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Full unemployment - due to autonomous driving?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by SoccerMan94043, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. SoccerMan94043

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  2. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    I think it will happen - universal income - very high marginal taxes on corporate earnings - due to increasing returns of capital and comparatively small returns on labor. The issue is the timeframe - and at this stage there's no way to know whether we are talking 20 years or 2,000. The history of predicting AI advancement rates is one full of laughable errors.
     
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  3. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Also - my theory is we don't need any grand society-planning schemes - universal income will just gradually happen organically through a patchwork of increasingly generous entitlement programs and rising tax rates as technology gradually advances and returns on capital inexorably increase.

    It will have to happen because capitalists are not stupid - if the masses are broke with no income they can't buy the products built by the robots owned by the shareholders.

    Right now it all looks scary and unpredictable - it's just noise. But look back on the grand picture a couple hundred years from now and the trend lines will be clear.
     
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  4. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Member

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    " In other words one is 130 times safer in Autopilot mode."

    Errrmmm ... should be 1.3 times I think ... bit of a difference (Not to mention the statistical unreliability of a sample-size-of-one)

    How might an autonomous delivery vehicle work? Sire it can drive to my house but how does it (physically) deliver the parcel, or leave it with a neighbour if I'm out? If it just honks its horn I can go out and empty everything out of the back into my garage sale :p[/I]
     
  5. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    I think the title is a bit alarmist. There will be jobs that will go away as tech changes, but that has always been the way of tech evolution. You don't find too many horse groomers in New York City today, but 110 years ago there were thousands. Same thing for street sweepers. There were legions of people who spent their entire work day sweeping the streets of horse manure. There isn't much calling for them today.

    As tech changes, new jobs are created. A high percentage of jobs today didn't exist 20 years ago. However, what is going away are low skill jobs and well paying low skill jobs (like the manufacturing jobs of the 50s and 60s in the US) are rare as dinosaurs these days. Technology is going to make even more low skill jobs go away in the coming years. We will see fast food jobs become more and more automated. The future is bleak for people who don't have the talent to get a good paying job.

    I doubt any country is going to see all automated cars by 2032. The tech will be there, but it won't be wide spread enough. It takes a long time to replace all the cars in circulation in a developed country like the US. Even if the demand goes off the peg, production is going to be the limiting factor for many years. The average age of cars in the US is over 11 years and there are over 250 million cars in the US with about 7 million sold a year.

    There will be a lot of pressure from car enthusiasts to allow some kind of support for their cars. They may be banned from major highways and only allowed on secondary roads, but they will be allowed on the road for some time to come.
     
  6. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    By this stat, about half of all people you'd ever meet would die / have died in a car crash:

    "In the USA, Vanity Fair suggests, one road fatality occurs for every 1,000,000 miles driven."


    WE know it's wrong, because we've heard a different number. But even if you've never heard a different number in your life, common sense would tell you that's not accurate.
     
  7. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    It's only a couple of zeroes! :D
     
  8. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Member

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    Makes a difference when they are at the back, rather than the front! :p
     
  9. eloder

    eloder Member

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    The AI/robotics revolution will be quite different than any other previous revolution, though. It will completely eliminate the biggest fields of employment out there, rather than just eliminating specific jobs within fields like previous revolutions.

    For example, AI/robotics will be replacing customer service--one of the biggest markets out there, especially for unskilled labor but increasingly in skilled labor too (i.e., tech support, financial advising, etc.). They'll also completely destroy the transportation sector, which kills many new innovative jobs (Uber, Amazon Prime Now delivery, etc.) as well as long-entrenched jobs (truckers, transportation, etc.).

    Customer service has always survived through every previous revolution--workers just moved around, but still had the field of "customer service" existing. I myself work in a customer service job that did not exist a couple decades before on multiple fronts (my medium is through chat, and my products didn't exist 11 years ago). Transportation has always survived through every previous revolution--people moving goods just transitioned from carts to boats to carriages to automobiles.

    Literally, a small handful of coders/robotics engineers/etc. can replace an infinite number of workers. AIs cost next to nothing to deploy to serve millions while robots will most certainly pay for themselves in under a year. Once you code an AI capable of troubleshooting computer problems, that entire field is now unemployable until the end of time and only small numbers of software engineers are needed for maintenance. Once Tesla produces the first autonomous semi-trailer that pays for itself in a few months, that's it--no citizen will ever find another road-based transportation job, period. Robotic maintenance/repair may be a thing, but nowhere near the numbers required to employ millions.

    New jobs will be created, yes, but nowhere near enough to save the 100+ million displaced US unskilled workers being created by this revolution.

    The only way economies will be saved is with universal basic income--and it can easily be fueled by high marginal taxes on corporations who benefit the most from the AI/robotics revolution. (Every large corporation could gain 30%+ to their profit margins, and a 20%+ additional marginal corporate tax could easily support universal basic income--it's still a win-win). With that, businesses/shareholders can still sell their products, and then people will be free to pursue "pointless" jobs. Art/entertainment/leisure/etc. can easily employ 80%+ of the population, but only if there's still plenty of money pumped into the masses for taking care of basic living expenses.
     
  10. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    AI computer troubleshooters will be used for maintenance as well as debugging, but it is a difficult problem for an AI to design things in the first place. You can have AI aids that make design quicker, but the design itself still requires a human.

    If a lot of people are put out of work by machines, even if it's only 10% of the population, wages for the remaining jobs will go down as there will be many people chasing the remaining jobs.
     
  11. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    With that theory, after the recession, you should have been able to hire people in STEM jobs for cheap right now. Which is definitely not the case.

    Here's one for the prediction thread: In 10 years, barring another recession or sensible immigration reform, the U.S. average base salary for a Software Engineer will be $200k.
     
  12. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    There are industries where the supply is less than the demand which are usually highly skilled positions. If AIs start doing at least some of the jobs software engineers do know, or dramatically automate a good portion of the job, it will initially balance out the supply and demand equation, but will eventually start putting software developers out of work who will be competing for the remaining jobs.

    I'm an Electronic/Software Engineer myself. For most of my career finding gigs has been like shooting fish in a barrel, but for a while around 2002-2008 gigs were hard to come by. US companies cut way back on R&D and what was getting done was outsourced to India. Since 2008 has been boom times again.

    For what I do, there are some things that could be automated with AI at some point, but at least 50% would be very difficult for an AI to do for a very long time.

    In the car business, it's not that difficult to train robots to make many components of a car, but it's very tough for any kind of AI to design that car in the first place. AI can be used to aid design like a smart CAD system, but the overall design needs to be directed by human minds.
     

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