Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by janrinok on Sunday December 21 2014, @07:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the robbie-the-robot-is-winning dept.

Claire Cain Miller writes at the NYT that economists long argued that, just as buggy-makers gave way to car factories, technology used to create as many jobs as it destroyed. But now there is deep uncertainty about whether the pattern will continue, as two trends are interacting. First, artificial intelligence has become vastly more sophisticated in a short time, with machines now able to learn, not just follow programmed instructions, and to respond to human language and movement. At the same time, the American work force has gained skills at a slower rate than in the past — and at a slower rate than in many other countries. Self-driving vehicles are an example of the crosscurrents. Autonomous cars could put truck and taxi drivers out of work — or they could enable drivers to be more productive during the time they used to spend driving, which could earn them more money. But for the happier outcome to happen, the drivers would need the skills to do new types of jobs.

When the University of Chicago asked a panel of leading economists about automation, 76 percent agreed that it had not historically decreased employment. But when asked about the more recent past, they were less sanguine. About 33 percent said technology was a central reason that median wages had been stagnant over the past decade, 20 percent said it was not and 29 percent were unsure. Perhaps the most worrisome development is how poorly the job market is already functioning for many workers. More than 16 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 are not working, up from 5 percent in the late 1960s; 30 percent of women in this age group are not working, up from 25 percent in the late 1990s. For those who are working, wage growth has been weak, while corporate profits have surged. “We’re going to enter a world in which there’s more wealth and less need to work,” says Erik Brynjolfsson. “That should be good news. But if we just put it on autopilot, there’s no guarantee this will work out.”

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
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.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @10:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @10:00PM (#128498)

    ...and wrote it down in her (infamous) book

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCUM_Manifesto [wikipedia.org]

    I've read through some of it in an online copy I found and came across this:

    Money, Marriage and Prostitution, Work and Prevention of an Automated Society: There is no human reason for money or for anyone to work more than two or three hours a week at the very most. All non-creative jobs (practically all jobs now being done) could have been automated long ago, and in a moneyless society everyone can have as much of the best of everything as she wants. But there are non-human, male reasons for wanting to maintain the money system:

    [...]

    5. Provide the male with a goal. Incapable of enjoying the moment, the male needs something to look forward to, and money provides him with an eternal, never-ending goal: Just think of what you could do with 80 trillion dollars -- invest it! And in three years time you'd have 300 trillion dollars!!!

    -- The S.C.U.M. Manifesto http://www.womynkind.org/scum.htm [womynkind.org]

    I have no idea if she made the 80 trillion dollars number up but it is 'close enough' to the 85 trillion dollar global GDP in 2012 cited at

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_world_product [wikipedia.org]

    at the time of this post

    The 'automated, moneyless society' she mentioned reminded me of this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Venus_Project [wikipedia.org]

    But businesses today REALLY want this:

    http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm [marshallbrain.com]

    in order to cut labor costs to the bone and boost profits to their shareholders.

    ...Then in 1968, Valerie shot Andy Warhol and Mario_Amaya -- 'missing' Warhol's manager Fred Hughes when her gun jammed and died years later in 1988 but she secured a spot for herself in history for good or for ill....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Warhol [wikipedia.org]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Amaya [wikipedia.org]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Solanas [wikipedia.org]