The increase of automation and possible job losses (1 Viewer)

Heathen Saint

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I was listening to a talk on NPR today on the Naked Science podcast featuring Michael Osborne, associate professor in Machine Learning at Oxford University speaking on the job losses that will occur due to AI/automation of certain services. It spoke on how over time, we've gotten through similar big workforce transitions and how specific tasks became the job of steam powered engine/machines etc whilst opening up other positions for human occupancy after periods of job loss.

The WH is going off a number from the same Oxford University that predicts that up to 47% of the workforce could be liable to job loss due to automation:

https://www.wired.com/2016/12/white-houses-fix-robots-stealing-jobs-education/

Here's an article more or less indicating that the anticipation of massive job loss is overblown:

Robots and Jobs: Artificial Intelligence, Automation Could Create Jobs | Fortune.com

Many, including big names like Elon Musk have spoken with at least some positivity about a Universal Basic Income (UBI) system to combat massive job losses from automation..Let me go on record to say I don't know enough right now about it and how it would conceivably effect the economy were it ever introduced, so don't label me as a pundit for it--just something I observed while browsing the automation/job loss discussion. It should be noted that the current adminstration does not see UBI as the solution or even an option.

Anyway, here's an interesting link providing opinions on both sides of the fence on that:

https://futurism.com/is-universal-basic-income-a-good-idea-stick-around-because-were-about-to-find-out/


I realize this is a VERY far reaching and deep discussion. But what are your initial thoughts as to how we will deal with increased automation in the workforce? And what obstacles as well as potentially bustling new industries such as self-driving cargo vehicles do you think could be a big factor in how fast we transition through?

And one step FURTHER..How do you feel the Trump administration, chock full of business executives, will address what seems to be inevitable? Especially after the Carrier deal..
 
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Heathen Saint

Heathen Saint

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I also wanted to post this interesting tidbit on projected jobs' susceptibility to automation:

This interactive chart (shown below) from the McKinsey Global Institute is an impact model for how automation can potentially replace certain work fields based on the tasks usually associated with each job. The model, which uses data from the 2014 US Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows different occupation fields, their average wages, how many workers there are in the US, as well as how much of that occupation can be automated.

https://public.tableau.com/views/AutomationandUSjobs/Technicalpotentialforautomation?:embed=y&:display_count=yes
 

guidomerkinsrules

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so robber barons/industrial revolution seemed to crash sometime around 1929
then from New Deal up through the Great Society there was very strong protection of the worker - upper and middle class both grew
then myriad of economic and socio-political issues in the 70s (yes union boat being one of them) allowed for the 80s to come in and start the dismantling of middle class

since that time - save for pockets of digital tech innovation - the economy has been abstractly moving money around with acquisitions and mergers has been the engine of the economy

without a significant philosophical, national identity change - i don't see how or when we'll have a refocus on 'regular" folk
without that change, i see the increase in the 2 americas - and perhaps it's too many dystopian films, but i could see a time (maybe 20 years) when the majority of american is operating under some black markey/underground economy

**

i could also see us "solving" energy (ie free energy) and finding out how to turn trash into raw 3D printing material and a;; we're really paying for is food and shelter
^that would be my pick
 

mjcouvi

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First, I'd love a universal basic income. I just wouldn't work in the traditional sense. I'd just read, explore new hobbies, get lots of exercise, not worry about a thing, just purely do what I want -- just give me my monthly check, I don't need much to live on, I'm very frugal. That sounds wonderful, and I'm sure millions of other people would agree, and their production would decline dramatically, just the same as mine. That sounds just splendid, like it'd be great for the economy.

More seriously, I love automation. It allows man to explore new facets of life, push new boundaries, discover new ideas. Time is a resource, one of the most valuable. Automation is about saving time (and money obviously), which allows for other endeavors -- this is the way towards progress, towards bigger and better things, a better society, a better and more comfortable life, new frontiers.

There are of course gonna be temporary setbacks for some people in certain industries when there is change, but overall and in the long term society as a whole is made more wealthy by automation.

Jobs will shift, some will disappear, others will appear. Some industries will die, others will be born. Progress requires this cycle, these evolutions, sometimes revolutions.

Some people will go through hard times if they are tethered to a single type of job and it gets taken over by some technology, and I feel for them. Ultimately, however, I think automation should be celebrated for it's ability to allow humanity to move on to bigger and better things.
 

Galbreath34

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Seriously, at some point universal basic income has just got to be part of it. The only alternative would be families owning slave AI or robot/automatons and deciding what jobs they go out and do for what rates. At some point most of the "work" is in thinking and expression, and you simply can't just murder 99.7% of the population because they were not in the last few with money to get in on a chain of investment into the automatons, AI and other infrastructure that drive the economy.

That might be 300 years from now or it might be 45 years out, but that time will come if we manage not to nuke ourselves and reset evolution.
 

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