Universal Basic Income - Future or nah?

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by oc616, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Maybe I'm confused about how logical fallacies work, because I thought "strawman" means that when faced with an argument, instead of countering that specific argument, making up a new 'bad guy' that's easier to beat and then beating it and acting like you beat the original argument when you technically haven't. So in that regard I don't see how worrying about the fate of society as we can plainly see AI/automation taking away human labor jobs is a strawman. Maybe it could be used in a strawman if the debate was regarding unemployment on account of outsourcing, but that's not what we're talking about...

    I was never in the debate club ^^; ...
     
  2. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Even if that is true to some degree, it would have to be at 1:1, which was more my point than to suggest we have to make new kinds of jobs. That's actually not even what I was trying to write.
     
  3. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Robots are going to be real shit at landscaping for quite a while...
     
  4. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Well we'll see how much of a strawman that is when autonomous vehicles takeover the trucking and taxi industries. There's a reason Uber bought basically all of CMU's robotics lab...
     
  5. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Who knows, maybe that will be one of the last human labor positions to be replaced by automation.

    For me it's a little bit hard to guess at which things will be replaced next outside of what we already basically know will almost certainly be, like drivers and cashiers. It also has to do with (as bostjan mentioned) what you can outsource. Like, if it weren't for that outsourcing customer service to India is so inexpensive I bet there'd be a lot more going into AI Customer Service bots. I'm pretty sure there already is, but it has to compete with outsourcing. I'll tell you what, for people who aren't good at listening to thick accents over the phone, the AI-CS bots are probably preferable.

    With regards to landscaping, under-payed undocumented Mexican immigrants are sorta like outsourcing... just minus the "out".
     
  6. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    I really don't see outsourcing as the big concern. AI is poised to tackle lots of menial intelligence-based jobs (like online/phone customer service), and once you have one reasonably good AI for a specific customer service job, you have it for almost all customer service jobs. Just one company pushing AI tech to that level immediately replaces millions of jobs with essentially no maintenance cost. I find that far more destructive. How many people work simple call center / tech support?

    In contrast, traditional automation, where a machine physically replaces your job, is probably not anything we'll really see in a high-impact way for decades. That's the real strawman, but that's mostly just stemming from a misunderstanding of the manner in which AI will become pervasive in our lives.
     
  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    At the risk of sounding combative, even though that's honestly not my intent here:
    So, the topic at the top of the thread is "Universal Basic Income"
    Which specific point were you arguing against when you first brought up automation?
    And then after you brought it up, I said that there would always be other jobs, and you quoted me and said that's a strawman argument. If I can point back to my counterpoint as a direct response to you bringing up automation as a reason to fear for job security, then how is that a strawman fallacy?

    ----

    With regard to AI CSR's on call lines, I think that could actually be great material for SNL or something. Imagine some hard-of-hearing grumpy nothing-is-no-damn-good-anymore octogenarian trying to interact with a VR AI CSR over the phone. It'd humourous for young people to think about it, but now put yourself in the shoes of the old guy. You honestly can't make out what the voice on the other end of the phone is saying, and you are probably calling because something that made perfect sense to you changed with some sort of product, and now it makes no sense at all to you, so you call for help, only to have to interact with a robot over the phone - bitter irony.

    Anyway, CSR's essentailly have been automated. When was the last time you called customer service and didn't get an automated system?!
     
  8. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I wasn't?

    I was only saying that in my mind, automation and AI are part of what would eventually create necessity for a universal income system. I also said that I have no idea if a universal income system would even actually be corrective.

    I wasn't being facetiously humble; I've really never taken any debate or Logic, so no need to have perceptions of combativeness--I promise I'm probably just wrong.

    Are there many people who don't automatically tie together the need to re-organize our monetary/financial system with increasing population and gradual conversion to automated labor?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    My buddy's Roomba says otherwise. :lol:

    I think automation has been and will continue to be a major source of job losses for the foreseeable future - we've already discussed at length how Trump's claims that manufacturing jobs will come back if we lean harder on companies working overseas are BS because so many of the jobs lost in manufacturing have been as the result of greater automation necessitating fewer human laborers. You're seeing it in other fields as well though, and some less obvious ones - so-called "robo-advisors" are the hot new topic in finance industry disruptive innovation, where computer algorithms are selecting model allocations based on investor questionnaires and then implementing using funds or ETFs, rather than hiring human financial advisors. Meanwhile, equity trading desks have slashed headcount in recent years as algorithmic trading becomes more common, and even fixed income desks are starting to shrink a little. And these are traditional "white collar" and "skilled" occupations.

    This reminds me of the EU's toying with the idea of leveeing payroll taxes on robots - not only does it make human labor and investment in technology more equivalent from a tax standpoint, if we ever get into a future where there simply aren't enough jobs to go around, the tax base would be gutted as employment shrinks, and in theory this could be used for some form of universal basic income.

    Of course, the devils are in the details, so I won't get any further into UBI other than merely stating I haven't seen a proposal that would really be workable. I like the idea of a basic income freeing people to work in areas they might otherwise be if they didn't have to worry about making a living - I probably wouldn't be a financial analyst if I didn't have to worry about making a living - but providing everyone enough money to live on without doing serious economic damage along the way is sort of a challenge. I mean, if you have perfect universal basic income, and everyone's income is being fully provided by the government, then income taxation is by definition not going to be enough to generate enough revenue to pay that income, you know?
     
  10. coffeeflush

    coffeeflush SS.org Regular

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    bostjan,
    I am in the middle of travelling so cannot reply in detail, highly suggest you check the book out.

    but , AI is monstrously smart already. It can do lot of things that humans can and it does not demand insurance, indulge in office politics of workers unions etc. Most manufacture jobs, low scale labour, but also advanced stuff like management will go to AI. Its already happening in the US on a massive scale.

    Bostjan, ill skip the energy answers for now, but world population is expected to decrease sometime halfway through this century. Decrease strongly at that. Future problem wont be feeding the masses, it will be lack of masses.
     
  11. coffeeflush

    coffeeflush SS.org Regular

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    [​IMG]
    World population growth rate 1950–2050
     
  12. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Um, not to nitpick, but that's a chart of the population growth rate, and not a chart of the world population. While yes, the growth rate has been slowing and will likely continue to do, by 2050 the growth rate is still forecast to remain positive, at maybe 0.42% or so. Doesn't seem like much, but compound 0.42% for 50 years and you have 23.3% total growth.

    Barring catastrophe, changes in family planning, war, or major disease, the earth's population will continue to rise over the next century, based on existing forecasts.
     
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  13. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    And by 2090 or so we'll have a projected 0% growth rate! Seems like a super accurate plot!
     
  14. PunkBillCarson

    PunkBillCarson SS.org Regular

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    I've been in a factory for 9 years, which is relatively not very long compared to industry but what I have observed in our factory is that automation rarely eliminates jobs where I work. If anything, all it does is make it necessary for one more troubleshooter/coordinator and a couple of more people than before to operate it. There was a job that was automated not long ago that had one person performing the task beforehand, and then afterwards, it ended up being four people. I won't deny that they would try to eliminate a person if they could to save money, but from what I've observed my company has been more interested in getting the most out of production.

    Automation doesn't necessarily always mean elimination, especially since AI is nowhere near where these big bosses would like it to be. I won't go into detail about what I specifically do at my place of work, suffice it to say that AI simply is not ready for it. Hell, my bosses don't even like getting new parts for 100 year old machines that are broken down, to say nothing of spending an ungodly amount on shit that won't work any better, or rather near as good as a rational person can.
     
  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    That might be, but 2090 is a long way away, and that is when the world human population, according to that model, should peak. Not to mention that the five years of data from 2010-2015 showed faster population growth than the projection you posted, already. This model might be right, but it's a projection based off of a projection, based off of the idea that people in Asia will continue to not have children, and that people in Africa will start not having children. I don't really think the evidence these studies cite is anywhere near conclusive enough to guess the change in the growth rate as a constant.

    This is a sort of calculus problem, like if you looked at a car's acceleration and then guess where it would be 40 years from now, based off of that. Not very concrete. For example, if I saw a car go from 0-60 mph in 15 seconds, does that mean that three minutes from now, the car will be going 720 miles per hour?! Would the car be 64800 miles away by that time? That's a ridiculous kind of projection, but it's analogous to these sorts of studies.
     
  16. coffeeflush

    coffeeflush SS.org Regular

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    True that slight variations will produce different results. How exactly it will end up, none of us can say.

    As far as Asia goes, there are not enough qualified people to go around but there are lot of jobs. Despite recent slowdown, there are lot of people who have wealth and a hunger for first world lifestyle, this means more development, more goods to be purchased etc.

    Good thing is, solar is growing, there is a push for electric vehicles too, much bigger than in the USA for example.

    AI might be feasible in the US, but it will take sometime to come to India and other parts of asia, that still have skewed access to high bandwidth Internet (though a friend in the US recently told me that its not like the US is much better off in this regard)

    There was already an example of a company , where the entire management was replaced by AI. I can't find it at the moment, made the last post half asleep,so pasted wrong graph etc.

    Anyways,here is a relevant article.
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/515926/how-technology-is-destroying-jobs/
     
  17. CrazyDean

    CrazyDean SS.org Regular

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    I got 18 miles using algebra. Even using your final velocity of 720mph, you only get 36 miles in three minutes.
     
  18. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    As far as walk-backs of "I just realized the chart I posted shows the opposite of what I thought it said," this is pretty damned inspired. :lol:
     
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  19. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I'm not sure if you are trying to be funny of if you simply missed the point I was trying to make.
     
  20. CrazyDean

    CrazyDean SS.org Regular

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    I'm not trying to be funny. I felt like your post was pretentious. You are aware that most of the people on this forum known little to nothing about calculus or data modeling. Trying to use big words to make yourself feel better or more knowledgeable than others is rude. I was simply pointing out that your calculations were wrong.
     

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