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Old 08-06-2018, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
2,999 posts, read 1,017,500 times
Reputation: 3814

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I believe we were arguing somewhere between intractably and pointlessly about this a few months ago.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/05/t...kplace-ai.html

Anyone who still believes the lower third of traditional white-collar desk jobs are secure in the hands of human employees, and not on the verge of being replaced by simple AI - and to forestall the stupider arguments, I emphasize simple - is simply denying that the waves that wiped out whole job categories in heavy industry, then warehousing and manufacturing are breaking yet higher.

I predict, with a greatly conservative take, that the impacts of "office drone" AI will be painfully sharp within five years. The employment in junior accountants, actuaries, order processing, similar repetitive/low judgment positions, and increasing areas of customer support, will fall like dominoes.

But hey, they can all go teach yoga or give pedicures or arrange flowers or something, right?
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:41 PM
 
362 posts, read 204,124 times
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This isn't new. The appliance you typed your post on put half of white collar professionals out of a job in the late 80's and 90's. Every mid level executive in the country used to have a person at a desk outside their office that handled their correspondence and calendar. Microsoft Outlook wiped them out. My great grandfather was a stenographer. You may wonder what that is. He made hand written copies of documents. The typewriter and photocopying machine wiped that job out. Excel reached out and killed off legions of data analysts in banking and investment banking.

So why didn't the bottom fall out of white collar employment? Easy, people trained up higher functioning tasks that companies could afford to pay them to do since they didn't have to pay them to shuffle paper.

People vastly underestimate the cost of adopting ai and the cost of creating them for fragmented office functions. It took 30 years of experimentation for retail point of sale software to be developed enough to be really useful. My dad programmed one of the first inventory and sale tracking computers in 1966 for a local grocery chain. Now they know which shelf has the best sales. Large companies investing in it is by no means a sign of universal adoption in a short time period.

It'll also give rise to entirely new businesses. There are companies that just do payroll services because the software is such it can consolidate and do those tasks much easier for 100's of businesses than the bookkeeper at every business doing it. But guess what? the payroll service needs salespeople and support staff like any other business.

Productivity gains haven't ever led to widespread job losses. Shifts? sometimes. The biggest was fertilizer, the plow, and tractor making farming something 3% of the population does rather than 90%. Was that bad? Nope, famine is now an isolated thing and those innovations freed up enough labor where our entire existence and every other industry is predicated on it.
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:15 AM
 
4,727 posts, read 2,255,657 times
Reputation: 8759
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackalope48 View Post
So why didn't the bottom fall out of white collar employment? Easy, people trained up higher functioning tasks that companies could afford to pay them to do since they didn't have to pay them to shuffle paper
This. The "technology will kill all the jobs" hand wringers don't seem to grasp that human ingenuity has been replacing people with tools and machines for centuries.

In five years, the timeline of OP's great dive of office worker employment, the number of employees in the field will be driven far more by the state of the economy itself and not increases in productivity.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:07 AM
 
394 posts, read 244,865 times
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I predict OP will be back in 5 years amending his original prediction.

Rg
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:23 AM
 
6,819 posts, read 4,412,863 times
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I fondly (or not so fondly) recall that thread. Do we now have a higher wisdom, or keener predictive power, than that of those months ago?

My inclination is to surmise, that 5 years is too short for much of anything, save for what is precipitated by a crisis. Pearl Harbor or 9/11 were crises, whereupon life changed quickly. The accumulating adaptation of new technologies is not a crisis. There is little doubt, that eventually truckers will be obviated by AI. Yet the trucking industry is now reeling from lack of warm bodies. In 30 years? 50? Maybe. But in 5? I doubt it. We have had voice-recognition technology for how many years? Yet every court of law still has a shorthand typist. Google now uses sophisticated neural networks to do language translation. And yet professional interpretors are still in demand. In 50 years? Maybe not. In 5? I don't expect much change.

It is sexy and exhilarating, to announce that we're on the cusp of a grand transformation, a totally new age. But newness takes time. My own profession has been in decline for 50 years. I have spent my whole career watching it fade. 50 years from now, it is likely to be smaller, less remunerative, more automated, probably more outsourced. And yet, some core of it will endure - probably still using reissue of textbooks written in the 1960s.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:32 AM
Status: "delete" (set 21 days ago)
 
3,189 posts, read 1,274,360 times
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All you can do is vote. Vote out the complacency. Start a grass roots project with a set of fundamental goals and start recruiting candidates if you receive enough funding.

It's like Marvin Hagler said, which was something along the lines of, "It's hard to get out of bed when you sleep in silk sheets."

The posters on this thread lost the drive. They never had to deal with the level of competition that you had to deal with, which is global, which is why you're likely more educated than them, and hungrier, but perhaps without the capital to have any voice.

They are complacent because they live in an ulterior and unsustainable reality and think they are objectively removed from the rest of American society, not affected by the lack of infrastructure provided as they begin to age, with their entire lives predicated on a system that will eventually and inevitably be rendered obsolete as it will no longer be feasible to have competition, within some industries.

It's hard to predict how AI will manifest itself under the current system because there will always be individuals more greedy than the next that will take advantage of it in ways that they cannot comprehend and create the type of reality that people like Elon Musk are supposedly afraid of.

This generation doesn't care about its youth. Actually, with the considerable rise in elderly bankruptcies, this generation doesn't care about its elderly either.

Imagine that. Anyway, as I said, all you can do is vote if you want changes...until they take that away.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:51 AM
 
394 posts, read 244,865 times
Reputation: 1461
In 4th grade my teacher taught us the metric system... She said in 10 years it would replace our current system. Here it is 45 years later, and I'm still waiting.

Actually, computers made manual mm to inch conversions obsolete, so there is that.

Rg
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:11 AM
 
2,240 posts, read 1,388,386 times
Reputation: 4894
Quote:
Originally Posted by raggedjim View Post
In 4th grade my teacher taught us the metric system... She said in 10 years it would replace our current system. Here it is 45 years later, and I'm still waiting.

Actually, computers made manual mm to inch conversions obsolete, so there is that.

Rg

I remember sitting in accounting classes during 2008 where they said IFRS was going to phase out U.S GAAP.

Here we sit 10 years later still using U.S GAAP.

It’s always “coming soon”.
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:18 AM
 
394 posts, read 244,865 times
Reputation: 1461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsright19 View Post
I remember sitting in accounting classes during 2008 where they said IFRS was going to phase out U.S GAAP.

Here we sit 10 years later still using U.S GAAP.

It’s always “coming soon”.
Not sure what you just said, but I like it!

Rg
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Lower East Side, NYC
1,837 posts, read 1,089,703 times
Reputation: 1290
I'll let you know when I can't get a job.
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