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  1. Christopher Snape.
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    Christopher Snape. Member

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    Automation and mass layoffs: do we believe this is going to occur, or it fear-mongering?

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Christopher Snape., Sep 13, 2015.

    Paper claiming that 47% of jobs are at 'high risk' within the next two decades:

    http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf

    This has been contended however, with pundits claiming that new industries will emerge from the ashes.

    Do you believe this? Why? Why not? If it does occur, how do you suppose we deal with it?

    My money's on Universal Basic Income (pun intended :p).
     
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  2. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    With IBM's AI beating the Jeopardy champions years ago, to me it's a question of whether professional associations or major parties will have the strength to avert the consequences of the inevitable technology. And on that I'd say it's a toss up.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It will result in job shifting. There's a long history of it.
     
  4. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    What @GingerCoffee said. Some jobs vanish, new ones will appear. There's not so many vacancies for chimney sweeps as there used to be, but society hasn't collapsed yet.
     
  5. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    I'm less optimistic. Everyone knows that education becomes more important each year for employment, but AI outpaces the proficiency of humans. The forecasting of AI's potential is much clearer than emerging or future labour markets. In the same way that manufacturing jobs were lost overnight to lower-wage nations, the tertiary sector is all the more precarious at the dawn of AI. Catastrophes like sub-prime leave little faith for planning or transitioning.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  6. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Some jobs are in the trial phase of automation. Retail cashiers. Self check out could reduce the amount of staff required to take money and doll out change. Don't know how far it will go, but if it is a menial job they may figure out a way to automate it. Or ship it overseas, so either way a lot of jobs could just disappear. Might screw up the economics in post industrial countries, with a mass of unemployed so the companies could save a buck or two. Besides corporations don't give a damn about anything except for their bottom line. Unless we can get them out of the status of being 'people', corporations will naturally gravitate to more effective ways of empowering their own interests. So yeah greed might just be another stepping stone into a downward spiral to a crappier future for the vast majority of countries where corporations can gain more control than they already have, whether it be in market domination, or from government support (subsidies and tax breaks). In short, why pay a human when a robot can do it for free.
     
  7. Christopher Snape.
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    Christopher Snape. Member

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    I think the counterargument would be that corporations need people who can buy their products. Then again, this argument hasn't stopped corporations from crippling the laity in the past.
     
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  8. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Cave Troll

    If you ran a business, then would you pay 10 employees each a salary of $40k/year, or would you buy a robot that does the same thing as 10 people (and exactly as well) and has a maintenance cost of $40k/year?
     
  9. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    Looking at history, yes, this is going to happen. Of course more automation means more IT jobs, but people who train for an obsolete job are going to struggle to turn their skills elsewhere. The cost of education will rise and be prohibitive to some potential students.
     
  10. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Well, I can speak as one who was literally replaced by a machine. I am now in the position of trying to figure out what I can do now as my skills were specific to that job and are not readily transferable. Having to retrain in ones middle years is a pain in the ass given familial responsibilities: elderly parents, grandchildren, etc. There are simply not enough hours in the day and all comes at a point in time when I really should be looking ahead toward retirement, not thinking about going back to school. That said, the ways things are going, the retirement age will likely be 70 by then. :(
     
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  11. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    @obsid, I thought you were 33, like me? I can't believe you're a granny. I'll have to ditch those avatars, the NI map collection.

    James Burke says 'gold will lose its grip.' I'm hanging in for that, and the Peacemoon Academy, facial surgery, probably my brain shall be installed inside a very fit robot woman, possibly.

    Well, as you know I'm farrming atm so jobs might, will be lost - or we might prize those roles in a soil future, maybe.
     
  12. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    @matwoolf

    You shameless flatterer, you. :D

    And off on a fueled tangent... a metal working friend of mine put up a post on FB yesterday. Gold is now worth more than platinum apparently.
     
  13. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    James Burke postulates in an article that alchemy shall come to pass: hence gold having the value of dirt - and we all live for pletharr, yadda..

    I've already posted the article twice on here in recent...years. Should really 'move on' with my science education, risk appearing strange-ish.
     
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  14. Christopher Snape.
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    Christopher Snape. Member

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