Human Obsolescence [Trimmed]

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Human Obsolescence [Trimmed]

Postby Yogi » 01 Aug 2014, 09:22

One of the reasons the United States is still a viable economy is due to dramatic increases in productivity over the past couple decades. While the cost of labor is low in many manufacturing based countries these days, we make up for that by increasing the output from our human resources using technology. We in the USA are the envy of many manufacturing concerns because of the phenomenal growth in our productivity.

The logical outgrowth of all this technology and productivity is a future where humans become obsolete in the work force. We all can envision a robotic take over of many mundane tasks, but the author of the linked article thinks it's a matter of ten or twelve years for humans not to be necessary in much of the work force. The article is fascinating and I encourage everyone to read it. It definitely has much food for thought.

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/art ... nment-does
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Ice.Maiden » 01 Aug 2014, 12:26

A good article, although none of it comes as a surprise.

I'm just wondering what'll happen when human beings become almost redundant in the workplace? Where will millions of people get their money from if they're all out of work? When robots (inevitably) take over human tasks, I think there'll be an air of great discontent and boredom. Working gives us a sense of achievement, and social activities often take place from within the working environment.

Will we one day see a world where human beings're surplus to requirement? Will the robots decide to expediate the masses at a certain age?

From a manufacturing point of view, I think robotic labour's cheap and workable, but scientists and technologists seem to be making a rod for their own backs, giving no thought to the future of mankind. It does, however, give food for thought and has some advantages.
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Kellemora » 01 Aug 2014, 13:30

It is not as bleak as folks make it sound.
As technology advances, so do the types of jobs that go with it.
Horse ranchers evolved to become automobile manufacturers, and Livery stables evolved to become car dealers.
Scribes evolved to typesetters when Gutenberg invented the printing press, typesetters evolved to data entry.
Plus we have thousands of new jobs that never before existed. Barnstormers became Pilots as aviation grew.
Computers continue to evolve and open thousands of new industries never even conceived of in the 1900s.
How many IT techs had a job in 1904? How many cable TV companies? AND all the equipment that has gone into this new hi-tech industry. Somebody had to develop it, make it, ship it, sell it, etc.

So robotics are replacing the jobs NOBODY want's to do anyhow. Jobs shipped overseas are returning slowly as robotics allows the companies to bring manufacturing back home. This takes machines and equipment, somebody had to design, build and maintain the robots, someone needs to install them. Someone needs to sell them and someone else to ship them.

Will computer generated graphics replace the theater arts? Maybe in the movies, but live entertainment will rise as more leisure time is given the populace.
Will their be a division of powers, most likely, the rich will get richer and the poor poorer, just as it has always been. But I doubt if jobs will dry up. They will evolve along with the industry.
Even if automobiles become self driving, they will still need maintained, built, sold, repaired, and recycled.

Farms will eventually give way to hydroponics, as almost happened in the past. Who knows, maybe even food replicators will be invented. 3D printed foods with no harmful chemicals, and a consistency better than home grown is possible in the future.

I wish I wasn't so old so I would see just how things develop as technology advances.

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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Ice.Maiden » 01 Aug 2014, 14:06

It's certainly interesting, but it won't be too long before robots'll be installing, repairing and maintaining robots. They'll also be so computerised that they'll work out what's needed and do the selling, buying and everything in between. The intelligence that these machines'll have'll mean that there's little use for humans, and the lot of us could eventually die out. Wish I could skip forward 500 years and see what man's managed to "achieve".
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Yogi » 02 Aug 2014, 08:22

One of the more interesting speculations in the article is that the number of jobs may remain stable or even increase, but the normal work week will decline from 40 hours to 8-10. That means an hourly salary of $100/hr would be typical.

Another aspect of robotics is data mining. For all the things that are wrong with Facebook and Google, they are on the leading edge of knowledge storage. What Facebook is doing for marketing purposes with information about their users is being copied in places like the medical field. Doctors will be replaced by diagnostic programs which will also dispense medications. Amazed as I was five years ago, a robot performed surgery on my cancer. It was under a live doctor's control, but I can see where that will not be needed some day as well.

Don't worry about being too old Gary. The futurist in that article thinks a lot of these high tech implementations are only a decade away from being common place.
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Kellemora » 02 Aug 2014, 12:21

Actually, I'm hoping for sooner than later.
I have a form of cataracts that affect the sac the lens sits in.
Normally, the lens turns cloudy and is replaced. A common surgery today.
The sac itself is a whole different matter. If I understand correctly, the sac front can be clarified, but not the sac's back, not accessible.
So it figures, the part of my eyes that are getting cloudy, is the back of the sac on both eyes.
Thankfully, it is a very slow progression, so it could be five or six more years before they cause too many problems. I hope anyhow. Right now it is like a slight yellow tint is all, which the brain compensates for, within limitations of course.
Robotic surgery equipment is used for many eye surgeries, so I hope they get it well perfected in the near future, and can work on the back of the lens sac.
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Ice.Maiden » 02 Aug 2014, 14:36

I'm pleased that the 'robotic system' helped you medically Yogi, and it may also be able to help you as well Gary. As I say, in some respects, the advances're very beneficial, but in other ways, not so much.

$100 an hour? The majority of our everyday workers'd love that, and those on that and more at the moment'd be rubbing their hands with glee at the corresponding increase, but we've still got millions out of work (or on college courses which aren't counted when totting up the unemployed). Goodness knows what's going to happen to all the unskilled, disabled and workshy ones, who, with the advent of all this technology may not be able to be placed into work. Mind you, we've got that already. : (
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Kellemora » 03 Aug 2014, 09:26

Tongue in Cheek Comments:

Ya know Zeke, all these new Ranches, raising Livestock, is going to put us Hunters and Trappers out of business!

Hey Clem, whatcha think about these house sized Farming Machines doing the work of fifty farmers?

Hi Mary, I'm worried, all these ATMs is going to put us bank tellers out of business!

My dad says once they get driverless cars, it will spread to trucks soon thereafter, and it will kill the trucking industry. I don't agree Martin, my grandpa just changed from a stage coach to driving a bus. If the bus needs no driver, they will still need to get from the bus terminal to where ever it is they want to go. There will be driverless cabs or community cars then too.

Well Jim, you know each time technology advances, hard labor jobs may go away, but new more enjoyable jobs come along to keep up with the technology. This is why our living standards keep rising.

Look at our ancestors, they worked from before dawn to long after sunset, at backbreaking work, just to make ends meet. As technology advanced, we worked shorter hours, and had more things to fill our new found leisure time. They keep adding more and more new gadgets and gizmos to buy, have more things for us to do each day than ever before. The shorter hours we now work gives us time to do other things, like travel, or take up a sport or hobby. We no longer have to work our fingers to the bone.

Robotics will cause the cost of everything to plummet, and we will make more money working and thinking about new innovations to make our lives even more easier. Everyone will have the time it takes to learn and educate themselves. There will always be something new on the horizon that can only come about by the efforts of the workforce. Heck, even a government run by robots may be the key to world peace!

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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Ice.Maiden » 03 Aug 2014, 14:59

The last sentence of your post sounds like a brilliant idea! : )

Yes, I understand what you're saying Gary, but I suppose I was being pessimistic. Sure, life'd be easier if everything was done for us by machines, but do human beings really want that?

I doubt very much that things'd drop in price though. Yes, as the robotic systems became more used by the masses, as with computers, prices WOULD come down per se, but nothing stays like that for very long, and not everyone'll be able to afford this new technology - they can't NOW.

Having millions more out of work'd just increase idleness. Why bother to educate yourself if you've never had a work ethic drung into you? Looking right ahead, I can see it causing problems. Humans might become unnecessary.
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[slplit-5] Human Obsolescence

Postby Kellemora » 31 Aug 2014, 10:03

You got that right Icey...

Knock on simulated wood grain, the Window AC Unit I bought for like 150 bucks a decade ago, and installed in a wall instead of a window is still going. I hope it didn't see me write this.

Back in the late '70s I bought a large AC unit for two rooms of my house, the bedroom and den. It was installed in the bedroom, but with the door open, it blew into the den on High, at night we turned it off or way down.
I think I paid close to 300 bucks for that thing, and it only lasted two summers, before it needed a new fan motor. Replaced that for about 100 bucks, and the following summer, the compressor burned out.

I've used central units ever since. Except for my garage office here. I see ones in the store to replace this one with in the 140 dollar price range. So the price has not changed much, probably because the quality has gone down even more.

The thing I hate most about almost any new AC unit or Space Heater, is they have all gone to Electronic Controls with NO memory backup built in. This means if the electric flickers at night while you are asleep, the units shut-off and don't come back on.
My birds are in my office, and being exotic parrots, they cannot take Cold. This is why I'm still using my 30+ year old baseboard heater. I also have a secondary tiny space heater as a backup behind me at my desk, which I leave on 24/7 year round. It is connected to an independent thermostat, because on-board heat controls never work like a thermostat. At best, the setting only keep them X number of degrees above outside temperature.
In other words, if the outdoor temps are in the low fifties, and you set the knob at #2 which would give you 70 degrees. If the outside temperature drops to the low forties, you only get 60 degrees in the room at #2 setting, have to move it up to #3 to get it to hold 70 degrees.
This is why I don't use the thermostats on the units themselves. I have two independent thermostats connected to a Relay Box that turns on and off the 120 volts to the two heaters. I have them set to kick on if the temp drops below 70 degrees, and the AC is set at 76 or 77 degrees. Which is probably off a little, because the thermometer by the birds always read around 78 to 79 degrees. By my desk, behind the computers, who's backs face me, the thermometer on my desk is often at 77 degrees when I come in, 79 degrees after I begin working, and can hit 81 or 82 before I decide to drop the AC unit down to 76 and the fan to high, hi hi...

Whenever I buy a new appliance, I make sure that the Memory is not lost when the power goes out. They NEVER tell you on the packaging, so I make the store open it, plug it in, set the temp, then pull the plug for a couple of minutes and plug it back in. If the unit doesn't come back on to the preset temperature, or to a default on setting, I tell them I can't use it. My AC unit does come back on after a short power outage of less than 1 hour, but at 72 degrees, not 77 where I keep it set. But at least it does come back on. However, if it goes off for over an hour, then it does not come back on at all. Which is why I want a small central type unit for up here.

OK, I'm getting boring again...

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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Ice.Maiden » 31 Aug 2014, 15:23

The thing is Gary, your posts aren't so much boring, as long, but I read them all, because it fascinates me how you mend things, utilise things and you know a heck of a lot more than me about the subjects you chat about.

I don't understand some of your descriptions because we either don't use things like you do - or I'm just plain dense!
LOL - but when you talk about things from your youth - things which I've never seen - it's interesting. The American way of life's a lot different to how it is over here, and yet we're miles behind you when it comes to technology, medical approaches and so forth, but I like to hear tales about "the good old days" that you were part of, because we didn't have such things over here - or at a different time.
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Kellemora » 01 Sep 2014, 09:35

My grandpa on my mothers side was English. Although times were considerably different in his fathers day. You wouldn't believe the stories he passed down about his dad. He much have been a mischievous kid.
I'm sure some of the things my grandpa did he did to emulate his father, hi hi...
Wish I could remember some of them the way he told them.

Sorry about some of my comments turning in to epistles, I try to keep them short, I honestly do.

I said Hi to someone this morning and learned there is a 600 character limit on the site. They asked four different questions, each taking at least that much after I edited them down. So they got five responses, the introduction, and one for each question I responded to.

Although I use Twitter at their 140 character limit, which includes the recipients name. You can't respond to any question on there in a meaningful way that would help them.
So, you respond in a graphical program and upload the image, hi hi... I don't but many do.

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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Ice.Maiden » 04 Sep 2014, 12:03

Oh bless. It's OK Gary - I wasn't criticising the way that you write. I know exactly what you mean about replies to each subject taking probably 2-3 times longer to write that perhaps the question or comment did. I'm guilty of it myself, but what I was trying to say, was that I don't find your posts boring. You know so much about so many things, and it fascinates me. I know I'm not the only one to think this, but personally, I can't always reply to each paragraph you write because of the time involved. It's certainly not because you're posting rubbish - far from it!
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Kellemora » 05 Sep 2014, 11:08

Hi Icey
I know what you mean.
I converse with a fellow author, well actually he's a screenwriter, about once a week.
For some reason, he comments on every single paragraph, so our e-mails get quite long.
I finally had to start skipping several of his comments, as they were redundant, and nothing new to add.
It worked well, because then he doesn't respond to my response, which may be something simple like I agreed with him is all.
Nevertheless, I can tell by some of his comments that he said them because he want's my take on the issue, even though he never directly said so.
He keeps me filled in on the details of how his work is going on the next short film.
I love reading about it, but often don't know what to say back either.
Most of what he does I could never do if my life depended on it. Too complex for my blood, hi hi...

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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Ice.Maiden » 05 Sep 2014, 17:05

Well rest assured that I always read your posts from beginning to end. I mostly comment on the things that stand out to me, but I find all of them interesting, even though I might not understand certain topics very well. You've actually taught me quite a lot without realising it.
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby LilAni » 05 Sep 2014, 17:53

Just wanted to add to the original post about technology, I work in the fast food industry and we are getting new menu boards very soon where the customer orders their own food. I've seen a McDonald's that has a machine making the drinks...very awesome yet I wonder where that worker went...just some thoughts to ponder on.
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Ice.Maiden » 05 Sep 2014, 18:05

Unfortunately, technology's put many people out of work. We used to have factories galore, where people were employed on assembly lines, but their jobs're being done by machines now.

Do you actually cook or serve the food then LilAni? You'll probably be OK, because we all need to eat.
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby LilAni » 05 Sep 2014, 19:21

I am currently an Assistant General manager, but I also take orders make orders, and serve orders. I go wherever needed. Not really too worried about myself seeing as I have an array of management in my background as well as experience. But I do worry and care about my friends and where they might end up in the not so distant future.
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Ice.Maiden » 05 Sep 2014, 19:33

You're right. Things might be improving slightly employment-wise (at least in the UK), but there still aren't enough jobs to go round. It can happen to anyone. Even some of our graduates're having a hard time.

Hopefully, because of your position, you'll be safe if staff culls take place, but it's lousy on those who lose their jobs.
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Kellemora » 06 Sep 2014, 07:47

Yes, menial jobs nobody want's to do in the first place are taken over by machines who don't mind doing the work.

I know of several companies who were forced to send their production overseas, and/or buy machines, because they could not get enough employee's who wanted to do the work.

Not to long ago I mentioned one of our local companies who had like 250 job openings in their factory, 4 or 5 in an office, and 1 in their IT department.
They received over 200 applications for the 1 IT job. 18 or 20 for the office jobs, and only 2 for the 250 factory jobs. Ironic since the factory jobs paid higher than the office jobs.

I think one of the major problems for companies trying to find employees to fill the positions, besides laziness, is our welfare system is set up such that it no longer leaves an incentive to find a job.

One of the women who rented a house from me back in the late 1990s received over 3,500 dollars per month in government benefits. That's the equivalent of 20 dollars per hour for sitting on her behind. Why would she even consider going out and getting a 12 to 15 dollar an hour job of which 26% goes to taxes? It would put a major DENT in her FREE Lifestyle.
This is what we have in our country! Generations of couch potatoes living off the taxpayers, most with incomes greater than the average working man paying taxes.

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