Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Robots are Coming

Ibrahim wrote a good piece here.

I accept that this is the future.  The question I posed is how is our society and education system willing to change to ensure NO Child is Left Behind.  It is critical that EVERY non-special needs child who graduates is academically and socially cable, and interested in working and life long learning.

You know my views:
  • hold Parents accountable
  • hold School and Social Service Systems accountable
  • promote households with 2 mature adults
  • other?


jerrye92002 said...

When robots are doing 50% of the jobs, what difference does a good education make? How are the rest of us going to earn a living, by taking in each other's laundry?

John said...

Is that you??? Usually you are the one pointing out that robots need programmers, designers, etc... And that they will free us humans up for more complicated tasks.

You are correct though that there are many jobs that will cease to exist. And what will those people with poor communication skills, low academic capability and low job skill capabilities do to feed themselves, pay for their home, etc?

John said...

From MP
"A point often overlooked is that the primary motivation for automation, in many cases, is not for cost reduction by eliminating labor, but rather for quality and manufacturing yield improvements. To successfully implement and maintain a robotic manufacturing process requires a LOT of people, but as G2A points out, education is key. Many of the jobs supporting automated manufacturing don't require "rocket scientist" intelligence, but the jobs do require people who are very disciplined and very organized. These traits are sort of by-products of our current educational system, but maybe there are ways to better teach these skills?

I really don't have any idea of how society can help "those we have Left Behind" other than to provide a decent safety net, spending at least some of society's gain from improved manufacturing." Daniel

"The first challenge is to get everyone performing on the trapeze in the first place. Unfortunately many parents, social services and the education system are still failing to accomplish this in far too many cases. How can society hold them accountable for improving? Just sending them more money has not worked. The unlucky kids deserve better.

Then we get into Safety Trampolines and Safety Hammocks. If everyone is performing on the "working life trapeze" and someone falls, I agree that we need a safety trampoline to catch them and return them back to being an active worker.

Unfortunately many of our systems perform more as safety hammocks. Either someone crawls into it directly from school or falls into it and becomes comfortably trapped.

How can we lead the horses to water, and force them to drink for their own good and our countries?

What do we do with those healthy people who refuse to work, learn, change, improve, etc? Let them sit in the Safety Hammock until it is no longer sustainable due to global competition?

It is a thorny predicament..." G2A

Sean said...

Is is your assertion that people on "welfare" programs live comfortable lives?

John said...

I think "comfort" is a relative term and that people must be aware of that.

I personally accept that by my choice I will never be really rich. I am simply not willing to make the sacrifices and take the risks necessary to get there. My "comfort" level is where I am now...

Now if you are raised poor and get told that you will never be middle class or you'll just end up a welfare Mom by the influential adults in your life. I have to believe that many of those individuals get "comfortable" with less.

The question is how to we use discomfort (stick) and potential improved comfort (carrot) to encourage people to do the work, take the risks and make the necessary sacrifices to improve their personal situation?

Just keeping them "comfortable" is not going to help them... It is like raising bunnies in a cage...

Laurie said...

Self-Driving Trucks Are a Canary in the Coal Mine

UBI Continues To Be Wildly Unpopular

Laurie said...

Elon Musk says robots will push us to a universal basic income—here’s how it would work

Anonymous said...

"I personally accept that by my choice I will never be really rich. I am simply not willing to make the sacrifices and take the risks necessary to get there. My "comfort" level is where I am now...

Now if you are raised poor and get told that you will never be middle class or you'll just end up a welfare Mom by the influential adults in your life. I have to believe that many of those individuals get "comfortable" with less."

Your hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me, John. It's okay for you to "settle" into your "comfort" level, but not okay for others. Got it.


John said...

I am happy for them to live at whatever level they choose to work for.

It is folks like yourself who want to take money from other citizens in order to raise the standard of living for the low income folks to some comfort level that you judge adequate.

Do you disagree?

It is like the folks who believe people deserve a minimum yearly income no matter what, at the expense of tax payers if necessary... Now if many people are comfortable living at that threshold... Is it fair to the workers and investors who bear the burden/cost of caring for them?

John said...

Just curious, when you had/have to do group projects. Are you okay with that person who just chooses to not perform / participate getting full credit for the team's success?

Laurie said...

Why we need to plan for a future without jobs

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, thank you for those very pertinent cites. I actually find them encouraging. I think the idea of robots doing all the work and humans making a living from being artists and teachers is straight out of Star Trek- the Fantasy. It is never going to work and we shouldn't even try. Take the low estimate of the problem, that 50% of the population has no job and relies on that basic income. That means that everybody that HAS a job has to support himself and one other. If we're counting only the employable population, then every worker must support two FAMILIES, and the income to do that is going to be very large, along with the taxes, and human nature will cause most people to fall back on that basic income, collapsing the system. So what will happen is that all of the "high standard of living" goods and services will not be produced because nobody will be able to afford to buy them, and the standard of living will fall, too. It's a recipe for total disaster.

But I see a different scenario, if the utopian politicians can be kept out of it. First, we have to eliminate or vastly reduce corporate taxes, taxes on savings and investment, and reduce the double taxation of dividends and on capital. In short, make us a capitalist economy again. We will then be equipped to use capital equipment, like robots, to compete with low wage nations around the world. They continue to employ their people in low-wage jobs, while we produce and export, requiring lots of high-wage jobs. Our standard of living stays up and the rest of the world gradually gets better, too. More of us will move into the "service economy" where wages don't merit automation (so long as we avoid stupid things like a $15 minwage) but even that should pay better than some unsustainable government-driven "handout."

jerrye92002 said...

Now whether keeping the utopian politicans out is possible, I don't know.

Laurie said...

Thanks for reading my links, Jerry. Once this age of robotics advances a bit more, more teachers will also be out of work. (I just started learning Spanish via computer.) I think ed tech could advance quickly enough to force me into early retirement.

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, I have a lot of sympathy for dedicated teachers like yourself, but I'm afraid the unions have created this situation and are liable to create a bigger problem than is necessary. I've said for a while that once we discover that we can do "distance learning" from India for 1/3 what AFT and NEA demand we pay teachers, you're doomed. I've also said that the quicker we get to CAI (computer aided instruction), the more and quicker and better (and far cheaper) our kids will actually learn and the infamous "gap" can start to disappear, but of course at least half the current teacher workforce will be idled.

I'll tell you a cautionary tale. I rode from Pittsburgh to Chicago on a plane next to a huge bull of a man, a Steelworker's union official on his way back from a national union meeting. He was despondent. "I don't know what I'm going to do," he said, "I've got 15,000 members in my local and 14,000 of them are out of work." I did not say anything (he was /huge/), but it was obvious that repeated strikes for higher wages had prevented the capital improvements that would have kept them competitive in the world market. The unions had done it to themselves-- i.e. priced themselves out of the marketplace and killed the business they depended on. I'm afraid teachers have done the same and a lot of good people are going to get hurt.