Robots it seems, will soon be capable of doing antyhing. Are there any limits to where they can be deployed? What will be left for humanns to do when machines can perform the tasks just as well if not better? What we are experiencing, silently and without resistance. A revolution thgat was given a name by 3 experts at an industrial trade fair in ahnover in 2011. Industry 4.0. The 4th industrial revolution. Historically speaking there had been a 3rd industrial revolution. We can already build systems that perform certain skills based on pure cognirtive intelligence, like driving, that work better and with greater precision, than humans. The sensory perceptions of humans also have deficits. Take the sense of smell, we can deploy artificial noses as sensors at a food production factory, that have a superior sense of smell to ours. Or better taste. We could have robot chefs. The term “Industrialization” refers to technical and social change. There hav e been 3. In the early mid 19th century, neiughboring towns across europe jopined to form iindustrial parts. Steam and water was harnassed to power machines that manufactured consumer goods. Coal and the production fo steel and iron in enourmous factories were the building blocks of the 1st industrial revolution. Eelectricity raised industrial prodsuction to a new level, as the number of factories grew, so did employment and the labor market. The 2nd industrial rev ushered in assembly lines and mass production. The introduction of computers for data processing in the 80s saw the advent of the 3rd iundustrial rev. Now we are entering a new era, the 4th industrial revolution. For the first time new technical developments are set to destroy more jobs than they create.
We will lose at least 20-30% of our jobs in the next 20 years and probably more. Fast food workers are moslty gonna be replaced, the cashiers at walmart, their jobs won’t last that much longer. The first to go will be drivers, Uber, Lyft, and Google are spending lots of money on driverless cars. 40 Years from now there wont be a lot of jobs. But not everyone agrees the futuree looks quite so grim. While robots and automation took over many maniufacturing jobs, other kinds of jobs have increased. Some think that trend will continue. Machines in all of modern economic history have helped create more jobs than they replaced. Machines are compliments to workers, not substitutes. They come together and enhance the productivity of each, they need each other. Today more and more jobs require humans to work side by side with robots on the assembly line. Programming it, and repairing it. Technology creates new jobs. But only for those who have the skills to adapt. What about the workers left behind because they can’t retrain in another field? Well, thats a social problem not a problem rooted in technology.
How sweet would it be to only have to work part time and still pay for everything you need? Its the utopian dream that google cofounder larry page is hoping for and he thinks we’ll get there by using machines to do menial tasks instead of human beings. Sounds good in theory right? The twist comes with a report in the economist found called “coming to an office near you” found that about half of american jobs could be automated within the next decade or two. Amongst the jobs that have a 99% likelihood of being rplaced are tax preparers, librarians, anmd telemarketers. But robots are even writing articles for the press now. Jobs that have the most stability are firefighters and therapists. 50% unemployment could be a reality if we use technology. For some perspective the great depression was around 25% unemployment. Obviously 50% of americans losing their jobs in a decade could be disasterous. We automate more and more every decade and we have for a long time, just think about how much factrories have evolved. Fewer people are needed for them. Should we embrace aurtomation as an inevitablitty? Or is it a catastrophe for our economy? In the future our society might be tech based and much of it will be automated. This is not gonna be a problem as we shift towards jobs that are more creative and innovative. The problem is a world built around automated labor at odds with capitalism. Capitalism is basically a system built around money that relies on a neverending cycle of supply and demand to keep the economy going. So should we keep people doing menial jobs because its a job? Or are there industries that can inflate overtime to employ roughly half of american workers within a capitalist model. Robots are stealing our jobs. With amazon planning to ship via drone, google is on the robotic bandwagon too. The search giant acquired 7 robotics comopanies and put the man who was previously on top of the andriod operating system, andy rubin, in charge. With the self driving car google took the human driver out of the equation entirely, and now they’re thinking of doing something similar with jobs like shipping, grocery stock, manufacturing and othert low skill jobs. Rubin believes robotics have advanced enough where we can build hands and bodies easily, it’s the software and sensors that need brewakthroughs. Robots are already adopted in manufacturing and military, and with amazomn, drones could replace shipping jobs. For the moment our retail positions and food service jobs might be safe, but only just. If you’re a security gurad though, you’re about to be underbid. The 5 foot tall 300 pound K5 autonamous Data Machine is the first Useful robotic security guard. We’re not jumping to a robocop dystopia quite yet, but a robot that guards humans? This little guy sort of looks like R2D2 and is described as a 21st century neighborhood watchman. It can’t attack but it can record whats happening, it just kind of watches. As its a work in progress, they’ve not yet added facial recognition that it should probably have to effectively police, the k5 project was built to protect school children after the sandy hook shooting, and it does so for less than minumum wage, costing only 6:25 per hour, which begs the question, do robots deserve minimum wage if they become sentient. There are plenty of robots looking to take over lower wage jobs too. Sex workers are legal in parts of the world, and now a robot can perform some handy tasks for you. It was made in japan and paired with virtual reality, it thinks with its rhythme. For now the only major advantage we have in this battle is the old noodle. Low education repetitive jobs are slowly being taken over by robots and by slowly i mean in the condeivable future. This robotics plan is hoping to have breakthroughs and make sales pretty soon. They’ve got the will, the cash, lets just hope they build in the 3 laws of robotics alongside their slogan “don’t be evil”. Prior to the industrial revolution we did not work like we do now, when the revolution hit, hours worked per week increased 20% or more. Organized labor brought more standardized hours, safety, better pay ect. But we still work a lot. What iof robots could take over all the tasks? Couldnt we wor a bit less? Robots halready dominate many blue collor jobs and now 2 MIT professors, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee originally planning a book on how great automation was, have decided to use some economic rethinking. They believe its only a matter of time before machines come for our middle class jobs and our white collar jobs too. We can outpace the robots for now. Robots arent necessarily a negative for our siciety even now, according to Wanted.com analytics, robot related jobs in the US increased 29% in only one year. At the moment, robotics aren’t quite advanced enougn to take over everything. Already basic research, cleaning, manufacturiong, legal work, surgical prcedures, driving, taxes, farming, and hundreds of other jobs are done by robots. Ultimately no job is robot proof. as robots take lower level jobs they’ll move their way up the chain and we’ll have doctor robots, hjournalist robots, there’s already one that writes sports stories, lawyer robots, designer robots, advisor and psychiology robots, stock broker robots. Although the computers have pretty much won tha. They’ll take in vast amounts of information, theyll put it back out in th best way possible and will be programmed to read your moods, answer your questions and help yoou. I’m not scared. Think of it this way, if you didn’t need to pay for the labor to make a car part, ship it, and then use that part to get your car fixed. How much would it cost to fix a car. Not to mention the car can diagnose its own problems and even drive itself to the mechanic which would also be a robot. Which would allow you to be free to live, read, ecxplore, enjoy the world around you. Sounds excellent.
Here are the top 10 jobs robots will dominate within 20 years. 10) Service clerks.Jobs that already are starting to disapeer are the minimum wage service clerks, cashiers, bank tellers, even librarieans. Today you can withdraw, deposite, and check your bank balance through an ATM or the internet. Talking to a real life bank teller has become a rare event, so checkouts are available at retail storeas across the country. Reducing the need for human cashiers. Retail employment hasnt increased much in recent years despite sales performing strongly. 9) Waiters, next time you go to applebees or chilis, check out the tablet computers they now have on each table. Although both resteraunts still employ waiters, food and drinks can now be ordered through the computers themselves without you ever talking to your servers. Resteraunts are encouraging tablets to use tablets to order food and pay their bill.This saves resteraunts money on staff, and customers actually end up spending more when ordering from a tablet. One resteraunt in Shang Dong China has completely done away with human waiters in order to boost efficiency. 8) Telemarketers and Technical Support. Telemarketers and tech support already sound like robots themselves, so its notdifficult to see how easily their jobs can be replaced by them. In some cases these jobs have already been tajken over. Ex: a telemarketer robot named Samantha West an insurance companby in florida, employs the human sounding robot operator in ordeerr to gather information to gather information from callers before passing them to a lvie human to finalize the sale. But how much longer until even the human closer is completely automated? Enter IBM’s watson. IBM believess they can teach watson to respond accurately to difficult off the script questions that sometimes confuse techs and telemarketers. 7) Real Estate Agents, the least glamerous aspect is spending hours each week showing off homes to prospective buyers. This task is on its way to being completely automated though. MIT is developing highly expressive humanoids that move and interact with humans in a natural way. They can learn from people and one robot named REA has been trained to answer questions about property. 6) Journalists, even this creative career field will be replaced b y machines. One expert predicts that over 90% of news articles will be written solely by computers in 50 years. Its not hard to see why. News artiucles do little more than report facts in an easy to read way. It should be too much of a problem to train a computer to injgest data and spit out a finished news story, and apparently its not. Narrative Sciences, a leader in machine generated content, their company produces stories completely untouched by humans. These are just test articles spit out of some university somewhere. You’ve probably read some robot written articles already and been none the wiser. 5) Pharmacists, its already began and the UCFS medical center has laready built an entirely automated hospital pharmacy run by intelligent machines. The robots at UCFS process, prepare, and track medications. Everything is done without any human input. and the result is improved safety for patients. Experts believe Pharmacists will be the first highly skilled workers that will lose theoir careers to robots. The pharmabots of today label vials, count pills, bill insurance companies and look up patient records. 4) Drivers. Every one heard of google’s self driving car program, these google cars have autonamously driven over half a million miles with no accidents at all while under the control of the machines. Its only a matter of time before these self driving machines spreads and millions of people are out of jobs. In australia there’s alrteady a large mining facility that replaced all its human drivers with 45 massive robot controlled mining trucks. The trucks that drive themselves would save busoneses a ton of monye. These things can drive constantly, and there’s no need to pull over to sleep for 8 hours or even stop for food. 3) Soldiers, here’s where it gets scary. Robot drones have alreayd been in use by the CIA for years and over 2000 people in pakistan have been killed by drone sin the last decades. We’ve all seen the videos of those 4 legged pack mule bots carrying army equiment around, but how much longer until robot warriors are employed on a massive scale. General Robert Coen believes that by the middle of the century, US army soldiers will be fighting alongside robosquadmates. On one hand it may seem a relief to have machines doing the dirty work of war for us, but on the other, this could have terrifying consequences. The international commitee for robot arms control was formed in 2009 to warn us of the disasterous consequences building robotic killing machines could lead to. 2) Teachers. Even teachers are at risk for losing their jobs in the next 2 decades. Computer scientists are developing super sophisticated machines that interact with people in a natural way to teach them basic skills. This includes vocaulary ansd mathematics. In career human teachers have already been largely replaced by robots in some classrooms.Angeki, a popular english teaching robot is used in several schools in a new program launched by the South Korean government. The angeki bots are still supported by a human teacher who appears on a video screen once problems arise, but how much longer until even this human is replaced by a watson-like superintelligent machine. 1) Doctors. Yes even doctors are threatened by the rapid increasing machine intelligence. Even today whern you go in for surtgery chances are you’ll be operated on by the help of a robot. Most large hospitalas and even many smaller ones have huge octopus armed machines that assist the doctors with performing surgeries. The robots are more precise and faster in many ways, and they even allow surgeons to work remotely. Some predict that 4 out of 5 doctors will eventually be replaced with computers. In brazil machines have already begun to practice primnary care, and in some ways, they perform much more accurately than human doctors. And with the news of apple’s healthbook, it’s not difficult to imagine annual physicals becoming a thing of the past.
Include a video of Atlas, the search and rescue robot being pushed around to help it learn to navigate uneven terrain.
Robots will also replace cooks that understand casual language. PR2 from Cornell university is a robot that undrstands casual and ambiguous language. Robots in general need very specifc instructionns to be able to perform tasks. And the instrcutions have to be given in clear understandable language. But PR2 can fill in the blanks in spoken instructions. For instance, if you’re asking the robot to prepare a hot plate of food but neglect to mention where the stove is, the robot will know that the stove is the object that will heat the food. You also wont have to mention that the stove has to be turned on, as the robot will do it anyway. The robot has a 3D camera that can help scan it’s surrounding and help match the objects it sees with instructions. The creators wanted a robot capable of showing initiative, presumably because none of them have seen a terminator movie. There are many improvements still to be made, but as far as the team at cornell is concerned, they’re on their way to building the perfect robot.
Robots are also replacing receptionists. scientists last year at nanyang technological university in singapore unveiled Nadine, a robot receptionist with soft skin, real hair, and an uncanny echoy speaking voice that comes from somewhere other than its face even though its lips move as it talks. It will reach out with jerky motions to shake your hand, remember you and your previous conversations, and it can even use body language to show happiness and sadness. Nadine is the next generation of human like robotics and it’s an incredible scientific achievement uniting sophisticated motors with rapid real time sensors and cutting edge artificial intelligence. A lot of people think its super super creepy. Heres’s how she works. Like pepper a personal companion robot that went on sale in Japan in June of 2015, Nadine has concealed cameras connected to facial recognition software. Those cameras tell nadine where to look so it can make eye contact with its users and also feed the AI information about the user’s facial expressions, by comparing things like the shape of the user’s mouth and eyes to an internal database of facial expressions. Other cameras track the user’s proximity and body language, some of the body language information is also sent to the AI and some sent to the programs that control the robotic motors that move and position nadine’s arms and upper body. That’s how it knows to shake your hand when you reach out to it, take paper work if you offer it, or hand you things from its desk. Nadine’s AI works alot like other AI companions you might have talked to before, like SIRI or Cortana. AIs like nadine’s arent stored on your phone or inside a humanoid receptioonist, those programs run on massive servers that can handle huge amounts of information, and the device whether its the phone or Nadine just connect to them wirelessly. Those servers contain the AI’s vocabulary and speech recognition software and records of everyone it’s ever talked to and what they’ve talked about. They also contain the complicated programming algortithms that let the AI cross reference all its previous interactions to figure out what was successful and what wasn’t. Thats what lets ais like SIRI or Nadine learn over time. There are way too many possible combinations of words for programers to be able to teach them how to respind to any phrase you might say, so instead the AIs use the stored information to idnetify keywords and contexts so they can hopefully guess what you want. As for nadine’s skin, which lets the robot respond to touch, the scientists havent released the technical specs yet, but we know how most artificial skin works in robotics. Generally a film of thin, super flexible rubber is placed between 2 sheets of paralell electrodes. Each electrode has a partner on the other side of that film of rubber, and a small chartge is generated by each pair of electrodes, which is stored by the riubber between them. When you touch the arfitical skin, its compressed, meaning the rubber thins and is able to store less electric charge. The ionformation on charge is fed to a program that creates a topographical map of where and how the skin’s being touched, then the AI decides what to do with that information
MOST ADVANCED ROBOTS.
Robot, you picture a humanoid collectiuon of metal and wires stomping around as it offers drinks and cleans your house, or you imagine a sjkynet style intelligence destroying or enslaving humanity, they’d be robots too. But the word “robot” is about as vague a term as you can get, they really are just machines designed to accomplish a task, which could describe pretty much anything. But outside the dictionary, we often take the word robot to mean a humanoid compouter cooking you dinner. But htere’s more to robots than that. What we call a robot tends to have some combination of 2 elements, mechanical flexibility, and artifical intelligence or AI. Which is what it uses to accomplish its tasks. Depending on what they’re designed to do, a robot might need more flexibility or a specific tyope of AI. Some are more successful than others. QWith such loose terminology, picking out the most advanced robots is tricky and probably also kind of impossible since there’s no univeralaly accepted test for how advanced a robot is. Some of these exist and doing amzing things, and others are just proofs of concept, hints of what the future will look like. The Da Vinci surgical bot gets a lot of attention because its used all over the world. But its weird to think of it as a robot, because it doesn’t have much artificial intelligence. But if you’ve seen that video of it stiching a grape back together, you know it does have mechanical flexibility. With adjustable arms that can strech in ways that would bereak a humans’ wrist, da vinci is an incredibly flexible robot.Its also a robot i the sense that its doing something that could previously only be done by humans. It works by using 2 main parts, a station with a few arms that actually operate on the patient, and a place for a human surgeon to sit and control it remotely. You dont just tell a davinci bot to go remove a gallbladder. The surgeoncontrols every part of the actual surgery. But the davinci arms are designed to scale down the surgeons’ movement s to be much more precise. And they’re equipt with special cameras that allow the doctor to see whats going on at the surgical site, even through a tiny incision. Its the kind of thing a human surgeon would never be able to accomplish because there are limitations to what human hands could do. But davinci’s capabilities have made some surgeries like gallbladder removal a lot less invasive than it used to be. Over the ladt decade it’s changed the world of medicine and new versions are ggetting better at what they do, giving surgeons greater control and flexibility. For example, newer models can be combined with fluroescence machines wher you dye the patients blood with a compound called indocyanine green. When its lit up by a laser, the dye emits green light. letting the surgeon more clearly see wher the blood vessels are. But even though davinci has lots of programiong to make sure its accuratley translating the surgeon’s movments, it doens’t need much AI. and in this case you probably dont WANT the robot to be making decisions on its own. The next robot on our list, which isn juist the latest of a long line of robots, AI is a lot more important. Im talking about curiosity, the rover exploring MArs. Rovers arent necessarily the first thing that come to mind when you think robot. But they’re jam packed with AI and plenty of flexibility. Mars is far awa, depending on where Eartth and mars are and their orbits, it takes between 3 and 22 minutes for light to travel between the planets. So information isn’t being transmitted any faster than that. And it take sdobule the time to get a response since you have to send a signal both there and back. That’s why modern rovers aren’t just inceredibly expensive remote control toys, it’d be like trying to guide a remote control car, but aving to wait half an hour everytime you pressed a button. A huge waste of everybody’s time. Instead every day the mission scientists send curisouty a new sequecnce of tasks to do and it does them on its own.the team can tell it where to go, but it has to be able to navigate to avoid obstacles like dangerous rocks or cliffs alon gthe way. It uses 8 cameras to map out the terrain 3 meters in front of it to plot out a bunch of different possible paths and then it chooses the safest one. One of NASA’s future rovers called MARS 2020 is being designed on curoosity’s specs, so it must be an effective system. But when it comes to navigating on hazerdous terrainit must be able to roll over rocks. DARPA started a challenge after the fukushima challlenge to design robots useful in natural disasters. Now self driving cars, those are all about AI. Google is develop fleets of them, they’re basically just regular cars but with spinning sensors on them that makes them look kind of like submarines with wirling periscopes. The challenge is getting them to navigate highways and croiwded city streets without banging into things or people. And for that you need lots of programming. The cars know all the rules of the road and are programmed to apply them to different situations, while avoiding hazards like pedestrians, bikers, and other cars. Google’s fleet has already logged over a million km on the road and it turnrs out they’re much safer drivers than humans, with only 14 minor accidents since the project started 6 years ago, and none of them were the cars fault. It helos that these robot cars have split second reaction times, never get tired, or distracted by text messages. They can share all those kilometers of driving exprience collectively. You might be able to buy one as soon as next year. Self driving cars use a type of AI that analyzes a situation then analyses a situation then decides what to do based on an incredibly complicated set of rules in its programming. Each car dioes that all on its own. They use a combination of cameras, radar and lasers to keep track of objects on the road, plotting the trajctoruies of other cars, bikes and pedestrialns.
They will also replace the Coast Guard of the military. The nazy is building a fleet of robot jellyfish to patrol the oceans. Scientists consider jellyfish to be one of the most efficient animals in the sea because thy can get around easily without expending much energy at all. They’re also capable of living in crazy temperature and pressure differences and in salt or freshwater. So if you’re thinking of making an underwater automnamous robot. They’re pretty mucht the robot you want to mimic. This is Cyro, it was created by researchers from Virginia tech with a 5 million dollar grant from the Navy. Cyro is about 5 foot 7 weigs about 170 pounds, and is supposed to capture some of that jellyfish efficiency by using minimal motion, tied to ocean currents, and self charging to keep it going monts at a time. The navy actually wants a robot that does omething useful for their 5 million bucks, so Cyro’s job would be surveillance and monitoring the environment, mapping the ocean floors, gathering information about currents, and studying aquatic life, and maybe more. Motherboard was quick to point out that the Navy is essentially building their own drone surveillanc network, an undersea version of what the airforce and CIA are building for the skies. They also gently remind us that the US naval undersea warfare center, which is the department of Navy that wrote the grant, is the same department that supposedly attached hypodermic needles full of carbon dioxide in the 70s, that they would use to blow up divers. They also allegedly put springloaded traps on trained sea lions that are just supposed to just shoot out and tie people’s legs together and sink them. The implication is that Cyro could be outfited for combat. A robot like that is built to carry a large payload, so that payload could potentially be some sort of eapons system. I don’t think there’s anything i find more terrifying than the idea of a creepy giant undulating weaponized jellyfish. But thats the dark side of speculation, its nice to see cyro doing the work being advertised, helping us create a huge network of autonomaous observation and cleaning robots to help us learn more about the ocean, its full of unexplained phenomena.
Even if you’re an astronaut your job might go. If there’s anything we learned from 15 years of space travel its that space travel can be danhgerous. In august of this year NASA invited teams competed for a competition to build some of the most advanced space robots yet. Its called the “Space Robotics Challeng” and the prizes add up to a million dollars. NASA already built a humanoid robot called Robonaut 5 or “Valkarie”, the teams will have to program a vritual version of Valkarie for the challenge. For the qualifying round, It will have to compete a variety of simple tsks like identifying a pattern of colored lights or walking through a doorway. The teams that pass that round will advance to the official competition which involves performing 3 tasks after a computer simulated dust storm on mars. Large dustroms happen many times a year on mars, so a future space robot will have to make these repairs all the time. Task 1 is it will have to adjust a communications. Task 2 is to wlak to a rover, collect a solar paneel and install iot into an existing array. Fionally it will have to walk to a habitat, climb the stairs, and use a leak detector tool to find an air leak. Then stop the leak. When you saw the movie Surrogates you’d say it;’s science fiction when Bruce Willis has a mechanical robot who is perfect. Absolutely perfect, handsome with super powers, and you put your consciousness into the robot, so you go into a pod, your body ages. Your body is strapped to a pod which you mentally control an avatar, a surrogate who has superpowers, is perfectly formed and has all your abilities. This sounds like sci fi, or the movie Avatar where again you’re put inside a pod and conrtol an alien being on another planet breathing poisonous air. That is defeinitely possible. In japan scientists at the Honda corporation has made a robot called Asimo, one of the most advanced robts ever made. Asimo the size of a young boy can run, walk, climb up stairs, and even dances. Honda corporation is now taken a worker, put on an EEG helmet and have him control the robot. So its now possible you can have a surrogate. This could be the future of the space program. Why is outer space not opened up for tourists? It costs 10,000 dollars to put a pound of anything into near earth orbt. That is your weight in gold. Think of your body made of solid gold, that’s what it cossts to put you in near earth orbit. To put you a hundred thousand dollars a pount. And to put a pound of anything on mars is a million dollars. So you’re talking your weight in diamonds. So why not put a surrogate instead, because its life support that makes things so expensive in outer space. But robots dont have to breath, they dont have to eat, they dont get sick, and most important they dont have to come back. So why not put surrogates on mars, surrogates on the moon. And have one guy operate all of them in a living room and mentally communicate with the robot on te moon. This would be the cheapest way to have a permenant moon base. That would be you and the astronaut communicating with the surrogate by radio. This will make the job of 3 astronauts unecessary, because it can all be done by a pilot and a machine avatar.
This is Valkarie. Valkarie has not been designed for our planet. NASA have created Valkarie to be an astronaut. For a robot, her mission is ambitious. In the 2030s she will help set up a home for humans on Mars. Robots are good for dangerous, distant, and daring environemnts, like Mars. Robots like Valkarie will prepare colonies and environments for humans to live in. The team needs to write hundreds of thousands of lines of code for her to do the simplest things. Valkarie has sensors all ove her body to allow her to navigate. Valkarie has hit the button correctly to simulate opening the capsule door.
Robots are replacing the military too. A quadraped robot called Cheetah can race through a battle field at 50kn an hour. LS3 is for transfort, it can carry heavy supplies for soldiers. The ferocious looking robot gets its strength froma powerful hydraulic drive system. A hydraulic device can be small yet quite strong. The black cables convey hydraulic power to the legs, that generates the brute force required for harsh conditions on the battlefield.
These robots will deliver the killing blow to the manufacturing jobs and kill the ned for outsourcing or the mass importation of migrant labor. 13 humanoid workers called “NEXTAGE” join employees to take part in daily morniong exercises. The company began using the robots recently to manufacture money-sorting machines for cash registers. The humanoids work on a production line that was previously manned entirely by humans. They visually confirm parts set in place by a human worker then it begins its task.
Another Plant has completely replaced its human workers. Robots now follow their own evolutionary path, rather than mimicking ours. They’re developing hands unique to them. At mini’s car plant on the outskirts of Oxford, this is a land of robots. More than 900 of them build the bodies of 1000 new cars every single day with barely a human in site. Robots are not perfect but they’re predictable, they perform pre-programmed repetitive tasks much more reliably than humans. Ariund 650 humans work alongside humans in the welding area alone. There are robots in every direction as far as the eye can see. With their claws, stumps and one fingered hands, robots have gone through their own version of natural selection. This has transformed our job market. Worldwide, factories are filled with over 3 million industrial robots. We’ve built a robot world and kept them safely contained in cages, for now. some experts predict that by 2030 robots will take 30% of our jobs and not just eliminate the need for migratn labor, but take some of our jobs as well. But we’ve been here before in the 1800s, many people were concerned about the pace of change during the industrial revolution. But in general it lead to wealth and prosperity. I think we should embrace the robot revolution, not fear it.
Robots will Replace Journalists: Right now as in this very second, there are artificially intelligent programs writing news articles. One such program is Heliograph, which makes the Washington post its home. Heliograph can take raw data and construct an article around it. Ex: in the United States in 2016, heilograph generated articles about political campaigns and electioons. So first the articles are more impressive than you might imagine. They have an editorial voice, meaning its not just a string of cold fact filled sentances. Second, Heliograph isnt exactly dawning a journalism hat and writing these things all by itself, it actually requires a lot of work on the backend to allow the program to generate news articles. Actual human being journalists must write phrases that the program can associate with certain outcomes. They define the terms that appear in Heliograph’s lexicon. Ex: I might create a rule that says any candidate winning with 80% of the votes or more is “winning by landslide”. Heliograph’s approach is a fancy version of an old version of logic, the if-then statement “if condition x is present, then outcome y happens”. So heliograph isnt thinking like a journalist, its just generating sentances based on thousands of if-then rules. The point of this is to not have to write the same article each time, a generic form letter that lets you fill in feilds and save time and money, that’s what heliograph does, it saves time. Instead of giving talented journalists mind numbing assignments, heliograph can step in. That enables journalists to write about more complex stories and the companies need fewer staff. So heliograph is about handling numerous smaller stories that develop rapidly over time, and because it can generate these articles almost instantly abfter receiving relevant data.
Robots will also replace salespeople. To discover what happens when you get a robot to learn for itself, we see RoboV. Professor Dylan Glass has sent RoboV a challenge. Can it learn to be a camera shop salesperson. The robot plays the role of the shopkeeper and presenting information about the cameras. It can be proactively offering things and suggesting things as well. The jobs of salespeople will be replaced too. To interact with customers, and explain camera functions, roboV is reacting independantly. WHta we’re exploring here is the concept of how can we program a socvial robot. Instead of classical programming of robots where you propgram explicitly what the robot should do, this robot has learned everything purely from hundreds of interactions it observed of other people. TYhis is called learning by imitation. To create roboV’s personality, the camera shop scenario was role played by human shopkeepers and customers. For RoboV to create this database of hundreds of shopkeeper customer interactions, a network of sensors tracked where poeple moved, and microphones captured what they said. These conversations feel almost like a one you’d have with a real shopkeeper.
In 2013, researchers at Oxford university did a study on the future of work. They conclued that almost 1 in every 2 jobs have a high risk of being automated by machines. Now machine learning is a technology that’s responsible for most of this disruption. Its the most powerful branch of AI, it allows machines to learn from data and mimic some of the things that humans can do. We have no chance of competing against machines on frequent high volume tasks. BUT there are things we can do that machines can’t do. Where machines have made very little progress is in tackling novel situations, they can’t handle things they havent seen many times before. The fundamental limitation of machine learning is it lneeds to learn from large volumes of past data. But humans don’t, we have the ability to connect seemingly dissparate threads to solve problems we’ve never seen before. Machines cannot compete with us when it comes to tackling novel situations, and tis puts a fundamental limit on te uman tasks tat macines will automate. So what does this mean for the future of work? The future state of any single job lies in the answer to a single question “to what extent is that job reducible to frequenting volume tasks and what extent does it involve tackling novel situations? On frequent high volume tasks machines are getting smarter and smarter, tdoay they grade essays, they diagnose certain diseases, over the coming years they’re gonna conduct our wallets, and they’re gonna be accountants. Mahcines will shink their ranks and make the jobs of accountants harder to come by. But as mentioned machines are not making progress on novel situations. Ex: the company behind a marketing campaign needs to grab consumer’s attention and stand out from the crowd. Busioness starategy means finding gaps in the market, things that nobody else is doing. It’ll be humans creating the marketing campaigns and humans that will be developing our business strategies. If every day brings a new challenge, if it does, then you will stay ahead of the machines. In the same way that mass manufacturing has crteated a whole new economy, so mass manufacturing allowed people to get new jobs that were unthinkable before. And those new jobs actually created the middle class. To me artificial intelligence is about developing and making comouters better partners effectively. You’re already seeing that today. Except its not really AI. Today, whenever you want to engage in a project, you go to google. Google uses advanced machine learning and you engage in a very narrow convo with google.
WHY AUTOMATION IS DIFFERENT THIS TIME. How long before robots do your job better than you do? Automation used to mean big stupid machines doing repetitive workj in factories. Today they can land aircraft, diagnose cancer, and trade stocks. We are entering a new age of automation unlike anything that’s come before. According to a 2013 study, almost half of all jobs in the US could be automated in the next 2 decades. But wait? Hasn’t automation been around for decades? Well it’s different this time. Automation has happendd for thousand sof years. For 4 thousand years, most of us worked in agriculture, with the iundustrial revolution, this shifted to production jobs, as automation became more widespread, humans shifted into service hjobs, But only a few moments ago in human history, the information age happened. Sufddenly the rules were different. Our jiobs are now being taken b machines muchj faster than in the past. But inonovation will save us right? While new information age industries are booming, they are creating fewer and feweer new jobs. In 1979, GM employeed more than 800,000 workers and made 11 billion US dollars. In 2012, google made aboiut 14 billion dollars, while emplioying only 58 thousand people. You may not like it but google is the example of what created new jobs in the past, innovative new indutstries. Old innovative indusrtries are running out of steam. When cars became a thing 100 years ago, they created huge industries. Cars transformed our way of life, transformed our industries, and many found jobs indirectly. Decadres of investment kept it going, but this process is done. Innovation in auto industry does not create as man jobs as it used to. While elctric cars are great and all, they wont create millions of jobs after all. But wait, what about the internet. Some technologists argue that the internet is an innovation on par with electricity. If we go with this comparison we see how our modern innovation differs from the old one. The internet created new industries but they are not creationg enough jobs to keep up with population growth or to compensate for the industries the internet is killing. At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster had 84 thousand employees and made 6 billion in revenue, in 2016 Netflix had 4500 employees and made 9 billion dollars in revenue. but what about advanced jobs? Human progress is based on the division of labor, as we advanced our jobs became more and more specialized. While even our smartest machines are bad at complicated jobs, they are exprememly good at doing narrowly defined and predictable tasks, this destroyed factory jobs. But if you look at a complex job hard enough you’ll see its just many narrowly defined predictable taks one after another. Machines are on the brink of becoming so good at breaking down complex jobs into predictable ones, that for a lot of people there will be no further room to specialize. We are on the verge of being outcompeted. Digital machines do this via machine learning, which enables them to acquire information and skills by analyzing data. This makes them become better at something through the relationships they discvover. Machines teach themselves, we make this possible by giving a comoputer a lot of data about the thing we wanted to become better at. Show a machine all the things you bought on line and it will learn what to recommend to you so you buy more things. Machine learning is now meeting more of its potential, because in recent years humans have started to gather data about everything, behavior, weather patterns, medical records, communication systems, travel data, and data about what we do at work. What we created by accident is a huge library machines can use to learn how humans do things and how to do them better. These digital machines might be the bigggest job killer of all, they can be replicated instantly and for free. You dont need to invest in bigger metal things, you can just use the new code. And they have the ability to get better fast. How fast? If your work involves complex work on a computer today, you might be out of work even sooner than the people who still have jobs in factories. There are real world examples of how this transition might be happening. A San Francisco company offers a project managment software for big corporations to eliminate middle management positions. when hired for a new project, the software first decides which jobs can be automated and precisely where it needs actual professional humans. It then helps assemble a team of freelancers over ther internet.The software then distributes tasks to the humans, and controls the policy of the work, tracking individual performance until the poject is complete. This doesn’t sound too bad, while this machine is killing one job it creates jobs for freelancers right? Well as freelancers complete their tasks, learning algorithms track them, hgather data about their work, and which tasks they consist of. So whats actiually happening is that the freelancers are teaching a machine how to replace them. This siftware reduces costs by 50% in the first year and 25% in the second year. This is one example of many. There are machines getting better than humans in all kinds of fields. Journalists, radiologists, pharmacisits, analystsm, journalists, and even the unskilled worker flipping burgers or working the register. These jobs wont disapeer overnight, but fewer and fewer humans will be doing them. While jobs disapeering is bad, it’s only half the story. We need to be generating new jobs constantly because the world population is growing. In the past we’ve solved this with innovation. But since 1973 the generation of new jobs in the US has begun to shrink and the first decade of the 21st century was the first one where the number of jobs in the US did not grow for the first time. In a country that needs to create 150,000 new jobs per month just to keep up with population growth, this is bad news. It is also starting to affect standards of living. In the past it was seen as obvious that with rising productivity more and better jobs would be created but the numbers tell a different story. In 1998 US workers worked 194 billion hours, in 2013 their output increased by 42%, but in 2013, the amount of hours worked by US workers was still 194 billion hours. What this means is that despite productivity growing drastically, thousands of new businesses opening up, and the US population growing by over 40 million, there was no growth in the number of hours worked in 15 years. At hte same time, wages for new university graduates in the US have been declining in the past decades, while 40% of new graduates are forced to take on jobs that dont require a degree. Overall, in conclusion, productivity is seperating from human labor. The nature of innovation in the nformation age is different from everything we encountered before. This process started years ago and is already well underway, even without new disruptions like self-driving cars or robot accountants. It looks like automation is different this time. This time, the machines might really take our jobs. Our economies are based ont he premise that people consume, but if fewer and fewer people are producing different work, who will be doing all the consuming? Are we producing ever more cheaply only to arive at a point where too few people can actually buy all our staff and services? Or will the future see a tiny machine of machine owners dominating the rest of us? And does our future really have to be that grim? But its far from certaint hat things will turn out negatively.
ROBOTS WON’T TAKE OUR JOBS
Are robots really taking our jobs though? Why do we still have so many jobs? I’m going to try and answer that question. There are 2 fundamental principles at stake. One has to do with human Genius and creativity, the other has to do with human insatiability, or “greed/hedonism” if you like. Im gonna call the first the O-ring principle and it determines the type of work that we do, the second principle is the “never get enough” principle and it determines how many jobs there actually are. Let’s start with the O-ring. ATMs automated teller machines, had 2 counterveilling effects on bank teller employment, they replaced a lot of teller tasks. The number of tellers fell by a third. But banks also saved money to open new branches dso the number of banks opedned increased by 40%, so the net result was more branches and more telleres, but those tellers were doing different work. As their cash handling task receded, they became less like checkout clerks and more like sales people. Forging relationships with custiomers, solving problems, and introducing them to new products like credit cards, loans, and investments. More tellers doing a more cognitively demanding jobb. The general principle here is that most of the work we do requires a multiplicity of skills. And brains and brawn, technical expertise and intuitive mastery, persperation and inspiration, in general, automating some subset of those tasks doesn’t make the other ones unecessary, in fact, it makes them more important, it increaes their economic value. In 1986 the space shuttle challenger exploded and crashed to earth 2 minutes after takeoff, the cause of that crash was an inexpensive rubber o ring in the booster rocket that had frozen on the launch pad the night before and failed moments after takeoff. In this multi million dollar enterprise that simple rubber o ring made the difference between mission success and the death of 7 astronauts. A metaphor for this trragic setting is the O ring production function named by harvard economist Michael Kramer after the challenger disaster. The o ring production function conceives of work as a series of interlocking steps. Links of a chain, every link must hold for the mission to succeed. If any of the fails, the mission, product, or service comes crashing down. This situation has a surprisingly positive implication, which is that improvements of reliability of any one link in te dcain, increases te value of imrpioving in oter links. If most of te links are brittle and prione to breakage is not that reliable. Something else will break anyway. But as all the other links become rovbust and reliable, the importance of your link becomes more essential and everything depends on it. The reason the O ring was critical to challenger was because everything else worked perfectly. Heres the point, in much of the work that we do, we are the o rings. yes ATMs can do certain cash handling tasks faster and better than tellers, but that can make tellers superfluous it increased the importance of their problem solving skills and their relationshops with customers. The same principle aplies if we’re building a building, diagnoising a patient, or teaching a class to a room full of high schoolers. As our tools improve, technology magnifies our leverage and increases rthe importance of our experitise and our judgement and our creati vity. And that brings me to the second principle, never get enough. Oj so the o ring says the jobs that people do will be important, they cant be done by macines but they still need to be done but that doesn’t tell me how many jobs there’ll need to be. If you think about it, doesnt it seem like once we get sufficiently productive at something we basically worked our way out of a job? In 1900, 40% of all US employment was on farms, today, it’s less than 2%. Why are there so few farmers today, it’s not because we’re eating less. A centuiry of productivitygrowth in farming means that now a couple million farmers can feed a nation of 320 million. Thats amazing procgress, but it also means there are so many o ring jobs left in farming. So clearly tech can eliminate jobs. But what’s true about a single product or service or industry has never been true about the economy as a whole, many of the iundustries in we now work, health and medicine, finance and insurance, electronics and computing, were tiny or barely existed a century ago. many of the products we spend a lot of our money on, air conditioners, sport utility vehicles, computers, smartphones, were unattainably expensive or haddnt been invented a centiury ago. A swautomation frees opur time and increases the scope of what is possible, we invent new products, new ideas, new services, that comm and our attention, occupy opur time, and spurr consumption. You may think some of these things are frivolous, yoga, tourism, pokemon go, and i might agree with you, buyt people desire these things and are willing to work hard for them. The average worker in 2015 wanted to attain the average living standard in 1915, could do so by working just 17 weeks a year, one third the time in 1915, but most people dont do that, they’re willing to work hard to harvest the technological bounty available to them. Material abundance has never eliminated percieved scarcity. In the word sof economist Thorston Bedland, “Invention is the mother of necessity”. So if you accept these 2 principles, O-Ring and Never gte enough principle. You agree with me, there will be jobs. Automation creates wealth by letting us do more with less time. There’s always new work to do, it will just be different types of work. For how long have people raised the alarm about humans becoming obsolete. The Luddites in the 1800s believed the same thing. These self proclaimed oracles are essentially saying that “If I can’t think of what people will do for work in the future, then you me, and our kids won’t think of it either.” But I don’t have the guts to take that bet against human genius and ingenuity.
Look, I can’t tell you what people are gonna do for work a hundred years from now, but the future doesn’t hinge on my imagination. If I were a farmer in Iowa in 1900 and an economist from 2017 teleported to my feild and said “guess what farmer, Agricultural employment is gon a fall from 40% of all jobs to 2% surely due to rising productivity and automation, what do you think the other 38% of workers are gonna do”. I would have panicked, I would not have thought of app development, yoga instructuor, social media marketer. But I would have had the wisdom to say a 95% reduction of farm employment with no shortage of food but a surplus. I would have hoped that humanity finds something remarkable to do with all of that prosperity, and by in large, I would say that it has, dank memes.
Even though modern robots are 10 times slower than humans, the fact that they are 1 hundredth the cost makes them worth it. Baxter costs less than the annual salary of a human and he is just the beginning. Robots are also coming for cashiers and baristas. Imagine horses 1 hundred years ago scared the cars will replace their jobs, that believe their will be new jobs for horses. The horse population peaked in 1915, then from there it was nothing but down. There isnt a rule of tech that says automation makes new jobs. The same will happen with humans. Self driving cars aren’t in the future, they are here and they work. These jobs are over. The usual argument from the left is that the unions will prevent it. But history is filled with workers who fought technology that would replace them, and the luddites always lose. Economics always wins, and there are huge incentives across industries to adopt automation. Even doctors will be replaced though, IBM has a bit named watson. You may have seen him on TV destroy humans at jeopardy, but that was just a fun side project for him. Watson’s day job is to be the best doctor in the world. To understand what people say and give back accurate diagnoses. He’s already giving guidance on lung cancer treatments. Just as self driving cars don’t need to be perfect, they just need to make fewer mistakes than humans, the same goes for doctorbots. Humans make terrible doctors, the frequency and severity of misdiagnosis is terrifying. The number of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients was estimated ast more than 400,000 per year. Doctors are severely limited in dealing with a human’s complicated medical history. Understandiong every drug and every drug’s interaction with every other drug is beyond the scope of human knowability. Especially when there are research robot’s whos whole job it is is to test thousands of new drugs at a time. And human doctors can onl improve through their own experiences wherase doctorbots can learn from the experience of every other doctor bot, as they share a mind on the internet. They can read the latest in medical research and keep track of everything that happens to all their patients worldwide, and make correlations that would be impossible to find otherwise. Not all doctors will go, but when doctorbotsa are comparable to humans and as fara s your phone, the need for general doctors will be less. Creative work will go too. Creativity may feel like magic but it isn’t. The brain is a complicated machine, perhaps the most complicated machine in teh universe, but that hasnt stopped us from trying to simulae it. There’s a notion that just as mechanical; muscles allowed us to move into thinking jobs, that mechanical minds will allow us to move to creative work. Even if we assume the human mind is magically creative, artistic creativity isnt what the majority of jobs depend on. You cant have an art vased economy. The number of writers, and poets, and directors, and musicians, and actors, and artists who make a living doing their work is a tin tiny portion of the labor force. And given these are professions dependant on popularity, they’ll ALWAYS be a very small portion of the population. There can’t be such a thing as a poem and painting based economy. There is a robot called Emily Howell and she can write an infinite amount of new music all day for free, and people cant tell the difference between her and human compiosers when put to a blind turing test. Talking about artificial creativity gets weird fast, but nonetheless its a rapidly developing feild. People used to think chess was a uniquely creative human skill that machines could never do, until the point they beat the best of us. And so it will go for all human talent.
Wendys announced in february that in the end of the year it will have self-serve kiosks in a thousand of its resteraunts. Fasdt food chains Mcdonalds and Carl’s Junior will do the same. With the head of McDonalds stating that robots are always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, and they never show up late. A burger bar in San Francisco has a robotic burger maker that can prepare and cook your burger 3x faster than a human. Designed by startup “Momentum Machines”, the robot can make 400 burgers an hour. Then there’s “flippy” a robot that grills your burger and will be put to work at 50 outlets of Caliburger over the next 2 years. Taxi drivers, Tesla is currently working on self-driving car technology as are multiple other companies such as google, uber, uber, GM, ford and many more. Each company is looking to take over the self driving taxi market or ride hailing market. Navigot research rated how far each compoany gone with its tech, rating i9t from level 1-4 with 4 being completely autonamous. Ford came out on top, but the automaker doesnt expect its fleet of self-driving cars to be ready until 2021. Bank tellers. In the near future there won’t be much need to go the bank. ATMs will become much more of a multitasker, soon it can do this like open accounts and process loans. The CEO of software company called “Dibold” said “the ATM of tomorrow will be able to do 90% of the work of a teller”. Sadly, or perhaps not, the end of the bank teller seems to be nigh. Bank JP morgan chase has said “that 60% of transactions that involve a bank teller can be performed by an ATM. But that will rise to 90% with its introduction of new ATMs in 2018”. One of the world’s leading automation software companies, “Automation Anywhere”, said its in the process of unleashing a 3 million strong bot workforce. Its software is used mainly for analyzing data, which could mean processing morgages. Or legal work involving cognitive software that goes through thousands of pages of documents. Such cognitive technologies are even being used by the Pentagon at present to analyze thousands of hours of drone footage taken over Syria and Iraq. Going through huge amounts of data can be mundane work, and this is one of the first areas where robots will lend a hand. Some good news is financial services company Axenture reported this year that it didnt lay off one employee when it replaced 17,000 of them with robots, it just repositioned them in the company. Farming. Whether milking a cow or picking fruit, millions of farmers are about to lose their job to a robot. Danish company F. Paulson Engineering, has designed a machine that is a lettace weater, a job that is backbreaking work and dangerous due to chemicals. Automated lettace weating will save humans backaches but also work around the clock at a faster speed than a human, thereby saving farmer’s money. Speaking of lettace, a vegetable factory in Japan called “Spread” grows 10 million heads of lettace a year and it’s workers are robots. Agricultural robotics goldman sachs predicts will become a 240 billion dollar market over the next few years. Other examples include a UK project “Hands free hectare”, which uses an automated tractor to grow crops. Stensland family farms in the US has 170 cows that are all milked by robots. There are drones workingin French vinyards that can inspect vinesa and another machine called “Wall-e” that can prune the vine every 5 seconds during its 10-20 hour battery charge. Journalists. An investigative journalist or a colorful features writer has nothing to worry about for now, but robots are allready taking jobs from basic report writers. AI already generates a small amount of content to read and has been adopted by large media agencies such as Reuters. The associated press partnered with an automation firm in 2015 and its number of earnings reports went up from 300 TO 3000 a month. AP associated press has stated it not only saves money but the machines also make fewer errors, Whiel the role of robots writing sports reports may have been hyped, AOP does use them to write minor league baseball stories that cover 13 legues and 142 teams. 4 Medical Porfessionals. Surgical robots are improbving all the time but we still nmeed surgeons, an automated robot doctror can make a diagnosis by asking you to stick out your tongue, but we still need doctros. Automation however, will vastly improve the healthcare field using algorithms to make diagnoses uysing quantifiable data. In total there’s about 10,000 known human diseases and machines are now helping professionals to spot them. Hospitals all over the US are using IBM watson Health’s algorithmic magic to help diagnose cancer. Microsoft’s said last year we’ll cure cancer using its Artificial intelligence, while researchers at Stanford University are currently working on algorithms to detect eye conditions by scanning thousands upon thousands images of eye ailments in a second. It would take a human profession a matter of minutes tio look at 1 image. 3 construction. Meet SAM, the construction worker of the future. The acronyme comes from Semi-automated Mason, otherwise as a robotic brick layers, designed by “construction robotics” in the US. SAM is a competant brick layer that can lay perfect rows of bricks and follow building plans. It’s sensors and algorithms help it make sure the work is done right and its productivity is better than that of humans. SAM lays about 800-1200 bricks a day while humans are only capable of laying about 300-500 bricks a day. SAM isn’t cheap though and costs 1 million dollars a unit. SAM isn’t alone as a robotic construction worker. Which Japan right now working with autmated bulldozers thaty use drones to tell them what to knock down. The world of the construction bot is not too far away. 2 Factory work. Your iphone may have been made by chinese elctronics manufacturer, Foxcon, who reported they had layed off 60,000 workers last year due to automation. It said “jobs that involved repertitive tasks were the ones that went.” A video that went viral in China also showed how little orange parcel sorting robots had all but replaced humans in its parcel sorting departmnet. 300 of the machines worked tirelessly for an 8 hour charge around a 21,000 sqfoot warehouse. In one hour they sort 20,000 parcels together and have helped the company STO express cut down on 70% of its manpower. In an interview the chinese creator of the bots said they do 5 hours of human work in just 3 hours. Finally #1 all jobs from office, retail, to finance, to construction, many more are being automated. Full automation of labor will take time, But some of the worlds leading minds on automation in the machine intelligence research isntitute stating there’s a 50% chance that all jobs will be done by robots in 120 years time. This is a far out scenario but who knows what we will come up with, the next step would be to create AGI, a vritual human that can plan, reason, joke, and even touch on the nuances of history. After that, there’s ASI, which would be far smarter than any human. Some current AI expertts believe that to be the end of days for thinking flesh and blood creatures.
Automation will not kill jobs. There is an assertion that automation of certain work functions is somehow nefarious because it allegedly leads to the loss of jobs. Well, the first and most salient point is it doesn’t! The fact is there is always more work that can be done to improve human well being. And, if some of that work can be done more efficiently through automation, that just frees up human capacities to adrsss the other challenges that we have. Let me give you an illustriation. Prior to the mid 19th century, were the 90% of all people were employeed on farms as manual laborers, so they were directly involved in the production of food. Now, in western countries, that percentage is closer to abou 1%. So what happened, did we have a massive spike in unemployement? Do we have more people starving or more people in poverty? No on the contrary, were able to utilize many fewer people to grow a lot more food, higher quality food, that not only allows most people in the western world to subsist from day to ay, but to have a decently nutritious diet, and as a result, people in the west on average live a lot longer, have fewer illnesses, and aren’t exposed to the occupational stresses of manual farm labor. The people who do work on farms benefit from a lot of advanced technology, from machinery to pesticides, to genetically engineered crops that are resistant against a varietry of diseases and pests. And what that means is higher standards of living for all of us, because labor saving machinery came about, it was really a gradual process, there was some of it in the middle ages but it really accelerated during the industrial revolution and then during the 20th century. This labor saving machinery enabled people’s energies to be diverted elsewhere toward the creation of other products, other technologies, and other serivces that are useful. And likewise if a particular tehcnology makes a certain job function obsolete. The people aren’t just going to disapeer, some of them are going to move into related occupations that they know some of them are going to need to retrain themselves altogether and some of them might struggle in the short term, but in the long term the adoption of teh technology will raise standards of living for all. And then the idea that there will be fewer jobs on net is completely false because, in the past, as automation has taken hold, human populations also grew, human populations could be sustained at larger levels because the capacity to produce food improved as well as other improvements for standards of living occured, better sanitation, better medical care, fewer hostilities, generally the crime rates have fallen, and with the excpetion of a few highly disruptive wars in the 20th century, the death toll of wars has been falling and has definitely been falling as a relative proportion of the population. So with all of these improvements a larger population could be sustained AND most of these people are still employed, so automation has not resulted in the loss of jobs. Now, what automation does is actually proivide a very welcome benefit and that is that it frees human beings from the types of jobs that are often very physically strreenuous, they can lead to a high rate of injury lead to occupational diseases, shortened life expectancies, because of repetitive strains, and it channels more human labor into occupations that require creativity and judgement and knowledge. So the human mind becomes better utilized if you live in a highly automated society, you’re a lot less liklely to be a drone, you’re a lot more lilely to be an independant thinker, and to have employment that utilizes your mind, and your ability and need to make decisions. Think of it this way, whta is the condition that is most fitting for man as a rational creature? Is it to stand even at an assembly line and do the same task over and over again? Put in one screw on a car? Or is it to move a farm implent around in order to till the soil, or plant some seeds in a backbreaking kind of condition in extreme heat sometimes, working from sunrise to sunset is that the fitting human condition or is it to think? And create something new? To have an idea in one’s mind that leads to the development of some sort of product that a machine can produce, that can then directly improve people’s standards of living. I think the 2nd vision is more appealing, but if we want ALL of us to do the creative work, we need some way to have the menial work done because clearly something has to grow the food? Something has to manufacture the products we rely on? Would you rather it be machines, or other human beings? I would rather that it be machines. I’d rather that all my fellow human beings be able to engage in that creative work, build up their minds, stay healthier, and live longer, and be more civilized as a result of having more time devoted to intellectual development rather than shear manual labvor. I’ve nothing agains tthe people who perform manual labor, perhaops that is their best option in the current economy, but if it were possible for all of them to do intellectual and creative jobs, wouldn’t that be better? Wouldn’t that be better for them as well? And yes, some of them would need retraining. But there’s a fallacy in contemporary culture that states that learning is finished once one has graduated from an insitutuion of formal education, and that is a mindset that must be broken. Not only is the formal learning perhaps of considerably less utolity than is commonly thought. But also, the idea that learning can ever stop is something that needs to be combatted. Learning must be lifelong. Including professional development, there’s no way that in an economy that is so complex as ours where the opportunities are consistently developing and chaning, where technology continues to develop and accelerate, there is now way that a static set of skills accumulated by the tiime one is 30 years old, would continue to be of the same value as time goes on. And this applies to everyone no matter what work you do. If you serve burgers somewhere or if tyou’re an executive. No matter what work you do, contiunual learning and self improvement is key. But that’s good, it means you do not stagnate as an individual, you do not get to define yourself by some very fixed and limited set of skills. It means you and your mind are continually evolving and becoming something better and something more capable. That is properless that is improvement that is something we should strive for and automation helps us get there. It means we’re not stuck doin gthe same things over and over again, and we do not have to divide our soiciety into people who have the luxury to engage in creative work with the few creative jobs that might be avilable in a less evolved economy, and those who are relegated to the position of manual labor, and like it or not, in a society where there is that division, some people are treated as being less than others. Well I dont want that, I support a natural hierarchy that might emerge as a result of free market interaction and people voluntarily exchanging goods and serivces, a naytrual aristocracy of talent, as thomas jeffferson put it. Biut I also support a situation where everyone’s condition imrpoves. So I would be happy being in an society where I had the worst condition of any person, but in absolute terms my condition would be 10x better than it is right now, and its also a possibility automation can bring us. The poorest americans today have a much higher standard of living than some nobels did during the European middle ages, and why is that? It’s because of terchnology. It’s because of all the labor saving devices that we have. And that hopefully is going to continue unless political forces and luddites oput an end to it. And it’s why we need to appreciate the value of automation and how it improveds our standards of living. So overall, who says that the value we should strive for in an economy is “jobs” as opposed to prosperity or high standards of living. Why do people need to work at all? Well people need to work in order to create something that allows them and others to have a certain standard of living to fulfill some of their needs or wants, or aspirations. What if some of that can be done by machines, well it means that people need to put it less work to fulfill those needs wants and aspirations. And at that point people can go one of 2 ways, and they can say “now there are other needs we can fulfill and we need to work for thiose”, or they can say “there are all of these good things, lets enjoy them for a while and maybe work a little bit less”. Isn’t that why most parts of the western world people work 8 hours a day now instead of 12, or 14., or 16, as was often the case in pre-modernity when people had to work that long just to grow enough food or to earn a living wage that would sustain themselves. Isn’t that also an imprtant value to have some leisure. Maybe in the future the typical workday would be even shorter. Maybne most people will work 6 hours or 4 hours, but their outpurt will be greater, they’ll produce they will have higher standards of living than we do and isnt that good? Because then they’d have more independant time in which they could improve themselves or they could rest or spend time with friends and family, why is that at all objectionable? That is another benfit of automation. Automation is your friend, technology is your friend, and if you want to live better, ten ou sould embrace it. If ou want more jobs, and if you see jobs as just an end in tehemselves irrespective of the quality of work, then you might abolish all tech and require everything to be done by hand. But even thought that would be a society of full employment from sunrise to sunset and maybe even into the late hours of the night if you can scrounge together enough wax for a candel, would that be a world worth living in?
As autonamous vehicles continue to be implemented, roads might be safer than they are now. In the US alone 28 people die from drunk driving accidents ever day. But if everyone used autonamous vehicles, that number could shrink to zero. So there’s clearly a lot of benefits to replace some jobs, and it may even help with your health as well, assuming you might work a bit less iof there’s a robot doing some of your work. Research from the Australian national university found that working more than 39 hours a week can have negative health effects since you have less time to eat well and look after yourself. So in a world where robots do some of our work, people might be healthier and have more time for their hobbies and more time to pump iron at the gym. 13,587, that is the number of taxi cabs driving around the streets of new york city, and those cabs collectively provide 175 million trips per year. That breaks down to 485,000 fares every single day. Recently services like Uber have been creeping in on Taxi cab terriotory, there are more Uber dirvers on thestreets of NY than there are taxi cabs. But because your typical Uber driver isn’t driving full time, the cabs take up the lions share of the fares. So while the cabs are carrying about half a million people per day, for uber its more like 34,000 but all of that may soon change because of robots. Autonamous cars. They’re safer, more aware, they can react faster than we mere mortal human drivers. You can outfit an autonamous car with sensors so it wont have blind spots. Also its paying attention to everything around it. Also it doesn’t have road rage. Uber’s CEO Tracvis Calanick said in 2014 he planned to transition the company from human drivers to robot cars in the near future, and earlier in 2015 they announced a partnership with Carnagie Mellon University to create a car technology center that looks into autonamous cars. Very recently he said he’d be willing to purchase 500,000 electric autonamous vehicles in 2020 if they are available. 9,000. That’s how many robotic cars it would take to replace the entire cab fleet of new york city. How is theis possible? Well the electric automaous cars are more efficient, oplus there’d be less traffic on the roads, and they can respond to dynamic traffic conditions. When its in high demand more cars hit the streets. So here’s another number, 90%, that’s how much we ca=ould cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars by switching to electric autonamous taxi model in dense urban environments. But we do need to look at the big picture. We still have to get that electricity from somewhere and that tends to be gas fired or gas/coal power plants, meaning the cars could be very environmentally friendly but the electricty would not be. So are robots going to take our jobs? Let’s start at the beginning. from the dawn of human civilization the the indutrial revolution, everyone was a farmer but today in america less than 2% of our population are currently farmers or ranchers. That means that automartion and technology have allowed us to grow vast amounts of food with just a few people. So folks who’d have noramlly been farmers can be software engineers. There’s no reason fothis trend to dry up in the future. We think it will accelerate. Look at Azmazon and their Keeva robots that move big packaghes around, or the software that has replaced tax accountants every year, or even robotcalls which can replace the need for human operators. And there’s more on the horizon, just imagine how autonamous cars can affect the trucking industry, or even professional gamblers. There’s a computer that can defeat players ion a game of one on one texas hold em. But there ar emore important questions. In 2014 Pew asked a group of experts in fields like economics, AI, robotics, what they thought automation was going to do for the economy. Would automation eliminate more jobs than it created by the year 2025, and the answers were split down the middle. 48% said it’d be a net negative impact that the economy would take a hit and unemployment would rise. 52% had a net positive outcome. We were going to see new higher payed more skilled jobs come out because of automation and things are going to get less expensive and better for us all around, so who’s right? The truth is with tech you’ll always get both good and bad effects. On one hand human workers are going to be replaced by machines, and they wont be able to retrain fast enough to get another job immediately. On the other hand, automation will give us access to better cheaper high quality goods and services, and it will create new jobs, jobs that might be more fulfilling than our old jobs were anyway. Some of the most ioptimistic thinkers say that it’s possible these machines will end up creating all our goods and dervices and lead to a post scarcity world where we wont even need to buy anything and everything will be free. But even if we do arrive at this idealic future, the truth is there’s going to be a transition period that could bevery difficult for workers. Ifyour drop is simple and repetitive, described by a straightforward list instructions than jobs that require more innovation and creativity. You see machines are good at productivity, producing something within a given amount of time, but they’re not so good at creativity. So this could lead to a world where humans are not prized for productivity but for innovation. When automation enters tyour field of work, don’t fight it, you wont win. Instead find a way to work WITH the machines, not agaisnt them. We also need to teach generations the skills they need to suceed, so instead of learning from textbooks, we can have project based learning, which is all about creativiuty. There’s also insittutions we should preopare ourselves to let go f.
Technology has become the backbone of modern human civilization, man’s ability to invent tools and machines to handle laborious and time consuming repritive tasks in a more efficient manner. has elevated us from hunter-gfatherer to master of our environemnt. Physical labor is now primarily done through the use of our machanical creations and everyone in society is better off as a result. We’ve become free to pursue in our passions, specialize in new types of carreers, and we can begint o imorve the living standards and general well being of everyone. The rise of more white collar work and a focus on intellectual labor has been a happy bypriudct of humanity’s emancipation from physical toil. But in recent years, some of this very same white color work has slowly begun to threaten its own existence. Across all manner of iundustries, computer programmers are devloping AIs, artificial intelligences to replace human mental labor. Human brain power is slowly being replaced by smart robots that function by using highly sophisticated machine learning techniques. It’s only a matter of time before dumb robots are replaced by ones with a mind of their own, capable of thinking for themsevles and operating with an ever increasing level of autonamny. The benefits of smart robots are highly significant from an economic standpoint, because robots cost significantly less to employ than a human employuee. Whether it s a robot that bags your groceries, washes your car, pilots a plane, prepares your next meal or collects your garbage, these synthetic people never get sick 0r tired, don’t require minimum wage, never go on strike, and can operate far longer and more reliably than their human counterparts. While it’s true for the time being that when tye do break down they’ll require a human to repair them, this won’t always be a case. In the future sophisticated maintenance robots will be designed to repair their ailing mechanized kin, thius replacing even the human support technicialns. Intleligent softaware programs known as AGIs, artificical general intelligences, will serve as managers and supervisors of their rtobotic underlings and repalce human authority figures in the workplace. An AGI, an artificial general intelligernce system , is the intelligence of a hypothetical machine that could suyccesfully perform any intellectual taks that a human being can. Additionally, these AGIs will function as part of a large interconnected group network supported and maintained by other artififical intelligent systems to continuously endsure they’re operating at peak efficiency. Eventually there’ll be no stage where we human beings will be require to oversee the machines we’ve created. Robots will no longer be built with one or two purposes in mind, but with general purpose functionality. So long as a robot has the ability to perform one complex manual task, it can be taught how to perform a multitude of complex manual tasks. This robotic replacement of human employees will begin wit low skilled labor intiially and then gradually ascend to work requiring more intelligence. While you may be thinking robots will replace manual work, but a machine will never replace my job. From accountents to video editors, customer care workers to secretaries, advertizing executives to architects, and even fortune 500 CEOs. Everyone will be replaceable by a machine. Tech is simply becoming faster, cheaper and more sophisticated every year and evolving faster than human beings ever coul;d. Evene computer programers who program the current generation of simple AIs will be replaced by artificial coders and software developers. The change won’t be overnight but ratehr it will be a gradual transition as economic considerations and technological breakthroughs begin to converge together. Self driving cars are already here and outperform human drivers in evry respect. Because they don’t get tired drunk and rarely crash. There may come a time when human drivers will not only be obsoltete, but banned entirely. The world health organization published a report in 2010 revealing that there approximately 1.24 million global road deaths that year. Self driving vehicles will reduce road deaths to a fraction of this total and world govenrmmnets will pass laws to prohibit humans from taking the wheel. When cvompared to our robotic successors, even the safest human driver is a liability on the road. Given the considerable lives saved using machines, it will eventually be deemed unethical to allow humans to drive. Transpiort as an industry employs almost 100 million people worldwide, from taxi, train, and bus drivers, to truckers and freight haulers and all of these sectors can expect a robotic takeover. When you also consider the number of people working in back office and logistical support areas of the transport industry, thois will make a frighetning number of human employees redundant. In white collar industries, the achine takeover will be even more devastating on human employyeee.s While it may seem unfathomable that suit, shirt and tie wearing office space workers performing specialized, creative, and intellectual tasks wont ever get replaced, you can think again. While you’re sitting in your air conditions cubicles sipping coffee and strategizing, a programmer somewhere is concocting a software bot to take your job from you and do it for free. It may not be possible for software engineers to design the perfect program to replace every white colr job right now, what they are working on is creating software intelligences that can learn how to do just that. These programs will replace the software engineers in a kind of self-replicating fashion. They will look at the output of your work and figure out faster and more efficient means of achieving the same end goal. Looking at this objectively it makes perfect sense. A human vcomputer user manipulates a software package to produce a desired result using a mouse and a keyboard. In the future, the human computer user, the mouse, and the keyboard, will be replaced by software running on a server somewhere that performs millions of complex analytical calculations per second. Automated software bots are already writing and producing such complex outputs as business reports and entertainment and spoirts articles online. In may of 2014 a hong kong based venture capital firm called “deep knowlege ventures” appointed an “Algo”, an algorthism, to its board of directors. The algo is known as vital, and will make decisions and recommendations by analyzing big data. It will process a range of data types, from financial information, intellectual properties and funding considerations. Professional industries will alsos be transofrmed by AIs, Any sector that requires Data analaysis, observation of trends, strong predictions, and careful insightful recimmendations, will see bots outshine human beings by significant distance. Such industries would include the stock market. RnD, the legal system, and medicine. Much liek the example i gave about the ethics of allowing humans to drive a car over a self driving robot, in the future it will be unethical to take a human doctor’s diagnosis over a machine’s. This is because an AI won’t miss important details in a patient’s case. AIs dont get tired, wont have an off day, wont make as many mistakes a human. This will lead to significantly more lives saved by the fact that human failing s such as incompetance, misdiagnosis, negligence, and unethical behavior will be eliminated by machines. Robotic doctors could sift through all global peer reviewed academic medical journal articles and scientific books in seconds. And perfect treatments based on the experineces of millions of other robotic doctors. Of course the idea that human beings will begin to outsource their creative and intellectual capabilities to machines opens up a number of worrying possibilities. Ex: if humanity becomes dependant on AIs to perform our most complex mental tasks, will our mental miuscles express intellectual atrophy? I’m talking about the principle of “use it or lose it”. Through neural plasticity the brains ability to rewire itself, learn new thinking and become smarter, humans can increase their intelligence, but what if we no longer need to learn and develop mentally? If we no longer challenge our brains’ complex biological computong power because mechanical computong power has replaced it, will we become dumber? It stands to reason that our dependance on machines for almost everything will have dire consequences when the machines fail. If the earth is struck by a large solar flair, and an EM pulse from the sun neutralizes all our technology, will the intellectually stunted humans of the future posess the know-how to survive? The machines we built to set us free may ultimately lead to our own enslavement to them. Moreover the very same machines we built to grow our economies, eliminate poverty, and raise our living standards, may leave us poorer than ever. One day an entire future generation of young students may exit 3rd level education and find themselves unemployable by machines that can do their jobs faster, more effectively, and for a fraction of the cost. How will these people support themselves? We are potentially facing a future where a significiant portion of the population will live in abject poverty due to their inability to pay for their basic needs. A welfare state will only be able to support them so long as there’s a taxable majority of the workforce capable of propping up the system financially. Society may soon find itself becoming unsustainable and only a wealthy elite few enjoying any level of comfort or prosperoty. So long as economic interests are driving global capitaists, the replacement of a human labor force with robots and AIs will be their top priority. The needs of those redundant human beings left behind in the wake of this technological takeover will be considered irrelevant. Economic inequality will become so great that it may turn western countries into agrarian third world countries where many of their citizens regalrly starve to death. Up until now, technological advancements coupled with capitalistic interests have eliminated many menial jobs and lifted humanity from an impoverished existence. However, eliminating difficult dangerous and backbreaking work is one thing. Eliminating the need for human minds and bodies entirely is a completely different prospect. We have never before lived on the presipous of such a terrifying future and no other technical revolution can even remotely compare.