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Mon Dec 11, 2017, 10:29 PM

Will robots take our children's jobs?

Link: https://nyti.ms/2jLR9Ts

New York Times / Style Section / Dec. 11, 2017
By: Alex Williams



Like a lot of children, my sons, Toby, 7, and Anton, 4, are obsessed with robots. In the children’s books they
devour at bedtime, happy, helpful robots pop up more often than even dragons or dinosaurs. The other day I
asked Toby why children like robots so much. “Because they work for you,” he said.

What I didn’t have the heart to tell him is, someday he might work for them — or, I fear, might not work
at all, because of them.

It is not just Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking who are freaking out about the rise of
invincible machines. Yes, robots have the potential to outsmart us and destroy the human race. But first,
artificial intelligence could make countless professions obsolete by the time my sons reach their 20s.
You do not exactly need to be Marty McFly to see the obvious threats to our children’s future careers.
Say you dream of sending your daughter off to Yale School of Medicine to become a radiologist. And why
not? Radiologists in New York typically earn about $470,000, according to Salary.com.

But that job is suddenly looking iffy as A.I. gets better at reading scans. A start-up called Arterys, to cite just
one example, already has a program that can perform a magnetic-resonance imaging analysis of blood flow
through a heart in just 15 seconds, compared with the 45 minutes required by humans.


Long read, but well-researched and thought provoking article in which the author discusses the future automation of many professions and career choices of today's youngsters. It's kind of scary and it's happening now.


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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Will robots take our children's jobs? (Original post)
FakeNoose Dec 2017 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe Dec 2017 #1
FakeNoose Dec 2017 #2
PoindexterOglethorpe Dec 2017 #10
FarCenter Dec 2017 #16
PoindexterOglethorpe Dec 2017 #17
David__77 Dec 2017 #3
FakeNoose Dec 2017 #5
RainCaster Dec 2017 #4
MichMan Dec 2017 #6
FakeNoose Dec 2017 #7
Blue_true Dec 2017 #12
HughBeaumont Dec 2017 #15
Algernon Moncrieff Dec 2017 #8
Wounded Bear Dec 2017 #9
greyl Dec 2017 #11
hunter Dec 2017 #13
FarCenter Dec 2017 #14

Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 10:37 PM

1. In the 1950's there was widespread fear

and certainty that people would be place by machines. Automation it was called then.

And while I realize that what's being suggested these days is somewhat different, I'm going to suggest that the job market will somehow adapt.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 10:55 PM

2. If your child wants to become a plumber

... his/her job will be safe, according to this article.

However careers requiring advanced degrees and going to school for 7 or 8 years (e.g. doctors, lawyers, radiologists, engineers) those are the ones who might have to change fields. It will be the highly paid "expertise" type jobs of the future that will be covered by artificial intelligent robots. Manufacturing robots are already being used now in US plants, and the rote-work, heavy lifting and dangerous tasks will be replaced by robots in the next few years.


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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:44 PM

10. My one son is currently in a PhD program

in astrophysics.

I sincerely hope he cannot be replaced by a robot.

Were he not so genuinely brilliant in science, I'd have strongly encouraged him to do a trade, like plumbing.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 12, 2017, 08:52 AM

16. Who hires astrophysicists and will they continue to do so?

 

It would seem to be a pretty thin job market that is very risky in an economic downturn.

Back in the '70s, when the job market for PhDs went bust, I'd hire Physics and Chem PhDs for conversion to engineers. The Sputnik scare resulted in lots of elementary and HS students being pushed towards science and engineering. Those who were younger, or took too long in grad school came out into the '73 job market.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 12, 2017, 12:34 PM

17. Universities and various national labs

hire astrophysicists. Also some stand-alone research places. At the moment the job market for them is decent, but he's just started and has five or six years to go. If the mindset of those currently running things remains in place, almost all jobs at that level will go away, and this country will completely lose its position as world leader in research.

When I first started college and thought I'd go into teaching (high school level, English or history) I was scheduled to graduate in 1969. Had I done so I'd have had no trouble getting a teaching job. The very next year teaching jobs were almost impossible to get. Lucky me, I dropped out of college after one semester.

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Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 10:59 PM

3. Someone needs to run the robots.

And someone needs to design more efficient and useful robots. The key is to ensure that the right social system be practiced to ensure that people be educated and fully participate in this economy.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:13 PM

5. Yes of course

...but I think the point is that there will be tons of people out of work. What are those poeple going to do, watch TV all day? How will they live, pay their bills, and plan for the future?

Will they all be homeless and starving because they don't have work? That's what the Republicans would have us believe, right? Is this how the revolution starts?

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Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:05 PM

4. Can we vote them into the House and Senate?

It's not like we want anyone with a soul.

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Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:15 PM

6. The sky will be the limit for those who develop the skills

The sky will be the limit for those who develop the skills to design, program and maintain robots and other automation.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:21 PM

7. Maybe, but there's also going to be a lot of pain

My grandson is 10 years old now, and he'll have to face major upheavals in whatever field he decides to go into. All of today's kids will have to do the same.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:53 PM

12. You have not heard of the Smart Machine effort.

Basically machines fixing other machines and also designing other machines, including robots.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 12, 2017, 08:51 AM

15. What if you're not STEM inclined?

Do you just LEARN to like it if it means eating . . . and then be utterly miserable when you try to compete with the people who would be there anyway?

Also, is the sky the limit for un/underemployed people with no funds to better themselves? Companies want degrees. They're not just going to take your word for it.

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Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:26 PM

8. Robotics is the next big sea-change in work

The industrial revolution (machines)
Trains
Cars
Planes
Better machines
Atomic energy
Computers
The internet
Computers reduced to pocket size

The next three (and they all blur together - really)

Driverless/driver heavily assisted vehicles
AI
Robots


The next world war will not, for the most part, be about men with guns -- it will be about robots and computer networks.

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Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:30 PM

9. Probably most of them...

We need to seriously look at the very nature of work, and of how we finance economies. The old industrial system is breaking down and without some major tweaks we are headed for a dystopia.

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Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Mon Dec 11, 2017, 11:46 PM

11. Our children will be robots! nt

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Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Tue Dec 12, 2017, 12:17 AM

13. Google's "superhuman" DeepMind AI claims chess crown

Google says its AlphaGo Zero artificial intelligence program has triumphed at chess against world-leading specialist software within hours of teaching itself the game from scratch.

--more--

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42251535


This AI went from novice to world class chess player in four hours.

The usefulness of this AI is not as a chess player, but as a more general purpose problem solver.

Let's suppose this AI is put to use designing effective chess playing software for use in much less sophisticated machines than itself, say a machine with the computing resources of a smart phone. The little machine wouldn't have to be a world champion chess player, it would only have to play better chess than most competent human chess players.

This same process can be applied to flying an airplane, driving a truck or car, picking strawberries...

Such technological advancements are desirable in a society where everyone has a comfortable home, nobody is hungry, everybody has access to appropriate medical care, schools are free, literacy is celebrated, and there are no disparities of income large enough to distort the political process.

Otherwise the potential for dystopian futures is great.

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Response to FakeNoose (Original post)

Tue Dec 12, 2017, 08:48 AM

14. The big impact of AI is that education will not be effective in competing with automation

 

AI systems will be able to do all kinds of intellectual work far better than humans.

So "getting educated for the jobs of the future" will turn out to be a strategy for failure.

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