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Humans Need Not Apply

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by JRod0802, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. JRod0802

    JRod0802 Member

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    #1 JRod0802, Aug 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Elon recently retweeted this video on the future of robotics & automation and its impact on humanity. I just thought I'd share it here for those that don't follow Elon's twitter:


    Humans Need Not Apply - YouTube
     
  2. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    That was a great video. Thanks for sharing!
     
  3. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

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    I didn't watch this to the end but if I understand it correctly it was saying Humans will be replaced by 'Bots' just like we replaced the horse with "mechanical muscle".
    The biggest weakness of this theory is Horses do not consume goods and services directly, humans do.
    So it wouldn't matter how automated and cheap the process to manufacture the good or service is, if Humans don't have a job to pay for the end result there can be no profit.
    Just shows how far sighted Henry Ford was when he raised the wages of his workers to create a market for his cars.
     
  4. JRod0802

    JRod0802 Member

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    While true, I don't think you're thinking about it from first principle. Think about it... in the abstract, if I were to explain to a group of hunter/gathers that we just invented a robot that is stronger / smarter than a human, works 24/7, and gives everything it makes to us, they would think that's awesome. We could all just play, or do whatever we wanted. There wouldn't have to be any homeless or any poor or starving.

    The fact that we have a system of government that prevents that from working only implies that we should fix our system of government, rather than not build the robots. It would be great if we could all just share the fruits of the robots' labor.

    Edit: to be clear, I don't know how to do this.
     
  5. Cheerose

    Cheerose Member

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    On a side note -- CGP Grey's videos are really well done...
     
  6. Martini

    Martini Member

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    Dystopian view: Robots take our jobs, we can't work anymore.
    Utopian view: Robots take our jobs, we don't have to work anymore.
     
  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Wow, thanks for sharing that video. Fascinating and disturbing.

    @meloccom, you should watch the whole video. It's only 12 minutes. The conclusion discusses how nearly half the workforce are candidates for automation and losing their jobs.
     
  8. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    I love CGP Grey
     
  9. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

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    I love CGP Grey and have watched his videos for years. I do have to take issue with his conclusion here because he ignored the obvious conclusion of his analogy. Just like machines (mechanical muscles) became an extension of our bodies (e.g. an earthmover is an extension of my hand) we will use these algorithms and all this computational power as an extension of our minds.

    Think about it, Google is already an extension of my mind. Is there a difference between someone that has memorized the names and order of all the US presidents and me with a smartphone? Nope, not really. Yeah, the interface between the cloud and my brain is slow compared to having that knowledge locally in my own brain, but that is becoming less and less true. I don't need to go to the library anymore, how many tens of thousands fold improvement is that in time to retrieve the information?

    So, we will be able to keep up with the machines; not because biology advances as fast as technology, but because we will continue our long history of merging with our technology as it advances. There will certainly be job casualties along the way, especially during the transition points, but I believe the result will be dirt cheap and abundant goods, food, shelter, health, and most importantly---time.

    My plan for weathering the transition is to invest in these technologies that are going to change the world. If I'm a horse 100 years ago that lost his job to a car, but I'm well invested in Ford Motor Co. then I call that early retirement not unemployment.
     
  10. JRod0802

    JRod0802 Member

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    You can, but what about your children? They’d just be unemployable horses.

    What happens when robots are so smart that adding a human brain just gets in the way? They'd have to explain to us what they're doing, and then we wouldn't understand. We just wouldn't be worth training. Computers can be "trained" in seconds. It can take humans a life-time to get really good at stuff.

    Also, don't forget, human + robot still costs minimum wage. Robot alone is much cheaper.

    I believe that CGP Grey is right. Here's how I imagine the world in 200 years:

    Robots do >99% of the work. There are a few human jobs left like being an actor or social worker, but very little. I'll talk more about this later.

    Governments have been redesigned so that all of the wealth generated from the robots gets redistributed to the citizens of the country. Everything that is necessary is provided to all the people. Robots build everyone a place to live, and give everyone food.

    This may sound depressing because people like a challenge. Once Homo Habilis started making tools, though, we were on a path to those tools eventually providing everything we need for us. That path leads us to the world 200 (or possibly less) years from now.

    So what would we do? Our lives would be consumed by "fun activities". There would be all kinds of sports, not just the televised ones we see now. There would be mental sports, physical sports, etc. There would also be acting, singing, etc. Yes, robots could probably make a "perfect actor" in CGI, but we as humans would probably be interested in the best "real" actors too, if only to make celebrities out of them. By doing well, we'd gain prestige. We could even tell the robots to give better houses to those that did well, that way we'd end up with a reward for our success.

    The main difference, though, is that those who did poorly would still get a house, and still get food, no matter what.

    And the few humans who were actually employable (like those who would become social workers), all of those jobs would be at zero pay, and there would still be huge competition to do those jobs... because they'd be one of the only things left that someone could do that matters.
     
  11. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    I agree with the premise of the video: A.I. is inevitable. Just as labor done by humans can be better done by machines, so can many (all) intellectual tasks. However I don't share the pessimistic view as expressed by Jrod and many others. Just as it must have been completely impossible for the people living before the industrial revolution to imagine our world today it's impossible for us living today to imagine the future world. Doomsday prophecies have been around forever and have never come true. Everything seems to get better all the time, for everyone. Most likely this will continue.

    There is however good reason to be cautious since the advent of AI is kind of a black box to us. I would very much argue that philosopher Nick Bostrom is correct when he urges us to be cautious and that we should strive for much better global coordination and planning as we develop AI further. Anyone interested in these issues should read his book Superintelligence (Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies: Nick Bostrom: 9780199678112: Amazon.com: Books) which is superb. Elon recommended it BTW on his Twitter feed, but Bostrom has been on my radar for a long time.
     
  12. ThortsMD

    ThortsMD Member

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    [​IMG] Originally Posted by Citizen-T [​IMG]
    If I'm a horse 100 years ago that lost his job to a car, but I'm well invested in Ford Motor Co. then I call that early retirement not unemployment.

     
  13. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    Well, since intellectual capabilities of your fridge and your coffee machine would far exceed your own, it would be much better strategy to let your toaster or vacuum cleaner to develop investment strategies.
     
  14. JohnnyT

    JohnnyT Member

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    interesting video, thanks for sharing!
     
  15. JRod0802

    JRod0802 Member

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  16. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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  17. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    Having worked in an automation shop for a couple years, that video was beyond sensationalist. People can use robots as multipliers, but not agents.

    Managing the labor force is up to the private and public sector, as well as the individual, but there's no guarantee we'll have legions of unemployed.

    While I agree that there will be many service sector and white collar jobs eliminated because of robots, there will also likely be many jobs onshored in industries like manufacturing.

    In addition, if my industry is indicative, even if companies only employ ~10-20% of the onshore workforce that they had before automation, they'll hire as many people offshore.
     
  18. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Since there will be robots that can do everything better than humans, we needn't worry, because the population will gradually decline. :D
     
  19. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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  20. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    The best outcome I can foresee is one where robot labor frees humans to explore the universe. Star Trek is the closest example: a society where energy and manufacturing costs are so low that citizens don't have to buy necessities.

    As humans are flawed however, the darker possibility is that Earth becomes like Gallifrey: A small percentage of the population lives as Lords, while the masses live a parallel degraded and savage existence in outer zones.

    Yet another possibility is that humans become fused into machine similar to the Borg of Star Trek. Humans are already symbiotic hosts to many non-human bacteria which are necessary for life. I think that humans could become hosts for computer elements in the future. Trans-human and post-human evolution may be inevitable.
     

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