Opinion – This is what robots mean for the economy | World Economic Forum – John Gelmini

BigDog robots trot around in the shadow of an ...

BigDog robots trot around in the shadow of an MV-22 Osprey. BigDog is a dynamically stable quadruped robot created in 2005 by Boston Dynamics with Foster Miller, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Harvard University Concord Field Station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf brings us a thoughtful article about robotics and automation which looks into the past for answers but fails to see what is happening now and what is likely to happen in the future.

Robots will replace the need for soldiers on battlefields and dashing fighter pilots in “Top Gun” mode; already Boston Dynamics, a subsidiary of Google, have created a fighting and storming robot, a robot that sniffs explosives, a mule robot and one like a horse that can carry heavy loads and operate in mountainous terrain.

In Japan robots are used as car park attendants, supermarket checkout operatives, care workers, street sweepers, drivers of tractors, lift attendants, hotel receptionists, factory sewing robots making car seats, warehouse picking robots similar to the ones being used by Amazon in its warehouses.

The sheer amount of knowledge is doubling every 3 years, something I was told first-hand by professors at the University of the West of England 18 months ago. Ray Kurzeweil, Google’s Chief Futurist and CTO, says the same thing and that as the rate of increase in new knowledge accelerates we will not be able to keep up.

Thus what Dr Alf did as a younger man, getting a DBA, learning languages and working abroad will not yield the same dividends now as they did then.

Kurzeweil, and people like Elon Musk, envisage the “Singularity” whereby computers will no longer be on our desks, in our phones or on tablets but in our heads. Learning a new skill, languages and other competencies will be a matter of injecting a nanochip with an embedded expert system to “augment” human intelligence.We will therefore have no need of universities, colleges, lecturers, teachers, deans, dons or intellectuals as we now know them.

The model for this was shown to us 15 years earlier in the 1990s with the film the “Matrix” where we saw the hero played by the now 51 year old actor Keanu Reeves being given a “jump programme” inserted into his brain so that he could levitate and leap impossible distances from one building to another.
An American inventor unable to communicate with his new French girlfriend has invented a tiny pea sized translator device which fits unobtrusively into the human ear so that he speaks in English, his girlfriend hears him in French and vice versa.

Essentially all blue collar work and process based work such as law, basic book-keeping, basic accounting, insolvency practice, surgery and probably most basic medical diagnosis will be dealt with by expert systems, either built into robots or as standalone machines coupled with machine learning.
Eric Schmidt of Google put the rate of overall job loss in America at 50% by 2033 whilst speaking at the Grove Hotel in Watford in 2013 to an audience of European world leaders,with Dr Kissinger, Hilary Clinton and our own David Cameron, attending in an “official capacity”. Schmidt repeated these remarks on You Tube a year later.

Oxford University subsequently did a survey of their own and predicted 50% of the world’s jobs would go in 30 years.

The UK and Europe have worse worker productivity than America, so the UK figure could be as high as 75% job losses with Europe not far behind.This takes into account 3D Printing of houses, body parts, car spare parts and other applications currently handled by engineering workshops but not the rate of advance of machine learning or rates of population growth in Africa and the 3rd world which are going to mean even more people chasing fewer jobs.

Assuming no global war, the question then is who is going to choose those people who are going to have their intelligence “augmented” and what happens to everyone else?

Bill Gates suggests taxing robots and perhaps a Universal Income but our politicians are strangely silent about how things will work.

In 2015 at the Interlapen Hotel in Austria the Bilderbergers discussed AI at great length but the details of their minuted discussions were never published, in spite of the BBC being in attendance along with the editors of the Economist, Financial Times, CNN and other global media outlets.

John Gelmini

Opinion: Inequality Is The Defining Issue Of Our Time – Barack Obama via Social Europe Journal -John Gelmini

President Obama is good at making speeches talking about “defining issues” and failing to deliver on his promises.

Dr Alf has already said as much in more measured words than I would tend to use but the issue of widening inequality has arisen from a series of deliberate acts including the banking crisis which have been designed to remove money and assets from 99.9% of the population and transfer them to the tiny plutocracy that remains.

President Obama, those that put him into power, and the heads of Europe and the UK, have all connived to make this happen and to conceal from the vast mass of their respective people what has been done and what is still going on (the process has not stopped and is going to get much worse).

What none of these leaders or the heads of big business will talk about is the rate of job destruction through computerization, robotics(Google has just purchased Boston Dynamics which makes fighting robots for the Pentagon and DARPA), AI call center software, expert systems, speech recognition, automation and the elimination of

Barack Obama, President, talked with David Cam...

Barack Obama, President, talked with David Cameron, Prime Minister, and Angela Merkel, Chancellor, at the 36th G8 summit in Muskoka District Municipality, Ontario Province on June 25, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

blue-collar manufacturing processes.

The pace of this is so fast that even efficiently run Governments and good education systems cannot keep up which leads us to the problem of what to do with the economically impoverished who are now rendered economically useless and what to do about the next generation of young people (the so called Millennials).

So far 2 years worth of Millennials have been largely sidelined and now we have David Cameron talking about the benefits of “volunteering”.

Young people eventually become older people who marry, form relationships, have children and buy houses.

Without money, they cannot do this yet Cameron, Obama and our tired European elite act as if these problems did not exist.

Currently, a “lot of frogs are being boiled” but no-one is prepared to say so or that without changes in policy inequality will widen to the point that Bertrand Russell, a member of the Committee of 300 wrote about and dreamed of, which was that the poor and disenfranchised would become a separate species.

John Gelmini


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