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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The sex doll thread got me to thinking about automation and lost jobs. The CBC has an article about automation affecting white collar jobs that I thought was worth sharing:


'As well or better than humans': Automation set for big promotions in white-collar job market


I don't agree with the list of jobs that they say could become automated, but it is an interesting issue. What do the rest of you think - are many white collar jobs also vulnerable to automation or are most white collar jobs going to remain safe for the foreseeable future?
 

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Given the right piece of software, I could put myself out of the job. Or at least reduce my work load by 50%.

I just don't have the 6 figures necessary to hire a programming firm to make it. :(
 

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Given the right piece of software, I could put myself out of the job. Or at least reduce my work load by 50%.

I just don't have the 6 figures necessary to hire a programming firm to make it. :(
And that, my friend is the dividing line between what the predictions are, and reality.

That something could be accomplished via some form of automation, or computer-assisted decision-making, is separate from whather a given employer can afford, or implement such changes. Much of what gets predicted is predicated on large employers with big investment dollars behind them, such that it can make economic sense for them to make such investments. Now, an awful lot of people do work for large employers. But an awful lot of people don't.

Consider that large grocery chains can afford to have self-checkout kiosks, generally staffed by one person for 4-6 kiosks, who is there to help customers with stuff that won't scan as well as keeping an eye out for possible theft. Could your average convenience store implement that? Not bloody likely. Yes, I suppose the corporation that leases out the franchises might have the cash, but on a store-by-store basis, there just doesn't seem to be an economic rationale to go for something more complicated than one person behind a counter with a cash register.

My brother-in-law used to work on industrial robots for Westinghouse. As he relayed it to me, the robots were great for manufacturing things where the parts to be assembled were provided in standardized form and the actions repetitive. So, you could provide a robotic unit with a matrix of bolts in a standardized unit, with all the bolts oriented exactly the same way, such that picking another one out of the matrix and installing it in an item that arrived at a standardized location in a standardized orientation, could be turned over to a robotic unit. If the algorithm to get the robot to complete the task was simple enough, it was thumbs up for the robot. But you could NOT shove a barrel of bolts at a robot and expect it to employ intelligent artificial vision to recognize where another bolt is, use interpreted tactile feedback, pick it up and orient it properly for installation. I suppose somewhere at one of the high end R&D centers (like Boston Dynamics, that posts the videos of self-balancing mobile robots) that sort of task could be successfully completed, but that's more proof of concept than a product for anyone beyond the U.S. military.

Some things will become more automated. When was the last time you interacted with a bank teller to get a money order? You likely placed your order on line, where all the processing was done by a computer, entered your Paypal number, which did all the relevant financial processing, including conversion to foreign funds and billing, and the item/s were partially prepared for shipping via automation. How many persons were involved int hat transaction? You won't know because you didn't come into direct contact with any. But again, all of that could happen, and be turned over to automation, because you were dealing with a large company, and not a Radio Shack or mom & pop record store or music store.
 

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Automations great...but ppl will still find a way to piss away 50% of the benefits of it.
 
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Automations great...but ppl will still find a way to piss away 50% of the benefits of it.
Kind of like how a lot of people in North America has smartphones, but poverty is still an issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Given the right piece of software, I could put myself out of the job. Or at least reduce my work load by 50%.

I just don't have the 6 figures necessary to hire a programming firm to make it. :(

Hire a university student for a co-op term and get it done at a fraction of the cost.
 

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Ever notice how many so-called refugees have smart phones?
Nope. I've never met a "so-called refugee".

It's also worth pointing out that Rogers and Bell will gladly put a smartphone in your hands for $0 down, just sign on the dotted line so you can pay them back over the next year or two.
 

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Ever notice how many so-called refugees have smart phones?
A group in our home town sponsored a refugee family from Ethiopia. One of the things they provided for them was a smart phone with translation software installed. Now when they are out they can communicate with others. "Where is the bathroom" for instance.
 

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Nope. I've never met a "so-called refugee".

It's also worth pointing out that Rogers and Bell will gladly put a smartphone in your hands for $0 down, just sign on the dotted line so you can pay them back over the next year or two.
Also worth noting that there generally aren't landlines in refugee camps.

But let's keep this about automation. ;)

Whoops, and about white collar jobs. Though I'm not sure what to call service-sector jobs: blue or white. Pale blue?
 

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The sex doll thread got me to thinking about automation and lost jobs. The CBC has an article about automation affecting white collar jobs that I thought was worth sharing:


'As well or better than humans': Automation set for big promotions in white-collar job market


I don't agree with the list of jobs that they say could become automated, but it is an interesting issue. What do the rest of you think - are many white collar jobs also vulnerable to automation or are most white collar jobs going to remain safe for the foreseeable future?
LOL on the fact they think there's only an 11% chance that their own job can be automated.

Last I checked robots don't pay taxes so some of the big brains in Govt better start seriously thinking about this shit.
 

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And that, my friend is the dividing line between what the predictions are, and reality.

That something could be accomplished via some form of automation, or computer-assisted decision-making, is separate from whether a given employer can afford, or implement such changes.
Whether or not a business can afford something should not be determined on a whim. It should be the result of a comprehensive cost benefit analysis. One would hope any business considering an investment would first invest the time and money into a proper CBA.

As for the rest of your comment, it definitely relates to the thread but I'm not sure it relates specifically to my comment. The automation I'm referring to is specifically to minimize much of my office/computer work. Tasks which are absolutely necessary for the continued controlled growth of the business, but which are very time consuming due to the limitations of our current platform. I'm certain many of these things could be automated, but I have yet to find a turn-key solution in which they are (at least to my satisfaction; or that doesn't have too many other drawbacks).

Hire a university student for a co-op term and get it done at a fraction of the cost.
I have had that recommended to us before. Without boring you with the details, the scope and scale of what we're looking for is well beyond the capabilities of a single programmer on a short-term contract. We either need an existing solution modified to our needs, or we need to have something built from the ground up. Both are significant investments. We're currently in talks with a handful of companies regarding our needs and are vetting potential solutions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Nope. I've never met a "so-called refugee".

When I made the original comment I was thinking of the Jungle in Calais and how every one of the alleged refugees there had a cell phone (the vast majority were actually economic migrants but progressives labelled them all as refugees).
 
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