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Thread: Are Machines Taking Over…the Workplace?

  1. #1
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    Are Machines Taking Over…the Workplace?

    Interesting listen. From NPR Radio Times.

    One of the points made is that manufacturing will return to the US. The logic is robots (computers) keep doubling in productivity every 18 months. Aka Moore's law. So eventually it will be less expensive to manufacture stuff in the USA as it is to pay Chinese slaves pennies an hour and then ship it across the world.

    Problem is manufacturing will return but jobs wont.

    Funny line from the piece:

    Ford executive to UAW chief while touring the floor of a new automated Ford factory. “How are you going to get all of the Robots to pay Union Dues?”

    UAW Chief “Not sure, But how are you going to get them to buy Fords?”




    whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/

    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    Interesting listen. From NPR Radio Times.

    One of the points made is that manufacturing will return to the US. The logic is robots (computers) keep doubling in productivity every 18 months. Aka Moore's law. So eventually it will be less expensive to manufacture stuff in the USA as it is to pay Chinese slaves pennies an hour and then ship it across the world.

    Problem is manufacturing will return but jobs wont.

    Funny line from the piece:

    Ford executive to UAW chief while touring the floor of a new automated Ford factory. “How are you going to get all of the Robots to pay Union Dues?”

    UAW Chief “Not sure, But how are you going to get them to buy Fords?”




    whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/

    .
    Agreed..this is a serious problem however An associate of mine owns a chain of movie theaters and we discussed how ONE person can now digitally monitor 6 movies at once.

    He then adroitly pointed out..."we need someone to pay for the tickets".

    It is why the top 10 percent will get richer. They have a skill someone wants to buy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by southparkcpa View Post
    It is why the top 10 percent will get richer. They have a skill someone wants to buy.
    Hope they like to watch a sh*tload of movies, buy sh*tloads of TV's and standard, non-SAR type cars and like to grocery shop at Walmart.

    If not, those places will lose a lot of $$$

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    Quote Originally Posted by southparkcpa View Post
    Agreed..this is a serious problem however An associate of mine owns a chain of movie theaters and we discussed how ONE person can now digitally monitor 6 movies at once.

    He then adroitly pointed out..."we need someone to pay for the tickets".

    It is why the top 10 percent will get richer. They have a skill someone wants to buy.
    The top 10 percent do not go to public movie theatres. Ask your associate who cleans, makes popcorn and closes his theatre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    The top 10 percent do not go to public movie theatres. Ask your associate who cleans, makes popcorn and closes his theatre.
    Ummm...movie theater floors aren't sticky because of popcorn. It's an adhesive spray that protects penny loafers from slippage.

    Also...c'mon, man. you really think poor people lined up to see Twilight and the new Muppet Show movie?

    I think not.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by southparkcpa View Post
    Agreed..this is a serious problem however An associate of mine owns a chain of movie theaters and we discussed how ONE person can now digitally monitor 6 movies at once.

    He then adroitly pointed out..."we need someone to pay for the tickets".

    It is why the top 10 percent will get richer. They have a skill someone wants to buy.
    Robotic technology is not he problem its the solution. We cant compete in labor intensive manufacturing. The world today is simply too small to compete with manufacturing countries like China that use a form of slave labor to work the factories. In America the only hope is to compete in highly skilled manufacturing areas. Robotics takes labor cost out of the process somewhat and evens the playing field. It's worth noting that the programming and operation of robotic technologies requires highly skilled labor. That is a high paying field in manufacturing.

    The main trouble in our economy is with unskilled labor. People without college degrees used to get a job at a factory and make a respectable living.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    manufacturing countries like China that use a form of slave labor to work the factories .
    fwiw the days of cheap labor in china are nearing an end. It's still cheaper than in USA but now there are cheaper labor in other countries like Malaysia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    Robotic technology is not he problem its the solution. We cant compete in labor intensive manufacturing. The world today is simply too small to compete with manufacturing countries like China that use a form of slave labor to work the factories. In America the only hope is to compete in highly skilled manufacturing areas. Robotics takes labor cost out of the process somewhat and evens the playing field. It's worth noting that the programming and operation of robotic technologies requires highly skilled labor. That is a high paying field in manufacturing.

    The main trouble in our economy is with unskilled labor. People without college degrees used to get a job at a factory and make a respectable living.
    Yet those backing the education unions dont see a problem. The education dollars in this country make early retirees of school teachers all over the country yet the system is so failing.

    Went to Stone Harbor NJ over the summer and chartered a small boat. It was owned by a 55 year old former NJ school teacher. Put in 25 years and was collecting a nice fat pension (his words), health insurance and now simply sails his boat. I don't know any job that can provide that except government ......

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by southparkcpa View Post
    Yet those backing the education unions dont see a problem. The education dollars in this country make early retirees of school teachers all over the country yet the system is so failing.

    Went to Stone Harbor NJ over the summer and chartered a small boat. It was owned by a 55 year old former NJ school teacher. Put in 25 years and was collecting a nice fat pension (his words), health insurance and now simply sails his boat. I don't know any job that can provide that except government ......
    There are a few problems with this issue. Government jobs were once considered "working class jobs". The unions and democrats continue to brainwash people in to believing this garbage. These folks have been getting one over on the country for years. The solution is to abolish defined benefit pensions in the public sector. Those workers should get the same defined contribution pensions that the rest of us get. Right now it's harder to get a teaching job in NYS then it is to get a trading job on Wall Street. Next lets reclassify the term working class to actually cover the "working class". These are the tradesmen, factory workers, construction workers of the country that are the bulk of the unemployed. They have high school educations. Those are the folks that can't find work in their fields of choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    There are a few problems with this issue. Government jobs were once considered "working class jobs". The unions and democrats continue to brainwash people in to believing this garbage. These folks have been getting one over on the country for years. The solution is to abolish defined benefit pensions in the public sector. Those workers should get the same defined contribution pensions that the rest of us get. Right now it's harder to get a teaching job in NYS then it is to get a trading job on Wall Street. Next lets reclassify the term working class to actually cover the "working class". These are the tradesmen, factory workers, construction workers of the country that are the bulk of the unemployed. They have high school educations. Those are the folks that can't find work in their fields of choice.
    Totally agreed......

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    Amazing how our technology has overcome so many things.....yet apparently can't pick fruit and veggies efficiently.

    Thank God for illegal aliens!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Amazing how our technology has overcome so many things.....yet apparently can't pick fruit and veggies efficiently.
    it's not a joke. besides the fact that these jobs are outdoors (electronics doesn't like sun, heat, moisture, wind etc) yes alot of these fruit picking jobs require a gentle grip. also requires intelligence to determine which fruit is ripe or spoiled. Avoid the bug infested fruit. Or why the squirrel on the branch isn't just another plum. or not rip the entire plant from the roots.

    I work with computer programs all day, science can build a robot that can weld steel car frames, but it's alot tougher to get a robot to do all the nuances required to be a fruit picker.

    that's why it's a misnomer to call it unskilled labor. there is certainly a skill there and 99% of Americans don't have it. ditto meat packing. it's a terrible job that robots can't do. When we have the level of sophistication required, we will also have Rosie the Robot cleaning our houses.

    oh and finally most robots cost in the 6 figures that's not a business model that produce growers can handle. they are selling apples for cents not priuses for $30k.
    Last edited by bitonti; 11-28-2011 at 03:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    it's not a joke.
    I know, you've told me. Only a special breed of augmented homo superior to perform such amazingly difficult labor as veggie-picking, with their combination on enhanced genetics and years of specialized training.

    besides the fact that these jobs are outdoors (electronics doesn't like sun, heat, moisture, wind etc)
    Aye, my car complains to me all the time about hwo tough it is to work in the sun.

    yes alot of these fruit picking jobs require a gentle grip
    But clearly the manufacture of tiny specialized electronic parts doesn't, hence why machines are used to do that.

    also requires intelligence to determine which fruit is ripe or spoiled.
    You mean like the standard issue inspection-type units in every factory in the United States these days?

    Avoid the bug infested fruit. Or why the squirrel on the branch isn't just another banana. or not rip the entire plant from the roots.
    lol. Poor squirrel.

    I work with computer programs all day, science can build a robot that can weld steel car frames, but it's alot tougher to get a robot to do all the nuances required to be a fruit picker.
    It may be the singest most difficult job mankind has ever created. I agreee Bit, I agree.

    that's why it's a misnomer to call it unskilled labor.
    Agreed, they should call it "Highly Skilled Specialist Labor", and form a Union of Illegal-but-Vital Workers, and demand their due!

    there is certainly a skill there and 99% of Americans don't have it.
    I know I could certainly never pick a tomato. I'd fall over and die just thinking about it.

    ditto meat packing. it's a terrible job that robots can't do. When we have the level of sophistication required, we will also have Rosie the Robot cleaning our houses.
    Of course, we all want a Rosie of our own.

    oh and finally most robots cost in the 6 figures that's not a business model that produce growers can handle. they are selling apples for cents not priuses for $30k.
    On the backs of the elite fruit picking specialist laborors. They should rise up in a peoples revolution, to take back the power! Viva La Revolution!

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    With a truly global economy, rapidly growing global population, and vast advancement in technology, societal and workforce structures will become the defining issues of the next couple of centuries.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    it's not a joke. besides the fact that these jobs are outdoors (electronics doesn't like sun, heat, moisture, wind etc) yes alot of these fruit picking jobs require a gentle grip. also requires intelligence to determine which fruit is ripe or spoiled. Avoid the bug infested fruit. Or why the squirrel on the branch isn't just another plum. or not rip the entire plant from the roots.

    I work with computer programs all day, science can build a robot that can weld steel car frames, but it's alot tougher to get a robot to do all the nuances required to be a fruit picker.

    that's why it's a misnomer to call it unskilled labor. there is certainly a skill there and 99% of Americans don't have it. ditto meat packing. it's a terrible job that robots can't do. When we have the level of sophistication required, we will also have Rosie the Robot cleaning our houses.

    oh and finally most robots cost in the 6 figures that's not a business model that produce growers can handle. they are selling apples for cents not priuses for $30k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    lol squirrel

    I know I could certainly never pick a tomato. I'd fall over and die just thinking about it.
    you joke but clearly you couldn't... not wearing a kilt to work.

    as for the squirrel that would ruin the labor. there's a thousand ways to ruin a day's labor in this scenario. You can mock or whatever but I work on computer programs for a living and I wouldn't trust them to pick fruit. Not now. Maybe in a couple years. The best most cutting edge AI is Watson type knowledge crunchers. Not a human hand replacement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    as for the squirrel that would ruin the labor. there's a thousand ways to ruin a day's labor in this scenario. You can mock or whatever but I work on computer programs for a living and I wouldn't trust them to pick fruit. Not now. Maybe in a couple years. The best most cutting edge AI is Watson type knowledge crunchers. Not a human hand replacement.
    You are wrong. Robotics has made big strides in recent years ... the issue is cost, not ability.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    you joke but clearly you couldn't... not wearing a kilt to work.

    as for the squirrel that would ruin the labor. there's a thousand ways to ruin a day's labor in this scenario. You can mock or whatever but I work on computer programs for a living and I wouldn't trust them to pick fruit. Not now. Maybe in a couple years. The best most cutting edge AI is Watson type knowledge crunchers. Not a human hand replacement.
    The answer is simple. Take the folks getting long term unemployment checks. Tell them that to qualify for the check they need to pick fruit for 25 hours a week. Then the farmers pay the worker the total of the unemployment check. Anything with a heartbeat and two arms can pick fruit. Pretty sure that monkeys could be trained to do the work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    you joke but clearly you couldn't... not wearing a kilt to work.
    OK.

    I admit it.

    I lol'd.

    You can mock or whatever but I work on computer programs for a living and I wouldn't trust them to pick fruit.
    Then I'm guessing you don't work in Industrial IT, as work vastly more complex and delicate tasks than fruit picking is handed every day via automation. And in many Industrial Farms, they already use automation for harvest, sorting, grading and packaging as it is.

    There is one reason, and one reason alone why fruit/veggie harvesting has not gone 100% robo. Cheap illegal immigrants that cost less than the cost of upgrading hardware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parafly View Post
    You are wrong. Robotics has made big strides in recent years ... the issue is cost, not ability.
    yes the technology exists but only in a lab... in Japan. and it's slow (10 seconds a fruit). still in testing etc.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4HnFgqvIKk

    I also said that in my original post, companies use robots to build cars that cost enough to recoup the capital expenditure. tough to recoup the cost of a fruit picking robot selling apples for 10 cents a piece. agree it's too expensive.

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