OT: automation and robotics as manufacturing job killers

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Submitted by flu on November 3, 2016 - 12:17pm

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/mexico-tak...

Folks have been saying this for some time now..

A study at Ball State University's Center for Business and Economic Research last year found that trade accounted for just 13 percent of America's lost factory jobs. The vast majority of the lost jobs — 88 percent — were taken by robots and other homegrown factors that reduce factories' need for human labor.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on November 3, 2016 - 1:05pm.

Yep, Get into big data and robots if you want to be in demand.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on November 3, 2016 - 8:42pm.

I should take the exam to get my contractor's license.

I spend all day doing plumbing to relocate a washer/dryer into a large bathroom, European style to reclaim the laundry room.

I think if I hired someone it would have cost me $2,500. I'm really proud of my solder joints. They used to look horrible, but now they are beautiful. No robot can do plumbing.

Submitted by AN on November 3, 2016 - 10:22pm.

It started in the factory, but it won't stop there. I heard McDonald is spending tens of millions in automation to supplement their work force. I feel like this will only accelerate. Once McDonald is successful of going mostly automation, I'm sure other fast food chain will follow. Then other casual dining place will do the same as well. Red Robin is already kind of doing this already.

Submitted by Hobie on November 4, 2016 - 6:27am.

You have heard of the quip, "robots are only one hourly payroll increase away". My bet is the industry is waiting to see who goes first as they will be cutting jobs and become the target of much criticism. The company has to be large enough to endure for a while. This will open the floodgates as the rest will soon follow and there will be a price war among the fast foods to gain consumer confidence. Job loss will become noise at that point and the industry steps forward. All good. Of course, my cynical side says there will have to a new federal training program paid for by big burger for the displaced workers.

Submitted by NotCranky on November 4, 2016 - 7:36am.

FlyerInHi wrote:
I should take the exam to get my contractor's license.

I spend all day doing plumbing to relocate a washer/dryer into a large bathroom, European style to reclaim the laundry room.

I think if I hired someone it would have cost me $2,500. I'm really proud of my solder joints. They used to look horrible, but now they are beautiful. No robot can do plumbing.

There are work history requirements to get the license. When I got mine many years ago I had to supply signed testimonies and a construction related resume.

At first my application was rejected because my history wasn't very well documented. In your favor, owner builder stuff counted if a witness signed. I had a lot of work in all kinds of employment situations, as well as owner builder work , but I think you could pretty much make it up.

Submitted by outtamojo on November 4, 2016 - 8:52am.

Robotic phlebotomy NOT coming to a place near you.
http://skepticalscalpel.blogspot.com/201...
The say humans have a 83% success rate , must be using a population of noobs and interns.
The targeted 90% success rate would rate you as a human terrible by hospital standards.

Submitted by phaster on February 8, 2017 - 10:25pm.

Quote:

Chinese factory replaces 90% of human workers with robots. Production rises by 250%, defects drop by 80%

http://www.zmescience.com/other/economic...

Quote:

A Chinese company is replacing 90% of its workers with robots

Experts predict that one-third of jobs will be replaced by software, robots, and smart machines by 2025 — and it's already started in southern China.

The South China Morning Post recently reported that Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology, a manufacturing company that produces electronics, plans to replace 90% of its 1,800 employees with machines in the near future.

The 200 employees not receiving pink slips will take on a new role — overseeing the robotic workforce.

http://www.businessinsider.com/chinese-c...

w/ trump wanting USA domestic production, I'd say there is going to be an acceleration of robots used in the manufacturing process

Submitted by FlyerInHi on February 8, 2017 - 11:08pm.

Good thing there are a few things I can do.

Coming technology will likely destroy millions of jobs. Is Trump ready?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/...

Submitted by phaster on February 22, 2017 - 9:33pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
Good thing there are a few things I can do.

Coming technology will likely destroy millions of jobs. Is Trump ready?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/coming-technology-will-likely-destroy-millions-of-jobs-is-trump-ready/2017/02/08/db97d8b4-ecb6-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html?utm_term=.8a204b56c8c1

IMHO, trump is only going to accelerate the trend of the have jobs and have nots!

Quote:

Robots Rule at Swiss Factories as Strong Franc and Wages Bite

Faced with an unsinkable franc and among the highest average annual wages in the world, Swiss companies looking to expand face a simple choice: Add robots or leave. Fragrance-maker Firmenich International SA chose robots, spending $60 million in the last three years automating a factory outside Geneva to increase capacity by a third with no added staff. In contrast, pump maker Sulzer AG, is closing a facility outside Winterthur, in the canton of Zurich, to move production elsewhere in Europe, which will cost Switzerland 90 jobs.

Since 2010, global industrial robot sales have risen 16% a year on average, according to the latest figures from the International Federation of Robotics. South Korea has the most as a proportion of overall manufacturing jobs while Germany and Sweden are the leaders in Europe, ahead of the U.S. Switzerland ranks 17th.

Even High Skill Jobs in Jeopardy

That’s going to happen more and more, Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University in Montreal, said during a briefing at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month.

“We are going to see a large number of jobs disappearing or changing significantly,” she said. “Obviously, that’s lower skill jobs initially, but with the increased sensory capacity of many of the algorithms right now, we are going to see even higher-skilled jobs in the future disappearing.”

http://www.industryweek.com/robotics/rob...

Submitted by phaster on May 28, 2017 - 11:04am.

Quote:

Here is a thing we hear approximately every day: The world is changing faster than ever before. Robert Gordon doesn't buy it.

He's an economist who has spent decades studying technological change and economic growth in America. He argues that, contrary to popular belief, the world is not changing faster than ever before. In fact, it's not even changing as fast as it was 100 years ago.

He recently made this argument in a book called The Rise and Fall of American Growth. In the New York Times, Paul Krugman called it a "magisterial combination of deep technological history, vivid portraits of daily life... and careful economic analysis."

On today's show, we talk to Gordon. His argument has profound implications for everything from how the next generation will live to whether robots really are about to take our jobs.

http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/0...

FWIW had a chance to meet to the chair of obama's economic advisors @ UCSD and ask him what thought of a universal basic income as a response to various trends in the market place

mentioned he does not think UBI is a good idea, and after looking in to it my self have to agree w/ his opinion

https://twitter.com/jasonfurman/status/8...

https://qz.com/789889/a-universal-basic-...

Submitted by FlyerInHi on May 29, 2017 - 5:06pm.

Phaster, interesting article... we shall see, but I think UBI is inevitable to drive growth.

If wealth gets concentrated at the top, growth will fall and that's bad for rich people also. Better to have a smaller share of a bigger pie than a big share of a smaller one.

I wonder automation's impact on malls and stores as more business moves online. I would suck to live where the density is not enough to support stores.

Submitted by phaster on June 3, 2017 - 8:55am.

FlyerInHi wrote:
Phaster, interesting article... we shall see, but I think UBI is inevitable to drive growth.

If wealth gets concentrated at the top, growth will fall and that's bad for rich people also. Better to have a smaller share of a bigger pie than a big share of a smaller one.

I wonder automation's impact on malls and stores as more business moves online. I would suck to live where the density is not enough to support stores.

UBI is inevitable, but IMHO won't happen in the USA because of the existing way the "banking" system and the USA fiscal policy system(s) are set up! In other words if a UBI in the USA is implemented, as I read the tea leaves it would somewhat parallel the central command economy of the USSR (which collapsed under its own weight of spending for military and various social programs)

when I talked to obama's economic chair, he mentioned the price tag would be two trillion

so did some checking to verify for my self the figures, and of course everything I looked at verified his statement

UBI most likely will happen in to a greater extent in "small" advanced economies like in DK, NO, NZ and perhaps KSA because those areas have small "educated" homogeneous populations, that have diverse economies and/or a sovereign wealth fund.

FWIW the economist Tyler Cowen who wrote the book "The American Dream and the Complacent Class" stated he use to be in favor of a UBI but realized it isn't a good idea, see the youtube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEW8hx_h3aQ
Tyler Cowen @52:34 to 54:03

and in another lecture Cowen mentions why there is a bi-modal distribution (i.e. an hourglass "economy")

substitution effect (for 1%) >> income effect
in other words upper income people work more... (in general)

for lower income the “income effect” >> “substitution effect”
in other words people work less hours

(at play, there also seems to me to be various "feed back loops" driving the top and bottom ends)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pk654J8-5c

Submitted by mixxalot on June 19, 2017 - 12:30pm.

Agree in fact I am looking to move into the AI and big data space as this is where the jobs are right now with small startups versus large companies. Used to do stuff like Oracle but not much demand anymore for these things.

Submitted by sdduuuude on June 19, 2017 - 3:24pm.

Want to get rid of robots ?
Get rid of minimum wage.

Submitted by sdduuuude on June 19, 2017 - 3:25pm.

and unions.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on June 19, 2017 - 3:33pm.

Nope neither of those will stop AI and Robots.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on June 19, 2017 - 5:15pm.

One day soon there will be a classroom where a bunch of computer science students are sitting down taking their final exam and on the test, will be a question.

“Why computers will never become smarter than humans and take over the world?”

Suddenly one of the students looking at that question jumps up and runs out of the classroom laughing hysterically.

Submitted by carlsbadworker on June 19, 2017 - 4:52pm.

I think some of the comments are short-sighted. Yes, automation and robots are going to kill manufacturing jobs and retail jobs, but so what? That doesn't mean overall jobs are going to decline.

Manufacturing already employs less than 10% of the U.S. workforce and retail is on the way below 10% soon. So when these jobs disappear, just like water, they will just flow elsewhere.

First, funds will be established to educate these unemployed workers. Do you think they will use efficient online education method? Nope, that's hard to monitor and discriminate against low-income American, so I bet they will put more money in traditional classroom styles. So that means more teachers, and more federal and state employees to monitor the spending.

Second, when people are unemployed, they will likely need more health and social assistance, a segment that has quietly grown above 12% of U.S. workforce already, given most are government funded and inefficiently ran.

Last, the resulting income gap and wealth distribution means the current housing inventory is completely disconnected from the real America. People need either more one-bedroom apartments or McMansions near the beach, both of which are not adequately produced yet and that means more construction jobs. Or Trump could simply order to build more infrastructure, and FED can keep printing money to pay for it. And construction has seen absolutely no productivity growth for years, because, after all, there is no Moore's Law for backhoes.

So in summary, when jobs are disappearing from manufacturing and retails, the part of economy that we see huge productivity growth in the past few years, they will just migrate to the unproductive sectors of the economy: education, healthcare, construction and government itself...all of which will just become a much larger percentage of the economy in the next decade. And new jobs will be created there.

Submitted by spdrun on June 19, 2017 - 6:25pm.

The problem with housing isn't lack of ability to build -- it's (local, not Federal) regulations preventing construction of certain types of properties in certain areas. i.e. 1-bedroom apartment towers in SF, beachfront MaMansions.

As far as Trump getting anything done re: infrastructure, his batting average isn't exactly stellar so far. And again, the problem isn't ability, it's regulation. This time by unions that deal with state departments of transportation. Local, not Federal.

Submitted by afx114 on June 19, 2017 - 7:07pm.

Imagine how bummed all the oarators were when the printing press showed up.
Imagine how bummed all the pony express riders were when the telegraph showed up.
Imagine how bummed all the horse breeders were when the horseless carriage showed up.
Same as it ever was.

Submitted by no_such_reality on June 19, 2017 - 7:36pm.

carlsbadworker wrote:
I think some of the comments are short-sighted. Yes, automation and robots are going to kill manufacturing jobs and retail jobs, but so what? That doesn't mean overall jobs are going to decline.

Retail and Manufacturing? Try white collar. Bye-bye 80-90% of those office white collar jobs.

Accounting, bye-bye.
Human Resources, bye-bye.
Tech Support, bye- bye.
Customer Service Positions, bye-bye.
Legal support positions, bye-bye.
R&D, yep, lots of mid and low level stuff going bye-bye. Automation is seriously letting Pharma consolidate R&D staff.
Tax departments, bye-bye.
Medical support, bye-bye (robots already reading x-rays and results).

True creating positions and sales positions will remain, but a lot of the positions doing the grunt work under the creative designers is going out.

Those people may still be employed, they may even still do something similar to related to it, but they'll be in a very different organizational structure likely will be either gigging it or trying a startup.

Submitted by spdrun on June 19, 2017 - 8:20pm.

Accounting: you're kidding. Try presenting a 'puker with a basket of receipts and hand-written notes.
HR: doubt it. Might be reduced, but someone has to physically deal with new hires, interviews, etc.
Tech Support: More is needed now than in 1992. Think about this.
Customer Service: Maybe, but calls that the 'puker can't handle will be passed to a human eventually.
Legal and research support: maybe.
Tax departments: To a point, but someone still has to interact with human judges, officials, etc.
Medical support: Someone still needs to make sure the results make sense. Plus x-rays don't run themselves. Aside from radiation risks, take a mammogram. There's a fine line between adequately compressed and "boob popping like a grape."

Submitted by no_such_reality on June 20, 2017 - 8:37am.

spdrun Bye-bye 80-90% of those office white collar jobs

If it wasn't clear I meant 80-90% of those jobs, not the entire departments. Many of those I've listed I've already done the beginning steps of the automation roll-outs that trimmed their staffs.

Accounting? Expense report receipts? You're kidding, credit card integrated automated expense tracking and reporting through software. If you can't enter your one-off receipts, your department admin maybe will help you if you're a good producer, otherwise your manager's manager is telling them to tell you to pull your head out of your *ss.

HR? Employee self service portals, automated background checks, automated hiring screening that frankly does a better job than any but the most specialized HR recruiter.

And we could talk about the fact the 5 person HR system development team that did all the software updates and stuff is bye-bye replaced by an 3rd party provider, the provider had couple hundred customers our size and basically all of them cut their HRiS development staff, the 3rd party company was like 500 people in total, management, sales, every body.

Right now all those people rolled around and went to the growth field in app development for and internet but IMO, there is massive levels of redundancy being built.

Seriously:

Letgo, Wallapop, Craigslist/Pro, Ebay, Carosell, Decluttr, VarageSale, not to mention Amazon, Ebay and Facebook.

Consolidation is coming. Self service is here. It's about relationships going forward and 80-90% of todays white collar 'grunt' work jobs are all going bye-bye.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on June 21, 2017 - 10:29am.

AN wrote:
It started in the factory, but it won't stop there. I heard McDonald is spending tens of millions in automation to supplement their work force. I feel like this will only accelerate. Once McDonald is successful of going mostly automation, I'm sure other fast food chain will follow. Then other casual dining place will do the same as well. Red Robin is already kind of doing this already.

Restaurants already have the technology for people to order without human intervention, and it can speed up the process and reduce errors. I've ordered Chipotle online in the past. My wife is a big fan of the Starbucks App.

It's interesting and a bit worrisome, because the service industry has been doing ok in recent decades while manufacturing struggled. But except in cases where a real live human is demanded by consumers, service is likely to decline.

On the flip side, a lot of consumers do still avoid self-service check out lanes except as a last resort.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on June 21, 2017 - 10:38am.

no_such_reality wrote:
carlsbadworker wrote:
I think some of the comments are short-sighted. Yes, automation and robots are going to kill manufacturing jobs and retail jobs, but so what? That doesn't mean overall jobs are going to decline.

Retail and Manufacturing? Try white collar. Bye-bye 80-90% of those office white collar jobs.

Accounting, bye-bye.
Human Resources, bye-bye.
Tech Support, bye- bye.
Customer Service Positions, bye-bye.
Legal support positions, bye-bye.
R&D, yep, lots of mid and low level stuff going bye-bye. Automation is seriously letting Pharma consolidate R&D staff.
Tax departments, bye-bye.
Medical support, bye-bye (robots already reading x-rays and results).

True creating positions and sales positions will remain, but a lot of the positions doing the grunt work under the creative designers is going out.

Those people may still be employed, they may even still do something similar to related to it, but they'll be in a very different organizational structure likely will be either gigging it or trying a startup.

What time scale are we talking? 20 years? 30?

In the 3-5 year time frame we're still a long ways off from a lot of your examples. Think of the last time you tried to use a phone menu or website to get something done. Routine transaction? You probably were successful. Anything beyond the 5-10 most typical activities? You probably needed human intervention.

In my company it could be hugely time saving to be able to streamline the purchasing process, but the existing inventory management software is terrible and cost prohibitive if you have tons of different items that are re-ordered infrequently.

As for R&D in pharma, there have been some significant advances in automation for some tasks, but a lot of the data processing software out there frankly is still awful, and right now companies need to invest a lot in their AI to try to make it remotely better. There also are regulations in place for Development that ultimately require a human to take responsibility for data. There's also a fun trend that as it becomes easier to generate more and more data, the FDA starts demanding more and more data in submission packets. Funny how that works, but it keeps me in a job.

I do know that there already is a trend towards eliminating accountants for personal taxes, as for a lot of us TurboTax is more accurate and better. The accountant often just serves as a handholder and in some cases a person to point the finger at if something goes wrong down the line.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on June 21, 2017 - 10:41am.

no_such_reality wrote:

HR? Employee self service portals, automated background checks, automated hiring screening that frankly does a better job than any but the most specialized HR recruiter.

I hate our Employee Self Service Portal so much. Using it wastes a lot of my time at work.

Our automated hiring screener is awful. We've had great candidates whose resumes we only saw because of referrals not make it through the automated screener.

At least right now companies that try to automate these sort of functions end up putting burden on other employees.

Submitted by spdrun on June 21, 2017 - 12:53pm.

Exactly. Someone who got arrested for w33d five years ago might not make it through, but might be brilliant anyway. Such laws are made by and for idiots.

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