Skip to comments.Fear Not the Coming of the Robots
Posted on 06/22/2014 10:56:15 AM PDT by RoosterRedux
JUST over 50 years ago, the cover of Life magazine breathlessly declared the point of no return for everybody. Above that stark warning, a smaller headline proclaimed, Automations really here; jobs go scarce.
As events unfolded, it was Life that was nearing the point of no return the magazine suspended weekly publication in 1972. For the rest of America, jobs boomed; in the following decade, 21 million Americans were added to the employment rolls.
Throughout history, aspiring Cassandras have regularly proclaimed that new waves of technological innovation would render huge numbers of workers idle, leading to all manner of economic, social and political disruption.
As early as 1589, Queen Elizabeth I refused a patent on a knitting machine for fear it would put my poor subjects out of work.
In the 1930s, the great John Maynard Keynes predicted widespread job losses due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour.
So far, of course, theyve all been wrong. But that has not prevented a cascade of shrill new proclamations that notwithstanding centuries of history this time is different: The technology revolution will impair the livelihoods of millions of Americans.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Either a broken clock is again correct or maybe he is catching a clue...
Here’s another one of your least favorite people on the same subject. I suggest a steel cage death match with a robot ref:
“Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates isnt going to sugarcoat things: The increasing power of automation technology is going to put a lot of people out of work. Business Insider reports that Gates gave a talk at the American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington, DC this week and said that both governments and businesses need to start preparing for a future where lots of people will be put out of work by software and robots.
Software substitution, whether its for drivers or waiters or nurses its progressing, Gates said. Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill set 20 years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower. I dont think people have that in their mental model.
As for what governments should do to prevent social unrest in the wake of mass unemployment, the Microsoft cofounder said that they should basically get on their knees and beg businesses to keep employing humans over algorithms. This means perhaps eliminating payroll and corporate income taxes while also not raising the minimum wage so that businesses will feel comfortable employing people at dirt-cheap wages instead of outsourcing their jobs to an iPad.
This reminds me of one of my favorite stories about Milton Friedman. He was once taken to see a massive government project somewhere in Asia (India, I believe). Thousands of workers were using shovels to build a canal. Friedman was puzzled. Why weren’t there any excavators or any mechanized earth-moving equipment? A government official explained that using shovels created more jobs. Friedman’s response: “Then why not use spoons?
Bill "The Gorilla" Gates versus Steve "Ratman" Rattner
Fight to the Finish, San Jose Civic Auditorium!
The writer of Ecclesiastes might not have been precisely correct. These machines really are something new under the sun.
The problem is the curve. Technology is a force multiplier, it has moved us from bare subsistence to comfort. But the next wave (which includes not just automation but 3D printers) is going to move us to a point of not actually needing all these people to provide for all these people. Then comes question time, how do we as a society want to handle the fact that we can now provide comfortable living conditions for all with only half (or even less) actually working in a way that contributes to that provided comfort? It’s not something to fear, it’s something to understand and prepare for. In the long run it’s not a bad thing, it means most of society will get to work on art or science or other “luxury” items instead of the grind of factory, agriculture, or delivery. It’s an improvement to the standard of living, but it’s a fundamental change in our relationship to the consumption cycle.
Dollars spent per unit produced is most likely unchanged if indexed for inflation. What's gone though are the pension and labor dispute or collective bargaining of unions. Automation still has high costs, but they are captured and capped five years out max.
Pay Rockwell, Siemens, ABB, and General Electric, instead of unions.
In that past, the life cycle of a job was often at least long enough that a person's career might coincide with its birth and death. In the near future (if not now), people will be in a constant state of education for new jobs and specialties as old ones die and new ones are created.
I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords
I have to agree. I spent almost 35 years in a Tier I automotive stamping plant and the evolution of the production processes replacing production workers with robotics over those years could be viewed as nothing short of miraculous and a testament to knowledge, engineering and imagination.
Anybody who has never been inside such a plant or one of the big 3 auto assembly plants should take a tour if they are available........
I recently read an article of an old lady who celebrated her 115th birthday and I am in awe of what she has personally witnessed in her lifetime. From a horse and buggy being the primary transportation when she was a child to the wonderous technology we have available today......
How are people trained for such jobs? And what the hell is a Kinetix drive?;-)
In time somebody will get a hold of the key and just send them out on killing missions. At that point, even atheists will begin to hope there’s a God who cares about his Creation.
Automation is not taking away EVERYONE'S job. It is taking away the lowest skilled jobs. And it IS decimating them at an alarming rate.
At the same time, the welfare system has turned kids into profit centers. Hey welfare mother - want a raise? Have another kid. Thanks to this idiots’ boss and people like him, we are encouraging the segment of the population that is being hit the hardest by automation, to have the most kids. And they are.
Welfare expenses in this country today are bigger than Social Security and the Military combined, and bigger than Medicare and the Military combined - and well on their way to being bigger than all three combined.
Right now, there are about 25 million lazy cancers that could go to work if there were someone with the testicles in DC to make them do so. In another decade, there actually won't be any jobs for them even if somehow they decided to get off their lazy asses and go to work.
I'm not saying we should slow automation, but everyone needs to realize we ARE in a head-on collision with reality mode at this time.
I remember taking a tour of a GM plant in the early 1960s in Fremont California. I think they were making Chevy's or Buicks. Amazing seeing all the manual labor of people swarming on production lines, guys slapping on parts, putting hot lead on seams and smoothing it out. That's all gone now, robots doing it all. Part of that site was rebuilt as a Tesla plant, automated.
This time really is different. Inexpensive digital sensors, brains, and brawn now exceed many human capabilities. For a small but growing percentage of the population there is little they are capable of that can't be done faster, cheaper, and better by machines. As that percentage grows, here comes cradle to grave socialism to take care of our human pet population.
An even bigger problem happens when computers are smarter than most of us. Only one resource competitor can be at the top. If robots need more energy, they will outsmart us. The one hope is that computers will advance themselves so fast that humans will be resource competitors for only a short time.
...or we will be cutting the lawns of our robot overlords ;)
Such drives also are programmed with safe-off features. That being a hand reaches in, a door opens, temperaature is exceeded, product jams in movement, etc.....Now all that is integrated with a prorammable logic controller processor which operates at very-very high speeds. Things like time to hold something to weld, glue, twist, fold, insert into a case folded open by another multiaxis controller, glue shut, wrap, and convey to a palletizing multiaxis controller are what goes on.
During this time, shop floor real time data is reported to proficy or some other sort of shop floor data collection database. The machine cycles, raw materials in, finished goods out, trouble events and # of times they took place, the amount of down and reset times, etc....Then those items are automatically consumed from inventories for the purposes of real time raw material reordering.
It's all really sweet when old school brains step back and let things go the way they should. Problems reall happen when manager A wants his run of widgets to run on tuesday, but the system cannot be reprogrammed and all the raw materials be in place by then. As a result they try to force the system and productivity goes right down the $hitter. Your prerequisites must all be met before an order becomes work in process.
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