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The Guardian: If EU workers go, will robots step in to pick and pack Britain’s dinners?

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11 minutes ago, newbonic said:

I recall an anecdote on a Stefan Molyneux YouTube vid in which he described how local 'progressive' govt officials hiked the minimum wage from something like $8 an hour to $12. One unforeseen side effect was that it pushed up costs to some fast food places to the point where it was cheaper to automate some processes. The net result was that teens and other casual workers looking for some easy extra money wound up out of a job and got $0 an hour. 

The problem with minimum wage is how minimum.

I dont think the UK's minimum is problematic.

As far as robto pickers/farmign and crops and all that. The most likely outcome is that production of vegatable will move from the UK to Romania, where there is lots of land and cheap labour.

Having a system that subs farmers (via EU agri subs), then subs workers (via tax credits and HB) is fcking nuts.

I come from a rural area. The whole farming situation is fcking nuts. Its one sector of the UK + EU that needs gutting.

 

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On 12/03/2017 at 1:54 PM, spyguy said:

I rarely see people browsing ea windows. The ones i do are old and only sellers.

Eas survive on transactions.

I often do but I wouldn't look for a house like that, I just do so as a sort of horror show.

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On 11/03/2017 at 8:24 PM, hotairmail said:

The future is living in a virtual world. No need for big houses. Just use the expanse of the 4th dimension.

Interestingly ive seen demonstrations where the vr technology maps your room and furniture and brings them into the vr world....otherwise you would walk into them. This is assuming 'real' vr.

Also that list of jobs to be automated has upset me as im both an accountant and a middle manager. Oh dear....

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2 hours ago, hotairmail said:

I think I'll invent a machine to wash cars. Oh, what's that you say, we can already do that....without paying housing benefit and tax credits? Bring it on.

That technology is obsolete and has been replaced by 5 Latvians in a B&Q car park. 

It is a good example of how productivity can go into reverse with cheap and plentiful labour. 

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39 minutes ago, Ah-so said:

That technology is obsolete and has been replaced by 5 Latvians in a B&Q car park. 

It is a good example of how productivity can go into reverse with cheap and plentiful labour. 

Plentiful, yes. Cheap? Not for the uk taxpayer.

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2 minutes ago, Saving For a Space Ship said:

They shoudn't have skimped on the cladding , cover it in wood & everyone loves it . Just ask Grand designs 

They look like battery homes from a sci fi film.

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13 minutes ago, iamnumerate said:

They look like battery homes from a sci fi film.

Science fact.. dutch students have been living in them for many yrs, as well as hotel users in Uk  

http://www.tempohousing.com/projects/student-housing-diemen/Show Reply

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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Ray Kurzweil believes that once AI has surpassed human knowledge (in the next couple of decades), that it/they will be able to manipulate matter on an atomic level and play with matter in a way that humans can't even begin to comprehend at the moment. Things like nanobots are predicted (by him and others) to be ubiquitous within about 10 years and used within all aspects of society and within the human body.

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The report predicted that automation would boost productivity and create fresh job opportunities, but it said action was needed to prevent the widening of inequality that would result from robots increasingly being used for low-skill tasks.

This 'low-skill tasks to be automated' meme is interesting. AI is not really more of a threat to low skill tasks than to high skill ones- it all depends on the skill in question. For example we will not be seeing a robot doing the housework any time soon- things like cooking. cleaning, loading the washing machine ect are low skill tasks to humans but very hard for robots to do.

On the other hand the high skill task performed by Radiologists will most likely be more or less automated quite soon, as will a lot of the high skilled tasks currently performed by legal professionals in areas like legal discovery.

So this notion that automation will adhere to a skills hierarchy in terms of it's impact on jobs is perhaps more in the realm of wishful thinking than any kind of rational analysis. On some level it seems that the journalists who cover this story are applying a class bias filter to their coverage. So ingrained is the notion that education and skills act as an insulator from job insecurity that they habitually propagate the idea that it will be the unskilled who will bear the brunt of automation and AI.

A more rational approach would be to examine the current and likely near future capabilites of Artifical Intelligence and Robotics and then map these onto the current jobs market- where an overlap is seen is where jobs are more likely to be lost to technology- and the shape of this overlap region will not of neccessity conform to our current idea as to what is a skilled task and what is an unskilled task.

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1 hour ago, wonderpup said:

This 'low-skill tasks to be automated' meme is interesting. AI is not really more of a threat to low skill tasks than to high skill ones- it all depends on the skill in question. For example we will not be seeing a robot doing the housework any time soon- things like cooking. cleaning, loading the washing machine ect are low skill tasks to humans but very hard for robots to do.

On the other hand the high skill task performed by Radiologists will most likely be more or less automated quite soon, as will a lot of the high skilled tasks currently performed by legal professionals in areas like legal discovery.

So this notion that automation will adhere to a skills hierarchy in terms of it's impact on jobs is perhaps more in the realm of wishful thinking than any kind of rational analysis. On some level it seems that the journalists who cover this story are applying a class bias filter to their coverage. So ingrained is the notion that education and skills act as an insulator from job insecurity that they habitually propagate the idea that it will be the unskilled who will bear the brunt of automation and AI.

A more rational approach would be to examine the current and likely near future capabilites of Artifical Intelligence and Robotics and then map these onto the current jobs market- where an overlap is seen is where jobs are more likely to be lost to technology- and the shape of this overlap region will not of neccessity conform to our current idea as to what is a skilled task and what is an unskilled task.

Office cleaners may well be assisted by AI vacuum cleaners. We already have machines to do the washing up. 

A lot of the work of office administrators could be done by AI very well. 

But pilots could be replaced very easily. 

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1 hour ago, Ah-so said:

Office cleaners may well be assisted by AI vacuum cleaners. We already have machines to do the washing up. 

A lot of the work of office administrators could be done by AI very well. 

But pilots could be replaced very easily. 

I just open the office window and let the wind blow the dust away.

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Office cleaners may well be assisted by AI vacuum cleaners. We already have machines to do the washing up. 

A lot of the work of office administrators could be done by AI very well. 

But pilots could be replaced very easily. 

I'm not saying that low skill jobs won't be impacted- I'm saying that the current definitions of 'low skill' and 'high skill' work do not map well onto AI and robotics. So when I read yet another article claiming that it will be mainly low skill work that will be automated I detect a blindspot in the analysis.

What matters is not how hard a human might find it to master a particular task but how hard an AI system or robot might find it. Something as simple as changing a baby is completely beyond the capabilites of any current robot- but as you point out flying an airliner is already well within the capacities of todays technology.

So the borderline between those jobs that will be automated and those that won't be is not the neat socio-economic schism between the low skilled worker and the high skilled worker- what will set the boundaries of that borderline will be the degree to which a task can be presented as data that can then be assimilated by an AI system and from which it can then synthesize appropriate responses and actions.

Odd as it may seem we are likely to see an automated GP sooner than we see an automated Plumber or Gas fitter, because while the cogntiive and data gathering functions of a GP are complex they are also subject to analysis via data collection- while in the case of a plumber crouching behind a kitchen sink to loosen a rusted washer the sheer complexity of navigating this envrionment combined with the vast array of kitchen configrations possible makes automating that Plumber a more difficult task than automating his docotor.

Edited by wonderpup

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7 hours ago, wonderpup said:

Odd as it may seem we are likely to see an automated GP sooner than we see an automated Plumber or Gas fitter, because while the cogntiive and data gathering functions of a GP are complex they are also subject to analysis via data collection- while in the case of a plumber crouching behind a kitchen sink to loosen a rusted washer the sheer complexity of navigating this envrionment combined with the vast array of kitchen configrations possible makes automating that Plumber a more difficult task than automating his docotor.

I agree. The last time i needed a plumber it was because a toilet cistern had shifted because the wall behind it wasnt completely flat. The last time i needed an electrician it was because i went to rewire a light and found someone had used non standard wiring (plain white wire instead of red and black) which was brittle and kept snapping. 

These kinds of 'organic' non standard problems will be solved half by advanced ai learning and half by the design of houses to accomodate robots.  (special sized crawl spaces, standardised components etc... ) this vould take decades to become standard and be rolled outto be common.

A lot of these advances take a while to become familiar to people and 'click' with them. Id known about 3d printers for years but i got an email about a 3d scanner yesterday. I'd never thought about that before but with the ability to scan it suddenly clicked as a lot more useful for me. I thought 3d printers were novelties for printing nick nacks but now i can envisage scanning a broken nut or bolt, using an app to tweak the scan (ie 'touch up' the broken element so it would work if printed) then print a new one. I'd heard people say you could print your own nuts and bolts but i didnt believe i would be able to get my hands on the correct specifications/measurements without paying money. I've had lots of expensive or difficult to replace things fail because a small plastic part has sheared (recently a fridge door hinge (discontinued part) and a door locking mechanism on a renault clio)

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1 hour ago, ccc said:

You know what they say about blokes with big flash fonts.....

Perhaps they outsourced the task to an AI bot? lol

 

16 hours ago, wonderpup said:

This 'low-skill tasks to be automated' meme is interesting. AI is not really more of a threat to low skill tasks than to high skill ones- it all depends on the skill in question. For example we will not be seeing a robot doing the housework any time soon- things like cooking. cleaning, loading the washing machine ect are low skill tasks to humans but very hard for robots to do.

On the other hand the high skill task performed by Radiologists will most likely be more or less automated quite soon, as will a lot of the high skilled tasks currently performed by legal professionals in areas like legal discovery.

Interesting point. Perhaps the factor is physical dexterity. Computers have only been required for and designed to process information. Interacting in the physical world is a completely new set of laws. At the moment it seems Robots can compete physically when given set spaces and restrictions to work within.

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11 minutes ago, Arpeggio said:

Perhaps they outsourced the task to an AI bot? lol

 

Interesting point. Perhaps the factor is physical dexterity. Computers have only been required for and designed to process information. Interacting in the physical world is a completely new set of laws. At the moment it seems Robots can compete physically when given set spaces and restrictions to work within.

If a physical task can be commoditised it is important to look at both sides of the solution - the assumption generally is the automated bit of kit needs to do the same tasks as the human - not so if the packaging / format of the material being manipulated has been modified at source to be automation friendly. OK you can't modify a baby to change its nappy but you can modify food packaging to make automation friendly. When you do that the automated chef problem becomes much simpler to achieve with far less dexterity / feedback / intelligence to perform many tasks.

 

 

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On 24/03/2017 at 10:33 AM, DoINeedOne said:

Automation is amazing I have automated a few things for my business mostly checking data and sending me an email each morning something that once took a few hours each day not takes 5 minutes, But I do worry about the future I don't think most people understand how much can or could be automated

Most see it as convenient until it starts effecting them 

This video shows most fast food have been working on this but its the bit at the end that got me, order, collect your order no human contact in the way of having to talk to someone, kids and most adults are already socially awkward 
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-03-20/automation-coming-to-a-restaurant-near-you-video

Also with VR so many ways it can be used for good and bad, I was given at Christmas one of those cheap cardboard box VR that you slide your phone in actually a cool little gift and if you use the youtube app and search #360video there are hundreds of videos putting you in that location to look around

Now what did the kids in my family do they went to the Caribbean Beach, Grand Cannon, Zoo, viewed some elephants, went on a roller coaster

All cool but kids and adults are becoming lazy with all this technology and convenience I can see in 10 years time people using VR a lot lets go here, lets see the Inca trails or the great barrier reef https://www.google.co.uk/maps/about/behind-the-scenes/streetview/treks/oceans/

Like most things i can see them having there uses but.. 

Anyway rant over

I worry an awful lot about automation, not because I suspect it'll have an immediate effect on me but because I see it as being very damaging to society with little meangingful benefit at the end of the day, other than for those who'll be able to sack half their staff and still rake it in. Even that would be a short-term benefit, until their competitors catch up, but then we're back to square one, just with far fewer people in work, and even less human to human contact in the world. I'm not confident we'll keep inventing new jobs to replace them with, or even spread the lack of work evenly (otherwise it would just be the same as now for everyone, but with more time off, and that's too good to be true).

There are some areas that would benefit - jobs that need doing but are fundamentally dangerous or unpleasant. But I can't see the necessary selectiveness working, since that goes against the direction economic forces push towards.

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20 hours ago, fru-gal said:

Ray Kurzweil believes that once AI has surpassed human knowledge (in the next couple of decades), that it/they will be able to manipulate matter on an atomic level and play with matter in a way that humans can't even begin to comprehend at the moment. Things like nanobots are predicted (by him and others) to be ubiquitous within about 10 years and used within all aspects of society and within the human body.

We're nowhere near that. A couple of decades? Hardly, even if things like nanobots show up (which I doubt, at least to everywhere levels). AI may get to the point where it can do an awful lot that we do, which doesn't take much intelligence, but we're no nearer genuine artificial intelligence than we've ever been. We've reached that point where the machine wants its time off and instead of doing what you tell it to tells you to eff off.

Edited by Riedquat

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As well as replacing human jobs, Robots have no consumer needs and will not have disposable income or spend wages on the economy. They also need less land to "live" on while in "switched off" mode in a box or whatever.

I think Mother Nature is ubiquitous as "controls" inside us we are not consciously aware of, and decreasing population will occur naturally. Just as populations become more middle class they have less children.

Whatever happens it will be better than Rise of the Robots on the Amiga CD32.

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If a physical task can be commoditised it is important to look at both sides of the solution - the assumption generally is the automated bit of kit needs to do the same tasks as the human - not so if the packaging / format of the material being manipulated has been modified at source to be automation friendly. OK you can't modify a baby to change its nappy but you can modify food packaging to make automation friendly. When you do that the automated chef problem becomes much simpler to achieve with far less dexterity / feedback / intelligence to perform many tasks.

That's true- the classic case being the Barcode. You don't build a robot to walk around the supermarket sticking on price tags, you print the price onto the product packaging and automate the process that way.

I had an interesting conversation recently with a guy who trains the home delivery drivers  of a local large supermarket. He told me that they have a system that plans every individual delivery taking into account weather conditions, traffic patterns at the time of day, the weight of the load based on data from the staff who put the shopping through the checkout and then makes sure this route is sequential as possible to avoid the van having to criss cross it's own path on the way around. It even feeds the postcode data into the sat nav system ready for the driver to access.

He was very proud of this system but I couldn't help thinking that the next step was inevitably going to be that they automate the vans themselves and demote the drivers role to simply being driven around by the van and delivering the shopping to the door when it arrived at the customers house. And if this does happen why would they need a guy to train the drivers- who will no longer be doing any driving?

 

 

Edited by wonderpup

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Came across this just now;

Lots of reassurance being offered here about how those nasty robots are not out to get you- but then again ROSS is doing something that looks suspiciously like the kind of thing that Lawers are currently paid to do.

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3 minutes ago, wonderpup said:

Came across this just now

Lots of reassurance being offered here about how those nasty robots are not out to get you- but then again ROSS is doing something that looks suspiciously like the kind of thing that Lawers are currently paid to do.

We'll just need RACHEL to monitor internet traffic for illegal activity and report to ROSS; and CHANDLER to lock the offending meatbags up; and 1984 will look like a paradise.

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