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What Jobs Will Never Be Done By Robots?

 
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Sun 8 Jan, 2012 10:23 pm
@Takeruskep,
Do slave owners do it tough when slaves take all their cotton picking jobs? That's the kind of economic situation that may develop. Current systems would change.
Thomas
 
  2  
Mon 9 Jan, 2012 02:30 am
@Takeruskep,
Takeruskep wrote:
Jobs will never be done by robots, because if robots take away our work force, then we will only have one workforce, the workforce to create the robots.

Robots can do that, too.

Takeruskep wrote:
If we only have one workforce, that means 85-90% of the people would be unemployed. This would create a catastrophe!! Just imagine 85%-90% of people with no jobs, no money, ultimately no COMFORT!

Not so. In a world where robots work all the jobs there are, no human income would come from labor, but income from capital and land would be unaffected. Humans would then live like the slaveholding classes in America's antebellum South, or in classical Greece or Rome, the only difference being that the slaves are made of metal and plastic rather than flesh and blood. That's quite comfortable for the humans. A more pressing question is: would the robots put up with it, or would they find a Science-Fiction version of Spartacus and wage revolution against their masters?
Thomas
 
  3  
Mon 9 Jan, 2012 02:57 am
@Eorl,
You've said it more succinctly than I have.
Eorl
 
  2  
Mon 9 Jan, 2012 05:22 am
@Thomas,
I am Sparkatus!
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Mon 9 Jan, 2012 06:36 am
It's not every day you meet your maker. . . .
Setanta
 
  2  
Mon 9 Jan, 2012 06:51 am
Back in the 1960s, when automation was relatively new, there were all sorts of dire predictions of high unemployment rates in a very short period of time. Of course, it didn't happen. Freed to work at other things, the workers were not so much displaced as given new opportunities. Automated systems still need supervision, and the increase in productivity of automated industries meant expansion which employed as many people as had been displaced, and even more. A whole host of new products and services were created as a result of increased productivity. The problem of the future may be manufacturing robots quickly enough to keep up with increased production. The biggest impediment to the use of robots is specialization. A robot which welds the frames of automobile bodies can't easily be used to stamp out and distribute automotive parts. Robots may "take over," but it won't ever entail the displacement of 80% of the work force overnight.

A much larger industry than any in which robots will ever be employed, and one which has been a part of the human experience for thousands of years is doomsaying.
Thomas
 
  1  
Mon 9 Jan, 2012 08:26 am
@Setanta,
Well spotted, Setanta. "Takeruskeep"'s labor anxieties imply the Lump-of-Labor fallacy: The view that the total amount of jobs in an economy is fixed. While this view is justified in special situations like the acute liquidity trap we're currently in, it generally isn't. In general, human wants are practically unlimited, and so is the amount of labor required to satisfy them. Your argument is independent of the one I offered earlier, discrediting the case for anti-robot bigotry that much more.
Eorl
 
  1  
Mon 9 Jan, 2012 08:32 am
@Thomas,
...attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion...
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Mon 9 Jan, 2012 08:35 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
In general, human wants are practically unlimited, and so is the amount of labor required to satisfy them.


And the only way to satisfy those labor requirements are by using humans and paying them adequate wages???

Hummm...wonder why I didn't think of that.
Thomas
 
  2  
Mon 9 Jan, 2012 09:48 am
@Frank Apisa,
Did you just say "adequate wages"? You Socialist pig!
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Mon 9 Jan, 2012 11:09 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
Did you just say "adequate wages"? You Socialist pig!


Guilty...I guess!
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Mon 9 Jan, 2012 12:56 pm
@Thomas,
I assume you're familiar with Karel Capek's R.U.R., Thomas. That's pretty much the scenario.
Thomas
 
  1  
Tue 10 Jan, 2012 04:10 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Actually, Andrei, I'm unfamiliar with this story. Would you recommend it?
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Tue 10 Jan, 2012 04:18 pm
@Thomas,
It's actually a play, Thomas. Interesting on several levels, not the least of which is the fact that Capek invented the word 'robot' for this work and the word quickly went into several languages. It's a play on the Slavic word robotnik, which just means 'worker.' Part of the climax is the revolt of the robots against their human masters. Very Socialist message.

EDIT: Oh, yeah. R.U.R. Its stands for Rostum's Universal Robots.
farmerman
 
  1  
Tue 10 Jan, 2012 08:00 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I want a robot that will go out and buy valencia oranges and come home and keep squeezing us fresh orange juice. I love orange juice but only fresh squozen. The supermarket "boxed juices" taste like an old soda I had as a kid, "GREEN SPOT". bleeech
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  3  
Tue 10 Jan, 2012 08:56 pm
@failures art,
Like Eorl, I'm confident that there are no jobs robots will not ever be able to do.

The question is whether or not humanity will chose to ban them from performing any jobs, and if it has the ability to enforce its choice.

Personally, I believe that artificial intelligence is inevitable. If you subscribe to the happy predictions of folks like Ray Kurzweil, most of us may be alive to see its arrival. I'm afraid I don't and that unless his predictions about extending life spans come true, I won't be around to see it.

In any case, once that milestone is achieved, what machines can do will be limited only by the pace of their engineering skills. With machines more intelligent than humans employing their dumb robotic cousins, a thoroughly convincing human facsimile is also inevitable.

It's quite possible that we will see a gradual merging of man and machine to the point that drawing distinctions between the two will be meaningless. Of course this can only happen if early on we can keep hold of the reins.

Undoubtedly there will, at some point in time, be a tremendous backlash to the evolution of machines, and one that will probably reshuffle the ideological separations with which we are currently accustomed. It’s not difficult to imagine (as numerous sci-fi writers have) a human culture that fears and steadfastly restricts the development of machine intelligence. I think though that based on human history such a backlash will not occur until the genie is already out of the bottle, and in the case of intelligent machines, it's highly unlikely we will find a way to shove them back in. No Captain Kirk tricks of logic will rule the day. (In fact, I would love to be present when the first AI is shown one of those old episodes of Star Trek, where the machine starts smoking because Kirk has masterfully befuddled it. It could be the first indication that intelligent machines have a sense of humor)

A lot will depend upon how machine intelligence evolves. There is a general assumption that a machine that is intelligent will, in effect, be a human machine. The Turing Test is predicated on this premise. However, there is reason to believe that an intelligence that is essentially born overnight and not subject to hundreds of thousands of years of painful progressive, cultural programming, will not be quite as similar to human intelligence as we might expect and hope.

After all, an intelligent machine that can procreate and exist totally independent of humans is hardly going to care whether or not it has passed the Turing Test and humans consider it intelligent.

At the same time, machine intelligence is likely to have the ability to evolve incredibly fast by human standards and outpace us in no time. Unless humans are able to apply the brakes to some extent, the machines may not permit us the opportunity to merge with them. By this I don't mean to suggest that machines will not allow us to merge or, worse, decide to eliminate us (those things are possible of course), but instead that the evolution of machine intelligence may be so rapid that it is as different from human intelligence as human intelligence is from insect intelligence.

It's anyone guess what a race of super intelligent machines might do or not do.

Having sprinted past us, will they allow us to retard the development of the next wave of machine intelligence so that we can continue to use machines as slaves, and would they even permit us to do so that humans and machines can operate at roughly the same level...the merge scenario?

If, as I believe, machine intelligence is inevitable (barring a zombie apocalypse) the question of what jobs they can do for us or what jobs we will allow them to do is probably not something we will have the opportunity to decide.

failures art
 
  1  
Tue 10 Jan, 2012 09:26 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
It's quite possible that we will see a gradual merging of man and machine to the point that drawing distinctions between the two will be meaningless.


That's a good point. I had not thought about this. Such an idea has incredible potential in both beautiful or horrific ways.

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Tue 10 Jan, 2012 09:28 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
It would make an intteresting short story where a state poses a referendum to limit the uses of robots.
failures art
 
  1  
Tue 10 Jan, 2012 09:38 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

It would make an intteresting short story where a state poses a referendum to limit the uses of robots.


Or the idea that cybernetic implants could make ultra efficient workers and the use of humans becomes like the use of machines.

Both interesting Sci-fi plots, both potentially terrifying realities.

A
R
T
farmerman
 
  2  
Tue 10 Jan, 2012 10:30 pm
@failures art,
with enough of a neural network to link all the cyber implants, we would have THE BORG!!!.
We will all be assimilated. Then what?
I wouldnt have to call spendi an asshole, hed already know it.
0 Replies
 
 

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