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Thread: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

  1. #1
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    Default Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Five years, ten, twenty...

    Ted's thread got me thinking about this...

    There are a lot of jobs potentially at risk (fast food jobs, trucking, railroads) and many of the people involved would have difficult time moving into other fields.

    Are we at another tipping point in the economy?

    Looking at American manufacturing, many people seem to think that hardly anything is made in America anymore, but they mistakenly think that because of the jobs that have disappeared.


    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    A lot of them are training to work with the robots.
    Will

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    In deep doodoo. Nowhere near enough jobs for even those who train.
    A society predicated on the assumption that everyone in it should want to get rich is not well situated to become either ethical or imaginative.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Frankly, to some degree, it is up to us. When I walk into a store with the choice of "DIY" or working with an employee, I'll choose the POS with an employee every time.

    There have been and will continue to be structural changes in the economy. With the exception of New Jersey, you tend to pump your own gas - all the people that used to pump gas are doing something else. There will continue to be changes like this. Someone, will, however, always be needed to design, test, assemble, install, supply, maintain, and trouble-shoot this equipment.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    I'm actually trying to figure out a way to streamline and make the whole business model of ours more efficient and frictionless through technology. I don't want to get the rid of the human element at all. I'm actually on a hiring binge. What I do see is an uberesque model where people can order a groomer online and in real time see their progression to you. Groomers can click in and work shifts and transactions are all digital and auto billed and groomers get paid seamlessly. I've got 75% of it already.
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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe (SoCal) View Post
    I'm actually trying to figure out a way to streamline and make the whole business model of ours more efficient and frictionless through technology. I don't want to get the rid of the human element at all. I'm actually on a hiring binge. What I do see is an uberesque model where people can order a groomer online and in real time see their progression to you. Groomers can click in and work shifts and transactions are all digital and auto billed and groomers get paid seamlessly. I've got 75% of it already.
    Do your groomers have no compete clause in in your joint contract?

    The Uberesque model is the human labor elimination chamber. The model is faulty for those who work it as it relies on the contractor who uses their own personal property in a lopsided agreement where most of the risk is held by the contractor and the good profit heads to uber executives. The faster uber develops a truly autonomous vehicles, drivers will be reduced to low cost security guards for hire per run until the government relieves "the driver" completely. Driving for Uber over the last years - the ability to make money like it was at the beginning is long gone.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    I don't know, no matter how much automation there is there's always the human factor.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    I'll be a Luddite fly fishing in Montana.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    I dunno . . . People have been saying this for 250 years at least, and yes, there are no hand-loom weavers anymore (the original luddites). But everyone in first-world countries now has a closet full of clothes, rather than one summer outfit and one winter one. Miners no longer muck out the ore with shovels. Nobody rips out boards by hand. Threshing day is no longer a big gathering with lots of hand labor. Our problem is more obesity than starvation, more resource depletion and too much garbage than too little stuff. And yet, somehow we've managed to find things for people to do, and in general we're far richer than in previous times.

    That said, we're now able to automate routine intellectual tasks, not just repetitive physical ones. The demand for lawyers, for example, is going to be much reduced, because much of what they've historically done is completely routine and can be done easier and better by non-lawyers with computer assistance. Access to information no longer depends nearly as much on human experts. Drudgery like filing and copying is mostly gone. Jobs that require merely keeping track of information and basic organizing are decreasing.

    But speaking from almost 40 years of experience designing automated production machinery of various types, I can say that anyone who imagines we're going to completely automate much of anything in five years has no idea what they're talking about. Yes, routine production work is still decreasing, as it has been as long as any of us have been alive. And yes we're automating things we couldn't automate before - but again, we've been doing this for centuries.

    I'd contend that 'automation is going to put everybody out of work in five years' is hysterically overblown. The problems we're having now - economic stratification, primarily - are essentially political problems, decreasing power of workers and increasing power of those with money. The reason there isn't an Uber driver's union has nothing to do with technology. This problem is not fundamentally technological, but economic and political - and particularly the way the laws governing the economy are structured.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 08-29-2018 at 02:34 PM.
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    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe (SoCal) View Post
    I'm actually trying to figure out a way to streamline and make the whole business model of ours more efficient and frictionless through technology. I don't want to get the rid of the human element at all. I'm actually on a hiring binge. What I do see is an uberesque model where people can order a groomer online and in real time see their progression to you. Groomers can click in and work shifts and transactions are all digital and auto billed and groomers get paid seamlessly. I've got 75% of it already.
    This is precisely what is missing in today's technology. We bend to fit the ability of technology. We still need to learn how to make technology serve us better.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Do your groomers have no compete clause in in your joint contract?

    The Uberesque model is the human labor elimination chamber. The model is faulty for those who work it as it relies on the contractor who uses their own personal property in a lopsided agreement where most of the risk is held by the contractor and the good profit heads to uber executives. The faster uber develops a truly autonomous vehicles, drivers will be reduced to low cost security guards for hire per run until the government relieves "the driver" completely. Driving for Uber over the last years - the ability to make money like it was at the beginning is long gone.
    I'm thinking of a more hybrid system, where they all work for me and it's my equipment, supplies, customers and POS. What I'm looking for is the ability for me to eliminate my monday morning payroll headache as I get bigger and 10x this to scale to a multi million dollar business. I'll still directly hire but the app will capture customers ( already kinda have that ) and auto bill ( we do that now ) and pay the groomer (dream
    ). Groomers will gain access to a van through the app and everything is tracked and metrics through the roof. Groomers will be geoloacated and only receive on demand appointments throughout the app if they are in the specified location. Customers can track the groomers progress to them ( like uber) so I don't have to alert the groomer or the customer if they are running late. Also I can hire as many part time groomers and groomer that want more can just leave the app in the ON position and groomers that want to work less turn it OFF. Clients can pick the groomer based on reviews or previous appointments, so as to create a utopian economic model and everyone will compete for high reviews and low reviewed groomers will be auto weeded out.

    There will be no autonomous grooming
    Last edited by Joe (SoCal); 08-29-2018 at 02:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    It's an interesting question, not because there won't be enough jobs, but because we've been going in some perverse directions in terms of funding our government.

    Wages are a declining part of GDP:



    Payroll taxes are an increasingly important source of revenue, while corporate income taxes are declining:



    Essentially, automation makes capital a more important element of productivity, labor a less important element. In the replicator economy of Star Trek, no human labor is involved in the production of goods, and the non-criminal characters (at least in the original series) work for the government. Clearly not a sustainable model if you keep cutting taxes on capital and raising them on payrolls.

    So, the long-term question, assuming we don't destroy the carrying capacity of the planet and introduce a new dark age, is how do you have a sustainable economy when most of the goods and services are provided by capital? F.A. Hayek, admired by the right, advocated a guaranteed minimum income. But you can't finance that with payroll taxes, and the reason corporate taxes are falling is that corporations, being a legal fiction, can live anywhere, and seek the lowest taxes. Stateless income is hard to tax, and persons who are legal fictions are hard to arrest and jail.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe (SoCal) View Post
    There will be no autonomous grooming
    And no, Joe I will NOT design you an automated grooming robot. Maybe in 100 years, not five.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Ratus ratus bilgeous snipeous!

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Bob that looks like a low price leader
    Oh I feel so sorry for that dog thats hard to watch
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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    You can still buy hand made buggy whips along with hand loomed fabric and artisanal bread and beer and anything else you can afford. Old skills and crafts will still provide a living for many in the future, there might even be a need for artisanal lawyers and stockbrokers.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    There's always been technological advancements ending jobs. This time is different however.

    It could be wonderful, or it could be terrible.

    Our current system is not built for this future. Today's economic systems will result in a few ultra rich owning all the robots and vast classes of powerless, impoverished people.

    The alternative is a Universal Basic Income or other major shift in our economic structure.


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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?


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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    The alternative is a Universal Basic Income or other major shift in our economic structure.
    You'll see Soylent Green before Universal Basic Income.
    The best statement I've seen from this latest carnage came from a student who lived through it -

    "My generation will not allow this to continue!"

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Even the professions are not going to escape this time round.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    I dunno . . . People have been saying this for 250 years at least, and yes, there are no hand-loom weavers anymore (the original luddites). But everyone in first-world countries now has a closet full of clothes, rather than one summer outfit and one winter one. Miners no longer muck out the ore with shovels. Nobody rips out boards by hand. Threshing day is no longer a big gathering with lots of hand labor. Our problem is more obesity than starvation, more resource depletion and too much garbage than too little stuff. And yet, somehow we've managed to find things for people to do, and in general we're far richer than in previous times.

    That said, we're now able to automate routine intellectual tasks, not just repetitive physical ones. The demand for lawyers, for example, is going to be much reduced, because much of what they've historically done is completely routine and can be done easier and better by non-lawyers with computer assistance. Access to information no longer depends nearly as much on human experts. Drudgery like filing and copying is mostly gone. Jobs that require merely keeping track of information and basic organizing are decreasing.

    But speaking from almost 40 years of experience designing automated production machinery of various types, I can say that anyone who imagines we're going to completely automate much of anything in five years has no idea what they're talking about. Yes, routine production work is still decreasing, as it has been as long as any of us have been alive. And yes we're automating things we couldn't automate before - but again, we've been doing this for centuries.

    I'd contend that 'automation is going to put everybody out of work in five years' is hysterically overblown. The problems we're having now - economic stratification, primarily - are essentially political problems, decreasing power of workers and increasing power of those with money. The reason there isn't an Uber driver's union has nothing to do with technology. This problem is not fundamentally technological, but economic and political - and particularly the way the laws governing the economy are structured.
    Well, if I'm going to be overblown I guess it's best to go all out and do it as hysterically as possible...

    Actually I was looking for predictions more than I was offering any, and I was really glad to see you respond, as I knew this was your field.
    My best friend (David Cole) makes a living troubleshooting automated processes, and his opinion is roughly similar to yours.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    I dunno . . . People have been saying this for 250 years at least, and yes, there are no hand-loom weavers anymore (the original luddites). But everyone in first-world countries now has a closet full of clothes, rather than one summer outfit and one winter one. Miners no longer muck out the ore with shovels. Nobody rips out boards by hand. Threshing day is no longer a big gathering with lots of hand labor. Our problem is more obesity than starvation, more resource depletion and too much garbage than too little stuff. And yet, somehow we've managed to find things for people to do, and in general we're far richer than in previous times.

    That said, we're now able to automate routine intellectual tasks, not just repetitive physical ones. The demand for lawyers, for example, is going to be much reduced, because much of what they've historically done is completely routine and can be done easier and better by non-lawyers with computer assistance. Access to information no longer depends nearly as much on human experts. Drudgery like filing and copying is mostly gone. Jobs that require merely keeping track of information and basic organizing are decreasing.

    But speaking from almost 40 years of experience designing automated production machinery of various types, I can say that anyone who imagines we're going to completely automate much of anything in five years has no idea what they're talking about. Yes, routine production work is still decreasing, as it has been as long as any of us have been alive. And yes we're automating things we couldn't automate before - but again, we've been doing this for centuries.

    I'd contend that 'automation is going to put everybody out of work in five years' is hysterically overblown. The problems we're having now - economic stratification, primarily - are essentially political problems, decreasing power of workers and increasing power of those with money. The reason there isn't an Uber driver's union has nothing to do with technology. This problem is not fundamentally technological, but economic and political - and particularly the way the laws governing the economy are structured.
    What you say is true but there is historical precedence that extends farther than politics due to wealth and control of society as technology changes human interactions. Legally it was condoned. Morally and ethically - it was crushing to stable societies as it was the great displacer of families and security.

    In England, Enclosure (sometimes inclosure) the legal process of enclosing small landholdings into larger farms owned by the regional inherited wealthy for changed sheep/wool production to massive scales - riding small farmers of their access to land and water. Once enclosed, use of the land became restricted to the owner, and it ceased to be common land or their needs for communal use. Under enclosure, such land is fenced (enclosed) and deeded or entitled to one or more owners. Enclosure could be accomplished by managing all common rights due to exclusive rights of use, which increased the value of the land. The other method was by passing laws causing or forcing enclosure, such as government controlled by wealth class involving the enclosure acts to protect private and personal property. The latter process of enclosure was sometimes accompanied by force, resistance, and bloodshed, and remains among the most controversial areas of historical review. Many scholars argue that Enclosure when all the sophistications are allowed for was a plain enough case of class robbery and fundamentally caused huge displacement of rural populations.

    We know how people are treated when they are no longer needed. We should note that decisions to protect and ensure communities from technology changes have been and are always lacking.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 08-29-2018 at 05:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    I've forgotten the exact name, Universal Basic Income, something like that. Everyone gets a basic income paid by the government from tax revenue. No means test, no work test, everyone gets it. It's been tried. It works. The Christian Work Ethic, so called, has had its run. Low wage slavery is not the way to creaate a society of fulfilled and productive people. But a whole lot of powerful vested interests do not want to go down this track.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Posted before, but this time it IS different.



    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    I've forgotten the exact name, Universal Basic Income, something like that. Everyone gets a basic income paid by the government from tax revenue. No means test, no work test, everyone gets it. It's been tried. It works. The Christian Work Ethic, so called, has had its run. Low wage slavery is not the way to create a society of fulfilled and productive people. But a whole lot of powerful vested interests do not want to go down this track.
    The transition from a good JOB to a good LIFE will be one of the most difficult in human history
    Last edited by Dave Lesser; 08-29-2018 at 06:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    I'll still be driving my own truck towing our boat cross country for a summer cruise instead of riding a robot truck.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wright View Post
    An interesting Chicago Trib story on a Wisconsin factory, and why they are installing robots:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...805-story.html
    If you can't hire people, you need to make the job better. Companies have been cutting workers' pay for a generation in certain areas, and they're finding it hard to hire. If they didn't have the alternative of using robots, they'd raise the pay and hire more people.

    But having worked in factories, I have to say I don't miss it, and you'd have to pay me a lot more to do that than to be a bookseller.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    If you can't hire people, you need to make the job better. Companies have been cutting workers' pay for a generation in certain areas, and they're finding it hard to hire. If they didn't have the alternative of using robots, they'd raise the pay and hire more people.

    But having worked in factories, I have to say I don't miss it, and you'd have to pay me a lot more to do that than to be a bookseller.
    In my area most every business is hiring, and there's plenty of complaining about not being able to find help. Almost all of these places are offering jobs that pay $9.00 to $10.50 an hour. I find it surprising that they don't make a connection between the lack of help and the crap wages they want to pay.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    I've forgotten the exact name, Universal Basic Income, something like that. Everyone gets a basic income paid by the government from tax revenue. No means test, no work test, everyone gets it. It's been tried. It works. The Christian Work Ethic, so called, has had its run. Low wage slavery is not the way to creaate a society of fulfilled and productive people. But a whole lot of powerful vested interests do not want to go down this track.
    Yes, that was what I was talking about in post 12. The problem is, how do you pay for it? We keep boosting taxes on payrolls and reducing them on corporations, while wages are a declining part of GDP.

    We've had a thread on the subject: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ranteed-income

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Feeding a punch press is a job that should have been automated 50 years ago. Dirty, can be dangerous, noisy, repetitious, and mind-numbingly boring.
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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wright View Post
    An interesting Chicago Trib story on a Wisconsin factory, and why they are installing robots:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...805-story.html
    I read the article when it first came out. The robots are cheaper than people.

    Quote Originally Posted by leikec View Post
    In my area most every business is hiring, and there's plenty of complaining about not being able to find help. Almost all of these places are offering jobs that pay $9.00 to $10.50 an hour. I find it surprising that they don't make a connection between the lack of help and the crap wages they want to pay.
    Some jobs are not worth paying more than that.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post

    Some jobs are not worth paying more than that.
    Then I guess they will remain unfilled...unless they can be automated or outsourced.

    If your business model is predicated on paying ultra low wages in order to succeed, in an area where most businesses have trouble attracting help, then the model is flawed.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by leikec View Post
    Then I guess they will remain unfilled...unless they can be automated or outsourced.

    If your business model is predicated on paying ultra low wages in order to succeed, in an area where most businesses have trouble attracting help, then the model is flawed.

    Jeff C
    The job can only pay so much. And with the way payroll taxes and health insurance have gone up, a lot of the expense is money the employee won't see. If your competition can produce the product without paying higher wages, you can't pay higher wages either, or you're out of business. You'll note that according to Dave's story, the robots cost $15 an hour and they are cheaper to run per hour than the $10.50 employees. That's because we've been shifting costs onto people who work for wages.

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    The job can only pay so much. And with the way payroll taxes and health insurance have gone up, a lot of the expense is money the employee won't see. If your competition can produce the product without paying higher wages, you can't pay higher wages either, or you're out of business. You'll note that according to Dave's story, the robots cost $15 an hour and they are cheaper to run per hour than the $10.50 employees. That's because we've been shifting costs onto people who work for wages.
    So, to some degree that provides my answer to Keith's original post--in essence, math wins...and if it can be done it will be done.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    I already work with automation. Most theatres are highly automated anymore. The days of all par and leko rigs are dead. Now it is all intelligent moving lights. I thankfully can program and repair them.
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    Default Re: Where will we be in five years with more automation?

    There's a whole swath of jobs that are only viable because of federal subsidies. The millions of low paid workers that make retail work are among those jobs.

    These jobs, and retail stores, still exist because they are a cost effective way for businesses to attract and keep customers. It's an odd dynamic right now because "old line" retail is trying to shed workers and deskill them as quick as possible, while "new line" retail that once was only online is looking to open stores and hire workers. As long as we inhabit a physical world I think retail will exist especially because experiential retail is a way to convince people to buy crap they otherwise wouldn't.

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