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  1. #1
    Senior Member Vapr_Arts's Avatar
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    (Random discussion) Robots are taking over!

    In my public speaking class today we had a person come up and discuss how computers/robots are slowly taking over. He went on to say that there is no industry that is safe. He challenged us to think of a career that would not be effected by this. Even going as far as saying that robots could build the robots just as cars are built on a line.

    The challenge was rhetorical and as bad as I wanted to raise my hand and bring up the fact that as a programmer I feel pretty safe in the fact that a computer/robot is very unlikely to make my job obsolete.

    Just was curious on others opinions and perspectives on this. No real point I am trying to make just shoot the breeze (as my dad would say) .


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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I've heard this argument before, but not in the context of a technological discussion. It's one of the arguments used to justify a basic income, among other things. The idea is that we'll end up in a postcapitalist society where labo(u)r is no longer necessary, but we'll still need money to survive.

    Personally, I'm with you, only I'm even more confident in my stance than you are. Please note that this is strictly my opinion, and I have run this opinion by absolutely no one else until now.

    There's a very simple reason why we'll never get to that point: we're human. Ultimately, everything that is built, even when "automated", has a human element associated with it. That means two things:

    1) Stuff's going to break. Labo(u)r will be required to fix the stuff we build. The basic labo(u)r required to build the robot that can build the robot, or that can build the robot that can build the robot that can build the robot .... that can build the robot(n) will be unaffected.

    2) People are going to adapt to the technology. They get used to something. They know how it works. But then they learn the limitations of the technology that they have, and it becomes inferior to the technology that they want. So someone's going to have to improve that technology. Guess what? That's labo(u)r.

    Basically, we're too lazy, demanding, and imperfect as a society to get to the "post labo(u)r" state in the foreseeable future. I would suggest that if it's at all possible, we're at least a century away.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Vapr_Arts's Avatar
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    Thats a good point. Diagnosing a problem within the software mat not be a problem, but visually assessing hardware is still an issue.

    I had never heard about the guaranteed income. It was an interesting read, not sure how I feel about it.


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  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Even a software bug may be a problem when dealing with corner cases, fuzzy logic, and other areas that aren't black and white. This is where interpretation and context come into play. Robots lack those things, and I don't see how they'll ever acquire those things without acquiring their associated bugs in turn (i.e. misinterpretation and taking things out of context).

    As far as guaranteed income goes, see here. We get to try it in Ontario this year. Personally, I think it's a dangerously bad idea for many of the reasons outlined in the article but we're going to do it anyway..."because it's 2016"!:

    Basic income has its appeal, but it also has a very basic problem - The Globe and Mail
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