LAS VEGAS (AP) — On a recent evening in Las Vegas during the CES technology show, robot strippers offered a window into technology’s gender fault lines — not to mention our robot future (view photos in gallery).
From a distance, the mechanical humanoids on a strip-club stage looked something like real dancers in robot drag. But close up, they were clearly mannequins with surveillance-camera heads and abstractly sculpted feminine chests, buttocks and backs, shimmying and thrusting their boxy plastic hips.
A Korean tech giant on Thursday announced new robots that take aim squarely at the jobs of many services industry workers around the globe.
There have long been predictions that advances in artificial intelligence and automation could end up eliminating millions of jobs over time, and tech companies have been testing robots to carry out a variety of tasks — from working in a pizza parlor to making deliveries that could greatly affect the services industry in the future.
For its part, South Korean giant LG Electronics is the latest company that is planning to sell robots to solve tasks currently completed by humans.
In my last column, I speculated about things that might go wrong in 2018, ranging from a hacker-inspired collapse of the power grid to a bitcoin depression. I hope I’m wrong about all of it. But in keeping with the optimistic spirit of the New Year, here are some things that might go right in 2018. Let’s hope that I’m not wrong about these.
CEOs dreaming of replacing their whiny, vacation-taking, sick-day-using human employees with a sleek fleet of never-complaining robots powered by artificial intelligence are going to be disappointed to learn AI is far behind the evolution of human development.
“The public thinks we know how to do far more than we do now,” Raymond Perrault, a scientist at SRI International, told the New York Times.
Artificial intelligence may be smart enough to learn the game of chess or fliphamburgers in a fast-food restaurant. But when it comes to common sense and decision-making skills, AI is way below the bar compared to adult human beings.
Will it be possible for humans and robots to procreate? Could bots see the demise of female humans? And what about pedophiles – should they be given child sex dolls? RT went to the Love and Sex Robots Conference to find out.
The problem is less about jobs disappearing than about the automation of particular tasks that are part of our jobs. In most cases, employers can’t simply fire a human, plug in a robot, and accomplish all the same things at the same or better performance level but lower cost. You have to zoom in closer and look at the tasks that each job entails, and ask which of them can be automated. The roughneck jobs in the oilfield are a good example: The Iron Roughneck doesn’t replace all workers on the rig, just some of them.
So when McKinsey says that 23% of US “current work activity hours” will be automated by 2030, that’s not the same as saying 23% of jobs. The shift will affect almost all jobs to some degree. That 23% figure is their “midpoint” scenario, too. In the “rapid” scenario it’s 44% of US current work activity hours that will be handed over to machines.
In other words, whatever your job is, some part of it will likely get automated in the next decade or so. That might be good news if the machines can take on the repetitive drudgery that you don’t enjoy. Automation could free you to do things that are more interesting to you and more valuable to your employer. But outcomes are going to vary widely… More.
Reality check: The single biggest problem isn’t that people won’t have jobs. Mom’s basement may not be a bad place to live rent-free, with food, beer, and pot vouchers, also free internet and health care. No, the problem is that ambitious surplus people will become local PC enforcers — raising hell with the people that machines can’t just replace, on any pretext they have all the time in the world to dream up…
Things are moving fast, and according to experts who study the potential fallout of driverless trucking on the economy, the imminent arrival of autonomous commercial vehicles on Canadian roads will entirely eclipse the impact of electric-powered trucks.