Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by janrinok on Wednesday November 23, @08:12AM   Printer-friendly

The study found that robots aren't replacing humans at the rate most people think, but people are prone to exaggerate the rate of robot takeover:

It's easy to believe that robots are stealing jobs from human workers and drastically disrupting the labor market; after all, you've likely heard that chatbots make more efficient customer service representatives and that computer programs are tracking and moving packages without the use of human hands.

But there's no need to panic about a pending robot takeover just yet, says a new study from BYU sociology professor Eric Dahlin. Dahlin's research found that robots aren't replacing humans at the rate most people think, but people are prone to severely exaggerate the rate of robot takeover.

The study, recently published in Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, found that only 14% of workers say they've seen their job replaced by a robot. But those who have experienced job displacement due to a robot overstate the effect of robots taking jobs from humans by about three times.

[...] Those who had been replaced by a robot (about 14%), estimated that 47% of all jobs have been taken over by robots. Similarly, those who hadn't experienced job replacement still estimated that 29% of jobs have been supplanted by robots.

"Overall, our perceptions of robots taking over is greatly exaggerated," said Dahlin. "Those who hadn't lost jobs overestimated by about double, and those who had lost jobs overestimated by about three times."

Attention-grabbing headlines predicting a dire future of employment have likely overblown the threat of robots taking over jobs, said Dahlin, who noted that humans' fear of being replaced by automated work processes dates to the early 1800s.

[...] Dahlin says these findings are consistent with previous studies, which suggest that robots aren't displacing workers. Rather, workplaces are integrating both employees and robots in ways that generate more value for human labor.

Journal Reference:
Eric Dahlin, Are Robots Really Stealing Our Jobs? Perception versus Experience [open], Socius, 8, 2022. DOI: 10.1177/23780231221131377


Original Submission

This discussion was created by janrinok (52) for logged-in users only. Log in and try again!
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @09:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @09:16AM (#1281248)
    Self-service check outs.
    Self-service order kiosks.
    Self-service menus and ordering e.g. scan QR code on restaurant table, get menu and use it on your phone - restaurant only has to provide menus to boomers and similar.

    The savings goes to the Bosses? Maybe but in many cases much of that extra money could be going to the landlords - because property prices and rents often have a upward trend for years/decades (with some busts in between).
    And also the higher labor costs are often linked to the property prices and rent going up.

    And the side beneficiary of the property upward trend might be your pension/investment funds. So if they go down, low/no pensions for you...
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MIRV888 on Wednesday November 23, @10:19AM (7 children)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Wednesday November 23, @10:19AM (#1281252)

    Boston Dynamics has robots doing synchronized gymnastic displays on beat with old time rock and roll. Auto driving vehicles are well into road testing in the real world. 14% is no joke. Those jobs aren't coming back. It only goes up from here. The social ramifications of the coming swarms of unemployed humans is going to be revolutionary.
    IMHO

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Immerman on Wednesday November 23, @11:19AM (1 child)

      by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday November 23, @11:19AM (#1281260)

      In fairness those robots are painstakingly programmed for those routines, and even when "done" they typically need MANY takes to get each shot without any of them falling over or otherwise making a fool of themselves in order to get footage that can be stitched together into an impressive PR campaign that vastly overstates their capabilities.

      Still, they're improving at an alarmingly impressive rate, while bodies like the Tesla-bot are liable to introduce extreme cost-reduction pressures with an eye toward mass-production.

      And yet, I still have my doubts that we're anywhere near as close to e.g. fully autonomous self driving cars as the experts think. AI is one of those fields that has consistently made both experts and observers grossly overestimate how close we are to being "good enough", right from the beginning of the field. Every step towards creating an AI that can exercise "good judgement" seems to be *almost* enough... and then we discover just how much harder closing the remaining gap really is. Personally I have a creeping suspicion that actually dealing with the real world reliably will turn out to require an AI that has some actual awareness of itself and the world - a.k.a. artificial sentience (~= feeling - a.k.a. any higher animal, not to be confused with sapience ~= thinking). At which point we introduce the same basic moral concerns that we have around enslaving and killing animals, or people if it develops sapience as well. Which might not be far behind, but could also be far more complicated if our own brains are anything to go by.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by MIRV888 on Wednesday November 23, @03:20PM

        by MIRV888 (11376) on Wednesday November 23, @03:20PM (#1281285)

        I realize that. It's a media production to be sure. That being said, those humanoid robots are well on their way to being reliable. Once they get them dialed in, you are going to have humanoid machines that can work 24/7 with no pay, no insurance, no union, and repeat tasks identically each time. It's closer than I would care to admit. I may not see it come to fruition in my life, but it will happen. Nothing maybe about it.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by RS3 on Wednesday November 23, @07:11PM (4 children)

      by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday November 23, @07:11PM (#1281317)

      It's far too complex for my brain, especially for the rush I'm in, but it's mostly about economics. I took some econ in uni, and I sure wish it was taught in K-12, a lot.

      I see both sides of the argument, and I've had some arguments about it with some overly-philosophical people.

      On one hand, automation, even in the form of simple mechanization like the cotton gin and waterwheel-driven grain grinding, does displace some jobs. But that's been going on for more than 200 years, and sure there are many downsides, but in many (definitely not all) ways society has advanced.

      In my observation, besides all the interim benefits like higher productivity, humans doing less dangerous work, etc., the net result has been shorter and shorter work hours.

      40 hour work weeks have been fairly standard for quite some time, but maybe it's time to shorten that number.

      One of my concerns is: what will people do with the extra time? That's a big discussion in and of itself.

      In the aforementioned philosophical argument I had with a (bit too sure of himself) coworker, he kept talking about "retraining", as if all people are modeling clay and I can teach the shoemaker to code in Go. Maybe.

      But maybe not. Again, big discussion there.

      Additionally, let's go with the "retraining" thing- 1) who pays for it? 2) who subsidizes the trainee's life (rent, food, utilities, etc.)?? What if trainee just doesn't 'get it'?

      Good topic for a really good think-tank discussion and brainstorming. There used to be a (US) PBS show where there was a moderator who had a roundtable of some top experts and they'd discuss and debate such issues, and I forget the name of the long-gone show...

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by jelizondo on Thursday November 24, @12:57AM (3 children)

        by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @12:57AM (#1281367) Journal

        On one hand, automation, even in the form of simple mechanization like the cotton gin and waterwheel-driven grain grinding, does displace some jobs. But that's been going on for more than 200 years

        The difference is that we are close to having good enough AI (not general AI) that machines design, fabricate and service robots. No need for humans to get involved into anything to do with production or maintenence.

        Once we get there, it will be utopia: everyone gets to be an artist or philosopher or whatever. Or we turn into little more than animals while the rich enjoy life!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @03:07AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @03:07AM (#1281382)
          Yeah as various people have said - there were no new jobs for horses: https://alphorisms.medium.com/no-jobs-for-horses-e0748f565e3a

          Also you can pretend the cheaper workers in Asia are "robots" who are taking over many US/"Western" jobs. Did enough new jobs or alternatives (basic income etc) appear for the people in such cases?

          If they did in your country, then good for you, otherwise you're going to be screwed.
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by RS3 on Thursday November 24, @03:11AM

          by RS3 (6367) on Thursday November 24, @03:11AM (#1281383)

          I like optimism! I feel some cynicism creeping in... something will break it...

          But it reminds me of some Star Trek episodes, and I'm sure there are many other similar fiction / sci-fi stories.

          One episode was called "Spock's Brain", which I liked, but it got a lot of negative reviews. A utopian planet was controlled by a computer that broke. The people were all pretty daft, but happy. There was this helmet that could give a human super intelligence, but it would wear off. Somehow the people knew about Spock, and using the helmet of knowledge, they removed his brain, replacing it with something that would keep his body alive. Of course they used his brain to run the planet. The Trekkers figured it out, McCoy used the helmet of knowledge to replace Spock's brain back into his body, and somehow someone fixed the computer, and the Trekkers trekked onward. IIRC, of course. :)

          I guess the moral of the story is: in that future utopian world, don't be the one smart person.

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @03:17AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @03:17AM (#1281385)

          Once we get there, it will be utopia: everyone gets to be an artist or philosopher or whatever.

          AIs are already better at art and music than the average human:
          https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/02/technology/ai-artificial-intelligence-artists.html [nytimes.com]

          https://youtu.be/Emidxpkyk6o [youtu.be]
          https://www.unite.ai/best-ai-music-generators/ [unite.ai]

          Less bad option is pampered pet of the State/AIs. That said there's a chance as long as it remains a democracy and only humans can vote and run for elections. But the track record for that isn't that great right?

  • (Score: 4, Touché) by Immerman on Wednesday November 23, @11:01AM

    by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday November 23, @11:01AM (#1281257)

    Oh good! Only 14% of jobs have already been replaced with robots, and robots definitely won't get better or cheaper in the future, so we can all stop worrying!

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bootsy on Wednesday November 23, @01:37PM (5 children)

    by bootsy (3440) on Wednesday November 23, @01:37PM (#1281271)

    In the UK at least there are a number of seasonal farm related jobs we just cannot get people to do anymore that could do with robotic automation.

    The classic one is picking of soft fruit and strawberries in particular.

    We've got good robotics and automation of tough stuff like cauliflowers but soft fruit is a real challenge.
    I'm sure this will eventually be sorted but the cost of the solution may be too high to make it economical.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by deimtee on Wednesday November 23, @07:51PM (4 children)

      by deimtee (3272) on Wednesday November 23, @07:51PM (#1281325) Journal

      In the UK at least there are a number of seasonal farm related jobs we just cannot get people to do anymore that could do with robotic automation.

      The classic one is picking of soft fruit and strawberries in particular.

      No, farmers refuse to offer enough pay to get people to do the job. Would you pick strawberries for one quid a day? No. Would you pick strawberries for 200 quid an hour? Yes. Somewhere in the middle supply and demand meet.

      We've got good robotics and automation of tough stuff like cauliflowers but soft fruit is a real challenge.
      I'm sure this will eventually be sorted but the cost of the solution may be too high to make it economical.

      It's the free market, innit? When wages get high enough to get people to do the job farmers will have to decide which is cheaper, hiring people or hiring robots.

      --
      No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
      • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Thursday November 24, @11:17AM

        by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @11:17AM (#1281442)

        > It's the free market, innit? When wages get high enough to get people to do the job farmers will have to decide which is cheaper, hiring people or hiring robots.

        There is a competing pressure which you don't mention. If you pay £200 an hour to pick strawberries, then I can work for one hour a day and pay the rent. I wonder if that is in the economics models.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday November 25, @05:05AM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 25, @05:05AM (#1281544) Journal
        Keep in mind that the customer for those strawberries is who ultimately pays for all the costs of strawberry farming and picking. Your farmer starts paying people 200 quid an hour merely to pick strawberries, then strawberry consumption will go way down due to the high price for strawberries. There is a pathology here to drive up costs of living just so people can have well-paying low skill jobs.
        • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Friday November 25, @08:20AM (1 child)

          by deimtee (3272) on Friday November 25, @08:20AM (#1281559) Journal

          It's not a pathology, it's a free market. If people won't pick for one quid a day then your strawberries are going to cost more. If that makes them a luxury good that only the rich can afford then so what. You don't get to force slaves to pick them just because you want cheap strawberries.

          For someone who claims to be a free market advocate you sure do like bitching whenever that free market favours the workers instead of the owners.

          --
          No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday November 25, @02:59PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 25, @02:59PM (#1281596) Journal

            It's not a pathology, it's a free market.

            Except, of course, when it's not. Here, we have three other factors: agriculture subsidies, labor regulation, and conflict of interest from government. I couldn't determine how the UK handles agriculture, particularly strawberries or soft fruit, but it's common to pay for fruit production in order to insure a certain level of production and price floor. In the alleged situation where labor has to be paid a lot in order to pick such fruit, it's likely that the price would be above the price floor. That's going to run hard into the third factor - conflict of interest from government. More on that in a minute.

            The second factor is a cost inflation factor for all labor. Some regulation is necessary to protect the worker - workplace safety laws, for example. But some isn't - like minimum wage, labor union rules, and limits on work weeks. Those drive up costs of labor without providing any value in response (aside from the special interests that benefit from the regulation). This has some degree of synergy too. As labor is made more expensive, it increases the cost of everything that is dependent on that labor.

            Finally, you have a considerable conflict of interest from government. What this means is that if some subsidy or regulation has bad optics (like a subsidy for an expensive good), they have strong incentive to manipulate the market in order to look better - such as increasing the immigration of foreign farm workers when strawberries get too expensive (or even subsidizing the development of agriculture automation). Another example would be ratcheting up minimum wage as inflation increases. It's not good optics to have a minimum wage below market minimum wage. They have to appear to be doing something.

            These factors increase the cost of living while simultaneously decreasing the value of labor. And they're all non-market.

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by khallow on Wednesday November 23, @02:38PM (8 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 23, @02:38PM (#1281275) Journal
    In the last quoted paragraph:

    Dahlin says these findings are consistent with previous studies, which suggest that robots aren't displacing workers. Rather, workplaces are integrating both employees and robots in ways that generate more value for human labor.

    That's the huge missing puzzle piece here for why we're not all replaced by automation and robots. Because it actually makes our own labor more valuable and hence, increases demand for it.

    I see people are stoking the hysteria: for example, "Self-service taking over jobs" and "14% is no joke. Those jobs aren't coming back." Automation continues to create more jobs than it destroys. It's time to worry about real problems.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MIRV888 on Wednesday November 23, @03:26PM (3 children)

      by MIRV888 (11376) on Wednesday November 23, @03:26PM (#1281287)

      You are wrong. If a robot can work 24/7 doing x task, that is not providing more jobs. If a truck can drive itself cross country, truckers will not benefit from that. Self check out lanes have not been a boon for cashiers. Robotic welding machines have not added jobs to automotive production. The list goes on and on. It's not hysteria. It's what's been happening and will continue to happen more and more.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday November 24, @01:31AM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @01:31AM (#1281370) Journal

        If a robot can work 24/7 doing x task, that is not providing more jobs.

        Depends what the task is. If it's hunting down humans, they aren't providing more jobs. If they're supporting a 24/7 global communications network by doing tasks that are impossible for humans to do, then they are providing more jobs.

        Robotic welding machines have not added jobs to automotive production.

        First, I'll note that it's likely that automotive production jobs increased globally despite whatever job killing properties robotic welding machines might have.

        Further, the economy is more than automotive production jobs. Those robotic welding machines have resulted in cheaper, higher quality cars which is a job booster to everywhere else in the economy.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @04:33AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @04:33AM (#1281391)

          > it's likely that automotive production jobs increased globally despite whatever job killing properties robotic welding machines might have.

          The local Chevy/GM engine plant used to employ 2000-3000 people, in the 1970s. They make more engines there (per year) than they ever used to, and now it takes about 300 people. The engines they make now are also more complex and made to much better tolerances. I will give you that those 300 jobs are pretty well paid (many union), but the level of automation has decimated (1/10) the head count of humans.

          More generally, some quick googling suggests that GM now has about 150K employees. At their peak in the 1970s(?) it was 600K employees. The don't make as many cars as they used to, the wiki article I found says about 5M/year 1999-2000 dropping to ~3M after the "great recession", bankruptcy and re-organization.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday November 24, @06:13AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @06:13AM (#1281406) Journal

            The local Chevy/GM engine plant used to employ 2000-3000 people, in the 1970s.

            Classic example of the provincialism exhibited in this thread. What about automakers in other countries?

            Also keep in mind that companies like GM lost massive market share. So we would expect a huge drop. For example, in 1976 [knoema.com], GM had market share of 47% of 13 million vehicles (roughly 6 million vehicles). In 2019 (pre-covid), it was 17% of 17 million vehicles (a bit under 3 million vehicles). So right there, we should expect the number of employees to be halved (a little more actually), just from GM's loss of market share (which is half, logrithmically of the drop in employment you discuss). When we consider other problems like that GM had massive financial trouble (and went bankrupt once) and had huge inefficiencies in the 1970s, it really doesn't make sense to blame all that labor reduction on automation.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Immerman on Wednesday November 23, @05:45PM (3 children)

      by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday November 23, @05:45PM (#1281298)

      Perhaps technically true - however like most "makes your labor more valuable" innovations in the last... 70(?) years you are unlikely to see any of that value - it'll all go to the executives who made the decision to spend the money you and other employees generated on value-amplifying technology.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday November 24, @01:34AM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @01:34AM (#1281371) Journal

        Perhaps technically true - however like most "makes your labor more valuable" innovations in the last... 70(?) years you are unlikely to see any of that value - it'll all go to the executives who made the decision to spend the money you and other employees generated on value-amplifying technology.

        Perhaps you might recall that claim [soylentnews.org] wasn't true? The post wasn't formatted well due to a typo, but there is a strong correlation between productivity of labor and the total compensation that an employee received over the past half century in the US.

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday November 24, @02:25PM (1 child)

          by Immerman (3985) on Thursday November 24, @02:25PM (#1281476)

          That seems unlikely considering that real (inflation adjusted) wages have remained almost constant over that time while productivity has skyrocketed.

          Remember, rule of thumb is that the value of money is halved every ~20 years. (for 3% annual inflation, which tends to be what the feds target on average). If your wages haven't doubled in that time, you've taken a pay cut.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday November 24, @02:28PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @02:28PM (#1281479) Journal

            That seems unlikely considering that real (inflation adjusted) wages have remained almost constant over that time while productivity has skyrocketed.

            Total compensation (inflation adjusted BTW) != real (inflation adjusted) wages. It's more than that. The big addition is health insurance. Funny how that keeps getting missed in the ole narrative.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Wednesday November 23, @03:14PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 23, @03:14PM (#1281284) Journal

    The robots only need to focus on the 14%. The unemployed.

    <no-sarcasm>
    Maybe there should be a robot tax paid by those who are benefiting from the savings of using robots, in order to support unemployed people who will otherwise inevitably turn to crime.
    </no-sarcasm>

    --
    I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ilsa on Wednesday November 23, @04:59PM (9 children)

    by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 23, @04:59PM (#1281293)

    Isn't this _literally_ the same argument they made against climate change? It's always in the distant horizon, or it's overblown, or it's not an issue.

    Until it's not.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Wednesday November 23, @05:25PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 23, @05:25PM (#1281296) Journal

      Even when it is not, it is.

      Or they will say: we should have done something earlier, but now it is too expensive or otherwise infeasible to fix.

      But . . . we can't have regulation! The government doesn't tell us what to do, we tell the government what to do!


      The government IS us in an attempt to govern ourselves.

      The problem is that there needs to be less government corruption, or more opportunity to participate in it.

      --
      I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday November 24, @01:58AM (6 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @01:58AM (#1281372) Journal

      Until it's not.

      Keep in mind that just like climate change, you haven't shown there is such a dramatic transition from ok to not ok.

      With climate change, we have the notorious problem of present day global warming falling well shy (about half) of the alleged long term global warming that should come from the present increase in greenhouse gases. The disparity is explained via opaque computer models that backload the future warming to well after the researchers have retired.

      We have similar unfounded claims here. For centuries - not years, not decades, centuries - we have employment increasing, expanding, and improving in quality and compensation, despite ever increasing automation.

      My question here is what has changed that we should take these claims seriously?

      This isn't an academic question. I've repeatedly mentioned over the years that a bigger problem than either climate change or increasing automation is human poverty. The last is important because reducing it not only reduces the direct problems of human poverty, but also indirect effects like reducing human fertility (poor people being higher fertility than rich people, it turns out). I've heard claims that climate change mitigation or reducing automation would help reduce poverty, but I have yet to see any evidence to support those particular claims and plenty of evidence against them (such as terrible climate change policies and said centuries of human improvement due in large part to that automation).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @06:37AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @06:37AM (#1281411)

        My question here is what has changed that we should take these claims seriously?

        Previously the automation was mostly about automating "stupid stuff" with the focus on high labor stuff.

        The upcoming automation is about automating "smarter stuff". And in case you haven't noticed already, there are a LOT of stupid people around and the last I checked, they sure aren't getting smarter.
        There were no new jobs for horses:
        https://alphorisms.medium.com/no-jobs-for-horses-e0748f565e3a [medium.com]
        https://youtu.be/7Pq-S557XQU [youtu.be]

        Also you can pretend the cheaper workers in Asia[1] are "robots" who are taking over many US/"Western" jobs. Did enough new jobs or alternatives (basic income etc) appear for the people in such cases?

        If they did in your country, then good for you, otherwise you're going to be screwed.

        Lastly, don't forget those hordes of supposedly smart and educated "western" workers insisting on "work from home" jobs. If your job can be done at home, maybe it could be done in Vietnam etc for less than a quarter the cost.

        [1] The jobs of these lower cost workers will be at threat too from automation ( https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36376966 [bbc.com] ), so they will be competing with automation/robots AND more expensive workers in the Western world.

        They cost less and their output won't necessarily be lower quality: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/01/16/169528579/outsourced-employee-sends-own-job-to-china-surfs-web [npr.org]

        And it turns out that the job done in China was above par — the employee's "code was clean, well written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building,"

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday November 24, @02:12PM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @02:12PM (#1281469) Journal

          Previously the automation was mostly about automating "stupid stuff" with the focus on high labor stuff.

          The upcoming automation is about automating "smarter stuff".

          The upcoming automation is really about marketing.

          There were no new jobs for horses

          There remain plenty of old jobs [archive.org] for horses - 9.2 million of them still in the US for example with, get this, 4.6 million humans involved as well.

          In addition, a human happens to be more flexible than a horse. For a glaring example, we can always employ each other, should we get dropped out of the general economy and somehow unable to enjoy the fruits of smart automation. That goes on now and it's quite adequate for the entire human race.

          Also you can pretend the cheaper workers in Asia[1] are "robots" who are taking over many US/"Western" jobs. Did enough new jobs or alternatives (basic income etc) appear for the people in such cases?

          If they did in your country, then good for you, otherwise you're going to be screwed.

          If "my country" were say the US, Japan, Canada, most of the EU (outside of the PIGS), etc that would be "not screwed". The narrative doesn't fit what's actually happening.

          Lastly, don't forget those hordes of supposedly smart and educated "western" workers insisting on "work from home" jobs. If your job can be done at home, maybe it could be done in Vietnam etc for less than a quarter the cost.

          There's only so many people in Vietnam. Eventually, and by "eventually" I really mean within 30-50 years, we'll run out of that cheap labor outside of Africa. Then it'll be the countries with the better infrastructure and policies that will do better. Strong automation will be part of that better infrastructure and policies.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @03:53PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @03:53PM (#1281493)

            There remain plenty of old jobs [archive.org] for horses - 9.2 million of them

            There used to be 20+ million horses.

      • (Score: 2) by ilsa on Thursday November 24, @04:37PM (1 child)

        by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @04:37PM (#1281499)

        Nothing has changed. You're just wrong. The only question is where in the range you are... from mostly wrong to disastrously wrong.

        Climate change is _already happening_. Your willfully ignoring blatant facts because they don't satisfy your biased worldview doesn't change that.

        If you cannot see how climate change and automation directly contributes to human poverty, well... I'm not even going to waste my time debating it with you. You're not interested in debate or learning. You just want to waste my time.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Thursday November 24, @05:03PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @05:03PM (#1281503) Journal

          The only question is where in the range you are... from mostly wrong to disastrously wrong.

          Right.

          Climate change is _already happening_. Your willfully ignoring blatant facts because they don't satisfy your biased worldview doesn't change that.

          I agree. It has indeed been shown that climate change is happening and that in large part it is human-caused. What hasn't been shown is that we need to act on that, much less that there is an urgent need to dramatically cut back on greenhouse gases emissions.

          Similarly, we're supposed to do something about the alleged obsolescence of humans even though the benefits of automation have been going the opposite direction for centuries and the best criticism that can be made is that automation is getting "smarter" and people are like horses somehow.

          Here's my take. Show there's a problem first, then we can solve it. These aren't problems just because you have a scary scenario. Show the scenario has some relevance to what we observe in the real world.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday November 25, @06:14AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 25, @06:14AM (#1281547) Journal
      Another thing here, I bet we'd find that public perception of climate change is just as exaggerated as it is for AI and automation. Certainly, I've run into people both here and on Slashdot that were convinced that we were a few decades away from a climate-based die-off even though the science doesn't support it.
  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday November 23, @06:19PM (2 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday November 23, @06:19PM (#1281309) Journal

    Even apart from horrible management, of which there's far too much, lot of jobs are crappy. Who really wants to be a janitor? A crop picker? Meat plant employee working the line? A toll booth operator? A convenience store clerk? Boring! Tedious! Some of those are rather risky too. Never know when some idiot high on something is going to try armed robbery for a bag of chips and a few small bills, and somehow end up shooting the clerk even if the clerk was not resisting. Robots can have those jobs.

(1)