Stephen Hawking: Automation and AI is going to decimate middle class jobs -

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Artificial intelligence and increasing automation is going to decimate middle class jobs, worsening inequality and risking significant political upheaval, Stephen Hawking has warned.

In a column in The Guardian, the world-famous physicist wrote that"the automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining."

He adds his voice to a growing chorus of experts concerned about the effects that technology will have on workforce in the coming years and decades. The fear is that while artificial intelligence will bring radical increases in efficiency in industry, for ordinary people this will translate into unemployment and uncertainty, as their human jobs are replaced by machines.

Technology has already gutted many traditional manufacturing and working class jobs — but now it may be poised to wreak similar havoc with the middle classes.

A report put out in February 2016 by Citibank in partnership with the University of Oxford predicted that 47% of US jobs are at risk of automation. In the UK, 35% are. In China, it's a whopping 77% — while across the OECD it's an average of 57%.



And three of the world's 10 largest employers are now replacing their workers with robots.

Automation will, "in turn will accelerate the already widening economic inequality around the world," Hawking wrote. "The internet and the platforms that it makes possible allow very small groups of individuals to make enormous profits while employing very few people. This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive."

He frames this economic anxiety as a reason for the rise in right-wing, populist politics in the West: "We are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent."

Combined with other issues — overpopulation, climate change, disease — we are, Hawking warns ominously, at "the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity." Humanity must come together if we are to overcome these challenges, he says.

Stephen Hawking has previously expressed concerns about artificial intelligence for a different reason — that it might overtake and replace humans. "The development of artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," he said in late 2014. "It would take off on its own, and redesign itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded."
http://www.businessinsider.com/stephen-hawking-ai-automation-middle-class-jobs-most-dangerous-moment-humanity-2016-12?r=UK&IR=T
 

Randall Fragg

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This really is obvious. I mean, look at the whole "self driving car" thing that's coming. That's going to wipe out people like truck and taxi drivers. Millions of jobs, gone.
I'm predicting that we're going to start seeing a wave of neo-Luddism, as people start blaming automation for destroying the jobs. Silicon Valley is going to become the next political bad guy, like Wall Street is today. A bunch of elitist, coastal dwelling nerds who want to replace your job with robots. The negative imagery writes itself.
If anyone can find a way to spin a political campagin around that, they are going to be very successful.
 

CWCchange

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Mass starvation was supposed to happen in 1970s and 80s because of overpopulation, the world was supposed to end last January because of global warming climate change, and now robots are taking over the world?

Oh, but those "lowest common denominator" deplorables Hawking loathes are a bunch of tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists.
 
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XYZpdq

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Mass starvation was supposed to happen in 1970s and 80s because of overpopulation, the world was supposed to end last January because of global warming climate change, and now robots are taking over the world.

Oh, but those "lowest common denominator" deplorables Hawking loathes are a bunch of tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists.
Back in the 70s global cooling killed everybody, too, I've read.
 

Beaniebon

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Honesty this is going to be a nevessary evil as we move forward and become more advanced. Robots will also probably take a lot of customer service jobs too. I mean look how popular self checkouts are already.

The only way around mass unemployment is a smaller population. A lot of people will have to get jobs in computer science or engineering (to program and maintain the robots).
 

King_Scrotus

kiwifarms.net
Wasn't this predicted by Marx fucking years ago, when the cotton gin did the same thing and fucking decimated the working class in the south? It's been pretty constant, and is also part of the reason a reasonable middle class cannot exist these days. It's impossible to fix without social upheaval. Some have tried, there was some place in Sweden that decided they would make some old assembly line car plants back in place to try to give real people jobs making cars again, which is a fine idea, but nowadays, that can't work because it's not cost effective compared to the output and money saving factors of automation, even doing it just because seems a bit hollow.
 

Sperglord Dante

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Mass starvation was supposed to happen in 1970s and 80s because of overpopulation, the world was supposed to end last January because of global warming climate change, and now robots are taking over the world.

Oh, but those "lowest common denominator" deplorables Hawking loathes are a bunch of tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists.
Hawkings might be a liberal cuck, but he isn't a doom prophet. Him talking about AIs and robots taking over human jobs is A) perfectly in line with the same models economist and sociologists have studied for decades and B) Factual truth that is happening as we speak, AIs and robots are replacing traditional human jobs right now.

How many door to door salesmen have you seen in the last few years?

...yeah, I bet not many. Wanna know why? because it's more efficient to replace them with algorithms that keep track off and match consumers' habits and pick up appropriate ads for them.
 

76LD910

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I'm very concerned about the effects automation will have on society and how we will deal with it in the future. I also find it infuriating how the same people who are the most vocal about automation and concepts like "universal basic income" are the same people who clamor for open borders and mass immigration. Its the primary reason why I've become so disillusioned with the left.

Idiot: We need immigration because our population is shrinking/aging and without them we'll have more welfare recipients and no way to pay for them in the near future !

Rational Person: But we have natives who are unemployed/underemployed and on welfare right now, why can't we prioritize getting them into the workforce or better jobs instead ?

Idiot: Those jobs are never coming back. Global trade and automation has fundamentally changed our economy in such a way that uneducated work is becoming obsolete.

Rational Person: ....... But immigrants are typically less educated then the natives and are usually a bigger drain on government resources so how are they going to solve the problem ?

Idiot: .......

It just seems so aimless that i can't have any faith that they know what their doing.
 

CWCchange

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Tbh It's a real problem. We already have driverless cars and trucks, the tech is there. Soon as they're road legal you can say goodbye to those jobs.
Hawkings might be a liberal cuck, but he isn't a doom prophet. Him talking about AIs and robots taking over human jobs is A) perfectly in line with the same models economist and sociologists have studied for decades and B) Factual truth that is happening as we speak, AIs and robots are replacing traditional human jobs right now.

How many door to door salesmen have you seen in the last few years?

...yeah, I bet not many. Wanna know why? because it's more efficient to replace them with algorithms that keep track off and match consumers' habits and pick up appropriate ads for them.
I was being sarcastic, fam. I'm aware of creative destruction and disruptive innovation, AKA the "horse whip and buggy" analogy.

Also, you have corporate welfare supporting another job market we call lobbying. If somebody finds a cheap and efficient way to generate power, you bet your ass oil companies will make that person's life hell by lobbying for regulations to benefit their status quo. The question is how long it lasts if people catch onto it.
 
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Tranhuviya

Degenerate Robot
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...and we can't train the middle class to oversee and operate their robot tools why? Listen, Hawking is a genius, but cybernetics is not his field - and I find it disturbing that one can tout a genius as a voice of authority in a field he's not specialized in.

Automation is good in some fields, but it is in no way a replacement for skilled professionals in others. Those saying the robots are coming to take our jobs are foolish at best, and irresponsible at worst.
 

Goofy Logic

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I think the majority of the problem with automation is not the machinery itself, but the bean counters that put it in.

There is a bigger and bigger move by companies to eliminate worker benefits and pensions because that is a huge financial burden to them. A piece of automated machinery, by comparison, can be deprecated and replaced without any more expenses. Part of the problem lies with North American labour laws and unions, and the cost per unit compared to automation or offshoring.

Mind you, a number of manufacturing businesses have returned back to North America because of hidden pitfalls found with offshoring manufacturing processes, so there is hope that there will still be work for us.
 
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