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wonderpup

Amazon Go- the no checkout store

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More retail jobs on the way out?;

There must be staff on hand to fill the shelves I guess- but it's easy to see the attraction here of just walking in and walking out with what you need.

So if this gets rolled out across the entire retail sector how many jobs disappear I wonder?

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I had the misfortune of stopping at  a maccers (only place I could get a coffee really early) checkout was gone replaced with screens, no visible staff. You push a button and a lady brings your order.

Soon most service jobs will be gone. 

 

Scary times. 

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It'll only work with a Citizens Income. Without jobs how are people going to spend?

Frightening really as I can see the big supermarkets following suit soon.

The idea of a CI does seem to be taken a little more seriously than in the past

 
 
Quote

 

Just a week and a half after Bilderberg’s June 2016 meeting it was reported that [Silicon Valley tech startup incubator] Y-Combinator was running a basic income experiment.

Billed as the “Social Vaccine of the 21st Century,” in Oakland, California where some 100 families were chosen to receive $1000 or $2000 a month in order to collect valuable date in the pilot on how to implement, manage and scale further UBI incentives.

 

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-07/rise-machines-millions-american-jobs-will-be-wiped-out-next-five-years

I love that concept of a 'Social Vaccine'- but it does raise the question of what, exactly, is society being vaccinated against by introducing a Universal Basic Income?

The notion seems to be that by giving everyone a basic level of income the system can be saved and social unrest prevented- but like all technocratic solutions there's this autistic hole in the middle where human nature comes in.

Even if- and it's a big if- we could put in place a Universal Basic Income to offset the loss of jobs to technology there's another huge issue that this does not resolve- what is it that these people are going to be doing all day?

Entirely missing from the Technocratic fix of a UBI is any recognition that work provides more than a means to earn a living- it provides structure and purpose to people's lives, it embeds them in communites and subcultures at work that lend meaning to their days. No basic income will replace any of that.

So what we are potentially looking at here-if technology really does eat millions of jobs- is not just an economic crisis but an existential crisis of identity for millions of people who, over a relatively short time frame, will discover that they are in every sense redundant- physically, economically, and socially- these people will  cease to exist as participating members of society- they will instead become ghosts, lurking on the fringes of life, without hope or any real prospects of change.

The future as presented to us in the video above is one in which the young and smart and beautiful live lives of technlogical ease and wonder- but of the people this world might displace there is no sign- they are already gone, or banished to some neon lit hinterland from where they must occasionaly emerge to restock the shelves- all the while no doubt tracked and monitored by the very same technology that makes it all possible.

 

Edited by wonderpup

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59 minutes ago, longtomsilver said:

It'll only work with a Citizens Income. Without jobs how are people going to spend?

Frightening really as I can see the big supermarkets following suit soon.

Yes, wonder where all their customers work?......I will do my best to not using it.....my money is going to the local shop paying in cash. ;)

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20 minutes ago, wonderpup said:

The idea of a CI does seem to be taken a little more seriously than in the past

 
 

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-07/rise-machines-millions-american-jobs-will-be-wiped-out-next-five-years

I love that concept of a 'Social Vaccine'- but it does raise the question of what, exactly, is society being vaccinated against by introducing a Universal Basic Income?

The notion seems to be that by giving everyone a basic level of income the system can be saved and social unrest prevented- but like all technocratic solutions there's this autistic hole in the middle where human nature comes in.

Even if- and it's a big if- we could put in place a Universal Basic Income to offset the loss of jobs to technology there's another huge issue that this does not resolve- what is it that these people are going to be doing all day?

Entirely missing from the Technocratic fix of a UBI is any recognition that work provides more than a means to earn a living- it provides structure and purpose to people's lives, it embeds them in communites and subcultures at work that lend meaning to their days. No basic income will replace any of that.

So what we are potentially looking at here-if technology really does eat millions of jobs- is not just an economic crisis but an existential crisis of identity for millions of people who, over a relatively short time frame, will discover that they are in every sense redundant- physically, economically, and socially- these people will  cease to exist as participating members of society- they will instead become ghosts, lurking on the fringes of life, without hope or any real prospects of change.

The future as presented to us in the video above is one in which the young and smart and beautiful live lives of technlogical ease and wonder- but of the people this world might displace there is no sign- they are already gone, or banished to some neon lit hinterland from where they must occasionaly emerge to restock the shelves- all the while no doubt tracked and monitored by the very same technology that makes it all possible.

 

Do you honestly think if you didn't have to go to work all social interaction and purpose would cease? Of course it wouldn't.

It would free people up to pursue what they actually enjoy doing in life. A whole environment would emerge that doesn't exist at present to cater for this change. Social clubs, events etc would occur during they day when people would otherwise have been at work.

I doubt a CI would provide enough money to buy that sports car you like, or expensive watch. There will still be a drive there for people that desire a more quality lifestyle, but this drive can be directed to something they enjoy, not something they're forced to do.

Or they'll just put the rents up, innit, and we'll still have to find a job.

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45 minutes ago, wonderpup said:

I love that concept of a 'Social Vaccine'- but it does raise the question of what, exactly, is society being vaccinated against by introducing a Universal Basic Income?

Poverty.

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Do you honestly think if you didn't have to go to work all social interaction and purpose would cease? Of course it wouldn't.

It would free people up to pursue what they actually enjoy doing in life. A whole environment would emerge that doesn't exist at present to cater for this change. Social clubs, events etc would occur during they day when people would otherwise have been at work.

I doubt a CI would provide enough money to buy that sports car you like, or expensive watch. There will still be a drive there for people that desire a more quality lifestyle, but this drive can be directed to something they enjoy, not something they're forced to do.

Have you ever been unemployed for a long period of time? I have and while you are right that I was time rich- I was socially paralysed by my complete lack of resources- social clubs, events ect all require money- even a trip to a coffee shop requires money, money that I did not have.

So you would be amazed at just how fast you start to fade away socially when you just can't afford even the lowest price of entry to the most simple social settings.

In the long run you might be right- we could see a profound psychological shift that competely changed  values and attitudes away from the material toward the spiritual- I'd like to think that could happen.

But the problem is how do you manage the transition where those still in work will be living in the old reality while those without will be totally excluded from that reality?

A basic income will not solve this problem- assuming that it's pitched similar to the benefit levels we have today, which it would need to be to be affordable.

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Poverty.

Of course- my point is that poverty is not only a condition of the Soma- it can also be a condition of the Psyche- poverty of hope, of aspiration and poverty of experience- these too are real and are not addressed by a basic imcome.

Who we are is bound up with what we do- if we do nothing then we are nothing. So the danger is that our basic income creates a category of people who exist in society but are not of society- they are on the outside looking in-unable to afford the price of entry.

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49 minutes ago, wonderpup said:

Of course- my point is that poverty is not only a condition of the Soma- it can also be a condition of the Psyche- poverty of hope, of aspiration and poverty of experience- these too are real and are not addressed by a basic imcome.

A basic income does support hope and aspiration. Under the current system benefits are withdrawn at an alarmingly high effective tax rate (about 70%?) if the recipient goes to work and earns wages above the tax credit threshold, so there is a huge disincentive to working. Under a basic income, however little you earn, it is yours to keep (minus the usual income tax rates), so there is much more reason to get out and do something.

I will believe that 'automation will eat all the jobs' when I see it. All of the 1980s-born couples I know are dual income full time. There is more automation than there was 40 years ago and we are working much more.

Edited by Dorkins

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Well I am not sure how well this technology would work in practice, I am fairly certain I could hack it to that I got no charges.

Firstly turn your phone off on entering the store. Secondly change your appearance once in the store to mess up the AI. Change you gait and various other aspects they might be able to monitor.

 

BTW the way to stop this trend is to refuse to use automated systems.  So start with self service checkout, if you wanted to check out goods at a till, you'd have got a job in a shop.

Edited by Mikhail Liebenstein

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4 hours ago, Sandwiches33 said:

I had the misfortune of stopping at  a maccers (only place I could get a coffee really early) checkout was gone replaced with screens, no visible staff. You push a button and a lady brings your order.

Soon most service jobs will be gone. 

 

Scary times. 

To me this improves the service, you can actually properly look at the menu and prices, rather than going for what you normally have or going for the thing that is most heavily prompted.

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2 minutes ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

The way to stop this is to refuse to use shelf service check outs and the like.

If I ever go into a shop, and the assistant tries to make me use the self service check out, I without question just dump the items and leave the shop - sometime mutter "if wanted to check out goods myself, I'd have applied to work at a shop."

Seriously firms that don't provide customer service shouldn't receive any custom.

BTW, I have spent just £30 with Amazon in the run up to Christmas and instead done all my shopping at more traditional retailers. To be honest, Amazon is now more expensive than many high street stores anyway.  I was able to buy an Xbox One, Android table and various other things  for less at Tesco than at Amazon.

Agree.  I often frequent a mark's and Spencer's at a railway station for my sarnie. I refuse to use the self service and go to the proper tills.  I can see that the supervisor hates it as they have to get someone to the till. :D  I always have a nice little chat with the till person, get personal service and am secure in the knowledge that I am doing my bit to keep others in employment. We should all think in the same way. 

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2 hours ago, Dorkins said:

A basic income does support hope and aspiration. Under the current system benefits are withdrawn at an alarmingly high effective tax rate (about 70%?)

 

No it is not.

This is an attitude problem. Gifted money is not your earned income to be taxed.

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8 minutes ago, One-percent said:

Agree.  I often frequent a mark's and Spencer's at a railway station for my sarnie. I refuse to use the self service and go to the proper tills.  I can see that the supervisor hates it as they have to get someone to the till. :D  I always have a nice little chat with the till person, get personal service and am secure in the knowledge that I am doing my bit to keep others in employment. We should all think in the same way. 

It's completely pointless. You cannot stop the unrelenting advancement. 

If anything you're delaying the switch over to a more automated workforce, which will inevitably lead to a better life.

It's silly to think you're somehow keeping others in employment, in a low paid job that can be replaced by a machine. Why don't we throw all the computers away and go back to farming the land and fixing our clothes?

Automation is the next big leap. Sure, the politicians can string us out with their ineptitude and push us into poverty, but this will only go on for a short period before they're voted out for a party offering a CI.

 

Edited by honkydonkey

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Overheard three leery-looking lads in Birmingham Saturday morning discussing their prospects for the day, each carrying a number of distinctively yellow but empty Selfridges bags. Clearly, the idea of filling up and then leaving without going to the tills isn't an entirely new concept.

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5 minutes ago, honkydonkey said:

It's completely pointless. You cannot stop the unrelenting advancement. 

If anything you're delaying the switch over to a more automated workforce, which will inevitably lead to a better life.

It's silly to think you're somehow keeping others in employment, in a low paid job that can be replaced by a machine. Why don't we throw all the computers away and go back to farming the land and fixing our clothes?

Automation is the next big leap. Sure, the politicians can string us out with their ineptitude and push us into poverty, but this will only go on for a short period before they're voted out for a party offering a CI.

 

Really?  Do you think that computers will take over and we will all be living in some kind of utopia, paid to,sit on our arses all day?  

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5 minutes ago, One-percent said:

Really?  Do you think that computers will take over and we will all be living in some kind of utopia, paid to,sit on our arses all day?  

Pretty much, yeah. It's not as far away as you think.

Problems worked on by computers get solved very quickly. The last invention we ever need to make is a computer slightly more intelligent than us.

Farms are already highly automated. When they're sitting in a combine harvester it's using GPS and just going up and down, they don't need to do anything. I reckon they could fully automate a whole food chain once driverless cars are here.

Mining companies already use automated machinery to take rocks out of quarries, since it's a simple route that can be programmed there's little intelligence required.

Edited by honkydonkey

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A basic income does support hope and aspiration. Under the current system benefits are withdrawn at an alarmingly high effective tax rate (about 70%?) if the recipient goes to work and earns wages above the tax credit threshold, so there is a huge disincentive to working. Under a basic income, however little you earn, it is yours to keep (minus the usual income tax rates), so there is much more reason to get out and do something.

I will believe that 'automation will eat all the jobs' when I see it. All of the 1980s-born couples I know are dual income full time. There is more automation than there was 40 years ago and we are working much more.

Granted the scenario in which paid work goes away for large numbers of people permanently does require that the current round of innovation is of a different order than the innovation that has happened in the past- which is impossible to know at this point.

However if we assume that innovation will continue and not simply stop it seems inevitable that at some point the technology will be smart enough and cheap enough to displace a lot of human beings.

For example if quantum computing became cost effectively avialable and was mated with the type of self learning systems currently being developed by Google we could see an exponential increase in the capability of AI- not because it would improve googles algorithms but because the data throughput would be  faster meaning those algorithms could 'learn' faster. It turns out that the key to smart machines is a lot of dumb data from which to draw inferences.

The fact that some heavyweight thinkers like Stephen Hawking are publicly expressing concern as to the implications of the new AI systems does suggest that something a bit unusual is happening- but they may have just drunk the same cool aid I have- it's really hard to tell.

Given that all predictions are really about the past skepticism is the logical position because the past tells us that innovation does not permanently destroy jobs- but it's also true that history is littered with outlier events that buck the established trends- and it's not impossible that we are now close to such an inflection point re technological unemployment.

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1 minute ago, honkydonkey said:

Pretty much, yeah. It's not as far away as you think.

Problems worked on by computers get solved very quickly. The last invention we ever need to make is a computer slightly more intelligent than us.

I can see one side of your analysis that computers are taking over many jobs.  i don't agree with the other that it will free us all. Zero hour contracts? Minimum wage? Taxpayer subsidising poor employment practices through working tax credits?  I don't think big business is suddenly going to get all altruistic and benevolent.  

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5 minutes ago, One-percent said:

I can see one side of your analysis that computers are taking over many jobs.  i don't agree with the other that it will free us all. Zero hour contracts? Minimum wage? Taxpayer subsidising poor employment practices through working tax credits?  I don't think big business is suddenly going to get all altruistic and benevolent.  

No they won't. It will probably require a revolution of sorts to swap over.

Also cheap labour in 3rd world countries will delay it all. There needs to be a real adjustment event, something massive.

I think the 'birth' of intelligent AI and computers of inconceivable power will lead the way.

 

 

 

Quantum computing company D-Wave Systems has unveiled the world's most powerful quantum computer processor, double the size of previous generations used in the ultra-powerful machines.

At 1,000 qubits, the new processor is capable of considering 21000 possibilities simultaneously. To give an idea of the size of such processing capabilities, this new search space considers more possibilities simultaneously than there are particles in the observable universe.

Edited by honkydonkey

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1 minute ago, honkydonkey said:

No they won't. It will probably require a revolution of sorts to 'swap' over.

So, keep going to the actually manned (personed?) checkout and do your bit. It's no more futile than recycling in order to,try and influence climate change (cf other threads)

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7 minutes ago, One-percent said:

So, keep going to the actually manned (personed?) checkout and do your bit. It's no more futile than recycling in order to,try and influence climate change (cf other threads)

No, the revolution will only occur when there is a critical mass of people who've been replaced by machines. Speed it up and it will occur quicker.

These people shouldn't become unemployed. They should be then free'd to pursue an alternative life.

There are many social problems to deal with, sure. But the fundamental fact remains that individual is free.

A CI is inevitable.

There's a strong chance it could all go tits up. It's our duty to ensure the people responsible will get the job done.

 

Edited by honkydonkey

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1 minute ago, honkydonkey said:

No, the revolution will only occur when there is a critical mass of people who've been replaced by machines. Speed it up and it will occur quicker.

 

I like your thinking but look around. Do you really have that much faith in the general population?  Oh look, a shiny new bauble.  When is the iPhone 10 due out?  What time is strictly come, great bake X factor on?

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