Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Jobs

Discuss those "what if" or "what would you do" scenarios you've been wondering about.

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Neville » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:52 pm

MPMalloy wrote: This is a dark view.
It most certainly is.

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by woodsghost » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:54 pm

Neville wrote: They keep us around because for now at least, we are useful. That ceases to be the case - then where's the justification - from their point of view - of keeping us around consuming their resources? NONE! From their POV a global pandemic is probably the best tool, because once released, it will do a fairly good job of spreading itself around without any massive investment in a delivery device, and probably does the least environmental and infrastructure damage.

Is there any way for the serfs to get in front of this and change it for the better? I'm not sure. The serfs typically don't do a great job of resource management and they haven't shown a willingness to curb population growth and resource depletion on their own. At some point, there are simply too many of them to be supported by the available resources which are steadily consumed/eroded. From where I sit it's a bleak future either way.

I don't dispute there are sociopaths running a lot of businesses, and governments. I also don't dispute that those who fail to take the necessary steps will likely end up on the bottom.

I will say that, as far as I can tell, sociopaths and a culture of sociopathy is self-destructive. Those folks shoot themselves in the foot. They get ahold of something, burn it out, and leave the husk. Or don't. Sometimes they are left holding an empty shell. But word gets around and they tank.

My brother was just let go from his job because he was not on board with unethical business practices. Basically, the company he worked for is mishandling their client's property. That will get out and that company will suffer. Likely, it will take a while, as my brother is keeping his mouth shut to avoid burning his future. But that mishandling of client property will eventually lead to stuff getting leaked and it will blow up and heads will roll and reputations will be tarnished.

Why does this all matter? Sociopaths win for a time, but in the end they burn down their worlds and they lose. Sociopathy is not self-sustaining. In a world of thieves, nobody can do business with anybody. So everybody suffers.

There was a guy named Houqua. According to the book I was reading, Chinese merchants of the early 1800's (and many other time frames) were a lying pack of SOBs. Houqua decided to take a different approach to business and chose to be absolutely, scrupulously, honest. Western traders learned they could rely on him and trust him, so they did business with him rather than his competitors. I read he amassed a fortune of $26 million dollars. In the 1840's, that was worth more than today. Point? Integrity matters. (and it can be good for business)

People who screw their human assets tend to have their human assets screw them. Sociopaths tend to attract other sociopaths, and they create a big circle jerk that burns their little kingdoms down because everyone is screwing everyone else and nothing is actually getting done. It often takes time, but it happens.

There won't be any sociopaths sitting on top of a robotic world having got rid of the useless serfs. 1) sociopaths don't do well in a world where they are the majority. 2) Those who make the best decisions will rise above the rest. Those tend to be people who make ethical decisions.

If you want examples of a world run by sociopaths, look at Brazilian politics. There are many other examples around the world of sociopaths in power. They all have a tendency to screw themselves and burn their kingdoms to the ground. Countries which choose leaders with integrity tend to last.
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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Dabster » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:18 pm

Neville wrote:
DarkAxel wrote:Masses of unemployed people with no hope of ever getting a job? That's how revolutions are born. It might not be a risk if money-based economies are done away with, but I don't see that happening at the same rate as automation. Technology development moves a hell of a lot faster than social change on that scale.

I am reminded of Agent Smith from the Matrix: "I say your civilization because as soon as we started thinking for you, it really became our civilization".
The PTB's are no doubt keenly aware of this and have commissioned numerous studies at RAND Corporation and other think-tanks to work out what to do about it. At some point those unemployed people lose their usefulness to the PTB's. The question then is what to do with/about them, before the masses start thinking likewise. There's no problem facing humanity today that isn't vastly improved by massive depopulation... that is, for those who aren't being depopulated. The reason it hasn't happened so far (aside from luck) is that the PTB's still need people around to work for them, and add to their prestige and power vs others of their kind. The robots and AI are not good enough - YET - to satisfactorily replace us all. Once serfs can be manufactured instead of born, programmed instead of educated, that whole equation changes. Yes I am talking about wealthy/powerful people who are sociopathic or psychopathic and are incapable of feeling empathy. They do not see themselves as "one of us" in very similar manner to Agent Smith of the Matrix. The only reason we are kept around is we are useful. They won't feel bad about snuffing us out to replace us with robots any more than they feel sorry for the 5000 they laid off at the manufacturing plant when they sent the factory overseas. It's a good business move, they tell themselves - the smart thing to do, and they will congratulate themselves. The ones who hesitate or resort to half-measures will be the ones finding themselves at a distinct disadvantage in the new order, and will be seen as "weak" by the others who didn't bat an eye when they pushed the button. In a world where "weak" equals "vulnerable" how long will it take the vultures to start circling? Not long... after the dust settles, it will be the strong (aka ruthless) who have survived.

They keep us around because for now at least, we are useful. That ceases to be the case - then where's the justification - from their point of view - of keeping us around consuming their resources? NONE! From their POV a global pandemic is probably the best tool, because once released, it will do a fairly good job of spreading itself around without any massive investment in a delivery device, and probably does the least environmental and infrastructure damage.

Is there any way for the serfs to get in front of this and change it for the better? I'm not sure. The serfs typically don't do a great job of resource management and they haven't shown a willingness to curb population growth and resource depletion on their own. At some point, there are simply too many of them to be supported by the available resources which are steadily consumed/eroded. From where I sit it's a bleak future either way.
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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by flybynight » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:12 pm

"In his obituary for John von Neumann, Ulam recalled a conversation with von Neumann about the "ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue."[4]
In 1965, Good wrote his essay postulating an "intelligence explosion" of recursive self-improvement of a machine intelligence. In 1985, in "The Time Scale of Artificial Intelligence", artificial intelligence researcher Ray Solomonoff articulated mathematically the related notion of what he called an "infinity point": if a research community of human-level self-improving AIs take four years to double their own speed, then two years, then one year and so on, their capabilities increase infinitely in finite time.[5][53]
In 1983, Vinge greatly popularized Good's intelligence explosion in a number of writings, first addressing the topic in print in the January 1983 issue of Omni magazine. In this op-ed piece, Vinge seems to have been the first to use the term "singularity" in a way that was specifically tied to the creation of intelligent machines:[54][55] writing
We will soon create intelligences greater than our own. When this happens, human history will have reached a kind of singularity, an intellectual transition as impenetrable as the knotted space-time at the center of a black hole, and the world will pass far beyond our understanding. This singularity, I believe, already haunts a number of science-fiction writers. It makes realistic extrapolation to an interstellar future impossible. To write a story set more than a century hence, one needs a nuclear war in between ... so that the world remains intelligible
" from the Wikipedia on technological singularity

If you could somehow bring a person from two thousand years ago to the present. What would that person understand of even normal everyday things like lightbulbs, TV. vehicles . Take that concept and a mind that we cannot even fathom and humans become the proverbial ant hill in the back yard.
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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by MPMalloy » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:19 pm

flybynight wrote:"In his obituary for John von Neumann, Ulam recalled a conversation with von Neumann about the "ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue."[4]
In 1965, Good wrote his essay postulating an "intelligence explosion" of recursive self-improvement of a machine intelligence. In 1985, in "The Time Scale of Artificial Intelligence", artificial intelligence researcher Ray Solomonoff articulated mathematically the related notion of what he called an "infinity point": if a research community of human-level self-improving AIs take four years to double their own speed, then two years, then one year and so on, their capabilities increase infinitely in finite time.[5][53]
In 1983, Vinge greatly popularized Good's intelligence explosion in a number of writings, first addressing the topic in print in the January 1983 issue of Omni magazine. In this op-ed piece, Vinge seems to have been the first to use the term "singularity" in a way that was specifically tied to the creation of intelligent machines:[54][55] writing
We will soon create intelligences greater than our own. When this happens, human history will have reached a kind of singularity, an intellectual transition as impenetrable as the knotted space-time at the center of a black hole, and the world will pass far beyond our understanding. This singularity, I believe, already haunts a number of science-fiction writers. It makes realistic extrapolation to an interstellar future impossible. To write a story set more than a century hence, one needs a nuclear war in between ... so that the world remains intelligible
" from the Wikipedia on technological singularity

If you could somehow bring a person from two thousand years ago to the present. What would that person understand of even normal everyday things like lightbulbs, TV. vehicles . Take that concept and a mind that we cannot even fathom and humans become the proverbial ant hill in the back yard.
Huh?

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by MacAttack » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:22 pm

I am in less fear of a robot and AI controlled uprising than a rogue hacker taking control of our robots and robotic military assets.

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by ManInBlack316 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:37 pm

MacAttack wrote:I am in less fear of a robot and AI controlled uprising than a rogue hacker taking control of our robots and robotic military assets.
Just picture hackers getting into the mainframe if self driving cars become the norm, 1000 car pileup because someone was bored...

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by RonnyRonin » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:15 am

ManInBlack316 wrote:
MacAttack wrote:I am in less fear of a robot and AI controlled uprising than a rogue hacker taking control of our robots and robotic military assets.
Just picture hackers getting into the mainframe if self driving cars become the norm, 1000 car pileup because someone was bored...
Are self driving cars even networked? I thought they were (at least for now) completely autonomous. Wouldn't be much of a car that can't drive outside of cell service.

I'd also say that until someone hacks a military drone flight I've got a little more faith in our militaries encryption then that.
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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Wraith6761 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:19 am

ManInBlack316 wrote:
MacAttack wrote:I am in less fear of a robot and AI controlled uprising than a rogue hacker taking control of our robots and robotic military assets.
Just picture hackers getting into the mainframe if self driving cars become the norm, 1000 car pileup because someone was bored...
That can, and already does, happen thanks to systems like OnStar--one car company (Cadillac, I think?) recently had to do a major recall to roll out a big firmware/software update after somebody pointed out how easily they were able to get into the main computer of the car, and from there shut down the brakes or do pretty much anything they wanted to.

AI driving is a cool idea, but it's nowhere near ready for release...Tesla is getting to the point of testing it on public roads, but even their systems can't handle many everyday situations like faded paint lines on the roadways or low visibility due to fog/bad weather....plus there's still the complete failures on some driver-assist technologies, like what happened Volvo's auto-braking (basically, it didn't engage the brakes at all with a guy in the test car doing 55mph straight into the back of a transfer truck on their test track, haven't seen any releases on what exactly was the cause there)...what's more likely than driving going fully automated is driving becoming assisted while a "driver" still rides along ready to take control when needed, similar to how autopilot works on most jet liners. If that becomes the case, jobs driving trucks might actually become more desirable to some people. Automated delivery drones are facing similar issues in addition to a few unique ones involving dropping connections to GPS satellites due to weather phenomenons (though a lot more of the drone issue is coming from the govt not being willing to play ball with anybody on pilotless drones large enough to carry packages, much less something large enough to carry a person). Plus, on the drone side of things, power becomes a serious issue...not so much for small packages (just a limited delivery range), but something big enough to carry 2-3 full-sized American adults (who likely weigh more than adults from other countries, sadly)...you'd have to go gas-powered, which comes with a lot of extra potential hazards to deal with...

On the argument of computing power increasing at an exponential rate, no, it's really not. There have been short periods where it was, but nowadays it's much more of an incremental increase than exponential. Not only that, we've finally hit the point that physical size limitations are preventing us from continuing to create new processors (at least from an architectural standpoint)...14nm is about as small as we can currently go for a full-featured standard processor. Intel's trying to figure out the 10nm architecture, but apparently running into some pretty serious quantum theory issues where the electrical charge is disappearing randomly inside the processor, and they can't figure out wtf is happening----for those who don't know, currently CPUs are linear, and work like a light switch, either on or off (closed circuit or open), which is why binary code is made of nothing but 1s (closed) and 0s (open), with the number of times the processor can open and close the circuit being measured as the speed of the processor; the rumors coming out of Intel are stating that somehow they're sending an electric charge into a closed circuit on the processor (essentially, the light switch is on and allowing power to go through it) but the charge is not coming out the other side of the circuit to continue along the processor. It's something that was predicted to happen back in the 80s, but took a helluva lot longer to actually happen than was predicted (I think the original prediction was for it to happen by the mid-90s). Until somebody either figures out what's happening and how to fix it, or somebody figures out how to make a non-linear (essentially quantum) CPU, I kinda doubt we'll be seeing exponential growth in processing power for computers anytime soon.

Finally, there's the sheer limitations on sensory data input and processing working in our favor. Doing something that's incredibly simple for humans, like kicking a soccer ball, is insanely difficult for a robot, due to constantly changing data regarding the shape and dimensions of the ball, distance, speed, direction of motion, etc. to the point that there are several major "build a robot" competitions every year that use kicking a soccer ball as one of the main tests (usually something like "kick the ball against a wall 3 times" or similar). Amazon's been working on the idea of using robots inside the warehouses to handle inventory for years now, and does hold internal competitions for those of us who want to try our hand at building a bot that can handle the challenges. Amazon still uses humans to handle inventory...not cause they don't want to use robots (and they've kinda found a way to do so through Kiva robotics, though all Kiva does is bring the rack of bins with products in them to the human for the human to get the required product), but because robots only really shine when the conditions for the task are exactly the same (or extremely similar) every time. If they're just packaging a rectangular box every time, a robot can beat a person. But if it's got to change from a rectangular box, to a mop, to a baseball, to an HDMI cable, to a package of screws, to a plunger, back to a rectangular box, and so forth, the human will leave the robot in the dust. The automated self-checkouts and self-ordering kiosks popping up in restaurants are a good example--the software might change to include a new item on the menu or a new way to pay, but the base job is still exactly the same (and let's be fair, the push towards the restaurant kiosks is from people pushing for $15/hr to flip f***ing burgers, without that demand those kiosks wouldn't be showing up cause it's more expensive to set those up than to pay current minimum wages).

To create a robot that can gather all the required sensory data, process it, and decide how to react to it in real-time at a comparable rate to a human brain, would require a metric-f***ton of processing power that currently isn't possible, especially in a mobile platform, not to mention giving it the ability to physically interact and manipulate any random object that it comes across...HAL or Skynet or whatever that AI was named in I, Robot might be a possibility that we could see in our lifetimes (computers have already beaten us in chess, after all), but until somebody cracks quantum computing, we're not going to be seeing Terminators anytime soon. Though, how would Terminators get enough power to operate for any length of time? Current battery tech wouldn't last long enough to do much (and there's a good chance lithium-ion batteries would just catch on fire and explode anyways, at least if Samsung builds them)...hell, we can barely run a gimpy netbook for more than 8 hours on a single charge, something with the computing power of a Terminator would drain any reasonably sized battery in minutes, especially when remembering that battery has to power the motors and sensors as well as the CPU...sure, I guess nuclear power's an option, but that carries a whole other set of issues with it, like what to do with spent fuel, where to get the fuel, etc...basically, cold fusion based off a highly available resource (like hydrogen, to borrow from the Battletech/Mechwarrior universe) would be the only real option there, yet another thing we haven't figured out.

So until somebody cracks quantum computing AND cold fusion, we're probably safe from crazy AI robots herding us into camps for slaughter, or using us for power Matrix-style, or just making us sit around and calculate Pi all day for shits and giggles cause some idiot researcher plugged in the Overlord.

As for the more realistic threat of jobs getting replaced by automation, I work in IT, so my job revolves around installing/programming/troubleshooting/repairing said automation...yay, built-in job security! Seriously, automation replacing people may happen large-scale in 10-15 years assuming some serious advances are made in the right areas, but it's not coming anytime soon outside of small and very limited roles (though I would love to see a well-done Walking Dead style TV series about the robot uprising, with less drama-for-the-sake-of-drama BS...maybe Game of Thrones style would work better).

On the same note, check out the trailers for the last couple of Deus Ex games (Human Revolution and Mankind Divided)...similar ideas to some of the stuff in this thread, but dealing with the idea of merging mechanical/technological prosthesis with organic tissue.


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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Dabster » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:02 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:
I'd also say that until someone hacks a military drone flight I've got a little more faith in our militaries encryption then that.
Two points for your consideration:
1. Drone video is still somewhat easily available: https://www.wired.com/2012/10/hack-proof-drone/
2. Iran did something to catch one. Is taking control a huge stretch? https://www.wired.com/2012/04/iran-drone-hack/
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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Neville » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:48 am

The robots don't have to herd us or tap us like copper-tops for them to start having a big impact on how we live our lives and plan our futures.

This article is a fantastic read.

Chaeconomica: Rise of the Robots
https://runesoup.com/2017/02/chaeconomi ... ign=buffer


If we're talking about a circle of 100 people that you personally know, and one of them gets put out of work by a robot that's cheaper and does better work, you feel sorry for him, but your life doesn't change so to you it isn't a "real problem".

When 25 out of those 100 people you know is out of work for the same cause, you start to take notice and say "Hey, it looks like this could get to be a real problem!"

By the time 50 of that hundred are unemployed with no end in sight you start yelling "Hey, we gotta real problem here people!" Your employer is asking you to work longer hours, cutting your pay (because if you won't work for chicken feed they can easily find someone who will) and improve your work. Finally it gets to where you are sleeping six hours a night, hardly ever produce less than world-class work, and are down to a bare survival wage, the boss comes in and tells you "Look, I'm sorry, but we have to make some cutbacks to stay competitive... Labor laws won't let us work you harder or longer, our hands are tied, you see... sorry to see you go, you were a really REALLY GREAT worker... but the XL-9000 here doesn't need to sleep and costs a fraction of your annual wage.... sorry man..."

This is the story of John Henry vs the Steam Drill. On his best day, with maximum effort, John Henry was better than the steam drill... but it took everything he had (literally died from exhaustion) and the steam drill showed up bright and early the next morning and did the same job as the day before. This is the ongoing saga of mechanization and industrialization. Two guys can carry a pair of buckets with 50 lbs of dirt in them each... one guy with a wheelbarrow can carry 200 lbs of dirt all at once in the same time. The invention of wheelbarrows put half the bucket carriers out of work.

When you say "autonomous vehicles won't be ready for the real world for a long time" - just what exactly is a "long time" to you? You realize we went from Kitty Hawk to jet planes in 34 years, and that was without cad-cam and the internet. These days it would take a fraction of that time to make that amount of progress with the improved design tools and world-wide resources at your fingertips. If you're 19 years old then yeah, 15 years seems "like, forever, man!" but my car is older than that and it seems like I bought it last week. In 5 years, there will be pilot programs, in 10 years it will be "the new wave" and in 10-15 years it'll dominate the market. That's next to no time from my point of view. Disagree? Ok, let's say you are a truck driver. I tell you that your job field is going away (not just "your" job, but that entire field") in 10-15 years. Question, do you wait 10-15 years to start training for a new career? Not if you're smart. Do you wait even 5 years? Well, figure that probably half the people in your predicament do likewise... then you all hit the job market in one big wave. Competition goes up, wages and bennies go down. Nope. You start retraining RIGHT AWAY and still have probably 2-5 years before you can become an IT guy or a LPN or an electrician or plumber or heating & AC guy.

Along about the time you get settled in your new career as an auto mechanic (probably 5-10 years down the line) you see a video on Youtube of a robotic automotive tech that can work around the clock and does a better job than a human mechanic. Expected pilot program in dealerships in 5 years, will be mainstream in 10.

At what point to you just shrug, say F' it, and give up?

The real problem isn't robots taking ALL the jobs. The problem is them taking ENOUGH jobs that the rest of us have to scramble like hell to hang on to what we've got and constantly burn the midnight oil training up for the next big career shift. And even then, eventually, probably losing.

Mc D's and Wendy's are now introducing kiosks to ask people if they "want fries with that". It'll do for fast food what ATM's did for banks. Being a Bank Teller is still a job, but there are a lot fewer of them. Another 5-10 years wanna bet they have human-operated "intelligent machines" in the kitchen and store room, and goods delivered by autonomous vehicles? Then another 5-10 and they don't need the human operators any more.

To you, maybe that's a long time. To me, that's right around the corner and something I have to start factoring into career plans.

"Guaranteed income" is something talked about in the article above. It's an interesting concept. From the article (or maybe the YT vids, IDK) "We thought, if we give people a guaranteed income, they'll become artists, authors, free their creative selves and follow their dreams.... instead, we got heroin and suicides... nobody signed up for Star Fleet". People just don't thrive without the satisfaction and yes the struggle of work, and the self-esteem it brings. No one wants to be useless or unvalued. We all have ideas about what we'd do with a guaranteed stipend every month and all the free time in the world, but the truth is, that just shows how little each of us really knows ourselves.

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Close_enough » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:21 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:
ManInBlack316 wrote:
MacAttack wrote:I am in less fear of a robot and AI controlled uprising than a rogue hacker taking control of our robots and robotic military assets.
Just picture hackers getting into the mainframe if self driving cars become the norm, 1000 car pileup because someone was bored...
Are self driving cars even networked? I thought they were (at least for now) completely autonomous. Wouldn't be much of a car that can't drive outside of cell service.

I'd also say that until someone hacks a military drone flight I've got a little more faith in our militaries encryption then that.
IIRC, the software being developed for the actual driving part of self driving cars is separate from any network connection to increase resistance to hacking. I recall a car with self parking feature (Prius?) being hacked by Bluetooth. The hacker could command the steering wheel actuator to turn the wheel left or right on it's own. It was only a demonstrator vehicle, but it drove the requirement to separate the driving controls from the network.

I know of two claims of taking control of drones. I'm of the opinion that both were false. The pictures shown of the hijacked drones were similar to the real ones, but had various parts in the wrong places leading me to believe that they were mockups.

IMHO, if an AI is going to take over the world, it'll probably use social engineering to control us instead of brute force. More efficient that way.

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Wraith6761 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:55 pm

Neville wrote:When you say "autonomous vehicles won't be ready for the real world for a long time" - just what exactly is a "long time" to you? You realize we went from Kitty Hawk to jet planes in 34 years, and that was without cad-cam and the internet. These days it would take a fraction of that time to make that amount of progress with the improved design tools and world-wide resources at your fingertips. If you're 19 years old then yeah, 15 years seems "like, forever, man!" but my car is older than that and it seems like I bought it last week. In 5 years, there will be pilot programs, in 10 years it will be "the new wave" and in 10-15 years it'll dominate the market.
Autonomous vehicles are already in their pilot programs...they have been for some time. They just aren't proving very useful without a human being involved. I'm in my 30s, and no, 15 years doesn't seem like "forever." Taking from your example on truck drivers--how is that autonomous truck going to refuel itself (keep in mind, full-service fuel stations are not the norm in most states)? How's it going to deal with weigh-in stations (especially when it's found to be overweight)? How's it going to deal with faded lines on the roadway, or poor visibility from bad weather (both are major issues that companies working on this idea haven't figured out yet)? How's it going to deal with problems with the destination facility that it's dropping the load off at (or picking up from)? The basic rule of computers is GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out. If the computer is buggy, how's it going to fix itself? All of that stuff will require a human to look at it and work on it.

This debate comes up every time there's a new bit of "world-changing" tech coming out...first it was how TV was going to kill radio. TV's had what, 60+ years to work on that, and radio is actually in a better place now that it was when that declaration came out, since there's more channels and more options (HD radio, XM satellite, etc). Then the Internet was going to kill TV...25+ years later, still hasn't happened. "Computers are going to make for a paperless world." We go through probably triple the paper now than we did before computers became commonplace. "The Internet and e-readers are going to kill off periodicals and books." Admittedly, print newspapers are feeling some heat, but they're still surviving, and most are transitioning to a strong presence on the internet, so the companies and their employees aren't going anywhere, and book sales haven't dropped much either. You could make the argument of "what happens when print newspapers go under, what happens to the guys who were running the printing presses?" Well, those job roles carry over quite nicely into a lot of other jobs, like printing the packaging for most products, book printing, etc. It won't require any massive 5 year investment into retraining yourself for an entirely new career. Same goes for truck drivers--if you can drive an 18-wheeler, you can drive a forklift, or a steamroller, or a dump truck...you can transition into those roles with minimal training updates (and the majority of that training would probably be for the forklift). And yes, they could (and are trying to) add automation into each of those roles, though it isn't working very well at all, especially when dealing with trucks going off-road, like on construction sites or into logging areas.

If autonomous vehicles or other robotic replacements were somehow instantly ready to deploy tomorrow, every bit as safe and efficient (or more so) than human counterparts, and already cost the same or less than hiring people (all of which are currently not the case), then yeah, the job market would take a nasty kick in the teeth. But in the amount of time it'll take for this to happen? I'm sorry, but it's not going to be that big of a deal. Yes, some job fields may become less prominent, but at the same time, new and current fields open up. Example: 10 years ago, social media was just something that you monkeyed around with to see what your friends or exes or whoever was up to. It was a curiosity. Nowadays, "social media coordinator" is a 45K a year job in my area (it pays more or less in other places depending on cost of living, the company, etc). You can literally get paid to manage a company's social media accounts. Or in other terms, today you can make a living doing what was considered a complete waste of time 10 years ago (and arguably still is a waste of time).
Neville wrote:The real problem isn't robots taking ALL the jobs. The problem is them taking ENOUGH jobs that the rest of us have to scramble like hell to hang on to what we've got and constantly burn the midnight oil training up for the next big career shift. And even then, eventually, probably losing.

Mc D's and Wendy's are now introducing kiosks to ask people if they "want fries with that". It'll do for fast food what ATM's did for banks. Being a Bank Teller is still a job, but there are a lot fewer of them. Another 5-10 years wanna bet they have human-operated "intelligent machines" in the kitchen and store room, and goods delivered by autonomous vehicles? Then another 5-10 and they don't need the human operators any more.
Maybe it's different where you're at, but ATMs really haven't had any major effect on bank tellers in my area...as far back as I can remember into my childhood, when I was going to the bank with my dad so he could cash his check (this was in the mid 80s, before ATMs were common), there were only about 4-5 tellers in the bank plus a couple of loan officers and other people. There's still generally 4-6 tellers in the bank every time I go in, plus more people filling the specialized jobs like loan officers and such than I remember seeing as a kid. "Human-operated intelligent machines" implies that there are still humans working in the back...and McDonald's has already tried that tactic of replacing the cooks with machines, it didn't go very well for them (apparently that much oil/grease does just as much harm to machine circuitry as it does to human arteries).
Neville wrote:"Guaranteed income" is something talked about in the article above. It's an interesting concept. From the article (or maybe the YT vids, IDK) "We thought, if we give people a guaranteed income, they'll become artists, authors, free their creative selves and follow their dreams.... instead, we got heroin and suicides... nobody signed up for Star Fleet". People just don't thrive without the satisfaction and yes the struggle of work, and the self-esteem it brings. No one wants to be useless or unvalued. We all have ideas about what we'd do with a guaranteed stipend every month and all the free time in the world, but the truth is, that just shows how little each of us really knows ourselves.
It was an interesting article, but it makes a very broad (and inaccurate) generalization about what people take pride in and assumes that every person will react the same way to the situation, which is a fallacy. Some people thrive when they can focus onto a personal hobby like artistry or writing or cinematography or whatnot; it's how people are able to make a living making videos on Youtube, writing blogs, painting, doing photography, etc. Some people don't have that hobby or inner muse or whatever it is that lets others do that, and they usually derive their pride and in some cases their sense of self from their career. Those people would have issues from a policy like a monthly guaranteed income, but you can't generalize the reaction of one type of person to the entire population like that.

Again, it's a neat topic to theorize and talk about, but trucks driving themselves around to make deliveries without human intervention or fully automated restaurants isn't going to be a thing that most of us will get to see becoming mainstream enough to have an impact on the job market...hell, we can't even figure out how to make a hoverboard (and I'm talking the real hoverboards, like Back to the Future 2-style), much less a fleet of fully automated tractor-trailers, and forget an Iron Man suit or a lightsaber...though admittedly we are getting closer to the exo-suit from Aliens, but it's still tethered to power and hydraulic cabling, and definitely not fast-moving or fluidly-controllable enough to fight off a xenomorph queen yet.
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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Dabster » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:56 pm

Neville wrote: This article is a fantastic read.

Chaeconomica: Rise of the Robots
https://runesoup.com/2017/02/chaeconomi ... ign=buffer
In addition to your fantastic post, I read that blog and watched the videos (If you can overcome the accent and frantic delivery there is a lot of interesting information).

Phenomenally grim stuff.
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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Wraith6761 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:58 pm

Close_enough wrote:
RonnyRonin wrote:
ManInBlack316 wrote:
MacAttack wrote:I am in less fear of a robot and AI controlled uprising than a rogue hacker taking control of our robots and robotic military assets.
Just picture hackers getting into the mainframe if self driving cars become the norm, 1000 car pileup because someone was bored...
Are self driving cars even networked? I thought they were (at least for now) completely autonomous. Wouldn't be much of a car that can't drive outside of cell service.

I'd also say that until someone hacks a military drone flight I've got a little more faith in our militaries encryption then that.
IIRC, the software being developed for the actual driving part of self driving cars is separate from any network connection to increase resistance to hacking. I recall a car with self parking feature (Prius?) being hacked by Bluetooth. The hacker could command the steering wheel actuator to turn the wheel left or right on it's own. It was only a demonstrator vehicle, but it drove the requirement to separate the driving controls from the network.

I know of two claims of taking control of drones. I'm of the opinion that both were false. The pictures shown of the hijacked drones were similar to the real ones, but had various parts in the wrong places leading me to believe that they were mockups.

IMHO, if an AI is going to take over the world, it'll probably use social engineering to control us instead of brute force. More efficient that way.
The autonomic driving presentation that BMW did at the 2017 CES involved some sort of peer-to-peer networking, where instead of being connected to one big centralized network, each car would do a direct connection to nearby cars and share data that way...probably figuring that the connections wouldn't be up long enough for somebody to successfully attack, unless they were in one of those cars, and even then they'd potentially be risking their own life just to cause some mischief.
Woods Walker wrote:...I don't think it matters if a backpack has Dora the Explorer on it. Based on my observations from years of hunting and fishing if something looks and acts like prey it will draw in predators.

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by JayceSlayn » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:02 pm

It is time for JayceSlayn's semi-weekly Artificial Intelligence YouTube video post!

I've watched most of the earlier videos in this Computerphile series on AI previously, and the latest was posted a few days ago:

Rahul Telang wrote:If you don’t have a plan in place, you will find different ways to screw it up
Colin Wilson wrote:There’s no point in kicking a dead horse. If the horse is up and ready and you give it a slap on the bum, it will take off. But if it’s dead, even if you slap it, it’s not going anywhere.

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by raptor » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:17 pm

A rather depressing article on the subject.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... vable-wage
Meanwhile, robotic capital would enable elites to completely secede from society. From private jets to private islands, the rich already devote a great deal of time and expense to insulating themselves from other people. But even the best fortified luxury bunker is tethered to the outside world, so long as capital needs labor to reproduce itself. Mass automation would make it possible to sever this link. Equipped with an infinite supply of workerless wealth, elites could seal themselves off in a gated paradise, leaving the unemployed masses to rot.

If that scenario isn’t bleak enough, consider the possibility that mass automation could lead not only to the impoverishment of working people, but to their annihilation. In his book Four Futures, Peter Frase speculates that the economically redundant hordes outside the gates would only be tolerated for so long. After all, they might get restless – and that’s a lot of possible pitchforks. “What happens if the masses are dangerous but are no longer a working class, and hence of no value to the rulers?” Frase writes. “Someone will eventually get the idea that it would be better to get rid of them.” He gives this future an appropriately frightening name: “exterminism”, a world defined by the “genocidal war of the rich against the poor”.

Sounds like the movie The Terminator meets Elysium.
Last edited by raptor on Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by MPMalloy » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:53 pm

This is one of the most intelligent & scary threads I have read on ZS, so far. Thank you everyone!

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Dabster » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:44 pm

IT has started...

[Scary music]

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/arti ... an-workers

[/Scary music]

:gonk:
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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by NamelessStain » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:06 am

It's from Vice. They don't even know the difference between a Tank and an MRAP.
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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Black Beard » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:33 pm

Pretty much all modern cars are networked, as soon as their owners Bluetooth link in a phone. From the phone to the entertainment system to the engine management system, it is all data links.

The banking industry has seen huge job losses due to computers. It isn't just ATMs, it is online banking that has killed highstreet banks. Their branches are mostly closed except in city centres.

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by raptor » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:04 pm

The old sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati" had a vision of the office in the very near future(maybe even today) in episode 53 aired December 1980 (season 3 episode 7).

It shows an automated radio station with just a single employee running the station making automated phone calls to customers soliciting business to automated receptionists.

Skip to 17:11 to see the office of "tomorrow".





I am not an expert on commercial radio stations but from what I understand many of them operate today without even the single employee. They simply tie the radio transmitter to their data stream and remotely control all aspects of the broadcast. Internet stations simply bypass the transmitter.

There is no reason many other businesses could not operate like this.

USPS, UPS and FEDEX could easily automate huge aspects their operations. From front desk people to bulk package sorting and delivery aircraft and trucks to and from major hubs. Drone cargo aircraft are really not in use today due to FAA regulations. The technology exists today.

Many .gov jobs likewise could be automated by AI since they operate within a clearly defined parameter of what can be done and what cannot be done.

Legal and tax work are already being outsourced to India and these tasks can easily be replaced by AI. Most tax work is nothing more complex than filling out forms and doing simple math. I saw a demonstration of Turbo Tax modified to use voice commands to complete 1040's, not just 1040EZ but an actual 1040 with itemized deductions. It was a Q&A format using voice commands instead of a mouse.

The medical professions have many tasks that even a simple AI interface could complete easily.

The old professions of legal, medical, financial and transportation are likely to become prime targets for AI to reduce organizational costs. There obviously will be room for the humans in these professions but any profession that makes more in a year than what an AI costs to implement would be at risk and any profession whose annual salary/benefits cost is 2 to 3 times higher than what AI costs to implement and run over a similar 3 year period will be a prime target.

Example formula:

Purchase cost of AI unit -$200,000
Cost for 3 years to maintain AI (software license, R&M,etc) -$100,000
Total automation cost - $300,000
Total cost per year for 3 years is $100,000 per year.

So if a company incurs employment taxes, vacation, health insurance and other costs in the 35% range (low by corp standards) that means that any employee who makes more than $75,000 per year or more doing the same task as the AI unit can perform could replaced by that example AI unit with a 3 year payback. Considering in theory the AI unit would work 24/7/365 and would not have scheduling or attendance issues that payback would be pretty decent. Obviously that assumes that the AI does only as good of a job as the human. If the AI does the job better then financial threshold would IMO be lower to reflect the improvement.

Now here is the rub. Even if the company does not replace the human workers the AI will put a cap on the wages of that group.

The employer could say (& rightfully so) "Look I can replace you folks with AI. However, I want to preserve your jobs. However, in order to do that I can only pay $75,000 per year for this work, will you work for that rate of pay/benefits?".

It would be up to the workers to agree or disagree to that deal. However, it is likely that every few years the AI cost will decline and at some point (i.e like an ATM) get so common place that the task will be automated anyway.

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by Close_enough » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:14 pm

raptor wrote:A rather depressing article on the subject.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... vable-wage
Meanwhile, robotic capital would enable elites to completely secede from society. From private jets to private islands, the rich already devote a great deal of time and expense to insulating themselves from other people. But even the best fortified luxury bunker is tethered to the outside world, so long as capital needs labor to reproduce itself. Mass automation would make it possible to sever this link. Equipped with an infinite supply of workerless wealth, elites could seal themselves off in a gated paradise, leaving the unemployed masses to rot.

If that scenario isn’t bleak enough, consider the possibility that mass automation could lead not only to the impoverishment of working people, but to their annihilation. In his book Four Futures, Peter Frase speculates that the economically redundant hordes outside the gates would only be tolerated for so long. After all, they might get restless – and that’s a lot of possible pitchforks. “What happens if the masses are dangerous but are no longer a working class, and hence of no value to the rulers?” Frase writes. “Someone will eventually get the idea that it would be better to get rid of them.” He gives this future an appropriately frightening name: “exterminism”, a world defined by the “genocidal war of the rich against the poor”.

Sounds like the movie The Terminator meets Elysium.
It's one of the key plot points of the "Voices of Hope" novel. It's 5th(?) book in the sci-fi Seafort Saga novels. The wealthy live in towers above the squalor of the street. Supplies are delivered from isolated, or off world, plants to the rooftop. They have given up any pretense of caring for those on the street (no education or social programs of any kind, no police or emergency services, minimal infrastructure upkeep (power/water/sewer), rebellion is quelled using orbital weapons).

Historically, that type of imbalance tends to be "corrected" in a fairly messy manner. France 1789, Russian Empire 1917, America 1775 and various conflicts resulting from unionizing around the turn of the century. While I can't see wholesale genocide, I can see two dystopian outcomes from that type of imbalance. The first is egregious excess of force and abuse of authority used to maintain the status quo. The second is that desperate, and uneducated, people are easy to manipulate. An infinite supply of cannon fodder for use in power struggles made to believe that they are fighting for themselves instead of being manipulated against a target.

EDIT: Is it just me, or have I been getting increasingly nihilistic?

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Re: Robot Uprising - Or, what to do when AI Does All The Job

Post by JackBauer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:01 pm

On a speculative fiction slant
I started this Sci-Fi apocalypse novel thread a while back,
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=92879
and the first two books mentioned are Daemon & Freedom by Suarez which deal with complex algorithms/pre AI taking over.
Both are definitely worth a read if you following the OP.

link to the Daemon book
https://www.amazon.com/Daemon-Daniel-Su ... 191&sr=8-1

Hertling's AI Apocalypse is also an awesome,spooky suggestion of near-future AI sci-fi
https://www.amazon.com/I-Apocalypse-Wil ... apocalypse
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