Will robots take all jobs?

No. From Rebel:

Dashing the dreams of science fiction, if we want to explore planets outside our solar system, we will likely need such equipment.

More generally, though, if anyone supposes that the robot is doing the research, well, they may as well say that, in an everyday lab, the researcher’s sterile gloves are doing the research.

Research belongs to the world of ideas, and robots belong to the world of things we create in order to develop our ideas. More.

Reality check: There are laws of conservation of information as there are of matter and energy. In the latter case, that is why there is no perpetual motion machine. There is also no perpetual idea machine.

That said, many white collar jobs that not-especially talented people used to get can be and are being automated. Think title searching and medical dicta, for example.

Not how to  keep the peace between deadly enemy property owners or explain to a patient why cancer treatment is or isn’t worthwhile in a given case.

So, to understand the campus Asshat Rebellion, we need to ask ourselves, who would hire these people and for what? If the answer is, nobody except someone who needs to unleash trouble, well … get ready to be blamed, just for existing and seeming productive.

See also: What kind of jobs will the junior jackboots get when they graduate from We’ll Fix U?

  • I want a robot that makes dinner.

    • simus1

      For kibbeh press 1,
      For kebab press 2
      For halabi, press 3
      For waraq, press 4
      For inab, press 5
      For hummus, press 6
      For tabbouleh, press 7
      For fattoush, press 8
      For labneh, press 9
      For shawarma, press 10
      For mujaddara, press 11
      For shanklish, press 12
      For bastirma, press 13
      For sujuk and baklava press 14

      For baba ganoush please call support for extra recipes programming charges

    • FactsWillOut

      We call those “women.”

    • Jay Currie

      My suspicion is that Kathy already has one.

  • canminuteman

    For most of human history, most humans were little more than machines. A story in the paper the other day was about the last coal mine in England closing down putting 450 people out of work. The story said that at its peek in the 1920’s IIRC there were about 2500 coal mines and 1.1 million coal miners in Britain (several of who would have been my ancestors). Of course some of those people would have been engineers and geologists, managers and tradesmen, but the vast majority of those people were nothing more than beasts of burden. It would be the same in farming, forestry and manufacturing. Most people were little more than machines.

    I work in a skilled trade where I have to use my brain. I troubleshoot and repair complex electromechanical systems. My livelihood is likely secure through the rest of my days, but with the newer systems coming on line there will even be a lot fewer of me. The modern systems are self diagnosing plug and play systems that as long as you can read the book and understand the pictures you will be able to repair.

    What the future hold is anybodies guess but we have become good enough at most of the things that have kept us fed from the beginning of time that we don’t need most humans to meet human needs any more. I suspect that we will have very violent civil or international war and it will destroy all our complex systems and kill enough people that it will set civilization back 100 years (think the road warrior) and we will start rebuilding.

    • Dana Garcia

      I can’t help thinking that half the population is below average. The factory jobs that used to employ people in Ferguson etc are long gone to machines, and we see how that works, or doesn’t.

      • FactsWillOut

        Oh, so they burned businesses and so on because they’re unemployed?
        Do you too work for Obama?

    • tom_billesley

      Most of the manual labour was phased out post-WW2 with the introduction of mechanized coal faces. In recent years deep mining hasn’t been able to compete on price with imported coal from open-cast mines and also the deep mine coal has a higher sulphur content which isn’t preferred for power production with regulated emissions.

    • El Martyachi


  • Dana Garcia

    Here’s a recent job-snatcher, er, charming workplace helper. This can’t be any worse than a slot machine, right? I don’t think a robot bartender will ever work, because so much of bar behavior is social, but not so much for games of chance — simply insert money, sucker.


    • FactsWillOut

      VLT’s and slot machines took my job.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Shitty jobs, yeah.

  • FactsWillOut

    I still use travel agents.
    I don’t buy burgers from burger machines.
    I have yet to see a robot install a window or door in the rain, or fix a leaky pipe, or change a flat.
    This is basically Luddite bullshit.

    • canminuteman

      One of the next jobs to disappear will be truck driver. More men are employed in the US as truck drivers than in any other job. It is not Luddite shit at all. It is reality. Every increase in productivity puts someone out of work. Some of those people will go on and find other productive things to do. Some won’t. Farming used to employ a big percentage of the population, now it doesn’t. Manufacturing used to employ a big chunk of the population. Now it doesn’t. They are never coming back. We have always had people building and fixing and we always will, but even they are becoming so efficient that we need fewer of them. My old house is built of hand nailed planks with plaster and lathe walls, and hand made plaster crown moldings. Now we use mass produced roof trusses, power nailers and drywall, and a subdivision of thousands of houses can be built in a few months.

      I would like to think I am a Luddite, but I honestly do not see where the future growth in employment will come from. In the last few decades the only grown we have seen is in government.

      • FactsWillOut

        Make it yourself.
        Make stills, booze, grow tobacco, etc.
        Oh shit, that’s all illegal.
        Must be the robots.

        • canminuteman

          That is one possible outcome. A guy called Alvin Toeffler wrote a book back in the 70’s called “Future Shock”. He predicted that there would be very little “work” in the future and we would develop a “prosumtion” economy. Because we are not working for other people we would have more free time and as a result we would start doing things for ourselves, that we previously paid people to do. It was a lot easier to have this type of economy in the past. Most people lived on farms and had the resources at hand to look after most of their own needs. That’s hard to do if you live in a condo, or someone else’s basement. It is a possible outcome, but we would have to find a way to share work. I am a tradesman who gets paid by the hour. Over the course of a year I average more than 50 hours a week, while in a forty hour a week position. My employer would rather pay me obscene amounts of money to work OT than hire a few more people. It’s currently like this for everyone I know. They either work crazy hours, or not at all.

          • FactsWillOut

            I’m happy to hear you’re familiar with Toffler.
            It is government regulations that make it more cost effective for your employer to pay you big bucks rather than hire another guy. CPP, EI, etc, not to mention all the “accident insurance” crap nowadays. Now, we need a gov’t ticket to climb a ladder, fall arrest crap, sling beer, etc. We are becoming a nation of spineless faggots, where 8 year old girls in India do work that would be illegal for grown men here. The government is the enemy of the people, and the enemy of wealth.

  • FactsWillOut

    Perpetual motion machines are impossible due to the laws of thermodynamics, the 2nd law, to be specific, not the conservation of energy laws. Also, there is no conservation of matter law. Also, conservation of information has to do with reversibility, and is also refferred to as unitarity, and has nothing to do with “ideas”.
    Pseudo-science BS.

  • Backa Bock

    It is a formal proof that a machine that can answer almost everything is artificially intelligent. There is no proof that a general learning machine cannot exist. There’s no reason why a machine can’t think like a person. Rat brains are already *fully* simulated inside computers. What that means is up to you, but what happens when a machine is as smart as a parrot, then a monkey, then a human? Perhaps a Star Trek economy is our destiny.

    • FactsWillOut

      Still, nothing can make coffee, egg on toast and sweep my floors in my slob home.

    • Brian Jones

      At first I misread your last sentence and thought you were referencing the Toronto Star. Clearly I was mistaken, but it sure would explain a lot if it turned out all the lousy reporting in our society these days was being done by computers that weren’t able to pass the Turing Test, but were able to parrot nonsense talking points.