Author Topic: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?  (Read 4437 times)

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Offline werecow

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2019, 08:26:01 PM »
I suspect there may be more truth to that comic than we'd like to think. Although I'm sure sexbots will replace most of those jobs, too.

But yeah, actually, as someone who studied A.I. about ten years ago and still works in the field, I'm both amazed, excited, and terrified by the progress we've made in the last decade with just incremental technological increases in GPU power and small modifications to existing algorithms. I'm not worried about an A.I. destroying humanity any time soon, but I think there will be major political-economic disruption on a scale that will surpass that of the industrial revolution. This is the start of the first time human workers will become truly obsolete. Of course, some things will be holdouts (like academic work, programming, social work, and the arts), but over time those too will be replaced by superior A.I.s to an increasing extent (I thought maybe art would be a holdout, but look at a website like ostagram, or at the New Rembrandt, or listen to any of the various music producing A.I.s and you start to wonder). I worry that, unless we prepare for this in a major way, this will cause a massive divide between the "haves" who are the last remaining human workers and those who control the A.I.s, and the "have nots", who will be a mass of unemployed people with no source of income or means of survival. And while it may not happen this decade or the next, I think people might overestimate the long-term timescale of this. My guess is I'll see at least the beginnings of this in my lifetime.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 08:28:10 PM by werecow »
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2019, 09:16:07 PM »
I think my job is safe. After all, you've got to call someone when your AI crashes, right?
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Offline werecow

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2019, 10:13:08 PM »
I think my job is safe. After all, you've got to call someone when your AI crashes, right?
For now, but I wouldn't expect that to last forever either (probably quite a while though). People are working on AIs that can create other AIs. And there's research going on in AIs to write more efficient programs. They're not there yet, but I suspect that neural net design will become increasingly automated. As will the diagnostics and maintenance.
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2019, 09:11:08 AM »
My job is safe as long as engineering write the building codes*, when we start letting programs or programs do that, Then I'll have to worry.


*Building codes tend to include provisions like, "must be signed and stamped by a licensed professional engineer"

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2019, 03:33:30 PM »
the poor get poorer.

That's not really true. If you look at the world during the past decades or so, extreme poverty has been massively reduced.
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2019, 03:46:32 PM »
One thing I'm sure of is that most predictions will be wrong.

I think so too.

There a few things which are probably true.
A.  Computers and robots will continue to displace human labor, especially low skilled and repetitive work. What kinds of jobs will be at risk will continue to expand.
B.  Some amount of other work will be created that humans will be better suited to than machines(for now anyway).  Where the balance is?  IDK, I doubt anyone else does but there are no shortage of doom sayers nor utopian dreamers. 
C.  The machines will also create a lot of wealth and make things a lot cheaper which will benefit the rest of us along with the owners of said machines.  Again, where the balance ends up, IDK.  I think we'll all be better of but those in power and wealth will be much better of where the rest of us will be a little bit better off.

You are probably right. Over here, the trend has been for at least quite some years if not longer, in grocery stores, to have self-serving payouts. I.e, people scan their items by themselves in a machine, instead of going to a cashier the old-fashioned way. However, there still needs to be some human assistance. Some customers need help with the machines. Some items have age-limits, which require human staff to authorize the purchase. But this whole system requires a much smaller staff size compared to the old one with cashiers. Though it is not completely free of human staff.

Maybe this gives a clue to the nearby future? Machines and automation making workplaces requiring vastly smaller human staff forces? I'm not sure some limited forms of AI changes the equation in any substantial way.

Could the assistant human staff in the grocery store eventually be replaces by a robot? Probably. But that might be quite a bit away. A robot, as we know them at least, can't possibly handle all customer requests the way that a human could.

I'm sure similar systems exist in other countries. And of course traditional cashiers have far from disappeared, but the general prediction is that they eventually will, more or less. In Sweden it is very expensive to employ people, which further pushes this trend.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2019, 04:41:06 PM »
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned already, but corporations are already big dumb AIs and have been for a loooooong time. They are not smart/conscious in any sense, but they do act like they are alive in many ways. Automation has been a continual process of replacing bits of the corporate organism with parts that are more efficient, more productive, or both. If we were talking about a biological organism it would be the evolution of better enzymes and organelles and such to do things like add abilities or reduce the energy needs of the organism.

Human jobs will continue to shift and change as automation takes over things that used to take a human. This only happens where it is less expensive or more productive to eliminate the human.
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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2019, 04:47:33 PM »
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned already, but corporations are already big dumb AIs and have been for a loooooong time. They are not smart/conscious in any sense, but they do act like they are alive in many ways.
Hell, they already have Free Speech rights and the right to own Congressmen.
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Offline werecow

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2019, 06:00:58 PM »
Hell, they already have Free Speech rights and the right to own Congressmen.

The source of all the U.S.'s troubles, in a nutshell.

Well, maybe not all of them.

Offline John Albert

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2019, 07:45:09 PM »
Hell, they already have Free Speech rights and the right to own Congressmen.

The source of all the U.S.'s troubles, in a nutshell.

Well, maybe not all of them.

Corporations = The People, and Money = speech.

Online daniel1948

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2019, 10:10:35 PM »
... Could the assistant human staff in the grocery store eventually be replaces by a robot? Probably. But that might be quite a bit away. A robot, as we know them at least, can't possibly handle all customer requests the way that a human could.

The way corporate managers think, if they ever got a “robot” that could handle 99% of customers’ needs, they’d probably fire the humans and tell the 1% of customers to bugger off, we don’t need your business.

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Offline 2397

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2019, 01:25:52 AM »
Quarter of U.S. jobs could be jeopardized by AI, research shows

Quote
Quarter of U.S. jobs could be jeopardized by AI, research shows

Updated on: January 24, 2019 / 5:55 AM / AP

Robots aren't replacing everyone, but a quarter of U.S. jobs will be severely disrupted as artificial intelligence accelerates the automation of existing work, according to a new Brookings Institution report.

The report, published Thursday, says roughly 36 million Americans hold jobs with "high exposure" to automation - meaning at least 70 percent of their tasks could soon be performed by machines using current technology. Among those most likely to be affected are cooks, waiters and others in food services; short-haul truck drivers; and clerical office workers.

"That population is going to need to upskill, reskill or change jobs fast," said Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings and lead author of the report.

Muro said the timeline for the changes could be "a few years or it could be two decades." But it's likely that automation will happen more swiftly during the next economic downturn. Businesses are typically eager to implement cost-cutting technology as they lay off workers.

This seems to be the source: https://www.brookings.edu/research/automation-and-artificial-intelligence-how-machines-affect-people-and-places/

Offline werecow

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2019, 12:38:27 PM »
Found this article kind of interesting (about how automation is changing the economical landscape). I'll highlight the last bit, because a lot of my colleagues take the stance that the AI revolution is like the industrial revolution (a view I don't agree with), and it echoes some of my own concerns:

Quote
By reducing prices and improving quality, technology was expected to raise demand, which would require more jobs. What’s more, economists thought, more productive workers would have higher incomes. This would create demand for new, unheard-of things that somebody would have to make.

To prove their case, economists pointed confidently to one of the greatest technological leaps of the last few hundred years, when the rural economy gave way to the industrial era.

In 1900, agriculture employed 12 million Americans. By 2014, tractors, combines and other equipment had flushed 10 million people out of the sector. But as farm labor declined, the industrial economy added jobs even faster. What happened? As the new farm machines boosted food production and made produce cheaper, demand for agricultural products grew. And farmers used their higher incomes to purchase newfangled industrial goods.

The new industries were highly productive and also subject to furious technological advancement. Weavers lost their jobs to automated looms; secretaries lost their jobs to Microsoft Windows. But each new spin of the technological wheel, from plastic toys to televisions to computers, yielded higher incomes for workers and more sophisticated products and services for them to buy.

Something different is going on in our current technological revolution. In a new study, David Autor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Anna Salomons of Utrecht University found that over the last 40 years, jobs have fallen in every single industry that introduced technologies to enhance productivity.

The only reason employment didn’t fall across the entire economy is that other industries, with less productivity growth, picked up the slack. “The challenge is not the quantity of jobs,” they wrote. “The challenge is the quality of jobs available to low- and medium-skill workers.”
(emphasis mine)

EDIT: And from the abstract of the study:

Quote
Our estimates indicate that the labor share-displacing effects of productivity growth, which were essentially absent in the 1970s, have become more pronounced over time, and are most substantial in the 2000s. This finding is consistent with automation having become in recent decades less labor-augmenting and more labor-displacing.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 12:03:41 PM by werecow »
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Offline superdave

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #43 on: February 19, 2019, 09:05:33 AM »
I am an engineer by training and a teacher by profession. 
There are A LOT of people working right now to replace teachers with computer guided curriculum.  It just doesn't seem to work and the big challenge is discipline and motivation.  If you have ever tried an online only course or used the duolingo app to learn a language, you understand the issue.  I do think there is room for AI supported teaching, especially for testing and diagnostic purposes.


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Online daniel1948

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Re: Will A.I replace most if not all of our jobs?
« Reply #44 on: February 19, 2019, 10:15:49 AM »
I am an engineer by training and a teacher by profession. 
There are A LOT of people working right now to replace teachers with computer guided curriculum.  It just doesn't seem to work and the big challenge is discipline and motivation.  If you have ever tried an online only course or used the duolingo app to learn a language, you understand the issue.  I do think there is room for AI supported teaching, especially for testing and diagnostic purposes.

When I first decided to try to learn Spanish, I tried several self-teaching methods, ending with a fancy set of CDs. Granted that this was not an interactive course on computer, but I finally realized that I needed an actual teacher to interact with. Until computers can interact with students the way a teacher can, computerized courses will not be as effective as a human teacher. And I don't believe they ever will. Some people can teach themselves some things from a book, but most people need a teacher for most subjects.
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