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What will people do when robots do most of everything?

(233 Posts)
unicornfarts Thu 11-Jan-18 18:48:50

Was listening to something on the radio about how AI is quietly percolating into more and more everyday items and services and that robots are getting better and better. Was wondering why no interviewer ever asks the excited tech people what do they think people will do all day when robots do everything? Lots of people with nowt to do sounds a recipe for civil unrest and poor mental health to

ScreamingValenta Thu 11-Jan-18 18:50:35

Build and program robots? Go round fixing the spectacular cock-ups that computers often make?

TheQueenOfWands Thu 11-Jan-18 18:51:34

Nah, the robots will clean our houses, massage our feet and feed us grapes.


JennyOnAPlate Thu 11-Jan-18 18:51:45

Man helplines for people to call when the tech fucks up? I’d get practicing your “have you tried switching it off and on again” now if I were you.

megletthesecond Thu 11-Jan-18 18:51:58

Universal basic income maybe.

CaoNiMa Thu 11-Jan-18 18:56:20

There will be a massive cull of the human population. Robots will replace the former working classes and the 1% will control the means of production without the need to reimburse workers.

I'm not even joking.

lljkk Thu 11-Jan-18 19:02:06

Bollocks scare story imho.
"What will women do with their time" now they have all these modern cons to help with housework (1950s).
"What will happen to all the cinemas" now we have VCRs (1980s).

Retail not manuf. is the sector at highest risk of job losses, but this is long term trend due to online commerce, anyway.

grasspigeons Thu 11-Jan-18 19:02:25

I agree with CaoNiMA
There will either be some mysterious accident that renders people sterile accidently in the vaccination programme or just a series of unnecessary wars engineered for the purpose.

TabbyMack Thu 11-Jan-18 19:06:04

This is an issue that Elon Musk et al are actually addressing.

It will likely get to the point where AI does everything so no one has a job. At which point we'll have to have some kind of citizen's income type arrangement.

unicornfarts Thu 11-Jan-18 19:13:57

But it's not just about having an income.....won't it get frustrating to have nothing 'purposeful' to do all day everyday for the rest of forever? The number of people needed to make/maintain and develop AI tech is far less than the worlds population I suspect. I know the Elon musks et al have talked of needing to have AI ethics rules in place but they don't seem to be happening very publicly.

TabbyMack Thu 11-Jan-18 19:14:26

"What will women do with their time" now they have all these modern cons to help with the housework (1950s)

You realise that mod cons like hoovers, washing machines, dishwashers etc have cut the amount of time needed to keep a house clean down massively, right? So this wasn't such a stupid question. And in the 1950s it was hard to imagine that so many women would start working outside of the home.

We are looking at a future of driverless cars, quantum computers and robots. It is highly likely that AI will do absolutely everything better and safer than any human being.

So, it is a good and important question to ask what we'll actually be doing while our techology does eveything for us.

lljkk Thu 11-Jan-18 19:21:03

Okay, come on guys, tell me what your jobs are & how a robot will do it so much better.

My job is reading prose & extracting scientific info from it.
Also figuring out when I can take decisions & when I can't (when boss must). No AI can do that, so far.

Few yrs ago I was working as a dinner lady. Can't see AI being cost effective to move benches, wipe tables, handle worries of little kids, fetch water, sweep up...

TabbyMack Thu 11-Jan-18 19:22:34

OP...I was listening to Lawrence Krauss talking about this and he was saying that the rise of AI will basically mean the end of human beings. The next step in our evolution is that we'll become AI beings in the form of the the technology we've invented. It sounds awful, but his attitude is "So what?" and I thinkg I agree.

If conciousness is just an emergent property of our material brains then there's no reason why it can't emerge from silicon chips (or whatever) which is just another form of matter our great, great, great (x20) grandchildren could well be robots.

FannyWisdom Thu 11-Jan-18 19:24:44

Was some Swedish study or Norwegian.
Parts of India already are using a crude form.

TabbyMack Thu 11-Jan-18 19:27:08

*My job is reading prose and extracting scientific info from it
Who wrote the prose? For what purpose? Where did the scientific info come from?

In a future with robots doing the science (and we're nearly there) no one is going to be writing prose about it.

unicornfarts Thu 11-Jan-18 19:27:12

Tabby- I was thinking the same, but I'm a little way off your level of zen. I do t think I'm a Darwinian 'survivor' as I don't like the idea of change and adaptation! As a thought experiment it's an interesting one....the idea of it happening to me/ my kids is horrifying! It's scary to think that my child's understanding of reality will be different to mine.....e.g. I'm often weirded out by the way they take wireless data transfer and touch screen interfaces for granted with little grasp of the tech that goes into it- they just accept at face value that data is invisible! Blow my mind

unicornfarts Thu 11-Jan-18 19:30:32

Ljkk- I think you're kidding yourself....they already have the AI good enough to dispense correct temp meals based on voice commands or touch screen instructions, and given that autonomous vehicles exist that can safely navigate road systems, I imagine that they can move tables chairs and clean under them. Not meant to be offensive in any way. There are already autonomous surgical robots (i.e. Not just the ones that are being operated by surgeons, but they actually do the procedure themselves).

karalime Thu 11-Jan-18 19:31:17

Lljkk that's exactly what AI is already being used for. The AI exists already to analyse intent, key words etc from text and machine learning is being developed to take data and make conclusions.

Journalism, research, law, accounting - these are all the jobs that will be taken by AI

Hairdressers and cleaners, not so much. Physical robots are difficult and atm can only do repetitive tasks with no variation.

lljkk Thu 11-Jan-18 19:34:38

I'll be impressed when AI gets cost-effective enough to replace dinner ladies! Do you know how badly we're paid?

Dispensing meals is not the same as cleaning a whole table after a child puked everywhere (and ringing the parents & comforting the puker & finding them some clean clothes), or comforting a 4yo who cries thru her dinner time every day b/c she misses mum or telling a pair of yr4s to stop snogging or remembering which kid has allergies & chivvying the kids to tidy up the classroom after wet play.

c3pu Thu 11-Jan-18 19:34:56

I mostly do IT support, and there seems to be no shortage of broken tech at the moment so I think I'm safe for a while 😂

lljkk Thu 11-Jan-18 19:35:16

... right now I'd love a bit of AI to discipline rowdy DC & leave me to MN in peace! Maybe not such a bad idea. grin

TabbyMack Thu 11-Jan-18 19:36:12

Lijkk The thing is, there is absolutely nothing that a human being can do now that AI won't be able to do in the future. Nothing. And it'll do it infinitely better than us. That includes thinking.

Unicornfarts I know, & I agree with you mostly. Darwinian evolution is over as far as human beings are concerned because we take good care of everyone & have done for some time. I think our next, inevitable step is that we'll become trans-human.

TheQueenOfWands Thu 11-Jan-18 19:36:16

I'm a care assistant for people with dementia.

I mentioned in my last appraisal/supervision that in ten years robots will do my job.

I think robots will do quite well. The insults and violent attacks we're subjected will just bounce off them, no causing injuries resulting in sick pay or work not being done because you're crying in the staff room. They can't catch or pass on any viruses and will probably pick up signs of illness/infection faster than I can. They can cook meals, sort laundry and clean. They won't tire out or become unwell.

I'm fairly certain robots will be doing these jobs in the future.

lljkk Thu 11-Jan-18 19:39:46

> machine learning is being developed to take data and make conclusions.

What I've seen so far is rubbish. The stuff that is supposed to be 95% relevant is actually about 75% relevant, and that's at the easiest point, stage one of selection. Then it takes huge amount of additional careful searching, reading and sometimes negotiations between assessors to find the 100% relevant info. Then there's the common sense type further interpretations of what the data mean. And lots of other stages I'm not boring folk with.

Fine if a poota learns to do that b/c guess what... human beings can acquire new skills.

grasspigeons Thu 11-Jan-18 19:41:16

I'm sure not every single job is going to be replaced and new jobs will exist and yes a lot of the stuff that goes on in a school isn't cheaply done by machines - but what if the stuff that could be done technology was?

eg my photocopier orders its own supplies. Not long ago I'd have had to fill out an order form, get it signed, fax it off. Now it arrives the same day with a delivery driver, who could easily be replaced by a driverless vehicle in the future. Lots of little changes like that would leave me with time to wipe the tables and no need for an extra lunch time supervisor.

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