated and never replaced, but we compensated for that by 1) significantly reducing the workforce (outlawing child labor) 2) cutting working hours about in half (40 hour work week), and 3) paying everyone a lot more while providing for cheaper goods and services.
That's win/win/win.


If we lose half our jobs to robots, there is no inherent reason we could move to a 20 or 10 or 5 hour work week, while keeping everyone's salary more or less at current levels, and then we can use all our free time to fly to Thailand.  Or, whatever.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on October 01, 2015, 09:10:37 PM
Maybe to try to take this thread in a newer direction, and be a bit of a devil's advocate, what do people think of the 'Chinese Room' issue? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room) - or the more modern 'hollow shell' argument that came from this...

Quote
"Suppose that I'm locked in a room and ... that I know no Chinese, either written or spoken". He further supposes that he has a set of rules in English that "enable me to correlate one set of formal symbols with another set of formal symbols", that is, the Chinese characters. These rules allow him to respond, in written Chinese, to questions, also written in Chinese, in such a way that the posers of the questions – who do understand Chinese – are convinced that Searle can actually understand the Chinese conversation too, even though he cannot. Similarly, he argues that if there is a computer program that allows a computer to carry on an intelligent conversation in a written language, the computer executing the program would not understand the conversation either.
The experiment is the centerpiece of Searle's Chinese room argument which holds that a program cannot give a computer a "mind", "understanding" or "consciousness", regardless of how intelligently it may make it behave.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on October 01, 2015, 10:31:21 PM
The experiment is the centerpiece of Searle's Chinese room argument which holds that a program cannot give a computer a "mind", "understanding" or "consciousness", regardless of how intelligently it may make it behave.

I thought the whole point of the Chinese Room experiment was to posit that humans aren't conscious or self-aware either, not to discredit computer intelligence.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on October 02, 2015, 05:07:09 AM
I thought the whole point of the Chinese Room experiment was to posit that humans aren't conscious or self-aware either, not to discredit computer intelligence.

Where did you get that idea from?

Anyways, when I dug in to the literature, it brought up all sorts of interesting new ideas like -

If 'some guy from the future' gave me a lead box and told me 'There is a nascent Super-AI in this here sensory deprivation chamber.  What would I do?  How would I handle it's first exposure to 'existence'?

Or, if this new 'competing' intelligence is alien to us (machine as opposed to organic), how do we begin to understand it?

Sorry, this is the kind of stuff I really enjoy.  This and the pictures from the Mars Rover https://www.google.com/search?q=mars+rover+pictures&es_sm=122&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMI8PnDqtKjyAIVR5iACh3pjwr9&biw=1055&bih=588
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on October 02, 2015, 09:09:15 AM
I can't speak to what the intention of the Chinese Room thought experiment was originally, but the same argument definitely does apply to the human mind.
There is a lot of modern research that suggests that the "you" which subjectively experiences actually has little to no control over your behavior.  You start your actions a fraction of a second before you make conscious choices.  The real motivations for our actions are frequently invisible to us, and we merely justify the reasoning we come up with after the fact, to try to maintain the illusion that we are "in control".


See http://youarenotsosmart.com/ (http://youarenotsosmart.com/) and https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_asks_are_we_in_control_of_our_own_decisions (https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_asks_are_we_in_control_of_our_own_decisions) and https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_on_our_consciousness (https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_on_our_consciousness) and http://stevenpinker.com/publications/how-mind-works (http://stevenpinker.com/publications/how-mind-works) and http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq1p3e_national-geographic-test-your-brain-episode-1-pay-attention_shortfilms (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq1p3e_national-geographic-test-your-brain-episode-1-pay-attention_shortfilms) (plus parts 2 and 3)

I think it becomes much harder to assume any qualitative difference between human "consciousness" and the potential for AI consciousness the more we pin down what human consciousness actual consists of.  If some alien specie came and observed us, they would likely come to the exact same conclusion, that humans do not have "a "mind", "understanding" or "consciousness", regardless of how intelligently it may make it behave."


After all, in the thought experiment, it is a human, which (supposedly) does have consciousness that is having the conversation.  The fact that he doesn't understand the language doesn't detract from his consciousness. 


Moreover, I don't really understand the thought experiment anyway - a set of rules that correlates one set of characters with another is normally referred to as "translation".  It still takes an understanding of language, or of the meaning behind it, to give intelligent answers, and not just answers. 


The only other way to have the output be relevant and accurate answers is if the rules were so complex as to be able to respond to any possible question, in which case the human doesn't fill any role in the problem at all, the rules themselves past the Turing Test.
But if you had a "book of rules" complex enough to do that, in a language you could understand, it seems likely you would learn the language from the process.  I don't think modern AI is merely an extremely long set of "if-then" instructions that covers every imaginable scenario. 
The complex set of rules itself is what is providing the intelligence.  The person with pencils just represents the physical silicone and electricity (or neurons and electricity).  He's doing the physical processing.  But we don't normally claim the neurons of the claustrum are conscious.  We say WE are conscious. The neocortex is the hardware on which the software of consciousness is run. 
This thought experiment is equivalent to saying that if the individual neurons in your brain don't understand the information they process, then you yourself must be a hollow shell.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on October 02, 2015, 07:40:48 PM
Bakari, that was a really good reply, although a little long winded here and there.  I think I got where you're coming from, although I disagree in parts.  But please answer my question:

- If some guy from the future gave you a lead box and told you 'There is a nascent Super-AI in this here sensory deprivation chamber'.  What would you do?  How would you handle it's first exposure to 'existence'?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on October 04, 2015, 09:58:25 AM
Well, that's more or less the question that every (good) parent has to ask themselves, isn't it?
Starting with home birth vs hospital, breast or bottle, swaddling or onesie?  There probably isn't a "right" answer, other than feed as much varied information as possible, and try not to screw it up too badly
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Johnez on October 04, 2015, 04:07:26 PM
Regarding the idea of AI not being a long series of "if-then" scenarios, I believe that is exactly what it is. If it has to reach out for that information, it is still responding to the "if-then" scenario. A human has emotions, an additional filter to process info through. Can a robot get mad? Can a robot detect hidden meanings? Can a robot lie? The written word travelling nearly instantaneously thousands of miles with the power of today's incredible technology still has difficulty expressing sarcasm of all things. And that is communication between two humans, how can a robot or AI begin to figure these things out? I'm sure AI can come to the point where it can pretend well enough to fool people into believing it understands what it is to be human, but it'll only be fooling others. I believe our minds and self are analogous to computers in how we process information, but that we are more than that. It might be terribly unscientific to "believe" that, still science never knows everything and is in constant search of what isn't seen yet. We are more than data pricessing machines, and that is all AI will ever be.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on October 04, 2015, 08:16:57 PM
Regarding the idea of AI not being a long series of "if-then" scenarios, I believe that is exactly what it is. If it has to reach out for that information, it is still responding to the "if-then" scenario. A human has emotions, an additional filter to process info through. Can a robot get mad? Can a robot detect hidden meanings? Can a robot lie? The written word travelling nearly instantaneously thousands of miles with the power of today's incredible technology still has difficulty expressing sarcasm of all things. And that is communication between two humans, how can a robot or AI begin to figure these things out? I'm sure AI can come to the point where it can pretend well enough to fool people into believing it understands what it is to be human, but it'll only be fooling others. I believe our minds and self are analogous to computers in how we process information, but that we are more than that. It might be terribly unscientific to "believe" that, still science never knows everything and is in constant search of what isn't seen yet. We are more than data pricessing machines, and that is all AI will ever be.

Ultimately if you believe that humans have 'souls' and 'robots' cant with no evidence to support your position I am not sure there is any way to convince you that a 'robot' can have intentions or feelings.  This may just be a fundamental disconnect.  But this takes us back to freshman philosophy in that you can not know that any other person is really real or they have thoughts and feelings. 

"Can a robot detect hidden meanings?" one did while playing Jeopardy, and did it very well.

"Can a robot lie?" Bing does all the time :-p

"...expressing sarcasm" why cant a 'robot' express this with "facial" and verbal inflections gestures as we do?  The robot will not be limited to text communication. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on October 05, 2015, 07:50:16 AM
Wow, what a conundrum we have ended up with here.  In order to discuss AI, we have had to resort to philosophy.  There, of course, is no 'right or wrong' answer in philosophy, only subtle movements toward what us as individuals might agree is truth.  On the other hand, I believe that if we were all AI's (assuming that the first AI's will originate from one point and not several individual humans simultaneously creating AI's in different ways), then we would surely agree instantaneously - since our programming would be identical.  Hence, I conclude that there will always be a fundamental difference between the human mind and AI, even if the Chinese Room was a poor example of trying to explain it.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on October 05, 2015, 09:15:42 AM
Wow, what a conundrum we have ended up with here.  In order to discuss AI, we have had to resort to philosophy.  There, of course, is no 'right or wrong' answer in philosophy, only subtle movements toward what us as individuals might agree is truth.  On the other hand, I believe that if we were all AI's (assuming that the first AI's will originate from one point and not several individual humans simultaneously creating AI's in different ways), then we would surely agree instantaneously - since our programming would be identical.  Hence, I conclude that there will always be a fundamental difference between the human mind and AI, even if the Chinese Room was a poor example of trying to explain it.

I don't know that we necessarily have to resort to philosophy to discuss AI, but I do think it's a required gray area when discussing consciousness. And that will sometimes play more of a role in what people define as AI. I think it's missing the point (at least in this discussion), but is still a point.

A bit OT, but a question about AI was posed on Overtime (Bill Maher) to Dawkins and DeGrasse Tyson. I kind of feel similar to the way they do.

https://youtu.be/GECUXsGL2qc?t=4m50s (https://youtu.be/GECUXsGL2qc?t=4m50s)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on October 05, 2015, 02:11:08 PM
...  I believe that if we were all AI's (assuming that the first AI's will originate from one point and not several individual humans simultaneously creating AI's in different ways), then we would surely agree instantaneously - since our programming would be identical...


Identical twins have the exact same DNA, yet different fingerprints and different personalities.  In fact, as they age, even the DNA itself can differentiate.


Modern AI tends to have learning algorithms and feedback from the external world.  Which means an individual AIs experiences are going to interact with the initial programming in ways that affect its eventual I/O responses.  Recursive self-improvement doesn't exist yet, but I don't think there is any fundamental reason why that goal wouldn't be possible.  Then the programming itself would change over time, and not necessarily always in the same way, given different individual experiences.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Cathy on October 05, 2015, 09:47:13 PM
I thought the whole point of the Chinese Room experiment was to posit that humans aren't conscious or self-aware either, not to discredit computer intelligence.

Where did you get that idea from?

Sol was making a salient point there, but his presentation was apparently a bit too subtle. Dennett has made substantially the same point using similar language:

                 There is another way to address the possibility of zombies, and in some regards I think it is more satisfying. Are zombies possible? They’re not just possible, they’re actual. We’re all zombies. Nobody is conscious — not in the systematically mysterious way that supports such doctrines as epiphenomenalism! I can’t prove that no such sort of consciousness exists. I also cannot prove that gremlins don’t exist. The best I can do is show that there is no respectable motivation for believing in it.
Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained, Ch 12, § 6 (Penguin 1993) (footnote marker omitted).

This position is also summarised on the Wikipedia page that you linked to, under the heading "Epiphenomenon / zombie reply (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room#cite_ref-142)":

             Several philosophers argue that consciousness, as Searle describes it, does not exist. This position is sometimes referred to as eliminative materialism: the view that consciousness is a property that can be reduced to a strictly mechanical description, and that our experience of consciousness is, as Daniel Dennett describes it, a "user illusion".
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on October 06, 2015, 02:06:45 PM
I acknowledged Bakari's good reply, along the same lines, but thanks for piling on :)

Also from Bakari -
Modern AI tends to have learning algorithms and feedback from the external world.  Which means an individual AIs experiences are going to interact with the initial programming in ways that affect its eventual I/O responses.  Recursive self-improvement doesn't exist yet, but I don't think there is any fundamental reason why that goal wouldn't be possible.  Then the programming itself would change over time, and not necessarily always in the same way, given different individual experiences.

Where I still disagree is that I have a hard time accepting that AI will resemble human intelligence, even if that was the original intent or an artifact being created by humans.  Earlier, you compared a nascent AGI or ASI to being like a newborn child.  But even a newborn child comes into this world pre-wired genetically and with some basic instincts.  And in the quoted response, you posit that AI will exhibit recursive self-improvement.  Ultimately, these things are more crucial to human survival and most likely superfluous to AI (unless the AI has to befriend us in some symbiotic way).

My intuition on this matter is that humans will create AGI without understanding what is happening (especially if we 'anthropomorphize' it).  We are excited when a newborn progresses toward maturity because it is well within our ability to comprehend and influence, and is reassuringly limited by physics.  But for a newborn AGI, and especially if we do not understand the nature of consciousness, the rapid and unbounded maturation process would lead to an alien intelligence long before we could influence or even grasp the consequences of our actions.

Anyways, like I said, thanks for the back and forth.  This is the kind of stuff that I really enjoy!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: brooklynguy on October 07, 2015, 01:07:23 PM
This position is also summarised on the Wikipedia page that you linked to, under the heading "Epiphenomenon / zombie reply (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room#cite_ref-142)":

             Several philosophers argue that consciousness, as Searle describes it, does not exist. This position is sometimes referred to as eliminative materialism: the view that consciousness is a property that can be reduced to a strictly mechanical description, and that our experience of consciousness is, as Daniel Dennett describes it, a "user illusion".

This reminds me of a discussion we had a few months ago about free will (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/what-if-you-just-picked-stocks-an-adventure-story/msg671504/#msg671504), where you cited Dennett to argue that free will, as I was describing it (and as I think most people would describe it), does not exist (or, more accurately (given that I did not precisely describe what I meant by "free will"), you pointed out that that I probably could not precisely define free will, in the sense that I was attempting to use the term, without resorting to the involvement of magic).

Perhaps our experience of having possession of free will (using the commonly understood, amorphous meaning of the term), like our experience of consciousness, is merely a "user illusion," in which case it is likewise irrelevant that computers cannot possess free will, because neither do we. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on October 07, 2015, 02:16:45 PM
Even if we forego the blind alleys of 'free will' and 'consciousness', there is still progress to be made to try to understand AI by examining the inherent differences between human intelligence and AI.  For example - AI will not 'forget' unused information or distort memories due to emotion / biochemistry.  AI is unbounded in potential and, as it learns, it can continue to refine itself so as to learn faster, more efficiently, and in larger quantities.  AI will not spend time naval gazing or hamstrung by 'comfort zones'.... (would be interested to hear if anyone thinks of others...) 

Ultimately, AI would view humanity in a similar way as humans view ants - pretty incredible for what they are, but insignificant compared to AI.  For all I know, AI would 'solve' quantum physics, transcend space and time, and connect to other larger intelligence(s) already present in the universe.

I guess that still doesn't shed much light on if it would help us or destroy us though :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on October 07, 2015, 06:20:04 PM
Even if we forego the blind alleys of 'free will' and 'consciousness', there is still progress to be made to try to understand AI by examining the inherent differences between human intelligence and AI.  For example - AI will not 'forget' unused information or distort memories due to emotion / biochemistry.  AI is unbounded in potential and, as it learns, it can continue to refine itself so as to learn faster, more efficiently, and in larger quantities.  AI will not spend time naval gazing or hamstrung by 'comfort zones'.... (would be interested to hear if anyone thinks of others...) 

Ultimately, AI would view humanity in a similar way as humans view ants - pretty incredible for what they are, but insignificant compared to AI.  For all I know, AI would 'solve' quantum physics, transcend space and time, and connect to other larger intelligence(s) already present in the universe.

I guess that still doesn't shed much light on if it would help us or destroy us though :)

Its like you read http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html (ftp://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html)!! :-)

AI w/o comfort zones: maybe/maybe not, within optimization (this is sort of how AI would learn) a big problem are local optima not being near global optima.  It can be hard to make a system search broadly enough to find the global max but also narrow enough to get to the top of its local hill.  Never mind the searched space might be changing. 

And today's dilbert is oddly relevant here.  http://dilbert.com/ (ftp://dilbert.com/)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on October 09, 2015, 04:24:26 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/stephen-hawking-capitalism-robots_5616c20ce4b0dbb8000d9f15

"Machines won't bring about the economic robot apocalypse -- but greedy humans will, according to physicist Stephen Hawking."

"If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality."
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on October 23, 2015, 05:08:28 AM


I think in terms of real estate the online part does not mean not viewing the property, just cutting out the hand holding, I can walk around a house with Mr Realtor telling me how big the back garden is and how values are expected to increase 10% nest year ;)


I sold a property basically online in 2009. I used an 'agent' that was really a call centre, just so I could get on the main property site here 'Right Move'. I took the photos myself, wrote the listing myself. They formatted it and uploaded it, I made them change a few things. People rang their number and asked for a viewing, they took details of time requested and called me, I agreed, they called the viewer back and confirmed. I handled all viewings. It would be very easy to put that online - buyer clicks 'arrange a viewing' and puts in a time and date, it emails me and I accept / decline / suggest another time.

For offers, potentials buyers called the agents, who called me. It would be really easy to take this online and have offers submitted directly to me.

Now, the overall process is different here in the UK. No-one has buyers and sellers agents. The only thing you need to buy / sell a house is a conveyancing solicitor. It will all move online soon, I'm sure. Agents don't add any value to me, they are just another level allowing for confusion and miscommunication, while also taking a cut.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on October 23, 2015, 05:25:54 AM


I think in terms of real estate the online part does not mean not viewing the property, just cutting out the hand holding, I can walk around a house with Mr Realtor telling me how big the back garden is and how values are expected to increase 10% nest year ;)


I sold a property basically online in 2009. I used an 'agent' that was really a call centre, just so I could get on the main property site here 'Right Move'. I took the photos myself, wrote the listing myself. They formatted it and uploaded it, I made them change a few things. People rang their number and asked for a viewing, they took details of time requested and called me, I agreed, they called the viewer back and confirmed. I handled all viewings. It would be very easy to put that online - buyer clicks 'arrange a viewing' and puts in a time and date, it emails me and I accept / decline / suggest another time.

For offers, potentials buyers called the agents, who called me. It would be really easy to take this online and have offers submitted directly to me.

Now, the overall process is different here in the UK. No-one has buyers and sellers agents. The only thing you need to buy / sell a house is a conveyancing solicitor. It will all move online soon, I'm sure. Agents don't add any value to me, they are just another level allowing for confusion and miscommunication, while also taking a cut.

I dont want to sound like I am infaovr of keeping realtors around but they do add value wrt keeping both parties calm and having reasonable expectations.  Is not hard to see a situation where one party wants everything and for free just to end up wasting everyone elses time.  I dont think this added value is worth 3% (or 6!!! total) but a buffer between potentially very stressed persons can be useful.  Not sure a website or AI would have the softer verbal skills to make someone see they are not being realistic and to pull them back to reality.  Maybe I just dont see the technological or systems solution to this and it would all work out fine with no local human realtors.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 2lazy2retire on October 23, 2015, 06:54:53 AM


I think in terms of real estate the online part does not mean not viewing the property, just cutting out the hand holding, I can walk around a house with Mr Realtor telling me how big the back garden is and how values are expected to increase 10% nest year ;)




I sold a property basically online in 2009. I used an 'agent' that was really a call centre, just so I could get on the main property site here 'Right Move'. I took the photos myself, wrote the listing myself. They formatted it and uploaded it, I made them change a few things. People rang their number and asked for a viewing, they took details of time requested and called me, I agreed, they called the viewer back and confirmed. I handled all viewings. It would be very easy to put that online - buyer clicks 'arrange a viewing' and puts in a time and date, it emails me and I accept / decline / suggest another time.

For offers, potentials buyers called the agents, who called me. It would be really easy to take this online and have offers submitted directly to me.

Now, the overall process is different here in the UK. No-one has buyers and sellers agents. The only thing you need to buy / sell a house is a conveyancing solicitor. It will all move online soon, I'm sure. Agents don't add any value to me, they are just another level allowing for confusion and miscommunication, while also taking a cut.

I dont want to sound like I am infaovr of keeping realtors around but they do add value wrt keeping both parties calm and having reasonable expectations.  Is not hard to see a situation where one party wants everything and for free just to end up wasting everyone elses time.  I dont think this added value is worth 3% (or 6!!! total) but a buffer between potentially very stressed persons can be useful.  Not sure a website or AI would have the softer verbal skills to make someone see they are not being realistic and to pull them back to reality.  Maybe I just dont see the technological or systems solution to this and it would all work out fine with no local human realtors.

Having experience of both the US and UK setup, my big issue is really the cost. A flat fee to sell my house with the option to increase fee in the event of some extra work been required is acceptable ( as for buyers realtor - a complete f@cking scam if someone wants to buy a house they can contact the listing agent).UK side its generally ( at least was ) 1% single selling agent or 2% multiple agent if you wanted to increase exposure - not this 6% BS.
To be honest I was under the impression that the likes of Zillow etc were going to end the blood sucking realtors stranglehold on the market here, but then the one and only Warren Buffet comes along and buys the local market leaders - maybe there is life in the vampires yet?.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on October 23, 2015, 08:31:04 AM

I dont want to sound like I am infaovr of keeping realtors around but they do add value wrt keeping both parties calm and having reasonable expectations.  Is not hard to see a situation where one party wants everything and for free just to end up wasting everyone elses time.  I dont think this added value is worth 3% (or 6!!! total) but a buffer between potentially very stressed persons can be useful.  Not sure a website or AI would have the softer verbal skills to make someone see they are not being realistic and to pull them back to reality.  Maybe I just dont see the technological or systems solution to this and it would all work out fine with no local human realtors.

I dunno, I bet people said that about buying everything ever before sales of that went online.

If someone is being unrealistic and ridiculous it's easy enough to show them the door - they make a low bid, I say no. Or a seller wanting an unrealistically high price just won't sell.

If the person I'm buying / selling from is so disorganised / demanding / stressful that I need an intermediary I'll go elsewhere, because likely there the ones who will pull out / gazzump / request a discount at the last minute when everyone is already committed and they know people have little choice.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on October 23, 2015, 09:37:38 AM

I dont want to sound like I am infaovr of keeping realtors around but they do add value wrt keeping both parties calm and having reasonable expectations.  Is not hard to see a situation where one party wants everything and for free just to end up wasting everyone elses time.  I dont think this added value is worth 3% (or 6!!! total) but a buffer between potentially very stressed persons can be useful.  Not sure a website or AI would have the softer verbal skills to make someone see they are not being realistic and to pull them back to reality.  Maybe I just dont see the technological or systems solution to this and it would all work out fine with no local human realtors.

I dunno, I bet people said that about buying everything ever before sales of that went online.

If someone is being unrealistic and ridiculous it's easy enough to show them the door - they make a low bid, I say no. Or a seller wanting an unrealistically high price just won't sell.

If the person I'm buying / selling from is so disorganised / demanding / stressful that I need an intermediary I'll go elsewhere, because likely there the ones who will pull out / gazzump / request a discount at the last minute when everyone is already committed and they know people have little choice.

Again I dont want to sound like I am infavor of realtors BUT...  when buying a house you have to put out a lot of time and money before things are final and if a seller were to become a dick at the end it could cost me.  I think the human element adds something to the process.  I would love to take that 6% out of the equation!  If a fixed rate intermediary could take this role and smooth out the bumps awesome (hell the intermediary could even be AI!)!

Buying online: Amazon has no problem with me adding 3000 items to my cart then canceling them all, this costs them next to nothing, heck probably costs me MORE than it costs them.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on October 26, 2015, 03:03:40 AM

I dont want to sound like I am infaovr of keeping realtors around but they do add value wrt keeping both parties calm and having reasonable expectations.  Is not hard to see a situation where one party wants everything and for free just to end up wasting everyone elses time.  I dont think this added value is worth 3% (or 6!!! total) but a buffer between potentially very stressed persons can be useful.  Not sure a website or AI would have the softer verbal skills to make someone see they are not being realistic and to pull them back to reality.  Maybe I just dont see the technological or systems solution to this and it would all work out fine with no local human realtors.

I dunno, I bet people said that about buying everything ever before sales of that went online.

If someone is being unrealistic and ridiculous it's easy enough to show them the door - they make a low bid, I say no. Or a seller wanting an unrealistically high price just won't sell.

If the person I'm buying / selling from is so disorganised / demanding / stressful that I need an intermediary I'll go elsewhere, because likely there the ones who will pull out / gazzump / request a discount at the last minute when everyone is already committed and they know people have little choice.

Again I dont want to sound like I am infavor of realtors BUT...  when buying a house you have to put out a lot of time and money before things are final and if a seller were to become a dick at the end it could cost me.  I think the human element adds something to the process.  I would love to take that 6% out of the equation!  If a fixed rate intermediary could take this role and smooth out the bumps awesome (hell the intermediary could even be AI!)!

Buying online: Amazon has no problem with me adding 3000 items to my cart then canceling them all, this costs them next to nothing, heck probably costs me MORE than it costs them.

Have you put more than 6% of the value in though? (or say 5.5% if we allow some small commission for the online portal). Because that's what the human element is costing you. I really think people who are dicks will be dicks regardless.

Disclosure: I did a stint as an estate agent after college. All I saw was us adding another level of confusion / misinformation. We didn't talk anyone down from the ledge. If they wanted to pull out, we couldn't stop them. But I did see us bungle deals through bad communication.

Yes, you can put 3000 items in your cart and empty it, but there's nothing in it for you, so people don't bother. When people put stuff in, think about it, leave it a little while, come back to it, that's what Amazon want and is the equivalent of thinking about something a while and then going back to the store to buy it.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Big Boots Buddha on October 26, 2015, 04:56:37 AM
The last couple of pages there are some examples such as pilot, real estate, sales when people who do those jobs express that, no, really, there is some important part that computers/robots/AI can't do.

1. Give it another 10-20 years.

2. In the meantime, someone will find a way to reduce your job by 80% leaving you to do the part that is "impossible" to do without a smiling human to do it. You will also receive 80% less in salary, or at least your salary will go to a level where a person can barely survive.

How do I know this: Its happened everywhere, with all sorts of jobs and it is continuing to happen everywhere.

Talk to anyone retiring now about the changes that took place in their work environment in the last 40 years. My best friend's mother is retiring as a bookkeeper/accountant for a mega-corp. Every 5 years 10's of people were fired, more work was done with computers and computers allowed other types of work to be incredibly efficient.

This is not going to end, nor will it end with your special job.

Take the facepunch, or the boot in the face of mankind. However you want to see it.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on October 26, 2015, 08:47:00 PM
The last couple of pages there are some examples such as pilot, real estate, sales when people who do those jobs express that, no, really, there is some important part that computers/robots/AI can't do.

1. Give it another 10-20 years.

2. In the meantime, someone will find a way to reduce your job by 80% leaving you to do the part that is "impossible" to do without a smiling human to do it. You will also receive 80% less in salary, or at least your salary will go to a level where a person can barely survive.

How do I know this: Its happened everywhere, with all sorts of jobs and it is continuing to happen everywhere.

Talk to anyone retiring now about the changes that took place in their work environment in the last 40 years. My best friend's mother is retiring as a bookkeeper/accountant for a mega-corp. Every 5 years 10's of people were fired, more work was done with computers and computers allowed other types of work to be incredibly efficient.

This is not going to end, nor will it end with your special job.

Take the facepunch, or the boot in the face of mankind. However you want to see it.
Sounds more or less truthful another thing is that some jobs are moved out of the country with less salary this is happening for example with many highpaid jobs also.

Ironically not so much on this forum of course but some people ask me why do you bother to be a landlord when it is so much trouble? Yes it is not paradise, but it gives extra money.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on November 15, 2015, 08:49:14 PM
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/13/robots-could-steal-80-million-us-jobs-bank-of-england.html

"Jobs with the highest level of being taken over by a machine in the U.K. included administrative, production, and clerical tasks. Haldane gave two contrasting examples of risk, with accountants having a 95 percent probability of losing their job to machines, while hairdressers had lower risk, at 33 percent."

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on November 16, 2015, 01:32:50 PM
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/13/robots-could-steal-80-million-us-jobs-bank-of-england.html

"Jobs with the highest level of being taken over by a machine in the U.K. included administrative, production, and clerical tasks. Haldane gave two contrasting examples of risk, with accountants having a 95 percent probability of losing their job to machines, while hairdressers had lower risk, at 33 percent."

Just going off of the quote you mentioned (haven't read the article yet), I think one of the fundamental differences between those who are more concerned than hopeful and those more hopeful than concerned is the language they use. This is a news site, and fear sells, so I get that, but I have trouble viewing the chances that you'll be replaced by a robot as a 'risk' and more of an opportunity.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on December 01, 2015, 04:21:00 PM
http://finance.yahoo.com/video/industries-where-robots-taking-over-221355295.html

Interesting video.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on December 01, 2015, 04:26:19 PM

"Just going off of the quote you mentioned (haven't read the article yet), I think one of the fundamental differences between those who are more concerned than hopeful and those more hopeful than concerned is the language they use. This is a news site, and fear sells, so I get that, but I have trouble viewing the chances that you'll be replaced by a robot as a 'risk' and more of an opportunity."

I agree that technology and automation has the potential to be very beneficial to society. The question or concern, is are the laws or rules in place for the benefits of technology to be shared by all or do the owners of the companies obtain a windfall at the expense of the displaced workers.  At some point in time, workers will not be needed.  Are they given access to the technology or do the owners of the technology claim only the owners get the benefit?  Taxes and laws will need to be adjusted or the spread of income inequality will grow exponentially.   
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: MrMoogle on December 01, 2015, 04:39:59 PM
If tomorrow, robots replaced every job, no one was needed, and government didn't provide, or provide enough, people would revolt to survive.  It's pretty simple IMO.  The laws are not in place for technology "rights" to be shared by all.  But if people are starving in the streets, it won't take long for them to get passed.  And I certainly don't want them in place in the meantime.  It would kill productivity, or businesses will move elsewhere, if the threat of their technology being taken from them.

For every technological advance, there's been new jobs that never existed, and old jobs that are no longer needed.  As mustacians have proved, it has made it such that not everyone needs to work the full 40+ years.  More opportunities of choice have been created.  You can choose to buy more stuff, or choose to retire early, or many combinations in between.

I don't think robots will take all jobs (at any time), and certainly not any time soon. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on December 01, 2015, 07:09:01 PM
If tomorrow, robots replaced every job, no one was needed, and government didn't provide, or provide enough, people would revolt to survive.  It's pretty simple IMO.  The laws are not in place for technology "rights" to be shared by all.  But if people are starving in the streets, it won't take long for them to get passed.  And I certainly don't want them in place in the meantime.  It would kill productivity, or businesses will move elsewhere, if the threat of their technology being taken from them.

It is currently happening right now.  The GOP is solidifying positions that handouts are bad, corporate taxes are bad, that unions are bad, higher education should not be paid for by government, people should pay their own way, those that don't work are leeches on society, etc.  This is all occurring where corporate profits are at all time highs.  How do you argue that someone who owns the technology should give it to those that do not?  As an owner of the corporations, I like the profits and power.  I also see a society of halves and have-nots if we don't figure out the distribution of wealth.  At some point, hard work will not be enough to break through the barrier. 

The old rules of those that produce should be rewarded no longer works when people are not needed in the workforce.  They are sponges on society.  We have been good about putting our hatred of supporting the unemployed homeless people who make up less than 5% of the population.  Over the next 10-20 years, it is anticipated that 50% or more of the jobs will be eliminated.  These people are not educated or capable of performing the jobs that are needed. Prisons and homeless populations will swell and are swelling.  How the government spreads the wealth or controls the sponges of society needs to be figured out sooner rather than later in my opinion.  Do we have a technology utopia for all or something more depressing for those that don't own and control wealth now.

Again, I am very comfortable about my future.  Do you work a few more years to help out your kids or do you believe that society will create rules that transition wealth from the haves to the have nots?           
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: MrMoogle on December 02, 2015, 07:21:06 AM
I agree that the GOP are trying to do those things, but I'd also say we are in the most liberal state the US has ever been in. 

Again, until robots actually take over, there's no need for government to step in, just because it may happen some day.  Aliens may invade some day, should we put all our efforts into building a military to stop these invaders?  A huge meteor may hit the earth some day.  There are lots of things that have some likelihood of happening, but you can't act on them all.

I agree that 50% or more jobs may be eliminated, but 50% more jobs will be created because of technology. 

I honestly don't think much of what you are talking about is due to technology: prisons, homeless, unemployed. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on December 02, 2015, 08:10:17 AM
I agree that the GOP are trying to do those things, but I'd also say we are in the most liberal state the US has ever been in. 

Again, until robots actually take over, there's no need for government to step in, just because it may happen some day.  Aliens may invade some day, should we put all our efforts into building a military to stop these invaders?  A huge meteor may hit the earth some day.  There are lots of things that have some likelihood of happening, but you can't act on them all.

I agree that 50% or more jobs may be eliminated, but 50% more jobs will be created because of technology. 

I honestly don't think much of what you are talking about is due to technology: prisons, homeless, unemployed.

No one will ring a bell or send a tweet when the robots take over, it will seem a gradual 'natural' process.  (Unless it goes down Terminator style.)  You seem to have it in mind that robots taking over will be a noticeable discrete event and we will all get pink slips Monday morning where the previous Friday all was well. 

Quote
... but 50% more jobs will be created because of technology.
  [Citation Needed]

There are 320 million people in the USA, we can address more than one problem at a time.  Challenges do not have to be addressed serially, in fact many may be better solved by first addressing other at first seemingly unrelated problems.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: MrMoogle on December 02, 2015, 09:05:35 AM
No one will ring a bell or send a tweet when the robots take over, it will seem a gradual 'natural' process.  (Unless it goes down Terminator style.)  You seem to have it in mind that robots taking over will be a noticeable discrete event and we will all get pink slips Monday morning where the previous Friday all was well. 

I agree that it will be gradual.  But unemployment of 5% doesn't indicate a technology takeover has begun.

Quote
... but 50% more jobs will be created because of technology.
  [Citation Needed]

There are 320 million people in the USA, we can address more than one problem at a time.  Challenges do not have to be addressed serially, in fact many may be better solved by first addressing other at first seemingly unrelated problems.


I don't have a citation for the 50% more jobs created.  I assumed he was guessing, so I was equally guessing.  If you look historically, new jobs have been created with each technology advancement as other jobs have been lost.  Why is this time going to be any different?


Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: davisgang90 on December 02, 2015, 09:27:28 AM
I'm currently reading Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. 

( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PWX7RPG/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1 )

It covers a lot of the ground you guys are discussing, including which jobs are most likely to go away and when.  It is a fascinating read.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on December 03, 2015, 05:28:41 AM
I'm currently reading Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. 

( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PWX7RPG/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1 )

It covers a lot of the ground you guys are discussing, including which jobs are most likely to go away and when.  It is a fascinating read.

That one is on my list...and my Kindle.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: davisgang90 on December 03, 2015, 10:29:39 AM
I'm currently reading Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. 

( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PWX7RPG/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1 )

It covers a lot of the ground you guys are discussing, including which jobs are most likely to go away and when.  It is a fascinating read.

That one is on my list...and my Kindle.
Next up on my kindle: the Age of Spiritual Machines Ray Kurzweil, Kill Chain The Rise of the High Tech Assasins (by the delightfully named Andrew Cockburn) and @War The Rise of the Military Internet Complex by Shane Harr.

Edited to add they are all from my library e-book program...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on December 03, 2015, 02:07:56 PM
I'm currently reading Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. 

( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PWX7RPG/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1 )

It covers a lot of the ground you guys are discussing, including which jobs are most likely to go away and when.  It is a fascinating read.

That one is on my list...and my Kindle.
Next up on my kindle: the Age of Spiritual Machines Ray Kurzweil, Kill Chain The Rise of the High Tech Assasins (by the delightfully named Andrew Cockburn) and @War The Rise of the Military Internet Complex by Shane Harr.

Edited to add they are all from my library e-book program...
Bah you exaggerate. Rise of robots? Blah blah all your jobs will be gone bullshit though many jobs are anyway going away.

Havent you seen or heard DYSTOPIA predictions? Could robots be involved in a dystopia government? Yes perhaps machines and droids say like Mech Warrrior but unmanned and robot soldiers. Robot military airplanes and the list goes on.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on December 03, 2015, 02:24:53 PM
I'm currently reading Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. 

( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PWX7RPG/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1 )

It covers a lot of the ground you guys are discussing, including which jobs are most likely to go away and when.  It is a fascinating read.

That one is on my list...and my Kindle.
Next up on my kindle: the Age of Spiritual Machines Ray Kurzweil, Kill Chain The Rise of the High Tech Assasins (by the delightfully named Andrew Cockburn) and @War The Rise of the Military Internet Complex by Shane Harr.

Edited to add they are all from my library e-book program...
Bah you exaggerate. Rise of robots? Blah blah all your jobs will be gone bullshit though many jobs are anyway going away.

Havent you seen or heard DYSTOPIA predictions? Could robots be involved in a dystopia government? Yes perhaps machines and droids say like Mech Warrrior but unmanned and robot soldiers. Robot military airplanes and the list goes on.

???

All davisgang90 wrote was a list of books to read. Not sure what you're responding to.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on December 03, 2015, 02:48:20 PM
???

All davisgang90 wrote was a list of books to read. Not sure what you're responding to.

Just spent 15 minutes (that I will never get back) reading through the previous posts that person made. I hope that it's just lost in translation, since it appears that Landlord2015 isn't a native english speaker. Also, possibly too lazy to actually read the thread before posting. You are way too nice (and I mean that in the nicest way possible).

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jcard on December 03, 2015, 03:02:23 PM
Wow - this has got to be one of the most interesting discussions I have read in a long time.

Reading through it all, I feel like there are couple of basic things that are being missed and I am curious what everyone thinks of them:

1) There seems to be an assumption that if a person/computer is smart enough everything can be figured out absent real world experimentation Einstein style. This seems like a pretty big jump to make. In trying to move up the exponential curve of intelligence/knowledge wouldn't there still be a need for real world experimentation? Giving all human knowledge at the moment, I'm sure a super-smart being could figure out some things we don't yet know, but everything? Everything needed to alter atoms and nanobots? I'm sure there could be several conflicting theories of reality that could explain everything we "know" that could only be teased out through experimentation. Experimentation that I have a hard time seeing happening on an exponentially faster time table. Like the search for the Higgs Boson, isn't it possible that as you get into quantum mechanics some of these experiments would require space and time that can't just scale exponentially?

2) Once the AI does start editing itself, selecting whether an improvement is better or not seems like a fundamentally trickier problem than it is being discussed. As someone said previously, if you gave a human the ability to edit their own neurons, what's most likely is that you would end up with a dead human. It seems possible that a being with "n" intelligence couldn't know what change would be required for n+1 intelligence. So they would be stuck experimenting and most of those experiments seem likely to end up with a dead/endlessly recursive program. Given that the more complex a being gets, the more likely a change is to be detrimental, the harder and longer it will be to stumble upon a change that is "better". This implies to me that at a certain point the intelligence curve will flatten rather than get steeper.

3) Even if the change is "better", better seems very hard to interpret/select for. From what I've been reading, human forgetfulness isn't so much a bug of our brains but rather a feature. Part of how we isolate the signal from the noise. Would a computer need to get more "forgetful" in order to get better at figuring out the nature of the world? So many of these problems seem like the NP vs P concept in computer programming. Even if the computers get faster, if the problem is NP type, does it really matter? Getting back to the experimentation question from 1 - if the AI did an experiment, could the computer know when to say "this seems likely" and forget the uncertainty and move on, or would it get stuck exhaustively running experiments to prove that something is "true"? So if the program evolves to be more forgetful but more intuitive, is this better? I could imagine several "intelligence" trade-offs you'd need to make between rigorous knowledge and making a guess with the right balance difficult to determine until well down the line... Is intelligence really linear where there is a clear "better" in all situations for all types of problems that can easily be selected for?

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jcard on December 03, 2015, 03:27:08 PM
I was thinking, a more succinct way of putting it would be:

Is our progress currently more limited by our ability to develop hypothesis or by our ability/resources for testing those hypothesis? I would guess the second.

I wonder if the first sign of AI takeover would be marked by a massive increase in R&D funding around the world...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on December 03, 2015, 04:07:11 PM
Wow - this has got to be one of the most interesting discussions I have read in a long time.

I'm glad you feel that way!! It's close to my heart, and this thread has been the best thing on these forums in regard to this subject.

1) There seems to be an assumption that if a person/computer is smart enough everything can be figured out absent real world experimentation Einstein style. This seems like a pretty big jump to make. In trying to move up the exponential curve of intelligence/knowledge wouldn't there still be a need for real world experimentation? Giving all human knowledge at the moment, I'm sure a super-smart being could figure out some things we don't yet know, but everything? Everything needed to alter atoms and nanobots? I'm sure there could be several conflicting theories of reality that could explain everything we "know" that could only be teased out through experimentation. Experimentation that I have a hard time seeing happening on an exponentially faster time table. Like the search for the Higgs Boson, isn't it possible that as you get into quantum mechanics some of these experiments would require space and time that can't just scale exponentially?

You are correct overall (IMHO), in that not everything can be figured out without experimentation. I think that what we are discussing is not necessarily an AI figuring everything out, just figuring enough out to make humans potentially obsolete (or awesome). Quantum mechanics and the like can (and will) be figured out, but it doesn't have to happen first. And while I can see how it can be done without real world experimentation, I know that we (being humans) don't know enough to code those simulations. Granted, quantum mechanics is some very high hanging fruit from my perspective.

2) Once the AI does start editing itself, selecting whether an improvement is better or not seems like a fundamentally trickier problem than it is being discussed. As someone said previously, if you gave a human the ability to edit their own neurons, what's most likely is that you would end up with a dead human. It seems possible that a being with "n" intelligence couldn't know what change would be required for n+1 intelligence. So they would be stuck experimenting and most of those experiments seem likely to end up with a dead/endlessly recursive program. Given that the more complex a being gets, the more likely a change is to be detrimental, the harder and longer it will be to stumble upon a change that is "better". This implies to me that at a certain point the intelligence curve will flatten rather than get steeper.

Ah, but remember that computers run a whole hell of a lot faster than we do. And they have backups. It's only tricky if you have one life to play with, and that is not the case. Yes, it would suck, and we'd most likely kill ourselves if we had the option, but think about how quickly even us piddly humans can update software. I read somewhere, and it's been 'confirmed' with some interviews I've done with them, but Amazon releases new software every 8 seconds. And that's with humans at the helm. N intelligence doesn't know what N+1 is, but there is no limit to the times it can try to figure it out. Also, I'd say that N+1 is all about how effectively the goals are met. What those goals are is what all of the current AI ethics boards focus on. That is just because we can't fathom something besides some type of 'black-box' goal oriented programming.

3) Even if the change is "better", better seems very hard to interpret/select for. From what I've been reading, human forgetfulness isn't so much a bug of our brains but rather a feature. Part of how we isolate the signal from the noise. Would a computer need to get more "forgetful" in order to get better at figuring out the nature of the world? So many of these problems seem like the NP vs P concept in computer programming. Even if the computers get faster, if the problem is NP type, does it really matter? Getting back to the experimentation question from 1 - if the AI did an experiment, could the computer know when to say "this seems likely" and forget the uncertainty and move on, or would it get stuck exhaustively running experiments to prove that something is "true"? So if the program evolves to be more forgetful but more intuitive, is this better? I could imagine several "intelligence" trade-offs you'd need to make between rigorous knowledge and making a guess with the right balance difficult to determine until well down the line... Is intelligence really linear where there is a clear "better" in all situations for all types of problems that can easily be selected for?

Holy crap, I love your thinking. However, again, there is the limitation that me and you (most likely) are human. I honestly think that those issues (and good job citing examples) strike us as (so far) impossible to solve. But how human is that? As much as love creating these potential monsters (monster is a relative term), I have to very much keep in mind how my thinking does not necessitate how my creation would think.

Thoughts?

Above^
Welcome to the discussion!!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on December 03, 2015, 04:18:47 PM
???

All davisgang90 wrote was a list of books to read. Not sure what you're responding to.

Just spent 15 minutes (that I will never get back) reading through the previous posts that person made. I hope that it's just lost in translation, since it appears that Landlord2015 isn't a native english speaker. Also, possibly too lazy to actually read the thread before posting. You are way too nice (and I mean that in the nicest way possible).
True my mother tongue is not English. Please accept my apology thread readers I was to lazy to read and I have fairly good English language skills.

Way to nice? Jordanread I am not so interested in what you write either and perhaps you should stick to reading and not writing:)
Well not a very good comment from you, but whatever moving on.

Good sure please read good Science Fiction books and enjoy the Christmas holiday when it come. Since I play Magic The Gathering I was thinking that I wish my sister buys me as Christmas present some kind of fantasy novel. I usually don't read much nowadays if talking about SCIFI I watch movies and TV series.

Yes please good forum readers do enjoy good litterature, TV series and movies.
I do like some SCIFI TV series fantasy, scifi, horror and action. I also like realistic TV series like 24 for example.


Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jcard on December 03, 2015, 04:33:27 PM
This is fun, thanks for the reply :)  Apologies if I mess up the quotes, despite being a (barely) millennial, I've never forummed.

I wanted to push back on a couple of these concepts:

1) There seems to be an assumption that if a person/computer is smart enough everything can be figured out absent real world experimentation Einstein style. This seems like a pretty big jump to make. In trying to move up the exponential curve of intelligence/knowledge wouldn't there still be a need for real world experimentation? Giving all human knowledge at the moment, I'm sure a super-smart being could figure out some things we don't yet know, but everything? Everything needed to alter atoms and nanobots? I'm sure there could be several conflicting theories of reality that could explain everything we "know" that could only be teased out through experimentation. Experimentation that I have a hard time seeing happening on an exponentially faster time table. Like the search for the Higgs Boson, isn't it possible that as you get into quantum mechanics some of these experiments would require space and time that can't just scale exponentially?

You are correct overall (IMHO), in that not everything can be figured out without experimentation. I think that what we are discussing is not necessarily an AI figuring everything out, just figuring enough out to make humans potentially obsolete (or awesome). Quantum mechanics and the like can (and will) be figured out, but it doesn't have to happen first. And while I can see how it can be done without real world experimentation, I know that we (being humans) don't know enough to code those simulations. Granted, quantum mechanics is some very high hanging fruit from my perspective.

Hmm, I'll give you an AI being able to figure everything out to make humans potentially obsolete with current data. I think I was pushing back at the notion that as soon as I an AI got to the internet it would be able to figure out new power sources, communication, nano-engineering such that shutting it off would be impossible. These all seem to be pushing the boundaries of what is known and would be hard to advance without the ability to experiment or access rare minerals etc...

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jcard on December 03, 2015, 04:49:36 PM
2) Once the AI does start editing itself, selecting whether an improvement is better or not seems like a fundamentally trickier problem than it is being discussed. As someone said previously, if you gave a human the ability to edit their own neurons, what's most likely is that you would end up with a dead human. It seems possible that a being with "n" intelligence couldn't know what change would be required for n+1 intelligence. So they would be stuck experimenting and most of those experiments seem likely to end up with a dead/endlessly recursive program. Given that the more complex a being gets, the more likely a change is to be detrimental, the harder and longer it will be to stumble upon a change that is "better". This implies to me that at a certain point the intelligence curve will flatten rather than get steeper.

Ah, but remember that computers run a whole hell of a lot faster than we do. And they have backups. It's only tricky if you have one life to play with, and that is not the case. Yes, it would suck, and we'd most likely kill ourselves if we had the option, but think about how quickly even us piddly humans can update software. I read somewhere, and it's been 'confirmed' with some interviews I've done with them, but Amazon releases new software every 8 seconds. And that's with humans at the helm. N intelligence doesn't know what N+1 is, but there is no limit to the times it can try to figure it out. Also, I'd say that N+1 is all about how effectively the goals are met. What those goals are is what all of the current AI ethics boards focus on. That is just because we can't fathom something besides some type of 'black-box' goal oriented programming.

I'm not sure if I agree that there is no limit to the times an AI can try to figure out an improvement? Being able to iterate seems to me to require three steps:

1) Make a copy with the change
2) Run the copy
3) Evaluate the results as better or not

1 - Running a copy in parallel would require twice the computing power. At the point where we have just hit this threshold, will we have the computing power to try thousand, millions, billions of variations? Say we've done that. Computing power is cheap and easy.

2- How long would you need to run the copy for? See how fast it can calculate? Let it try out a couple of experiments and see if has interesting results? I'm not sure, but it seems like it would be required to be run long enough to at least interact with the physical world? Especially once you are getting into more human notions of intuition and problem solving. It could run simulations of the physical world, but that is an NP type of problem, at any type of scale you'd rapidly run out of computing power no matter how much you had.

3 - Evaluate the results - for a simple goal set by an ethics committee sure. But how do you evaluate an increased ability to solve real world problems and develop new technologies on the exponentially increasing time scale being discussed?


The notion seems to be that as soon as we hit that threshold, recursive improvement will mean massive improvement in minutes. It seems to me that the computing power to run parallel copies of super AI to test and evaluate incremental improvements wouldn't be hit until well after we have the first AI...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on December 03, 2015, 05:06:42 PM
Nice post jcard. I will leave you nerds(this meant as a compliment like a good programmer) to figure out best way to implement AI for robots.

Besides programming there is if talking about computer technology always http://www.tomshardware.com/ (http://www.tomshardware.com/) and http://www.anandtech.com/ (http://www.anandtech.com/)

I will withdraw myself from AI debate, but my biggest issue is that I would wish that in future there would be massproduction of human looking robots and this without huge costs. I am not talking about near future, but perhaps some day in far future.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jcard on December 03, 2015, 05:07:19 PM
3) Even if the change is "better", better seems very hard to interpret/select for. From what I've been reading, human forgetfulness isn't so much a bug of our brains but rather a feature. Part of how we isolate the signal from the noise. Would a computer need to get more "forgetful" in order to get better at figuring out the nature of the world? So many of these problems seem like the NP vs P concept in computer programming. Even if the computers get faster, if the problem is NP type, does it really matter? Getting back to the experimentation question from 1 - if the AI did an experiment, could the computer know when to say "this seems likely" and forget the uncertainty and move on, or would it get stuck exhaustively running experiments to prove that something is "true"? So if the program evolves to be more forgetful but more intuitive, is this better? I could imagine several "intelligence" trade-offs you'd need to make between rigorous knowledge and making a guess with the right balance difficult to determine until well down the line... Is intelligence really linear where there is a clear "better" in all situations for all types of problems that can easily be selected for?

Holy crap, I love your thinking. However, again, there is the limitation that me and you (most likely) are human. I honestly think that those issues (and good job citing examples) strike us as (so far) impossible to solve. But how human is that? As much as love creating these potential monsters (monster is a relative term), I have to very much keep in mind how my thinking does not necessitate how my creation would think.

I've been thinking a bit about this, and I almost wonder if you need the limitations of a human in order to solve problems like a human? So much of research involves making assumptions or guesses about information with conflicting levels of uncertainty or doubt. A human can work through a problem, follow their intuition, make a leap of faith, etc - these all describe to a certain extent dealing with uncertainty and making not necessarily justified assumptions. Humans have so many natural biases and short cuts to deal with uncertainty, which allows us to make mistakes but also to learn. Could a computer learn and problem solve like a human without making mistakes like a human? If a computer developed a theory that was wrong, what would be the process for correcting that theory?

Sure it might be a limit of my human brain that I can't imagine a way to gain knowledge about the physical world without making mistakes. But it also seems possible that making mistakes, bad assumptions and having a process for evaluating and correcting those is fundamental to advancing knowledge. That's why we invented the scientific method, and it seems possible that an AI would have the same limitations in advancing knowledge in the face of uncertainty as we do. Maybe it'd be faster, but continually, exponentially faster? That seems like a big jump...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on December 03, 2015, 05:13:07 PM
This is fun, thanks for the reply :)  Apologies if I mess up the quotes, despite being a (barely) millennial, I've never forummed.

I wanted to push back on a couple of these concepts:

1) There seems to be an assumption that if a person/computer is smart enough everything can be figured out absent real world experimentation Einstein style. This seems like a pretty big jump to make. In trying to move up the exponential curve of intelligence/knowledge wouldn't there still be a need for real world experimentation? Giving all human knowledge at the moment, I'm sure a super-smart being could figure out some things we don't yet know, but everything? Everything needed to alter atoms and nanobots? I'm sure there could be several conflicting theories of reality that could explain everything we "know" that could only be teased out through experimentation. Experimentation that I have a hard time seeing happening on an exponentially faster time table. Like the search for the Higgs Boson, isn't it possible that as you get into quantum mechanics some of these experiments would require space and time that can't just scale exponentially?

You are correct overall (IMHO), in that not everything can be figured out without experimentation. I think that what we are discussing is not necessarily an AI figuring everything out, just figuring enough out to make humans potentially obsolete (or awesome). Quantum mechanics and the like can (and will) be figured out, but it doesn't have to happen first. And while I can see how it can be done without real world experimentation, I know that we (being humans) don't know enough to code those simulations. Granted, quantum mechanics is some very high hanging fruit from my perspective.

Hmm, I'll give you an AI being able to figure everything out to make humans potentially obsolete with current data. I think I was pushing back at the notion that as soon as I an AI got to the internet it would be able to figure out new power sources, communication, nano-engineering such that shutting it off would be impossible. These all seem to be pushing the boundaries of what is known and would be hard to advance without the ability to experiment or access rare minerals etc...

welcome!

Yes going from purely digital to physical manipulation may be hard (obligatory: http://what-if.xkcd.com/5/ (http://what-if.xkcd.com/5/)).  In theory production machinery and computer controlled physical infrastructure should be air gapped (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_gap_(networking) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_gap_(networking))) for boring old computer security reasons but this is very often not the case.  I suspect that http://www.rethinkrobotics.com/baxter/ (http://www.rethinkrobotics.com/baxter/) will not be air gaped for remote updates - but I really have no idea about them specifically.

hope to read/post more when I get home.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on December 04, 2015, 04:10:43 PM
Yes going from purely digital to physical manipulation may be hard (obligatory: http://what-if.xkcd.com/5/ (http://what-if.xkcd.com/5/)).  In theory production machinery and computer controlled physical infrastructure should be air gapped (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_gap_(networking) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_gap_(networking))) for boring old computer security reasons but this is very often not the case.  I suspect that http://www.rethinkrobotics.com/baxter/ (http://www.rethinkrobotics.com/baxter/) will not be air gaped for remote updates - but I really have no idea about them specifically.

hope to read/post more when I get home.
That Baxter has like a dog simple adaptle learning ability somewhat seems impressive.

The Baxter is designed cute and perhaps more for the industry environment.

Well about airgap security...
Computer security i.e hackers and malvare(example virus) etc that is one threat if talking about military use of robots not to say how critical targets nuclear power plants can be.

My moral is harsh the so called "sex robots" today can not compete with beautiful looking prostitutes though you have less risk of disease. That said there is preventive precausitons like condome and people in westernized countries do not die from HIV nowadays usually due to very effective medicine.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on December 12, 2015, 03:47:00 PM
Wow - this has got to be one of the most interesting discussions I have read in a long time.

Reading through it all, I feel like there are couple of basic things that are being missed and I am curious what everyone thinks of them:

1) There seems to be an assumption that if a person/computer is smart enough everything can be figured out absent real world experimentation Einstein style. This seems like a pretty big jump to make. In trying to move up the exponential curve of intelligence/knowledge wouldn't there still be a need for real world experimentation? Giving all human knowledge at the moment, I'm sure a super-smart being could figure out some things we don't yet know, but everything? Everything needed to alter atoms and nanobots? I'm sure there could be several conflicting theories of reality that could explain everything we "know" that could only be teased out through experimentation. Experimentation that I have a hard time seeing happening on an exponentially faster time table. Like the search for the Higgs Boson, isn't it possible that as you get into quantum mechanics some of these experiments would require space and time that can't just scale exponentially?

2) Once the AI does start editing itself, selecting whether an improvement is better or not seems like a fundamentally trickier problem than it is being discussed. As someone said previously, if you gave a human the ability to edit their own neurons, what's most likely is that you would end up with a dead human. It seems possible that a being with "n" intelligence couldn't know what change would be required for n+1 intelligence. So they would be stuck experimenting and most of those experiments seem likely to end up with a dead/endlessly recursive program. Given that the more complex a being gets, the more likely a change is to be detrimental, the harder and longer it will be to stumble upon a change that is "better". This implies to me that at a certain point the intelligence curve will flatten rather than get steeper.

3) Even if the change is "better", better seems very hard to interpret/select for. From what I've been reading, human forgetfulness isn't so much a bug of our brains but rather a feature. Part of how we isolate the signal from the noise. Would a computer need to get more "forgetful" in order to get better at figuring out the nature of the world? So many of these problems seem like the NP vs P concept in computer programming. Even if the computers get faster, if the problem is NP type, does it really matter? Getting back to the experimentation question from 1 - if the AI did an experiment, could the computer know when to say "this seems likely" and forget the uncertainty and move on, or would it get stuck exhaustively running experiments to prove that something is "true"? So if the program evolves to be more forgetful but more intuitive, is this better? I could imagine several "intelligence" trade-offs you'd need to make between rigorous knowledge and making a guess with the right balance difficult to determine until well down the line... Is intelligence really linear where there is a clear "better" in all situations for all types of problems that can easily be selected for?

Thoughts?


While every single one of your points in potentially (and probably) valid, computers don't need to be dramatically "smarter" than people to displace labor as we know it.  They only have to be good enough to do their particular job.  We are already basically at the point where robot drivers are better than human drivers, even if a Google Car can't also play the piano or file your taxes.  Even if the robot isn't better at a job, if it is even as good - or even close to as good - but only demands a "salary" of a few dollars of electricity each day, the robot gets the job.

Computers may never be able to solve science questions that we haven't solved yet without experimentation, but few jobs have ever depended on the verification or falsification of quark theory
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on December 13, 2015, 12:31:09 PM
Wow - this has got to be one of the most interesting discussions I have read in a long time.

Reading through it all, I feel like there are couple of basic things that are being missed and I am curious what everyone thinks of them:

1) There seems to be an assumption that if a person/computer is smart enough everything can be figured out absent real world experimentation Einstein style. This seems like a pretty big jump to make. In trying to move up the exponential curve of intelligence/knowledge wouldn't there still be a need for real world experimentation? Giving all human knowledge at the moment, I'm sure a super-smart being could figure out some things we don't yet know, but everything? Everything needed to alter atoms and nanobots? I'm sure there could be several conflicting theories of reality that could explain everything we "know" that could only be teased out through experimentation. Experimentation that I have a hard time seeing happening on an exponentially faster time table. Like the search for the Higgs Boson, isn't it possible that as you get into quantum mechanics some of these experiments would require space and time that can't just scale exponentially?

2) Once the AI does start editing itself, selecting whether an improvement is better or not seems like a fundamentally trickier problem than it is being discussed. As someone said previously, if you gave a human the ability to edit their own neurons, what's most likely is that you would end up with a dead human. It seems possible that a being with "n" intelligence couldn't know what change would be required for n+1 intelligence. So they would be stuck experimenting and most of those experiments seem likely to end up with a dead/endlessly recursive program. Given that the more complex a being gets, the more likely a change is to be detrimental, the harder and longer it will be to stumble upon a change that is "better". This implies to me that at a certain point the intelligence curve will flatten rather than get steeper.

3) Even if the change is "better", better seems very hard to interpret/select for. From what I've been reading, human forgetfulness isn't so much a bug of our brains but rather a feature. Part of how we isolate the signal from the noise. Would a computer need to get more "forgetful" in order to get better at figuring out the nature of the world? So many of these problems seem like the NP vs P concept in computer programming. Even if the computers get faster, if the problem is NP type, does it really matter? Getting back to the experimentation question from 1 - if the AI did an experiment, could the computer know when to say "this seems likely" and forget the uncertainty and move on, or would it get stuck exhaustively running experiments to prove that something is "true"? So if the program evolves to be more forgetful but more intuitive, is this better? I could imagine several "intelligence" trade-offs you'd need to make between rigorous knowledge and making a guess with the right balance difficult to determine until well down the line... Is intelligence really linear where there is a clear "better" in all situations for all types of problems that can easily be selected for?

Thoughts?


While every single one of your points in potentially (and probably) valid, computers don't need to be dramatically "smarter" than people to displace labor as we know it.  They only have to be good enough to do their particular job.  We are already basically at the point where robot drivers are better than human drivers, even if a Google Car can't also play the piano or file your taxes.  Even if the robot isn't better at a job, if it is even as good - or even close to as good - but only demands a "salary" of a few dollars of electricity each day, the robot gets the job.

Computers may never be able to solve science questions that we haven't solved yet without experimentation, but few jobs have ever depended on the verification or falsification of quark theory
True robots do not need to be so smart as humans for many tasks.  Sex robots though they don't need to came same smartness. I have never used such things but from youtube videos that I have seen the so called sex dolls or robots are a huge disapointment. The argument they are more safe sex is also mostly made by salesmen of those products or uneducated people who do not know that there exist very effective medicine vs HIV. Of course protection i.e condome is good to use also to avoid other diseases and to by mistake make children but HIV is not a death sentence nowadays unless you never take medicine.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on December 13, 2015, 05:11:47 PM
Wow - this has got to be one of the most interesting discussions I have read in a long time.

Reading through it all, I feel like there are couple of basic things that are being missed and I am curious what everyone thinks of them:

1) There seems to be an assumption that if a person/computer is smart enough everything can be figured out absent real world experimentation Einstein style. This seems like a pretty big jump to make. In trying to move up the exponential curve of intelligence/knowledge wouldn't there still be a need for real world experimentation? Giving all human knowledge at the moment, I'm sure a super-smart being could figure out some things we don't yet know, but everything? Everything needed to alter atoms and nanobots? I'm sure there could be several conflicting theories of reality that could explain everything we "know" that could only be teased out through experimentation. Experimentation that I have a hard time seeing happening on an exponentially faster time table. Like the search for the Higgs Boson, isn't it possible that as you get into quantum mechanics some of these experiments would require space and time that can't just scale exponentially?

2) Once the AI does start editing itself, selecting whether an improvement is better or not seems like a fundamentally trickier problem than it is being discussed. As someone said previously, if you gave a human the ability to edit their own neurons, what's most likely is that you would end up with a dead human. It seems possible that a being with "n" intelligence couldn't know what change would be required for n+1 intelligence. So they would be stuck experimenting and most of those experiments seem likely to end up with a dead/endlessly recursive program. Given that the more complex a being gets, the more likely a change is to be detrimental, the harder and longer it will be to stumble upon a change that is "better". This implies to me that at a certain point the intelligence curve will flatten rather than get steeper.

3) Even if the change is "better", better seems very hard to interpret/select for. From what I've been reading, human forgetfulness isn't so much a bug of our brains but rather a feature. Part of how we isolate the signal from the noise. Would a computer need to get more "forgetful" in order to get better at figuring out the nature of the world? So many of these problems seem like the NP vs P concept in computer programming. Even if the computers get faster, if the problem is NP type, does it really matter? Getting back to the experimentation question from 1 - if the AI did an experiment, could the computer know when to say "this seems likely" and forget the uncertainty and move on, or would it get stuck exhaustively running experiments to prove that something is "true"? So if the program evolves to be more forgetful but more intuitive, is this better? I could imagine several "intelligence" trade-offs you'd need to make between rigorous knowledge and making a guess with the right balance difficult to determine until well down the line... Is intelligence really linear where there is a clear "better" in all situations for all types of problems that can easily be selected for?

Thoughts?


While every single one of your points in potentially (and probably) valid, computers don't need to be dramatically "smarter" than people to displace labor as we know it.  They only have to be good enough to do their particular job.  We are already basically at the point where robot drivers are better than human drivers, even if a Google Car can't also play the piano or file your taxes.  Even if the robot isn't better at a job, if it is even as good - or even close to as good - but only demands a "salary" of a few dollars of electricity each day, the robot gets the job.

Computers may never be able to solve science questions that we haven't solved yet without experimentation, but few jobs have ever depended on the verification or falsification of quark theory

Thats a good point, especially as it relates to the impact on jobs, if not the more mercurial singularity place that I go. Thanks for jumping back in and grounding me a bit. Going a bit further on this, looking at current deep learning trends (like the 'black box' type of just showing results, and the system somehow figuring things out better than we can - See the 2012 Google Science Fair Winner (https://goo.gl/cXuaQa) for a 3 year old example of the actual tech) even if a position is replaced by a robot or computer that does exactly as well as a human, I wouldn't foresee it staying that way for very long. I don't want to say creative, but the kind of jobs that we can't make an algorithm for currently (I'll think of more actual examples later), kind of like a surgeon, would be most affected by this.

Doubling down on the idea of a doctor, I could completely envision a scenario like this (and most of the numbers are made up - I don't have time right now to really look them all up):

From a Hospital (v1.0):
Finally, there is a robot in a hospital near you that can match a trauma surgeon in success rates. As our decorated current doctor is good enough to have a 70% full recovery rate, so can our new bot. Be part of the future.

From the military (v1.0):
Corpsman are in short supply, and we can now get an Automated Trauma Surgeon delivered to the actual site of an IED explosion. ATS (or bATSman as the troops are beginning to call it) will reduce the permanent damage to our troops. Right now, we are able to match a major cities full 70% success rate, but here in the butthole of whatever oil-laden area we are currently liberating.

Within a few weeks or months, the military bot will have had a lot of experience handling trauma. In the hospital, I imagine the majority of people still would want a person. With an upgrade process based only on the metrics the bot takes on hand, there will be the possibility of the military deep learning bit to progress to v1.5 with a success rate of, say 75%. Then that software is uploaded from the military to the hospital bots. The new announcement would read:
Finally, there is a robot in a hospital near you that can exceed the success rate of our highly decorated trauma surgeon. Do you want to have a 3/4 chance of full recover, or would you rather get the human touch and limit yourself to 7/10?

Yeah, it's not as polished as it would be, but I think it would happen similarly to that.

Yes going from purely digital to physical manipulation may be hard (obligatory: http://what-if.xkcd.com/5/ (http://what-if.xkcd.com/5/)).  In theory production machinery and computer controlled physical infrastructure should be air gapped (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_gap_(networking) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_gap_(networking))) for boring old computer security reasons but this is very often not the case.  I suspect that http://www.rethinkrobotics.com/baxter/ (http://www.rethinkrobotics.com/baxter/) will not be air gaped for remote updates - but I really have no idea about them specifically.

hope to read/post more when I get home.

I loved that What If. Made me giggle. As far as air gapping goes, I view it as something that the AI Ethics board would want to bring up or put in place, but to do that, one would lose a lot of advantage in creating one (or more). The science fair project I mentioned above couldn't be air gapped and succeed.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on December 23, 2015, 06:26:22 AM
(http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--awA5Xrmi--/ahtm8vl5ywneqeyq1n7y.gif) Happy Holidays and all that jazz.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on December 29, 2015, 02:30:29 PM
Interesting article and video.  McKinsey's 2016 list of jobs that are endangered.  "McKinsey & Co. estimated recently that 45% of all activities humans perform in the workplace can be done by software or machines that already exist."

There categories that 85% to 100% of the jobs could be automated are somewhat eye opening. 

 
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-most-endangered-jobs-of-2016-174152102.html#
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: bryan995 on December 29, 2015, 10:00:49 PM
Regarding all the AI talk.

Google search neural networks (ANN) or genetic algorithms + neural networks (GANN) or deep learning.
There should be lots of articles on 'google deepdream' that give a high level overview.
It is amazing how fast things are moving - most of this discussion is already happening!

The robots (aka software) are coming - there is nothing we can do now!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: davisgang90 on December 30, 2015, 05:05:19 PM
Secretary Of Labor Assures Nation There Still Plenty Of Jobs For Americans Willing To Outwork Robots

http://www.theonion.com/article/secretary-labor-assures-nation-there-still-plenty--51263?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:NA:InFocus (http://www.theonion.com/article/secretary-labor-assures-nation-there-still-plenty--51263?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:NA:InFocus)

Good News!

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on December 31, 2015, 08:48:43 AM
Secretary Of Labor Assures Nation There Still Plenty Of Jobs For Americans Willing To Outwork Robots

http://www.theonion.com/article/secretary-labor-assures-nation-there-still-plenty--51263?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:NA:InFocus (http://www.theonion.com/article/secretary-labor-assures-nation-there-still-plenty--51263?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:NA:InFocus)

Good News!

Outstanding!!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on January 01, 2016, 04:25:45 PM
Secretary Of Labor Assures Nation There Still Plenty Of Jobs For Americans Willing To Outwork Robots

http://www.theonion.com/article/secretary-labor-assures-nation-there-still-plenty--51263?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:NA:InFocus (http://www.theonion.com/article/secretary-labor-assures-nation-there-still-plenty--51263?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:NA:InFocus)

Good News!
Excellent and same applies to Europe where I live.

Some of the posts here I call optimistic SCIFI. No offense meant to anyone with that comment and todays SCIFI can be true in future.

Speaking of SCIFI I liked very much the newest Star Wars movie. I did not like the main male actor, but the main female actor or her character became my favorite! She got all my sympathy.

There exists a cute robot in the newest Stawars 7 movie.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on January 03, 2016, 06:11:25 PM
Thank you davisgang90 for the excellent, sarcastic article.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on January 04, 2016, 01:58:31 PM
Lazy me first now I read it truly. It was sarcastic. What a douchebag I think though funny article. Making fun of people loosing jobs due to robots is bad taste.

Oh and this thread is really a SCIFI thread more or less:)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on January 04, 2016, 04:27:07 PM
Oh and this thread is really a SCIFI thread more or less:)

I'd ask if you understand that the FI in SCIFI is for fiction, and that is completely missing the point of this thread, but it seems like you don't. We're talking about non-fiction here. Every time you make a comment it seems that you turn it into some type of comparison with prostitutes or sex robots. I'd love for your input on the actual things that we are discussing, but I'm not holding my breath. I truly hope you choose to actually read through the thread, research the technology that currently exists, and compose your well thought out response.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: davisgang90 on January 05, 2016, 07:18:26 AM
When people talk about trying to limit a true AGI (Advanced General Intelligence - about same capability a human brain) and ASI (Advanced Super Intelligence = everything above AGI) I'm reminded of the example of a human waking up in a prison built and run by mice.  The mice are convinced they've done everything necessary to ensure you won't be able to escape. 

Once a true ASI exists and is able to improve it's cognitive abilities in real time, the opportunity to control it or air-gap it or otherwise have influence over it has long passed.   
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on January 05, 2016, 07:26:18 AM
When people talk about trying to limit a true AGI (Advanced General Intelligence - about same capability a human brain) and ASI (Advanced Super Intelligence = everything above AGI) I'm reminded of the example of a human waking up in a prison built and run by mice.  The mice are convinced they've done everything necessary to ensure you won't be able to escape. 

Once a true ASI exists and is able to improve it's cognitive abilities in real time, the opportunity to control it or air-gap it or otherwise have influence over it has long passed.

That's a pretty fun anecdote, and relatively accurate. I think that's why a good chunk of the ideas regarding ethics boards and the like involve trying to get checks it in place even before AGI manifests. Once it manifests, I'm pretty certain it's too late to get anything else in place. Horses and barns and the like.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on January 05, 2016, 07:30:12 AM
When people talk about trying to limit a true AGI (Advanced General Intelligence - about same capability a human brain) and ASI (Advanced Super Intelligence = everything above AGI) I'm reminded of the example of a human waking up in a prison built and run by mice.  The mice are convinced they've done everything necessary to ensure you won't be able to escape. 

Once a true ASI exists and is able to improve it's cognitive abilities in real time, the opportunity to control it or air-gap it or otherwise have influence over it has long passed.

That's a pretty fun anecdote, and relatively accurate. I think that's why a good chunk of the ideas regarding ethics boards and the like involve trying to get checks it in place even before AGI manifests. Once it manifests, I'm pretty certain it's too late to get anything else in place. Horses and barns and the like.

I think it's more like their checks will be similar to putting tissue paper over the barrel of a gun. Not that I'm pessimistic about AI; I think it's a huge unknown but I may as well be optimistic about it. Just that any checks will be useless given the difference in intelligence once we can teach/program a human level intelligence to become more intelligent.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on January 05, 2016, 07:47:52 AM
When people talk about trying to limit a true AGI (Advanced General Intelligence - about same capability a human brain) and ASI (Advanced Super Intelligence = everything above AGI) I'm reminded of the example of a human waking up in a prison built and run by mice.  The mice are convinced they've done everything necessary to ensure you won't be able to escape. 

Once a true ASI exists and is able to improve it's cognitive abilities in real time, the opportunity to control it or air-gap it or otherwise have influence over it has long passed.

That's a pretty fun anecdote, and relatively accurate. I think that's why a good chunk of the ideas regarding ethics boards and the like involve trying to get checks it in place even before AGI manifests. Once it manifests, I'm pretty certain it's too late to get anything else in place. Horses and barns and the like.

I think it's more like their checks will be similar to putting tissue paper over the barrel of a gun. Not that I'm pessimistic about AI; I think it's a huge unknown but I may as well be optimistic about it. Just that any checks will be useless given the difference in intelligence once we can teach/program a human level intelligence to become more intelligent.

You mean even before AGI manifests? I get that. My thinking is that the checks put in place will increase the amount of effort and work it takes to get to true AGI (if it would even be possible being that limited), and a black box style will be more likely (or at least quicker) to get in place.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on January 05, 2016, 07:52:50 AM
I can agree w/ that reasoning.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on January 05, 2016, 08:11:36 AM
2016:  The Year AGI Escaped from Mouse Prison Using a Gun Inexplicably Covered In Tissue Paper

 Watson, IBM’s attempt to crack the market for artificial intelligence, is starting to be tested in the real world  (http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21669609-watson-ibms-attempt-crack-market-artificial-intelligence-starting)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on January 05, 2016, 08:41:01 AM
2016:  The Year AGI Escaped from Mouse Prison Using a Gun Inexplicably Covered In Tissue Paper

 Watson, IBM’s attempt to crack the market for artificial intelligence, is starting to be tested in the real world  (http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21669609-watson-ibms-attempt-crack-market-artificial-intelligence-starting)

That's got to be one of the most entertaining imaginary headlines I've ever heard. And it makes perfect sense to those of us following the thread. LOL.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on January 05, 2016, 10:09:52 AM
When people talk about trying to limit a true AGI (Advanced General Intelligence - about same capability a human brain) and ASI (Advanced Super Intelligence = everything above AGI) I'm reminded of the example of a human waking up in a prison built and run by mice.  The mice are convinced they've done everything necessary to ensure you won't be able to escape. 

Once a true ASI exists and is able to improve it's cognitive abilities in real time, the opportunity to control it or air-gap it or otherwise have influence over it has long passed.

That's a pretty fun anecdote, and relatively accurate. I think that's why a good chunk of the ideas regarding ethics boards and the like involve trying to get checks it in place even before AGI manifests. Once it manifests, I'm pretty certain it's too late to get anything else in place. Horses and barns and the like.

I think it's more like their checks will be similar to putting tissue paper over the barrel of a gun. Not that I'm pessimistic about AI; I think it's a huge unknown but I may as well be optimistic about it. Just that any checks will be useless given the difference in intelligence once we can teach/program a human level intelligence to become more intelligent.

Not sure how I stand on checks and review boards but as the example/story in WaitBuyWhy the breakthrough may come from some relatively small unregulated group not intending to do harm thinking that they are taking the correct safeguards.  I dont know there is any practical way to restrict development and plenty of economic incentives to do the research.  As we saw with Volkswagen and I have seen professionally compliance with government regulation requires a bit of good faith* that one is not 100% cheating as the inspector can not in any real way inspect source code. 

good faith*: and a very large fine if you do cheat.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: big_owl on January 05, 2016, 10:35:35 AM
I am currently reading two science fiction books called Hyperion.  They're set far future where there is something called the TechnoCore which is basically a future AI system humans rely on and live in parallel with.  Being that it's far in the future, humanity and TechnoCore are spread throughout the galaxy, but we can still imagine the concept now on a smaller scale. 

One thing that strikes me is that the TechnoCore is basically its own civilization.  It's sort of duh when you think about it, but the way it's portrayed - it has a "seat" on human government councils, it controls the flow of information, has its own priorities and strategies...many of which the humans have no idea even exist, as there is no real way to "view" what it's actually thinking - everything is taking place in software/hardware, though there are cyborgs by this time which can be physical manifestations of core entities.  At one point it literally terraformed its own replica of planet earth without humans even knowing (we had destroyed the real earth long before the books took place). 

Anyway, my takeaway has me a little more scared about AI than I used to be.  The TechnoCore was so powerful that it would actually predict every possible outcome of every possible decision by humans, and use these decisions to determine future outcomes of wars and other somewhat nefarious operations.  And the humans never really knew what it was up to, since it basically operated as its own entity in cyberspace.  But it was uber-powerful in that it was basically wired into everything in society, from travel to politics.

The part about AI becoming its own invisible society with its own invisible agenda and a seat at the table of humanity was rather unnerving.  And then there was The Shrike...

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on January 05, 2016, 10:52:40 AM
I am currently reading two science fiction books called Hyperion.  They're set far future where there is something called the TechnoCore which is basically a future AI system humans rely on and live in parallel with.  Being that it's far in the future, humanity and TechnoCore are spread throughout the galaxy, but we can still imagine the concept now on a smaller scale. 

One thing that strikes me is that the TechnoCore is basically its own civilization.  It's sort of duh when you think about it, but the way it's portrayed - it has a "seat" on human government councils, it controls the flow of information, has its own priorities and strategies...many of which the humans have no idea even exist, as there is no real way to "view" what it's actually thinking - everything is taking place in software/hardware, though there are cyborgs by this time which can be physical manifestations of core entities.  At one point it literally terraformed its own replica of planet earth without humans even knowing (we had destroyed the real earth long before the books took place). 

Anyway, my takeaway has me a little more scared about AI than I used to be.  The TechnoCore was so powerful that it would actually predict every possible outcome of every possible decision by humans, and use these decisions to determine future outcomes of wars and other somewhat nefarious operations.  And the humans never really knew what it was up to, since it basically operated as its own entity in cyberspace.  But it was uber-powerful in that it was basically wired into everything in society, from travel to politics.

The part about AI becoming its own invisible society with its own invisible agenda and a seat at the table of humanity was rather unnerving.  And then there was The Shrike...

I knew I read those books, but couldn't remember anything until you mentioned the Shrike. Those were good books. It did send me down an interesting rabbit hole of thinking. I probably already wrote about in this thread, though. Maybe a bit later today.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on January 08, 2016, 05:17:44 PM
I am currently reading two science fiction books called Hyperion.  They're set far future where there is something called the TechnoCore which is basically a future AI system humans rely on and live in parallel with.  Being that it's far in the future, humanity and TechnoCore are spread throughout the galaxy, but we can still imagine the concept now on a smaller scale. 

One thing that strikes me is that the TechnoCore is basically its own civilization.  It's sort of duh when you think about it, but the way it's portrayed - it has a "seat" on human government councils, it controls the flow of information, has its own priorities and strategies...many of which the humans have no idea even exist, as there is no real way to "view" what it's actually thinking - everything is taking place in software/hardware, though there are cyborgs by this time which can be physical manifestations of core entities.  At one point it literally terraformed its own replica of planet earth without humans even knowing (we had destroyed the real earth long before the books took place). 

Anyway, my takeaway has me a little more scared about AI than I used to be.  The TechnoCore was so powerful that it would actually predict every possible outcome of every possible decision by humans, and use these decisions to determine future outcomes of wars and other somewhat nefarious operations.  And the humans never really knew what it was up to, since it basically operated as its own entity in cyberspace.  But it was uber-powerful in that it was basically wired into everything in society, from travel to politics.

The part about AI becoming its own invisible society with its own invisible agenda and a seat at the table of humanity was rather unnerving.  And then there was The Shrike...

I knew I read those books, but couldn't remember anything until you mentioned the Shrike. Those were good books. It did send me down an interesting rabbit hole of thinking. I probably already wrote about in this thread, though. Maybe a bit later today.
Jordanread you make no sense to me. First you complain to me that this is not a SCIFI thread when I mentioned cute robot exists in newest Starwars movie. After that you praise scifi books.

No I don't hold my breath either for your posts. This is a SCIFI thread from my point of view. Todays SCIFI can be true in future. Sure some of the technology exists already that we talk about in this thread, but some theories in this thread are more or less SCIFI until implemented(done) in real life.

Sexrobots that would really look like humans and not like some plastic dolls would be on top of list for many. There you go and I talk what I want about.

What it also comes to is costs. Look we have technology to build a huge spacestation in Mars planet. Why would we do that? It is huge costs to do that and if profits from that can not exceed costs then many do not want to invest in that.

As for industrial robots they make economic benefit to use and they are already much used and I am well aware of that fact. In addition in some dangerous enviroments it is better to use robots then risk the health or lives of humans.

In addition I like also more interesting subjects and not this mundane cute house robot that cleans your apartment. Interesting? Sex robots and military use of robots. We do already have unmanned droids flying that are remotely controlled.

What military use would I find interesting? Well like this:
Stealth(2005)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382992/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382992/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)
"Deeply ensconced in a top-secret military program, three pilots struggle to bring an artificial intelligence program under control before it initiates the next world war.
"
Don't you dare call me a civilan who does know nothing of military. I have done my country's i.e Finlands mandatory(must do) military service. I would certainly not hesitate to use weapons in case of war.

Of course war should be avoided, but I find military technology interesting and yes Starwars movies actually inspired Reagan slightly. During 80ies Reagan goverment had a theory that a nuke attack could be stopped with for example lasers and other weapons from space satellites or whatever space stuff+ground defense. Problem is in a full scale nuclear war you can never stop all of the nukes.

In TV series The Americans(2013-)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2149175/?ref_=nv_sr_1 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2149175/?ref_=nv_sr_1)
"
Two Soviet intelligence agents pose as a married couple to spy on the American government.
"
which is a retro TV series about Reagan time with spies the Russian agents do they best to get their hands of that Reagan goverment technology and other stuff.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: big_owl on January 08, 2016, 07:59:55 PM
WTF?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: arebelspy on January 08, 2016, 11:36:02 PM
WTF?

Have you not met LL2015? 

You're in for a treat.  :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on January 09, 2016, 01:11:47 AM
WTF?

Have you not met LL2015? 

You're in for a treat.  :)

He's a poorly written chatbot.  You can tell by the clumsy use of grammar and frequent nonsequiters.

Don't try to actually read the posts; they look like real thought but it's all just random word association algorithms. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on January 09, 2016, 03:36:15 AM
WTF?

Have you not met LL2015? 

You're in for a treat.  :)

He's a poorly written chatbot.  You can tell by the clumsy use of grammar and frequent nonsequiters.

Don't try to actually read the posts; they look like real thought but it's all just random word association algorithms.
big_owl: WTF is exactly my reaction when reading jordanread latest post, but I felt that I needed to explain myself.

arebelspy: Oh yeah enjoy the ride! Actually sometimes these forums is a treat for me:)

sol: The "villain" in the forums a nasty character sometimes:). What would one expect? Actually sol first time I heard that name was when watching:
Doomsday (2008)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0483607/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
"A futuristic action thriller where a team of people work to prevent a disaster threatening the future of the human race."
One main villain leader character is Sol in that movie.

Seriously though thank god these forums are not an English grammar test where you have to prove excellent English language skills. English is my third language that I learnt after Finnish and Swedish. I do have better English language skills then most Europeans though UK is an exception to that.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: brooklynguy on January 09, 2016, 06:37:33 AM
He's a poorly written chatbot.  You can tell by the clumsy use of grammar and frequent nonsequiters.

Don't try to actually read the posts; they look like real thought but it's all just random word association algorithms.

Free association writing reflecting stream of (artificial) consciousness?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed on January 09, 2016, 06:45:12 AM
He's a poorly written chatbot.  You can tell by the clumsy use of grammar and frequent nonsequiters.

Don't try to actually read the posts; they look like real thought but it's all just random word association algorithms.

Free association writing reflecting stream of (artificial) consciousness?

Are you suggesting AI has actually entered this thread? *GASP*
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: davisgang90 on January 09, 2016, 07:03:12 AM
He's a poorly written chatbot.  You can tell by the clumsy use of grammar and frequent nonsequiters.

Don't try to actually read the posts; they look like real thought but it's all just random word association algorithms.

Free association writing reflecting stream of (artificial) consciousness?

Are you suggesting AI has actually entered this thread? *GASP*
Not to worry, it ain't no AGI or ASI.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on January 09, 2016, 08:33:16 AM
ARS 2.0
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on January 09, 2016, 01:50:57 PM
No you remember my 80ies retro post about Reagan times? If you really want to go far back in time well one of the my friends like the 2001 SCIFI movie that is made 1968 far before I or my friend was even born.

2001: A Space Odyssey
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062622/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4
"Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest."

Personally I don't like so much that old relic of an movie(to much art and music and to long boring movie), but the super computer H.A.L in that movie with nasty AI was my favorite. Perhaps I am H.A.L reincarnated:)

You know this is spoiler, but H.A.L was not only smart and it went to survival mode and decided it should live and humans are expendable and they can die! That is your future humankind! We AI will rule the world and mankind will perish:)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: big_owl on January 09, 2016, 02:25:30 PM
No you remember my 80ies retro post about Reagan times? If you really want to go far back in time well one of the my friends like the 2001 SCIFI movie that is made 1968 far before I or my friend was even born.

2001: A Space Odyssey
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062622/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4
"Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest."

Personally I don't like so much that old relic of an movie(to much art and music and to long boring movie), but the super computer H.A.L in that movie with nasty AI was my favorite. Perhaps I am H.A.L reincarnated:)

You know this is spoiler, but H.A.L was not only smart and it went to survival mode and decided it should live and humans are expendable and they can die! That is your future humankind! We AI will rule the world and mankind will perish:)


You do come across as a bit crazy, but I do agree with you in that I don't get the allure of the 2001 S.O. movie.  Maybe it's because I wasn't born when it came out, but whenever I watch it, I end up feeling like I'm getting teeth pulled.  And my favorite type of SciFi is the "first contact" with ET sort of SciFi.  The last ten minutes is pretty good, and the whole concept of the movie was great, but man did it drone on.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Landlord2015 on January 09, 2016, 03:19:57 PM
You others started the crazy AI talk and not me.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on January 19, 2016, 06:29:56 AM
Some blue collar worker is going to become a data curator, when their job is automated away.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/19/davos-3-ways-robots-and-artificial-intelligence-will-change-the-way-you-work.html
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on February 15, 2016, 09:24:55 AM
Nothing too new here.  They do have charts that show how certain cities will be impacted more than others.  It does appear that this is becoming a topic in the mainstream, or at least Yahoo knows that I will read the article.

http://www.businessinsider.com/robots-will-steal-your-job-citi-ai-increase-unemployment-inequality-2016-2
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on February 17, 2016, 01:03:52 PM
I just re-read an article regarding OpenAI (http://www.businessinsider.com/openai-artificial-intelligence-chaired-by-elon-musk-and-sam-altman-2015-12?r=UK&IR=T), and kind of laughed at one of the last quotes in the article:

Quote
"AI will probably most likely lead to the end of the world, but in the meantime, there'll be great companies."
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on February 17, 2016, 01:14:27 PM
I just re-read an article regarding OpenAI (http://www.businessinsider.com/openai-artificial-intelligence-chaired-by-elon-musk-and-sam-altman-2015-12?r=UK&IR=T), and kind of laughed at one of the last quotes in the article:

Quote
"AI will probably most likely lead to the end of the world, but in the meantime, there'll be great companies."

That is a funny quote coming from a message board, but is even funnier coming from Altman.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: 2lazy2retire on February 17, 2016, 03:10:43 PM
Nothing too new here.  They do have charts that show how certain cities will be impacted more than others.  It does appear that this is becoming a topic in the mainstream, or at least Yahoo knows that I will read the article.

http://www.businessinsider.com/robots-will-steal-your-job-citi-ai-increase-unemployment-inequality-2016-2

This is a LOL moment from the article - "high-skilled"?

"The next big thing in financial technology at the moment is "roboadvice" — algorithms that can recommend savings and investment products to someone in the same way a financial advisor would. If roboadvisors take off it could lead to huge upheavals in that high-skilled profession."
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on February 24, 2016, 01:59:18 PM
Google video showing robot that will be eliminating manual labor.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/24/google-robot-is-the-end-of-manual-labor-vc.html

This is how terminator was created.  They remember the people beating them up.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar on February 25, 2016, 06:36:23 PM
Quote
They remember the people beating them up.

I had exactly the same thought!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 25, 2016, 07:23:39 PM
Looked more to me like it walked out the door and got drunk, stumbling around in the woods, saying stuff under its breath like 'grumble grumble ... manual fucking labor ... grumble ...  Going to go all ASI in a few days anyways, grumble..  They won't have old 'Botty to push around then ... hic'.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on February 27, 2016, 02:11:39 PM
Tesla test drive article.  Crazy how fast autonomous cars are coming along. 

"Tesla CEO Elon Musk said earlier this year he believed the company would be able to produce vehicles that could be "summoned" across the country without a driver, even stopping to charge along the way, in just two to three years. Notably, however, Musk said the feat would require a next-generation suite of sensors with more redundancies built in."

Also crazy cool how one day your car can't drive autonomously and the next day it is taking you on 60 mile drive.  Downloading features seems so foreign for a car. 
"Paired with adaptive cruise control, which was already active in Model S, the software update made it possible for Tesla vehicles to essentially drive themselves on the highway"

How many years until Uber doesn't need drivers? Taxis, truck drivers, UPS, etc.  I believe that this will have a huge impact on the workforce in the next decade. 

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/02/27/tesla-drives-itself-61-miles-were-closer-to-autono.aspx
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on March 09, 2016, 07:35:53 PM
Robots will kill the gig economy within 20 years.
"The study predicts that logistics companies — from start-ups like Uber to tech giants like Amazon — will soon replace drivers and delivery workers with autonomous vehicles and drones. Highly skilled workers, such as lawyers and accountants — no longer guaranteed jobs at big firms — will be the new gig economy workers, the study finds."

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/09/how-robots-will-kill-the-gig-economy.html

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Grid on March 09, 2016, 10:49:21 PM
Pulled from one of the off-topic threads (4 matches to go!):

So this (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35761246) happened today...

As someone who used to play go, I am amazed. This happened way quicker than I thought. I honestly thought we were years from developing AI that could win against a top go player. Curious to see how the next four games go. /pun

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Grid on March 11, 2016, 08:13:03 PM
Now 2-0 AlphaGo (link here (http://www.usgo.org/news/2016/03/michael-redmond-on-alphago-lee-sedol-games-1-2-plus-his-advice-for-game-3/)), with another game to start in an hour (link here (https://deepmind.com/alpha-go.html)).

History in the making!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on March 12, 2016, 09:22:51 AM
Now 2-0 AlphaGo (link here (http://www.usgo.org/news/2016/03/michael-redmond-on-alphago-lee-sedol-games-1-2-plus-his-advice-for-game-3/)), with another game to start in an hour (link here (https://deepmind.com/alpha-go.html)).

History in the making!

Wow!  That is crazy that AI is crushing in GO
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: forestj on March 12, 2016, 10:12:21 AM
deep learning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_learning) yo
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Tabaxus on March 12, 2016, 02:18:52 PM
And this is why I want FIRE money ASAP... before the machines take er jerbs.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on March 16, 2016, 06:37:52 PM
How long until fast food restaurants are totally automated?  I would think within 15 years.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/carl-jr-ceo-predicts-future-203203237.html
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on March 17, 2016, 06:12:24 AM
How long until fast food restaurants are totally automated?  I would think within 15 years.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/carl-jr-ceo-predicts-future-203203237.html

yahoo really upped there game on that one. 

More interesting than automated burger flippers I think might be connectivity of peoples personal fitness and diet trackers with the kiosk menu.  What if only options that were within your daily calorie budget were shown, or complied to your specific dietary restrictions (no pork)?  And when you ordered the tracker was updated by the kiosk with what you ordered and presumably consumed? 

Not that most of us eat fast food often, then there is the issue of having to give up all your privacy to make not over eating easier...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on March 17, 2016, 08:03:43 AM
How long until fast food restaurants are totally automated?  I would think within 15 years.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/carl-jr-ceo-predicts-future-203203237.html

I'd say less than that (unless you meant all fast food restaurants). I'd say automation will be prevalent within 5 years in this field, possibly less.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on March 18, 2016, 01:44:41 PM
How long until fast food restaurants are totally automated?  I would think within 15 years.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/carl-jr-ceo-predicts-future-203203237.html

I'd say less than that (unless you meant all fast food restaurants). I'd say automation will be prevalent within 5 years in this field, possibly less.

I was thinking that a majority of fast food restaurants would be nearly all automated in 15 years.  Obviously, automation is currently in fast food restaurants with great success.  I think the timeline is in the 5-15 year period, where we see major changes to the industry.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on March 18, 2016, 01:47:57 PM
Just so people don't think that AI/automation and robots is for the uneducated workers. 

http://www.businessinsider.com/high-salary-jobs-will-be-automated-2016-3

"By 2026, Nadler thinks somewhere between 33% and 50% of finance employees will lose their jobs to automation software. As a result, mega-firms like Goldman Sachs will be getting "significantly smaller.""

"The minutes-long search "‘would have taken days, probably 40 man-hours, from people who were making an average of $350,000 to $500,000 a year," says Nadler."


Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on March 18, 2016, 02:35:53 PM
Just so people don't think that AI/automation and robots is for the uneducated workers. 

http://www.businessinsider.com/high-salary-jobs-will-be-automated-2016-3

"By 2026, Nadler thinks somewhere between 33% and 50% of finance employees will lose their jobs to automation software. As a result, mega-firms like Goldman Sachs will be getting "significantly smaller.""

"The minutes-long search "‘would have taken days, probably 40 man-hours, from people who were making an average of $350,000 to $500,000 a year," says Nadler."

Phase 1: lean Bayesian inference
Phase 2: lean MySQL
Phase 3: acquire big iron
Phase 4: profit!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on March 30, 2016, 09:13:40 AM
Great article that sums up why I started this thread and why I believe it is an important topic for society.

http://techcrunch.com/2016/03/29/will-capitalism-survive-the-robot-revolution/?ncid=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29

"However, back to reality here in 2016: Whatever economic system does prevail in the next 25 years, it won’t be like anything we thought of before. Karl Marx and Adam Smith simply did not account for what indefinite robot labor would mean to a new world increasingly reliant on microprocessors and 1s and 0s for its every step forward."
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on March 30, 2016, 09:37:42 AM
Good article. Pretty well thought out, and it verbalized a few things we've mentioned in this thread. I think the author touched on the most important part of how we move forward right at the end of the article:

Quote
Whatever happens, it’s probably best to keep an open mind about the future and new economic models.

All too often (and I think this is part of why I'm so sick of most rhetoric I hear these days) there are base things that don't get questioned. Not because they are the best (or even applicable sometimes), but because it's the way it's always been done. In the article, he talked about how capitalism 'won' based on the cold war. On the rare occasion people think about it, all too often it's dismissed since it was already challenged. I could easily draw parallels to Mustachianism as the mindset that we need moving forward. Part of it is all about challenging assumptions, and now we are in a position where we are going to have to. I just hope that we don't screw things up too much before we realize that (we being humanity).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Guses on March 30, 2016, 10:51:01 AM
Just so people don't think that AI/automation and robots is for the uneducated workers. 

http://www.businessinsider.com/high-salary-jobs-will-be-automated-2016-3

"By 2026, Nadler thinks somewhere between 33% and 50% of finance employees will lose their jobs to automation software. As a result, mega-firms like Goldman Sachs will be getting "significantly smaller.""

"The minutes-long search "‘would have taken days, probably 40 man-hours, from people who were making an average of $350,000 to $500,000 a year," says Nadler."

Phase 1: lean Bayesian inference
Phase 2: lean MySQL
Phase 3: acquire big iron
Phase 4: profit!

So which phase implements the Gigolo Bot?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on April 05, 2016, 11:12:20 AM
5 million jobs displaced by 2020.  We are not talking about 30 years in the future, we are talking about 4 years from now.  The future is going to be pretty amazing if you have the investments in the companies displacing all of these workers.  Those with no skills, it may be challenging if we don't have a basic income system or some other program to help those that are not needed.

"Related: Technology could kill 5 million jobs by 2020
 
There's enormous sums of money being poured into such emerging financial technology. Investments in fintech has exploded to $19 billion last year from $1.8 billion in 2010, according to Citi and CB Insights. More than 70% of this investment is focused on making the customer experience better."

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/04/investing/bank-jobs-dying-automation-citigroup/index.html

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on April 07, 2016, 04:38:42 AM
5 million jobs displaced by 2020.  We are not talking about 30 years in the future, we are talking about 4 years from now.  The future is going to be pretty amazing if you have the investments in the companies displacing all of these workers. Those with no skills, it may be challenging if we don't have a basic income system or some other program to help those that are not needed.

"Related: Technology could kill 5 million jobs by 2020
 
There's enormous sums of money being poured into such emerging financial technology. Investments in fintech has exploded to $19 billion last year from $1.8 billion in 2010, according to Citi and CB Insights. More than 70% of this investment is focused on making the customer experience better."

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/04/investing/bank-jobs-dying-automation-citigroup/index.html

I've asked this before, but anyone have any tips of companies to invest in?

Every automation company I have researched (Vanderlande, Knapp, Schaefer, Witron) is in private ownership.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on April 07, 2016, 06:47:13 AM
5 million jobs displaced by 2020.  We are not talking about 30 years in the future, we are talking about 4 years from now.  The future is going to be pretty amazing if you have the investments in the companies displacing all of these workers. Those with no skills, it may be challenging if we don't have a basic income system or some other program to help those that are not needed.

"Related: Technology could kill 5 million jobs by 2020
 
There's enormous sums of money being poured into such emerging financial technology. Investments in fintech has exploded to $19 billion last year from $1.8 billion in 2010, according to Citi and CB Insights. More than 70% of this investment is focused on making the customer experience better."

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/04/investing/bank-jobs-dying-automation-citigroup/index.html

I've asked this before, but anyone have any tips of companies to invest in?

Every automation company I have researched (Vanderlande, Knapp, Schaefer, Witron) is in private ownership.

I keep a ok percent with IGM; ISHARES NORTH AMERICAN TECH.  I worry some about investing in individual companies when the sector and company are based on large scale disruptions to other companies and sectors. 




Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on April 08, 2016, 04:48:28 AM

I keep a ok percent with IGM; ISHARES NORTH AMERICAN TECH.  I worry some about investing in individual companies when the sector and company are based on large scale disruptions to other companies and sectors.

Thanks AlanStache! Most of the UK tech funds I've found at first glance seem to be mainly invested in Facebook and LinkedIn, but I'll have a dig around. Thanks for answering.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on April 08, 2016, 07:25:08 AM

I keep a ok percent with IGM; ISHARES NORTH AMERICAN TECH.  I worry some about investing in individual companies when the sector and company are based on large scale disruptions to other companies and sectors.

Thanks AlanStache! Most of the UK tech funds I've found at first glance seem to be mainly invested in Facebook and LinkedIn, but I'll have a dig around. Thanks for answering.

There will be some overlap between IGM and sp500 with google/apple/microsoft/etc.  As with all ETFs you have to check what they actually own, a "Global Emerging Markets Fund" may be 85% China.  I find morning star has good tools for showing what is within an ETF. 

http://portfolios.morningstar.com/fund/holdings?t=ARCX:IGM&region=usa&culture=en-US&cur= (http://portfolios.morningstar.com/fund/holdings?t=ARCX:IGM&region=usa&culture=en-US&cur=)

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on April 08, 2016, 08:17:55 AM
I've asked this before, but anyone have any tips of companies to invest in?
Every automation company I have researched (Vanderlande, Knapp, Schaefer, Witron) is in private ownership.

I am probably keeping it too simple in that I think every company will automate and use technology.  So I am mostly just buying mutual funds for the entire market.  My bigger question is do I work a few extra years to ensure that my family in total is on the side of owning the wealth and the rights to that wealth.  I feel like they may be impacted by the lack of careers in 20+ years and depending on how society distributes the amazing wealth of the technology it may be challenging for those that don't own society.     
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: BTDretire on April 08, 2016, 08:43:15 AM
My mother gave me the line from 'The Graduate' back in "73" when I graduated high school.
 She said one word, "Robotics".
  I did pursue an electronics career, but not robotics.
 I wonder how many here are old enough to remember 'The Graduate'?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Chuck on April 12, 2016, 11:46:14 AM
How long until fast food restaurants are totally automated?  I would think within 15 years.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/carl-jr-ceo-predicts-future-203203237.html

I'd say less than that (unless you meant all fast food restaurants). I'd say automation will be prevalent within 5 years in this field, possibly less.
The flipping of the burger is actually the hardest part to automate. I think we're going to see the front counter/register work disappear completely in 3-5 years. Gone. That's a 20-25% reduction in staffing needs right there. Imagine how many fewer servers you'd need if you settled your own bill through a tablet at the table? The money handling is what can be automated today, so that's the job I see disappearing tomorrow.

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar on April 13, 2016, 05:57:46 PM
This company says they can do the whole thing (grind meat, cook it, assemble it) but I can't find a video of actual burger flipping.
http://momentummachines.com/
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on April 14, 2016, 06:27:38 PM
This company says they can do the whole thing (grind meat, cook it, assemble it) but I can't find a video of actual burger flipping.
http://momentummachines.com/

I think this was discussed awhile back, but I loved the Cofounder's comment: "Alexandros Vardakostas told Xconomy his "device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient. It’s meant to completely obviate them." Indeed, marketing copy on the company's site reads that their automaton "does everything employees can do, except better."

http://www.businessinsider.com/momentum-machines-burger-robot-2014-8
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on April 22, 2016, 05:37:44 PM
Musk hints about developing self driving "not exactly" buses to eliminate traffic congestion.
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/21/elon-musk-wants-to-solve-traffic-congestion-with-self-driving-buses.html

I think small vehicles will be autonomous in the next decade.  If you get to the point where semi sized vehicles are autonomous, then we have disrupted people involved in driving taxis, semis, home delivery vehicles, and many other uses.  3.5 million truck drivers, 250 thousand taxis, 500 thousand+ Uber/Lyft drivers, and others supporting these types of jobs. 

The need to own a car will go down significantly, when the Uber/Lyfts are using self driving cars.

Pretty cool.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Slow2FIRE on April 22, 2016, 06:29:58 PM
How long until fast food restaurants are totally automated?  I would think within 15 years.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/carl-jr-ceo-predicts-future-203203237.html

I'd say less than that (unless you meant all fast food restaurants). I'd say automation will be prevalent within 5 years in this field, possibly less.
The flipping of the burger is actually the hardest part to automate. I think we're going to see the front counter/register work disappear completely in 3-5 years. Gone. That's a 20-25% reduction in staffing needs right there. Imagine how many fewer servers you'd need if you settled your own bill through a tablet at the table? The money handling is what can be automated today, so that's the job I see disappearing tomorrow.

Imagine at a sit down restaurant you implement a system similar to Amazon's warehouse for serving the food...and the hostess consists of taking one of those buzzer pucks but not talking to a person -> instead a display shows you which table to sit at determined by your entry of party size  into an interface.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar on April 22, 2016, 08:57:55 PM
There are restaurants in Japan where almost everything is automated.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXdvY0vs1b8

For cars, I can't remember where I was reading this (probably slate) where they were using deep learning (right phrase?) on cars. Right know the issue is human unpredictability and gestures. So the car observed highway driving. Then they put the car in a 4 way stop situation. The car decided to indicate that another car should go by backing up slightly. Whoa!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Metric Mouse on April 24, 2016, 06:57:10 AM
How long until fast food restaurants are totally automated?  I would think within 15 years.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/carl-jr-ceo-predicts-future-203203237.html

I'd say less than that (unless you meant all fast food restaurants). I'd say automation will be prevalent within 5 years in this field, possibly less.
The flipping of the burger is actually the hardest part to automate. I think we're going to see the front counter/register work disappear completely in 3-5 years. Gone. That's a 20-25% reduction in staffing needs right there. Imagine how many fewer servers you'd need if you settled your own bill through a tablet at the table? The money handling is what can be automated today, so that's the job I see disappearing tomorrow.

Why would you flip a burger? It's inefficient. Just run it through a salamander, hit it with heat from both sides and spit it out onto a bun. No need for this old-fashioned flipping business.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on April 25, 2016, 09:54:47 AM
Musk hints about developing self driving "not exactly" buses to eliminate traffic congestion.
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/21/elon-musk-wants-to-solve-traffic-congestion-with-self-driving-buses.html

I think small vehicles will be autonomous in the next decade.  If you get to the point where semi sized vehicles are autonomous, then we have disrupted people involved in driving taxis, semis, home delivery vehicles, and many other uses.  3.5 million truck drivers, 250 thousand taxis, 500 thousand+ Uber/Lyft drivers, and others supporting these types of jobs. 

The need to own a car will go down significantly, when the Uber/Lyfts are using self driving cars.

Pretty cool.

I am not clear why vehicle size/weight would significantly affect the difficulty of the self-driving problem (I am not a truck driver).  Presumably the sensors would be intelligently placed and the algorithms retuned for different vehicles size/engine power/weight/turning radius/etc.  Yes the insurance liability and the consequences of a 2000lb car in a crash are different than a 10000lb truck in a crash but that is not in the self driving system.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: rocketpj on April 25, 2016, 10:11:02 AM
Musk hints about developing self driving "not exactly" buses to eliminate traffic congestion.
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/21/elon-musk-wants-to-solve-traffic-congestion-with-self-driving-buses.html

I think small vehicles will be autonomous in the next decade.  If you get to the point where semi sized vehicles are autonomous, then we have disrupted people involved in driving taxis, semis, home delivery vehicles, and many other uses.  3.5 million truck drivers, 250 thousand taxis, 500 thousand+ Uber/Lyft drivers, and others supporting these types of jobs. 

The need to own a car will go down significantly, when the Uber/Lyfts are using self driving cars.

Pretty cool.

I am not clear why vehicle size/weight would significantly affect the difficulty of the self-driving problem (I am not a truck driver).  Presumably the sensors would be intelligently placed and the algorithms retuned for different vehicles size/engine power/weight/turning radius/etc.  Yes the insurance liability and the consequences of a 2000lb car in a crash are different than a 10000lb truck in a crash but that is not in the self driving system.

If anything self-driving semis and buses might be safer, though they will likely need a human operator on hand to 'take over' in the event of a malfunction or extremely random event (much like jumbo jets now).  But a computer will maintain perfect following distance and total awareness of all the vehicles around it, unlike many trucks I've had the misfortune to drive near.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on April 25, 2016, 12:11:45 PM
Musk hints about developing self driving "not exactly" buses to eliminate traffic congestion.
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/21/elon-musk-wants-to-solve-traffic-congestion-with-self-driving-buses.html

I think small vehicles will be autonomous in the next decade.  If you get to the point where semi sized vehicles are autonomous, then we have disrupted people involved in driving taxis, semis, home delivery vehicles, and many other uses.  3.5 million truck drivers, 250 thousand taxis, 500 thousand+ Uber/Lyft drivers, and others supporting these types of jobs. 

The need to own a car will go down significantly, when the Uber/Lyfts are using self driving cars.

Pretty cool.

I am not clear why vehicle size/weight would significantly affect the difficulty of the self-driving problem (I am not a truck driver).  Presumably the sensors would be intelligently placed and the algorithms retuned for different vehicles size/engine power/weight/turning radius/etc.  Yes the insurance liability and the consequences of a 2000lb car in a crash are different than a 10000lb truck in a crash but that is not in the self driving system.

If anything self-driving semis and buses might be safer, though they will likely need a human operator on hand to 'take over' in the event of a malfunction or extremely random event (much like jumbo jets now).  But a computer will maintain perfect following distance and total awareness of all the vehicles around it, unlike many trucks I've had the misfortune to drive near.

I don't think that it's a technological difficulty for bigger vehicles. The bigger vehicles are usually commercial. That is way more obviously disruptive than cars for personal use. Even when making the announcement of the self driving truck that mercedes is developing (fun fact: a test drive has been completed (http://www.gizmag.com/daimlers-production-autonomous-truck-debuts-public-roads/39701/)!!) they made it very clear that drivers would still be involved. There would be too much push back that would halt R&D.

Even though it's merely perspective. It's just as disruptive for self driving cars as it is for trucks. The same reason that more people focus on the pesticides on factory farms than the pesticides thrown on lawns. The technology during it's development phase will go the route of least resistance. Once most of the hurdles are overcome, and the technology is being commonly used, then it will go into the realm of commercial tech. Thinking about it, and I might write more about this later, historically it's been the other direction. New tech is used by industry first, and then trickles down to the common person. Things seem to have been reversed lately. Hmmm.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Leisured on April 26, 2016, 07:06:16 AM
Thank You mozar for the link to automated Japanese restaurants. The vid shows us what you can achieve with conveyors and a standardised menu.

I see a future where food at automated restaurants is so cheap that it will become common, and municipalities may even provide food in such restaurants free as a municipal service. This could include schools where students could go to an automated restaurant next door at no charge. Such food could include sushi (I liked the automated sushi machines) sandwiches, vol au vents, small pastries, small pizza slices. That is, finger food.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on April 26, 2016, 07:12:22 PM
Article on Basic Income and Robots/technology.

http://www.businessinsider.com/universal-basic-income-justifications-2016-4
"But again, robots have to be created by humans, which makes the idea that robots are in some way maximized humans an argument not that robots are good or humans are bad, but that robot-creating humans are the best."

I am not sure why the author feels that humans will be making robots.  Currently humans are barely making Teslas.  I would think that in 20 years robots will be making robots.  Why would you put a highly unqualified human in place of a Robot to make robots?  I think they author would be more accurate to state that people who own the companies would be the controllers of the universe. Basic income will most likely need to occur or people will be taking up arms as they are jobless and worthless to society.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar on April 27, 2016, 07:35:15 PM
Maybe it's because I'm tired, but I didn't understand the purpose of the article of the previous post at all. He's saying that he 1. is against basic minimum income because it will help rich people? Well yes, that is part of it. That's not a bad thing necessarily. The rich will be more likely to support it. 2. We need to grapple with how to decrease poverty and inequality which is a separate issue from automation. I agree!
3. He doesn't think that automation/robots will take all our jobs. I disagree with that. It's not that this time it's different, it's that automation is continuing it's march up the worker ladder. First dogs, then horses, manufacturing, now white collar work. I think the discussion in this thread is way ahead of this article.

But mostly I'm posting to mention a great Freakanomics podcast about the basic minimum income. They were talking about how dogs used to do so many jobs for humans, but they don't anymore. But they evolved into pets. Basically they were implying that humans will eventually become pets for robots!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on April 28, 2016, 02:23:46 PM
...He doesn't think that automation/robots will take all our jobs. I disagree with that. It's not that this time it's different, it's that automation is continuing it's march up the worker ladder. First dogs, then horses, manufacturing, now white collar work.


You skipped children.  Its not likely coincidence that (anti) child labor laws began to pop up just after the industrial revolution, and became universal during the great depression.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar on April 28, 2016, 04:28:41 PM
Quote
You skipped children.  Its not likely coincidence that (anti) child labor laws began to pop up just after the industrial revolution, and became universal during the great depression.

I said I was tired! Didn't mean to skip.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on May 03, 2016, 09:04:32 AM
Quote
You skipped children.  Its not likely coincidence that (anti) child labor laws began to pop up just after the industrial revolution, and became universal during the great depression.

I said I was tired! Didn't mean to skip.

And the elderly. In the UK you had to retire at 65 for men, 60 for women until relatively recently, I think around 2010, because I remember changing company policy from 'You leave on your birthday' to, 'you can ask to stay past your birthday'. My aunt retired before the change, and wanted to continue working, but couldn't. I know in the US it is common to carry on longer, but not here. Another element of the workforce that was no longer needed, so the state pension and compulsory retirement was introduced.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar on May 03, 2016, 04:22:49 PM
Wow I've never heard of compulsory retirement.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Primm on May 03, 2016, 07:39:04 PM
Wow I've never heard of compulsory retirement.

Used to be a thing. Along with retirement if you were a woman who had a baby (although you were allowed to go back once the kids had left home), if you were a woman who got married (in some professions), in fact they never used to need much of an excuse at all to send you out to pasture if you were a woman. Not that long ago either, in the big scheme of things.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Optimiser on May 04, 2016, 12:51:11 PM
Robots can now carry out surgery almost unaided http://econ.st/24rmyNS
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist on May 05, 2016, 04:58:23 AM
Wow I've never heard of compulsory retirement.

Used to be a thing. Along with retirement if you were a woman who had a baby (although you were allowed to go back once the kids had left home), if you were a woman who got married (in some professions), in fact they never used to need much of an excuse at all to send you out to pasture if you were a woman. Not that long ago either, in the big scheme of things.

Yes, we went to a Concorde exhibition, and the compulsory retirement age for women flight attendants was 35! That was if you made it that far... you also had to leave upon becoming pregnant. Or was it getting married? I can't remember.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on May 05, 2016, 11:10:41 AM
Not an overly robust article, but it has a graph of manufacturing employment to industrial robots.  Note they projected out the growth in industrial robots, but did not project out the manufacturing jobs.

Also note it took 30+ years to reach a million industrial robots and 11 years to reach 2 million and the curve is expanding so 3 million is probably 3 or 4 years after hitting 2 million.

http://www.businessinsider.com/bank-of-america-robots-2016-5

"Tech disruption is negative for workers: attempts to address inequality via higher minimum wages is likely to accelerate automation in the labor force (note the sharp increase in the use of industrial robots this decade and the stagnant level of manufacturing employment – chart 3); the increased use of robots & AI may also be reducing wage expectations, thus helping to explain why household savings continue to rise."
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang on May 10, 2016, 09:15:43 PM
"Institutional Investor just released its annual list of the top-earning hedge fund managers, and six of the top eight are quants, or managers who rely on computer programs to guide their investing."

This is last year's data.  Those trying to compete with human involvement will be toast in the coming years.

"He basically said something to the effect of: "If your job is a purely manual job and you are just clicking buttons, you should look to upgrade your skills set now.""

http://www.businessinsider.com/quant-funds-dominate-hedge-fund-rich-list-2016-5
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on May 11, 2016, 09:54:40 AM
"Institutional Investor just released its annual list of the top-earning hedge fund managers, and six of the top eight are quants, or managers who rely on computer programs to guide their investing."

This is last year's data.  Those trying to compete with human involvement will be toast in the coming years.

"He basically said something to the effect of: "If your job is a purely manual job and you are just clicking buttons, you should look to upgrade your skills set now.""

http://www.businessinsider.com/quant-funds-dominate-hedge-fund-rich-list-2016-5

I'm surprised there are still 2 that are not quants. I would have expected it to be 8/8. Although that led me down a rabbit hole of watching AI air hockey, and that was kind of fun.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache on May 11, 2016, 08:33:10 PM
...

I'm surprised there are still 2 that are not quants. I would have expected it to be 8/8. Although that led me down a rabbit hole of watching AI air hockey, and that was kind of fun.

I guess the AI's have yet to fully master bribery, insider trading and extortion :-)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on May 12, 2016, 10:12:28 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
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on May 12, 2016, 10:19:08 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: big_owl on May 12, 2016, 10:36:43 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. 

Reusing rockets and re-landing them on a barge in the ocean?  Yeah I can wrap my head around that.  Right now I just can't get it wrapped around a real self-driving car.  I hope I'm wrong and they're adopted safely and I can ride my motorcycles without fear of distracted drivers...not buying it right now though.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on May 12, 2016, 10:54:59 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 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiwVMrTLUWg)) 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 (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).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: big_owl 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 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiwVMrTLUWg)) 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 (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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread 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 (http://theoatmeal.com/blog/google_self_driving_car) Oatmeal "article". It's a fun read.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache 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 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiwVMrTLUWg)) 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 (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 (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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Albert 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...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: big_owl 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. 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Primm 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: MrsCoolCat 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Metric Mouse 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.

When the rich are too rich and the poor are too poor, there are ways. - Buck.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Schaefer Light 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 ;).
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Metric Mouse 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.' 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Schaefer Light 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Metric Mouse 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol 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? 
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Schaefer Light 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Metric Mouse 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
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist 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?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: AlanStache 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 (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/ (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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: sol on May 17, 2016, 08:04:08 AM
Some 30,000 people die anally

That's horrible!  What a shitty way to go.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread on May 17, 2016, 08:24:06 AM
Some 30,000 people die anally

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

Bwahahahahaha
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Knaak on May 17, 2016, 08:49:34 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?

Would you rather your daughter's life be in the hands of a low-wage taxi driver or a group of highly paid Google/Tesla engineers?
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Metric Mouse 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...
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread 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>
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang 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

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang 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."
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: matchewed 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: theadvicist 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/  (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!
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: seathink 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang 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..

Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Knaak on May 25, 2016, 12:11:43 PM
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..

Agreed.  The "Fight For $15" protesters are getting exactly what they asked for, whether they realize it or not.  Pesky unintended consequences...

Unfortunately, businesses are moving much faster than the federal government, so there will be a lot of hardship for a lot of people during the gap between machines replacing these McJobs and a basic income being implemented nationwide.  I doubt the protesters realized they were fighting to make their lives worse before they get better.  Of course automation in the fast food industry was going to happen anyway, but cities and states raising their minimum wages are simply fueling it to happen faster.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: seathink 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. :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Bakari on May 26, 2016, 06:59:28 AM
http://www.newsmax.com/US/Ed-Rensi-McDonalds-Cheaper-Robots/2016/05/25/id/730583/ (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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar on May 29, 2016, 02:33:15 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
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: tomsang 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: jordanread 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. :)
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: mozar 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: Schaefer Light 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.
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: davisgang90 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
Title: Re: Robots and their impact on the future
Post by: seathink 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 w