Author Topic: Glad we have a brain on board  (Read 1549 times)


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Re: Glad we have a brain on board
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2017, 11:29:14 PM »
Mnuchin on robots taking US jobs: 'It's not even on our radar screen ... 50-100 more years' away

A few on this board have diminished humans talking about singularity or other. They failed to recognize the power of human inventing, transforming, discovering. While I am getting drunk right now, I know that you are wrong. LOL

Really only applies to those that actually do some thinking for their profession.
Many manual jobs can already be replaced (to a large extent) by current technology in robotics.
I work as an engineer with operators/technicians, most of them just execute work that can be fully automated if investments are made.

Hell, if you write the software for it, the robotics already exist to partially replace surgeons.
Self driving cars will be here soon enough to take out the taxi/uber drivers.

And as we all now, most money managers can be replaced by a small script that will outperform them :)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 11:40:04 PM by Paarslaars »


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Re: Glad we have a brain on board
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2017, 07:19:10 AM »
Where you work, if they have not made the investments yet to replace them it is because the robots would be too expensive, inflexible (can't be fired). It is a simple cost savings equation. Or your company is inefficient.

And in the plant that I used to work in, while technicians performed repetitive tasks most of the time, it is really when the machine had trouble that they would become very valuable: troubleshooting, performing repairs on the spot, etc. When a task was purely repetitive a robot or machine was there already to do it. It is actually expensive to have humans do repetitive tasks because they are not as fast and get hurt which cost a lot of money.

While I have no doubt that many jobs will be replaced in coming years this is not a new phenomenon as automation has been happening for decades. The question is how fast can robot become cheaper and as multi-tasking, smart as regular humans? I think that is a long way out.

For example, a plane is already able to take-off, travel and land on its own without a pilot intervention since many years. Why do we still have two guys sitting in the cockpit? Maybe that there is a lot of low hanging fruits in the transportation industry with automated cars and trucks but, looking at what happened with airplanes or even trains (the thing drives on rails!), I am not so sure about timing.



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Re: Glad we have a brain on board
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2017, 10:21:41 AM »
Humans are going to be ok.

This argument is as old as the post industrial revolution age. For centuries technology has displaced human jobs. However the technological disruptions tend to come in waves. The reason we are having this discussion today is because the latest wave - robotics/computerization - has displaced a lot of manufacturing workers over the last 25 years and it has led to society tensions. I bet that they were having the a very similar discussion when electricity and AC motors came around which was a much bigger disruption then the current one. However humans were fine after that disruption and we'll be fine after this one. Human ingenuity will come up with something we just don't know what it is. That's just how it works.

The problem is that while we'll be fine in the end. These disruptions cad and do cause a lot of pain in the short term. This is because a 45 year old machinist doesn't make for a very good programmer. These people didn't do anything wrong. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. We should probably keep that in mind and try to find a way to either smooth the transition or ease the pain.

You can think of agriculture as a mental model of technological disruption of human activity. 300 or 400 years ago basically everyone worked in agriculture. Today almost no one works in agriculture. Almost all the workers have been displaced by technology. Humans were fine and agricultural production is way way higher than before. But that ride's been bumpy at times. That's what we have to look forward to.


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Re: Glad we have a brain on board
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2017, 01:09:17 PM »
Innovation is good. Information technology is great. And fun. Really.
But where the money?
Recently looked at the productivity paradox numbers?
Some say that some benefits are not measured.
I agree that a self driving car that takes me to Tim Hortons is an adjunct.
As far as surgery, I would humbly submit that humans still have a slight edge.
All this to say that there may be a slight exaggeration of the potential benefits.
And maybe, a slight underestimation of human potential.
The income disconnect has shown diversion lately. Value added content is where you want to be.