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    Apple and Samsung supplier Foxconn has reportedly replaced 60,000 factory workers with robots.
    One factory has "reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots", a government official told the South China Morning Post.
    Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, added: "More companies are likely to follow suit."
    China is investing heavily in a robot workforce.
    In a statement to the BBC, Foxconn Technology Group confirmed that it was automating "many of the manufacturing tasks associated with our operations" but denied that it meant long-term job losses.
    "We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, and through training, also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as research and development, process control and quality control.
    "We will continue to harness automation and manpower in our manufacturing operations, and we expect to maintain our significant workforce in China."
    Since September 2014, 505 factories across Dongguan, in the Guangdong province, have invested 4.2bn yuan (430m) in robots, aiming to replace thousands of workers.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36376966
    Last edited by Urban hermit; 25 May 16, 20:23.
    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

  • #2
    All assembly line workers, fast food workers and others performing repetitious tasks., such as garbage collectors Many nursing positions can be handled by robots, and are being handled by them in Japan.

    Eventually, truck and bus drivers. Airline pilots have already been reduced to only performing ten percent or less of the actual flying of airliners - the highly sophisticated autopilots do the rest and can even handle difficult landings better than humans. Train operators will also be replaced, as they make far too many avoidable mistakes.

    Waiters will be phased out rapidly except in luxury establishments. Robots are already waiting tables in Japan. Teachers might as well be replaced, as information can be transmitted more efficiently by a robotic system using audiovisual technology, and the kids and parents don;t care if they learn or not.

    And politicians will be replaced with units pre-programmed to vote Republican or Democrat on all electronically transmitted issues. They will actually be a major improvement over human politicians as they will not commit adultery, sexually molest staff and cannot be bribed.
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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    • #3
      There's gonna be a lot more need for maintenance staff of all kind. As well as for all kinds of jobs in infrastructure and information. I would guess that's a good tradeoff?
      Wisdom is personal

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Karri View Post
        There's gonna be a lot more need for maintenance staff of all kind. As well as for all kinds of jobs in infrastructure and information. I would guess that's a good tradeoff?
        No, it is not.

        One maintenance guy can tend a dozen devices, or even more as the technology matures.

        The infrastructure will not increase because machines require less infrastructure, and they do not pay taxes.

        Information will remain the same, or decline, because machines do not require an HR department, payroll, etc.

        Fewer jobs mean fewer jobs.
        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post

          Fewer jobs mean fewer jobs.
          Not necessarily - different jobs possibly in the long run. For example I have a nephew with a degree in Creative Writing who makes a living writing advertising copy for various online publications after working in a conventional ad men environment he points out that there are a lot more on-line publishers than there used to be hard copy ones. However the freedom to have virtual offices has meant the decline of of traditional advertising agency locations like Maddison Avenue so bye bye Madmen (but then who regrets their passing?)
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MarkV View Post
            Not necessarily - different jobs possibly in the long run. For example I have a nephew with a degree in Creative Writing who makes a living writing advertising copy for various online publications after working in a conventional ad men environment he points out that there are a lot more on-line publishers than there used to be hard copy ones. However the freedom to have virtual offices has meant the decline of of traditional advertising agency locations like Maddison Avenue so bye bye Madmen (but then who regrets their passing?)
            So what do you think those factory workers will be doing? There's only so many ads to be written.
            Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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            • #7
              Not surprised at all by this. I fully expect we will see the day where the majority (well over half) of people are unemployed.

              I had Taco Bell for lunch today, they had 3 people in the kitchen and 2 more people to work the register, clean the dining room, etc and the manager. With robots they could cut that down to maybe 2 workers plus a manager per shift. Maybe even 1 worker. Where are the other 5 people going to work? They won't.

              We're gonna need to make some major changes. The first step should be the cut the work week to 30 hours so we can employ more people. Yeah they will make less but the worse wage is no wage. The second thing we should do is seriously take a look at some sort of basic guaranteed income level. I bet that we could give every American say $50,000 a year for less than the annual cost of Social Security benefits.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ChrisF1987 View Post
                Not surprised at all by this. I fully expect we will see the day where the majority (well over half) of people are unemployed.

                I had Taco Bell for lunch today, they had 3 people in the kitchen and 2 more people to work the register, clean the dining room, etc and the manager. With robots they could cut that down to maybe 2 workers plus a manager per shift. Maybe even 1 worker. Where are the other 5 people going to work? They won't.

                We're gonna need to make some major changes. The first step should be the cut the work week to 30 hours so we can employ more people. Yeah they will make less but the worse wage is no wage. The second thing we should do is seriously take a look at some sort of basic guaranteed income level. I bet that we could give every American say $50,000 a year for less than the annual cost of Social Security benefits.

                $50k a year? WTF? That is more than nearly all my officers make.

                All that would do would be to move inflation to the point that $50k a year amounts to welfare status.
                Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                  So what do you think those factory workers will be doing? There's only so many ads to be written.
                  Every technological change including the introduction of steam power has left large numbers of workers without a traditional job but at the same time created new jobs requiring different skills. The world is going to need lots more creative and/or empathic skills and far fewer machine minders and waitresses etc. The problem will be as it has always been inculcating new skills into people and what to do about those people who are too stubborn/hidebound or simply not intelligent enough to change. There will be a short term spike in people employed to retrain and educate people and it won't be nice - but then it never has been.
                  Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                  Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                    Every technological change including the introduction of steam power has left large numbers of workers without a traditional job but at the same time created new jobs requiring different skills. The world is going to need lots more creative and/or empathic skills and far fewer machine minders and waitresses etc. The problem will be as it has always been inculcating new skills into people and what to do about those people who are too stubborn/hidebound or simply not intelligent enough to change. There will be a short term spike in people employed to retrain and educate people and it won't be nice - but then it never has been.
                    Historically you are right, but this sort of thing leaves a pool of people who likely have no inclination towards other lines of work.

                    When the industrial revolution rolled over the individual craftsman there were still jobs on the new assembly lines to go to.

                    But technology isn't just changing jobs, it is eliminating them. A thousand factory workers, HR people, and payroll experts laid off because of automation can be retrained, but as what?

                    And as unskilled labor becomes ore and more devalued, then what?

                    Before the nature of work changed, but the pool of jobs were there. Now it seems that the jobs disappear and there are no new jobs to replace them, at least jobs that provide the same degree of pay and benefits.
                    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Karri View Post
                      There's gonna be a lot more need for maintenance staff of all kind. As well as for all kinds of jobs in infrastructure and information. I would guess that's a good tradeoff?


                      It is possible, but all the jobs that could be created by this will require skills. Those who are demanding a $15 minimum wage for low level work will quickly find that their demands merely hastened the end of their jobs.


                      I am reminded of the type setters strike at the Chicago Tribune in the 1980s. The tribune newspaper automated their printing processes making the typesetters obsolete. The tribune offered to retrain them and they refused arguing "typesetters we are and typesetters we will remain". The tribune refused so the now obsolete workers went on strike.

                      It never occurred to them that they had just done the Tribune a favor. They never returned to work there even after about 5 years of picketing and the tribune got rid of now useless workers.
                      Avatar is General Gerard, courtesy of Zouave.

                      Churchill to Chamberlain: you had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.

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                      • #12
                        Those without skills should get some skills. Is holding back society by leeching off it suddenly acceptable?

                        Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                        No, it is not.

                        One maintenance guy can tend a dozen devices, or even more as the technology matures.

                        The infrastructure will not increase because machines require less infrastructure, and they do not pay taxes.

                        Information will remain the same, or decline, because machines do not require an HR department, payroll, etc.

                        Fewer jobs mean fewer jobs.

                        Machines require vastly more infrastructure, I would assume they consume a lot of electricity for example. They need storage. They need spare parts. They require all kinds of things. You need to transport all those things somehow.

                        With information I meant more like data, all kinds of information technology would increase because of automation. HR no one needs because they are worse than lawyers.

                        Of course those jobs go to people who know that stuff.
                        Last edited by Karri; 26 May 16, 13:46.
                        Wisdom is personal

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Karri View Post
                          Machines require vastly more infrastructure, I would assume they consume a lot of electricity for example. They need storage. They need spare parts. They require all kinds of things. You need to transport all those things somehow.

                          With information I meant more like data, all kinds of information technology would increase because of automation. HR no one needs because they are worse than lawyers.

                          Of course those jobs go to people who know that stuff.
                          Someday you must explain your dislike of HR staff.

                          Depends upon the machinery. Yes, they require maintenance, but a lot fewer than you had people working in HR, payroll, first-line supervision, and the like.

                          As to infrastructure, assembly lines with people use electric tools; the machines will draw more power, but on the other hand, you will not need as many lights, climate control will be diminished, you will cut the number of bathrooms drastically and with it water heaters and of course water. Parking lot space will be freed us as machines don't drive cars.

                          Overall, the infrastructure should still decline in favor of the machines.
                          Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                            $50k a year? WTF? That is more than nearly all my officers make.

                            All that would do would be to move inflation to the point that $50k a year amounts to welfare status.
                            You have a very valid point (and your 100% correct) but what else can we do? What are we to do with all these jobless people?

                            Remember, we are basically down to a service based economy. Fast food and retail make up a big portion of new jobs created. When they go, there's nothing left.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                              Historically you are right, but this sort of thing leaves a pool of people who likely have no inclination towards other lines of work.

                              When the industrial revolution rolled over the individual craftsman there were still jobs on the new assembly lines to go to.

                              But technology isn't just changing jobs, it is eliminating them. A thousand factory workers, HR people, and payroll experts laid off because of automation can be retrained, but as what?

                              And as unskilled labor becomes ore and more devalued, then what?

                              Before the nature of work changed, but the pool of jobs were there. Now it seems that the jobs disappear and there are no new jobs to replace them, at least jobs that provide the same degree of pay and benefits.
                              What happened to all the flint knappers when bronze arrived? All the hand loom weavers etc ? Where have the millions of agricultural labourers from the time when farming was only 10% as productive as it is today gone? Where have the millions of people who used to be maids, footmen, cooks, gamekeepers, ostlers, coachmen. valets etc etc gone? Change happens.
                              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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