Flippy the Burger bot

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Simon_Jester
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-10 12:34pm

Patroklos wrote:If you watched the video it's not just performing preprogrammed movements but rather using cameras. So once it maps out the grills hot/cold spots it will be able to reliably cook a burger to .1 degrees just using timers alone. If we start talking temperature probes and infrared cameras it will be in four star steak houses in no time. In this case though fast food just cooks the burger standard anyway.

This is inevitable, but just like car automation the workers are accelerating the process via severely misundertanding their industry. Fast food workers, though they employ a good number of people, still represent a small porption of overall paid wages as well as primary earners. Wait until they have advanced telepresence worked out and teachers become a expert niche field instead of a liberal arts sump (in this country, said as a liberal arts major). The same with large parts of the law profession. Even doctors actually. That's when it will start to be really noticed
Telepresence alone isn't going to cut it, because "just watch the canned lectures" doesn't address the majority of what a teacher does in the classroom, and "be one of 200 students in a massive super-Skype chat with the teacher" doesn't either.

There's been a tremendous pressure over the past couple of decades towards small-group learning, customized lesson plans on a per-group or even per-student basis, and careful observation and feedback to match individual learning styles, because all these things work objectively better than having a class of thirty-plus kids told to sit and take notes while the teacher drones "mwa-mwa-mwa-mwa-mwa-MWAAAH" all period. The profession hasn't uniformly reached that standard yet, but that's where the trend has been pointing. Basically, the teaching profession is aware of all those late 20th century high school dramas with the boring incomprehensible uninformative teachers, and has been working on how to do better for all that time.

As a side effect, this means that for a lot of classrooms, the only way you could replace what the teacher-classroom set does is if:

1) You use the telepresence to create a precise virtual duplicate of the classroom only using the VR environment to allow for cool Ms. Frizzle type stuff, which would be awesome but doesn't reduce the number of teachers you need. Or...

2) All the students suddenly develop adult-level motivation and willingness to work independently in order to learn, and start working actively for more hours a day than they normally do under the current system. That's... probably not going to happen.

It works better at the university level, but that's because university professors aren't trained as teachers as a rule, and the university model has always been based on the assumption that the students are mostly on their own to figure the material out while the professor mainly provides a source of canned explanations to the complicated subject material plus a few hours a week of office hours just in case someone trips over a problem they can't solve. Plus, you know, the norm in a lot of college classes already being "200 students in a lecture hall," at which point you have realistically no teacher-student interaction and you lose nothing by going to Skype. I mean seriously, by professional standards the teaching practices at the average university are terrible, the only reason they can quickly convey much more advanced material is because the students are more mature (and selected to pass minimum academic requirements).
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I think the real concern is that if America keeps proceeding in a Trumpward direction (resulting in something like the dystopian future from Back to the Future II only with Donald Trump cast as Biff Tannen), we might see a collapse of free public education into a half-assed telepresence-based system, while costly private education keeps working on the traditional model because, well, it continues to objectively work better. This would have the effect of further firming up class divides, and is actually something I am seriously alarmed may happen now that I think about it.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-03-10 12:47pm

K. A. Pital wrote:Also to people despising this type of labour - like everyone will get a nice clean clerk job. Heh. Not enough of that stuff to go around even among the educated.
Yea, I've never understood the disdain people have for fastfood workers in general. I get if they're rude or incompetent, but just because they cook your food?

"It's not hard. It's not important." God forbid you can't get a meal in under 2 minutes: there's Hell to pay now! This country, for better or worse, lives on fast food, but the guy behind the counter is obviously a burn-out and not worth your respect.

I know people in food service. Even they admit it's not hard work, but guys/gals getting paid minimum wage are expected to work with dangerous equipment (have you seen the shit that will kill/maim you in a fast food kitchen?), cook everything on the menu, keep the place clean (even the bathroom), manage orders and shitty customers, and get food out before said shitty customer jumps the counter and strangles you. And these people are shit, unimportant, and easily replaced... even though many big chains continue to post record profits while employing them.

Unionization might really help these people.

EDIT:
Simon_Jester wrote:2) All the students suddenly develop adult-level motivation and willingness to work independently in order to learn, and start working actively for more hours a day than they normally do under the current system. That's... probably not going to happen.
I was going to answer that part of his post, but I figured you'd come around at some point. Seriously, I can handle self-lead online courses because I'm an adult and I understand how this degree is going to help my future. But kids? Man, not just the kids: the PARENTS.

My wife is as much a babysitter of kids and their idiot parents as she is an educator. You could not pay me enough to teach high school.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Tribble » 2017-03-10 01:45pm

I worked in fast food during my college years... while it may not be the most challenging job from an intellectual standpoint, it certainly wasn't "easy". You're basically one part factory worker (things like Repetitive Stress Injuries can and do happen in fast food), one part cleaner (don't get me started on bathrooms), and part time customer service representative (just remember to smile and say thank you even when the customers tell you to f-off because they made a mistake in the order and blame you for it, throwing stuff at you because of corporate / management policy which you have no say on etc). And all for minimum wage, for the most part.

Funnily enough I found that the wealthier customers tended to be the most pleasant to deal with, probably because their lives were less stressful and they had nothing to prove. They could more than afford to be relaxed and conversational, I guess. They never seemed to be in a rush. People who worked / had experience in retail tended to be more polite as well, since they know what it was like. The most difficult customers tended to be the ones that weren't much higher than me on the totem pole job wise - they were the ones most likely to be rude and condescending from the start, almost as if they were looking for someone that they could feel superior to. And many always seemed to be rushing off to do important things like a meeting or something.

Obviously I'm generalising here but that's what I experienced on the whole. Anyone else work in retail / fast food who noticed that?
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Patroklos » 2017-03-10 02:05pm

You guys seem to be laboring under the impression that once we accept that significant portions of the population will never be gainfully employed, we will continue to educate them at public expense as if they were. Not only continue the expense, but as some people want, also pay them for nothing? No, you won't get both of those in the near term as long as some traditional economy remains functioning. Education will change and tailor itself to minimum citizenship type requirements for most, the remaining high skilled jobs going to select few funneled into intensive programs. The type of people who don't need their hand held for the basic stuff.

As for telepresence for teachers, I imagine you will have true hyper qualified professor types teaching multiple classrooms at a time remotely. What you will have is far lower paid local assistants in the classrooms. Not unlike the emergence of the fast food model, the actual product comes from somewhere else, the people in situ just unwrap it and prepare it with an engineered minimum of effort and compensation. Which doesn't mean there are not people who still go to Michelin star steak houses.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby ray245 » 2017-03-10 04:17pm

TheFeniX wrote:Burger flippers don't just flip burgers at a fast food restaurant. You basically have to do everything except manage. They even take turns sweeping the floors/cleaning up. It's not exactly hard work, but the workers aren't keeping food chains from raking in


It's still an underutilization of labour if someone has gone through college.

K. A. Pital wrote:McDonalds has very good coffee. There's a centralized supply system and the stuff is simply good.

Also to people despising this type of labour - like everyone will get a nice clean clerk job. Heh. Not enough of that stuff to go around even among the educated.


Then that's a failure of capitalism mixed in with how the education system of the most world is being structured. Most governments spend a considerable amount of resources ensuring that every one of their children will finish school/uni with more sets of skills than flipping burgers/be cleaning the restaurant up.

Clearly not everyone can be an engineer/lawyer/doctor, but those are the jobs that are in demand. But clearly there is more a person that finished High school education/Liberal Arts Major could do beyond flipping burgers.
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby The Vortex Empire » 2017-03-10 05:39pm

Tribble wrote:Funnily enough I found that the wealthier customers tended to be the most pleasant to deal with, probably because their lives were less stressful and they had nothing to prove. They could more than afford to be relaxed and conversational, I guess. They never seemed to be in a rush. People who worked / had experience in retail tended to be more polite as well, since they know what it was like. The most difficult customers tended to be the ones that weren't much higher than me on the totem pole job wise - they were the ones most likely to be rude and condescending from the start, almost as if they were looking for someone that they could feel superior to. And many always seemed to be rushing off to do important things like a meeting or something.

Obviously I'm generalising here but that's what I experienced on the whole. Anyone else work in retail / fast food who noticed that?

Sure. In my experience, wealthy people, old people, poor people, and young people are all unfailingly polite. It's the middle/upper-middle class people in their 40-50s that are the worst.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Broomstick » 2017-03-10 06:49pm

Tribble wrote: Obviously I'm generalising here but that's what I experienced on the whole. Anyone else work in retail / fast food who noticed that?

Yep, I'd say that's a fair assessment.
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-10 07:56pm

TheFeniX wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:2) All the students suddenly develop adult-level motivation and willingness to work independently in order to learn, and start working actively for more hours a day than they normally do under the current system. That's... probably not going to happen.
I was going to answer that part of his post, but I figured you'd come around at some point. Seriously, I can handle self-lead online courses because I'm an adult and I understand how this degree is going to help my future. But kids? Man, not just the kids: the PARENTS.

My wife is as much a babysitter of kids and their idiot parents as she is an educator. You could not pay me enough to teach high school.
It's more that I've already despaired of even imagining that the parents will succeed in making their children focus and function while doing independent telepresence-based coursework. Even if they want to. If the students themselves, personally, do not obtain that level of motivation, the parents' efforts won't matter in terms of the telepresence system's impact on the population at large.

I suspect that even good parents couldn't make all children get a decent education that way. There'd just be too many ways for the children to evade supervision, too many instances of the kids "playing hooky" from online courses and doing shoddy and/or plagiarized work.

Don't get me wrong, some very, very promising work has been done in a lot of ways to bring computers into education. But for the foreseeable future, computers aren't going to be able to replace what a competent teacher does or enable said teacher to do it for significantly more students without a drastic loss of outcome quality. When computers finally CAN replace a significant fraction of all competent teachers, it will probably be because we have fully general AI that can reliably do anything the average college-educated human professional can do in all fields. At which point it's largely irrelevant to even speculate on what jobs will be left, because the answer is that basically every concept we have of what 'work' and even 'ownership' mean in our society go flying out the window.

Again, the real 'threat' isn't that masses of teachers end up out of work because telepresence lets one math teacher do the work of four and succeed. It's that assholes in power will try to save money by setting up the public schools in the false belief that telepresence will let one math teacher do the work of four... and fail, creating an utterly hollow and useless educational system that further perpetuates class divides.

Patroklos wrote:You guys seem to be laboring under the impression that once we accept that significant portions of the population will never be gainfully employed, we will continue to educate them at public expense as if they were. Not only continue the expense, but as some people want, also pay them for nothing? No, you won't get both of those in the near term as long as some traditional economy remains functioning. Education will change and tailor itself to minimum citizenship type requirements for most, the remaining high skilled jobs going to select few funneled into intensive programs. The type of people who don't need their hand held for the basic stuff.
If you want you post-industrial robotopia to do anything other than collapse into a sagging pile of rotting trash, hell yes you need to keep educating the entire population. Otherwise you will have huge numbers of sub-proletarian drones kicking around, who not only don't have enough education to participate meaningfully in the physical parts of the economy, they don't have the education to participate in society itself.

Unless 'the plan' is to simply have all those people quietly shot simultaneously by sniper quadcopters or something equally ghastly and dystopian, that presents a very serious problem. Modern societies are extremely complex machines. Your sub-prole undereducated drones won't understand the machine, but they know it doesn't answer or respond to them, and that it isn't doing anything for them.

As for telepresence for teachers, I imagine you will have true hyper qualified professor types teaching multiple classrooms at a time remotely. What you will have is far lower paid local assistants in the classrooms.
The model ain't gonna work. The hyper-qualified professor types are either good teachers, in which case their skill set has a great deal to do with things they do in person involving interaction with the students, or they are good at other things than teaching, in which case listening to their canned lectures isn't going to be any more productive than listening to any of the other canned lectures out there.

Meanwhile, the local assistants are either good teachers, in which case they must possess a complex specific skill set related to successfully managing dozens of children, fielding all the questions and problems related to their individual needs, and they won't be cheap... Or they are not good teachers, in which case the system breaks down massively.

Not unlike the emergence of the fast food model, the actual product comes from somewhere else, the people in situ just unwrap it and prepare it with an engineered minimum of effort and compensation. Which doesn't mean there are not people who still go to Michelin star steak houses.
This would work brilliantly if students' brains worked like hamburgers. Alternatively, it can be viewed as a highly efficient model for turning students' brains into hamburger.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-10 08:11pm

Amended version of part of my reply to Patroklos:

Patroklos wrote:You guys seem to be laboring under the impression that once we accept that significant portions of the population will never be gainfully employed, we will continue to educate them at public expense as if they were. Not only continue the expense, but as some people want, also pay them for nothing? No, you won't get both of those in the near term as long as some traditional economy remains functioning. Education will change and tailor itself to minimum citizenship type requirements for most, the remaining high skilled jobs going to select few funneled into intensive programs. The type of people who don't need their hand held for the basic stuff.
If you want you post-industrial robotopia to do anything other than collapse into a sagging pile of rotting trash, hell yes you need to keep educating the entire population. Otherwise you will have huge numbers of sub-proletarian drones kicking around, who not only don't have enough education to participate meaningfully in the physical parts of the economy, they don't have the education to participate in society itself.

Unless 'the plan' is to simply have all those people quietly shot simultaneously by sniper quadcopters or something equally ghastly and dystopian, that presents a very serious problem. Modern societies are extremely complex machines. Your sub-prole undereducated drones won't understand the machine, but they know it doesn't answer or respond to them, and that it isn't doing anything for them. That's a recipe for major disruption, and the thing about complicated social machinery is that it breaks when enough people become noncompliant and go "off the reservation."

Furthermore, the survival of high-educated professions depends on a substantial level of 'background radiation' education in the general populace. Illiterates seldom succeed in raising viable Ph.D. candidates, and when they do, said candidates are at a grave disadvantage when competing with other candidates who were raised by less ignorant parents. You aren't going to be able to sustain a "high-low" mix in which 10% of the population receives a graduate education in fields too complicated for robotics to handle, while the other 90% gets the equivalent of an eighth grade education so they don't cause too many traffic jams due to their inability to read stop signs.

I mean fuck, we just had an election cycle where the elite intelligentsia of the nation pooh-poohed and dismissed the idea that anyone other than said intelligentsia's preferred candidate could possibly win... only for her rival to win the election and start crapping all over the basic functionality of the government. He can't not crap all over it, because he's a big psychopathic manbaby whose only relevant skill set is his preternatural gift for selling people on his borderline fraudulent (or not so borderline) plans.

After that literally just happened, I can't understand how anyone can turn around and say "oh, in the future we'll have a small educated elite that participates meaningfully in the economy, and 'just teach the minimum' to, oh, 60-70% of the population or more" and expect that to be any more stable than a pencil balanced on its point.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Patroklos » 2017-03-11 01:51am

Simon_Jester wrote:
Patroklos wrote:You guys seem to be laboring under the impression that once we accept that significant portions of the population will never be gainfully employed, we will continue to educate them at public expense as if they were. Not only continue the expense, but as some people want, also pay them for nothing? No, you won't get both of those in the near term as long as some traditional economy remains functioning. Education will change and tailor itself to minimum citizenship type requirements for most, the remaining high skilled jobs going to select few funneled into intensive programs. The type of people who don't need their hand held for the basic stuff.
If you want you post-industrial robotopia to do anything other than collapse into a sagging pile of rotting trash, hell yes you need to keep educating the entire population. Otherwise you will have huge numbers of sub-proletarian drones kicking around, who not only don't have enough education to participate meaningfully in the physical parts of the economy, they don't have the education to participate in society itself.


READ Simon, READ!

"Education will change and tailor itself to minimum citizenship type requirements for most"


I didn't say DON'T educate them, I said that if we are accepting that these people will never get employed because such employment simply doesn't exist there is no point in expending the resources for said unavailable employment. That doesn't mean you don't still need to raise functional citizens, but a basic functional citizen doesn't need to know calculus. Of trigonometry for that matter. Most don't know it as it is, even when we did force them through such classes.

Unless 'the plan' is to simply have all those people quietly shot simultaneously by sniper quadcopters or something equally ghastly and dystopian, that presents a very serious problem. Modern societies are extremely complex machines. Your sub-prole undereducated drones won't understand the machine, but they know it doesn't answer or respond to them, and that it isn't doing anything for them.


Many, MANY, societies throughout history have resorted to such bloody methods in the past based on what was available to them when they perceived a group of some sort was useless and had to go, hence my allusions. Especially if we are talking about major economic/societal disruptions such as maybe a majority of the living having no means to support themselves. Flippy isn't going to get us there, but if 90% of financial services themselves out of a job tomorrow inside 10 years?

And be a bit more imaginative. So far we have TRR declaring nukes are the only way to go and you with some techno simulmuder plot. A good portion of the underemployed are currently drowning in a methamphetamine epidemic. You could just dole it out like soma until they expire of their own free will. There are all sorts of possible sterilization or other dystopian birth rate control schemes you could apply to solve the problem in a generation or two. The most populous nation in the world already tried one of them...

The model ain't gonna work. The hyper-qualified professor types are either good teachers, in which case their skill set has a great deal to do with things they do in person involving interaction with the students, or they are good at other things than teaching, in which case listening to their canned lectures isn't going to be any more productive than listening to any of the other canned lectures out there.


I don't think you quite understand what telepresence encompasses. It appears you think its restricted to watching a video feed or something. Nothing you said above is a problem that is not solvable through sufficiently advanced telepresence technologies.

As an example, once we have convincing androids a professor can be lecturing one class and have a true to life android replicate his words and movements exactly in a lecture hall across the world. This is apparently the high end of what you are imagining. However, with advanced behavioral software that android across the world can modify the presented behaviors like eye contact and audience reaction monitoring so that it is seamlessly tailored to them without compromising the presented lesson. The audiences may never realize the real professor was somewhere else.

Add an AI who has access to a sufficient lecture archive that it can actually insert answers to questions nearly identically to how the professor would have, either via repeating previous answers to the same question or extrapolating answers from combinations, and again its seamless. Lets be honest with ourselves, high school history and biology classes are not generating earth shattering questions and observations about the topics at hand that would stump even current reference archives. And with an actual expert monitoring all of this to jump in from behind the scenes, AND familiar local assistants to step in when needed? This is not hard Simon.

Meanwhile, the local assistants are either good teachers, in which case they must possess a complex specific skill set related to successfully managing dozens of children, fielding all the questions and problems related to their individual needs, and they won't be cheap... Or they are not good teachers, in which case the system breaks down massively.


There is a reason a tutor is paid minimum wage cash under the table vice the teacher's salary. Instruction, especially the high impact sort in front of groups, is a high end skill not everyone can do (I would put forward that many of our current teachers are NOT these type of people). I have benefited from some brilliantly smart people helping me with my homework for a few bucks here and there, none of them will ever be in front of a classroom (some could barely talk to me effectively). Just being able to trouble shoot one on one with someone because you have a decently better grasp of the material than yourself does not get you a middle wage income with a pension right now. We know this for a fact given the shitty pay of TAs and high school tutors this model is viable and already encroaching. And TAs generally are NOT bad teachers, they still get paid shit anyway.

]This would work brilliantly if students' brains worked like hamburgers. Alternatively, it can be viewed as a highly efficient model for turning students' brains into hamburger.


If they are not going to be doing anything useful, in fact if we are going to be paying them to do nothing useful, we don't need them to have anything but the equivalent of a McDonalds hamburger level of quality education. Good enough, gets the job done, readily consumed in lieu of available higher quality product, keeps people happy, all for minimum cost.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-03-11 02:56am

When you've finally killed off the prolls, who's going to buy enough of your shitty burgers so you can pay for all these fancy robots? The industries that benefit the most from switching out unskilled labor for robotics are also the ones the benefit the most from working class money. This is why businesses like Walmart are big on government subsidies.

So, without any income the entire tax burden of killing or drugging the undesirables then falls on the rest. The Middle Class, which may not even be around by the time this happens, completely craters. Then the rich have to pay the entire share to keep the prolls in line? Who's poor now? The one with the least amount of robots? The Prolls that have grown to encompass even more citizens, because the Middle Class can barely sustain the burden it does now much less a not-working working-class.

Best case, the Union falls apart as fly-over states and those with large working class populations (maybe even some parts of certain states) just opt-out and go back to doing things the old fashion way. They are joined by those citizens continually entering the "useless" category. The technocrats perfect sexbots?

This is all providing that 35% (and growing) of the population doesn't fight it politically at every step with the backing of politicians who are interested in getting elected. Also, that they don't just say "fuck it" and start shooting.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-03-11 03:13am

ray245 wrote:Then that's a failure of capitalism mixed in with how the education system of the most world is being structured. Most governments spend a considerable amount of resources ensuring that every one of their children will finish school/uni with more sets of skills than flipping burgers/be cleaning the restaurant up.

There are nations that do spend a lot of resource to ensure everyone gets tertiary education. However, this is not possible (because some people are not smart enough for the education program) or it devalues tertiary education to the level of common school education, at which point you have people with university diplomas flipping burgers and working at construction sites. It is pretty normal.
ray245 wrote:Clearly not everyone can be an engineer/lawyer/doctor, but those are the jobs that are in demand. But clearly there is more a person that finished High school education/Liberal Arts Major could do beyond flipping burgers.

"In demand"? Are you serious now? Do you know how tiny the job pool for engineers, laywers and doctors actually is? That's why these jobs are incredibly rewarding as well - usually they command a massive advantage in wage and compensation. Doctors? Takes 6 years of gruelling study to become one, so they get paid 60k and upwards here. Same with engineers.

These jobs are not numerous, the competition is very intense, and few lucky people get them.
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby ray245 » 2017-03-11 03:37am

K. A. Pital wrote:There are nations that do spend a lot of resource to ensure everyone gets tertiary education. However, this is not possible (because some people are not smart enough for the education program) or it devalues tertiary education to the level of common school education, at which point you have people with university diplomas flipping burgers and working at construction sites. It is pretty normal.
.


Even if people don't go to college, their high school diploma still give them far more skills than mere burger flipping. It's why it's so common to hear about people joining the army as an option. The army training will usually give them specific training to increase their "economic value".


ray245 wrote:"In demand"? Are you serious now? Do you know how tiny the job pool for engineers, laywers and doctors actually is? That's why these jobs are incredibly rewarding as well - usually they command a massive advantage in wage and compensation. Doctors? Takes 6 years of gruelling study to become one, so they get paid 60k and upwards here. Same with engineers.

These jobs are not numerous, the competition is very intense, and few lucky people get them.


I'm saying sectors like engineering is a a field that has far more opening than many other field because not everyone has the appitude to be an engineer.
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-03-11 04:44am

It's why it's so common to hear about people joining the army as an option. The army training will usually give them specific training to increase their "economic value".

Yes, it gives them more skills, but you need to seriously look at the service sector workforce composition before making claims that high-value intellectual labour sectors could make use of most graduates. They cannot.
I'm saying sectors like engineering is a a field that has far more opening than many other field because not everyone has the appitude to be an engineer.

This will not change by removing low-skilled labour. This isn't a strategy game. If people are not smart or educated enough to get these jobs now, or they cannot get them due to intense competition, it means they cannot get them - full stop. They won't have better chances to get these jobs because their previous low-skilled jobs have been wiped out.
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby ray245 » 2017-03-11 05:36am

K. A. Pital wrote:
It's why it's so common to hear about people joining the army as an option. The army training will usually give them specific training to increase their "economic value".
Yes, it gives them more skills, but you need to seriously look at the service sector workforce composition before making claims that high-value intellectual labour sectors could make use of most graduates. They cannot.


It is still a better use of them than Macdonalds.


This will not change by removing low-skilled labour. This isn't a strategy game. If people are not smart or educated enough to get these jobs now, or they cannot get them due to intense competition, it means they cannot get them - full stop. They won't have better chances to get these jobs because their previous low-skilled jobs have been wiped out.


And I'm not saying that. I'm saying this means people who said people ought to study useful degree like engineering does not realise it isn't a subject anyone can study and pass. I see too many engineering student making the assumption that anyone who is capable of making it to university should be able to study engineering easily.
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-11 06:12am

Patroklos wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
Patroklos wrote:You guys seem to be laboring under the impression that once we accept that significant portions of the population will never be gainfully employed, we will continue to educate them at public expense as if they were. Not only continue the expense, but as some people want, also pay them for nothing? No, you won't get both of those in the near term as long as some traditional economy remains functioning. Education will change and tailor itself to minimum citizenship type requirements for most, the remaining high skilled jobs going to select few funneled into intensive programs. The type of people who don't need their hand held for the basic stuff.
If you want you post-industrial robotopia to do anything other than collapse into a sagging pile of rotting trash, hell yes you need to keep educating the entire population. Otherwise you will have huge numbers of sub-proletarian drones kicking around, who not only don't have enough education to participate meaningfully in the physical parts of the economy, they don't have the education to participate in society itself.
READ Simon, READ!
"Education will change and tailor itself to minimum citizenship type requirements for most"
I didn't say DON'T educate them, I said that if we are accepting that these people will never get employed because such employment simply doesn't exist there is no point in expending the resources for said unavailable employment. That doesn't mean you don't still need to raise functional citizens, but a basic functional citizen doesn't need to know calculus. Of trigonometry for that matter. Most don't know it as it is, even when we did force them through such classes.
I don't know of a single place in America where calculus is a required element of the prerequisites for a high school diploma. Trigonometry is typically among the last things students get taught in their graduation-requirement math courses. You're dragging red herrings across the trail.

I guaran-damn-tee you that if you hand politicians permission to start cutting 'unnecessary education' to a minimum required for 'citizenship' as a way of replacing four English or social studies teachers with one teacher and a big Internet router, "students aren't taking trigonometry" will be the least of your issues.

Students not learning to analyze text on more than a superficial level will be a bigger problem. Students not making any personal connection to history and government and their own rights will be a bigger problem. Students who never really grasp why math matters for anything other than filling in blanks on a test will be a bigger problem. These are problems we already have, of course- but we're not going to make them better by making education cheap and shoddy.

Unless 'the plan' is to simply have all those people quietly shot simultaneously by sniper quadcopters or something equally ghastly and dystopian, that presents a very serious problem. Modern societies are extremely complex machines. Your sub-prole undereducated drones won't understand the machine, but they know it doesn't answer or respond to them, and that it isn't doing anything for them.
Many, MANY, societies throughout history have resorted to such bloody methods in the past based on what was available to them when they perceived a group of some sort was useless and had to go, hence my allusions. Especially if we are talking about major economic/societal disruptions such as maybe a majority of the living having no means to support themselves. Flippy isn't going to get us there, but if 90% of financial services themselves out of a job tomorrow inside 10 years?
Do you consider this a desirable end state?

If so, say so and fuck off because I have no interest in talking to someone who thinks half or more of humanity should go die in a fire for being 'superfluous.'

If not, then acknowledge that this is a potential problem. Bluntly, any good outcome we can hope for out of the 21st century is going to have to deal with it by changing the way we run society so that people can continue to live in society. Either you recognize that, or you turn into some kind of Quisling advocate of the bad outcomes. Your call.

And be a bit more imaginative. So far we have TRR declaring nukes are the only way to go and you with some techno simulmuder plot. A good portion of the underemployed are currently drowning in a methamphetamine epidemic. You could just dole it out like soma until they expire of their own free will. There are all sorts of possible sterilization or other dystopian birth rate control schemes you could apply to solve the problem in a generation or two. The most populous nation in the world already tried one of them...
:roll:

Look, you're letting your marvelous "more imaginative" mind get so focused on the trees you're missing the forest.

The trees are individual ways to construct a dystopian future in which the majority of the population is marginalized and left to stagnate culturally and socially until it dies off or something.

The forest is that all these ways have one thing in common: they are not stable. They are all highly susceptible to social disruption because they contain large numbers of people who have nothing to lose from the end of the status quo. People who will either break the machine themselves, or support someone else to do it for them- if not from spite then from sheer ignorance of what happens if the machine gets damaged.

The model ain't gonna work. The hyper-qualified professor types are either good teachers, in which case their skill set has a great deal to do with things they do in person involving interaction with the students, or they are good at other things than teaching, in which case listening to their canned lectures isn't going to be any more productive than listening to any of the other canned lectures out there.
I don't think you quite understand what telepresence encompasses. It appears you think its restricted to watching a video feed or something. Nothing you said above is a problem that is not solvable through sufficiently advanced telepresence technologies.

As an example, once we have convincing androids a professor can be lecturing one class and have a true to life android replicate his words and movements exactly in a lecture hall across the world. This is apparently the high end of what you are imagining. However, with advanced behavioral software that android across the world can modify the presented behaviors like eye contact and audience reaction monitoring so that it is seamlessly tailored to them without compromising the presented lesson. The audiences may never realize the real professor was somewhere else.
Not gonna make much difference.

Do you teach? Because I'm guessing the answer is 'no.'

Add an AI who has access to a sufficient lecture archive that it can actually insert answers to questions nearly identically to how the professor would have, either via repeating previous answers to the same question or extrapolating answers from combinations, and again its seamless. Lets be honest with ourselves, high school history and biology classes are not generating earth shattering questions and observations about the topics at hand that would stump even current reference archives. And with an actual expert monitoring all of this to jump in from behind the scenes, AND familiar local assistants to step in when needed? This is not hard Simon.
You're still modeling teaching as "a guy stands in front of a blackboard and talks while the students obediently take notes and fill up their brains like good little receptacles." That is not how it works if you want good outcomes. I'm sure you could whip up a roboticized system that will produce crappy outcomes for cheap, then blame the students when it doesn't work.

Meanwhile, the local assistants are either good teachers, in which case they must possess a complex specific skill set related to successfully managing dozens of children, fielding all the questions and problems related to their individual needs, and they won't be cheap... Or they are not good teachers, in which case the system breaks down massively.
There is a reason a tutor is paid minimum wage cash under the table vice the teacher's salary.
As you note, because the tutor need not possess classroom management skills, and can be fired at any time and replaced.

Hint: it is not a good plan to put children in a classroom to be taught via telepresence without having adults present with classroom management skills.

This would work brilliantly if students' brains worked like hamburgers. Alternatively, it can be viewed as a highly efficient model for turning students' brains into hamburger.
If they are not going to be doing anything useful, in fact if we are going to be paying them to do nothing useful, we don't need them to have anything but the equivalent of a McDonalds hamburger level of quality education. Good enough, gets the job done, readily consumed in lieu of available higher quality product, keeps people happy, all for minimum cost.
That's the thing, though, for many very important purposes, hamburger for brains is not "good enough." It's "good enough" that it might keep the proles from being a problem for a generation or two. It's not "good enough" to provide the basis for a stable, functioning society, for reasons I brought up, but which I note you did not address.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Zaune » 2017-03-11 01:06pm

K. A. Pital wrote:McDonalds has very good coffee. There's a centralized supply system and the stuff is simply good.

That is quite possibly the most un-Communist thing you've ever said. And since when was McDonalds coffee considered better than "okay, drinkable if nothing better's available"?
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Tribble » 2017-03-11 02:38pm

Zaune wrote:
K. A. Pital wrote:McDonalds has very good coffee. There's a centralized supply system and the stuff is simply good.

That is quite possibly the most un-Communist thing you've ever said. And since when was McDonalds coffee considered better than "okay, drinkable if nothing better's available"?


I'm pretty sure there are surveys which found that McDonald's coffee is now rated as one of the best, at least in Canada.

And L. A. Pital's comment isn't un-Communist at all - didn't he just praise McDonald's Soviet-Style centralised supply system? :P
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Zaune » 2017-03-11 04:22pm

This is going to turn into one of those "coffee snob versus normal people" conversations, isn't it?
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Zixinus » 2017-03-11 04:47pm

What you are doing with Flipper is exchanging the job of what an uneducated human can do or easily learn, by replacing it with a human who can make and maintain Flippers. One person can many and maintain many, many Flippers. But you can only make so many people that can make and maintain Flippers while there are countless uneducated people.

The greatest problem since the industrialization and now being faced with a new wave of automatization is that the worth of the work a person without prior education for a task is diminishing or has grown very small. It does not matter how capable and competent that person is or how wide range of skills they have. What they can provide with no other investment from them but the willingness to work with their two hands is little compared but a more specialized, heavily invested person can do with technology. Even up to the point that the educated person does not need to be present to replace the non-educated person's work, they simply set up a robot and/or computer to replace them. Meanwhile, the standard of living and thus the standard of how much worth you have produce to live is risen. The bar is set higher and higher in every generation.

A good way to think of this is that an educated person with access to the right means has an increasingly massive multiplier of their work and the worth of their work. The multiplier is growing and growing while those that don't have the right means and/or the right education is at a severe disadvantage. They need to invest everything just to survive in the competition, never mind have any hope of winning.

This isn't just a problem with special things like factory jobs. This is in effect at every avenue of life. From how we do our food, how we move, how we are entertained, what we buy, what we wear and so on. There is a cobbler living in a workshop that was originally a garage. Once all people brought new shoes from cobblers. He now barely survives (by repairing broken shoes) because large-scale industrialization produces shoes so numerously and comparatively cheaply that it is not unthinkable to throw shoes out and buy new ones. Unless he is a big-name fashion designer, it is pointless for him to make shoes. He cannot compete with the economies of scale of giant sweatshops located in countries with low minimum wages and no substantial regulation, whose products are fronted by marketing departments who shower the populace with psychologically-manipulative ads that their shoes are the only ones worth buying.

So how can an uneducated person adopt to a world where machines and the product of highly-educated people can replace them? By becoming educated. The bar as to how high you need to educate them until they can do worthwhile work is rising. The pool of jobs requiring low and lower levels of education is diminishing. The number of people that cannot reach that bar is also growing. This is a societal problem that is going to grow bigger and bigger that cannot be solved simply by some new gadget.

Regarding telepresence:
The only positive use telepresence would have on education is that educators would not have to worry about the cost and issues of moving around to do lectures. As long as there is a good setup at the target place, they can make lectures all over the world.

It does not solve any other problem. You can watch high-quality lectures on youtube from MIT professors right now. You can buy university level textbooks you can learn university-level material right now. If education was really as simple as getting and showing information, Wikipedia and Khan Academy would have closed schools all over the globe. It hasn't and won't.

If you are talking about any interaction from AI, then you are not talking about telepresence. You are talking about that can of worms, you are talking about a can of angry bees.

Zaune wrote:
K. A. Pital wrote:McDonalds has very good coffee. There's a centralized supply system and the stuff is simply good.

That is quite possibly the most un-Communist thing you've ever said. And since when was McDonalds coffee considered better than "okay, drinkable if nothing better's available"?


Communism isn't denying that consumerism and capitalism's doesn't produce good results: it is trying to argue that it has massive, important flaws despite such good results and that there is a better way.

Bottled water is horrible, incredibly stupid*, a bane to the environment and a massive ripoff. But it still sells.
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-03-11 05:13pm

ray245 wrote:Even if people don't go to college, their high school diploma still give them far more skills than mere burger flipping. It's why it's so common to hear about people joining the army as an option. The army training will usually give them specific training to increase their "economic value".
They don't actually just flip burgers, that would be stupid. Fast Food employees (alone) tend to have a multitude of responsibilities. This is an issue with many fields. Workers aren't ants, yes they have certain specializations, but many employers expect a flexible worker. Saying "that isn't hard" is pointless because the fact humans are human is what makes it easy.

What on that list does schooling even teach you? To deal with people? That's a side-effect of socialization, not high school education. Vocational programs teach kids more about doing than drilling knowledge into their brain.

This is why Fast Food chains and many other businesses requiring these types of workers have training programs. These places are profitable in no small part because every employee can be expected to do every part of the job. And this holds true even in my "professional" field. I write reports, invoice, do figures, tables, whatever. I also go into the field to turn a handcore when needed to get samples (so does my boss) because "getting shit done" is a pretty valuable asset to have in an employee.

There's more than enough fields where, for them to take over, robots would have to be at a level of knowledge, human physical conformity, and cost where they'd replace everyone. Otherwise you'd need 50 different robots for 50 different physical tasks. We have that right now: they're called "tools." Tools that make one human able to perform hundreds of tasks. So, there's no reason a robot that couldn't physically and computationally replace a low-skilled worker wouldn't replace everyone up the food chain. Especially with advancement in cloud computing and wireless communication.

Why have a manager manage robots? Why have a divisional manager manage multiple groups of robots. The question then becomes what job do any humans do because there's pretty much no field you can't replace with magic robots.

Honestly, this is the problem I find with delusions of the robotacopylpse: many manufacturing jobs took a hit, but actually getting out into the world and dealing with all kind of "little nitpicky shit" are where humans still have the edge. An electrician shows up and is prepared to dig, crawl in attics, do whatever is needed to get a 110 or 220 run. You need mechanically sophisticated robots to be as adaptable as nature has become with the human body. Also, need to be about the same weight.

Meanwhile, take two examples (Engineers and Lawyers) of the so-called "safe" jobs. Why are they safe? A sophisticated enough AI could design pretty much anything with little room for human error. A computer is able to know and reference every law and case example ever put on the books. How are doctors going to fair ok when WebMD has an AI slammed into it and little worker bots take samples/do scans? Then it's all the data is crunched and you get a diagnosis without going to 30 different specialists?

Data processing? Money management? Company direction (as usually handled by CEOs)? How are these NOT the first things to go as computational and AI advancement continues, but mechanical issues still need more than a few kinks ironed out?

You still need people to do actual work outside of limited areas where robots are currently doing the majority of their physical work.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-11 07:04pm

By and large, the safest jobs are the ones humans are actually adapted by evolution to do. The least safe jobs are the ones we're not adapted by evolution to do.

Thus, the first jobs where artificial things (tools) replaced humans were ones humans have absolutely zero ability to do by themselves. Stuff like "cook food," which requires the use of a fire. Or "neatly slice things into two pieces," which requires a sharp rock. You can't do that with your bare hands.

The first things we recognize as "jobs lost to automation" tended to be in areas where humans are at least sort of capable of doing the job, but where we are utterly un-adapted to it. For example, humans are not well adapted to moving tons of dirt very fast. No surprise someone invented the bulldozer to do it faster. Humans can do arithmetic but we have literally zero evolutionary background for it. No wonder a mechanical adding machine (let alone a pocket calculator) replaced human beings doing math in their heads.

The LAST things that are likely to be replaced are the ones where we are the product of a murderously ferocious evolutionary arms race.

One of those is "navigate a 'busy, cluttered' 3D environment primarily using vision, interacting with a highly diverse array of different stimuli and features." Because our monkey ancestors evolved to swing through the trees.

The other is "socialize with other humans." Because our hominid ancestors evolved to do that.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-11 10:46pm

Patroklos wrote:Many, MANY, societies throughout history have resorted to such bloody methods in the past based on what was available to them when they perceived a group of some sort was useless and had to go, hence my allusions. Especially if we are talking about major economic/societal disruptions such as maybe a majority of the living having no means to support themselves. Flippy isn't going to get us there, but if 90% of financial services themselves out of a job tomorrow inside 10 years?

And be a bit more imaginative. So far we have TRR declaring nukes are the only way to go and you with some techno simulmuder plot. A good portion of the underemployed are currently drowning in a methamphetamine epidemic. You could just dole it out like soma until they expire of their own free will. There are all sorts of possible sterilization or other dystopian birth rate control schemes you could apply to solve the problem in a generation or two. The most populous nation in the world already tried one of them...


You put a disturbing amount of thought into possible ways the government could kill millions of "undesirables".

"solve the problem"... would that, by any chance, be a "final solution"?

And I mention nukes because, believe it or not, you can't really kill millions of people by any means without causing massive disruption and violence. Drug everyone up on meth? Yeah, that certainly won't lead to widespread violence and crime. Forced sterilization of the (primarily minorities) poor/unemployed? Yeah, that'll go over well. Even China (which received a lot of criticism for its policies and eventually eased up on them) didn't try to sterilize the majority of its population (which is what it would take to get rid of all the people their aren't likely to be full-time jobs for in the future).

And when that happens... well, people as a rule do not go quietly to the slaughter. Some sort of armed resistance would likely eventually break out, and warfare involving major powers always carries at least some risk of going nuclear.

The last time a modern nation tried to eliminate undesirables on this sort of organized scale was, yes, Nazi Germany. You might remember its prominent role in a little event called "World War II".

Or, you know, we could just pass Universal Basic Income and maybe some restrictions on replacing workers with robots, instead of concluding that those who can't be put to work making profit for their corporate masters need to be exterminated (which really is the ultimate end point of modern conservative economic ideology).
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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-11 11:55pm

For that matter, even a society that tries to kill off the unproductive people (or allow them to 'die off naturally') will destroy itself if it succeeds. Because intelligence isn't that strongly inheritable. It takes nature and nurture to produce the next generation of elite professionals, and many of the professionals come from the mass of 'average' people. If the average people are sunk in a swamp of misery and death and a sterile, dwindling existence... The next generation of elite professionals will not emerge.

Unless you have robots that literally replace people, including very smart people, while inexplicably remaining slavishly loyal to whoever happens to be their designated 'owner,' this results in collapse.

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Re: Flippy the Burger bot

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-03-12 12:35am

The Romulan Republic wrote:And I mention nukes because, believe it or not, you can't really kill millions of people by any means without causing massive disruption and violence. Drug everyone up on meth? Yeah, that certainly won't lead to widespread violence and crime. Forced sterilization of the (primarily minorities) poor/unemployed? Yeah, that'll go over well. Even China (which received a lot of criticism for its policies and eventually eased up on them) didn't try to sterilize the majority of its population (which is what it would take to get rid of all the people their aren't likely to be full-time jobs for in the future).
Actually, no. And that's where it gets "worse." The majority of working class are still white (so, more politically active and MUCH harder to step on) and will be for more than a few years. You're also talking about 2/3s of the labor force. And they are the largest population of gun owners. The military also draws the most of its numbers from the working class. Who are they going to side with? Killing/imprisoning their own family and friends? So... this ends badly for everyone.

And when that happens... well, people as a rule do not go quietly to the slaughter. Some sort of armed resistance would likely eventually break out, and warfare involving major powers always carries at least some risk of going nuclear.
I don't even see it as armed resistance, more like revolution. You're talking well over a hundred-million people with nothing to lose vs what? The 1%?

This is bad shit. But I can't ever see it coming to that because there's looking to be a reckoning from the Working and Middle class unless something is done and robots don't even factor into that.

The Middle AND Working class has already seen the squeeze from outsourcing and not just from robots. The system CURRENTLY doesn't seem that sustainable and a guy like Trump already had people rally around him based on "Murrica first." If the guy wasn't an incompetent scumbag, he would have been a HERO to these people.

Or, you know, we could just pass Universal Basic Income and maybe some restrictions on replacing workers with robots, instead of concluding that those who can't be put to work making profit for their corporate masters need to be exterminated (which really is the ultimate end point of modern conservative economic ideology).
I don't see it as much as "conservative" economic theory as it is just capitalism taken to far. Capitalism loves an expendable workforce. American workers just demand things like safe working environments and being paid a living wage. Companies only dealt with that for as long as they had to, then they just got the right politicians who would let them ship jobs to countries where conditions are so bad workers are forced to sign promises they won't commit suicide.

As I mentioned: a guy like Trump can win with these people (including the middle class) because they feel there is literally no one fighting for them. So... what happens when they figure out you're actively fighting against them?


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