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Old 11-11-2010, 07:57 AM
 
286 posts, read 654,981 times
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We're not talking about AI replacing human knowledge. We're talking about some humans greatly enhancing their productivity with the aid of AI and the internet. If someone chooses not to do this, they will be eventually be forced into a new line of work.

Baby-boomers will become more valuable if they keep their computer skills honed and if they embrace new software packages. Some do. Overwhelmingly though, they do not.

Right now, in many fields of engineering, a young engineer trained in industry-relevant software packages can do in a day what would take an older engineer to do in a week or more. The trend will only increase as AI becomes more sophisticated. In 2020, a young engineer will be roughly 100x more productive than an experienced engineer working in 1980.

You say baby-boomers make better engineers. In some fields, like computer engineering and IT, we know this is false. If anything being over 50 in this fields can be seen as a big liability. You forget to mention that 50 years ago kids were building radios. Now kids program and build computers.

But even if baby-boomers do make better engineers today, it is sort of irrelevant. As I noted, AI will gradually nullify that advantage. If a kid makes some basic mistakes, then AI will pick it up. If a kid is working on a design program, then AI will give helpful pointers. As I said, knowledge will increasingly be a commodity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
So you thing replacing human intelligence with AI is a good thing?
I am afraid you have things a little confused. The baby-boomer will become more valuable as more of them leave the workforce.
The boomers are a “hands on” generation whose knowledge based on real world experience. Most of the engineers in the boomer generation grew up repairing their bicycles as young boys, in their teens they were learning hands on how to modify the engines of their cars and motorcycles to make horsepower.
They built their electronics from kits. They spent 4 to 6 years of their primary education learning metallurgy, welding, and machining, studying electric and mechanical theory. They learned carpentry, plumbing, and other building trades.
When they went to college the things they were taught made sense because they had experienced the theories hands on.
Today’s engineering graduates are the most confused group I have ever seen. They struggle with simple concepts and make elementary mistakes. This is not their fault; it is the fault of educators who do not understand real world principals or how the human mind relates to complicated problems. It is the fault of teachers who go straight from college to the classroom or administration without ever really living and struggling in the real world.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,810 posts, read 17,852,850 times
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hnsq wrote:
I trust numbers over people any day. People lie, numbers always tell the truth.
I am elbow deep in numbers, charts, graphs, spreadsheets, etc all day long on my job. I'll agree with you that numbers don't lie, and I will add that they also fail to tell the WHOLE truth. Numbers, and statistical analysis are great tools, but those tools can only tell part of the story. Even though people obviously tell lies, people also enrich the picture painted by the cold hard facts of analysis by bringing the human element into the equation. I'd probably be insane right now if I lived my entire life requiring total accurracy and absolute truth in every situation. I enjoy having some grey areas in my life.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:15 AM
 
9,856 posts, read 14,324,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
hnsq wrote:
I trust numbers over people any day. People lie, numbers always tell the truth.
I am elbow deep in numbers, charts, graphs, spreadsheets, etc all day long on my job. I'll agree with you that numbers don't lie, and I will add that they also fail to tell the WHOLE truth. Numbers, and statistical analysis are great tools, but those tools can only tell part of the story. Even though people obviously tell lies, people also enrich the picture painted by the cold hard facts of analysis by bringing the human element into the equation. I'd probably be insane right now if I lived my entire life requiring total accurracy and absolute truth in every situation. I enjoy having some grey areas in my life.
I agree 100% that numbers without context are dangerous...

My job is writing equations that parse data for accounting/marketing/sales people, so I do know how deceptive they can be if you don't know how the numbers were calculated.

Context is essential for anything. I know the human element is good, however relying on qualitative methods leads one to making emotional decisions, which (in my opinion) leads to mistakes.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,810 posts, read 17,852,850 times
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hnsq...to reiterate what I've already said in previous posts in this thread, most of the time, I find numbers, & statistics quite sufficient to guide me. However when my intuition ( heart, gut, that small quiet voice, a hunch, instinct, etc ) prompts me to pay attention, I defer to my intuition even if the numbers - statistics and the source of them appear to be totally reliable. I know that some people see intuition as woo woo, new age nonsense, psychic bolderdash, silly and irrational behaviour, etc. Nonetheless, it has proven to be a trustworthy guide for me...even if it is qualitative, subjective, and emotional.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 20,504,393 times
Reputation: 15749
Quote:
Originally Posted by hnsq View Post
I trust numbers over people any day. People lie, numbers always tell the truth.
O-kay. That settles it. Sort of.

I guess the following articles are based on word of mouth and hearsay. Statistics do say the number is rising, and that does correlate with qualitative analysis and empirical evidence (at least from their point of view)....


City Mayors: Hunger and homelessness in American cities

Tent City (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/03/06/Tent_City.DTL - broken link)

Tent city phenomenon: When there
Attached Thumbnails
Boomers to never stop working-nickelsville-tent-city.jpg  

Last edited by RiverBird; 11-11-2010 at 09:30 AM..
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,810 posts, read 17,852,850 times
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user_id wrote:
I notice that you have a habit of completely misunderstanding anything that is at all nuanced. The point of my comment was clearly not an attempt to "interpret" what the other poster was saying, but rather to point out the very obvious folly. You see, like you, the other poster is thinking in a realm of strawman.
So true! That is one of my blind spots on the forum. I direct my commments to what people actually write, not on their invisible nuances which don't come across to me in the written word. If we were sitting face to face, I'd have the benefit of your body language, the tone of your voice, and the inflections in your voice. Your nuances would be obvious. Apparently you forget that nuance is more challenging to convey thru the written word on a forum. Interesting that we have been discussing intuition the past several days and now we are discussing nuance, both of which are undeniable presences, yet both are intangibles that can be easily glossed over. Funny that we are both comfortable with one invisible quality but not the other.

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 11-11-2010 at 10:55 AM..
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:25 AM
 
Location: San Diego California
6,797 posts, read 6,767,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnsq View Post
When you read a study, or view a graph, you cannot take it at face value (obviously). I always look at how the statistics were calculated and look at the functions from which the graphs were derived. You CAN find the root data (the facts) with statistical information. When a person lies (qualitative analysis), that is all there is to it.
What you are looking at is data.
Data comes from humans who manipulate it to whatever degree it benefits them to do so.
Government statistics are a prime example.
Unemployment rates are calculated using "birth/death models" which have little basis in reality, but do much to support the governments agenda.
Inflation figures use "hedonics" and "substitutions" to achieve numbers which twist data to say what is politically palatable.
Almost all data is manipulated by whoever is amassing it, for whatever purpose they are trying to serve.
It does not matter if it is a corporation being motivated by profit or market share, a government motivated by politics or desire to control the perception of the population, or just a scientist manipulating data to gratify his own ego and prejudice concerning a theory. Most all data is manipulated in some form or another. To say you are going to draw conclusions base solely on data, and completely discount human experience is admitting you are only looking at a piece of the evidence.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:31 PM
 
9,856 posts, read 14,324,136 times
Reputation: 5461
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
hnsq...to reiterate what I've already said in previous posts in this thread, most of the time, I find numbers, & statistics quite sufficient to guide me. However when my intuition ( heart, gut, that small quiet voice, a hunch, instinct, etc ) prompts me to pay attention, I defer to my intuition even if the numbers - statistics and the source of them appear to be totally reliable. I know that some people see intuition as woo woo, new age nonsense, psychic bolderdash, silly and irrational behaviour, etc. Nonetheless, it has proven to be a trustworthy guide for me...even if it is qualitative, subjective, and emotional.
That is fine, base your decisions on whatever you want. In my opinion, intuition is what people rely on when they don't want to do the real work to crunch numbers. We probably will never see eye to eye. In my opinion, relying on 'gut feeling' is as reliable for decision making as flipping a coin.


Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
O-kay. That settles it. Sort of.

I guess the following articles are based on word of mouth and hearsay. Statistics do say the number is rising, and that does correlate with qualitative analysis and empirical evidence (at least from their point of view)....


City Mayors: Hunger and homelessness in American cities

Tent City (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/03/06/Tent_City.DTL - broken link)

Tent city phenomenon: When there
My heart goes out to them. It really does. I don't understand exactly what your point is. If you give me a set of data on unemployment statistics, I can listen to you. If you tell me you 'see a lot of homeless people', or 'a lot of your friends can't find jobs', I am not going to trust your opinion. Correlation does not imply causation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
What you are looking at is data.
Data comes from humans who manipulate it to whatever degree it benefits them to do so.
Government statistics are a prime example.
Unemployment rates are calculated using "birth/death models" which have little basis in reality, but do much to support the governments agenda.
Inflation figures use "hedonics" and "substitutions" to achieve numbers which twist data to say what is politically palatable.
Almost all data is manipulated by whoever is amassing it, for whatever purpose they are trying to serve.
It does not matter if it is a corporation being motivated by profit or market share, a government motivated by politics or desire to control the perception of the population, or just a scientist manipulating data to gratify his own ego and prejudice concerning a theory. Most all data is manipulated in some form or another. To say you are going to draw conclusions base solely on data, and completely discount human experience is admitting you are only looking at a piece of the evidence.
Please re-read what I said. You seemed to miss the part where I said the context in which the data is collected is essential.

If you are going to give money to a charity, will you give money to the charity that has the most emotional, tear-jerking promo video (even if only 70% of the cash gets to those really in need) or will you give money to the charity with no video, no promotion, but a statistical and factual history of giving 100% donations to people who really need it?

My point is that I hope to god no one ever picks the first of those two options. Do you disagree?
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:45 PM
 
Location: San Diego California
6,797 posts, read 6,767,690 times
Reputation: 5185
Quote:
Originally Posted by hnsq View Post
.




Please re-read what I said. You seemed to miss the part where I said the context in which the data is collected is essential.

If you are going to give money to a charity, will you give money to the charity that has the most emotional, tear-jerking promo video (even if only 70% of the cash gets to those really in need) or will you give money to the charity with no video, no promotion, but a statistical and factual history of giving 100% donations to people who really need it?

My point is that I hope to god no one ever picks the first of those two options. Do you disagree?
It is interesting that you should mention charities, as I sit on the board of the charity giving network for a Fortune 500 company. When we assess charities for grants, we do go over their financial statements to check how they spend their funds, but you would be surprised how much can be hidden and distorted in a financial statement. So after looking at their financials we assign one of our board members to pay a visit to the charity and do a little boots on the ground investigation of there operation and report back to the board. I cannot tell you how many times we have changed our opinions on grants after seeing first hand how the charity is actually run.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:17 PM
 
9,856 posts, read 14,324,136 times
Reputation: 5461
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
It is interesting that you should mention charities, as I sit on the board of the charity giving network for a Fortune 500 company. When we assess charities for grants, we do go over their financial statements to check how they spend their funds, but you would be surprised how much can be hidden and distorted in a financial statement. So after looking at their financials we assign one of our board members to pay a visit to the charity and do a little boots on the ground investigation of there operation and report back to the board. I cannot tell you how many times we have changed our opinions on grants after seeing first hand how the charity is actually run.
You seemed to have skirted my point entirely. Assuming due diligence is adequately performed, would you go with a charity whose contribution percentage is lower simply based on the emotional appeal (video campaigns, etc.) or one with a higher contribution percentage which put little effort into the qualitative marketing draws?
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