Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
reddog

White Collar Jobs In The Firing Line

Recommended Posts

Just a couple of headlines I thought I'd tie together on both sides if the Atlantic (Walmart and M&S layoffs)

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN1175D7

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/09/03/marks--spencer-to-cut-500-head-office-jobs-next-week/

2 things I find interesting, Walmart is pretty explicit that it thinks it can get rid of white collar jobs, by streamlining, automation and centralising.

Both reports don't see firing white collar works as a big deal, with Walmart offering the chance to work on the shop floor presumably at lower pay.

Are we heading to a world of people either on minimum wage, or on mega money, with no middle?

Edited by reddog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are we heading to a world of people either on minimum wage, or on mega money, with no middle?

Yep.. This is always a good check of the easy in which a job can be automated. Hint you don't want to be an accountant...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep.. This is always a good check of the easy in which a job can be automated. Hint you don't want to be an accountant...

Depends what you mean by an accountant. Bookkeeping is dead in the water, but that's pretty much a fait accompli.

Change that lookup in your link to finance management, and things look a bit more optimistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's surprising about this is why it has not happened already- surely the technology has been around for a while now to automate a lot of these so called 'back office' operations- in particular the financial sector is suddenly getting all excited about 'fintech' but the actual technology involved has in most cases been around a fairly long time.

It makes me wonder how many current jobs only continue to exist due to institutional inertia rather than a lack of the means to automate them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm confused that it has computer programmer at 48% and web developer at 20%.

Having worked with some automation tools already I think human work will be around for a while. The user can do everything they want until there is a slight change in requirements or something beyond their knowledge goes wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Directors are unlikely to approve Capex that does away with Directors, just saying.....

Speaking of directors; how about a movie trailer put together using AI?;

‘Morgan’: IBM Creates the First Movie Trailer Using Artificial Intelligence

Can a computer be capable of original thought and of creating something on its own? Probably not, but scientists can collaborate with machines to get a better understanding of what humans like and what scares them.

20th Century Fox’s new film, “Morgan,” is an A.I. horror thriller about an artificially created humanoid whose existence is threatened after she attacks one of her creators. The studio teamed up with scientists at IBM Research to create the first-ever cognitive movie trailer, and learn what keeps audiences at the edge of their seats.

Using experimental Watson APIs and machine learning techniques, the IBM Research system analyzed hundred of horror and thriller movie trailers. Then the artificial intelligence system watched “Morgan” and suggested the top 10 best moments for a trailer to be edited together by an IBM filmmaker.

The result is a brand new clip that gives the film a darker tone and adds new scenes that the official trailers didn’t include.

“Watson was able to model the scene visually to determine, was the scene scary? Was it a tender moment? Was there sadness or happiness,” explained John Smith, IBM Fellow and Machine Vision, in the video below.

http://www.indiewire.com/2016/08/morgan-trailer-created-by-artificial-intelligence-ibm-research-1201721886/

Not sure how seriously to take this- but if Watson is really capable of identifying the emotional tone of a scene in a movie this implies a pretty sophisiticated kind of awareness- a kind of 'artifical empathy' that would make systems based on Watson capable of some degree of genuine interection with humans. Of couse professional actors are paid to emote in a clear and explicit fashion that presumably makes them easier to 'read'- but even so it's still impressive if Watson can analyse a scene and correctly identify that it's a sad scene or a scary one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing is a lot of jobs tend to be more susceptible to knock-on changes in behaviour, caused by automation.

Sales reps haven't been replaced by a robot buzzing round with a pilot case full of samples, instead, businesses just order online.

Similarly with book-keepers. Technology won't so much directly replace their work but rather never generate the paper invoices, that underpin their work, in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty sure M&S will fold at some point in the next year. They haven't been paying suppliers I've heard a few times. Although they'll probably keep their food business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a couple of headlines I thought I'd tie together on both sides if the Atlantic (Walmart and M&S layoffs)

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN1175D7

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/09/03/marks--spencer-to-cut-500-head-office-jobs-next-week/

2 things I find interesting, Walmart is pretty explicit that it thinks it can get rid of white collar jobs, by streamlining, automation and centralising.

Both reports don't see firing white collar works as a big deal, with Walmart offering the chance to work on the shop floor presumably at lower pay.

Are we heading to a world of people either on minimum wage, or on mega money, with no middle?

"Are we heading to a world of people either on minimum wage, or on mega money, with no middle?"

..appears to be the trend and Supermarkets in the UK are subsidised by the tax payer, when staff pay does not meet a true living standard and the government subsidises the difference.... the companies' profits then line the pockets of the senior execs through bonuses and investors collect their checks through dividends..........the taxpayer and lower paid staff are left stranded........call it the 'Brown effect'..... :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest even senior exec jobs could be automated. Considering poor decisions by boards I'm sure a program couldn't do a worse job.

​You could eliminate politicians. Just have a big ideas box that everyone contributes to and then post them on a website (automated of course) and everyone gets a vote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

​You could eliminate politicians. Just have a big ideas box that everyone contributes to and then post them on a website (automated of course) and everyone gets a vote.

What you mean real Democracy for the people? It'll never catch on,

the citizen's just aren't responsible enough to wield such power. :P

Oh and the rich would suffer due to the inevitable redistribution of wealth. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

EAs must surely be replaced by an amazing piece if tech called "a website". Rather than drive to an office for a hair gelled twonk to look through a webpage, you can look at the same webpage at home or in a cafe on your phone.

Then, once you've viewed the property, instead of contacting the EA so they can pass on your message, you contact the vendor yourself!

Space age!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EAs must surely be replaced by an amazing piece if tech called "a website". Rather than drive to an office for a hair gelled twonk to look through a webpage, you can look at the same webpage at home or in a cafe on your phone.

Then, once you've viewed the property, instead of contacting the EA so they can pass on your message, you contact the vendor yourself!

Space age!

Pretty much.

You can expect the Eas on a main drag to all move to smaller, cheaper offices on industrial estates.

No one looks in windows any more. Well, not people buying houses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then, once you've viewed the property, instead of contacting the EA so they can pass on your message, you contact the vendor yourself!

Space age!

You could even use the new fangled invention called "email" to do it, just imagine no more playing Chinese whispers with the EA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many, many white collar jobs involve nothing more than answering emails. Conceptually most of the background work - using spreadsheets, pulling data out of various systems etc - could be quite easily automated. There is now software starting to come along designed to do that. Although it's a long way from being able to replace more generalist jobs if I was a spreadsheet jockey working to a defined process in any large organization I'd be starting to get very worried right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At work we have quite a few customer that I can say its office full of people doing something that some lazy person cant organize them selves.

Not sure how that can continue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At work we have quite a few customer that I can say its office full of people doing something that some lazy person cant organize them selves.

Not sure how that can continue

Isn't that the entire basis of the 'service sector'? Doing stuff for people who won't/can't do it for themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't that the entire basis of the 'service sector'? Doing stuff for people who won't/can't do it for themselves.

Lot to be said in that......or allow people to do things for themselves......cutting out the middle men. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't that the entire basis of the 'service sector'? Doing stuff for people who won't/can't do it for themselves.

What a ridiculous statement. That is the basis for anything except subsistence farming.

The service sector is often grossly misunderstood, but doing something for people who won't/can't do it for themselves is the foundation of trade.

Edited by CentrinoDuo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Next General Election   93 members have voted

    1. 1. When do you predict the next general election will be held?


      • 2019
      • 2020
      • 2021
      • 2022

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.