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Joe Bryant

Your Thoughts? - "Automation Could Wipe Out Almost Half of All Jobs in 20 Years"

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I believe it.  I'll be retired in 20 years, but its a ever-growing concern with businesses looking to cut expenses any way possible.

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Same as it ever was. The jobs to get into are programming and maintaining those automated machines.

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This should concern everyone - not just those in jobs that will likely automate first. 

There’s a real chance that in 40 years a significant % of the adult workforce won’t be ‘necessary.’  This is why proposals like the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) need to be taken seriously. 

For hundreds of years (since the industrial revolution it’s been virtually the total population) people have traded their time and skill for wages, then have traded those wages for goods and services. If transportation, food and retail service, (even ‘high skill’ jobs like financial planners and attorneys have been replaced by AI/algorithms) can be automated we could potentially have a permanent unemployable lower class with a smaller middle and upper middle class professional workforce and EVEN MORE concentration of wealth at the top. 

Not to be to alarmist but this is the type of dynamic that, if it isn’t managed properly, fuels unrest and potential revolution. 

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The trades will be always in demand.  The big winners may be unions.  

Cashiers and other low-skilled workers want $15/Hour?  They are getting replaced more and more by U-scan registers.  

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5 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

I cannot wait to see what mr roboto says....

:lmao:  I should’ve taken more of a shtick tactic here. 

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6 minutes ago, Insein said:

Same as it ever was. The jobs to get into are programming and maintaining those automated machines.

...until someone comes along and designs programs that replace programmers and maintainers.

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The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.

- Warren Bennis

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Maybe its the Zagar & Evans song In the Year 2525 playing out.

 

[Chorus 1]
In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive
They may find-

[Chorus 2]
In the year 3535
Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
Everything you think, do, and say
Is in the pill you took today

[Chorus 3]
In the year 4545
Ain't gonna need your teeth, won't need your eyes
You won't find a thing to chew
Nobody's gonna look at you

[Chorus 4]
In the year 5555
Your arms are hanging limp at your side
You legs got nothing to do
Some machine's doing that for you

[Chorus 5]
In the year 6565
Ain't gonna need no husband, won't need no wife
You'll pick your sons, pick your daughters too
From the bottom of a long glass tube
Whoa-oh-oh

[Chorus 6]
In the year 7510
If God's a-coming, he ought to make it by then
Maybe he'll look around himself and say
“Guess it's time for the judgement day!”

[Chorus 7]
In the year 8510
God is gonna shake his mighty head
He'll either say, “I'm pleased, where man has been”
Or tear it down and start again
Whoa-oh-oh

[Chorus 8]
In the year 9595
I'm kinda wondering, if man is gonna be alive
He's taken everything this old Earth can give
And he ain't put back nothing
Whoa-oh-oh

[Bridge]
Now it's been ten thousand years
Man has cried a billion tears
For what he never knew
Now man's reign is through
But through the eternal night
The twinkling of starlight
So very far away
Maybe it's only yesterday

[Chorus 1]
In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive
They may find

[Chorus 2]
In the year 3535
Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies ...

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6 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

Cashiers and other low-skilled workers want $15/Hour?  They are getting replaced more and more by U-scan registers

This is a real shame. For many this is a first job for HS kids. Met my wife working at a grocery store

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I have told this story on this board before. 

 The company I work for and invested in years ago to help start is a fitness concept that utilizes motorized and computerized machines that can provide a much safer, effective and customized strength training set than any other weight stack/free weight or bodyweight exercise on the planet.  We deploy these devices in retail personal training studios where we hire certified personal trainers to deliver the program.  The trainers are a big part of the experience for the clients because although virtually all of the programming is done through the computerized machines,  they still require a human being to set the clients up appropriately on the machines to ensure safe range of motion and proper strength testing on the initial set up.   It also just so happens that clients are more likely to come in and use the service if there’s a trainer waiting for them with the schedule appointment so there’s a bit of that accountability that comes from having a trainer that increases usage. 

 Anyway, without getting too specific we are actively researching ways in which we can, using cameras or sensors, automate the set up process as well and there is significant pressure from our investors to try to find a way to remove the need for human trainers for certain installations such as corporate wellness, medical or other verticals. 

 We continue to explore these avenues because we would love for people who can’t afford the prices  we have to charge due to the need for the trainer,  to be able to access the technology and receive the benefits. This is a very small example of improving the user experience and driving lower costs while eliminating jobs.  And I’m sure personal training isn’t high on the list of jobs that people feel maybe automated away one day. 

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I think about this often for my kids. I have no idea how they’ll make a living. 

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2 minutes ago, HellToupee said:

This is a real shame. For many this is a first job for HS kids. Met my wife working at a grocery store

I've been in the wholesale business for 35 years.  The little guy always loses in the end.  

 

The first domino to fall will be social security as it won't get funded like it once did.  

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9 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

Maybe its the Zagar & Evans song In the Year 2525 playing out.

 

[Chorus 1]
In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive
They may find-

[Chorus 2]
In the year 3535
Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
Everything you think, do, and say
Is in the pill you took today

[Chorus 3]
In the year 4545
Ain't gonna need your teeth, won't need your eyes
You won't find a thing to chew
Nobody's gonna look at you

[Chorus 4]
In the year 5555
Your arms are hanging limp at your side
You legs got nothing to do
Some machine's doing that for you

[Chorus 5]
In the year 6565
Ain't gonna need no husband, won't need no wife
You'll pick your sons, pick your daughters too
From the bottom of a long glass tube
Whoa-oh-oh

[Chorus 6]
In the year 7510
If God's a-coming, he ought to make it by then
Maybe he'll look around himself and say
“Guess it's time for the judgement day!”

[Chorus 7]
In the year 8510
God is gonna shake his mighty head
He'll either say, “I'm pleased, where man has been”
Or tear it down and start again
Whoa-oh-oh

[Chorus 8]
In the year 9595
I'm kinda wondering, if man is gonna be alive
He's taken everything this old Earth can give
And he ain't put back nothing
Whoa-oh-oh

[Bridge]
Now it's been ten thousand years
Man has cried a billion tears
For what he never knew
Now man's reign is through
But through the eternal night
The twinkling of starlight
So very far away
Maybe it's only yesterday

[Chorus 1]
In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive
They may find

[Chorus 2]
In the year 3535
Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies ...

these guys were quite the soothsayers ...with their high falutin' transistor radios and 800lb. 19" B&W TVs.  

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Certainly a lot of jobs are going bye bye.   Its going to be interesting to see if new jobs take the place of at least some of them.   Regardless, we'll figure it out.   

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I think we can start to see the very first beginnings of a post-scarcity economy.  The transition figures to be difficult, but the end result will be awesome.

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3 minutes ago, NutterButter said:

Certainly a lot of jobs are going bye bye.   Its going to be interesting to see if new jobs take the place of at least some of them.   Regardless, we'll figure it out.   

The safest jobs are making, fixing, and selling.  

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Just now, IvanKaramazov said:

I think we can start to see the very first beginnings of a post-scarcity economy.  The transition figures to be difficult, but the end result will be awesome.

 I really want to hear your thoughts on this because I believe you’re an economist. I’ve heard some people say that the sky is not falling because every time we’ve had a significant shift in the means of production society has adjusted and full-time employment has always been necessary but I feel like this is different. 

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I am concerned for my kids ...one of them anyway.  The other is likely to be a part of the well-protected ruling class.  

Edited by Binky The Doormat
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Don't worry guys...."adult" dancers will always be an occupation. 

:burn:

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12 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

I can confirm that the below is true: 

Nevertheless, Amazon's mechanisms for exacting productivity are pervasive in many areas of its operations. For instance, drivers delivering Amazon packages have reported feeling so pressured that they speed through neighborhoods, blow by stop signs, and pee in bottles in the trucks or outside, Business Insider's Hayley Peterson reported.

I work in transportation for a logistics company that moves a high volume of freight, and while I don't deal with accounts that deliver to Amazon I know from a fellow account manager that Amazon is notorious for making drivers wait hours to get unloaded if they are so much as 1 minute late for appointments.  It makes for unsafe driving by trucks with 53 feet trailers if they are cutting it close on making it on time. 

Edited by Ghost Rider
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Even though there's been no evidence of this in the real world, Hollywood has shown me that robots are evil and we're destined for a post-apocalyptic future.  So yeah, it was a run. 

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20 minutes ago, Otis said:

I think about this often for my kids. I have no idea how they’ll make a living. 

Feathered Pest Management 

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34 minutes ago, Insein said:

Same as it ever was. The jobs to get into are programming and maintaining those automated machines.

Yep.. Daughter is graduating in May as a developer (.net, java, Javascript, Pearl and c#) and already has her first job offer :proud daddy: :thumbup:

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I don't see it happening in 20 years. I've worked for 3 different companies in the last 5 years and all of them are total #### shows behind the scenes when it comes to technology. You'd be surprised to know that a trillion dollar mutual fund company runs all of their most important operations on a program that was written in the  early 90's. They never upgraded because they didn't want to invest the cost. Then the cost grew Everytime it came to upgrade fully. Instead they just slap it on top of then platform that's there and adapt it to work for what they need at the time.

The point is, while super smart people are wiring and programming these things, there are still idiots in charge of buying them for their company and then hiring the right people to implement them. If it isn't cost effective, they won't be doing it and if it becomes cost effective, they probably won't do it right for another 10-15 years after that.

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2 minutes ago, mr roboto said:

 

Not to be to alarmist but this is the type of dynamic that, if it isn’t managed properly, fuels unrest and potential revolution. 

I've been hearing about the dangers of automation since Ford was President, yet here we are with employment at historic highs.  Heck, we're in an economy where someone can make a living as an "influencer" on social media.

Now it's true that the jobs of putting bolt A into slot B are over and gone forever.  But those seem to always be replaced with something else.

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9 minutes ago, Insein said:

I don't see it happening in 20 years. I've worked for 3 different companies in the last 5 years and all of them are total #### shows behind the scenes when it comes to technology. You'd be surprised to know that a trillion dollar mutual fund company runs all of their most important operations on a program that was written in the  early 90's. They never upgraded because they didn't want to invest the cost. Then the cost grew Everytime it came to upgrade fully. Instead they just slap it on top of then platform that's there and adapt it to work for what they need at the time.

The point is, while super smart people are wiring and programming these things, there are still idiots in charge of buying them for their company and then hiring the right people to implement them. If it isn't cost effective, they won't be doing it and if it becomes cost effective, they probably won't do it right for another 10-15 years after that.

It is interesting how bigger companies are so slow to move forward. I just went from a 20,000+ person tech company to a 6,000 person tech company. The smaller company is world's ahead of the bigger one in regards to understanding security, compliance and protecting what is yours. The bigger company is more concerned about showing profits so then can get a IPO then making sure the data they have is secured. And when you tried to point it out it was always "yea, we will get to it soon" :loco:

Edited by snogger
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1 minute ago, Statorama said:

I've been hearing about the dangers of automation since Ford was President, yet here we are with employment at historic highs.  Heck, we're in an economy where someone can make a living as an "influencer" on social media.

Now it's true that the jobs of putting bolt A into slot B are over and gone forever.  But those seem to always be replaced with something else.

Exactly. Just like the printing press, the cotton gin, the conveyor belt, the assembly line, technology will come along and take low skill jobs every generation. Something new always fills the void. Society and the Market adjusts.

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34 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I think we can start to see the very first beginnings of a post-scarcity economy.  The transition figures to be difficult, but the end result will be awesome.

Thanks. Can you elaborate? A bunch... ;) 

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Sales............that is the biz to get into to.  There will never be some machine that can sell.

There you sit across from the husband and the wife. Bottom line......a stranger looking to walk out of their home with a check. This takes some serious talent.  The key.............create the need.

 

 

Edited by ZenoRazon

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I mean if you buy into the theory that we never really abolished slavery, we simply outsourced it to China, then the next logical step is to have robots be our slaves. 

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1
45 minutes ago, Insein said:

The point is, while super smart people are wiring and programming these things, there are still idiots in charge of buying them for their company and then hiring the right people to implement them. If it isn't cost effective, they won't be doing it and if it becomes cost effective, they probably won't do it right for another 10-15 years after that.

Insein IS  Rick Burns, IT guy.  

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Wipe out 40 million jobs, create 100 million more.  

Damn near every job COULD be automated if they put enough funding and research into it, but that won't happen.  

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There's no doubt that automation will replace many jobs in this country over the next few decades.  The question is what will people do with their extra time--if society uses it productively, then automation will be a win.  By productively, I mean something that will benefit society as a whole:  music, art etc.  Wasting it on video games for example, on the other hand, will have no benefit for society.

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My job (medical coding) will definitely be replaced by software. I'll likely be retired before it happens, but that isn't a lock. In that case, I'll either find a solo practice without the resources to upgrade, or find some other piece of the medical billing and reimbursement nightmare that can use my services. I don't think my professional association fully comprehends the existential threat, and bringing it up at the meetings would make me a real Debbie Downer. :oldunsure:

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5 hours ago, kevzilla said:

My job (medical coding) will definitely be replaced by software. I'll likely be retired before it happens, but that isn't a lock. In that case, I'll either find a solo practice without the resources to upgrade, or find some other piece of the medical billing and reimbursement nightmare that can use my services. I don't think my professional association fully comprehends the existential threat, and bringing it up at the meetings would make me a real Debbie Downer. :oldunsure:

But the whole concept of a medical coder hasn't been around for that long. Coders, billers, utilization management all exist because the system is artificially complex. It will be more interesting when the care providers are automated, but the idea isn't too far fetched IMO.

As to the OP, I think there will always be service jobs, programmers and IT, with a smattering of middle management to keep the minions in-line. 

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The focus of jobs will continually shift...

  • Need people to engineer and design the automated machines
  • Need people to build what is designed (a bit of a chicken and egg scenario with above)
  • Need people to program and code the automation
  • Need people to service, repair, and trouble shoot
  • Need sales
  • If the result of automation is to increase free/leisure time, then various industries will grow to accommodate those leisure interests
  • The non fast food restaurant industry will still have a need for wait staff and cooks...don't see that changing anytime soon
  • Trades such as plumber, electrician, mechanic, construction should continue to be needed even if some aspects of their jobs become more automated

 Entrepreneurial skills will become more and more essential as people are going to need to carve out their own path rather than just slip into some sort of defined pre-existing job.   

 

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10 hours ago, snogger said:

Yep.. Daughter is graduating in May as a developer (.net, java, Javascript, Pearl and c#) and already has her first job offer :proud daddy: :thumbup:

*Perl

(Programming nerd here.) Congratulations! It’s a great industry.

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8 hours ago, chet said:

There's no doubt that automation will replace many jobs in this country over the next few decades.  The question is what will people do with their extra time--if society uses it productively, then automation will be a win.  By productively, I mean something that will benefit society as a whole:  music, art etc.  Wasting it on video games for example, on the other hand, will have no benefit for society.

People like to play video games.  It seems like a benefit if people can do something they like (video games) instead of something they don’t like (working).

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9 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

It seems to me the problem isn’t automation, it’s greed.  Automation makes the country as a whole richer.  We should all be better off as a result.

Thanks. Can you elaborate?

Especially on making the country richer as a whole from the perspective of the worker who lost their job to automation? 

Are you saying still pay the worker that is replaced?

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24 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks. Can you elaborate?

Especially on making the country richer as a whole from the perspective of the worker who lost their job to automation? 

Are you saying still pay the worker that is replaced?

You trying to get this moved to the PSF?

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11 hours ago, mr roboto said:

 I really want to hear your thoughts on this because I believe you’re an economist. I’ve heard some people say that the sky is not falling because every time we’ve had a significant shift in the means of production society has adjusted and full-time employment has always been necessary but I feel like this is different. 

You're absolutely right that the economy has always done a good job of maintaining full employment during previous technological changes.  For example, the US transitioned a massive chunk of its labor force away from agriculture during the 20th century, and while that obviously had a big impact on individual people, the economy itself had no long-term employment issues. 

I do think that the challenges created by automation and AI are different because they're not going to just eliminate work in one particular industry, but they're going to eliminate a large amount of work across multiple industries.  I honestly don't know what unskilled workers are supposed to be doing 50 years from now, for example.  I share your suspicion that we're going to need some sort of guaranteed income to replace work for a large amount of people.  There's no reason why that needs to be a bad thing -- it would be great if people didn't have to work and if production was mostly automated.  But it does require a different system for allocating resources than what we're accustomed to.

The reason why I'm not terribly worried about this is because the problem is decades away, and because the "problem" amounts to "how do we distribute this massive increase in our overall wealth?"  We should be able to handle that.

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47 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks. Can you elaborate?

Especially on making the country richer as a whole from the perspective of the worker who lost their job to automation? 

Are you saying still pay the worker that is replaced?

Basically, but I’d imagine that in practice it wouldn’t be a direct payment to workers that lost their jobs.  Rather, it would be higher taxes on the wealthy individuals and corporations that benefit from automation and that additional revenue would be used to benefit the entire population.  Universal Basic Income would  likely be part of it, but also stuff like single payer healthcare and government paid childcare and college.

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1 hour ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks. Can you elaborate?

Especially on making the country richer as a whole from the perspective of the worker who lost their job to automation? 

Are you saying still pay the worker that is replaced?

How would you handle it if you were still in the boat business?   Say you had robots that would build boats faster, cleaner,safer, more efficient but instead of 35 employees now you only need 7-8 to oversee operations. Then you have to tell your employees.  Sorry, this is the wave of the future?

I have seen this happen at auto suppliers where a robot can s make car seats and dashboards 24-7 and never get tired, hurt or call in sick.
They replace wholes shifts of human labor.  Just need routine maintenance and a person to make sure thing stay on track.

Edited by Da Guru

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The world and jobs are always changing.  It's progress.  There will be jobs in 20 years.   Some will be different than the ones of today.  

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