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Automation and future human occupations

bigfield

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http://www.economist.com/news/speci...ause-mass-unemployment-automation-and-anxiety

And while it is easy to see fields in which automation might do away with the need for human labour, it is less obvious where technology might create new jobs. “We can’t predict what jobs will be created in the future, but it’s always been like that,” says Joel Mokyr, an economic historian at Northwestern University. Imagine trying to tell someone a century ago that her great-grandchildren would be video-game designers or cybersecurity specialists, he suggests. “These are jobs that nobody in the past would have predicted.”

Which occupations and industries do you predict will grow in the near future in response to the accelerating rate of automation?

(Assuming we don't reach the technological singularity)
 

Loren Pechtel

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Creating that automation.

More than 90% of my career has been spent on automation, either the direct control of the machinery or easing the user's burden of handling the information when it's not being directly fed into the machines. (Much of this has been on the software and data side--CAD drawings, pricing from those, breaking those down into station-by-station instructions for the factory and the like.)
 

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Whatever new industries emerge, I think that large scale automation is sure to cause tremendous social upheaval in the near future (decades)....to state the obvious.
 

bigfield

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Whatever new industries emerge, I think that large scale automation is sure to cause tremendous social upheaval in the near future (decades)....to state the obvious.

I predict automation will create social upheaval comparable to the Industrial Revolution, but on the scale of a global society. History shows that governments do not preempt radical social change; they react slowly. The British government didn't legislate to protect factory workers from exploitation until decades after the emergence of the factory and after the emergence of socialist movements; considering that many developed nations are governed by conservatives, we can probably expect the same lethargy this time around.

I'm curious about what shape people predict the resulting society will take, and I figured occupations would be a good focus. I'm also interested to see what people think will happen to the 40-hour full-time workload, self-employment vs corporate consolidation etc.
 

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http://www.economist.com/news/speci...ause-mass-unemployment-automation-and-anxiety

And while it is easy to see fields in which automation might do away with the need for human labour, it is less obvious where technology might create new jobs. “We can’t predict what jobs will be created in the future, but it’s always been like that,” says Joel Mokyr, an economic historian at Northwestern University. Imagine trying to tell someone a century ago that her great-grandchildren would be video-game designers or cybersecurity specialists, he suggests. “These are jobs that nobody in the past would have predicted.”

Which occupations and industries do you predict will grow in the near future in response to the accelerating rate of automation?

(Assuming we don't reach the technological singularity)

I believe we'll get communism and a rise in artists doing all manner of pointless things. Philosopher will become a common job. I'm not saying this is desirable. But this is what I think will happen.
 

DBT

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I don't have a whole lot of trust in the ability of our political and business leaders to deal with radical change in social and economic conditions brought about by whatever means, war, climate change, etc, or in this instance, widespread implementation of computerised systems which virtually do away with traditional jobs in the service and manufacturing sector, perhaps even extending into professional services, accounting, legal aid and so on.

I think that there will come a major crisis before the ponderous response of Government and business addresses the issue adequately.

I'd say that social disorder will get far worse before we start to see improvement in terms of dealing with this type of radical change.
 

bigfield

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[I believe we'll get communism and a rise in artists doing all manner of pointless things. Philosopher will become a common job. I'm not saying this is desirable. But this is what I think will happen.

In that vein, we'd probably see more people pursue self-actualisation rather than shaping their lives around an economically-necessary profession. Intellectual types will pursue philosophy while artistically-inclined people will pursue the arts, but other types of people will pursue things like athletics, sports and Guinness world records.

If I didn't need to spend so much time doing paying work, I'd probably dedicate myself to hobby robotics.
 

DrZoidberg

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[I believe we'll get communism and a rise in artists doing all manner of pointless things. Philosopher will become a common job. I'm not saying this is desirable. But this is what I think will happen.

In that vein, we'd probably see more people pursue self-actualisation rather than shaping their lives around an economically-necessary profession. Intellectual types will pursue philosophy while artistically-inclined people will pursue the arts, but other types of people will pursue things like athletics, sports and Guinness world records.

If I didn't need to spend so much time doing paying work, I'd probably dedicate myself to hobby robotics.

Wait, a minute. We're already there. The number of people doing work necessary for our sustenance is actually a minority Perhaps 5% are doing critical work for our survival. We could stretch it to 10% if we include stuff like police and functions designed to protect us from our own idiocy.

The rest is bullshit jobs. Very few people actually need to work today. And that number is falling fast. We've created an economic system which forces us to come up with ways with which to generate income. Which is heritage from the bad old days when industrialisation was just starting out. And now we've just kept it because... well... it works. Why fix something that ain't broke.

But I think it will break. When the robot revolution picks up and we fail in coming up with enough bullshit services to employ the swelling (not-)working class, then the current system will be in trouble. I think we're very very close to the breaking point.

I think we'll have a stratified society with an extremely and well educated rich upper class that does all the actually useful jobs. People who work themselves to death just to have the privilege of being part of this select few. The group that is today the middle class.

We'll have a massive (not-) working class who are on basic income and are free to do what they will all day. But what they chose to do will mostly be to drink, do drugs, play video games and beat each other up. This is based on the basic income experiments we've tried so far. But some of them will do something "useful". Like sit on forums like this and discuss the merits of not being a theist.

I think because the overwhelming majority being the poorest of the poor will effectively kill off the current upper class/1%-ers. That class are completely dependent on the "American dream" being credible. When such a big majority have nothing, no stake in the country and nothing to lose they'll have no problems with the state nationalising companies and "taking from the rich". Nation states will become a meaningless concept and today's rich will find they have nowhere to flee to and keep their wealth intact. Having traditional capital will no longer be the source of continued wealth. Only actual education and marketable skills will count, (in the extremely small existing market).

And to top it off, we will be way richer then we are today.

Anyhoo... I don't think this is that far off. Assuming nobody starts world war three. That would be like pressing the reset button.
 

bigfield

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In that vein, we'd probably see more people pursue self-actualisation rather than shaping their lives around an economically-necessary profession. Intellectual types will pursue philosophy while artistically-inclined people will pursue the arts, but other types of people will pursue things like athletics, sports and Guinness world records.

If I didn't need to spend so much time doing paying work, I'd probably dedicate myself to hobby robotics.

Wait, a minute. We're already there. The number of people doing work necessary for our sustenance is actually a minority Perhaps 5% are doing critical work for our survival. We could stretch it to 10% if we include stuff like police and functions designed to protect us from our own idiocy.

The rest is bullshit jobs. Very few people actually need to work today. And that number is falling fast. We've created an economic system which forces us to come up with ways with which to generate income. Which is heritage from the bad old days when industrialisation was just starting out. And now we've just kept it because... well... it works. Why fix something that ain't broke.

I meant "economically-necessary" to mean that people need to work to generate an income.
 

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I imagine a need for incentives to attend courses, higher education programs, time management, developing interests and so on as a set of (arbitrary) conditions for receiving a social wage. Perhaps with bonus payments for courses attended, sports, hobbies or pastimes developed, as a means of keeping the idle masses out of mischief.
 

DrZoidberg

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I imagine a need for incentives to attend courses, higher education programs, time management, developing interests and so on as a set of (arbitrary) conditions for receiving a social wage. Perhaps with bonus payments for courses attended, sports, hobbies or pastimes developed, as a means of keeping the idle masses out of mischief.

How aren't you basically describing our current world?
 

DBT

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I imagine a need for incentives to attend courses, higher education programs, time management, developing interests and so on as a set of (arbitrary) conditions for receiving a social wage. Perhaps with bonus payments for courses attended, sports, hobbies or pastimes developed, as a means of keeping the idle masses out of mischief.

How aren't you basically describing our current world?

Social wage being far more divorced from material productivity such as growing food, manufacturing and building the things we need and want and getting paid for our time, skills and labour for participating in that form of economic activity.

Presumably on a social wage one could do nothing whatsoever to contribute to society yet receive a secure regular wage.
 

Tom Sawyer

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Presumably on a social wage one could do nothing whatsoever to contribute to society yet receive a secure regular wage.

This is true. The vast majority of the DNC do receive a secure regular wage.
 

J842P

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http://www.economist.com/news/speci...ause-mass-unemployment-automation-and-anxiety



Which occupations and industries do you predict will grow in the near future in response to the accelerating rate of automation?

(Assuming we don't reach the technological singularity)

I believe we'll get communism and a rise in artists doing all manner of pointless things. Philosopher will become a common job. I'm not saying this is desirable. But this is what I think will happen.

Such a strange perspective, the Swedish one.
 

LordKiran

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In a single statement? Pff
http://www.economist.com/news/speci...ause-mass-unemployment-automation-and-anxiety



Which occupations and industries do you predict will grow in the near future in response to the accelerating rate of automation?

(Assuming we don't reach the technological singularity)

I believe we'll get communism and a rise in artists doing all manner of pointless things. Philosopher will become a common job. I'm not saying this is desirable. But this is what I think will happen.

Machines will come to dominate the humanities as well actually. In part they're already doing this, with computers generating pieces of music and visual art indistinguishable from those made by humans.

I predict something closer to Brave New World actually, where people will find that they are functionally obsolete in virtually every regard and will resign themselves to a long, comfortable, but ultimately vapid and pointless existence. From there, we either acheive some sort of planet-wide ego death or we wage war upon the machines and their keepers out of a pathological need to justify our own being
 

bigfield

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I believe we'll get communism and a rise in artists doing all manner of pointless things. Philosopher will become a common job. I'm not saying this is desirable. But this is what I think will happen.

Machines will come to dominate the humanities as well actually. In part they're already doing this, with computers generating pieces of music and visual art indistinguishable from those made by humans.

I predict something closer to Brave New World actually, where people will find that they are functionally obsolete in virtually every regard and will resign themselves to a long, comfortable, but ultimately vapid and pointless existence. From there, we either acheive some sort of planet-wide ego death or we wage war upon the machines and their keepers out of a pathological need to justify our own being

The society of Brave New World accomplished stability with several techniques:

  1. The working class were genetically identical to their workmates to ensure workplace harmony
  2. People were conditioned from conception to prefer their assigned occupation and living conditions
  3. People were conditioned to prefer 'vapid and pointless' entertainment and were averse to doing things like pondering their existence.
  4. The entire population was addicted to (and paid with) a potent psychoactive drug

While we've accomplished #2 and #3 to a limited extent, the full package is highly unlikely, and the stability of Huxley's system also required that every single person be useful to the economy. Huxley did not predict automation at all.

Of the authors I've read, Asimov's Robots series offers the closest prediction of what an automated society will look like, in the form of the Spacers.
 

DrZoidberg

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I believe we'll get communism and a rise in artists doing all manner of pointless things. Philosopher will become a common job. I'm not saying this is desirable. But this is what I think will happen.

Machines will come to dominate the humanities as well actually. In part they're already doing this, with computers generating pieces of music and visual art indistinguishable from those made by humans.

I predict something closer to Brave New World actually, where people will find that they are functionally obsolete in virtually every regard and will resign themselves to a long, comfortable, but ultimately vapid and pointless existence. From there, we either acheive some sort of planet-wide ego death or we wage war upon the machines and their keepers out of a pathological need to justify our own being

I don't think we'll get a Brave New World precisely for the reasons Huxley gives in the book. The pursuit of nothing but pleasure is empty. We need a higher meaning to our lives. Which, I suspect, is the real reason why religion persists today, in spite of it being... well... wrong.

Nah... the robot run future is going to get weird.
 

LordKiran

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In a single statement? Pff
Machines will come to dominate the humanities as well actually. In part they're already doing this, with computers generating pieces of music and visual art indistinguishable from those made by humans.

I predict something closer to Brave New World actually, where people will find that they are functionally obsolete in virtually every regard and will resign themselves to a long, comfortable, but ultimately vapid and pointless existence. From there, we either acheive some sort of planet-wide ego death or we wage war upon the machines and their keepers out of a pathological need to justify our own being

The society of Brave New World accomplished stability with several techniques:

  1. The working class were genetically identical to their workmates to ensure workplace harmony
  2. People were conditioned from conception to prefer their assigned occupation and living conditions
  3. People were conditioned to prefer 'vapid and pointless' entertainment and were averse to doing things like pondering their existence.
  4. The entire population was addicted to (and paid with) a potent psychoactive drug

While we've accomplished #2 and #3 to a limited extent, the full package is highly unlikely, and the stability of Huxley's system also required that every single person be useful to the economy. Huxley did not predict automation at all.

Of the authors I've read, Asimov's Robots series offers the closest prediction of what an automated society will look like, in the form of the Spacers.

In a broader way, Brave new World is about a society that looks Utopian on the outside but beneath the surface is a nihilistic nightmare where people exist for no greater purpose than for that of their assigned role and to satisfy their base wants. I wasn't touching on the technicals for how Huxley's Brave New World came to be because they're not what I'm driving at. The people in BNW aren't just cogs mindlessly plodding away at their assigned role, they're also comparable to animals in a way. They have no desire to affirm themselves as individuals or self-actualize through the formation of a greater purpose. They just thoughtlessly exist from moment to moment, drowning themselves in drugs and sex and never bothering to ask for something beyond that. THAT is the future that awaits us as I see it.
 

LordKiran

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In a single statement? Pff
Machines will come to dominate the humanities as well actually. In part they're already doing this, with computers generating pieces of music and visual art indistinguishable from those made by humans.

I predict something closer to Brave New World actually, where people will find that they are functionally obsolete in virtually every regard and will resign themselves to a long, comfortable, but ultimately vapid and pointless existence. From there, we either acheive some sort of planet-wide ego death or we wage war upon the machines and their keepers out of a pathological need to justify our own being

I don't think we'll get a Brave New World precisely for the reasons Huxley gives in the book. The pursuit of nothing but pleasure is empty. We need a higher meaning to our lives. Which, I suspect, is the real reason why religion persists today, in spite of it being... well... wrong.

Nah... the robot run future is going to get weird.

Do you think organized religion can resurge due to automation?
 

bigfield

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The society of Brave New World accomplished stability with several techniques:

  1. The working class were genetically identical to their workmates to ensure workplace harmony
  2. People were conditioned from conception to prefer their assigned occupation and living conditions
  3. People were conditioned to prefer 'vapid and pointless' entertainment and were averse to doing things like pondering their existence.
  4. The entire population was addicted to (and paid with) a potent psychoactive drug

While we've accomplished #2 and #3 to a limited extent, the full package is highly unlikely, and the stability of Huxley's system also required that every single person be useful to the economy. Huxley did not predict automation at all.

Of the authors I've read, Asimov's Robots series offers the closest prediction of what an automated society will look like, in the form of the Spacers.

In a broader way, Brave new World is about a society that looks Utopian on the outside but beneath the surface is a nihilistic nightmare where people exist for no greater purpose than for that of their assigned role and to satisfy their base wants. I wasn't touching on the technicals for how Huxley's Brave New World came to be because they're not what I'm driving at. The people in BNW aren't just cogs mindlessly plodding away at their assigned role, they're also comparable to animals in a way. They have no desire to affirm themselves as individuals or self-actualize through the formation of a greater purpose. They just thoughtlessly exist from moment to moment, drowning themselves in drugs and sex and never bothering to ask for something beyond that. THAT is the future that awaits us as I see it.

The Savage's speech to the World Controller argues for the greater purpose, but he doesn't give any reason why striving for a greater purpose would be better for the people than their current predestined existence. The World Controller argues that the world is stable and people are happy. The society of Brave New World is actually a desirable existence for many people; it is only a minority, represented Bernard, Heimholtz. the Savage and Mond, who suffer existential angst and aren't satisfied with sex, drugs and sports.

The key difference between BNW and reality is that the distracted majority will not live happily ever after in reality. Huxley imagined a world were everyone had an economic role, but in the real world automation will take the place of most of Huxley's Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons and some of the Alphas and Betas. Society simply won't donate them the means to permanently anaesthetise themselves will sports, sex and drugs.

I agree with DBT's prediction that there will be period of upheaval, represented with the impoverishment of the formerly-working class. When this happened during the industrial revolution it led to the rise of the socialist movement to improve working conditions. Next time around, it won't be for working conditions; it will be for living conditions.

And who knows--perhaps we will have savage reservations where people can work for a living.
 

DrZoidberg

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I don't think we'll get a Brave New World precisely for the reasons Huxley gives in the book. The pursuit of nothing but pleasure is empty. We need a higher meaning to our lives. Which, I suspect, is the real reason why religion persists today, in spite of it being... well... wrong.

Nah... the robot run future is going to get weird.

Do you think organized religion can resurge due to automation?

I think it's already happening. I think ISIS and whatever the abomination of a religion pushed Trump to power is the result of this. White collar jobs being increasingly automated has been going on since the 80'ies.

I don't want to be alarmist. I'm sure it'll sort itself out in the end. But all this is new(-ish), and whenever there's a new paradigm people get confused with what to do with their new toys
 

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There are certain types of work that can't be automated, regardless of technology, so what we're likely to see is that professions which are outside the scope of automation will remain, and routine, non-cognitive jobs will soon disappear, with more cognitive jobs getting a chunk bitten out of them down the road.

What I don't think, though, is that the same proportion of populations are going to be working in the future as they are now. The work-week will likely be shortened again, more people will be on welfare, and in the long-run a greater and greater proportion of us just won't work.
 

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There are certain types of work that can't be automated, regardless of technology, so what we're likely to see is that professions which are outside the scope of automation will remain, and routine, non-cognitive jobs will soon disappear, with more cognitive jobs getting a chunk bitten out of them down the road.

What I don't think, though, is that the same proportion of populations are going to be working in the future as they are now. The work-week will likely be shortened again, more people will be on welfare, and in the long-run a greater and greater proportion of us just won't work.


So with this question, I can see the fear of those who want less tech or consider it an evil thing. At the same time, I love the advancements, because Theresa doctor in Australia who helps burn victims with stem cell advancements that limits the horror of the effects of 3rd or 4th degree burns, because of tech. I don't know, really, what the next step is, but if it involves more of the advancement like that, I can't say I'd be against it, but I it involves taking people from work they did for decades, all because a computer makes it faster, but outsizes the human element /. . .. what a quandry this is.
 

LordKiran

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In a single statement? Pff
In a broader way, Brave new World is about a society that looks Utopian on the outside but beneath the surface is a nihilistic nightmare where people exist for no greater purpose than for that of their assigned role and to satisfy their base wants. I wasn't touching on the technicals for how Huxley's Brave New World came to be because they're not what I'm driving at. The people in BNW aren't just cogs mindlessly plodding away at their assigned role, they're also comparable to animals in a way. They have no desire to affirm themselves as individuals or self-actualize through the formation of a greater purpose. They just thoughtlessly exist from moment to moment, drowning themselves in drugs and sex and never bothering to ask for something beyond that. THAT is the future that awaits us as I see it.

The Savage's speech to the World Controller argues for the greater purpose, but he doesn't give any reason why striving for a greater purpose would be better for the people than their current predestined existence. The World Controller argues that the world is stable and people are happy. The society of Brave New World is actually a desirable existence for many people; it is only a minority, represented Bernard, Heimholtz. the Savage and Mond, who suffer existential angst and aren't satisfied with sex, drugs and sports.

The key difference between BNW and reality is that the distracted majority will not live happily ever after in reality. Huxley imagined a world were everyone had an economic role, but in the real world automation will take the place of most of Huxley's Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons and some of the Alphas and Betas. Society simply won't donate them the means to permanently anaesthetise themselves will sports, sex and drugs.

I agree with DBT's prediction that there will be period of upheaval, represented with the impoverishment of the formerly-working class. When this happened during the industrial revolution it led to the rise of the socialist movement to improve working conditions. Next time around, it won't be for working conditions; it will be for living conditions.

And who knows--perhaps we will have savage reservations where people can work for a living.

But what do you imagine people doing with themselves in a world that provides them everything they could want for? I realize this maybe doesn't apply to everyone at least initially. But when the world around you can do everything for you better than you can do it for yourself, what's left but to sit around and drink yourself to death?
 

bilby

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There are certain types of work that can't be automated, regardless of technology, so what we're likely to see is that professions which are outside the scope of automation will remain, and routine, non-cognitive jobs will soon disappear, with more cognitive jobs getting a chunk bitten out of them down the road.

What I don't think, though, is that the same proportion of populations are going to be working in the future as they are now. The work-week will likely be shortened again, more people will be on welfare, and in the long-run a greater and greater proportion of us just won't work.

I disagree with your opening premise.

I can't think of a single example of a type of work that can't be automated.

Can you give an example of a job you believe can never be automated?
 

Juma

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There are certain types of work that can't be automated, regardless of technology, so what we're likely to see is that professions which are outside the scope of automation will remain, and routine, non-cognitive jobs will soon disappear, with more cognitive jobs getting a chunk bitten out of them down the road.

What I don't think, though, is that the same proportion of populations are going to be working in the future as they are now. The work-week will likely be shortened again, more people will be on welfare, and in the long-run a greater and greater proportion of us just won't work.

I disagree with your opening premise.

I can't think of a single example of a type of work that can't be automated.

Can you give an example of a job you believe can never be automated?
Suicide supportline?
 

J842P

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I disagree with your opening premise.

I can't think of a single example of a type of work that can't be automated.

Can you give an example of a job you believe can never be automated?
Suicide supportline?
Rapid advances are being made for such a thing. Probably not "soon", but probably not "never" either.
 

bigfield

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I disagree with your opening premise.

I can't think of a single example of a type of work that can't be automated.

Can you give an example of a job you believe can never be automated?
Suicide supportline?

An AI could do that job, and every other counselling job as well. I don't see what technical problem prevents that. An AI could do a better job of gauging a subject's needs and providing a helpful response: it would have access to far more information; it would always provide its best quality of service; it could emulate the most approachable and empathetic people you could ever hope to have staffing the lines.
 

Juma

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Suicide supportline?

An AI could do that job, and every other counselling job as well. I don't see what technical problem prevents that. An AI could do a better job of gauging a subject's needs and providing a helpful response: it would have access to far more information; it would always provide its best quality of service; it could emulate the most approachable and empathetic people you could ever hope to have staffing the lines.
that is not about techical problems, its about knowing that you speak to a fellow human. even a total silent listening human works.
 

barbos

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In that vein, we'd probably see more people pursue self-actualisation rather than shaping their lives around an economically-necessary profession. Intellectual types will pursue philosophy while artistically-inclined people will pursue the arts, but other types of people will pursue things like athletics, sports and Guinness world records.

If I didn't need to spend so much time doing paying work, I'd probably dedicate myself to hobby robotics.

Wait, a minute. We're already there. The number of people doing work necessary for our sustenance is actually a minority Perhaps 5% are doing critical work for our survival. We could stretch it to 10% if we include stuff like police and functions designed to protect us from our own idiocy.

The rest is bullshit jobs. Very few people actually need to work today. And that number is falling fast. We've created an economic system which forces us to come up with ways with which to generate income. Which is heritage from the bad old days when industrialisation was just starting out. And now we've just kept it because... well... it works. Why fix something that ain't broke.

But I think it will break. When the robot revolution picks up and we fail in coming up with enough bullshit services to employ the swelling (not-)working class, then the current system will be in trouble. I think we're very very close to the breaking point.
....
I remember time when I had to buy car insurance. I would buy it from local nearby companies and I would usually go to the office in person, and I have always felt I was the only customer there for the whole day, yet there were a woman sitting there doing something clearly meaningless.

The whole thing will break within next 10-20 years. High paying jobs like doctors will be gone. Even surgeons will be robots I think. People will be working just for the fun.
 

barbos

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I imagine a need for incentives to attend courses, higher education programs, time management, developing interests and so on as a set of (arbitrary) conditions for receiving a social wage. Perhaps with bonus payments for courses attended, sports, hobbies or pastimes developed, as a means of keeping the idle masses out of mischief.

How aren't you basically describing our current world?
It's different from the current world in that you will be paid to attend courses, not pay for it.
 

rousseau

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There are certain types of work that can't be automated, regardless of technology, so what we're likely to see is that professions which are outside the scope of automation will remain, and routine, non-cognitive jobs will soon disappear, with more cognitive jobs getting a chunk bitten out of them down the road.

What I don't think, though, is that the same proportion of populations are going to be working in the future as they are now. The work-week will likely be shortened again, more people will be on welfare, and in the long-run a greater and greater proportion of us just won't work.

I disagree with your opening premise.

I can't think of a single example of a type of work that can't be automated.

Can you give an example of a job you believe can never be automated?

Early Childhood Education.. at least I hope that's never automated.

Not so much *can't*, but rather *shouldn't* be automated.
 

DrZoidberg

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The whole thing will break within next 10-20 years. High paying jobs like doctors will be gone. Even surgeons will be robots I think. People will be working just for the fun.

When I got my eyes fixed, my surgeon was a robot

- - - Updated - - -

How aren't you basically describing our current world?
It's different from the current world in that you will be paid to attend courses, not pay for it.

Aha. Well, in Sweden people are paid to attend courses.
 

bilby

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I disagree with your opening premise.

I can't think of a single example of a type of work that can't be automated.

Can you give an example of a job you believe can never be automated?

Early Childhood Education.. at least I hope that's never automated.

Not so much *can't*, but rather *shouldn't* be automated.

Every time anything has been automated there have been people who claim that it shouldn't.

I'm not sure that there are many jobs that shouldn't be automated. I am struggling to come up with any that can't.

The idea of children being educated by machine may be horrifying to us today, but that's not in itself a sufficient reason to say it won't or shouldn't happen. The idea that women might be allowed to vote was looked upon with horror a century or so ago. The idea that men might marry other men still is looked on that way by some people today. Times change, and today's unthinkably ghastly can be tomorrow's normal and unremarkable.

The sound of people claiming tha this task or that could never be automated is usually drowned out by the sound of a machine doing that task. It's a residue of substance dualism - people desperately want there to be something unique about humans, but ultimately we are just very complex and generalised machines. The ability to get a more robust, efficient, and accurate result from a specialised machine for ANY task that humans can do should be possible - unless the task requires a 'soul'. I don't think that such a thing exists as a task that requires a 'soul'.
 

rousseau

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Early Childhood Education.. at least I hope that's never automated.

Not so much *can't*, but rather *shouldn't* be automated.

Every time anything has been automated there have been people who claim that it shouldn't.

I'm not sure that there are many jobs that shouldn't be automated. I am struggling to come up with any that can't.

The idea of children being educated by machine may be horrifying to us today, but that's not in itself a sufficient reason to say it won't or shouldn't happen. The idea that women might be allowed to vote was looked upon with horror a century or so ago. The idea that men might marry other men still is looked on that way by some people today. Times change, and today's unthinkably ghastly can be tomorrow's normal and unremarkable.

The sound of people claiming tha this task or that could never be automated is usually drowned out by the sound of a machine doing that task. It's a residue of substance dualism - people desperately want there to be something unique about humans, but ultimately we are just very complex and generalised machines. The ability to get a more robust, efficient, and accurate result from a specialised machine for ANY task that humans can do should be possible - unless the task requires a 'soul'. I don't think that such a thing exists as a task that requires a 'soul'.

Fair enough.

I'd argue that there's a stark difference between someone arguing that hand-weaving shouldn't be automated, versus nurturing a child. I'm not going to say that robots will never be able to do the job effectively, but I'd like to think that there's something fundamentally important about humans, especially young children, being taken care of by other humans.

I don't disagree with anything that you're saying, although the idea of us creating machines that can produce 'positive psychological outcomes' in how they interact with people is indeed horrifying to me, and I hope it collectively stays that way.
 

bilby

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Every time anything has been automated there have been people who claim that it shouldn't.

I'm not sure that there are many jobs that shouldn't be automated. I am struggling to come up with any that can't.

The idea of children being educated by machine may be horrifying to us today, but that's not in itself a sufficient reason to say it won't or shouldn't happen. The idea that women might be allowed to vote was looked upon with horror a century or so ago. The idea that men might marry other men still is looked on that way by some people today. Times change, and today's unthinkably ghastly can be tomorrow's normal and unremarkable.

The sound of people claiming tha this task or that could never be automated is usually drowned out by the sound of a machine doing that task. It's a residue of substance dualism - people desperately want there to be something unique about humans, but ultimately we are just very complex and generalised machines. The ability to get a more robust, efficient, and accurate result from a specialised machine for ANY task that humans can do should be possible - unless the task requires a 'soul'. I don't think that such a thing exists as a task that requires a 'soul'.

Fair enough.

I'd argue that there's a stark difference between someone arguing that hand-weaving shouldn't be automated, versus nurturing a child. I'm not going to say that robots will never be able to do the job effectively, but I'd like to think that there's something fundamentally important about humans, especially young children, being taken care of by other humans.
Well of course you do; you were raised by humans.
I don't disagree with anything that you're saying, although the idea of us creating machines that can produce 'positive psychological outcomes' in how they interact with people is indeed horrifying to me, and I hope it collectively stays that way.

Surely that's better than the sizeable minority of humans who raise children with sharply negative psychological outcomes?
 

rousseau

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Fair enough.

I'd argue that there's a stark difference between someone arguing that hand-weaving shouldn't be automated, versus nurturing a child. I'm not going to say that robots will never be able to do the job effectively, but I'd like to think that there's something fundamentally important about humans, especially young children, being taken care of by other humans.
Well of course you do; you were raised by humans.
I don't disagree with anything that you're saying, although the idea of us creating machines that can produce 'positive psychological outcomes' in how they interact with people is indeed horrifying to me, and I hope it collectively stays that way.

Surely that's better than the sizeable minority of humans who raise children with sharply negative psychological outcomes?

Well we're talking the child-care profession, not parenting.

At some point we need a balance between 'efficiency' and 'humanity', when we totally lose our humanity in the name of efficiency, there's something lost. Take child-rearing robots to the extreme and you can see the absurdity of it. Why not just strip babies completely away from their parents and have robots raise them for their entire child-hood? If we can get the algorithm right, we're going to have a lot of productive, mentally healthy citizens.

A world where we're primarily interacting with machines is a world I don't believe in. Will that necessarily be the case anyway? It very well could be. It's just far outside my own comfort zone. So like I say, I don't disagree with you that it's a possibility, it's just not a future I hope for.
 

bilby

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Well of course you do; you were raised by humans.
I don't disagree with anything that you're saying, although the idea of us creating machines that can produce 'positive psychological outcomes' in how they interact with people is indeed horrifying to me, and I hope it collectively stays that way.

Surely that's better than the sizeable minority of humans who raise children with sharply negative psychological outcomes?

Well we're talking the child-care profession, not parenting.
There is a considerable overlap.
At some point we need a balance between 'efficiency' and 'humanity', when we totally lose our humanity in the name of efficiency, there's something lost.
That's what people have always said whenever any new technology emerged.
Take child-rearing robots to the extreme and you can see the absurdity of it. Why not just strip babies completely away from their parents and have robots raise them for their entire child-hood?
Indeed, why not?
If we can get the algorithm right, we're going to have a lot of productive, mentally healthy citizens.
Correct.

But I sense that you don't actually believe this.
A world where we're primarily interacting with machines is a world I don't believe in.
Funny - It's the world I already inhabit.
Will that necessarily be the case anyway? It very well could be. It's just far outside my own comfort zone.
Indeed. But your life today, the stuff you are completely happy and comfortable with, and don't even notice, would be a dystopian nightmare to a person from two centuries ago.
So like I say, I don't disagree with you that it's a possibility, it's just not a future I hope for.
That's OK; You won't be expected to live in it, and your great great great grandchildren will think it completely unremarkable (unless they happen to be interested in history).
 

bigfield

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At some point we need a balance between 'efficiency' and 'humanity', when we totally lose our humanity in the name of efficiency, there's something lost. Take child-rearing robots to the extreme and you can see the absurdity of it. Why not just strip babies completely away from their parents and have robots raise them for their entire child-hood? If we can get the algorithm right, we're going to have a lot of productive, mentally healthy citizens.

'Why not', indeed. It will probably happen with the rise of transhumanism.

The society of the future may be a place of happiness for those who live in it but horrifying to those of us living in the Anthropocene Era.
 

bilby

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At some point we need a balance between 'efficiency' and 'humanity', when we totally lose our humanity in the name of efficiency, there's something lost. Take child-rearing robots to the extreme and you can see the absurdity of it. Why not just strip babies completely away from their parents and have robots raise them for their entire child-hood? If we can get the algorithm right, we're going to have a lot of productive, mentally healthy citizens.

'Why not', indeed. It will probably happen with the rise of transhumanism.

The society of the future may be a place of happiness for those who live in it but horrifying to those of us living in the Anthropocene Era.

It was ever thus. The paeleolithic lifestyle would make a modern human deeply miserable, if it didn't kill him in short order. But it was likely rather pleasant by the standards of those who lived it. Humans are products of the societies in which they live, and significant change is horrifying - Which is unsurprising when you consider the sheer effort we have expended to learn how to exist in the society we have, all of which would need to be discarded, and new skills, mores, and ethics learned, if we were to travel very far in time.

The past is a foreign country - and so is the future.
 

beero1000

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I think this entire debate hinges on the question of whether people are just really complicated biological machines. If the answer is yes, then there is no reason to deny that a sufficiently advanced robot could theoretically perform any task that a human can.

Talking about 'humanity' as part of the action is a philosophical argument on whether or not true AI should be considered people, not whether or not the job can be automated.
 

bilby

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I think this entire debate hinges on the question of whether people are just really complicated biological machines. If the answer is yes, then there is no reason to deny that a sufficiently advanced robot could theoretically perform any task that a human can.

Talking about 'humanity' as part of the action is a philosophical argument on whether or not true AI should be considered people, not whether or not the job can be automated.

I agree.

And I think that there's nothing 'special' about humanity that couldn't be reproduced by a sufficiently advanced technology; So I conclude that true AI should be considered people.
 

rousseau

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Well of course you do; you were raised by humans.
I don't disagree with anything that you're saying, although the idea of us creating machines that can produce 'positive psychological outcomes' in how they interact with people is indeed horrifying to me, and I hope it collectively stays that way.

Surely that's better than the sizeable minority of humans who raise children with sharply negative psychological outcomes?

Well we're talking the child-care profession, not parenting.
There is a considerable overlap.
At some point we need a balance between 'efficiency' and 'humanity', when we totally lose our humanity in the name of efficiency, there's something lost.
That's what people have always said whenever any new technology emerged.
Take child-rearing robots to the extreme and you can see the absurdity of it. Why not just strip babies completely away from their parents and have robots raise them for their entire child-hood?
Indeed, why not?
If we can get the algorithm right, we're going to have a lot of productive, mentally healthy citizens.
Correct.

But I sense that you don't actually believe this.
A world where we're primarily interacting with machines is a world I don't believe in.
Funny - It's the world I already inhabit.
Will that necessarily be the case anyway? It very well could be. It's just far outside my own comfort zone.
Indeed. But your life today, the stuff you are completely happy and comfortable with, and don't even notice, would be a dystopian nightmare to a person from two centuries ago.
So like I say, I don't disagree with you that it's a possibility, it's just not a future I hope for.
That's OK; You won't be expected to live in it, and your great great great grandchildren will think it completely unremarkable (unless they happen to be interested in history).

Fair enough, I see your point, and I think it makes sense.
 

barbos

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When I got my eyes fixed, my surgeon was a robot
I know, but it's still a tool which requires real doctor to operate it and make decisions. I am talking complete lack of human doctors.
- - - Updated - - -

How aren't you basically describing our current world?
It's different from the current world in that you will be paid to attend courses, not pay for it.

Aha. Well, in Sweden people are paid to attend courses.
So, 40 year old can go to attend Quantum Mechanics course and be paid for it?
 

DrZoidberg

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Aha. Well, in Sweden people are paid to attend courses.
So, 40 year old can go to attend Quantum Mechanics course and be paid for it?

Any age. You can attend university as a pensioner. Many do.

But you still need to qualify. There's a long list of prerequisite courses you need to have done to qualify for quantum mechanics. There's also limited spots. Only the people with the best grades from the preparatory courses will get in. But if you're well motivated, and study hard, there's no limit to how much you can study in Sweden.

There's also a limit on how much you're allowed to fail before you get kicked out. Just attending to get the money won't work.

The point of this system is to compensate for background. If you have the brains and the motivation the wealth of your family is irrelevant. The whole system is skewed in favour of those who do NOT come from academic or wealthy families.

I think quantum mechanics is one of the more popular courses. You need to be really good to get into it. For the Royal Technical High School (our most prestigious) the maths course that precedes quantum mechanics will weed out all but the smartest. It's notoriously hard.
 

barbos

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So, 40 year old can go to attend Quantum Mechanics course and be paid for it?

Any age. You can attend university as a pensioner. Many do.

But you still need to qualify. There's a long list of prerequisite courses you need to have done to qualify for quantum mechanics. There's also limited spots. Only the people with the best grades from the preparatory courses will get in. But if you're well motivated, and study hard, there's no limit to how much you can study in Sweden.

There's also a limit on how much you're allowed to fail before you get kicked out. Just attending to get the money won't work.

The point of this system is to compensate for background. If you have the brains and the motivation the wealth of your family is irrelevant. The whole system is skewed in favour of those who do NOT come from academic or wealthy families.

I think quantum mechanics is one of the more popular courses. You need to be really good to get into it. For the Royal Technical High School (our most prestigious) the maths course that precedes quantum mechanics will weed out all but the smartest. It's notoriously hard.
So, how much they pay you for attending QM courses?
 

DrZoidberg

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Any age. You can attend university as a pensioner. Many do.

But you still need to qualify. There's a long list of prerequisite courses you need to have done to qualify for quantum mechanics. There's also limited spots. Only the people with the best grades from the preparatory courses will get in. But if you're well motivated, and study hard, there's no limit to how much you can study in Sweden.

There's also a limit on how much you're allowed to fail before you get kicked out. Just attending to get the money won't work.

The point of this system is to compensate for background. If you have the brains and the motivation the wealth of your family is irrelevant. The whole system is skewed in favour of those who do NOT come from academic or wealthy families.

I think quantum mechanics is one of the more popular courses. You need to be really good to get into it. For the Royal Technical High School (our most prestigious) the maths course that precedes quantum mechanics will weed out all but the smartest. It's notoriously hard.
So, how much they pay you for attending QM courses?

You get the same regardless of what you study.

The amount isn't interesting. Since it's in relation to how high costs are. There's two parts. One salary. Which is free money. The other is loans.

The salary part is designed to sustain you if you rent a tiny room in student housing and only eat the cheapest food you can find. Student literature comes on top of this, but this cost can be avoided, if you get creative. So if you live extremely cheaply, you can scrape by on this.

If you want anything more you need to take loans. Loans are also provided by the state at very generous interest rates. Most students take loans.

It's common for students to live with their parents, and then the student salary is basically free money, which leads to a quite comfortable life, without needing to take loans.

But like I said before, you can't just sail through and pick up cash. You need to study hard and pass exams. If you fail 25% of the exams you will have to repay all the money. It's a pretty stiff penalty. So yeah, you need to be well motivated or it isn't worth it.
 

barbos

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So, how much they pay you for attending QM courses?

You get the same regardless of what you study.

The amount isn't interesting. Since it's in relation to how high costs are. There's two parts. One salary. Which is free money. The other is loans.

The salary part is designed to sustain you if you rent a tiny room in student housing and only eat the cheapest food you can find. Student literature comes on top of this, but this cost can be avoided, if you get creative. So if you live extremely cheaply, you can scrape by on this.

If you want anything more you need to take loans. Loans are also provided by the state at very generous interest rates. Most students take loans.

It's common for students to live with their parents, and then the student salary is basically free money, which leads to a quite comfortable life, without needing to take loans.

But like I said before, you can't just sail through and pick up cash. You need to study hard and pass exams. If you fail 25% of the exams you will have to repay all the money. It's a pretty stiff penalty. So yeah, you need to be well motivated or it isn't worth it.
You basically described student stipend. Most countries have it, not just Sweden. US has it too, at least in grad schools.
 

DrZoidberg

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You get the same regardless of what you study.

The amount isn't interesting. Since it's in relation to how high costs are. There's two parts. One salary. Which is free money. The other is loans.

The salary part is designed to sustain you if you rent a tiny room in student housing and only eat the cheapest food you can find. Student literature comes on top of this, but this cost can be avoided, if you get creative. So if you live extremely cheaply, you can scrape by on this.

If you want anything more you need to take loans. Loans are also provided by the state at very generous interest rates. Most students take loans.

It's common for students to live with their parents, and then the student salary is basically free money, which leads to a quite comfortable life, without needing to take loans.

But like I said before, you can't just sail through and pick up cash. You need to study hard and pass exams. If you fail 25% of the exams you will have to repay all the money. It's a pretty stiff penalty. So yeah, you need to be well motivated or it isn't worth it.

You basically described student stipend. Most countries have it, not just Sweden. US has it too, at least in grad schools.

No. They're completely different. Stipends are often surrounded by all manner of rules and regulations. In most systems it's a confusing array of various stipends, and it's hard to figure out which ones one is eligible for. Many are paid for by existing powerful organisations to ensure continued loyalties. Due to the nature of stipends they favour conservative organisations. The Swedish system was put in place to make students less dependent of old money. To promote fairness.

Sweden also has stipends. Most are very old, from before Sweden became a modern welfare state. But those tend to go to people belonging to academic and rich families. Because those are the only families who know how to apply for them.

I'm familiar with the US stipend system. It's inherently unfair. Not a system anybody should aspire to emulate IMHO. USA has a huge problem of getting kids from non-academic families to get educated. Higher education tends to run in families. Bizarrely enough, if your parents went to a particular university, it's easier for you to get into that school. That's the opposite of how to create a just and fair society. It should the other way around.
 

barbos

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You basically described student stipend. Most countries have it, not just Sweden. US has it too, at least in grad schools.

No. They're completely different. Stipends are often surrounded by all manner of rules and regulations. In most systems it's a confusing array of various stipends, and it's hard to figure out which ones one is eligible for. Many are paid for by existing powerful organisations to ensure continued loyalties. Due to the nature of stipends they favour conservative organisations. The Swedish system was put in place to make students less dependent of old money. To promote fairness.

Sweden also has stipends. Most are very old, from before Sweden became a modern welfare state. But those tend to go to people belonging to academic and rich families. Because those are the only families who know how to apply for them.

I'm familiar with the US stipend system. It's inherently unfair. Not a system anybody should aspire to emulate IMHO. USA has a huge problem of getting kids from non-academic families to get educated. Higher education tends to run in families. Bizarrely enough, if your parents went to a particular university, it's easier for you to get into that school. That's the opposite of how to create a just and fair society. It should the other way around.

You confuse stipend with what they call legacy admission I think. In US grad school student stipend is a norm.
Russia had stipend system where all students were getting the same amount which was more less enough to get food, housing was free. So stop pretending that Sweden has something unique.
You were sounding as if people were literally paid to take classes. In reality they are paid to be able to live while attending university full time. It's called a stipend.

In any case, we were discussing utopia where people don't have a need do any work to support themselves. So one way to gently direct people to something constructive is to pay them for continuing education throughout their lives.
 
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