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Is 2014 the year YOUR job will be taken by a robot?

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  • Is 2014 the year YOUR job will be taken by a robot?

    Is 2014 the year YOUR job will be taken by a robot? 'Jobocalpyse' set to strike as droids are trained to flip burgers, pour drinks - and even look after our children

    Scientists predict a 'jobocalypse' as robots take over manual jobs
    A huge 70% of occupations could become automated over next 30 years
    Drivers, teachers, babysitters and nurses could be replaced by robots
    Could mean the end of the eight-hour, five-day working week

    By MARK PRIGG
    SPONSORED
    PUBLISHED: 12:04 EST, 20 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:32 EST, 21 January 2014

    Experts are predicting a 'jobocalypse' as robots take over manual jobs, while scientists at Cambridge warn that machines should have their intelligence limited to stop them outsmarting us.

    A new version of the movie RoboCop (out February 12) shows us a future where technology revolutionises law enforcement, but that is just the tip of the iceberg for robotics.

    'I believe we are the inflection point where robotics are going to change everything you know and do,' says Ben Way, author of Jobocalypse, a book about about the rise of the robots, told MailOnline.

    He says everyone from bartenders to drivers are at risk.

    'They will have the impact to take away 70% of all traditional jobs in the next 30 years,' he said.

    'Robots could deliver a lot of instability - but if we get it right, it could lead to a new renaissance for humanity.

    'We will change the way we work. The eight-hour, five-day work week will disappear.'

    Lord Martin Rees, Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, and the Astronomer Royal, believes robots have two very different roles.

    'The first is to operate in locations that humans can't reach, such as the aftermaths of accidents in mines, oil-rigs and nuclear power stations.,' he says.

    'The second, also deeply unglamorous, is to help elderly or disabled people with everyday life: tying shoelaces, cutting toenails and suchlike.'

    However, he advocates limiting their intelligence, stopping them doing more advanced jobs.

    'I think we should ensure that robots remain as no more than 'idiot savants' – lacking the capacity to outwit us, even though they may greatly surpass us in the ability to calculate and process information.'
    Is it time to plan a career change? The jobs set to be lost to bots...
    \
    In the future, you'll see live barman only in the most exclusive clubs. Your cocktail order will soon be taken and shaken up by 'bot barmen.

    Meet Monsieur: an artificially intelligent robotic that can learn its user's favourite cocktails as well as how strong they like them - and can even anticipate its owner's mood and sense when to include a double shot of alcohol.

    The robot is the brainchild of a company, also called Monsieur, in Atlanta, Georgia, which is trying to raise $100,000 on crowd-funding website Kickstarter to put the product, which is designed for the home, into production.

    Meanwhile, in China there is already the Robot Restaurant, where 20 robots deliver food to the table, cook dumplings and noodles, usher diners and entertain them in Harbin, Heilongjiang province in China.
    When a diner walks in, an usher robot extends their mechanic arm to the side and says 'Earth person hello. Welcome to the Robot Restaurant.'

    San Francisco robotics firm Momentum says its burger flipping robot is already able to make 360 hamburgers per hour.

    It can make custom burgers for each customers, and the firm says it is 'more consistent and more sanitary' than human workers.

    'Our alpha machine frees up all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant,' it boasts.

    The firm plans to open a restaurant in San Francisco using its technology, then sell it to existing burger chains.
    This is a typically lurid DM story but it's something I think about a lot. In my own field, I have seen jobs shrink radically due to automation and computer analysis. There is increasingly little 'hands-on' (bench chemistry) in the job market. Tasks that would have required a degree and some amount of work experience 20 years ago are now little more than babysitting jobs done by following a flow chart-style work procedure. The techs doing that baby-sitting will never gain the skills to progress in the field and they will see their opportunities shrink as more automation comes on.

    What's worse is that we can and do hire chemistry graduates to do this dead-end work. They will never see the opportunities that I easily had coming into the field.

    Obviously, it's not just chemistry - it's a lot of fields. Why hire a chancy human when you can invest in automation? Your tech will never get sick, get pregnant, get drunk, develop anger issues, entail dependents, need 'family time', have immigration issues, sexually harass anyone, write unfortunate emails or texts, or quit without notice. What's not to like?

    The dumbest, least skilled, most impulsive, and most unmotivated sector of the employment market will most affected.


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz2r5liPnmY
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  • #2
    I heard about this story on the radio last night while I was out running errands. As it was pointed out on the radio, automation has never stopped replacing people, and probably never will until we reach some point at which machines do everything for us and we wind up looking like the people in recliners in WALL-E. Trains put long-distance stage coaches out of business. Cars took horses off the road and put everyone from farriers to buggy-whip makers and all points in between out of business.

    With Ginger's comments, it dawned upon me that there have been whole swaths of people who would now be considered completely superfluous, indeed an anachronism these days, who were doing valuable work in our lifetimes. My father's first "real job" while he was in college was with USF&G. His job was literally to be a number-cruncher. He was given a set of values (age, sex, weight, etc.) and he operated a slide-rule to come up with a numerical value that determined someone's "qualifier" for life insurance policies. He was one of about 30 people who all did the same thing in a dank little room in the basement of an office building. Fifteen years later, that room full of people was replaced by one person running one very expensive (at the time; they were about $450 a piece, which was a lot of money at the time when you consider that a car was about $2000 and a pretty nice house was about $20,000) piece of equipment called a "calculator" that was about the size of a telephone and hummed slightly when you turned it on from all of the electricity that it drew out of the 120V outlet. Fifteen years after that, there were no more people whose sole job it was to run calculators; Dad carried around in his pocket an HP 12-C that could amortize an entire 30-year mortgage with just a few numbers input into it. His secretary could plug some numbers into something called a "spreadsheet" and in a matter of minutes provide an organized, typewritten page showing exactly when someone's payments would be, how much they would be, how much interest they were paying, and what their outstanding principal would be for the next thirty years; this had been a task that took a pool of secretaries hours to do just a few years earlier.

    Typing pools are a thing of the past. Blacksmiths are a niche specialty. Farriers much the same. Coach-building basically doesn't exist now, and the same for coach-driving. Coopers are rare these days. Sadly, our typewriter repair man has now retired, meaning that we don't have anyone available to fix our several Selectrics that we have in the office, most in one state or another of disrepair, kept around mostly to cannibalize for parts and because no one knows how to throw away a typewriter: the landfill won't take them, the recycling place won't take them, no one knows what to do with these heavy chunks of machinery. My profession is more anachronistic than not these days, until someone gets into trouble, that is. Henry Ford used to employ hundreds of people whose job it was to make wooden wheels for cars. Needless to say, their jobs are long-gone.



    Face it, folks: you're going to be replaced by a machine some day.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Adam View Post
      I heard about this story on the radio last night while I was out running errands. As it was pointed out on the radio, automation has never stopped replacing people, and probably never will until we reach some point at which machines do everything for us and we wind up looking like the people in recliners in WALL-E. Trains put long-distance stage coaches out of business. Cars took horses off the road and put everyone from farriers to buggy-whip makers and all points in between out of business.

      With Ginger's comments, it dawned upon me that there have been whole swaths of people who would now be considered completely superfluous, indeed an anachronism these days, who were doing valuable work in our lifetimes. My father's first "real job" while he was in college was with USF&G. His job was literally to be a number-cruncher. He was given a set of values (age, sex, weight, etc.) and he operated a slide-rule to come up with a numerical value that determined someone's "qualifier" for life insurance policies. He was one of about 30 people who all did the same thing in a dank little room in the basement of an office building. Fifteen years later, that room full of people was replaced by one person running one very expensive (at the time; they were about $450 a piece, which was a lot of money at the time when you consider that a car was about $2000 and a pretty nice house was about $20,000) piece of equipment called a "calculator" that was about the size of a telephone and hummed slightly when you turned it on from all of the electricity that it drew out of the 120V outlet. Fifteen years after that, there were no more people whose sole job it was to run calculators; Dad carried around in his pocket an HP 12-C that could amortize an entire 30-year mortgage with just a few numbers input into it. His secretary could plug some numbers into something called a "spreadsheet" and in a matter of minutes provide an organized, typewritten page showing exactly when someone's payments would be, how much they would be, how much interest they were paying, and what their outstanding principal would be for the next thirty years; this had been a task that took a pool of secretaries hours to do just a few years earlier.

      Typing pools are a thing of the past. Blacksmiths are a niche specialty. Farriers much the same. Coach-building basically doesn't exist now, and the same for coach-driving. Coopers are rare these days. Sadly, our typewriter repair man has now retired, meaning that we don't have anyone available to fix our several Selectrics that we have in the office, most in one state or another of disrepair, kept around mostly to cannibalize for parts and because no one knows how to throw away a typewriter: the landfill won't take them, the recycling place won't take them, no one knows what to do with these heavy chunks of machinery. My profession is more anachronistic than not these days, until someone gets into trouble, that is. Henry Ford used to employ hundreds of people whose job it was to make wooden wheels for cars. Needless to say, their jobs are long-gone.



      Face it, folks: you're going to be replaced by a machine some day.
      And all that is about obsolescence. Some things die due to the change in culture.

      Clock repair. Everyone has clocks of all kinds. But they are disposable, now. Finding someone to service and fix clocks must be tough outside an urban area. There are only a few (reputable) shops in this city of 750,000.
      Colonel Vogel : What does the diary tell you that it doesn't tell us?

      Professor Henry Jones : It tells me, that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try *reading* books instead of *burning* them!

      Comment


      • #4
        So now, robots are like the boogens that parents used to scare their children into good behavior.

        "If you employees aren't very, very, productive, the robots'll come for you."

        Well, except for they're real.
        Enjoy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
          So now, robots are like the boogens that parents used to scare their children into good behavior.

          "If you employees aren't very, very, productive, the robots'll come for you."

          Well, except for they're real.

          BAM!!
          Colonel Vogel : What does the diary tell you that it doesn't tell us?

          Professor Henry Jones : It tells me, that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try *reading* books instead of *burning* them!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
            And all that is about obsolescence. Some things die due to the change in culture.

            Clock repair. Everyone has clocks of all kinds. But they are disposable, now. Finding someone to service and fix clocks must be tough outside an urban area. There are only a few (reputable) shops in this city of 750,000.
            Clocks and typewriters. We have a need for repairmen for both those items in our office.

            Also, shoemakers/repairmen. I swear the best business going in this town would be a small shoe repair, shoe shine stand. The person that does that would make millions.
            Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
            Robert Southwell, S.J.

            Comment


            • #7
              So, where are the robotic typewriter repair machines? Could be that isn't a case of automation replacing jobs at all.
              Enjoy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
                So, where are the robotic typewriter repair machines? Could be that isn't a case of automation replacing jobs at all.
                They're in the back store room, next to the robotic buggy whip makers.
                It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
                In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
                Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
                Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm all for outsourcing Pap Smears to the robots.
                  If it pays, it stays

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think this era is kind of different. There never were a lot of buggy whip makers (or corset makers or whatever). The people displaced out of those jobs got similar jobs. The jobs were still being created. Now similar jobs aren't being created.

                    I think we've got a big problem that's going to get bigger. We don't have any sectors to absorb large numbers of no skill/low skill people. The pressure is forced upwards. Low skill people take no skill jobs. Somewhat skilled people take low skill jobs. Skilled people take somewhat skilled jobs. And so on.

                    Automation and computers are forcing this exponentially. The company that 1960 would have employed 25 people now probably gets along fine with 5 - 9 people. That's just the people in that company, it doesn't count the number of supporting people.

                    What do you do with the large number of people who need routine, low skill, minimally self-directed work? They used to work in agriculture or manufacturing or as servants. Even fast food outlets are installing ordering kiosks to cut down on the number of employees. Where will these people work?
                    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gingersnap View Post
                      We don't have any sectors to absorb large numbers of no skill/low skill people.
                      Government agencies!!
                      If it pays, it stays

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gingersnap View Post
                        I think this era is kind of different. There never were a lot of buggy whip makers (or corset makers or whatever). The people displaced out of those jobs got similar jobs. The jobs were still being created. Now similar jobs aren't being created.

                        I think we've got a big problem that's going to get bigger. We don't have any sectors to absorb large numbers of no skill/low skill people. The pressure is forced upwards. Low skill people take no skill jobs. Somewhat skilled people take low skill jobs. Skilled people take somewhat skilled jobs. And so on.

                        Automation and computers are forcing this exponentially. The company that 1960 would have employed 25 people now probably gets along fine with 5 - 9 people. That's just the people in that company, it doesn't count the number of supporting people.

                        What do you do with the large number of people who need routine, low skill, minimally self-directed work? They used to work in agriculture or manufacturing or as servants. Even fast food outlets are installing ordering kiosks to cut down on the number of employees. Where will these people work?
                        As automation increases, the skill level required by humans to oversee those tasks decreases. Customer service and product fulfillment are still very poor for most products and services. Competition is improving things and customers are demanding more.
                        Last edited by scott; Thursday, January 23, 2014, 10:28 PM.
                        "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."
                        -John Locke

                        "It's all been melded together into one giant, authoritarian, leftist scream."
                        -Newman

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Once upon a time, the working world reacted to productivity increases by shortening the work week to 5 days. I think, a couple of decades ago, people were talking about the possibility of someday shortening the work week to 4 days. But that was before globalism brought labor to its knees.
                          Enjoy.

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