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2 hours ago, canbuywontbuy said:

These kinds of shops are ripe to get looted in modern-day Britain.  I can see groups of lads steaming into one of these and taking whatever they want minus the items being registered (because they just went in without registering, hopped over whatever barrier is there).  These kinds of shops will certainly need a lot of security. 

We will all be chipped by then, to make it easier for the Robocops.

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There are a few points I would like to raise here, especially as I know a few people working on the devices about to automate away jobs.I think this is a very interesting discussion and there are many great points

First of all we have two forces here, capitalism has an endless drive for efficiency so with each technological advance another wave of jobs is removed as the cost of a machine versus a person in any position will always reach a point of efficiency and viability. This is now pushing along with a current of technological advance we couldn't have even imagined ten years ago. I have always been into the tech stuff but even my head spins now at the rapidity at which stuff is being developed and turned around. The biggest impact of 3d printing is not manufacturing but how quickly you can develop and idea and a prototype, it is mind blowing. 

First of all automation in terms of manufacturing, not that there are many of these jobs in the Uk but the first factories have started appearing  which are completely automated. I think its adidas has a factory in atlanta with no people, as does a phone company in china. We may see a lot less outsourcing overseas as itll make more sense to manufacture next to the market you want to sell into. This automation also allows for more personalized products , I think the one in atlanta you design your own trainers and it makes them for you with no person involved. We will see a huge range of personal options in every consumer product, this will be the next big thing, our kids will grow up to a world where everyone driving the same car or having the same couch will seem archaic.

So the last jobs left were the ones which couldn't be automated easily and labour shifted into mostly service and logistics jobs. However I reckon we are only about 5 years away from a fully automated maccers. Just imagine if there were no employees at any fast food outlets anymore? Then no fast food outlets as they are an overhead too, you will tap a button on your phone and a burger will be delivers to you in a few minutes. Technology is here now to do that, they will spend a few years proving it and then get rid of all the overheads of outlets, employees etc.

Self driving lorries have already underwent testing in the UK any job which relies on driving is done for because when the tech reaches a point of greater safety than a person all those jobs are gone, might be a few years but not too many, a robot lorry can work 247 and while robot lorry driver might cost 2 million quid at first within 2 years he will be 100k then eventually probably something you buy for 500 quid. Thing is a variety of technologies are all pushing together so the rate of development and improvement is staggering. Its difficult to see where its going because it is so fast now.

The reason this keeps coming up especially regards a CI as there will be nowhere for labour to move "into" when logistics and service jobs are gone.

These arent really machines anymore they have an ability to learn and a fidelity which in some cases vastly exceeds a human being. What they cant do well yet or for a long time is do creative thinking, blue sky stuff. There have been experiments done such as the google art project or ai generated music or films but they are crappy, Itll be hundreds of years before it can write a symphony without input from a human that appeals to another human.

The pressure on the last few jobs will be enormous, its going to be the biggest shift the human race has ever experienced. What I think is funny is that people expect government to have a solution or work something out but they too are becoming increasingly irrelevant. We could automate the shit out of politics a lot easier than other service industries!

Many large corporations now only deal in information too and employ a handful of people, How many people does facebook or HSBC need? especially now things like call centres are being automated and there are AI trading algorithms.

For me the shift will have to be with the individuals attitude more than anything, we need a cultural shift away from greed and more towards what a human "needs" and fulfillment from experiences as opposed to stuff. This is probably a good thing as I see people raping the planet to make shit they dont need to try and buy a happiness they arent getting, stuck in a relentless cycle of work and consumption. 

I have no real idea how this is gonna play out, we dont even really have a historical context in which to draw comparisons. Its amazing to watch it happening and I hope we are working towards a star trek type society but this wont come without a whole load of ******** first. Humans get angry and lash out when shit isnt going there way.

As far as I have read the only viable means of transition is a CI as the alternative involves everyone fighting till the bitter end squabbling over the very last resource.

 

I actually do believe this entire house price issue is partly due to these pressures as the people left try ever more elaborate means to extort a living from the system and maintain themselves. Just a thought anyway but I do wonder in 30 years time how many will be dropping a  lifetime labour on a big house when there might not be any labour to give.

 

 

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13 hours 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. 

As far as I'm concerned, tills make things slower and are inefficient. If you want to give money to someone who doesn't provide anything of value*, you can skip the middleman and just give the guy cash in hand (while casually walking out of an Amazon Go without stopping). No corporate tax, no income tax, everybody saves time and you may find you feel better about it. That's basically a donation, you could even go for tax relief.

* see the broken window fallacy

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45 minutes ago, Sandwiches33 said:

there will be nowhere for labour to move "into" when logistics and service jobs are gone.

People have been saying this for hundreds of years, but the labour always found somewhere to go.

For a start, the UK's built infrastructure is in a right old state. Millions of PRS houses left basically to rot for decades, underinvestment in energy supply, underinvestment in transport infrastructure etc. There is a huge amount of work that needs doing.

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1 minute ago, Dorkins said:

People have been saying this for hundreds of years, but the labour always found somewhere to go.

For a start, the UK's built infrastructure is in a right old state. Millions of PRS houses left basically to rot for decades, underinvestment in energy supply, underinvestment in transport infrastructure etc. There is a huge amount of work that needs doing.

It wont this time because there are too many people, Too few jobs and every industry is going to be affected by this including building and trades. A lot of technology has "affected" jobs but never a technology that so encompasses everything. What is beginning to happen is far bigger than the internal combustion engine or print or any of the other advances we had as a species which caused upheavel. We are already seeing signs of this in every aspect of our lives, look at the chaos the internetz is bringing to politics at the moment.
 

I have to say too if the UK was a mass of poor unemployable folk huddled together why would they bother there **** with infrastructure? the only reason it was built in the past was due to corporate need. Tunnel bridges etc were always built to deliver goods or people for a financial gain. Where would the gain be? they would need tax or money borrowed against future tax which wont exist to build infrastructure to support industries which wouldn't exist.

 

The unique thing about this technology is that it is total. Everything from fighting wars to performing surgery to making hats. If there was a will to do it robotizing house building is relatively technologically simple. Components knocked up in a  robot factory to a individual design, shipped on a robot truck, unloaded and bolted together by a low skill labourer until a robot done it. A house isnt anywhere near as complex as some of the other stuff we build automatically already its just that whole political control land shit they use against us.

 

Apart from a  handful of high tech or creative jobs there is nowhere this time for labour to move too, Banking is being automated, how many can google employ before they start automating? Someone posted on here a while back how many GE used to employ back in the 60s  versus google do now considering they are companies of similiar size and value. The results are astonishing.

 

 

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12 hours ago, hotairmail said:

I think the point he is making is "if you're not needed to do the work, why would 'they' want to keep you alive"? 

They like power and money but by far their most important need is to have people to feel superior to. 

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20 minutes ago, Sandwiches33 said:

It wont this time

I doubt we are going to come to agreement. To me this sounds like a techno-fantasy, similar to the 1950s excitement about how nuclear power was going to make electricity "too cheap to meter". 65 years later I still have some guy coming round to read the meter and the government can't even get 1 nuclear power plant built.

All technologies have strengths and weaknesses and limits to where they can be usefully and economically applied. Whatever is going to be invented in the next 10, 20, 50 years will be no different. I work in scientific research and yes, it is possible to make progress, but it takes a lot of resources and is not fast. There will be plenty of time for human lives to play out while technological growth continues steadily on.

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2 hours ago, kibuc said:

Not in 15 years and not in 50. Computers might be better and faster at computing (duh!), they might process information at inconceivable speeds and 'learn' new patters, but they would still follow the algorithm created by humans. Machine learning and AI is a human-created algorithm too, supposed to mimic the behavior of our brain, but how on earth could we try to mimic something we barely understand? We don't know how we store data, we don't know how we use it to decide on our actions, we don't even know whether we have free will to actually make any decisions or maybe we're 100% deterministic, and suddenly we think we'll be able to build machines that not only replicate all that, but are actually better than the original? That's hilarious.

Moore's law is about number of transistor per square inch. Even if it translates to raw computing power 1:1, it has nothing to do with AI. Intelligence is a paradigm, not a processing power threshold.

Indeed we don't even fully understand the behaviour of viruses and they are the simplest form of reproductive life on earth.

 

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For this to work the forces who can force legislation will have to be compliant to push it though with 'help'.....there has to be a demand to want personal designed trainers, printing your own kitchen utensils, having everything done for you by ai....doing away with the local, shared and diy community......a demand to want to turn on the heating, alarm or anything else from a distance, a million films, music,games at a tap of a finger and artificial social interaction to a bot or a person whereabouts unknow.....or open the door locally to fresh air, nature, and real people you can interact, support and relate to...;)

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42 minutes ago, Dorkins said:

I doubt we are going to come to agreement. To me this sounds like a techno-fantasy, similar to the 1950s excitement about how nuclear power was going to make electricity "too cheap to meter". 65 years later I still have some guy coming round to read the meter and the government can't even get 1 nuclear power plant built.

All technologies have strengths and weaknesses and limits to where they can be usefully and economically applied. Whatever is going to be invented in the next 10, 20, 50 years will be no different. I work in scientific research and yes, it is possible to make progress, but it takes a lot of resources and is not fast. There will be plenty of time for human lives to play out while technological growth continues steadily on.

Yes thats fair enough. I have a couple of examples though that brought it home to me. If you think of robots doing plumbing it does seem fantastical but where the real danger lies is the creeping technological progress. Whittling away at the jobs market each and everyday. Recently we were paid a visit by a company offering a piece of technology. This tech tested our product 24 7 in all manner of ways we used to use a human for thus completely rendering a dept of about 15 people obsolete overnight. This wouldn't make headlines and most of the world wouldn't even notice but that those 15 people now on the back foot looking for something else there skillset obsolete.

I was also talking to a photographer once, it used to be his full time job but eventually with digital it became so easy to take a pic it became impossible for him to make a living, What was once  a high skillset became completely automated away.

The real danger form this technology is not bipedal robots marching around  but from the devaluing of skills. It used to be the case you develop a high skillset then trade it in the marketplace but now there are so many ever growing software and hardware solutions rendering human skillsets obsolete. I do believe most jobs will be obliterated long before the bipedal robots are marching around the city. 

The real measure of what is happening for me is the youth unemployment levels and the quality of jobs for the youth that have found employment. As older generations leave they are replaced by tech or not replaced at all. I see in what is happening to them what is coming in the future. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Dorkins said:

If automation created unemployment then 99.9% of us would be unemployed because so much has already been automated. It's a false dilemma. Labour just moves on to the next thing.

Why does 'the next thing' have to be some sort of regular, paid employment?  Why can't it be learning a language, or a music instrument, or learning about something that interests you?

I really don't get why so many people don't seem to understand the concept of a CI or are so dead set against it.

 

Automation is rapidly replacing a whole slew of jobs.  It used to be just industrial production but now we are even seeing McJobs being automated away at the very bottom end of the market.  Increasingly 'smart' AI (not true AI, but good enough to do skilled things that previously required human thinking) is coming along and taking away human employment in many other fields - eg.  Won't be too long now before there won't be many human truck/ train/ bus/ taxi drivers,  or even commercial pilots.  Even more specialised fields like basic legal tasks or medical diagnoses can and are being 'automated'.

WE ALREADY just hand out money to people who aren't working - it's justified as being support between jobs but of course there's a whole swath of benefits claimants out there who have hardly (if ever) worked a day in their lives, and never will.  Increasingly, they will be joined by people automated out of work with little prospect for any sort of meaningful regular employment (such as they once had) again.

Instead of taxing human workers and giving the proceeds as bare-basics benefits to people, whilst hassling them to find ever harder to get jobs just tax the automation instead and provide a basic CI for humans, sufficient to meet the costs of putting a roof over your head, food in your belly and clothes on your back.

If a person wants a better standard of living than the CI affords,  it's up to them to find creative ways to offer services that others will pay for.  An economy will develop based around this, there will always be some opportunity to increase your  spending power if you want to pursue a consumer lifestyle.

If someone just wants to slob around their whole lives doing nothing and living off the basic CI, let them do so instead of complaining about 'benefits scroungers'.

If you want to use the CI to enable you to pursue interests or self-discovery, that's fine too.

There is clearly more than enough productive capacity even now to meet the needs of society and as automation makes production even more effective that surplus will increase, the problem is that the surplus wealth produced to date under the current model has all accrued to a very small proportion of the population with a wodge also paid out in welfare benefits - with those in the middle squeezed to pay for both.  With more and more of the production being done by machines/AI we might as well stop pretending that everyone has to go out and find a job to justify their existence.

 

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5 hours ago, canbuywontbuy said:

These kinds of shops are ripe to get looted in modern-day Britain.  I can see groups of lads steaming into one of these and taking whatever they want minus the items being registered (because they just went in without registering, hopped over whatever barrier is there).  These kinds of shops will certainly need a lot of security. 

Shops staffed by loads of humans are already prone to this, Apple Store in San Francisco:

http://i.imgur.com/yNben9c.gifv

 

Not to mention there's always been a big shoplifting problem with just about all high street retail plus the danger of theft from your staff (there's a reason why just about everywhere has cameras on the till and in the stockroom).

 

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48 minutes ago, Sour Mash said:

Instead of taxing human workers and giving the proceeds as bare-basics benefits to people, whilst hassling them to find ever harder to get jobs just tax the automation instead and provide a basic CI for humans, sufficient to meet the costs of putting a roof over your head, food in your belly and clothes on your back.

That would only work if people learned to embrace their standard of living, whatever it may be, without comparing it to other people. Today's poor live on an infinitely higher level than the poor from centuries ago, but they feel poor no less.

 

Also, I image the CI society would not be fully uniform, you'd get some people unable to do even the simplest of jobs, and some with skills that were made redundant in the highly-automated world, but might actually be useful in world of automation-deprived CI proles, as you wouldn't be able to afford most of the stuff the fully-developed world would have to offer. There'd be transfer of wealth from the lesser-skilled to the higher-skilled within the CI group and the higher-skilled would be able to put prices of basic necessities out of the reach of others, re-generating the very issue CI was supposed to solve.

 

You cannot remove poverty just by giving the poor money.

 

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CI isn't about making things uniform for everybody Communist-style ... It's about providing the basics that you need to reasonably live (plus maybe a small extra that you can trade - this would form the base for a new economy to develop from).

You can always choose to try to find something which you can produce/do that brings additional income on top of the CI in order to get a better material standard of living, if that's your bag.

One of the reasons why the 'poor' are stigmatised is that there's a notion that everyone SHOULD do a regular job.  There just won't be anywhere near enough regular jobs anymore, people need to take that on board.  The 'production' will be increasingly done by machines and 'dumb' AI.  And the answer is not to penalise an ever larger segment of society by offering welfare with strings attached, such as pushing them to do crap zero hours contract work.

 

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3 minutes ago, Sour Mash said:

CI isn't about making things uniform for everybody Communist-style ... It's about providing the basics that you need to reasonably live (plus maybe a small extra that you can trade - this would form the base for a new economy to develop from).

You can always choose to try to find something which you can produce/do that brings additional income on top of the CI in order to get a better material standard of living, if that's your bag.

 

That brings a question: who decides what is reasonable and what isn't? Is food and shelter the reasonable minimum? Or maybe health care should be provided too, and if so, to what extent? Should CI be enough to take you through flu or occasional bone fracture, but not enough to give you 100% efficient cancer treatment of the future? Should we trust governments or bankers to make such call? And if CI actually allows for some of those higher-end treatments, wouldn't it put their prices much higher, calling for even higher CI income, which would in turn... etc. Again, printing money for the poor won't make them any less poor in my view.

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11 minutes ago, kibuc said:

That brings a question: who decides what is reasonable and what isn't? Is food and shelter the reasonable minimum? Or maybe health care should be provided too, and if so, to what extent? Should CI be enough to take you through flu or occasional bone fracture, but not enough to give you 100% efficient cancer treatment of the future? Should we trust governments or bankers to make such call? And if CI actually allows for some of those higher-end treatments, wouldn't it put their prices much higher, calling for even higher CI income, which would in turn... etc. Again, printing money for the poor won't make them any less poor in my view.

From a health point of view, we already have the NHS which makes arbitrary decisions on healthcare, funded by taxing production, which is free at point of use.

We also have an education system that is 'free' for primary and secondary level.  I would argue that third level should be provided free at point of use too, subject to ability (as it used to be).

Obviously there would be debate about just what should constitute the 'minimum' for standard of living and services provided but it's not a show stopper.  Also, IMO there should be a little more than the minimum (whatever that my be determined as) paid out, in order to give people the opportunity to purchase other goods and services and seed a market for enterprising people to provide things that are in-demand.

The key would be how you tax the production.  Until now, governments have been very effective at taxing the lower and middle classes (typically through VAT and PAYE) whilst giving considerable latitude to people at the top and big corporations to minimise their tax liability.  This would have to change, probably the biggest barrier.   Instead of taxing people, you will be directly taxing the enterprises (as they will own the robots) and I can't imagine that they will be too happy at accepting lower profits than otherwise.  On the other hand, if some of the wealth from the production isn't funnelled to the consumer, they will have no market into which to sell.

 

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2 hours ago, Sour Mash said:

Why does 'the next thing' have to be some sort of regular, paid employment?  Why can't it be learning a language, or a music instrument, or learning about something that interests you?

It doesn't, there are many things you can do with your time other than wage labour.

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The announcement will fuel growing fears that human workers will be replaced by robots as companies turn to technology to boost profits.

What is wrong with this picture?:lol:

There's a surprising failure to join the obvious dots here- if the aim of automation is to improve profits and profits are derived from the spending of earned income then it's impossible-in aggregate- for everyone to boost profits by replacing income earning Humans with robots- the more successful companies are in eliminating human workers the smaller pool of earned income there will be from which those profits can be drawn.

So there's a potential 'death spiral' effect here in which a shrinking pool of earned income reduces profits leading to more automation leading to less earned income and so on.

Obvious as this problem is there seems to be no mechanism in place at present to prevent this spiral from happening. Because it makes perfect sense at the level of the individual company to sack their workforce and replace them with machines or software- in fact the system makes this mandatory because any company that failed to take these cost cutting measures would be priced out of business.

So what we are possibly facing here is a dynamic where  Technology and the Market system combine to create an historically unique scenario in which the very thing that makes Capitalism so vital and wealth enhancing inverts and begins to generate not wealth but wealth destruction as the pool of earned income is reduced by ever more efficent technology.

Capitalsim is a strange beast in that it constantly strives to eliminate the source of it's own profits via competitve pressures on companies to employ as few people as possible at the lowest wages possible- seemingly oblivious to the reality that those wages are the source from which profit is derived- so to kill jobs en masse is eventually to kill itself.

It's an odd thought that the closer Capitalism comes to it's own ideal of  hyper efficient productivity the less profitable it becomes- this seems counterintutive- are we not told that more efficient production = more profits? This is certainly the conventional view.

But when the point is reached that human labour has been designed out in the quest for ever more effcient production this conventional view breaks down- in a situation analogous to some scenarios in physics in which-as extreme scenarios are approaced- the normal rules no longer apply.

Capitalism has proved itself to be a very resilliant and adaptable system and is without doubt the best system for creating wealth and innovation ever concived- but the one enviroment in which Capitalism has not been tested is an enviroment in which it's drive for ever more efficent means of production has rendered apparently obsolete the very humans who that productive capacity exists to serve.

It sounds silly to even point this out- but what is the one thing that we can be 100% certain will never automated?

Consumption. Consumption of goods and services is a uniquely human facility- no machine that fits the definition of being a machine will even be a consumer of goods and services-because such consumption implies a form of consciousness that-again by defintion- no machine could possess while still being defineable as a machine.

So the problem we face is not that humans really are becoming obsolete- that can never happen given that we are the only source of consumption and so cannot be replaced

.The problem really is that Capitalism is in danger of becoming obsolete. We need production and we need consumption to make a world. But we don't actually need Capitalism- Capitalism is at root a facilitator of the production/consumption paradigm- it is not in itself an essential component of that paradigm.

 

 

 

Edited by wonderpup
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20 hours ago, wonderpup said:

.The problem really is that Capitalism is in danger of becoming obsolete. We need production and we need consumption to make a world. But we don't actually need Capitalism- Capitalism is at root a facilitator of the production/consumption paradigm- it is not in itself an essential component of that paradigm.

 

 

 

Keep the posts up wonderpup, nothing to contribute apart from very much enjoy reading your contributions, I agree fully.

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RFID shopping has been a thing in America for some time now.

Not sure how they are going to flirt with age restricted purchase though, ie: booze, fags, meds.

Germany uses their national ID card for that, and they have fag machines everywhere. Same for Italy, Austria, lots of places actually.

Then the stocking, dealing with spills, complaints & refunds, customer service, security & loss prevention, everything else.

It doesn't take more than a few gubbins from Maplins et al and some know how to 'abuse' the data link between RFID, mobile phones, and your cash/credit cards.

What a sterile business model.

Remember this?

 

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