Technological Unemployment

Updated: May 13th 2012: 

You are about to become obsolete. You think you are special, unique, and that whatever it is that you are doing is impossible to replace. You are wrong. As we speak, millions of algorithms created by computer scientists are frantically running on servers all over the world, with one sole purpose: do whatever you used to do, but better.

That is the argument for a phenomenon called technological unemployment, one that is pervading modern society. But is that really the case? Or is it just a futuristic fantasy? What will become of us in the coming years, and what can we do to prevent a catastrophic collapse of society?

For the past two years I have been researching and studying the impact of technological advancement in our society. I discovered that a tragically overlooked aspect is the consequence of automation and machine intelligence on jobs, and how that affects us. I decided I should investigate more and do something about it, so I launched an IndieGoGo project:

IndieGoGo project page

I will write a book that explores the impact that technological advances will have on our lives, how does that affect employment, the nature of work and why we work, what it means to be happy, and provide suggestions on how to avoid a systemic collapse.

This is a new experience for me, from which I hope to learn a lot and grow as an author. If you have any advice about the project, do tell! I'm open to suggestions.

Thank you in advance for any support you might give. Also, if you happen to know public intellectuals who are knowledgeable on this matter, or if you think you can give some insights yourself, let me know.

The book will be released early for IndieGoGo backers only. After that the general release on Amazon and iBooks is scheduled. However, I think this information should be accessible to all, so I decided that some time the general distribution, a free PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License will also be released on the website. Submitted by Federico Pistono,

Article can be found here

100 Million Working wage people without JOBS in the U.S. 

Technological Unemployment is inevitable and there is nothing stopping it. We can try to stay on an Economic monetary system as long as we can, but Technology is advancing on such an extreme speed that it will eliminate most of our jobs, if not all our jobs. We have robots playing chess, we have robots playing music. It is just getting to overwhelming of the kind of technology that exists today. Most people don't even hardly see it exists, because we are at a total un balance in our world of knowledge and information. That is what is changing in our world. Knowledge and information is overloading the internet, and overloading people's minds. The more we know the more we see, the more our world Changes. It's like peircing into the future and once you see it the future changes.

People will be out of work in the coming years because it will just seem more logical for companies to hire robots and machines to do they're jobs for them. So how are you going to make a livving with you have these machines doing the work and the ceo or boss of the company is reaping in all the benefits. While the poor man is sitting on the curb begging for food, but what happens when everyone is laid off becasue of Technology, they all suffer of course, or have to find a way to steal food. What do we do know? there is just one solution and that solution is abolish money and currency.

Not get rid of the machines or technology them selves. What about the Internet and computers, you don't want to get rid of the computer and internet. Now people buy things all over the web and it continues daily, what if our reality completely shifted into something else, that we would no longer need jobs, no longer need cars to traval.

Fear of Machines and Technology hurting the world,

We all have those fears of technology over coming humanity, or destroying humanity. That is because many of us are conditioned from movies like the Terminator, and robot killer movies, like I-robot. Usually it is not machines we need to be afraid of, it is the men behind the machines, but don't be afraid of them either. A.I. is still a long way off and even when they do become very intelligent beyond humans they will still have a connection of respect and honor, because of they're programming but also because we would be like they're creators or parents. When that time comes we should be prepared for that to happen, thanks to the movies that have come out to program us to be cautious of Machines and Technology taking over the world.

I have a neigber who deathly afraid of computers because of people using computers to find young children and rape them. She has a huge fear that her daughters and grand daughters will be effected by going on the computer and meet strangers. I can see her point but like i said it is not computers that do the raping. Computers are an extension of human connectivity and in being connection with a total stranger over a phone jack or a cable line, that is just the nature of technology, you get the good with the bad. On the most part computers and technology has benefited our lives more so than we can imagine. So it is perfectly normal to have fear of machines to be cautious but we shouldn't allow that to stop us from evolving and growing our technological achievements. Take the Car for an example, the Car causes more deaths in the world than any disaster, disease or accidents. Now are we going to say that we will get rid of vehicles because they are a tool of killing? I'm sure society over a 100 years ago had it's doubts and scares about the Automobile, in time they did accept it, and it changed our whole world from riding on horses to driving automobiles. So today we get in a car without any fear of death.

We Would live in a Instantaneous World, where you can be in rome in an instant, you can have something delivered in an instant, you can communicate in an Instant. Imagine a world where everything is easy to access, everything is easy to see, everything is easy to get, and everywhere is easy to go to, Now that would be incredible wouldn't? We can't picture that world today because of our own perception of reality, we can't perceive this world because we are stuch in our own little dream world, we are stuck watching our own tv's and playing with our video games, or dating on a constant basis, or talking about stuff that doesn't even matter. Life doesn seem to be slow for some, but the speeding up of technology, and information is going to accelerate our minds into a new state of Consciousness.

We are going to see things that we would never thought possible before in our life times. It's going to be very scary for some and awesome for many others. Alot of People do not want to give up the old system of barter trade and currency because they can't let that system die. They continue to believe in the all mighty american Dollar or the euro.

It is just a sad fact that many of us like to stay in the situations that we like to stay in instead of changing to something different, Believe me i have a hard time with change as anyone else.  It is definitely not easy for me, but i can see the importance of going to a Resource BAsed Economy, because it benefits the whole of humanity and the world. So if your still stuck in the old paradigm mind set of conditioning thinking then you have to start waking up to the fact that Change is everywhere and it won't stop for anyone.

Ex: Remember we have the tape decks and most people didn't want to give up they'er tape decks but once they got to the stores all they saw was cd's so you couldn't buy any tapes any more. Do you see vhs tapes in stores? I don't see any not anymore. Now Cd's are becoming the dinasours it is now mp3 players and ipods, and iphones. Which will fade out Cd's in time that is. They still sell them but it won't be long before they would be obsolete like the tapes were. So were you forced to change? no but you still have your tape deck and can't get any music on those tapes anymore.

So Technology will continue to grow, expand and evolve to something we couldn't even imagine, eliminating out dated systems, quicker and quicker. The system will have to change along side our own evolution of our minds.
That is the Reality of our existense things Change Drastically.

What is Reallly Available? What do we have today? Well that is up to the people to find that out, we all must have transparency to find out what does exists in the world. This is so extremely important to an RBE.  


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Robots being used at a bakery for food production

Automation is the use of control systems (such as numerical control, programmable logic control, and other industrial control systems), in concert with other applications of information technology (such as computer-aided technologies [CAD, CAM, CAx]), to control industrial machinery and processes, reducing the need for human intervention.[1] In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization. Whereas mechanization provided human operators with machinery to assist them with the muscular requirements of work, automation greatly reduces the need for human sensory and mental requirements as well. Processes and systems can also be automated.

Automation plays an increasingly important role in the global economy and in daily experience. Engineers strive to combine automated devices with mathematical and organizational tools to create complex systems for a rapidly expanding range of applications and human activities.

Many roles for humans in industrial processes presently lie beyond the scope of automation. Human-level pattern recognition, language recognition, and language production ability are well beyond the capabilities of modern mechanical and computer systems. Tasks requiring subjective assessment or synthesis of complex sensory data, such as scents and sounds, as well as high-level tasks such as strategic planning, currently require human expertise. In many cases, the use of humans is more cost-effective than mechanical approaches even where automation of industrial tasks is possible.

Specialised hardened computers, referred to as programmable logic controllers (PLCs), are frequently used to synchronize the flow of inputs from (physical) sensors and events with the flow of outputs to actuators and events. This leads to precisely controlled actions that permit a tight control of almost any industrial process.

Human-machine interfaces (HMI) or computer human interfaces (CHI), formerly known as man-machine interfaces, are usually employed to communicate with PLCs and other computers, such as entering and monitoring temperatures or pressures for further automated control or emergency response. Service personnel who monitor and control these interfaces are often referred to as stationary engineers.[2]



[edit] Impact

Automation has had a notable impact in a wide range of highly visible industries beyond manufacturing. Once-ubiquitous telephone operators have been replaced largely by automated telephone switchboards and answering machines. Medical processes such as primary screening in electrocardiography or radiography and laboratory analysis of human genes, sera, cells, and tissues are carried out at much greater speed and accuracy by automated systems. Automated teller machines have reduced the need for bank visits to obtain cash and carry out transactions. In general, automation has been responsible for the shift in the world economy from agrarian to industrial in the 19th century and from industrial to services in the 20th century.[3]

The widespread impact of industrial automation raises social issues, among them its impact on employment. Historical concerns about the effects of automation date back to the beginning of the industrial revolution, when a social movement of English textile machine operators in the early 1800s known as the Luddites protested against Jacquard's automated weaving looms[4] — often by destroying such textile machines— that they felt threatened their jobs. One author made the following case. When automation was first introduced, it caused widespread fear. It was thought that the displacement of human operators by computerized systems would lead to severe unemployment.

Critics of automation contend that increased industrial automation causes increased unemployment; this was a pressing concern during the 1980s. One argument claims that this has happened invisibly in recent years, as the fact that many manufacturing jobs left the United States during the early 1990s was offset by a one-time massive increase in IT jobs at the same time. Some authors argue that the opposite has often been true, and that automation has led to higher employment. Under this point of view, the freeing up of the labour force has allowed more people to enter higher skilled managerial as well as specialised consultant/contractor jobs (like cryptographers), which are typically higher paying. One odd side effect of this shift is that "unskilled labour" is in higher demand in many first-world nations, because fewer people are available to fill such jobs.

At first glance, automation might appear to devalue labor through its replacement with less-expensive machines; however, the overall effect of this on the workforce as a whole remains unclear.[citation needed] Today automation of the workforce is quite advanced, and continues to advance increasingly more rapidly throughout the world and is encroaching on ever more skilled jobs, yet during the same period the general well-being and quality of life of most people in the world (where political factors have not muddied the picture) have improved dramatically. What role automation has played in these changes has not been well studied.

[edit] Late 20th century emphasis

Currently, for manufacturing companies, the purpose of automation has shifted from increasing productivity and reducing costs, to broader issues, such as increasing quality and flexibility in the manufacturing process.

The old focus on using automation simply to increase productivity and reduce costs was seen to be short-sighted, because it is also necessary to provide a skilled workforce who can make repairs and manage the machinery. Moreover, the initial costs of automation were high and often could not be recovered by the time entirely new manufacturing processes replaced the old. (Japan's "robot junkyards" were once world famous in the manufacturing industry.)

Automation is now often applied primarily to increase quality in the manufacturing process, where automation can increase quality substantially. For example, automobile and truck pistons used to be installed into engines manually. This is rapidly being transitioned to automated machine installation, because the error rate for manual installment was around 1-1.5%, but has been reduced to 0.00001% with automation. Hazardous operations, such as oil refining, the manufacturing of industrial chemicals, and all forms of metal working, were always early contenders for automation.

Another major shift in automation is the increased emphasis on flexibility and convertibility in the manufacturing process. Manufacturers are increasingly demanding the ability to easily switch from manufacturing Product A to manufacturing Product B without having to completely rebuild the production lines. Flexibility and distributed processes have led to the introduction of Automated Guided Vehicles with Natural Features Navigation.

[edit] Advantages and disadvantages

The main advantage of automation are:

  • Replacing human operators in tedious tasks.
  • Replacing humans in tasks that should be done in dangerous environments (i.e. Fire, space, volcanoes, nuclear facilities, under the water, etc)
  • Making task that are beyond the human capabilities such as handle too heavy loads, too large objects, too hot or too cold sustances or the requirement to make things too fast or too slow.
  • Economy improvement. Sometimes and some kinds of automation implies improves in economy of enterprises, society or most of humankind. For example, when an enterprise that has invested in automation technology recovers its investment; when a state or country increases its income due to automation like Germany or Japan in the XX Century or when the humankind can use the internet which in turn use satellites and other automated engines.

The main disadvantages of automation are:

  • Technology limits. Nowadays technology is not able to automatizate all the desired tasks.
  • Initial costs are relative high. The automation of a new product required a huge initial investment in comparison with the unit cost of the product, although the cost of automation is spread in many product batches. The automation of a Plant required a great initial investment too, although this cost is spread in the products to be produced.

[edit] Controversial factors

  • Unemployment. It is commonly thought that automation implies unemployment due to the fact that the work of a human being is replaced in part or completely by a machine. Nevertheless, the unemployment is caused by the economical politics of the administration like dismissing the workers instead of changing their tasks. Since the general economical policies of most of the industrial plants are to dismiss people, nowadays automation implies unemployment. In different scenarios without workers, automation implies more free time instead of unemployment like the case with the automatic washing machine at home. Automation does not imply unemployment when it makes tasks unimaginable without automation such as exploring mars with the Sojourner or when the economy is fully adapted to an automated technology as with the Telephone switchboard.
  • Environment. The costs of automation to the environment are different depending on the technology, product or engine automated. There are automated engines that consume more energy resources from the Earth in comparison with previous engines and those that do the opposite too.
  • Human being replacement. In the future there is a possibility that the Artificial intelligence could replace and improve a human brain and the robots would become not only fully automated but fully autonomous from the human beings (Technological singularity)

[edit] Automation tools

Different types of automation tools exist:

[edit] Automated manufacturing

Automated manufacturing refers to the application of automation to produce things in the factory way. Most of the advantages of the automation technology has its influence in the manufacture processes.

The main advantage of the automated manufacturing are: more quality, reduce the lead times, simplification of production, reduce handling, improve work flow and increase the moral of workers when a good implementation of the automation is made.

[edit] See also

Last updated by Aaron May 13, 2012.

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