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Automation: What kind of trouble will it be?

  1. Oct 20, 2017 #1
    I read that a lot jobs done by people today will end up getting automated in the near future and that only those jobs that require human creativity and language etc that cannot be easily replicated by AI will remain. If this is true how far away are we from mass unemployment in the low-skill and medium-skill labor sector ?

    I don't how much of this is hype and how much is not, i would like responses from people working in the AI, automation fields.

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  3. Oct 20, 2017 #2


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  4. Oct 20, 2017 #3
    I've been developing software for over four decades and I don't know either.
    There have been many times when the software I developed looked as though it would certainly cause jobs to be displaced - but it never has. It every case, the company or the government agency ended up taking on more work and actually expanded its work force.
    Machines often take over the simple, repetitive, dangerous, or otherwise menial tasks. But certainly there are some in the work force that can do little more than that. Part of the issue is economics. McDonalds could replace more workers with automation, but there is no cost benefit. And people are still able to adapt better than machines - they usually have a better sense of value in unexpected situations.
    And even as the effect of displacement occurs, it is happening only as more products and services become available at less cost. So people seem to have a perpetual economic out. They have to be paid in order for there to be demand for the products and services they produce. Still, their contribution to that productivity could approach zero asymptotically.

    Perhaps this explains why there is a separate group of people, the owners of production automation, that are doing so much better than the rest of us.
  5. Oct 20, 2017 #4

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    We're 250 years into the Industrial Revolution. And now you're asking the question?

    It's been continually disruptive since then, and I think it's fair that nobody in 1760 would be able to have predicted where we are today. Why should we be able to do any better?
  6. Oct 23, 2017 #5
    I am not working in the AI and automation field, but I'm kind of interested when it comes to these subjects. While the workforce is far from getting completely replaced by AI, the sectors you have mentioned are the ones that can easily be replaced because of the nature of their tasks — repetitive and can be more efficiently done by AI. Jobs evolve overtime, while there are jobs that will be replaced, new types of jobs will emerge in the future to complement the advancement of the technology — marketers found a way to maximize the usage of internet hence the emergence of digital marketing.

    Here's a few of those jobs that will likely be replaced by automation in the near future, as I've read on this blog: It's Time to Make Way for Smart Robots in your Industry (I also posted this one on the self-driving cars thread).
  7. Nov 2, 2017 #6
    I do automation and work occasionally with machine learning.

    I think the problem is that both technology and population grow geometrically.

    I think we'll have a serious problem, but humans will solve it. I mean, life will just be different, that's not good or bad. I think we'll consider those people to be lazy and have everything done for them, but they'll have new obstacles and ways of life. We have shelter every single day, water flows straight to our shelter, food is for all practical purposes endless, and we don't worry much about predators. Automation has killed the caveman lifestyle, are we lazier than they are?
  8. Nov 2, 2017 #7
  9. Nov 3, 2017 #8
    The company i work for, creates smart cameras. They require LOTS of data from humans, many people work to feed the neural networks with data.
    We have a factory, that has many human workers.

    About not so near future, futurism.com had one interesting article saying time is money, facebook for example creates lots of profit for we spend time on it. So probably, humans could be payed for generating useful data, share ads, things like that.
  10. Nov 3, 2017 #9


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    I would agree with that...

    See here.
    See here.
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