Responding to automation

Social, economic and environmental issues in our ever-changing world.
TylerM4
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Re: Responding to automation

Post by TylerM4 »

AlienSoldier wrote: Jul 28th, 2021, 7:21 am
Bit different this time. In those early stages of automation as we replaced the shovels with a digger, or a horse with a car, calculator with people crunching numbers the jobs shifted from the office to factories. We needed to build those items. That continued with early automation (I worked at building some of these for automotive plants such as Ford and Honda. The work went from the factory floors to design and manufacturing of the automation equipment at companies like the one I worked at.

What is happening now is the low hanging fruit is all gone. In order to cut costs and increase reliability. efficiency the systems have gone online or are being leaned out. You will still need robots to build your cars, but you will need less of them, you will need less mechanics, you will have less parts in your cars. Office workers are slowly being replaced by online AI as well. These are replacing multiple people with an AI and a fraction of the labour. The labour can also be anywhere in the world so again the jobs are shipped to the lowest cost location. In the long run the system learns, becomes self reliant and stable, once that happens you cut again.

Call it "death by a thousand cuts".
I disagree. Modern automation doesn't "just happen". AI, etc is a whole new field of highly skilled employment opening up. AI isn't "set and forget" it requires constant development, upgrading, etc. Someone has to do that work as well.

I really don't understand your point around "That automation needed to happen but this doesn't" Nothing needed to happen then, and it doesn't need to happen now. Thing is - people want it to happen. We want more for less - automation is what makes that happen and it's the lubrication for innovation.

What it does mean is that citizens in modernized countries need to "skill up". The wealth that automation provides should allow us to do that. Gone are the days when children had to quit school at 15 to help with the family farm...that's due to automation and the bar keeps getting higher. With that - gone are the days when you can drop out of highschool in grade 9 and still have a good chance of building a high income career. Grade 12 is rapidly becoming the new "high school drop out", etc.

It's all a continuation of the same trend that started with the industrial revolution. While the specifics are different, from the 1000' view it's just more of the same.
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Jlabute
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Re: Responding to automation

Post by Jlabute »

^^^ :up:

Workers are resilient. Do you know any mature students? Education is one of the largest industries that exists. The rate of education is higher than the rate of automation. Non-routine jobs are not so much at risk and "IF" automation is going to replace a handful of people, those people will be given an opportunity to retrain. Although, it is not unusual for companies to automate and hire more staff.
Companies tend to hire more people after buying robots: Statistics Canada researcher
AI and machine learning is a great tool and is finding its way in to finance, medicine, etc. An example of AI in finance is the auto-generation of SR&ED (Scientific Research & Experimental Development) documentation. It still requires people to review the output. The costs are higher than a human SR&ED consultant, but employee time is freed up to do more important tasks and the company can earn a larger tax credit.

Government doesn't even need to be involved unless there is some underlying artificial green deal rip off scam job offering.


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