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Old 04-21-2019, 02:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
This thread has raised some really interesting questions.

One persistent flaw, though, is the circular loop about what AI is capable of and when; we've got those screaming that we're about to be displaced as a species and those blowing it off as their grandchildrens' problem.

Just some clarity on my own position... Most people have no idea how sophisticated and capable AI is, right now, today. Popular press representations tend to (ahem) treat it like any other sunday-supplement science and goshwoggle over all the possibilities and great new jobs and so forth; that's not helpful. Overzealous fans tend to overstate the capabilities based on niche experiments and limited-scope applications; that's interesting but about as relevant as experimental habitats for living on Mars. Way too many people tend to see it as an evolution of "automation" or "robotics" or something, one more step in the process they've watched for decades; this is wrong.

It's hard to express how much of a quantum jump modern AI is over any former kinds of "automation." It does NOT mean welding robots that can handle three tasks at once (which already exist). It also does not mean human levels of cogitation and blowing off Turing tests. The next gen of AI is application- and goal-focused, not what's called general machine intelligence. (GMI research continues apace, nonetheless.)

These systems are not automated spreadsheets or rote human interface boxes; we have those. They are also not white-collar workers with degrees and experience. What they are is idiot-savants, incredible power to "think" about their designed field and tasks with near-human judgment and of course superhuman focus and dedication. They are not going to replace workers who have a complex array of tasks, not 1:1. But given the choice between a 14th Floor full of accountants or clerks or actuaries or even customer agents, and a few boxes that can do the core of those jobs under the supervision of a handful of managers... just how long do you think corporate America is going to stay with all those expensive, temperamental and fragile meat computers?

To see how AI is going to invade the white-collar tiers, you have to think a little outside the box. Not as a system replacing Joe down in HR, who does everything from making coffee to covering third base on the company team, but as a system that will take over the core, routine, everyday functions of HR or whatever, using very complex but very limited-range judgment... leaving the really complex judgment and integration of the whole to a very small remaining core of humans.

This is already happening, on small scales and something just beyond experimentally. It will be a significant factor in that bottom third or so of desk/intelligence/judgment jobs within five years. And it will expand like wildfire from there, until companies will have replaced 10k's of employees with systems and perhaps a 1% retention of supervisor/manager/arbitrators who handle what the boxes can't.

Which is why the real issue is not frantically figuring out how to move the pieces around on the board - retrain accountants to be AI engineers, insist that anyone who wants a job should get a degree, pump money into job development programs, all that now-obsolete BS. We have to consider a world in which the number of "real" jobs - self- and family-supporting, with reasonable stability - steadily shrinks and there are very limited opportunities to retrain or redirect workers into (largely imaginary) new fields.

TL;DR? If you don't understand the immediate reality of AI, the likely near future in which it will impact jobs, and that much of this is like absolutely nothing ever seen before... this is not the time to clamp your mind shut on 1950s verities and a smug sense that change is always good for someone.

This already happens. There aren’t entire floors of accountants at Fortune 500 companies. It’s not 1996. What the hell is a clerk? There isn’t an army of people doing routine work. That’s been offshored to Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, or Latin America.

The only...clerks (lol) left came from
The big four consulting firms and have a masters, a CPA, and 5 years of exp. they’re making 80 to 100k as analysts and are expected to go up or get the hell out.
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:32 PM
 
5,183 posts, read 8,685,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
My statement is based on what I’ve learned, do some research. I just told you how much faster and more accurate AI was in a head to head test in the reading and correction of a contract. And that’s now, wait another 10 years and come back so I can say I told you so.

I’m surprised someone who works in law can’t formulate a few paragraphs without resorting to insults. Getting mad at the messenger isn’t going to help.
Use the ignore option. Don't waste your time.
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,717 posts, read 4,119,768 times
Reputation: 13398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsright19 View Post
This already happens. There aren’t entire floors of accountants at Fortune 500 companies. It’s not 1996. What the hell is a clerk? There isn’t an army of people doing routine work. That’s been offshored to Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, or Latin America.
i cop to being needlessly generic, but most large companies have armies of people in certain positions that are low-hanging fruit for AI replacement.

I will also point out that offshoring is simply a cost-cutting maneuver, not a solution. You still have platoons of people doing the work inefficiently and at high cost, just not as high as native-soil workers. I'd say offshored functions will be among the first to go when the AI is capable; you're just swapping one black box for another, and without the endless issues of offshoring and human employees. You could even roll out a national ad campaign about how you're a great company for bringing jobs back.
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:52 PM
 
2,150 posts, read 797,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mircea View Post
Your argument fails massively.

59% is not the employment rate, it is the ratio of workers to the working age population, otherwise known as E-Pop or the Employment-to-Population Ratio.

As a result of the post-WW II Baby Boom, our population has a large number of persons age 65 or older who choose not to work and should not be compelled to work.

In 2008, the first cohort of Baby Boomers were only 62 years old.

I hope you have learned something from this discussion.
Bless your heart.

But I am well aware of the difference between the employment and unemployment rates.
The 59% number I used was the most recent I found of the ratio of workers to the working age population.
Which is called the employment rate.
See:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employ...since_2000.png

Can you supply a significantly different statistic.. and do you have a MS in Economics as well?

My simple point was that total employment levels vis-vis the population have not kept pace with the working population for many reasons. In the depths of the GR many folks were no longer looking for jobs for a variety of reasons, and were thus 'no longer in the labor force' as defined by the BLS which mitigated of the 'real' unemployment rate.

And my 'argument' was merely that robotic and similar technologies have indeed destroyed many jobs.
That was all.

Last edited by PamelaIamela; 04-21-2019 at 03:04 PM..
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Posting from my space yacht.
8,462 posts, read 3,729,251 times
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If robots are going to take all our jobs why are we importing millions of foreign workers?
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,717 posts, read 4,119,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PamelaIamela View Post
And my 'argument' was merely that robotic and similar technologies have indeed destroyed many jobs.
But they hadn't as of the latest materials on his reference shelf, see?
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:01 PM
 
5,183 posts, read 8,685,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogue Mahone View Post
If robots are going to take all our jobs why are we importing millions of foreign workers?
They are here to build the robots. LOL. Seriously, Indian and Chinese engineers are heavily employed by silicon industries where AI and robot techs are happening.
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,717 posts, read 4,119,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogue Mahone View Post
If robots are going to take all our jobs why are we importing millions of foreign workers?
Well, I think you're exaggerating (all legal immigration is somewhere below 1M per year), but mostly you're combining/confusing three different eras - the then, the now and the future.

Other than H1-B, we don't really "import" workers like some kind of slave trade. Immigrants come here, usually must qualify as potentially self-supporting citizen, and go to work. About17% of the current workforce is immigrants, but that's a slippery figure because it includes H1-B's who are just here for the paycheck as well as those who mean to stay and become (or are) US citizens.

But for now, there's still a demand for imported workforce, although it's trending down with the current administration/climate.

But shortly... AI will replace any human - native, immigrant or offshored. And it's occurred to me that offshored jobs are among the first that will be replaced, because it's a 1:1 swap of functionality. Loss of native, in-house jobs might occur in the wake of 'de-offshoring.'
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:21 PM
 
30,615 posts, read 20,824,998 times
Reputation: 52599
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogue Mahone View Post
If robots are going to take all our jobs why are we importing millions of foreign workers?

Because the technology is not yet at the point of taking all the jobs yet. There are still many right now that need humans. That will decrease every year, and then those people's visas won't be renewed. What does it hurt them to import workers now if they need them now? All most companies care about in each moment is the next quarter's earnings.
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:40 PM
 
3,979 posts, read 2,465,771 times
Reputation: 8888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
i cop to being needlessly generic, but most large companies have armies of people in certain positions that are low-hanging fruit for AI replacement.

I will also point out that offshoring is simply a cost-cutting maneuver, not a solution. You still have platoons of people doing the work inefficiently and at high cost, just not as high as native-soil workers. I'd say offshored functions will be among the first to go when the AI is capable; you're just swapping one black box for another, and without the endless issues of offshoring and human employees. You could even roll out a national ad campaign about how you're a great company for bringing jobs back.
Isn’t ai versus having offshored activities just another form of cost cutting?

The black box of information is the problem that I’ve seen senior management have. The data coming in from so many systems and regions simply isn’t good enough to trust. Whether it’s coming in from offshore or from some ai compiling the info. These maintenance activities often outstrip the usefulness of the automation. By that, I mean take state tax return automation. I’ve seem demos for it. Sure, you can load in the 400 state smart charts of research of how to treat items for that particular states. But then You have companies dropping in and out of the returns. You have state or company specific audit adjustments or special agreements. How does the ai do that? How does it know how to answer the questions? How does it know all the correct attachments? Well sure, we can program that in. If you have the expensive IT professionals and tax professionals to supervise it. If you’re telling me the AI is going to do all this, I’m highly skeptical. You still need highly paid people to direct and supervise the decisions. The problem I’ve seen is that these advance systems are a black box. It’s like me opening up a car engine. Something is broken down stream? Let me look inside....uhhhh yeah none of us know how to fix it. Are my external financial auditors going to sign off on the controls over income tax accounting in the financial statements now?

Then you throw in the fact that many companies don’t have legal entity accounting. They (accounting) have everything roll up at consolidation and so they don’t always care about legal entities. Well, the IRS, states, and international taxing authorities do. Whose going to program the AI to create legal entity accounting for tax purposes from the regular gaap books?

Then you have new trial balance accounts. Or trial balance accounts that have god knows what running through them that accounting buried. They can throw expenses anywhere, but
are those tax deductible expenses? Are they temps or perms? Is the ai going to scrub all the accounting accounts new and old?

I bring up state compliance because that’s generally the bottom of the pyramid for value creation in tax. That’s especially true on the compliance side because you’re just capturing what has already happened. Is the ai going to do state tax planning? Is is going to be able to accurately answer auditor questions? Is it going to have the nuance of “playing the game” and fighting the auditors or building relationships to get better outcomes? Is it going to scan for tax breaks or generate them by working with state or city officials? Does it know what tax positions were risky enough to require fin48 reserves?


But then, these are the “simple” returns. How is it going to know how to eliminate intercompany transactions? How is it going to do consolidated and combined filings?

So then suddenly now I’m being sold an expensive black box to replace a cheap, offshore black box I already have. And it can’t help me (from what I see) with the higher end activities I’m paying a lot for already.

Last edited by Thatsright19; 04-21-2019 at 05:06 PM..
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