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What Jobs Will Never Be Done By Robots?

 
 
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 01:21 am
Technology has had a huge impact on our labor force in such a short amount of time (in terms of human history).

What jobs, in your opinion, could never be done by computers/robots, no matter the level of technology?

Can an economy be built on these kind of jobs? What are the challenges in such a scenario?

A
Robots
T
 
saab
 
  1  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 01:47 am
@failures art,
a careful gardener,
a caring careperson,
a good teacher
a friendly salesperson
a police
a nurse
a doctor
a pastor
a firefighter
a seaman
a fisher
a farmer
the list is very long - hopefully
thack45
 
  1  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 01:58 am
@failures art,
Developing new technology. (Stay in school kids!)
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 02:14 am
@failures art,
Quote:
What jobs, in your opinion, could never be done by computers/robots, no matter the level of technology?

Not enough

Quote:
Can an economy be built on these kind of jobs


no

Quote:
What are the challenges in such a scenario?


Coming up with the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing, which is to prioritize the best interests of the collective over the best interests of the holders of the collectives wealth (IE the capitalists). In part the right thing is to give the work to people, not to machines.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  5  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 04:46 am
@saab,
saab wrote:
a careful gardener,
a caring careperson,
a good teacher
a friendly salesperson
a police
a nurse
a doctor
a pastor
a firefighter
a seaman
a fisher
a farmer
the list is very long - hopefully


Actually, some of those (nurse dispensing medicine, plus some teaching) can already been done by robots.

Also, a lot of things we don't think of as robots are, in a way.

We tend to think of robots as either being industrial behemoths or articulated humanoid types (think Rosie from the Jetsons). But when a BMW "compensates" for following too closely, and providing a warning, it is performing a degree of robotic-style behavior.

The real question should be - going beyond opinion, hearsay and wishful thinking and anecdotes - what is a robot?
roger
 
  4  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 06:27 am
@jespah,
I'm holding out for one that can operate my rowing machine for me.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  3  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 06:31 am
@failures art,
hooker, short of the few odd balls who will stick things in vacuums or pool filters, i think that most men would not rust their junk to a machine
roger
 
  3  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 06:32 am
@djjd62,
It's the robotic junk that rusts.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  2  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 06:36 am
@saab,
saab wrote:

a careful gardener,
a caring careperson,
a good teacher
a friendly salesperson
a police
a nurse
a doctor
a pastor
a firefighter
a seaman
a fisher
a farmer
the list is very long - hopefully


I'm quite sure every one of those can and will be done by robots, if the apocalypse (robo- or standard version) doesn't come first.

I'd go so far as to say I think there would be examples of each of these already being done by robots, as long as a couple of those qualifying adjectives are removed.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 07:18 am
@failures art,
Quote:
Technology has had a huge impact on our labor force in such a short amount of time (in terms of human history).


I disagree with the premise. What is "a short amount of time"? Humans have been dealing with new technologies displacing workforces for a long long time.

Ten thousand years ago, as agriculture grew technology such as planting your own crops made farming much more efficient than hunting/gathering. This undoubtedly caused angst among the hunters and gatherers.

The bronze age put the guys who were skilled at chipping stone knives and arrowheads out of business. This trend continued as building materials changed, wheels and horses changed technology and each new great idea made life easier and more productive. The development of papyrus put rock cutters out of business, the printing press ended scribes, the telegraph put couriers out of business. The list is endless.

In general throughout human history the trend has been new technologies making humans more and more productive. This has meant that as history progresses (as a long term trend), a smaller and smaller percentage of human effort needs to be put into work. In each step, there are displaced workers.

There is nothing new here. This is part of a continual trend that has has continued from the Stone Age (or further). We will do what humans have always done. Adapt.
thack45
 
  1  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 09:10 am
0 Replies
 
Questioner
 
  1  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 09:26 am
@maxdancona,
Your points are all valid and true, however in only 'recent' years have we seen a development of technology that has the ability to remove humans from the equation altogether. It's no longer a matter of making humans more productive where a jobs are replaced, but making humans no longer needed for any jobs.

Unless of course you count those that have to maintain the robots themselves, however that obstacle can probably be overcome by another robot when the need arises.

Regardless, it's an interesting topic, and one that the sci-fi genre has touched upon numerous times.
Setanta
 
  1  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 12:06 pm
@Questioner,
Questioner wrote:
Unless of course you count those that have to maintain the robots themselves, however that obstacle can probably be overcome by another robot when the need arises.


Van Neumann machines
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  3  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 01:30 pm
@failures art,
FA (Good initials!)

I suspect no robot will ever be devised to make a hand-made silk tie…or serve up a martini and conversation with the same panache as a human bartender. But I also suspect that robots, computers and other machines will be able to handle the vast majority of all the work that needs to be done…and that most humans are able to do.

Said another way: If human labor (in its widest sense) is not already an anachronism, I suspect it soon will be.

I would like to comment on something Hawkeye said, because I think he is wrong in what he suggests. Hawkeye wrote:

Quote:
Coming up with the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing, which is to prioritize the best interests of the collective over the best interests of the holders of the collectives wealth (IE the capitalists). In part the right thing is to give the work to people, not to machines.


I disagree with that completely and strongly.

Any work that can be handled by a machine ought to be given to the machines to do—the only qualifier would be that the machine be able to get the job done as capably as a human—which, incidentally, is almost always the case.

Our productivity would soar! We'd have lots more to go around. Machines, in most instances, are more efficient and much, much more productive than humans.

The problem with that, of course, would be that we have less jobs for humans to do.

Hummm…we humans have worked for millennia to evolve a technology to make life easier for humans…and now that we have achieved that goal beyond our wildest dreams, we want to consider it a problem. No reason for us to do that.

Having less work to do….IS NOT A PROBLEM for a human. It gives the human more time to play golf or tennis, paint, write, tend to garden and home, spend time with the family, vacation, or simply lie in a hammock training two oaks to bend in toward each other.

All we have to do is to figure out a method of distribution of our enormous plenty (which would be even more enormous if we allowed the more productive machines to do the work) that would allow all humans to have “enough” or even to have “plenty.”

Much easier problem to work on than on “How do we create the needed decent paying jobs?”
failures art
 
  1  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 02:25 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank sighting!

What I think about, and given the responses I get when I ask people this (cocktail topic of sorts for me), is that most of human jobs/labor would be moved into service economy and design. I can also imagine that some jobs that could be done by robots/computers may still be done by humans and marketed as such. Instead of a sticker that says "Made in the USA," it may read "Human made."

In what ways will capitalistic societies have to adjust?

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
Anomie
 
  1  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 05:32 pm
Does this include androids?

I believe that androids may possibly outperform any human job.

Also, what if humans reach a type-3 civilisation, many theoretically possibilities would be practical.
failures art
 
  1  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 06:47 pm
@Anomie,
Yes, this would include androids. A robot having a familiar human form may be what enables it to fulfill it's duties. It may also mean that some humans will be able to interact with it if the android is succesfully anthropomoric.

What is a type-3 civilization?

A
R
T
roger
 
  1  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 06:48 pm
And finally, some robotic philosopher will ask "Why are we doing all this, and what is our purpose?"

Think of the cartoon showing a cow with a mouthfull of grass. She looks up and says something like "Grass. Grass?! Hey girls, we've been eating grass". It was one of those big Uh Oh moments.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 10:02 pm
It is very easy to program a robot to fish, farm or make hand-made silk ties (robotic hands is existing technology).

There is one job that I can't imagine robots doing. Maybe the last profession to be done by humans will be the oldest profession.
Questioner
 
  2  
Fri 6 Jan, 2012 10:05 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Maybe the last profession to be done by humans will be the oldest profession.


Pretty sure the Japanese have already developed something to handle that one too.
 

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