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  • Does technology destroy jobs?

    Discussion in 'The Leisure Lounge' started by GarethW, Dec 16, 2011.

    1. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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    3. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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    4. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      That would be a great idea. Somehow the people making all of the money (eg. the people who own the means of production, if that doesn't sound too communist!) need to pay a larger portion of tax.

      The only thing is - nearly all examples from history show that these people don't do the right thing (eg. help to make society fairer) but instead just use these advances in technology to make themselves richer and richer.

      The idea of 'work' is also so strongly engrained in our culture. People are thought much off if they don't have a job, whilst at the same time a huge proportion of people just work jobs where they pretend to be busy.
      I know that in all of the offices I've worked most people could do their five days of work in two or three days if they actually tried properly!
       
    5. Bill Toulas

      Bill Toulas Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Historically, it has been shown again and again that technological advancements that render an industrial field obsolete create new fields, so in the past, when jobs were lost, new ones were created elsewhere. The problem that we are facing right now is that this “job creation” is not likely to happen, so all jobs will be lost without new ones taking their place. If everything is about to get automated, you’ll need a few programmers and a couple of engineers to design the automation systems, not hundreds of thousands of them. Once machine learning AI gets good at designing these systems (and it’s bound to get good at doing anything really), you won’t even need a programmer or an engineer. With multiple AIs working in optimizing these systems, you’d have an almost perfect result in a very short time. So yes, technology nowadays is destroying jobs, and it did so in the past. The only difference now is that the job positions that should be created instead will not be filled out by humans, as there will be no point in doing so.
       
      Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
    6. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      The scale of jobs being lost now is totally unprecedented.

      Maybe we should just move everyone onto a three day week and have people share jobs!
       
    7. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Any views on some kind of tax on robot workers/AI systems?

      Bill Gates is no fool :)
       
    8. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Yeah, I wrote above that I think it would be a great idea. It's just a case of how to implement it. The thing is... if everyone (or 30-40% of the workforce) loses their jobs then who is going to have the money to buy all of this stuff that the robots produce.

      It seems to make sense to have some kind of universal basic income that's funded by a tax on the production of goods.
       
    9. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      That depends on what products you are talking about. For example, if you are talking about an airplane, it wouldn’t matter if 30 40 % of the workforce lost their job, the airline would still be capable of buying the airplane.

      But if you are talking about a mobile phone. Then yeah people would not have enough money to buy them, but then again, it also means the mobile phones would be cheaper because robots are cheaper to run and maintain than human work force.

      People will learn new jobs, do extra work, to get money. Because change is imminent, it might be good or bad but you have to deal with it.

      Also cheap labor industries like china and Bangladesh, where the country is not modernized enough to upgrade to robotics will take much longer to change its production or dismantling processes and by then people would have enough time to take up newer jobs and learn newer skills. That’s what I think.

      Countries that are highly modernized like japan and south korea, they have shortage in skilled workforce, so there is a deficiency that can be filled by people loosing their jobs due to modernization of manufacturing techniques
       
    10. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      But if 40% of your market no longer have jobs then they're not likely to being going on holiday, so your demand goes down and you need fewer planes.


      It's interesting about labour costs versus robots development. There's some arguments that say lower immigration (like Japan) leads to higher labour costs and so encourages economic development of robots. From a business point of view - why spend millions making a robotic fruit picker when you can just pay unskilled immigrants less than minimum wage?
       
    11. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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      There are a lot of things to consider if robots play a greater part in business/industry such as:-
      • Reduced tax income
      • Reduced household spending
      • Increased benefit payments
      • Reduced investment in training
      The only time this will become a major issue is when robots become more efficient than humans. I am not just talking about efficient at the jobs they can do but also the tasks which humans currently do better such as:-
      • Thinking outside the box
      • Using experience (although AI is certainly improving)
      • Communicating with each other
      I find this to be a fascinating subject :)
       

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