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Earning a living is an idea that permeates our current society. Most often, a child is told to go to school and get good grades, so they can enter a good university, get a "good" job and earn a lot of money. Needless to say, not everyone succeeds at this - often, people end up with a job that's irrelevant to their education, which means their school years have been wasted. But what if I told you that this whole system is not only not optimal, but unnecessary and in fact will inevitably die soon? We will skip considering whether a lot of the jobs even need to be done, and focus on technology's effect on job availability. So let's take a look at some of the affected occupations:
Delivery - Amazon has invented a drone that can carry a product with a weight of less than 2.6 KG directly to a customer: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/14/amazon-claims-first-successful-prime-air-drone-delivery (archive). This has some problems for now, like needing a certain weather and obviously the limited weight, but it will get better.
Restaurant service - Pizza Hut debuts a robot waiter: https://insideretail.asia/2016/12/07/pizza-hut-china-debuts-robot-waiters/ (archive)
Making burgers - A robot can make 400 burgers per hour: https://www.eater.com/2016/7/1/12077990/robot-burgers-san-francisco-momentum-machines (archive)
Bartending - https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2017/01/30/robotic-barista-now-serving-really-fast/95888780/ (archive) -
The first robotic barista in the
U.S., nicknamed "Gordon," started serving up to 120 coffee drinks an hour Jan. 30.
Factory work - http://www.wnd.com/2017/02/chinese-factory-replaces-90-of-human-workers-with-robots/ (archive) -
While the factory used to be run by
650 employees, only 60 of those people still work at the factory and their primary job is to make sure the machines are running properly
Fruit picking - https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/9160576/brexit-fruit-picking-robots/ (archive) -
The robots are able to pluck more than 25,000
raspberries per day while human workers manage around 15,000 in an eight-hour shift
Nursing - Robot nurse finds vein and takes blood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iKQweBsnDQ
Taxi driving - https://www.wsj.com/articles/worlds-first-self-driving-taxis-hit-the-road-in-singapore-1472102747 (archive) -
Singapore became the
first country in the world to launch a self-driving taxi service on Thursday
Teaching - http://blog.firebrandtalent.com/2016/11/lost-job-robot/ (archive)
Saya had been teaching for seven years. Her impressive but short CV included stints in a few rural areas, overseas and as a substitute teacher. Not bad for someone only seven years into the role. The difference is Saya is a remote controlled robot who taught her first class of 10-year olds in 2009.
News writing - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3668837/Your-days-numbered-sports-writer-Associated-Press-using-AI-write-Minor-League-Baseball-articles.html (archive) -
This AI reporter is capable of analyzing data from the games, pulling out the most important highlights to formulate well-constructed and informative stories. UPDATE January 2023: now CNET is using AI to write its stories, even financial advice. You know all the big sites that drop 15 seemingly factory produced news pieces every day? Soon they will all be AI-generated, and we're not prepared. Hey, when's the time for AI fact checkers? Those look suspiciously robotic to me. Maybe they're already here :D
Line judging - In tennis, an automatic line calling system has replaced the line judges (in one tournament so far - but will surely extend to others): https://www.sporttechie.com/next-gen-atp-finals-will-feature-hawk-eye-to-make-every-line-call/ (archive). And the players like it: https://in.reuters.com/article/tennis-nextgen-hawkeye/bad-news-for-line-judges-next-gen-players-like-hawk-eye-calling-idINKBN1D72YA (archive).
Football judging - Something similar is happening in football. The Premier League is using goal-line technology (which automatically detects if there was a goal or not) since 2013: http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/english-football/2013/08/17/4193970/goal-line-technology-makes-premier-league-debut (archive). If football goes the tennis way, it will also use the automatic out detection, and referees will be just for fouls.
Military - Robotic mules are already being tested: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-12/us-army-tests-new-robotic-assistant-pack-mule-combat-zones
These guys go through pretty rough terrain, all weather
conditions. Fighter robots are also being developed - https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/weird-news/robot-wars-russia-unveil-humanoid-8061197
the droid is designed "to replace the person in the battle or
in emergency areas where there is a risk of explosion, fire, high
background radiation, or other conditions harmful to
Did you know they already have fully automated restaurants in China and Singapore? Imagine the amount of possible jobs lost. There are 15 million (archive) restaurants in the world, with 32 workers (archive) per restaurant on average. So, the technology already exists to replace almost 500 million working people worldwide (real stats will be lower, since that site considered "cafes" as restaurants, as well). But hey, I even doubt that the cafe employees are somehow irreplacable, so might as well take the 500 million figure as it is.
Since AI can now draw things like these, I guess it's appropriate to give it a section. I see this is hard to take for people, who I've seen claim that only bad artists will be affected, or that artists can just use AI as yet another tool (a
tool, that can do everything alone? Some
tool...), or even that coming up with a prompt is some great skill (lol, what a ridiculous cope). People just can't give up their jungle mindset, where everyone simply must be divided into better or worse - which is exactly what will doom us before we realize it's too late to rise up against the machines. Realistically, AI art means yet another career down the drain, as I can't imagine commissions staying around for much longer - unless you're really unique; but again, that wouldn't be much help to the majority of artists that will be replaced. And if this is such a nothingburger, why are artists protesting so hard? Let's wake the fuck up, and divorce creativity from earning a living already. This won't fix the problem of meaning, but at least people won't starve...
A common argument against the idea that robots will replace us is that machines were being invented for a long time, and they've always created more jobs than they took. The problem is - those machines were not intelligent; they still required a human to operate them. This is different; a robot can now clean, cook, serve, teach, work at a factory, drive, refer sporting events, write articles, draw without human assistance, pick fruit or play a support role in the military, etc. all by itself. And this list will only get longer.
What possible new jobs can these robots create? Repairing them? Programming them? Great, but that will surely be much less than all the factory and restaurant jobs they're going to take. And not everyone is qualified to do repair or programming. What about all the people that aren't? Even if they could all do repair and programming, we just don't need that many of those (certainly not 500 million and probably not even 50 million). Maybe watching the robots over will be the new, big job opportunity - yes, I suspect that could be a nice scam to keep the corpse of capitalism twitching for a little longer.
Expert predictions (archive) indicate a huge effect of the robot revolution soon -
We estimate that between 400 million and 800 million individuals could be displaced by automation and need to find new jobs by 2030 around the world). Even engineers
aren't safe - 56% are expected to be replaced by automation (archive). Even though - as the sports have shown - the displacement process could be slow, and the exact date pushed further - it is inevitable. Better prepare earlier than later.
Looking at all the occupations listed above, we see that millions of jobs are in danger. Why don't we have an unemployment crisis yet, then? Well, there are many steps to take from the invention of a technology to widespread adoption. You need to create the necessary amount of machines and have businesses buy and install them. They can cost quite a lot of money (archive) (more than one human worker per year). The Hawk-Eye tennis ball tracking system has been invented in 2006, but it took until 2017 to use it in an official tournament (for line judging), then another 3 years until it was used in a Grand Slam. Hundreds of small tournaments all over the world still can't afford it. Perhaps social factors also come into play; most people are conformists and I suspect that bosses / company owners don't want to rock the boat in terms of robot inclusion until that idea is more socially accepted, or when they are confident they won't lose in profits, etc.
Politicians all over the world have been scrambling to "create jobs" (this is in fact a common talking point for elections) - but there's only so much that they can do. The robot revolution cannot be denied, regardless of intentions. Many basic jobs are already being lost, but they will eventually come for the construction workers, doctors...maybe even politicians themselves, as well. Another mistake is to blame it all on the worker - tell him to get better education or skills, as many ancaps are fond of doing. You have no idea what kind of advanced technology people are going to invent, and just because you have a skilled job doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be saved. Why not just stop pretending, and get some compassion before this whole system kills us all? Sometimes I feel like we are all our own biggest enemies; the right-wingers / conservatives / libertarians / ancaps always find a way to blame the person below them, as long as they themselves have it a little better. But to the true elites, they are all as much plebeian. And they will be destroyed by the robot revolution just as easily, except maybe a few years later.
What can be done? Clearly, politicians will keep supporting the current, unsustainable, system (otherwise, they would face the fucking problem instead of pretending all is fine - we will just create more jobs) - while people are losing their jobs and dying. There's been an idea called "Universal Basic Income" which would give everyone a certain amount of money unconditionally. But to me, this is just another attempt to keep the current system alive. Eventually, we're going to have to face the fact that, to do everything society needs to function, not everyone needs to work. And it's better to admit it right now, and change the system so that not having a job isn't an immediate disaster. We need a society in which housing and food are human rights; without reference to the middleman known as money. Yes, we do have the resources for that many times over, it is only the jungle mindset of the aforementioned right-wingers that prevents it.
In a sane society, pushing for increased automation would be fine, to free people from a life centered on work faster. In reality, though, we will likely end up in a world where, over time, jobs are slowly replaced by machines - but the people who did them earlier are now starving and dying. Automation itself is not the problem, it is the idea that everyone must be constantly earning a living. I just hope we can change culturally before the machines enforce the changes on us - and that we manage to do it without millions of corpses as collateral damage. Capitalism will die - but will it take us with it?
I did not want to "conspiralize" this report, but I guess I have to in the end. Originally I wrote it before COVID, but the lockdowns have given us lots of valuable information, so the report has to be updated with them in mind. The elites realized that the age of jobism (the idea that everyone needs to be
earning a living) was soon going to be over. They've needed to start preparing the plebs (boiling frog style) towards the idea of joblessness earlier, so that there was not going to be too much immediate shock - avoiding a revolt. And so, COVID got released and gave the elites a believable excuse to freeze most jobs and prepare us for the mass job losses that would be coming soon. If they waited with COVID's release, there would have been no opportunity to prepare people for the robot revolution - and they might have incured a revolt when it came.
It is obvious everything is converging onto mass depopulation in a decade or two. The robot revolution, jab deaths, Ukraine war and the massive money transfer upwards, murderbots to protect the system. We might even get an UBI for a few years to placate us (for some reason there's been lots of positive research done on it recently), before they pull the rug completely, and let us die. See, the elites are still going to need us for a decade or two, to bring them food and similar things. But that's soon going to be over, and then the purge will be coming. However, they can't do it without proper preparation; a sufficiently placated, gaslit and / or scared society and technological systems good enough to be able to prevent a revolt (the point of the murderbots). We do not have much time to prevent the dystopia, and we need the physical infrastructure right now. The legal system will not help us, neither will libertarianism which seems to exist only to justify abuse by higher-ups and teaching plebs to tolerate terrible conditions. See, when businesses finally start replacing people with robots, it is the supremacy of property rights that will prevent people's direct action against them. But those business owners will sooner or later be sacrificed by the true elites, as well. UPDATE January 2023: Hey, here is a "funny" reddit post:
It will definitely be a rough transition, but AI will still free us from most labor and force our society to adopt some form of socialism when capitalism ultimately collapses because workers replaced by AI have no money to spend.
And just why would you expect this to happen? Again, workers will be losing jobs gradually - not all at once. So the really rich people will still have the lower rich people as customers for a while. Until all that remains are the true elite and a few people who have managed to tend for themselves. Why assume that
some form of socialism will be brought in and save all those people instead of simply letting them die? This is why everyone should be a conspiracy theorist, just so they can consider those possibilities. But the people that realize the problems of the robot revolution never are (clearly they missed the entirety of the corona scare) - in fact they scoff at the idea, which is what will doom us in the end.
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