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View Full Version : Robots taking our jobs? - maybe not.


Highway1
27th Apr 2018, 15:09
Interesting chart from the International Federation of Robotics showing the countries with the highest density of robots.

https://www.pprune.org/members/475048-highway1-albums-pics-picture1190-robot-density-country-page-1.jpg

What strikes me is that the countries with the highest number of robots are those with the lowest level of unemployment - perhaps it is shortage of workers driving investment in Robots and the idea that everyone wil be out of a job some time soon is rather overblown.

https://www.pprune.org/members/475048-highway1-albums-pics-picture1189-screenshot-2018-04-27-08-06-40.png

MG23
27th Apr 2018, 17:26
The big ones on that graph are major manufacturing nations. So that means they can use a lot of robots and have a lot of jobs for humans, too.

Japan, in particular, has no choice but to automate as much as possible, because their population is collapsing and they're unwilling to do the things that might be required to increase it again (like, you know, encourage people to have kids).

Most of the other countries have relatively little manufacturing, and a lot of service jobs. The threat there is not robots per-se, but simple automation. My girlfriend works in a service job, and the new boss is pushing to automate as much as possible and dumb down the rest of the work so they no longer need many people who know what they're doing... the rest can be low-paid and low-skilled. Even the McDonalds' here are replacing minimum-wage teenagers with computer screens and in-app burger ordering. The burger-cooking robot will arrive a few years later.

So a country like Britain doesn't have that much to fear from manufacturing robots, because doesn't have many manufacturing jobs left. It's the automation of finance, medicine, law, education and other huge, currently well-paid markets that are going to hit it hard.

Windy Militant
27th Apr 2018, 18:16
Robots taking our jobs?

Yes Please they can have mine! When can Marvin start! :}

meadowrun
27th Apr 2018, 18:53
The more prevalent they become the more we will have incentives to deflect anger and racism and a few other "isms" onto them rather than human beings. A good thing.
You will be able to rage at Kevin, the robot, in Mumbai who cannot resolve the problem with your robot Milton in Maui without referring it all to Hannah, the senior robot in Ushuaia.
But, you'll probably have a robot for all that.

Mostly Harmless
27th Apr 2018, 19:04
http://i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/mobile/000/011/129/RT.jpg

This might be why there is so much discussion about basic income. As AI begins to take the white collar jobs there might not be much left for us to do.

https://youtu.be/Yv7B0pGrwC8

MG23
27th Apr 2018, 19:08
You will be able to rage at Kevin, the robot, in Mumbai who cannot resolve the problem with your robot Milton in Maui without referring it all to Hannah, the senior robot in Ushuaia.

Actually, that's an interesting point. More automation will likely mean less outsourcing. If you're talking to an AI, there's no real benefit to shipping that AI to India, when it can run in the UK instead.

So it could actually lead to more jobs in the West, until the next generation of robots and AIs are able to fix themselves when something goes wrong. Since we've outsourced so much, the low-cost outsourcing nations probably have much to fear from automation in the short term.

Pontius Navigator
28th Apr 2018, 17:43
It's the automation of . . . education . . . . The Open University did that years ago with recorded TV programmes replacing live lecturers and now publishing the same in course manuals. Students may attend tutorials with associate lecturers but many students don't bother with tutorials.

gileraguy
29th Apr 2018, 02:08
The burger-cooking robot will arrive a few years later.

It's already here....

Burger-flipping robot begins first shift - BBC News (http://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-43292047/burger-flipping-robot-begins-first-shift)

but it was only on the job for a little while

'Flippy' the burger-flipping robot is taken offline after just one day - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-10/flippy-the-burger-flipping-robot-has-been-taken-offline/9535192)

MG23
29th Apr 2018, 02:45
Yeah, companies have been working on burger robots for a few years. But none have actually made it to reliable operation in the burger shacks yet.

cattletruck
29th Apr 2018, 03:04
Yeah, companies have been working on burger robots for a few years. But none have actually made it to reliable operation in the burger shacks yet.

Seen some advertising around town saying "Would you eat a 3D printed burger?". Judging by today's Gen-Zombies with their smart phones stuck in front of their face, for them "cooking" is simply placing a TV dinner in the microwave for 60 seconds.

I'm guessing 3D printing will outsource quite a few jobs once the tech matures, it really has the potential to replace jobs but also invent new ones.

tdracer
29th Apr 2018, 06:31
People have been predicting that automation would lead to mass unemployment since the onset of the industrial revolution nearly two centuries ago. Instead, we have the highest average standard of living in history and so-called middle class lives better (and longer) than royalty did 200 years ago.
The jobs change, and the nature of the jobs change, but somehow there is still no shortage of jobs that require a human being. I don't see that changing...

SpringHeeledJack
29th Apr 2018, 09:58
Large container ships today have minimal crew, 30 years ago there was a substantial crew manifesto to be seen. Potentially there only needs to be a handful as automation has taken over most tasks.

meadowrun
29th Apr 2018, 15:47
Large aircraft today have minimal crew. 30 years ago there were substantial crew manifests to be seen. Potentially there only needs to be less than a handful as automation can take over most tasks.

SpringHeeledJack
29th Apr 2018, 16:54
Au contraire meadowrun, apart from a Flight Engineer I'd say that the crewing numbers would be the same.

meadowrun
29th Apr 2018, 17:05
Ah.. but where is the future being steered? Going back a little further there was a radio operator and a navigator? Probably a few more cabin crew per pax? Do accountants rule all?
And there is the question of how much you trust flag of convenience VLCCs and ULCCs on automation with minimal, minimum wage crews of sometimes dubious origins trundling down your stormy, rocky coasts on their way to terminals?

Robot technology advances are very likely a very good thing. Problem is "big business" always gets involved and in general terms, I trust big business less than my possibilities of moving their headquarter buildings - six inches to the right.

pattern_is_full
29th Apr 2018, 18:23
Au contraire meadowrun, apart from a Flight Engineer I'd say that the crewing numbers would be the same.

Your time frame just isn't long enough. Standard cockpit crew was five for anything other than short commercial flights in the 1950s (no, I wasn't there). PIC, FO, FE (who actually knew how to use a wrench, not just switches and gauges), Radio operator, Navigator.

Automation (or other labor-saving devices) has pared that back by 60% since the dawn of the jet age.
_______________________

We shouldn't get distracted by "robots" per se. I had family working in the newspaper business, and watched as the "backshop" of typesetters (first on hot-lead Linotype machines, then pasting up "photoset" type and picture half-tones) and photo engravers shrank from perhaps 80-100 in a medium-sized newspaper ca. 1980, to 2 guys in the back monitoring the transmission of digital pages to the press, and 10 copy-editor/designers "pasting up" the pages in the newsroom on QuarkExpress or some such layout program ca. 2000. No robots, just computers and software. And that was even before the newspaper business collapsed due to small-ad-revenue losses (to Craigslist, Ebay, Google etc.). 500,000 unionized, middle-class (median income) "high-school education, craftsman, pride-inducing" jobs across the industry in the US, wiped out.

The only place "robots" (mechanical motion automation) had much impact was with the paper-handling around the presses - moving and loading new 2-ton rolls, and moving, sorting, stacking and wrapping the finished papers. Perhaps another 50,000 jobs in total.

MG23
29th Apr 2018, 19:22
The jobs change, and the nature of the jobs change, but somehow there is still no shortage of jobs that require a human being. I don't see that changing...

In the past, we didn't have machines that were as smart as humans. We soon will.

Also, frankly, many of the jobs that were invented to keep people employed as manufacturing employment shrank were pure makework, and no-one would really notice if they disappeared, except to the extent that their life would be easier with less bureaucracy to deal with.

MG23
29th Apr 2018, 19:28
Potentially there only needs to be less than a handful as automation can take over most tasks.

The real threat to aviation employment isn't cockpit automation, it's VR. A VR bot at our customer sites would eliminate all my business travel, for a start. That's tens of thousands of dollars a year that Air Canada won't be making.

And even Google Earth VR is enough to show you where the future of tourism is heading. 'Travel' anywhere you fancy in your bedroom.

Captain Dart
30th Apr 2018, 00:57
'Travel' anywhere you fancy in your bedroom.

Unfortunately there is one particular place in my bedroom that is usually off limits.

Mechta
30th Apr 2018, 09:10
Large aircraft today have minimal crew. 30 years ago there were substantial crew manifests to be seen. Potentially there only needs to be less than a handful as automation can take over most tasks.

An A380 carries 23 cabin crew, plus the flight crew, so around about the entire passenger load of a DC-3. Granted there are 400+ mouths to feed in the A380, but still not a lot of automation aft of the cockpit door.