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If true this is a VERY disturbing as it is the middle class that drives the economy & pays the majority of gov't funding which funds already shaky senior entitlements.

This could lead to major political upheavals & population class conflicts.

http://start.toshiba.com/news/read.php?rip_id=%3CDA3VN2EG0%4...

Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over.

And the situation is even worse than it appears.

Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What's more, these jobs aren't just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren't just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers.

They're being obliterated by technology.

Year after year, the software that runs computers and an array of other machines and devices becomes more sophisticated and powerful and capable of doing more efficiently tasks that humans have always done.

"The jobs that are going away aren't coming back," says Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of "Race Against the Machine." `'I have never seen a period where computers demonstrated as many skills and abilities as they have over the past seven years."

The global economy is being reshaped by machines that generate and analyze vast amounts of data;.... instead of installing expensive equipment and hiring IT staffs to run it. Whole employment categories, from secretaries to travel agents, are starting to disappear.

"There's no sector of the economy that's going to get a pass," says Martin Ford, who runs a software company and wrote "The Lights in the Tunnel," a book predicting widespread job losses. "It's everywhere."

The numbers startle even labor economists. In the United States, half the 7.5 million jobs lost during the Great Recession were in industries that pay middle-class wages, ranging from $38,000 to $68,000. But only 2 percent of the 3.5 million jobs gained since the recession ended in June 2009 are in midpay industries. Nearly 70 percent are in low-pay industries, 29 percent in industries that pay well.


For those who are retired & have retirement savings stock returns could accelerate due to higher profits.
Thanks to technology, companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index reported one-third more profit the past year than they earned the year before the Great Recession.

this trend is not restricted to the US.

European companies had been using technology to replace midpay workers for years, and now that has accelerated.

In Canada, a 2011 study by economists at the University of British Columbia and York University in Toronto found a similar pattern of middle-class losses, though they were working with older data. In the 15 years through 2006, the share of total jobs held by many midpay, midskill occupations shrank. The share held by foremen fell 37 percent, workers in administrative and senior clerical roles fell 18 percent and those in sales and service fell 12 percent.

In Japan, a 2009 report from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo documented a "substantial" drop in midpay, midskill jobs in the five years through 2005, and linked it to technology.

Developing economies have been spared the technological onslaught — for now. Countries like Brazil and China are still growing middle-class jobs because they're shifting from export-driven to consumer-based economies. But even they are beginning to use more machines in manufacturing. The cheap labor they relied on to make goods from apparel to electronics is no longer so cheap as their living standards rise.
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I'm just starting to read this and want to thank you for linking to a GREAT article. I really encourage others to take a few moments a go through it.
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I'm just starting to read this and want to thank you for linking to a GREAT article. I really encourage others to take a few moments a go through it.

No Problem.

While this in not a new trend. It has happened since the invention of the loam or cotton gin, assembly line. But now with the advent & evolution & faster technological inventions a person may have 3 or 4 careers in their lifetime. Which means much more retraining & cost of that training disrupting their earnings. Which means mebbe people will work til they die.

I'm glad I'm an old geezer that doesn't have to deal with this Brave New World.
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Technological innovations have been throwing people out of jobs for centuries. But they eventually created more work, and greater wealth, than they destroyed. Ford, the author and software engineer, thinks there is reason to believe that this time will be different. He sees virtually no end to the inroads of computers into the workplace. Eventually, he says, software will threaten the livelihoods of doctors, lawyers and other highly skilled professionals.

...

Peter Lindert, an economist at the University of California, Davis, says the computer is more destructive than innovations in the Industrial Revolution because the pace at which it is upending industries makes it hard for people to adapt.

Occupations that provided middle-class lifestyles for generations can disappear in a few years. Utility meter readers are just one example. As power companies began installing so-called smart readers outside homes, the number of meter readers in the U.S. plunged from 56,000 in 2001 to 36,000 in 2010, according to the Labor Department.

In 10 years? That number is expected to be zero.


When will the right stop blaming individuals for losing their jobs and not finding new ones?

Personally speaking, I was so happy when my son became a teacher--secure employment, I thought, especially in science. How long before online lessons replace public school teachers? DS is 33, not sure there are 25 years left in his profession :-( His GF is a phys ed teacher, a safer position, I suppose. DD is a social science researcher--I guess the biggest worry is no $$ to pay for research. DSIL is a cancer researcher. Will automation be able to come up with theories to test, design the experiments, and perform them? That seems a longer way off.

These days, I encourage young people to go into hands-on health (dentistry, ultrasound and other machine technicians, phlebotomy). Or trades like plumbing, HVAC, electrical work, solar panel installation, energy auditing. Even with slowed-down construction, older homes & apartments need maintenance, repair and updating. But not everyone can do those hands-on professions...I, for example, do not have steady hands or a radiant smile/bedside manner. I think I did the only job I could be good at (technical writing/editing). sigh.
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Good article tjscott.

60 minutes had a similiar story a couple of weeks ago. Chinese mfg jobs are coming back to the US because we have a robot that works for $3.50/hr.

intercst
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alstro whines:"When will the right stop blaming individuals for losing their jobs and not finding new ones?"

That's about the most ludicrous thing you've posted recently.

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alstro:"How long before online lessons replace public school teachers? "

Good question.

But Henry Ford put lots of 'craftsmen' who were in the 'carriage building trade' and 'buggy whip trade' out of business.

In 1930s and 40s...., there were well over 100,000 telephone operators....and it was headed to a million. Then , they invented automated calling systems......dial telephones. Now, they're probably only 10,000 operators of all forms around......

What did all those telephone operators do? oh, whine whine whine.

-----

My mom was a 'steno' person at AT&T.....took 'dictation' and typed up things......like an executive secretary. There were millions of them...... now, it's down to less than 5% of that number.

Same for 'typist' pools..there used to be dozens or hundreds of typists and clerks and folks doing 'filing'.......

Where did they all go....??? whine whine whine......


--------

Same for the type writer makers and repair folks.

------

My grandfather was a jeweler...a large part of his business was repairing and cleaning watches......

When was the last time you took your watch in for an annual cleaning and adjustment?

oh, whine whine whine......what are all those folks doing now????


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If we go back further, NYC employed 10,000 people who worked nights...shoveling the horse poop from 1.5 million horses that used the streets of NYC every day......back in the 1800s....up to well into the 1900s......

where did all those folks go?

----

Yeah..meter readers are going away. Smart meters will be everywhere and if you don't pay your bill, they can shut you off with a key click.....or if you move in...turn you on with a key click.....


-------

ANd before long...the post office will shrink to half it's current size......folks don't send mail like they used to....


when was the last time you got a post card from someone on a trip?

or even wrote a letter to someone and mailed it?


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I did my engineering thing for 31 years....bounced around a bit.....had lots of fun...but if you weren't willing to learn and dig into new stuff.....you'd get pigeon holed quickly and maybe wind up 'obsolete.....obsolete....'....

Things are changing faster than ever before.....but if you think your job today is the job you'll have in 20 years...that might not be the case.....

Teaching needs a major revolution....just a matter of when/how it occurs......

t.



t
t









DS is 33, not sure there are 25 years left in his profession :-( His GF is a phys ed teacher, a safer position, I suppose. DD is a social science researcher--I guess the biggest worry is no $$ to pay for research. DSIL is a cancer researcher. Will automation be able to come up with theories to test, design the experiments, and perform them? That seems a longer way off.

These days, I encourage young people to go into hands-on health (dentistry, ultrasound and other machine technicians, phlebotomy). Or trades like plumbing, HVAC, electrical work, solar panel installation, energy auditing. Even with slowed-down construction, older homes & apartments need maintenance, repair and updating. But not everyone can do those hands-on professions...
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<<If true this is a VERY disturbing as it is the middle class that drives the economy & pays the majority of gov't funding which funds already shaky senior entitlements.

>>


Very amusing.


This has been happening to blue collars for decades, and the entitled middle class ignored the issue.

Indeed, they CONTRIBUTED to the destruction of millions of family wage jobs by the liberal war on the working class they have been waging for decades, eliminating blue collar jobs through environmental laws and obstruction.

Right now liberals, Democrats and environmentalists are obstructing the construction of five ports in Washington State and Oregon that would be used to export coal to China. This would produce construction, mining, railroad, longshore and shipping jobs plus others. But obstructing this development is a major goal of Democrats, liberals and environmentalists.


Why should blue collars care about the problems of the entitled middle class who have been ignoring their interests for DECADES, or actively waging economic warfare against them?


Seattle Pioneer
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This has been happening to blue collars for decades, and the entitled middle class ignored the issue.

Indeed, they CONTRIBUTED to the destruction of millions of family wage jobs by the liberal war on the working class they have been waging for decades, eliminating blue collar jobs through environmental laws and obstruction.

Right now liberals, Democrats and environmentalists are obstructing the construction of five ports in Washington State and Oregon that would be used to export coal to China. This would produce construction, mining, railroad, longshore and shipping jobs plus others. But obstructing this development is a major goal of Democrats, liberals and environmentalists.


Why should blue collars care about the problems of the entitled middle class who have been ignoring their interests for DECADES, or actively waging economic warfare against them?


Seattle Pioneer


SP while environmentalism has ended many middle income blue collar jobs. Automation & technology prolly has ended many more of these type of jobs. While the conservatives* applaud & cheering the creative destruction in the free market.

*I dunno if these guys are considered "entitled middle class". I guess i need your defintion of that term.

This trend is disturbing because if there aren't significant numbers of middle income Americans our government & economy collapses as there is less tax revenue & consumption of goods & services. The frequency & rapidity of middle income job elimination in in various segments in the economy has been accelerating due to rapid technological evolution. Methinks if this article is correct. If correct, the size of this trend will cause large societal/political/economical disruptions. Not limited to the US. I think this trend could trump politics.

I suppose this trend is a bonanza for those already retired with a stock portfolio as stocks should have increased returns due to higher profits from lower labor costs.


tj-a retired guy who started in a corporate white collar job & then transitioned to a self employed blue collar guy. Oh yeah I vote libertarian.
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"SP while environmentalism has ended many middle income blue collar jobs. Automation & technology prolly has ended many more of these type of jobs. "


Tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of logging jobs vanished over phony 'save the owl' eco-rants.....

The eco-whacks have killed 100,000 or more jobs in poor areas of the country - coal mining and all the associated jobs

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TJ:"While the conservatives* applaud & cheering the creative destruction in the free market."

Union featherbedding just make everyone pay more for everything, and soon leads to the companies going bust. Need I mention 'Hostess' with 157 separate work contracts with unions? A total nightmare.

And the US car industry going down the drain due to archaic union work rules that didn't permit the flexibility needed.

Yes, companies have to re-invent themselves or fail. Apple did it, arising from the near dead. Dell is in the same boat now.....

The US has prospered because of it...while Europe is stagnating.....

The SEIU and most unions are now scum of the earth...

------





tj:"This trend is disturbing because if there aren't significant numbers of middle income Americans our government & economy collapses as there is less tax revenue & consumption of goods & services. "

Ah..maybe the government should be spending less?

YOu realize there are more people employed in 'government' now than existed in 1776 in the US!.......

We don't need a Nanny State, ten million regulations, and the cost of it....


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tj:"The frequency & rapidity of middle income job elimination in in various segments in the economy has been accelerating due to rapid technological evolution."

I don't know about that. The telephone operators vanished mighty fast. The 'secretaries' and 'steno' girls vanished equally fast. The typists and file clerks vanished mighty fast.....

It just seems that way.....and yes, if you are an untrained, or one skill only person....you can get sideswiped by change.

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TJ:" If correct, the size of this trend will cause large societal/political/economical disruptions. Not limited to the US. I think this trend could trump politics."

You mean people might actually wind up being responsible for themselves rather than playing 'victim' every time?

You mean the Nanny State won't be able to afford to take care of the Liberal 'I'm a victim' types who demand freebies, free food, free phones? People will actually have to go look for a job?


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TJ:"I suppose this trend is a bonanza for those already retired with a stock portfolio as stocks should have increased returns due to higher profits from lower labor costs."

How many people do you know who work for a money losing business, and for how long do they work?

Of course, if you have a business, it better be trying to make 'increased profits' just to keep even with inflation..and if it isn't growing, it's 'dying' and the competition will beat it and put it out of business.

Efficiency counts.

You likely aren't writing this on your cuneiform board with stylus, or even using moveable type to post this......you've got the latest computer I'd bet, and retired your MS-DOS machine back in the 80s.or early 90s when windows came out.

t.
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Indeed, they CONTRIBUTED to the destruction of millions of family wage jobs by the liberal war on the working class they have been waging for decades, eliminating blue collar jobs through environmental laws and obstruction.

Speaking personally, the clean water act has created thousands of manufacturing and engineering jobs over the years. It still is.

I'd just as soon keep our coal here so we can use it later if we need to. Exporting our natural resources is fairly stupid. Not as stupid as exporting raw logs to overseas lumber mills was, to kill all those logging jobs in the Norhtwest you are always bemoaning.
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"SP while environmentalism has ended many middle income blue collar jobs. Automation & technology prolly has ended many more of these type of jobs. "


Tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of logging jobs vanished over phony 'save the owl' eco-rants.....

The eco-whacks have killed 100,000 or more jobs in poor areas of the country - coal mining and all the associated jobs


The introduction of the chain saw then large logging equipment ended many more jobs.


TJ:"While the conservatives* applaud & cheering the creative destruction in the free market."

Union featherbedding just make everyone pay more for everything, and soon leads to the companies going bust. Need I mention 'Hostess' with 157 separate work contracts with unions? A total nightmare.

As do high US salaries. Need i mention off shoring of IT & programming jobs to India.

tj:"This trend is disturbing because if there aren't significant numbers of middle income Americans our government & economy collapses as there is less tax revenue & consumption of goods & services. "

Ah..maybe the government should be spending less?

YOu realize there are more people employed in 'government' now than existed in 1776 in the US!.......

We don't need a Nanny State, ten million regulations, and the cost of it....


Whole departments of the federal gov't need to be shuttered. I could reduce gov't by a third easy.

The premise of the article is that there will be a dearth of middle income jobs. Without a significant middle class; where will the necessary consumption come that drive our economy?

tj:"The frequency & rapidity of middle income job elimination in in various segments in the economy has been accelerating due to rapid technological evolution."

I don't know about that. The telephone operators vanished mighty fast. The 'secretaries' and 'steno' girls vanished equally fast. The typists and file clerks vanished mighty fast.....

It just seems that way.....and yes, if you are an untrained, or one skill only person....you can get sideswiped by change.


Stenos & telly operator aren't middle income. This is talking about replacing college educated folks para legals, lower level accountants, lower level managers.

You likely aren't writing this on your cuneiform board with stylus, or even using moveable type to post this......you've got the latest computer I'd bet, and retired your MS-DOS machine back in the 80s.or early 90s when windows came out.

You would be very wrong. I'm a very late adopter. I let those conspicuous consumers that NEED the latest gadgets pay the premium prices. I buy close out models. Who needs a powerful computer to surf the net? I just moved from a desktop to a laptop this spring. $349

But the evolution of the computer illustrates the rapidity of advancement in technology. The desktop computer reigned supreme for 10-15 years, then the laptop for 10 years, now the tablets are emerging as a dominant force. I fully they will be subplanted within 5 years.

I think it likely a person entering the workforce today will have 4 or 5 different occupations in different fields in their working life. This will require much retraining & thus cost to individual. And if the premise of the article is correct very high competition for the few middle income jobs.

I don't care too much as I'm retired & childless & will likely be dead before it gets really bad.
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<<This trend is disturbing because if there aren't significant numbers of middle income Americans our government & economy collapses as there is less tax revenue & consumption of goods & services. >>



Sounds like an excuse liberals will use when they get around to admitting that their social programs are unaffordable and their 70 year projections of financial stability for programs like Social Security are bogus.


Liberals were good about RAISING expenditures for such programs when revenues were availoable. If Democrats aren't willing to cut such programs when the funding isn't there, Republicans will do it for them.

I'm going to laugh when tens of millions of Gen X, Y and Z start getting monthly bills for several hundred dollars for health care insurance in another year.

Sounds like the chickens are coming home to roost.


Seattle Pioneer
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<<I'd just as soon keep our coal here so we can use it later if we need to. Exporting our natural resources is fairly stupid. Not as stupid as exporting raw logs to overseas lumber mills was, to kill all those logging jobs in the Norhtwest you are always bemoaning. >>



Exporting black rocks we aren't using anyway in exchange for manufactured goods seems like a good deal to me.



Seattle Pioneer
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60 minutes had a similiar story a couple of weeks ago. Chinese mfg jobs are coming back to the US because we have a robot that works for $3.50/hr.

A link to that 60 minute segment is @ this link:
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/01/meet-baxt...
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TJ:""The introduction of the chain saw then large logging equipment ended many more jobs."


Actually, I bet it created more jobs as industry could expand faster, and trees hauled from further distances .......it opened areas formerly inaccessible.

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TJ:"As do high US salaries. Need i mention off shoring of IT & programming jobs to India."

A lot of those jobs are coming back home after a 10 year period. Not working out all that well.

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TJ:"Whole departments of the federal gov't need to be shuttered. I could reduce gov't by a third easy."


I'm with you there. We could start with the dept of education.....wipe it out. THen we'd start on Ag.....cut it in half. End all farm subsidies. Then start to chop food stamps.

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TJ:"Stenos & telly operator aren't middle income. This is talking about replacing college educated folks para legals, lower level accountants, lower level managers."

Executive secretaries probably made more than 'lower level managers'.....my mom worked for the VP of Ford Motor Company...at a decent salary.

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TJ:""I think it likely a person entering the workforce today will have 4 or 5 different occupations in different fields in their working life. This will require much retraining & thus cost to individual. And if the premise of the article is correct very high competition for the few middle income jobs."

Oh....I suspect that there will be jobs for those with skills..and i'm not talking about History Majors.....

Of course folks will have different jobs for the most part. Heck, I started work in 1968...as a bench design engineer....designing two way radio equipment. Did that for about five years, then moved into radio systems engineering. Did that for a while, then moved into cellular radio system engineering and design......

That lasted two years and went off into fiber optics, digital microwave radio, network management systems.......undersea cables...satellite TV broadcast systems....then back into cellular/PCS....and anything else radio related that the company needed my expertise on.

Retraining? Heck, I read lots....the company paid for my master's degree in EE.....which I did at night while working. I read lots of books and professional journals. yeah, you got to keep up...

even if you're a plumber ..you need to keep up with the latest codes and fixtures and how to fix them.....same for electricians.....

We got too many weenies out there not willing to do much of anything, looking for a 'high paying job' that doesn't require thinking......and they are going to be far and few between....other than high risk grunt work. Like working on an oil rig.....



t.




I don't care too much as I'm retired & childless & will likely be dead before it gets really bad.
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you got to keep up

Plenty of people who keep up get laid off--I have seen it, and I'll be surprised if you haven't.
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SP: Why should blue collars care about the problems of the entitled middle class who have been ignoring their interests for DECADES, or actively waging economic warfare against them?


I'm not sure who it is you refer to as the "entitled middle class", but a number of blue collar workers make middle class salaries. Some of the HVAC, plumbers, and electricians we've had at our house drove up in better cars than ours.
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Why should blue collars care about the problems of the entitled middle class who have been ignoring their interests for DECADES, or actively waging economic warfare against them?

First, who is the "entitled" middle class? College educated or vocationally trained and therefore feeling entitled to a job? Who do you think are "the middle class"? To me, the middle class are in the middle 3 income quintiles--individuals making about $20-75k, couples making about $30-105k. I see no difference between blue and white collar in these stats. Is your "entitled middle class" the upper middle class? I think that's individuals making about $75-150k, couples making $105-250k.

Just because some in the middle class value protecting the environment, doesn't mean we don't care about blue collar workers--and many blue collar workers care about the enivironment as well, especially if they spend a lot of time out in it (perhaps not the ones who watch Fox?). And just because some in the middle/upper midlle class don't value the environment, doesn't mean they do value blue collar workers.

And many of us in the middle class, whatever color our collar, value more blue collar workers that just loggers in the PNW. I want all blue collar workers to have safe working conditions, clean air and water; safe food, products, homes, and workplaces; safe & secure investments and retirements; affordable health care and education.

I've identified with the working/middle class since early childhood. My brief foray into the upper middle class in my mid-40s to early-50s didn't change that.

I think you are confused. Those who feel entitled to pay little in taxes (14% ring a bell?) at the expense of their fellow Americans are the entitled ones.
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I ran across this article this morning:"Practically Human: Can Smart Machines Do Your Job?"

It a long article but worth readingIMHO.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/practically-human-smart-m...

Does technology also create jobs? Of course. But at nowhere near the rate that it's killing them off — at least for the foreseeable future.
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alstro:"Plenty of people who keep up get laid off--I have seen it, and I'll be surprised if you haven't. "

when I was working 15 years ago, I saw it.


But what I saw...was that folks who kept up quickly got other jobs, while those who hadn't....didn't....


t.
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http://news.yahoo.com/smart-machines-create-world-without-05...

Now, three years after Google invented one, automated cars could be on their way to a freeway near you. In the U.S., California and other states are rewriting the rules of the road to make way for driverless cars. Just one problem: What happens to the millions of people who make a living driving cars and trucks — jobs that always have seemed sheltered from the onslaught of technology?
"All those jobs are going to disappear in the next 25 years," predicts Moshe Vardi, a computer scientist at Rice University in Houston. "Driving by people will look quaint; it will look like a horse and buggy."
If automation can unseat bus drivers, urban deliverymen, long-haul truckers, even cabbies, is any job safe?

Vardi poses an equally scary question: "Are we prepared for an economy in which 50 percent of people aren't working?"

It turns out that computers most easily target jobs that involve routines, whatever skill level they require. And the most vulnerable of these jobs, economists have found, tend to employ midskill workers, even those held by people with college degrees — the very jobs that support a middle-class, consumer economy.
So the rise of computer technology poses a threat that previous generations of machines didn't: The old machines replaced human brawn but created jobs that required human brains. The new machines threaten both.
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tjscott0 posts,

If automation can unseat bus drivers, urban deliverymen, long-haul truckers, even cabbies, is any job safe?

Vardi poses an equally scary question: "Are we prepared for an economy in which 50 percent of people aren't working?"

</snip>


I'd switch to a Robot Doc in an instant if it would save me money. They have an i-Phone app that will diagnose skin cancer -- just take a picture of the mole.

I bet a computer-controlled anesthesia machine would have a faster reaction time in responding to adverse events than a human doctor.

intercst
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intercst sez I'd switch to a Robot Doc in an instant if it would save me money

You may need to save money if the middle class disappears & the tax revenue along with them.

We might follow France's path.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/the-right-way-to-incr...

Mr. Hollande has proposed a 75 percent marginal tax rate on all income over $1.3 million. Marginal tax rates on capital gains could rise to about 60 percent.
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tjscott0 warns,

We might follow France's path.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/the-right-way-to-incr......

Mr. Hollande has proposed a 75 percent marginal tax rate on all income over $1.3 million. Marginal tax rates on capital gains could rise to about 60 percent.

</snip>


Thanks for the heads up. I'm going to start planning today to keep my income below $1.3 million/year.

intercst
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<<The old machines replaced human brawn but created jobs that required human brains. The new machines threaten both.
>>


Pretty amusing, really.

The educated middle class looked on without interest when blue collar jobs were being eliminated.

And of course the educated middle class applauded as their environmental laws destroyed millions of blue collar jobs for political reasons.

However, now that THEIR OWN jobs are being eliminated, this phenomena is deemed to be "threatening."




Seattle Pioneer
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<<I'd switch to a Robot Doc in an instant if it would save me money. They have an i-Phone app that will diagnose skin cancer -- just take a picture of the mole.

I bet a computer-controlled anesthesia machine would have a faster reaction time in responding to adverse events than a human doctor.

intercst
>>


I'm sure they would be every bit as effective as the battery chargers in Boeing 787 aircraft.



Seattle Pioneer
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Telegraph: << tj:"The frequency & rapidity of middle income job elimination in in various segments in the economy has been accelerating due to rapid technological evolution."

I don't know about that. The telephone operators vanished mighty fast. The 'secretaries' and 'steno' girls vanished equally fast. The typists and file clerks vanished mighty fast.....

It just seems that way.....and yes, if you are an untrained, or one skill only person....you can get sideswiped by change. >>

I wholly agree with tj. I was a secretary while in college and continued being one afterwards (after a short stint as a teacher). At one time, I was the second highest paid secretary in my city, at the age of 22. (The highest paid was a lady who was 11 years older than I.) When manual typewriters gave way to electric ones, I learned how to type on the electric one. In fact, when IBM introduced the "Selectric" typewriter, I kept breaking it. When IBM sent me to Atlanta to find out why I continued to break the typewriter, we discovered that I typed faster, albeit erratically, than the Selectric could handle. They had to change the typewriter. (There were several secretaries with me who gave them the same problem.) When the electric typewriter gave way to word processors, I learned that. Then came the advent of the computer....I learned that.

One must continue to further one's education in order to stay employed. I agree with Astroe, relative to our kids learning the trades. There are too, too many kids going to college who have no business there. If they learn a trade and want to open their own business, they can hire someone like me to meet with them and a CPA, and I take it from there....maintaining their books and keeping them out of trouble, financially and tax wise.

My goddaughter's boyfriend, three years out of high school, finally decided what he wants to do with his life. He took courses at a local community college in welding. Then, when he graduated, high in his class, he decided to take his certification course, although he was offered a job as was. I am quite proud of him, as I don't feel he is college material; however, he will do well in his life. He has goals and aspirations and is willing to keep with with the technology. Right now, he works for a fast-food restaurant 32 hours per week, spread over 3 days, and attends the community college the other 4 days. That proves to me that he is willing to work hard for what he was to attain.

Donna
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http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/05/06/irobot-announces-roll-...

The RP VITA robot will be deployed allowing doctors and patients to interact with nothing more than an iPad and video screen. It’s the first such robot approved for use by the FDA.

Marcio Macedo, Director of Product Development for iRobot tells WBZ the system developed with InTouch Health of Santa Barbara, California, is based on a tablet interface that allows a doctor to be up and running virtually without training.

The cost to a hospital: between $4,000-$6,000 a month, including all the services needed to run the technology.


http://www.hasc.org/blog-entry/dr-watson-i-presume
In an article published last year, Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, questioned whether algorithms would replace doctors. The Silicon Valley entrepreneur would later predict that computers and robots will replace four out of five physicians in the United States.
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http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/05/robots-artificial-i...

Computer scientists have been predicting the imminent rise of machine intelligence since at least 1956, when the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence gave the field its name, and there are only so many times you can cry wolf. Today, a full seven decades after the birth of the computer, all we have are iPhones, Microsoft Word, and in-dash navigation. You could be excused for thinking that computers that truly match the human brain are a ridiculous pipe dream.

Suppose it's 1940 and Lake Michigan has (somehow) been emptied. Your job is to fill it up using the following rule: To start off, you can add one fluid ounce of water to the lake bed. Eighteen months later, you can add two. In another 18 months, you can add four ounces. And so on. Obviously this is going to take a while.

By 1950, you have added around a gallon of water. But you keep soldiering on. By 1960, you have a bit more than 150 gallons. By 1970, you have 16,000 gallons, about as much as an average suburban swimming pool.

At this point it's been 30 years, and even though 16,000 gallons is a fair amount of water, it's nothing compared to the size of Lake Michigan. To the naked eye you've made no progress at all.

So let's skip all the way ahead to 2000. Still nothing. You have—maybe—a slight sheen on the lake floor. How about 2010? You have a few inches of water here and there. This is ridiculous. It's now been 70 years and you still don't have enough water to float a goldfish. Surely this task is futile?

But wait. Just as you're about to give up, things suddenly change. By 2020, you have about 40 feet of water. And by 2025 you're done.

in 1997, IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer beat world champion Garry Kasparov, and suddenly we decided that playing grandmaster-level chess didn't imply high intelligence after all.

So maybe translating human languages would be a fair test? Google Translate does a passable job of that these days. Recognizing human voices and responding appropriately? Siri mostly does that, and better systems are on the near horizon. Understanding the world well enough to win a round of Jeopardy! against human competition? A few years ago IBM's Watson supercomputer beat the two best human Jeopardy! champions of all time. Driving a car? Google has already logged more than 300,000 miles in its driverless cars, and in another decade they may be commercially available.

The truth is that all this represents more progress toward true AI than most of us realize.

When we think of human cognition, we usually think about things like composing music or writing a novel. But a big part of the human brain is dedicated to more prosaic functions, like taking in a chaotic visual field and recognizing the thousands of separate objects it contains. We do that so automatically we hardly even think of it as intelligence. But it is, and the fact that Google's car can do it at all is a real breakthrough.


Obviously there will be some jobs that only humans can or should do. But AI machine continually drip by drip invade the job market.

CEOs will ruthlessly utilize the above fact to improve the bottom line & thus stock options. But this puts a thought in my mind:"Why couldn't a CEO be replaced by an AI machine programmed to maximize stock returns & profits overseen by the board of directors?" Hee. That will NEVER happen. Current CEOs wouldn't fund such a development. It could be improvement on our capitalist system though. The number of failed CEOs fired with golden parachutes likely outnumber those that provide great stockholder value.
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"Computer scientists have been predicting the imminent rise of machine intelligence since at least 1956, when the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence gave the field its name, and there are only so many times you can cry wolf." - tiscotto
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There is a difference between consciousness and sentience and what computers do, and what the brain does and what computers do is done very differently.

"Dr. Karl Pribram believes the brain also comprises a lens and uses holographic principles to mathematically convert the frequencies it receives through the senses into the inner world of our perceptions. An impressive body of evidence suggests that the brain uses holographic principles to perform its operations. Pribram's theory, in fact, has gained increasing support among neurophysiologists."

excerpt from "The Universe As A Hologram,"
http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html

I doubt that computers will ever become sentient.

Art
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http://www.arnoldkling.com/blog/wither-90-percent-of-employm...

Some analysts at the Gartner group are buying into Average is Over.

From 2020 to 2030, “you are going to see the first human-free enterprise — nobody is involved in it, it’s all software, communicating and negotiating with one another,” said Diane Morello, a Gartner analyst, who has looked at how smart machines will reshape employment.


The upshot?

On an extreme end of the scale, he [Gartner's Kenneth Brandt] put the impact of smart machines at 90% unemployment, which is either catastrophic or leads to a utopia, where basic needs are met and people are free from drudge work.
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<<From 2020 to 2030, “you are going to see the first human-free enterprise — nobody is involved in it, it’s all software, communicating and negotiating with one another,” said Diane Morello, a Gartner analyst, who has looked at how smart machines will reshape employment.

>>



It should take less time than that for "smart" computers to take over arguing on internet message boards, relieving us of a lot of keyboard drudgery....



Seattle Pioneer
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Robot Truck Convoy Tested In Nevada
http://www.popsci.com/article/cars/robot-truck-convoy-tested...
Like Olympic skiers racing in single file to reduce air resistance, two 18-wheeler trucks in Nevada recently proved that uncomfortably close convoys can save drivers fuel and money. The key, instead of bold Olympic athleticism, is robotic assistance. A computer-assisted truck was able to follow closely behind a human-driven truck perfectly, maintaining exactly 33 feet of distance between the vehicles. The promise is a future of safer, more fuel efficient, and more robotic trucking.

Besides safety, the major selling point of this system is that the reduced drag saves fuel costs. Peloton says the "technology saves more than 7% [of fuel] at 65mph – 10% for the rear truck and 4.5% for the lead truck," which is tremendous because "Long-haul fleets spend 40% of operating expenses on fuel, accounting collectively for over 10% of U.S. oil use and related carbon emissions." These savings come primarily from reduced aerodynamic drag.


http://www.techhive.com/article/2046262/the-first-driverless...

“The trucking industry is very interested in going from single trucks to convoys of trucks. One human driver with perhaps three other trucks behind it,” Özguner told TechHive. “Those three wouldn’t necessarily have a driver in them. Eventually you could imagine removing the first driver too.”
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“The trucking industry is very interested in going from single trucks to convoys of trucks. One human driver with perhaps three other trucks behind it,” Özguner told TechHive. “Those three wouldn’t necessarily have a driver in them. Eventually you could imagine removing the first driver too.”
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Oh god! Can you imagine getting behind that and trying to pass? Or it being beside you and you can't get around it or in front? How annoying! Makes me glad I was able to live when I did; before annoying and scary robotic convoys of trucks are out on the highway blocking me from getting around them.

I am so glad I grew up and lived when I did. The future doesn't sound all that great to me.

Art
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I am so glad I grew up and lived when I did. The future doesn't sound all that great to me.

Art


Ditto Art.
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