Humans Need Not Apply

(Jeff C) #1

This is an excellent albeit scary video 15 minutes in length that highlights the inevitable automation of practically everything. It raises some interesting questions for me. First, if things happen the way the video says it will, what will humans perceive as valuable. Value is given to those things that are hard to get so if manufacturing, 3d Printing etc make things easier to get, where will the value shift?

Also, in 50% unemployment, who will have the cash to buy these new, automatically manufactured things? Anywho, interesting video that opened my eyes on a possible reality humanity is heading towards.

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(James Huff) #2

I love this video, the horse analogy was terrifyingly eye-opening. “Horses aren’t unemployed now because they got lazy as a species, they’re unemployable. There is little work that a horse can do to pay for its housing and hay, and many bright perfectly capable humans will find themselves the new horse, unemployable through no fault of their own.”

(Jeff C) #3

Please stop scaring me, thank you! I want to have kids, but now I’m afraid they’ll be right in the middle of this. It’s not like it will happen 50 years from now, it’s going on right now, today! So my children might be right in the thick of it. What the heck do you do with 50% of unemployed people thanks to damn robots!?

(James Huff) #4

Likewise, I’ll just add this to the list of reasons for why I don’t have kids. Now that it’s a reality, I guess I’m just more interested in how we will (or will not) cope with it.

(Leland Fiegel) #5

Just had the chance to watch this video in its entirety. I’ve seen arguments for and against this sort of thing, but mostly negative “the robots are stealing our jobs” and “the singularity is coming” type stuff.

I’m personally not phased by it.

What if we didn’t actually have to work to “make money” and live comfortably? What if robots did literally everything for us? Created and maintained/infrastructure? Generated power (for themselves, mostly)? Transported us wherever we wanted to go? Made us food? Diagnosed and treated our illnesses?

It’s obviously way more complicated than this, and not saying this is going to happen any time soon, probably not in my lifetime. Read more about technological utopianism to see future technology is not all about negative/apocalyptic/doomsday type scenarios.

With all that said, we’re not quite there yet. Not even close. For now we’ll just have to deal with self-driving cars probably replacing a good portion taxi drivers and parking lots in the not too distant future. And Roombas.

Not to mention I’m extremely skeptical of the “simulation of creativity” that the narrator seemed to gloss over with a lame example of a robot making some generic-sounding piano music.

Also, I found the constant horse comparisons to be trite, self-deprecating, and insulting. Our value isn’t wholly dependent on rickshaw-style enterprise. We shouldn’t underestimate the power and complexity of our own brains.

Whatever happens, we’ll adapt, and we’ll be fine.

(Neil Murray) #6

It won’t happen - each major economic revolution, the Agricultural Revolution which changed mankind from Hunter Gatherers to Farmers, the Industrial Revolution (Part 1 based on Steam & Part 2 based on Electricity) which changed lots of us from Farmers to Factory or Office Workers, saw massive change over time but no permanent loss of human employment.

People, unlike Horses, have complex & compelling, wants needs and desires which see them pursue a wide range of activities & endeavours, which sometimes, some other people are willing to pay them for.

When technical innovation brings them savings in time & money, they use that saved time & money in pursuit of more wants needs and desires - sometimes in other areas made possible by other technical innovations.


The robot overlords have been busy! robot butlers!