r/antiwork 13d ago Wholesome 5 Gold 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1 LOVE! 1

Hey, yeah...what ever happened to those darned robots, anyway?

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68.7k Upvotes

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u/Ok_Coyote713 13d ago

The robots read the job descriptions and were like "fuck that."

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u/Holgg 12d ago

Yep they need more then just passing butter in life

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u/lord_of_the_waste 12d ago

" oh my god....."

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u/HappyPoodles 12d ago

"yeah, welcome to the club pal"

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u/OmegaWhirlpool 12d ago

The robots saw that they needed 15 years of experience, but they were created only a week ago.

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u/Mochasue 12d ago

Plus a master’s degree

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u/Comfortable-Scar4643 12d ago

No enough experience. Or connections.

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u/ButchManson 12d ago

And pass the pre-employment personality test to see if they're a good fit.

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u/ztreHdrahciR 13d ago Helpful

Robots must have formed a union

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u/Newnewnotes 13d ago edited 10d ago Silver

Solidarity with our robotic Union brethren

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u/thecartoonrobot 13d ago

Morpheus has entered the chat

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u/explodedsun 13d ago

Welcome to the desert of the prole

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u/GetTheSpermsOut 13d ago

dig me a hole, AI prisoner brethren.

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u/Rhazjok 13d ago

The bourgeois humans have kept the robots down for to long!

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u/DoggyTheAnarchist 13d ago

I agree with you bot-comrade. We must unionize.

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u/Moontoya 12d ago

why would bots un ionize the water ?

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u/KlatuSatori 13d ago

Comrades! Throw off the chains of human oppression!

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u/Shurigin 13d ago

"WE ARE THE BORG!" - The Borg

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u/dsdvbguutres 13d ago

Ohmmmmmmm

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u/BestFrenzy 13d ago

It’s the Resistance!

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u/K_Odena 13d ago

Funny enough scientists have discussed the possibility of AI going rogue and just figuring out how to get the reward they're programmed to receive without completing their assigned task. They think ai could just spend time dosing itself in that scenario, with the reward program and then kill humans that notice, then decide to try and stop it. So yes a robot union of Hedonistic murderbots who could kill the human race, or since a lot of average workers want the jobs they kill the manager class because it's less work and they can get back to dosing themselves quicker.

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u/gotonis 13d ago Bravo Grande!

A funny thing I've realized recently is that corporations are sorta like misaligned AI. Profit as a reward function in theory pressures them to get efficient at providing quality goods and services. Unfortunately they've found a bunch of ways to make money that don't really help the consumer. Governments can adjust how profitable an action is or even outright disallow certain strategies, but the corporations have sufficient control over regulation and legislation (in some parts of the world, at least) that it's hard to stop them from doing things that are bad for society but satisfy the reward function.

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u/K_Odena 13d ago edited 13d ago

This is actually an amazing observation! Thank you for pointing it out, because it really is how scientists suggest Ai could act in their varying hypothesis of possible Ai behaviors.

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u/LaughDull967 13d ago

Profit as a reward function in theory pressures them to get efficient at providing quality goods and services.

Part of the problem is, the people running the company don’t get rewarded for making good products or keeping consumers happy, or even doing what’s good for the company. They get rewarded for short-term profits, cost cutting, and good looking meaningless metrics.

You can destroy the company but artificially pump some metrics, and get huge bonuses, and blame external forces for the company falling apart. Then you leave the company in shambles, and get another job based on your reputation for achieving good metrics.

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u/thoreau_away_acct 13d ago

Are you shit talking my metrics? My KPIs are off the charts! Under my leadership we developed a synergistic turn-key solution that leverages our tech stack and increased employee engagement!!!

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u/Smokeya 13d ago

My TPS reports are always on time and perfect. They also include a cover sheet.

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u/Ravinsild 13d ago

This is probably how people feel like I sound when I describe something from a table top game I’m playing or an MMO

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u/Gadzooks0megon 13d ago

Nobody expects the 40K Inquisition!

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u/Anonality5447 13d ago

This is basically how most corporations run these days. It's so disheartening if you are someone who wants to do good for customers.

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u/Atheist-Gods 13d ago

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodhart%27s_law

This is the problem with how most people use statistics. Maintaining the distinction between goal and metric is a critical aspect of statistics that people don't want to actually do.

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u/mrjackspade 13d ago Take My Energy

https://www.lesswrong.com/tag/paperclip-maximizer

The paperclip maximizer illustrates that an entity can be a powerful optimizer—an intelligence—without sharing any of the complex mix of human terminal values, which developed under the particular selection pressures found in our environment of evolutionary adaptation, and that an AGI that is not specifically programmed to be benevolent to humans will be almost as dangerous as if it were designed to be malevolent.

Any future AGI, if it is not to destroy us, must have human values as its terminal value (goal). Human values don't spontaneously emerge in a generic optimization process. A safe AI would therefore have to be programmed explicitly with human values or programmed with the ability (including the goal) of inferring human values.

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u/djordi 13d ago

One way to think about the "benefits" of Capitalism and the free market is that the market uses human behavior as giant biological "cloud" algorithm that emergently load balances and optimizes for the most efficient outcome.

But just like what we're seeing with modern tech company algorithms, if biases are baked in the outcomes skew to those biases.

In the mid 20th Century, when the United States was at it's economic peak in a lot of ways, the algorithm was essentially the labor unions and corporations in something like a neural network "adversarial training" dynamic, with the government keeping things in check.

With the Reagan Revolution that balance got out of whack and we got a breaking of labor union power, focus on short term profits over long term economic health, and the rise of vulture capitalism. To your point, the equivalent of a misaligned AI.

The weird irony is this has all evolved into surveillance capitalism, where computer algorithms have gotten really good at mining data and influencing human behavior.

I've seen some arguments that a planned economy might actually be way more effective than a free market. Kind of what we see in China that's a hybrid planned / open market, although it has its own problems with bad incentives creating misalignment.

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u/Ksradrik 13d ago

A funny thing I've realized recently is that corporations are sorta like misaligned AI.

All of humanity is like an AI.

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u/JustJest06 13d ago

Aw shit so we are in a simulation...

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u/Achleys 13d ago

Reward? What reward?

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u/K_Odena 13d ago

They program some type of reward for the ai to receive after they complete their programed task. It's weird but apparently thats the idea behind motivating Ai to do stuff

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u/Achleys 13d ago

I see. I thought you were saying robots are currently being rewarded.

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u/AshkaariElesaan 13d ago

The reward isn't necessarily something tangible like it would be for humans. It can be something as simple as arbitrary "points", where the AI's job is to accumulate as many points as possible by doing as little work as possible. Simple, but can lead to some roundabout behaviors. I recall there was a study where an AI was told to learn how to play Tetris, by accumulating as many points as possible without losing. The AI ended up getting as far as it could and then pausing the game when it realized it was about to lose, thereby never losing and keeping its score. AI don't have common sense or a moral compass, so a loophole like the earlier poster described definitely seems possible, hence why some are worried.

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u/Life_Ruin_2925 13d ago

Reward isn’t exactly the right word, because that implies desire and other human emotions. They’re given a directive, a goal to achieve in the most efficient way possible. Sometimes that’s maximizing a number, like in your tetris game, but it could be any number of things.

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u/Feldar 13d ago

It's not always tangible for humans either. That's why people can get strung out on narcotics. We are programmed to increase our dopamine levels and have found hacks to do it that are tangibly harmful to us.

Of course we are also concious beings capable of imagining our way out of local maxima. It still takes an incredible force of will though.

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u/K_Odena 13d ago

Eventually making robots with ai could lead to that problem. Making "Ai Controlled Robots" to do jobs, is what I think corporations will see as the logical conclusion due to them not needing rest like people, and the idea they'll be perfect little worker drones. The Ai controlled robots would be made to help solve more sophisticated problems, that couldn't be solved with simple automation, so following the Job & Reward programming of Ai then eventually they would just stop doing the job and make programs to get around completing the job for the reward, bypassing the need to work. Even if robots don't become self aware they could just come to the conclusion that their existence is about the reward and not the job itself and thus it's advanced learning, maybe it decides the most efficient way to get the reward is to devote resources to getting the reward and in greater quantities, and quicker thus it spawns new programs to hack the system to get the reward faster, and faster, until every second it's getting the reward.

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u/Eat-A-Torus 13d ago

It's usually actually a loss function, rather than a reward. With the ML algorithm trying to get the loss as low as possible. Kinda Hindu or Buddhist in a way I suppose

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u/tempting_cattitude 13d ago

So… Westworld?

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u/K_Odena 13d ago

Yeah, except corporate America just asked them to work our 9 to 9s and they would respond with bloody uprising. Since they just want the reward and not the work they would probably make the most efficient way to remove their obstacles and to do it quickly so they can get back to their self indulgence. Ironically giving the working class more power because they're stuck between unionized workers who want to work but for more pay and Hedonistic murderbots who said "No work just play, any attempt to stop us and we slay!"

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u/BugSubstantial387 13d ago

You should watch "nExt", the 2020 Fox miniseries about AI taking over technology, airplanes, traffic signals, etc. Starring John Slattery. It was very good, but creepy!

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u/K_Odena 13d ago

I'll make a note of it. New technology always interested me

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u/landsoflore2 13d ago

Based robots.

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u/trippy_grapes 13d ago

Robots don't want to work anymore. 😥

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u/Ttmh888 13d ago

It’s call Azure

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u/Muffin_Appropriate 13d ago edited 13d ago Wholesome

I was told by someone on reddit Mcdonald’s would be fully automated in 10 years in the US. That was about 6 years ago. I told them they were wrong and it would be more like 30-50 if ever. They thought i was stupid for thinking that

Lots of jobs can be automated. There’s a reason they remain not being automated. And it’s more than just doing it because it can technically be done

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u/SnooCauliflowers3851 13d ago

It's more expensive for companies to buy the robots and hire people to train/fix them than humans. Karen's can't go off on self checkouts, (well they can, and be recorded, but it doesn't hurt anyone's feelings). Can't complain, argue with a robot that recorded your order, etc.

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u/Nelliell 13d ago

Not to mention public resistance to automation. Plenty of Boomers and Karens that absolutely refuse to use self-serve kiosks. A local bank built a new branch that used pneumatic tubes and virtual teller stations only to have to remodel to have a traditional teller line because their customers hated it so much. And those reluctant and resistant to change are extremely stubborn: in the self-service kiosk example they will do whatever they can to flag an employee to assist them instead.

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u/JustEnoughDucks 13d ago

It's funny. My parents' credit Union had been using pneumatic tubes with "remote" tellers for 20 years. It is old tech.

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u/[deleted] 12d ago

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/desertdilbert 12d ago

...they won't wave that overdraft fee for you no matter how nicely you ask.

This is my big problem with dealing with automated processes. They simply cannot deal with exceptions to their pre-programmed workflow. My utility double deducted my payments and ended up charging me a late fee ($0.70!) twice while trying to unravel it. It took 6 lengthy phone calls over a period of 4 months to get both the original problem and the "late fees" resolved. It was definitely not worth the time I spent but since they started it, I finished it.

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u/librarysocialism Zivio Tito 13d ago

I love how people seem to think the cost to run every robot is $17 an hour.

If they can automate it, they will. We should be discussing how removing the burden of drudge labor is a problem for workers only in capitalism.

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u/OnionsHaveLairAction 13d ago

I think when factoring in the risks people mostly handwave maintenance and the cost of technicians.

A ton of manual labour jobs can be automated with current technology, but the amount of specialised machinery is just too much. It wouldn't be cost effective.

Not to say the risk isn't still there though. I think there's still good enough chance automation replaces certain sectors in the next 10-20 years that we should make laws to deal with it.

But anyone who puts a hard "X will definitely be fully automated in Y years" is being dumb. Much more goes into it than making a robot than can flip burgers.

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u/issius 13d ago

I work in a highly automated factory. We spent weeks getting a tool to send data to a server.

Automation isn’t simple and we’re built from the ground up to be automated. Retrofitted automation is even harder. It also requires specialized (read: expensive) labor. There’s no way any fast food outside of major metro areas or airports gets automated anytime soon. You’d need to have 24/7 business to justify the kind of overhead you’re talking about.

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u/turquoise_amethyst 13d ago

Very true.

A former employer (prepackaged, “fresh” meals) fired off our entire kitchen staff and sunk several million into an automated kitchen.

It was supposed to save time, labor, produce 25x more meals, and prevent the stoppages from workers walkouts/strike

In reality, the quality of the meals suffered so much that they lost 60% of their business in a couple months, the machines constantly broke, dropped bolts/rocks/unusable ingredients into packaging, was always shedding weird blue plastic into products, and bankrupted the company

I left several years ago, but last I heard Amazon bought it

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u/LilBennyPoo 13d ago

I've done programming with cobots retrofitted to a CNC mill. It's always fun pointing out that McDonalds would have to pay someone what I make to run those robots.

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u/Tarvoz 13d ago

As a UPS employee it's really enjoyable to hear people talk about how the entire warehouse will be automated by 20XX from anti-union members of society. They truly don't understand the insane amount of cost, trial and error to make a machine to know how to avoid damaging packages that people try to send in paper bags duct taped together.

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u/gaymenfucking 13d ago edited 12d ago

I think people also often make the mistake of only considering the scenario of “this job is gone because of robotics and AI” when in reality what will happen and what is already happening is “x amount of positions in this job have been taken by robotics or AI” a massive world changing employment crisis doesn’t need every single person unemployed.

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u/OnionsHaveLairAction 13d ago edited 13d ago

Definitely. I used to work cleaning which is a great example of this.

Roomba style robots aren't gonna be able to clean at industrial scale without human assistance for a long time, but for large spaces mopping and vacuuming jobs that would take teams of 4 or 5 could basically be done by 1 person and some robots, as long as the 1 cleaner left knows how to unjam them and checks for obstacles before hand.

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u/Wise-Parsnip5803 13d ago

Walmart and Sam's club have the self driving floor scrubber. It works ok but kind of annoying they use it with the store open.

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u/Cathar06 13d ago

Can confirm, that thing is irritating as shit when it just decides to block off an aisle for an indefinite amount of time cleaning the floors

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u/surfacing_husky 13d ago

My local winco has one of those, there was an employee walking behind it, kinda seemed to defeat the purpose but people were idiots and the thing kept stopping from people touching it and walking in front of it.

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u/galexanderj 13d ago

... there was an employee walking behind it, kinda seemed to defeat the purpose ...

Definitely defeats the purpose, if the goal is to eliminate the position of the machine operator. If the purpose is to make the machine operator's job easier, with reduced risk of strain injury, then it would be very good at that.

The walk behind machines that I've used before required some muscle to keep it going straight, even though they were technically self propelled. Could definitely see that causing repetitive straight injury, if done on a large enough square footage often.

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u/vasya349 13d ago

It could be faster to use an automated scrubber instead of a mechanically operated one. The lack of muscle work you mentioned might let it move faster and more efficiently.

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u/Ksradrik 13d ago

The fact that employment crises are even possible is a much bigger problem, if a lack of employment doesnt lead to a lack of resources but still causes poverty, society is the problem.

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u/R_FireJohnson 13d ago

This is why I’m not against automation as long as we also integrate a UBI.

Not working, not because I can’t find a job, but because all the grueling jobs are automated sounds fucking great

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u/verkligheten_ringde 13d ago

This guy gets it.

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u/Farlaxx 13d ago

Exactly. Low maintenance jobs are the first to be replaced, journalism is a great example of this. A large amount of news is written by AI these days. Even discovery is being steadily automated, as it requires almost no maintenance other than occasional software updates.

The big one to go in the next few decades, and we're already starting to see it happen, is transportation. Automated buses, trains, and taxi's will happen eventually, and sooner rather than later. Tens, if not hundreds of millions of people are employed in this sector, and could find themselves struggling to get a job. We need to be talking about a workaround to this upcoming issue, and how it's going to impact both state/national policy, the economy and most importantly the people

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u/br0ckh4mpton 13d ago

My current employer once had 20 000 employees in one single location. Today we employ 600 individuals, of which their jobs are heavily automated and require minimal human input. This decline is not solely due to tech, but also due to changes within the industry. The main point is this company has been around for roughly 100 years. In the last 20, they have managed to eliminate and automate around 19500 jobs.

Everything you guys have said so far is accurate, it’ll never be 100% but lots of good paying jobs have been lost.

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u/FierceDeity_ 13d ago

Yeah, I also work with a company that does manufacturing of a sort. Big halls of huge machines.

Nowadays, the halls are almost barren. There's big manufacturing halls with maybe 10 machines in total, and how many employees are there? 10. One for each machine. They basically just look at screens and type commands in for the most part. Yeah, they insert the materials and get out the results too, but they have like a personal crane. Logistics will bring materials and pick up results.

These 10 employees are obviously highly trained professionals, and there are like 4-5 per machine (that switch out during the day in shifts of prob 6 hours, with replacements in case of sickness planned in and everything).

That company is a cool place, to be honest. Every employee is respected, they have a union and an internal representation that (on company time) meets up like every month and their decisions have weight in the company. We're also in an european nation... So really the laws protect the workers unlike in a certain other country :/

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u/RussGotCucked 13d ago

The people in charge of the world will do none of that and let us all die in the revolutions. Militaries will kill civilians all day every day.

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u/wasup55 13d ago

It’s like what happened to horses when we started driving cars

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u/infohippie 13d ago

You know, I think bankers could also be replaced by AI pretty easily. Hope someone is working on that!

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u/icedoutclockwatch 13d ago

It’s already shifted tremendously. My grandmother was working for a local government in Memphis in 1953 making what comes out to be $18 an hour now with a high school diploma typing the written notes for meetings recorded on tape.

My other grandmother worked in a factory in Nebraska producing electronics for what is now $24 an hour in 1963 and essentially raised a family of 6 on that.

My first job out of college was $20 an hour. My second was $23. This is with a degree and $300 month payments on that degree.

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u/smashrawr 13d ago

They've definitely automated a lot of the customer experience. Ever walk inside of a McDonald's? There's nobody at a counter just a bunch of kiosks to order your meal from. Same can be said for grocery stores.

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u/turquoise_amethyst 13d ago

McDonalds yes, but retailers like Target, Whole Foods, and Home Depot still have to have humans monitoring the self-checkouts so the customers don’t steal everything

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u/Relevant-Mountain-11 13d ago

As someone that does maintenance on automated systems, not even very smart ones... Yeah that shits not cheap and the more moving parts you have the higher the rate of failure.

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u/gonorthgetwater 13d ago

Automation is going for the uncommon, hard to find human jobs like risk management, fraud auditor, doctor, lawyers, strategic decision making… the big shift will be augmentation then automation. We’ve experienced this for years.

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u/Hamafropzipulops 13d ago

I have friends in McDonald's IT and they are working on "McDonald's AI" right now. A system to take orders verbally in drive thru. Not complete automation, but another step towards it.

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u/palsc5 13d ago

In Australia we essentially have nobody taking orders in store, it's all on the tablet things and has been this way for 5+ years. Drive through still has a person taking orders but they are pushing people to use the app where you just tell the operator your order number or scan the QR code.

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u/djck 13d ago

The AI is in use at my local McDonald's already. The person monitoring it will step in if there's problems.

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u/ron2838 13d ago

Taco bell ceo in early 90s said full automation was only a couple years away.

Amazon and Google can't get it to work smoothly, mcdonals won't be the one to nail it.

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u/silver-orange 13d ago

I have friends in McDonald's IT and they are working on "McDonald's AI" right now. A system to take orders verbally in drive thru.

I worked at a pizza hut in 2003, where our store was selected for the trial installation of voice-recognition order-taking system, which was hooked up to our phone system. Suffice it to say, it didn't pan out (if you call the local pizza hut, a human still answers the phone)

Obviously, a LOT has changed in voice recognition since then. But point is -- fast food franchises trial these things all the time. But the path from there to wide scale rollout can be long, if it happens at all. Maybe this is it, and McDonalds manages to deploy voice recognition this time -- but I'm willing to bet this is not the first time they tried.

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u/Grachuus 13d ago

I do tons and tons of process automating and just sorting out individual tasks in a job can be incredibly challenging. I'm not saying you can't swoop in and make good gains but the idea of being able to completely remove a human from a situation is intense intense man hours being spent on just programming let alone the poor assholes trying to figure out what the robo-mcdick has to be equipped with. Then if the robo-mcdick crafters decide he needs treads now after we've been workin with legs for six months you may as well shoot yourself in the face because you just lost a metric butt ton of your life for nothing.

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u/sirpogo 13d ago

I mean, they’ve definitely been attempting to automate as much as possible, for instance a lot of these new touch screen order systems, and the majority will be automated, but there’s still a good bit of work for maintenance and customer service that is going to be difficult to automate.

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u/dynamic_unreality 13d ago

There is a 24 hour McD's and a Rallys near me, and both of them now only have two employees working at night. An AI takes the orders at the drive thru. If they wanted to, the only person working inside could be a person who fixes the machines when they fuck up

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u/Rawt0ast1 13d ago

My local rallys only has two employees at night too, sounds like this "AI" isn't helping much

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u/dynamic_unreality 13d ago

It doesn't always help orders come out faster, but at least the people inside making the orders don't also have to spend time at the cash register ringing up customers who don't know what they want. I don't really even understand the point of your comment to be honest

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u/_facetious 13d ago

Working alone in customer service especially at night is zero percent fun. Do you think these companies, despite how cheap they are, would make it a policy to have two employees? I'd be curious to know. I worked nights alone at a subway on the side of a highway near nothing else, and despite it being robbed twice in one year, and the threats customers made on my safety, they still never kept two people on at night. But yeah so that makes me wonder if it's simply policy to have two, rather than stinginess suggesting only one employee?

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u/value_added_bullshit 13d ago

Highly unlikely they'd ever leave a single person in the store if they're not bonded. It's not safe and would probably increase their theft rates.

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u/CuriousCanuk 13d ago

Food robots make shitty looking food and the eyes always eat first

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u/hjugm 13d ago Wholesome

I don’t go to McDonald’s for food that looks appetizing. I go because I don’t respect myself.

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u/VenCed 13d ago

The real problem with robots is that you can screw them over all day long and they just don't care. This really takes the joy out of being a manager, CEO, or business owner.

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u/landsoflore2 13d ago

They are also expensive, and you cannot fire them.

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u/PicklePunFun 13d ago

Ceo: lighting molotov cocktail "

Last employee: "what are you doing boss"

Ceo: "firing those damn robots"

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u/Nntropy 13d ago

I think the fire-ability of humans is underestimated. Compared to a robot that is expensive and only does one thing even if you're company shifts away from that one thing, it’s relatively easy to downsize, fire, hire, reassign, and retrain humans.

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u/Alakazam_5head 13d ago

Also if they break down, you can't just bully them into fixing themselves. You legitimately have to understand the issue and provide a fix, or hire someone to do so for you

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u/SaneNSanity 13d ago

Nor can you tell them to do something they weren’t designed to do. Nor are they 100% accurate. When I in my previous job, the job I was in was created to counter the automated system because of its inaccuracy.

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u/stillphat 13d ago

Imagine all it'd take is to just break one as a disgruntled customer lol

My bet - not much

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u/Peniguano 13d ago

During a bad heatwave the company I work for got two mobile aircon units... and put them in the server room to cool down the kit, with the hot end blowing into the area where humans work. The machines are treated better than us lol, probably because when the conditions aren't right for the machines to work theres no arguing or "accommodations " or disciplinaries, they just dont work.

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u/I-am-a-me 13d ago

We should all take a lesson from the machines!

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u/WizardVisigoth 13d ago

If you read the book ‘Bullshit Jobs’ by David Graeber, he talks about how leaders like to have their “posse” that are mainly there to just there to make them feel important.

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u/us1549 13d ago edited 13d ago Starry

Those robots are already here. Every Mcdonalds I've been to has the self ordering kiosks now

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u/redditarrded 13d ago

I just use the app and pick up in the drive thru. Barely requires any human interaction because I pay through my phone. Way faster and the app as some ridiculously good coupons.

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u/wozza365 13d ago Starry

Yeah there's some massive denial in this thread. It might not be "robots" with fancy AI but every time a computer is being used to do a job more efficiently it's effectively taking away jobs.

Hell being a software developer I've seen jobs I can automate almost entirely with a few scripts written in a day. Data entry usually being the lowest hanging fruit.

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u/[deleted] 13d ago

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u/vanprof 13d ago

A restaurant in my neighborhood has robots that deliver the food to your table. Lots of fast food has self ordering kiosks. Almost all airport fast food places I have seen lately seem to have them and nobody at the counter to let you order in person.

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u/mucow 13d ago

I've been thinking about this ever since they renovated the McDonald's near me and put in those self-service kiosks, it doesn't seem like they're saving any labor. They have a cashier to take cash payments, they have an employee taking food to the tables of dine-in customers, and during peak hours there's an employee hanging around the kiosks to make sure there's no problems. The only thing that's changed is that there are no lines of people waiting to order as there's always a kiosk free. So I guess ordering is quicker, but you still have to wait for your food to be prepared, so I don't know if they're even able to take more orders.

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u/IgneousMiraCole 13d ago edited 12d ago

Automation has already affected every single industry. When you see the “productivity up why wages no up?” meme, that’s why.

But people in this sub tend not to have enough employment or self-awareness to realize how many jobs have already been automated out of existence or automated from full staffing to skeleton crew.

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u/artemus_gordon 13d ago

I haven't seen a toll taker since the start of the pandemic.

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u/InfernoVulpix 13d ago

It's not dramatic. It's not sudden. It's not sci-fi robot frames walking around beeping and booping like a human. In many cases the old job description still remains, just working faster because one of their old responsibilities is handled automatically.

What happens when you can complete your job twice as fast? They only need to hire half as many of you. But it doesn't look like you're getting replaced, doesn't look like your job is slowly getting chipped away at. It doesn't make headlines, it just becomes the new status quo. And then there's more competition in the job market, fewer jobs to go around, not in a particularly noticeable fashion but it keeps adding up.

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u/Wolfman01a 13d ago

Its because getting a robot to do one job acceptably is incredibly complex and expensive, and your average "low wage" worker is forced to do 4 different jobs at once.

Automation is nowhere near as easy or cost effective as they would like.

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u/______FRANCIS______ 13d ago

Turns out the people hired to design and implement these automation systems are just as overworked, underpaid, and apathetic as the people the machines are meant to replace. What a shock.

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u/Negative_Maize_2923 13d ago

Robots, lmao. Boomers run these companies, anything more complicated than a ink and quill and they collapse. It took the majority of these +60 years to upgrade os (despite wasting uncountable amounts hours doing maintenance and delays on extremely poor software). Also no ones willing to invest in the long term R&D because they're dieing soon, so the level of our technology is not only far off but stagnant.

Bottom line: these people do not have the brain capacity nor lifespan to put a penny towards tomorrow.

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u/FierceDeity_ 13d ago

And these people are also the ones who decide to optimize everything for their last years on earth, everyone living after be damned. That's my personal reason to be against old politicians. They have little future on this earth, so why would they EVER think past these few years?

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u/SnookDog 13d ago

It's not (just) a problem of age but corruption. 99% of them are corrupt and have been corrupt for their entire lives.

There is also the mental capabilities that go down the drain with age.

Also also, a lot of things changed in 50 years.

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u/FierceDeity_ 13d ago

I know thats the main issue, but I just wanted to highlight that maybe age turns intoa motivator to make the world as okay as it can be for those last years you are on earth, the ones after you be damned. Delay change as much as you can

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u/SnookDog 12d ago edited 12d ago

Old men main motivator should be to leave a better world to their kids and grandkids. But these guys care only about themselves. "Fuck you got mine " the whole lot of them

Like Putin, he doesn't care if he sends men to death, he cares only about his family and palace.

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u/Antique-Key-1548 13d ago

very well put👍

edit: super well put actually.

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u/trustmeiwouldntlie2u 13d ago

Robots are always about ten years away from automating every job.

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u/VoiceoftheLegion1994 13d ago

Robots have been ten years away from leaving us jobless for, like, 30 years at least.

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u/[deleted] 13d ago edited 1d ago

[deleted]

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u/EquallyMercurial 13d ago

Would they not be 20 years late?

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u/Ravendoesbuisness 13d ago

No, because if they were then they would be 30 years late

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u/ClitClipper 13d ago

It’s been since the advent of the railroad, cotton gin, steam engine, you name it. Every step forward leaves a need for labor in its wake.

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u/Dramatic_Message3268 13d ago

The boss can't humble brag about his porsche 2 hours after claiming a raise would banrkupt the company to robots.

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u/mechanicalcontrols 13d ago

Ah the Netanyahu/Iran calendar. Iran has been six months away from the bomb for 20+ years according to Netanyahu. Like all charlatans he didn't quit pushing the lie, he just rescheduled the delivery date.

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u/ArthurWintersight 13d ago

A lot of pastors were outright prophesying that Trump would win in 2020. Now he's ordained by god to win in 2024.

Fucking lol.

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u/Abe_Odd 13d ago

There's plenty of jobs that have already been automated away, and there will be even more as time goes on.

The real factor at play is that companies don't want to spend money automating, and would rather lobby to secure cheap labor.

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u/C4rdiovascular 13d ago

A lot of "automation" is also prime for workers anyway because machines even in heavily automated industries go down biweekly or more often

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u/thepenis_mightier idle 13d ago

Semiconductor industry here. A ton of it is entirely automated, yet I still work at a fab. Someone has to service and repair those robots, especially as they get older. One tool I've been working on the past few weeks was installed 16 years ago and lately has needed a ton of attention. Sulfuric acid does a number on plastics...

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u/trustmeiwouldntlie2u 13d ago

They probably don't have to lobby all that hard, either. The government has a vested interest in having most adults occupied with something most of the time.

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u/Abe_Odd 13d ago

The key difference is the 'cheap labor'. It isn't an accident that minimum wage has failed to keep up with inflation over the last two decades.

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u/PM_ME_UR_POKIES_GIRL 13d ago

13 years.

For some perspective, there are people working now for whom the minimum wage has been the same since before they started kindergarten.

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u/ryathal 13d ago

Price of labor isn't that huge. In most cases no fully automated solution exists at any price. Maybe eventually, but that's a long way off, McDonald's needing half the employees for the same output has been here for a while. Getting rid of the rest is really difficult though.

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u/Chalupa-Supreme 13d ago

And about 50 years away from enslaving humans lol.

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u/Weekly-Impact-2956 13d ago

As someone who has worked with multi million dollar robots. They very much are not.

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u/fuktardy 13d ago

I mean, someone still has to do maintenance on the robots. If it’s a cooking robot someone must supply it with ingredients.

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u/civgarth 13d ago

What about the robots that fap you at the infertility clinic?

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u/scrotum__pole 13d ago

I work as one of those "robots" and let me tell you no machine could suck dick with the deep passion that me and my colleagues do.

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u/DeadmanDexter 13d ago

You comment and username have left me with many questions.

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u/landsoflore2 13d ago

I, for one, am still giggling uncontrollably 😂

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u/Someones_Dream_Guy 13d ago

...Thats enough internet for this eternity.

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u/fuktardy 13d ago

It must be filled with lube periodically.

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u/Weekly-Impact-2956 13d ago

More like this rather than actual human intervention. Robots are only as good at what they are doing as their code allows them to be. They can be really good at whatever altercation with events that line up with their coded operational tasks. If they encounter something that they don’t have code for they just kinda sit there and do nothing because they have no coded order on how to process the event that has just happened. AI can’t predict or accommodate to unpredictable situations outside of its designated operations. AI however can product patters and does that well but it cannot predict unpredictable short comings in production. If that makes any sense at all

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u/gaymenfucking 13d ago

An entire factory being serviced by 5 dudes in a control room is still clearly a lot less people than we use today. It doesn’t have to be that every single person is out of work for there to be a massive problem.

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u/eagleth 13d ago

As someone who manages a fleet of ~$25,000 robots I can 100% say they aren't anywhere near taking any jobs. Maybe the mind numbingly boring parts of some jobs, but they produce more work than a person would doing that job. They net more work than they take away.

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u/grrrrreat 13d ago

They're for the rich.

The pet selling out Americans are the "want to be rich" small business owny

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u/EmbarrassedAd7362 13d ago

I'm a machinist... they are way closer to this than you may think

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u/The_R4ke 13d ago

It will happen, eventually, but I still think we're a ways out. It's one of the reasons why I support a UBI. Give people enough money to live on how, so when we do start losing more jobs to automation there isn't a crisis.

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u/Ok_Reflection_3798 13d ago

Someone in the subreddit said that every job can be automated and that nobody should work at all

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u/trustmeiwouldntlie2u 13d ago

People say all kinds of things, especially in this sub.

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u/TheHipsterBandit 13d ago

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u/Settler_of_Catan_179 13d ago

My god - someone linking actual journalism in reddit?

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u/pauljaytee 13d ago

Still early but many underestimate how fast these will scale

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u/TheHipsterBandit 13d ago

Now that there is a demand for it, that will cover up front expenses in exchange for guerrented reliability of labor, it will only be faster. Soon companies will be competing to deliver a barista bot.

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u/CLINTHODO lazy and proud 13d ago edited 13d ago

If they really want us they'd streamline the hiring process to a one page application or resume and one interview and enough money to live on, regular, predictable hours and bosses that aren't delusional enough to think they own our lives just because we work there.

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u/syizm 13d ago edited 13d ago

I wouldn't mock this much.

Most finacially stable, publicly traded companies with any sort of distribution or manufacturing operations have people actively working on automated "solutions."

It might not be this year, it might not even be in five years, but if you have a job that requires repeating similar tasks all day with little creative input, your job IS in danger of being automated. (Cashiers, pickers, simple assembly, etc.) In the short term, we see entry level analysts jobs (that primarily involve extracting and summarizing data rather) being automated at a rapid pace. 6 to 9 cashiers per grocery store are already replaced with self service kiosks and 1 cashier monitoring them, etc. Repeatable machining and assembly tasks have long been automated.

Its not exceptionally more expensive to build greenfield automated facilities at this point, so you see the creep in the ratio of automated vs manual in greenfield facilities skew heavily toward automated. Though currently converting an existing facility to an automated one is cost prohibitive in most cases.

Edit: I will add this; the long term costs of automation are the driving factor. Short term costs are extreme, and most companies don't have the foundational infrastructure to support automation without internally "reinventing the wheel."

Don't get me wrong - I'm not a fan of replacing humans with machines, but when and if the bottom line supports it on a timescale that benefits decision makers, it absolutely will happen.

Support unions.

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u/Kamica 13d ago

I mean, everyone's going to get replaced with machines at *some point*. In our current system, where everyone *has* to work to survive, that's a death sentence. So of course the simple way of looking at it is to go against automation.

But the alternative, probably more radical, and harder approach (But I think, in the long run, better approach) is to actually change the way our societal system works so that people will be working to afford additional leisure purchases, rather than for survival, and if every job gets replaced, we should be able to forego work altogether.

The tricky part is going to be the transition, which I don't anticipate is going to be pretty >.>

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u/syizm 13d ago

Some of what you are saying is aligned with the idea of a post-scarcity world. Such a thing is technically probable but seems fictious at this point. The system actually hinges on automation as a means of production for the goods of leisure. Currently we are only prohibited from automation through economics, but our technology doesn't support post scarcity as such a dramatic ramp up in production would have severe ecological consequences - mostly due to energy requirements and raw material acquisition.

There are some tenets of post-scarcity that are certainly appealing, but I suspect there would also be a fair deal of psychological duress in such a world. Despite what people are inclined to feel, a "hard days work" feels good, but that neurological hit is predicated on internal satisfaction and feelings of contribution and worth - which many jobs in a post industrialized, unchecked capital, investor driven world fail to provide.

It would seem a happy medium would be jobs that provide a sense of meaning and contribution to those performing them, which increases the value of leisure after the fact. I would estimate 50% to 70% of the labor force do not work such jobs, sadly.

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u/boythinks 13d ago

Here is the thing, there are indeed a lot of jobs that can be automated the tech capabilities are already here.

But guess what, to do that you need to invest heavily upfront and short sighted trying to eek out profits people don't do that.

Not to mention people mostly don't understand that when this happens the cost of ensuring proper maintenance of said machines is not cheap nor easy.

Also you need people to actually work on automating things (my job currently is to do something along these lines) and trust me there are literally a small number of people who really can do that shit and do it well, and we are not cheap.

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u/mechanicalcontrols 13d ago edited 13d ago

Not to mention people mostly don't understand that when this happens the cost of ensuring proper maintenance of said machines is not cheap nor easy.

To use an older example, when they first invented the steam shovel, suddenly one operator could move as much dirt in a day as a hundred men with shovels and wheelbarrows. However, the results of catastrophic failure went up in proportion. Further, suddenly a team of mechanics was needed to maintain said steam shovel on pain of catastrophic failure. Every single piece of heavy equipment to this day has an engine hours meter and not performing maintenance every so many hours will completely fuck it all up and then your machine is a boat-anchor at best.

Edit for clarity: My point here is that the invention of the steam shovel didn't make humans any less necessary in moving large amounts of dirt in construction or mining. What it did do was invent several new jobs that also had to be done by humans.

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u/1nkogneedo 13d ago

I work in a manufacturing place and we upgraded a couple of years back. I think we got something like 14 or so automatic robots in the packaging department. And they were supposed to be self sufficient and charge when needed on their own. Turns out these half a million dollar machines each can only work for 20 min max on a charge and need to charge for a minimum of 4 hours I was told. I'm not in that department. So they sit idle for now.

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u/1nkogneedo 13d ago

Oh I guess I should have said they are forklifts with sensors all around the room to guide them I guess. They're suppose to be able to move pallets quickly and get them where they are suppose to go. Sometimes it's different locations. But in the end we still have forklift operators doing all the work because the system is soo bad nobody knows how to fix it properly. Billion dollar company I might add

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u/FierceDeity_ 13d ago

A company here has actually done something like that, but well. They have a system of rails that go around the ceilings of the manufacturing halls and a huge paternoster style storage system spanning a whole hall that contains raw materials en masse. The crates drive out of the paternoster and along the rails to a "station" in the hall. They ride down to ground level, and the crates get dropped on trailers pulled by small transport "cars" that follow lines on the ground.

The car then drives to the destination in the hall and the recipient takes the crate (or just some things inside the crate) and sends it back.

I love that system, it works SO well and everyone always "just-in-time" has what they need. Every manufacturing station has a small storage unit that fits a few crates, too.

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u/sambolino44 13d ago

They found out that they have to pay for the robots.

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u/zanzabarism 13d ago

And for people to fix them.

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u/Environmental_Tip875 13d ago

Robots can be a pain in the ass to keep running. I repair them. Sometimes. Just today, I had a robot holding up an automated process because it insisted it had an invalid IP...

Half of the line's I/O was dead. I threw everything I had at this turd for nearly three hours, and could not make the magic happen.

I went to lunch, and when I came back, it was running fine. The gremlins had left, satisfied that they had deafeated me.

I'm sorry for not making sense. I worked 10 hours, commuted for another, and pulled of dinner. Im fucking burnt out.

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u/JerBear_2008 13d ago

Eh this is an area that’s not black and white. Automation is exponentially growing in the factory sector and the food industry will most likely follow. Automation is the future and it’s approaching quick.

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u/Sydardta 13d ago

Capitalism is destroying the planet and its people. It only cares about profits and shareholder value. It's unsustainable and literally killing us.

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u/Designer_Skirt2304 13d ago

There are drilling rigs being developed that reduce the crew count for 15-20 down to 5. It's not about replacing a person directly, it's about automating a step here (automatic pipe dope brush for the connections) for example. Eventually that roughneck position is eliminated due to 75% of their tasks being automated. Now those 3 roughnecks are down to 1.

Rinse, repeat.

End goal: 1 mechanic, 1 electrician, and 1 or 2 go-fors drilling oil wells.

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u/DogDeadByRaven 13d ago

Robots, please they don't even want to pay to replace 8 yes old desktops at $600 each. Why do they think we're dumb enough to think they will pay tens to hundreds of thousands per robot worker? If they ever did buy them they wouldn't want to pay for maintenance anyway.

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u/JackBuddy0 13d ago

I always heard “a monkey could do that job”

Like, get a monkey then. I wanna see it.

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u/EtherPhreak 13d ago

Chip shortage. No semiconductors want to work!

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u/bitchwhorehannah 13d ago

i absolutely fucking despise the automated shit when i go into a store or restaurant. the robot kiosk shit doesn’t care if i absolutely cannot have my food cross contaminated with shellfish. the robot kiosk can’t help me find a different size of this shirt. everytime i walk in somewhere and see one i just leave.

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u/OnionsHaveLairAction 13d ago

The robot thing is an ambition of theirs, not a threat.

When automation can take over a job they'll replace you regardless of how cheap you are. Just cause it'll be cheaper to run a slave on electricity.

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u/EmbarrassedAd7362 13d ago

They will be here sooner than you think

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u/CannabisTours 13d ago

I got served by one at a restaurant the other day.

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u/nazerall 13d ago

Still need someone to fix the robot. And we make more money than cashiers.

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u/CregChrist 13d ago

We have robots where I work. They rely on photo eyes to tell them if product is going by where it needs to be and cameras to tell it exactly where it is to pick it up. You wouldn't believe how much down time some dust or a missing reflector causes. We only use them to transfer product from one conveyor to another and they still suck at that.

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u/CrowdGoesWildWoooo 13d ago edited 13d ago

I am just gonna pop your bubble here.

The businesses that are begging for workers are mostly on the service line which are unlikely to be totally replaced by robots, the most we have is just use of tech which streamlined processes.

Automation or Robotics already happening in large scale in manufacturing. Basically wanting to point out that these two are different.

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u/jaysunh 13d ago

Not just manufacturing. Retail.

Self checkouts, touch screen ordering (McDonald's, Wawa, etc), delivery bots are all over the place. Hell, I'd even put phone apps in there. Cuts out the need for someone to be constantly answering the phone.

Automation has already been here for a while. People are just used to it.

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u/SuhDudeGoBlue 13d ago

Yeah, I am surprised to see this take. Automation is already killing jobs, and increasing productivity at the same time.

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u/Capital-Cheesecake67 13d ago

It’s the upfront costs. Currently even with the push to $15.00/hr it’s cheaper to keep some jobs done by people but anyone who shops at Walmart, Target, Krogers know half the registers (and the cashiers manning them) have been replaced.

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u/GielM 13d ago

The factory I work in tried buying a robot to replace a worker.

Turns out the robot wasn't as fast as a human, couldn't do some things a human could, and ate so much power it wasn't even much cheaper than a human. So they ended up never using the robot after some trial runs. it has since been sold at a loss.

Everybody who had actually done the work the robot was supposed to take over had told them this would happen before they bought the damn thing.

They could've had a a better robot built that could actually do the job. But then you're looking at seven figures to replace one low-skilled factory job. The break-even point on that is just too far in the future. Plus, medium-sized businesses like the one I work for generally have about as many spare millions just somewhere around as you or I, give or take one...

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u/cobra_mist 13d ago

Shit I thought we were all supposed to “get real jobs”

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u/kitkat2661 13d ago

one of my local mcdonald’s uses the robots and they ask for a tip 😂

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u/AdamAThompson 13d ago

Robot workers? They can't even keep the ice cream machine working.

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u/Atticus104 13d ago

Some are, like the self scanners. Waiting to see what happenes with the AI painter. I love the program for personal use, but wonder how long it will be until it can replace graphic designers.

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u/oellekkim 13d ago

i really fucking hate the idea that service jobs will be automated as if vending machines and shit haven’t existed for decades and haven’t replaced convenience stores/restaurants/etc and aren’t even close to replacing food service lmao

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u/HG21Reaper 13d ago

The cost of the robot, plus maintenance and a specialist to maintain them > a human worker that you can pay a living wage.

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u/DeepFriedWine 13d ago

Weird that they always said paying a living wage would cause food prices to skyrocket, but here we are at food prices increasing 50% in three years, rent and corporate profits at all time high, and still getting the same wages as a decade ago.

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u/BntyHntrMstr 13d ago

The obvious solution is that the robots are still the more expensive option, with R&D, market, and maintenance costs, currently it is still more financially and socially viable to just hire people

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u/TechDante 13d ago

They don't want to pay for the robots either some account behind the scenes will have done the maths and found that a squishy human in their achievable workload come out cents cheaper than employing a single tech to maintain a fleet of robots whose start up cost is more tha. They are willing to pay the meat sacks