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Old 1st September 2017, 06:16 PM   #121
ProgrammingGodJordan
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Originally Posted by HoverBoarder View Post
This has been the case for hundreds of years. New industry technological advancements have gone hand in hand with lower unemployment rates. While demand and efficiency has shifted jobs to other fields, that is an inherent function of the economic affect of supply and demand.

What factors do you specifically see now that would change that trend?
Here are some factors:

(1) The functioning machine intelligence at the onset of the industrial revolution, are very different models than the brain inspired beasts that function well today. The old models didn't function well, while "learning" to do tasks as humans do.

By 2020, we will likely see conventional machines with human level brain power. (See source)


(2) In the distant past, the top three firms in some region of the world earned billions, and hired millions.

Recently, the top 3 in a similar region earned trillions, and hired thousands.

(See source)



FOOTNOTE:

In other words, the initial trend has already changed, and changes are occurring faster still.

Last edited by ProgrammingGodJordan; 1st September 2017 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 1st September 2017, 11:52 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
One of the major concerns I have is that the size of the middle class will shrink drastically. Then democracy will be under threat as it is the middle class who want it.

The poor are too worried about earning enough to buy the essentials of life to worry about democracy. If they get upset by the politicians they go and riot. The rich can bribe whoever to get what they want. The middle class are everyone who earns between those two groups.

The size of the middle class is already shrinking, and has been for almost a generation. Not a statistical blip, but a trend.

It isn't a question of if any more, it is a question of how much.
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Old 2nd September 2017, 12:28 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
killing off all aspirations to a better lifestyle by killing off the middle class
I don't see why exactly the size of the middle class would be what "kills all aspirations to a better lifestyle".

The average European doesn't think about the middle class, when they think about USA. The typical views and concerns presented in mainstream media, or conversations on the street, are some occasional admiration for the achievements of the extremely wealthy, but more often than that, critical concern why such a wealthy nation allows its poorest to be so dismally poor. The European perception of USA as a society is dominated by the circumstances of its poorest social classes.

The difference, and concern, is that in Social democratic Europe, extreme poverty is possible only by heavy abuse of alcohol or drugs, since the social welfare network will get you free health care and enough money to get food and a flat to rent, no matter who and why you are. And laws about minimum salary etc. prevent the existence of "working poor". (Extreme poverty becomes possible by spending the state benefits for alcohol rather than the intended food and housing, a loophole that could be fixed by earmarking the money, which is not done for some strange reason.)

What we Europeans wonder is how USA fails to do the same, indeed aggressively refuses to (as we have seen in public debate about Obamacare etc.), while focusing its public political debate and election promises on the interests of the middle class. This is the background from which I get a certain feeling when an American focuses debate on the interests of the middle class. This is not the primary concern that a typical European would want to focus on, when looking as an outsider at the American society, even without wearing glasses coloured by any ideological extremism, which I may be guilty of.

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Old 4th September 2017, 06:09 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by ProgrammingGodJordan View Post
By 2020, we will likely see conventional machines with human level brain power.
No, we won't.

You know, I remember in the late 80s when people were claiming that nanotechnology would enable you to 3D print everything from toasters to clothing. Yeah, that didn't happen. I've read the papers and watched the lectures from IBM, Microsoft, and Google. No one at those companies knows how to build a machine of human level.

If everything stays on track then the soonest we would see a machine of human level would be about 2027. This machine would cost about $500 million. To have much effect, the cost needs to be down in the minicomputer/workstation price range. That will take another twelve years. Notice that this is still too expensive for a self-driving car or a service robot. You need another six years to get it down to the $40,000 - $100,000 range. So, you are talking 2045 with at least another two years after that for volume production. That's still a pretty optimistic estimate because it figures 6 years per generation.

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Old 4th September 2017, 08:30 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
I don't see why exactly the size of the middle class would be what "kills all aspirations to a better lifestyle".
The middle class. Perhaps this will change in the future but the great majority of innovation comes from the middle class. In modern times you usually have a small startup that comes up with something valuable. Then this is either licensed by larger companies or they buy the smaller company outright. This happens all the time. The main reason the economy of Rome was not stable was because there was no middle class. It was only stable while it was expanding. Once it peaked, it began to shrink and this didn't stop. I can't think of an economy that has been stable without a middle class. China is now running into this problem. Their growth up to now has been based on industry and production. But, to keep moving ahead, they need innovation and that's in short supply in China. Can you name a way for China to become more innovative without a middle class?

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What we Europeans wonder is how USA fails to do the same, indeed aggressively refuses to (as we have seen in public debate about Obamacare etc.), while focusing its public political debate and election promises on the interests of the middle class.
What many in the US do not understand is that the biggest obstacle to finding employees in a small business is the cost of health insurance. No other benefit is as difficult as that for a small business to provide. It is understandable that larger companies would prefer that this was not available since they would have to compete less for qualified employees. And, particularly when insurance companies exclude pre-existing conditions, many find themselves stuck with one employer. I knew people in this situation 20 years ago.

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Old 4th September 2017, 11:34 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
Can you name a way for China to become more innovative without a middle class?
I fail to see what is so magical about the middle class, what comes to innovation. Other than the fact that the path from a mere idea to a functional prototype usually takes amounts of money which the poorest simply cannot afford. More aggressive public projects to solicit, analyze and fund the most promising innovations from the public could be the key.

Originally Posted by barehl View Post
What many in the US do not understand is that the biggest obstacle to finding employees in a small business is the cost of health insurance.
Somehow Europe copes with that. This topic is not even on the political agenda, as its alternative, leaving people without health insurance, is unacceptable to be brought into political discussion. Not even right-wing parties dare say that, because they have voters to attract.

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Old 5th September 2017, 03:23 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
I fail to see what is so magical about the middle class, what comes to innovation. Other than the fact that the path from a mere idea to a functional prototype usually takes amounts of money which the poorest simply cannot afford. More aggressive public projects to solicit, analyze and fund the most promising innovations from the public could be the key.
That doesn't follow. At the time of the invention of the transistor the government was funding other ideas. You might also recall that the government funded Professor Langley's disastrous machine whereas the Wright Brother's working machine was funded by them. I could also point to the Mystery Ship which beat the Army entry. Henry Ford's car wasn't government funded. Whittle's early work on a jet engine wasn't government funded nor was Goddard's work on rockets. It is consistently true that there isn't enough variation in large scale projects. You need that variation. If you could get it somehow without a middle class then the Soviet Union should have been fine. However, that isn't what we see, even in terms of the space race. The Soviet Union was never able to rise above the Soyuz which came from the R-7 ICBM. In contrast, the US left the Titan II behind and moved on to the Saturn IB which was the workhorse platform to develop the Saturn V. The Soviet Union didn't match the thrust of the F-1 until the RD-170 in 1985. Today, it is even uncertain if the RD-171 for Zenit will continue since this engine was manufactured in the Ukraine.

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Somehow Europe copes with that. This topic is not even on the political agenda, as its alternative, leaving people without health insurance, is unacceptable to be brought into political discussion. Not even right-wing parties dare say that, because they have voters to attract.
Does Europe cope with that? It's been 25 years since Hermes was canceled. They are working on the IXV right now. It won't do actual flight testing until 2019 and won't be ready as the Space Rider until 2025. In contrast, both CST-100 and Dragon 2 should be launch tested in 2018. Dream Chaser could fly in 2019. CIRA also hasn't actually figured out how Space Rider could land; they are hoping Lockheed Martin will figure that out. Also, Space Rider is expected to fly on the Vega C which is only about the size of a Titan II. Apparently they are still keeping the option of Dream Chaser on the much larger Ariane 6 which won't fly before 2020. Falcon Heavy should fly this year with double the capacity to GTO.
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Old 5th September 2017, 03:40 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
When more than 50% of population are extremely unhappy with their lives, a democratic election will change the tide of politics, then law, then there will be redistribution of wealth. Higher income taxes will sweep the cream off the cake of robot-owners...
This doesn't and can't work in the USA, for the People can only choose among the candidates that actually run and campaign, but the candidates are chosen by Big Money simply by virtue of needing so much money to run a campaign that gets noticed at all. Campaign contributions that matter come from the Rich, and among the rich are disproportionally dominated by the Filthily Rich. No political movement that seriously aims at skimming the cream off the rich will ever get sufficient funds from these same rich, and thus the majority of the People will never get to choose a candidate who has the actual interests of the actual majority in mind.


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Old 5th September 2017, 05:28 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
If you could get it somehow without a middle class then the Soviet Union should have been fine.
Ehh, what did the Soviet Union have then, if not one huge middle class?

Originally Posted by barehl View Post
Does Europe cope with that? It's been 25 years since Hermes was canceled.
Ouukay. Space-wise you might be correct. My mind is focused on more earthly matters, such as fair distribution of well-being among us mere humans.
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Old 5th September 2017, 05:30 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
This doesn't and can't work in the USA, for the People can only choose among the candidates that actually run and campaign, but the candidates are chosen by Big Money simply by virtue of needing so much money to run a campaign that gets noticed at all.
This is a thought that tends to come in mind, when one considers what difference between Europe and USA could explain the longstanding differences in their politics.

Number of major political parties.
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:34 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Ehh, what did the Soviet Union have then, if not one huge middle class?
Middle class? What? Most people were poor with only higher politicians and criminals enriching themselves. Read the book by the guy who defected in the Mig-25. I don't see a middle class in that. Or read about the people who escaped from East Germany in a hot air balloon. They had a foot pedal sewing machine. And when Germans were fleeing in 1989 when Hungary relaxed the border restrictions they were driving Trabants. This car used a 600cc, two cylinder, two stroke, motorcycle engine. You had to mix the oil with the fuel.

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Ouukay. Space-wise you might be correct. My mind is focused on more earthly matters, such as fair distribution of well-being among us mere humans.
This doesn't follow. If Europe didn't care about space then stop funding the ESA. Clearly they do intend to keep building European rockets. And they are doing better with Ariane 6 than they did with the disastrous Airbus A-380 (which has delivered something like 1/3rd of the units they need to pay for development costs). Nor have they been anymore successful with the 1 billion Euro, Human Brain Project. The one successful area that does come to mind is CERN. It was successful enough that the US decided not to build a larger Fermilab. The question is if Europe can continue the success with the Future Circular Collider.
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Old 5th September 2017, 09:13 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
Middle class? What? Most people were poor
Depends on how you define "poverty". Whom you compare with whom. But maybe you have a point.

Originally Posted by barehl View Post
The question is if Europe can continue the success with the Future Circular Collider.
Thhhhanks. Ehh, where was I? Talking about equality of humans on this planet.
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Old 5th September 2017, 10:12 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
This is a thought that tends to come in mind, when one considers what difference between Europe and USA could explain the longstanding differences in their politics.

Number of major political parties.
Much better explained by parliamentary system vs the US presidential and first passed the post system.
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Old 10th September 2017, 08:20 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Depends on how you define "poverty". Whom you compare with whom. But maybe you have a point.
I'm not into these ridiculous semantics with you. I've given you concrete examples from both history and the present while you've given nothing but assertions.
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Old 12th September 2017, 04:06 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I'm not into these ridiculous semantics with you. I've given you concrete examples from both history and the present while you've given nothing but assertions.
But you did refer to "middle class" without defining what it is.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 12:16 AM   #136
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Getting back to reality, here is a video by CPG Grey called Humans Need Not Apply
It suggests that a large % of the population will, by no fault of their own be unemployable. That includes many skilled workers. The only winners will be the shareholders and other company owners.

Edit. Would help if I actually post the video
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


He probably will not be too far out.

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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:03 AM   #137
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I find strange the definition of skilled worker and non skilled worker in regards to robotics and other augmented processes such as AI. Robots especially in production lines have been replacing skilled workers for a long time. Where AI differs is that it will replace the unskilled but information dense jobs such as MDs, these have been traditionally and mistakenly viewed as skilled jobs, but they never have been. What they have been is jobs that require a lot of knowledge and some experience and of course in the case of humans this is a very long and expensive process and that is why they have been classed as skilled jobs. But for an expert system/AI you only need to do this once and voilà you can turn out millions of MDs with a simple copy command. I suspect that in medical and care support the skilled human jobs that will remain for some time yet will be the likes of nursing.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 04:58 AM   #138
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Another example of where "highly skilled" and therefore highly paid jobs are more easily replaced by robots is airline pilots.

We have the technology now, and have already had it for many years, to replace airline pilots and make planes operate without pilots. The consensus is that such pilotless planes would be safer than current ones, where a significant proportion of all "accidents" are due to pilot error. The only things stopping us from doing this are not technical ones - they are to do with legislation and rules written when robot planes weren't available, and the widespread, probably wrong, belief that passengers would feel less safe without a pilot and would therefore not fly.

In contrast, it's much more difficult, technologically, to replace a bus driver with a robot. It will probably be done eventually, but the technology doesn't exist right now that would enable a bus to drive along existing bus routes with existing traffic conditions. Of course you could do it by modifying the roads and stops - driverless trains are already a thing.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 10:44 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Getting back to reality, here is a video by CPG Grey called Humans Need Not Apply
It suggests that a large % of the population will, by no fault of their own be unemployable. That includes many skilled workers. The only winners will be the shareholders and other company owners.
His arguments don't seem all that logical. For example he states that what used to be thirty humans is now one human overseeing thirty cashier robots. We already had vending machines with bill readers. We already had UPC scanners. We've had menus and touch screens for some time. All that was added was a sensitive scale to detect when things were added to the sacking tray. There is no big advance here. Calling a checkout kiosk a "cashier robot" is bordering on psychotic delusion. A genuine cashier robot would be able to scan and sack the items on its own. This isn't even a new concept. It actually dates back to the first Piggly Wiggly in 1916.

At the time of its founding, grocery stores did not allow their customers to gather their own goods. Instead, a customer would give a list of items to a clerk, who would then go through the store himself, gathering them. This created a greater cost, therefore higher prices. Piggly Wiggly introduced the innovation of allowing customers to go through the store, gathering their own goods.

The horse and automobile analogy is silly. Horses have never had any requirement for jobs. The personification of horses was not much better than claiming that bronze eliminated the jobs for stone tools.

The self-driving cars claim is another of his delusions. Do they work? No, they don't. These designs are more properly classified as upgraded autopilot systems which have been in aircraft since 1912. They work pretty good on interstate highways in daylight in good weather but not so well in city traffic or at night or in bad weather. The only question is how quickly they will replace human drivers? That's a naïve assumption and shows that the author of the video is not informed about the technology. A more accurate statement would be that if a more intelligent control system becomes available then the tools developed thus far for "self-driving" cars will make it much easier to create a fully autonomous system.

Computers can already self-program. No, not even close. The rest is mostly the same highly exaggerated projection and a further confusion of jobs with tools.

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He probably will not be too far out.
He's not even in the right area code.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 10:47 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But for an expert system/AI you only need to do this once and voilà you can turn out millions of MDs with a simple copy command.
That's a great deal of confidence considering that you are talking about a theory that is still hypothetical.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 11:02 AM   #141
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Medical diagnosis could be outsourced a lot, even to the patient himself. Or to a nurse. I have this rash here, what could it be? The robot lists the different possibilities. If an MD has a way of knowing which of the possible ones it is, it should be possible to teach a robot to do the same. Even better, with eyes that view the rash in various light wave lengths unseen to the human eye, ultraviolet, infrared, etc.

Hmm, I am starting to like the idea of replacing a lot of the work of ridiculously overpaid MDs with less expensive robots.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 11:14 AM   #142
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I always sense a certain hopefulness in these threads that it will happen and the government will be forced to pay people not to work.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 11:21 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
Another example of where "highly skilled" and therefore highly paid jobs are more easily replaced by robots is airline pilots.
This already happened. As Sullenberger stated in his book, the salaries of airlines pilots were cut by 2/3rds about the time he became one. He also stated that he had to bring his own lunch because the airline stopped providing food for the crew. In other words, they replaced a highly paid job with a lower paying job without a robot.

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We have the technology now, and have already had it for many years, to replace airline pilots and make planes operate without pilots.
Not really. If this were true then all of the subway trains should be automated. Staying on one track with unchanging platform stops is a much simpler decision space.

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The consensus is that such pilotless planes would be safer than current ones, where a significant proportion of all "accidents" are due to pilot error.
No, this is a naïve assumption.

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The only things stopping us from doing this are not technical ones
There are technical issues as well.

Quote:
they are to do with legislation and rules written when robot planes weren't available, and the widespread, probably wrong, belief that passengers would feel less safe without a pilot and would therefore not fly.
This isn't really much of an argument. Locomotives have a single engineer even when multiple locomotives are used in a train. If your assertion was correct then we would be down to a single crew member for backup of the automated system.

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driverless trains are already a thing.
Well, sort of. There are limited lines that use full automation (GoA4). When you look through the lists you find that a given system may have a dozen lines and only one or two are automated. The most extensive systems are only GoA2.

In this system trains run automatically from station to station but a driver is in the cab, with responsibility for door closing, obstacle detection on the track in front of the train and handling of emergency situations. As in a GoA3 system, the GoA2 train cannot operate safely without the staff member on board.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 01:16 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Medical diagnosis could be outsourced a lot, even to the patient himself. Or to a nurse. I have this rash here, what could it be? The robot lists the different possibilities. If an MD has a way of knowing which of the possible ones it is, it should be possible to teach a robot to do the same. Even better, with eyes that view the rash in various light wave lengths unseen to the human eye, ultraviolet, infrared, etc.

Hmm, I am starting to like the idea of replacing a lot of the work of ridiculously overpaid MDs with less expensive robots.
I agree. A computer should be able to give a better diagnosis than a human. Take a picture of that rash and the program would be able to say what it is and what treatments to apply. If they discover that there is a new type of rash then all programs could be informed immediately. The skill level required for a doctor would be greatly reduced. As well as the need for human specialists.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 01:35 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
That's a great deal of confidence considering that you are talking about a theory that is still hypothetical.
What theory?
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Old 23rd September 2017, 01:44 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I agree. A computer should be able to give a better diagnosis than a human. Take a picture of that rash and the program would be able to say what it is and what treatments to apply. If they discover that there is a new type of rash then all programs could be informed immediately. The skill level required for a doctor would be greatly reduced. As well as the need for human specialists.
They already are better than humans in quite a few diagnostic areas:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...3/ai-versus-md

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/worl...icle-1.2741857

And there are a lot more real world examples.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:02 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
His arguments don't seem all that logical. For example he states that what used to be thirty humans is now one human overseeing thirty cashier robots. We already had vending machines with bill readers. We already had UPC scanners. We've had menus and touch screens for some time. All that was added was a sensitive scale to detect when things were added to the sacking tray. There is no big advance here. Calling a checkout kiosk a "cashier robot" is bordering on psychotic delusion. A genuine cashier robot would be able to scan and sack the items on its own. This isn't even a new concept. It actually dates back to the first Piggly Wiggly in 1916.

At the time of its founding, grocery stores did not allow their customers to gather their own goods. Instead, a customer would give a list of items to a clerk, who would then go through the store himself, gathering them. This created a greater cost, therefore higher prices. Piggly Wiggly introduced the innovation of allowing customers to go through the store, gathering their own goods.

The horse and automobile analogy is silly. Horses have never had any requirement for jobs. The personification of horses was not much better than claiming that bronze eliminated the jobs for stone tools.

The self-driving cars claim is another of his delusions. Do they work? No, they don't. These designs are more properly classified as upgraded autopilot systems which have been in aircraft since 1912. They work pretty good on interstate highways in daylight in good weather but not so well in city traffic or at night or in bad weather. The only question is how quickly they will replace human drivers? That's a naïve assumption and shows that the author of the video is not informed about the technology. A more accurate statement would be that if a more intelligent control system becomes available then the tools developed thus far for "self-driving" cars will make it much easier to create a fully autonomous system.

Computers can already self-program. No, not even close. The rest is mostly the same highly exaggerated projection and a further confusion of jobs with tools.


He's not even in the right area code.

Thanks for your review. The point is that jobs are going. You need far fewer people now to sell you your groceries now than in the past. In the future even fewer will be required. It does not matter if it is due to robots or other technologies or how long it is between the invention of the technology and its common usage. The fact still remains a lot of jobs are on the way out or will be radically changed.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:06 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I always sense a certain hopefulness in these threads that it will happen and the government will be forced to pay people not to work.

Disregarding the unnecessary "hopefulness" quip, if the replacement of many or most routine occupations with modern automation should come about, and if large numbers of people were left with no practical avenue to legitimate employment at all, do you think it would be wrong for governments to step in and provide a basic living allowance?
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Old 23rd September 2017, 03:24 PM   #149
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Nah, robots will go, "Screw you, guys! I'm making my own factory! With blackjack! And hookers! In fact, forget the factory!"
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Old 24th September 2017, 01:34 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Take a picture of that rash and the program would be able to say what it is and what treatments to apply.
Diagnosing is not quite that simple. It is more like: "This symptom has 10 known causes, with varying statistical probabilities. We'll assume the statistically most common cause, unless interview of the patient or other circumstances give a reason to suspect that some less common cause is now the most probable cause. Then we have to decide which of the many possible medicines and treatments this particular person responds most positively to. If symptoms will not go away with the given treatment, we try some other treatment for the same assumed cause. If nothing helps, we'll have to assume that the first diagnose guess was incorrect, and try treatments meant for the next most probable cause. In some cases, neither the cause nor a remedy will ever be found out. In some cases, the patient dies because we guessed wrong too many times. In some cases, the treatments fail because the patient did not follow the instructions or take the medicine, but we have no way of knowing if he did or not. Sometimes we believe that the patient is lying. In some cases, we believe that the patient is insane."

If a fever etc. can be caused by bacteria or viruses, doctors seldom verify the precise bacteria or virus that is found in the patient. Apparently this would be possible for science, but considered unencessarily difficult or expensive -- especially if knowing the exact cause would anyway not help ending the flu any quicker. Technological advances are welcome also in the technical side of the diagnosing process, not only (or even mainly) in the decision-making process now done by a medical doctor.

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Old 30th September 2017, 09:06 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What theory?
What you have today is Advanced AI. It works quite well on structured, high volume, and repetitive tasks. It's efficient but profoundly stupid. It is not unusual for people to hope that advanced AI will somehow grow up to be General AI. However, there is still no experimental foundation and no theoretical basis for this.

General AI. If this actually exists then no one has yet been able to say how it would differ from cognitive theory. If it is the same as cognitive theory then that wouldn't help you because it would only give you a sentient agent with similar reasoning capabilities to a human.

Fractional Theory. This is a hypothetical overlap between cognitive and computational theory. It involves the idea that behavior can be hard limited based on computation. It's the model most often used in science fiction including Asimov's three laws and Robby from The Forbidden Planet. If you want a perfect servant or an intelligent weapon, this is what you would need.
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Old 30th September 2017, 09:11 AM   #152
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As I sit here a portion of my job is being taking over by a robot. Luckily it is a portion of my job that I neither like nor get much compensation for, so I'm good with that. In fact, I really like it. The robot is a DeeBot.
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Old 30th September 2017, 09:13 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Disregarding the unnecessary "hopefulness" quip, if the replacement of many or most routine occupations with modern automation should come about, and if large numbers of people were left with no practical avenue to legitimate employment at all, do you think it would be wrong for governments to step in and provide a basic living allowance?
As phrased, yes, absolutely it would be wrong.

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Old 30th September 2017, 09:16 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
The point is that jobs are going. You need far fewer people now to sell you your groceries now than in the past. In the future even fewer will be required.
That's not the point. When the steam donkey became available it eliminated jobs in a number of areas such as the number of men required to handle sails on schooners. Tools reduce the amount of human labor required. That has never been in dispute. The video tried to make the case that intelligent machines are different.

Quote:
It does not matter if it is due to robots or other technologies or how long it is between the invention of the technology and its common usage.
So, you are refuting the video that you gave as evidence?

Quote:
The fact still remains a lot of jobs are on the way out or will be radically changed.
No, there are two facts. First, tools have always eliminated human labor. Secondly, we are not yet in the age of intelligent machines as the video implied. You can call a pencil a pigment transfer inscription robot but that doesn't make it one.
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Old 30th September 2017, 09:29 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
As I sit here a portion of my job is being taking over by a robot. Luckily it is a portion of my job that I neither like nor get much compensation for, so I'm good with that. In fact, I really like it. The robot is a DeeBot.
Well, we can test that theory pretty easily. How many offices, hotels, and restaurants are replacing cleaning staff with DeeBots? None that I've been able to find.
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Old 30th September 2017, 09:34 AM   #156
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Let's just say for the sake of argument that cognitive theory is complete, Fractional theory is possible, and the control device is small enough and cheap enough to be useful. Now lets say that we've gotten around the power supply problem. How do you solve the speed/power problem for direct drive stepper motors?
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Old 30th September 2017, 09:56 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
Well, we can test that theory pretty easily. How many offices, hotels, and restaurants are replacing cleaning staff with DeeBots? None that I've been able to find.
I'll let my former cleaning lady know that she hasn't lost her job. Because I was about to rehire her before the wife bought this.
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Old 30th September 2017, 10:15 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Disregarding the unnecessary "hopefulness" quip, if the replacement of many or most routine occupations with modern automation should come about, and if large numbers of people were left with no practical avenue to legitimate employment at all, do you think it would be wrong for governments to step in and provide a basic living allowance?
It's a fantasy to believe that they can do this. About all the government could do to alleviate the situation is to reduce or eliminate the minimum wage.

Think about it this way--suppose the government stepped in and provided a basic living allowance. What would happen to wages? In all probability, they would go up a bit, because otherwise too many people at the bottom end of the wage scale would make the quite rational decision that it wasn't worth working unless you got a certain amount of money above what the government was offering.

Sounds great--higher wages! But the celebration will be short-lived as the higher wages leads to greater automation. Leads to more people lining up for the dole, leads to fewer and fewer people contributing to the economy (and paying the pricetag).

The fact is that automation is taking jobs because (especially in the first world), many people have become overpriced. This was disguised in the US for years because US manufacturing was terrifically competitive up until about 1970, and especially during the post-World War II era, when our stiffest economic competitors were digging themselves out of the rubble.

Since then, however, American workers have effectively been priced out of manufacturing employment. And now they are in danger of being priced out of occupations like cashier and taxi or truck driver. Note in particular that for the most part, automation is hitting the low-skill occupations. I know, I know, robot diagnosticians; I suppose it just shows that job wasn't as highly skilled as we thought.

It is at this point in the conversation that people usually talk about civil unrest, and of course that is something that no government wants. So maybe the short-term solution is financial aid. But long-term that is unsustainable.

Trump thinks we can return the jobs lost overseas by means of tariffs and reduced trade. I am pleased to see that most people here disagree and see that is a fantasy which is only going to create more problems. But that also applies to this basic living allowance idea. It won't work and it will create more problems than it solves, but that is not to say that it won't happen. Governments love to kick problems down the road (e.g., Greece), and Democrats especially will find the idea of hooking more people up to the government teat attractive.
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Old 30th September 2017, 10:42 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Think about it this way--suppose the government stepped in and provided a basic living allowance. What would happen to wages? In all probability, they would go up a bit, because otherwise too many people at the bottom end of the wage scale would make the quite rational decision that it wasn't worth working unless you got a certain amount of money above what the government was offering.
The above assumes that the basic living allowance is only provided to the unemployed. Most basic income proposals are of the "universal" nature to sidestep this issue entirely.

I agree that in connection you would no longer need a minimum wage. And wages may even go down a bit for very easy jobs. But menial jobs or disgusting jobs may see a wage increase. It could be interesting.
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Old 30th September 2017, 11:36 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
As phrased, yes, absolutely it would be wrong.

Why?
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