AUTOMATION

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Butch

Level 1 Valued Member
Hello ,

What do you think of AUTOMATION and how does this impact your current job?

It seems they are pushing everywhere to eliminate people from work.

Driver less cars, driver less trucks, robot bartenders, robot airplanes military and civilian (drones that can take off aircraft carriers, autopilots etc), image recognition that can replace radiologists , house cleaning robots etc.

In the manufacturing field almost everything now is done by industrial robots.


I work in the telecom field meaning networks, network design and troubleshooting , managing data centers, telecom networks, routers, switches, firewalls, load-balancers, access points etc the Internet.

Even here the new technology called SDN (software defined networking ) is pushing for automation where Apps talk directly with a SDN Controller which in turn programs the network to accommodate traffic specifically for the APPS so less network engineers needed and this is a high technical job lots of information to study and understand etc, not easy.

The IBM Watson platform which is all about Machine Learning can replaces radiologist. By giving it enough validated X-Rays it can recognize tumors, fractures etc by itself.

In the financial industry Artificial Intelligence is replacing analysts and investors etc.

The only ones who seem that will have jobs in this world are some computer programmers.

I've seen a show about a completely automated Hotel in Japan. There were no people , none, zero, zilch, working there. It was really Spooky, at least for me.

There are not enough jobs for people and it seems there will be fewer still. They have even robot pets. Instead of real dog some little robot that plays some bark sounds and wags it's artificial tail when you pet it.

What do you think about this? Are you worried ?
 
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The Nail

Level 7 Valued Member
Automation is a problem.
It's been an issue for blue collar jobs for years, and now white collar jobs (previously thought "safe") are getting smashed. Runaway immigration further compounds the issue for blue collar folks, and H1B visas compound it for white collar folks. So, the jobs that are there are extremely competitive. Software tester job applications want 3 years of experience coding. What the what? They want the coding experience because of the big push to automate testing; software tester jobs are now becoming extinct as well.

These factors compress wages, which is made worse by sky high education costs for both trade work and white collar jobs such as computer science.

As far as coding, "Learn to code!" is the new "Let them eat cake!". It takes decades to pay off STEM student loan debt, so those folks aren't any further ahead in the end. Entry level coder jobs are outsourced to India or filled with H1B contractors. I'd even say people with student loan debt actually start out behind the guy who starts a plumbing business and saves money or invests, due to the compounding of investment returns and interest. The same compound effect that is your friend with investment/savings is your enemy with debt.

Excuse my pessimism. This is a problem I've been attempting to solve for myself without much luck. I've got no solutions, only more questions. I do have some guidelines that have worked to calm my mind and filter my day to day actions.
  • Keep your body lean and strong - healthcare costs can easily bankrupt a man.
  • Do not go into debt- being debt free is an incredible feeling.
  • Domesticate your emotions - make them work for you
    • “My idea of the modern Stoic sage is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into information, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.”
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Hello ,

What do you think of AUTOMATION and how does this impact your current job?

It seems they are pushing everywhere to eliminate people from work.

Driver less cars, driver less trucks, robot bartenders, robot airplanes military and civilian (drones that can take off aircraft carriers, autopilots etc), image recognition that can replace radiologists , house cleaning robots etc.

In the manufacturing field almost everything now is done by industrial robots.


I work in the telecom field meaning networks, network design and troubleshooting , managing data centers, telecom networks, routers, switches, firewalls, load-balancers, access points etc the Internet.

Even here the new technology called SDN (software defined networking ) is pushing for automation where Apps talk directly with a SDN Controller which in turn programs the network to accommodate traffic specifically for the APPS so less network engineers needed and this is a high technical job lots of information to study and understand etc, not easy.

The IBM Watson platform which is all about Machine Learning can replaces radiologist. By giving it enough validated X-Rays it can recognize tumors, fractures etc by itself.

In the financial industry Artificial Intelligence is replacing analysts and investors etc.

The only ones who seem that will have jobs in this world are some computer programmers.

I've seen a show about a completely automated Hotel in Japan. There were no people , none, zero, zilch, working there. It was really Spooky, at least for me.

There are not enough jobs for people and it seems there will be fewer still. They have even robot pets. Instead of real dog some little robot that plays some bark sounds and wags it's artificial tail when you pet it.

What do you think about this? Are you worried ?

This is the now AND the future. The biggest insult is working folks have paid taxes and outfits like DARPA coordinate the tech, which then gets licensed out to put the same people out of work who paid for the research in the first place.

I have plenty more to say about this but have to get to going.

Butlerian Jihad ?
 

kodo kb

Level 6 Valued Member
I'm not that worried for myself, but I'm getting into robotics so I hope to be safe from being automated out of a job.

For the U.S., I'm not that worried overall, as I believe technology like automation ultimately creates wealth for humanity and drives cost of living down. It will also drive a lot of other costs down, restructure the economy, and how we think of education.

There is definitely going to be some tough times for a lot of people, as there will always be when tech displaces workers. Creative destruction is ultimately a good thing for most people, but it's important to remember the real and negative effects it can have on those who find it hard to adjust.

I'm an optimist, but I also think that optimism is well-grounded. Prior tech booms have made life easier/better for most people. Plus, we haven't off'd ourselves yet.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
I personally feel we are rushing toward a dystopian future of epic proportions. A post industrial society is going to look a lot like a pre-industrial one - most will not be needed in the cash economy for it to function, only there are no family farms to fall back on.


We (the US) have the lowest labor force participation rate since records were kept, real unemployment is higher than during the "Great" depression. The number of working age males in the economy is at an all time low. Automation will only serve to keep and increase these pressures. Improvements in technology mean fewer people achieving what formerly took more folk to accomplish. There will never be enough high tech jobs to employ most of the people, once the lotech jobs are gone...what shores up the economic base? Many of us will have to find other ways to get-by than participation in the currency economy, we simply will have nothing with which to trade for money other than services and there won't be enough other people with $ to employ everyone in a service economy.

There are plenty of examples of what such an economy might look like, we refer to them as third world.


As the tax base continues to shrink, govt services and infrastructure will continue to atrophy and more services the govt used to provide will become cash only (the current US debt at 20 trillion is mathematically impossible to pay down, a bankruptcy of sorts is coming soon and at the worst possible moment). Picture many gated communities with managed greenspaces and outside - sprawling slums. The benefits of technological improvements will become increasingly out of reach for most.

It would take a radical rethink of things like income tax, property tax etc to stabilize the situation, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

I am trying not to be too pessimistic and certainly hope I am dead wrong about all of the above. If you look at the trajectory over the last 30 years it is difficult to come to an alternative conclusion. And that without considering the impact of pollution, environmental degradation, war, changing climate patterns...is going to be a bumpy ride.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Worried? No. It is what it is. I give music lessons for most of my living, but there are people who get their musical education from YouTube. I look at it as my responsibility to have something to offer that people want to pay for, and if no one is willing to pay for what I have to offer, I look at it as my responsibility to learn to do something else. I've had more than one career change in my life and don't assume I'll get to keep doing what I'm doing for the rest of my life.

-S-
 

Butch

Level 1 Valued Member
"As an ex-automation engineer I will keep my trap shut on this one...:)"

No point in this post.
So u post an entry saying u r not going to talk about the topic.

So better not post at all.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Worried? No. It is what it is. I give music lessons for most of my living, but there are people who get their musical education from YouTube. I look at it as my responsibility to have something to offer that people want to pay for, and if no one is willing to pay for what I have to offer, I look at it as my responsibility to learn to do something else. I've had more than one career change in my life and don't assume I'll get to keep doing what I'm doing for the rest of my life.

-S-

I have to agree with everything except the "not worried" part. :)
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
Automation takes a lot of middle class union jobs. Recently in Canada the question has come up, should companies pay taxes for replacing employees with automation? They are a workers, in theory, and contribute nothing to the economy, but perform a job. Is a "robot" an employee? It will never happen here as our labour standards and laws are very corporate friendly, as opposed to protecting employees. I have worked in heavy industrial jobs for over twenty years and seen automation, and outsourcing replacing well paying jobs.

The theory is technology will replace work, and then what will we worker ants do? I don't see that happening anytime soon, but it will be continued a slow erosion of the working middle class.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
I have been in printing for over 20 years and watched technology reduce journeyman press operators to second tier employment - I have in my own way helped the process as I transitioned to digital many years ago when there were still relatively few "experts" and that technology displaced many smaller offset print shops.

Now being an "expert" I am just as the journeyman pressman of yesterday with my job increasingly becoming superfluous even though we have plenty of work. I am willing and able to redefine my skillsets, but I also need other people to need services and goods.

For me this leads to deeper philosophical musing - do people have an inherent right to a subsistence life - 40 acres and a mule, once they are no longer needed in a cash economy? How can/should the govt collect taxes from people who are living in such a fashion? At what point does one's participation in a government organized society depend on owning property or having some other skin in the game, and what else is one to do?

I wonder what the outcome when professional drivers are displaced as is ready to begin - will they go quietly or will there be physical resistance? They are a huge segment of the labor pool, they cannot be eliminated wholesale with no fallout.

Will we allow multi-use robots to operate in the public sphere unattended and will we allow them to defend themselves if attacked or kidnapped (kidnapping robots would be a very lucrative form of "scrapping"!)? What is the liability of the owner in such cases where the robot harms someone, justified or not? Will we allow autonomous military or law enforcement hardware to operate and where? Will citizens even have a seat at the table as this gets decided?

It sounds like something out of a SciFi story but these questions need to be asked. Advances in robotics are going to generate changes like few or no other prior tech innovation, and pretty much all the pieces are in place to greatly expand this technology.
 

dnguyen411

Level 5 Valued Member
What do you think of AUTOMATION and how does this impact your current job?
From a very high level, I think automation of certain tasks is a good thing. If robots are able to do tasks faster, cheaper, with better quality than a human, then there's really no reason really to keep a human doing that exact job. People who run business are always looking to do more with less to maximize profits. I hate to burst people's bubbles but it's inevitable because if, for example, laws are passed in the USA to not allow certain amount of automation, another country's business folks will do it anyway.

However, we are a long way from robots completely replacing humans for every task. Remember, robots are robots, not human. They will not be able to add that human touch and experience. For example, how many of us enjoy the task of calling a customer service line with the robots that are suppose to listen to what your issue is versus the old touch-tone method of menus. I feel there will still be enough jobs out there that a robot cannot provide. And, I believe, it will be more than just maintaining or creating our robots. We need to be creative as we move into this era.

I think the answer is, like we're doing in this thread now, is discuss with a broad level of classes (i.e. rural/urban citizens, blue/white collar, politicians, businesses, entrepreneurs, etc) to discuss where the future is going and how do humans fit in the big picture. We know automation is coming and it can't be stopped. But we are early enough to help steer not only that process but determine how to help it's citizens at the same time.
 

Butch

Level 1 Valued Member
If lots of jobs will be replaced by robots/automatons and these will turn out lots of products and services who will buy if people are out of work and don't have money?
 

apa

Level 6 Valued Member
This talk about automation always reminds me of DeepMind's AlphaGo. (AlphaGo | DeepMind) A computer that can beat a Grandmaster in Go. Later on I heard it could even beat the guy who is ranked #1 in the world.

That's both scary and awesome at the same time.
 
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