I just read an article in Forbes.com by Bernard Marr, dated July 2, 2018, titled “How Artificial Intelligence Could Kill Capitalism”.
There are many topics I could cover today but I had to call this one out.
I think Mr. Marr covered many bullet points of the coming The Fourth Industrial Revolution. He doesn’t call it as such but the meaning is clear.
He leads the article with “if you believe the hype” which is a way of backhanded way brushing it aside.
He labels the nay-sayers claim “at best, it will lead to rising unemployment and civil unrest and at worst, the eradication of humanity.”
“Advocates are telling us to look forward to a future of leisure and creativity as robots take care of the drudgery and routine.”
I am not an expert on these topics but I think the second point refers more to The Singularity rather than just AI.
When computers overtake humans as the workforce of the future around 2040–2050, many predict there will be a panacea for humans to enjoy. I look at Mr.Ray Kurzweil, Google’s Director of Engineering in my blog post “Choices or Not? The Singularity, Quantum Computing. Mr. Kurzweil is a great intellect and a great read. His website is kurweilai.net.
Mr. Marr states that the ‘third camp is happy to admit the forces of change which are at work are too complicated to predict. For the moment, everything is up in the air.’
This, to me, is a great cop-out.
If we don’t stand up and holler, no one will ever get the message.
As it is no political force or entity has undertaken the responsibility for starting a large-scale discussion on the opportunities of AI.
I believe the first camp, the naysayers, will then prevail.
Benjamin Franklin’s quote applies here “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.
Failing to plan, on the scale of America alone will be disastrous.
Failing to plan on a scale of the ‘free’ world (excluding Russia and China for the sake of this discussion) will be a holocaust.
Since Trump is dismantling the foundations of cooperation and support among ‘free’ nations, the non-American elements will fare better than they would if they were still tied to America’s apron.
They stand a better chance of solving the coming upheaval alone as evidenced by some Scandinavian countries already experimenting with ‘Universal Basic Income’.
Mr. Marr pans basic income because “it’s basic”.
He quotes the author Culum Chace “Artificial Intelligence and the Two Singularities” ‘if all we can do is give people a basic income, we’ve failed, and society probably isn’t saveable.”
A test has to start at the beginning. The beginning is basic. And that’s where Scandinavian countries are starting. (Finland, where the test group is 2,000 unemployed people, the Netherlands, Kenya, Canada).
Also, two US states are taking part in a non-government-sponsored random study sponsored by Y Combinator. This study of 3,000 people is across two states.
The city of Stockton California is the first government-sponsored trial by giving 100 people, $500 per month.
I agree with Mr. Marr that neither the tech industry nor the government are making an effort to address the revolution which is already underway in our country.
He says a concerted and informed effort from governments is necessary and the tech industry is more focused on profits than any motive for getting the change right.
Mr. Chace argues that people “will see these robots driving around taking people’s jobs, and think ‘it won’t be long until they come for mine’ – and then there will be a panic. And panics lead to nasty populist politicians, of the left or right, being elected.”
This has already happened.
‘The Intolerants’ in my blog post are parading as white supremacists and neo-Nazi sympathizers scaring the bejesus out of people.
Most industries have accepted AI and their workforces are already fearful.
Look at the grocery industry.
People recognize that self-checkout lanes are affecting cashiers and how fewer are being employed.
The trucking industry has many tests running and some companies are already using driverless semi-trucks as a way of mitigating the lack of over-the-road truckers to deliver their goods.
Some companies, Uber, Embark, Otto, and Budweiser have embraced the new tech and are running at full steam ahead.
Mr. Chace states that “people aren’t stupid”.
He is right. People are talking. People are putting the puzzle together.
Many are in denial ‘I won’t go to a grocery store that uses self-checkout lanes’.
Some of these people now say “I won’t use self-checkout lanes because it is taking jobs away from people”.
Some people don’t seem to care as evidenced by the increase in the number of self-checkout proliferating in stores.
People are well down the road that Mr. Marr describes.
In America, the energy that would be spent on this issue is now directed to Mr. Trump and his policies.
But the tech revolution is not waiting for them.
They will turn their heads and get whiplash due to the rapid advance of AI technology in almost every aspect of their lives.
Then the ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Gospel of Luke 13:28) will begin in earnest.
The sad thing is at least one year, if not more, will be have been lost, wasted because no one was paying attention to the advance of the ‘machines’.
It may then be too late.
The naysayers will have won. So many jobs lost. So many companies will have accepted the challenges of AI and bent them to apply to their bottom lines.
The first thousands of jobs are already lost. Many more thousands are on the way, just because people thought other things more important.
Greedy, ‘first to the fire’ people have mimicked and even debauched the real purpose of IoT. They have developed all kinds of shiny, new gadgets to capture wild imaginations.
Instead, they could have understood the real benefit of IoT which is IoTh, the Internetof Thinking.
How do we think differently?
How do we apply all the new data?
How do we enable people to think about ways to improve the world?
Can we overcome the advantage the naysayers have gained by being first in line to apply the new, ‘gee whiz’ gadgets of AI?
Can we change the direction of ‘gee whiz’ into a road that will find sustenance for all people physically and intellectually and spiritually?
Somebody has to be the ‘grownup in the room’ so we can be ready for the real biggie, ‘The Singularity’.
The tech revolution aka The Fourth Industrial Revolution
What an amazing story. The video of the control rooms shuddered with hundreds of guys (and I assume women) jumping up and down hugging each other! I will try to post that when it is available. Methane has also been found. Very rudimentary signs of the building blocks of life but astonishing nonetheless.
This artificial nerve doesn’t communicate in 0s and 1s like our computer systems.
The nerve “fires” like a biological nerve. This allows it to “talk” with a body. It talks not just to a body but also with an artificial “brain.” The processes are on a neuro-morphic computer chip that can power the next generation of robots, the bio-robots.
Now, think of the benefits to every person that is wearing a prosthetic device. Some devices already have sensors embedded. But these are not similar to our complex nerve communications.
Our nervous system is extremely complex. In a small piece of skin are thousands of receptors sensitive to pressure, temperature, pain, itchiness, and texture.
How can this be translated to artificial nerves?
The answer from “Kim and colleagues: forget computers, it’s time to go neural.” Using electrical patterns the body understands is the ‘neural code’.
Dr. Chiara Bartolozzi at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova said: “The neural code is at the same time rich and efficient, being an optimal choice to design artificial systems for sensing and perception.”
This is going to be HUGE. Stayed Tuned.
”Robots will be able to Feel Touch with this Artificial Nerve” singularity.com Shelly Fan
Brain Madeaux was missing an enzyme because of a rare disease called Hunter Syndrome.
The cost of medications used to help alleviate some of the damage caused by this disease was between $100,000 and $400,000 per year!
“Sangamo Therapeutics inject Brian with viruses containing a package of gene-editing material. The hope was that these viruses will enter the liver cells, inject the missing gene at the right place in his DNA. Only about 1% of the liver cells need to be fixed and give his liver the ability to produce the enzyme.
It worked! The first gene therapy inside the body worked!
Dr. Lion Shaha from the UCL Institue of Epidemiology and Health said “People’s belief (in what causes cancer) are so important because they have an impact on the lifestyle choices we make. Those with better awareness of proven causes of cancer were more likely not to smoke and to eat more fruits and vegetables.”
The findings of a study published in the European Journal of Cancer showed that of 1,330 people in England more than 40% thought that stress and food additives cause cancer.
Another third of the people believed electromagnetic frequencies cause cancer. 19% thought microwaves ovens did, and 15% said drinking from plastic bottles cause cancer.
“Belief in mythical causes did not mean a person was more likely to have risky lifestyle habits.”
But those with better awareness, 88% selected smoking, 80% selected passive smoking and 60% said sunburn, also made better choices.
Dr. Samuel Smith from the University of Leeds said: “It’s worrying to see so many people endorse risk factors for which there is no convincing evidence.”
He continues “people believing in unproven causes of cancer has increased since the start of the century.”
Perhaps the way we receive and digest information could be a cause.
I have some research that I will share in a future post regarding this because it is very significant in that the results pose enormous ethical questions.
Part of this research grabbed my attention because of the rise of populism and authoritarianism.
I don’t think people embrace otherness because they believe in the fake causes of cancer but that their choice of accepting fake news, in general, leads to this interpretation of the causes of cancer.
Another interesting take would be if the numbers in the US would be similar.
CONNECTION AND CONTENTMENT
My usual post contains information on how technologies are and will be affecting human lives in such areas as jobs and personal satisfaction. I won’t disappoint but I do want to share a longer-term view first.
Pew Research asked experts in a variety of fields to render their opinion on how technology, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT) are going to affect people.
Their answers were broken down into categories: IoT will have a positive impact, IoT will not be positive, and IoT will provide remedies that may mitigate some problems that will arise.
In this article by Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie of the Pew Institute on April 19, 2018, titled “The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World.”
“When the Pew Research Center asked American internet users for their bottom-line judgment about the role of digital technology in their own lives, the vast majority felt it is a good thing.”
Daniel Weitzner of MIT’s Internet Research Policy declared that “the internet is the ultimate connection machine.”
People can gain fulfillment with other people thru internet pursuits for politics, Community affairs, education, science, romance, economic life are areas that the internet connects people. People can gain fulfillment by addressing these areas with other people.
The Pew Research Center then asked experts in several widely varied fields for their judgments on the internet and its effects on peoples’ lives.
“A plurality of experts say digital life will continue to expand people’s boundaries and opportunities in the coming decade and that the world to come will produce more help than harm in people’s lives. Still, nearly a third think that digital life will be harmful to people’s health, mental fitness, and happiness. Most did say there are solutions.”
There is so much to this article I strongly recommend that you read it.
I want to focus on how all the information that people are consumed by and consumed with boils down to ‘Contentment’. Even in St. Paul’s letter to Timothy (1Tim 6:6), he stresses that “godliness with contentment is a great gain.”
I find that it is hard to be happy in this life so I strive for contentment.
That is why I emphasize the Contentment: by Stephen Downes. Mrs. Downes is a senior research officer at the National Research Council Canada.
He commented, “The Internet will help rather than harm people’s well-being because it breaks it breaks down barriers and supports them in their ambitions and objectives.”
He continues with more specific examples. “We see a lot of disruption today caused by this feature, as individuals and companies act out a number of less desirable ambitions and objectives.”
Race, intolerance, greed, and criminality have always lurked beneath the surface, and it is no surprise to see them surface.”
People desire to educate themselves,
People desire to communicate with others,
People desire to share their experiences,
People desire to create networks of enterprise, commerce, and culture. All of these are supported by digital technologies, and while they may not be as visible and disruptive as the less-desireable objectives, they are just as real and far more massive.”
This man seems to have found contentment in that he can verbalize people’s characteristics so eloquently.
Other topics covered in this article:
Commerce, Government, and Society
I am going to write a follow-on article because there are so many areas and the one that I promised to cover- jobs, employment, and the economy- got squeezed out of this foundation article.
A lot of new things in the email today, and a few from recent revelations.
Robots can’t jump like Fleas. Why?
“A New Mathematical Model may help explain why we can’t create (yet) a robot that jumps like a flea” From Neurosciencenews.com April 28, 2018 Source: Duke University
An ant in “a zero-to-60 matchup, the fastest dragster would have little chance”. The ant can reach speeds of more than 140 mph in less than a millisecond to nab its prey.
A hydra is a soft-bodied aquatic creature. It defends itself using the capsules that are located on its tentacles that act like pressurized balloons.
“When trigger they fire a barrage of microscopic spears that briefly accelerate 100 times faster than a bullet.”
Can this new model help scientists create robots that mimic the jaw-dropping characteristics found in nature?
Scientists can look to insects and aquatic life to copy how creatures strike, jump, chomp, and punch.
These creatures or organisms don’t do these things using muscles but rather “spring loaded parts they can cock and release like an archer’s bow”, said Sheila Patek, associate professor of biology at Duke University.
This mini robot was inspired by the anatomy and jumping mechanism of a flea.
“The model allows researchers to test different settings of spring, latch, and motor or muscle parameters to determine the speed, acceleration, and other aspects of performance.
Let’s Tangle with some Atoms
Today on singularityhub.com “Scientists Discover How to Harness the Power of Quantum Spookiness by Entangling Clouds of Atoms.” Robert Young April 27, 2018
Einstein quipped that entanglement’s “spooky at a distance” – one particle in an “entangled pair” affects its twin instantaneously – no matter how far away.
Famously bizarre, these are real effects “that have been seen in laboratories over and over.”
Three European research groups have just managed to entangle not just a pair of these particles, but separate clouds of thousands of atoms- that they can harness.
My today’s lesson in quantum mechanics: “When particles are entangled they share properties in a way that make them dependent on each other, even when they are separated by long distances.
Experiments have shown these properties“exceptionally useful”. A particle in one location can spin and its pair will then spin also (teleportation).
They can also help store a huge amount of information in a given volume (super dense coding).
Another advantage of entanglement is that computers can be linked in different parts of the globe.
In addition to helping to make quantum computing (quantum internet) possible, secure communications (see my post at this link regarding Quantum Computing).
Any attempt to interfere (hack) into a quantum system immediately disrupts the entanglement making it obvious that a message has been tampered with.
They have crafted a system using a satellite to transmit data. If a computer nerd tried to hack into the transmission the transmission is immediately destroyed. Quantum theory states that with Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) a quantum photon cannot be copied perfectly and will leave a trace if disturbed. I have read that if such a ‘hack’ occurs the transmission will be destroyed (although the original document will not be disturbed).
Quantum mechanics is frontier that has been studied and researched since Max Planck and Albert Einstein began the theories that came to make up quantum mechanics, quantum physics, and many other observations to explain what Classical Physics cannot.
Quantum mechanics has led to the race to build the first commercially viable quantum computer (see my post )at deepeducationweb.com). IBM has built one that can operate for 90 microseconds due to the extreme heat that it generates.
The operating temperature for the quantum computer has to be as it is in deep space.
So far we have touched on entangling atoms for data storage, how a pair can react the same way without constraints on the distance of separation, quantum secure communications.
Canadian researchers at the University of Waterloo are designing systems to replace the Arctic radar system that exists today.
They are designing the system to use “quantum illumination” using entangled photons.
Have we seen these events before? Maybe in Star Trek? Gene Roddenberry is becoming more astute every day.
of tiny and IMMENSE
At its IBM Think 2018 conference, IBM unveiled inventions and technologies such as AI, Blockchain, and Quantum Computing.
It smallest computer is 1mm x 1mm which is smaller than a grain of fancy salt and costs less than ten cents to manufacture. This information is courtesy of “The Verge”, March 19, 2018, in an article by Paul Miller @futurepaul
As published on singularityhub.com “A Data Storage Revolution? DNA Can Store New Limitless Data in Almost Zero Space” by Peter H. Diamandis, MD April 26, 2018.
Our voracious appetite for “MORE” is creating a problem of immense proportions.
Immense problems breed IMMENSE COSTS and IMMENSE PROFITS! Last year, $20 billion was spent on new data centers in the US ALONE!
Where to store all of this stuff?
On January 31, 2018, in a report out of Redmond WA, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft stated: “this quarter’s results (Dec 2017) speak to the differentiated value we are delivering to customers across our productivity solutions and as the hybrid cloud provider of choice.”
Yesterday Amazon reported quarterly profits triple of what analysts predicted. Sales reached $51 billion “which is a 43% increase over last year’s first quarter results.” Net Income for the quarter was $1.6 BILLION. These massive increases are attributed to retail business and cloud computing services.
Five days ago Alphabet announced profits increased 84% with a quarterly profit of $9.4 billion.
In this post on The Guardian, the huge increase is attributed to the “clicks and views” of Google ads on its search engine, YouTube etc.
By the end of the decade, projections for 2020 are the addition of 5 BILLION new minds to join the web.
“Memory grade silicon is rarely found pure in nature and researchers predict it will run out by 2040!”
DNA though can theoretically store 215 million gigabytes of data in a single gram of DNA!
I am sorry but this is another of those super technical lessons that would just get mangled under my explanation so I direct you to this link to study at your leisure.
I am safe in predicting that even with its potential for profit and the knowledge it will solve the data storage problem this process will take time.
Moore’s Law, the observation by the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, Gordon Moore.
He postulated that the use of integrated circuits doubles about every two years and that chip performance (David House an executive at Intel) would double every 18 months.
While this prediction has proven accurate for decades the upper limits of the law (an observation not actually a law) are rapidly approaching. Most recently, in 2015 Mr. Moore stated, “I see Moore’s law dying in the next decade or so.” This is the reason for the aggressive push for quantum computers.
So the push is on: quantum computing and computers, increase in storage processes to enable the growth of computing, and increases in security, driven by quantum mechanics.
Soon to arrive on the scene is the storage space required by the exponential growth of computing users and computing devices – DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid.
opened his annual letter “Founders’ Letter” published on Friday, April 27, 2018, by quoting Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
As one of the co-founders of Google in 1998, Mr. Brin remarked how computing power has exploded. At the time things like AI, neural networks were “just a forgotten footnote in computer science”.
While in awe of the monthly leaps in developing computer applications he adds “such powerful tools also bring with them new questions and responsibilities.”
While Google has harnessed computers to translate photographic images, translate 100 languages and power navigation systems in automobiles, diagnose disease and discover new planetary systems it strives to be socially conscious and aware of its responsibilities as a corporate citizen.
Google’s development of applications with the US Military has angered many of its employees who have openly protested this segment of its business and demand the withdrawal of Google’s support for these applications even though they are not offensive in nature.
While heralding the “new spring of artificial intelligence” as the most significant developments he cautions of the “technological renaissance” and the danger artificial intelligence can cause if it is not used with the most humble precautions.
This post ran over 4,000 words so I thought I should break it up. The second part will be posted shortly after the first.
In this post:
> Veterans Interest (at the end)
> Email of the future
> Digital Transformation of Business
> What Do You Mean by AI
Remember the rumors of the last year or so “Email is Dead”? Not so fast! Google has announced AMP for Gmail. Accelerated Mobile Pages will be available through the Gmail Developer Preview. Theoretically, “this new spec will be a powerful way for developers to create more engaging, interactive, and actionable email experiences.” (Google sell sheet). Vijith Assar in Select/All lands with both feet on the announcement. He says it is not needed and if effect, will slow Gmail down. He is not impressed on several fronts. I will leave to all of you to sort out. I am sticking with plain old Gmail that I have used since the dawn of time.
Does it Pay for Business to Spend on the New Technology?
Tim Berners-Lee said (recognize the name? He is the inventor of the World Wide Web) “The future is so much bigger than the past.”
The economies of the world are undergoing deep, deep transformation. Digital technology is changing everything from strategies to processes to marketing. The changes are profound and everlasting. Nothing will be the same. Indeed 47% of jobs in the US will be lost. In the UK the loss will be around 35%. The projection for Japan is up to 50% by 2035.
A point to remember is that jobs will be created. A factor not discussed my in the US is that 48% of people in the US think Universal Basic Income is a good idea!
Finland has put a pilot project into action and Canada and France are working out the details
But that is off-topic for this post. However, as regular readers are aware I strongly encourage people to get more education. What concerns me is the 70% of workers realize that jobs will be affected just not their jobs. Why? Only 30% of people are improving their education to prepare themselves for the coming onslaught.
In my last post on The Singularity and Quantum Computing, I said changes are going to be astronomical especially when quantum computing begins to be used.
Machine Learning will lead the way
In this post, we will examine how machine learning will lead the way until the day comes when quantum computers are available.
A co-founder of Intel, Gordon Moore forecast in 1995 that computing power would double every ten years and cost would decrease at the rate and pace.
We have come to the end of that road. The big question of this post concerns what has occurred in those companies that have aggressively transformed themselves using technology and those that are not so aggressive.
A paper by Marco Iansiti and Karim Lakhani of the Harvard Business School explores what more than a decade of research shows regarding the movers and those that are still thinking about moving to new technologies.
Their empirical observations show what a major opportunity awaits those companies investing in digitizing their business models.
The division of movers and not movers becomes a look at the ‘digital leaders’ and the ‘digital laggards’. Companies, specifically Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are using their expertise in cloud computing and machine learning to develop applications for their platforms so any business can use applications on their platforms to take advantage of the newest tech and transform themselves from laggards to leaders.
Again I got ahead of myself. Drs. Iansiti and Lakhani and associates at the Harvard Business School found the difference in average gross margin for 25% of companies that came to be labeled leaders and laggards.
The three-year-average gross margin for digital laggards was 37% and for digital leaders was 55%! Need I continue?
OK. The three-year-average earnings before taxes were 11% for the laggards and 16% for the leaders. Finally, to really whet your whistle the three-year-average of Net Income was 7% compared to 11%!
Their studies also showed that the digital advantage was not simply in spending more money, “the best-performing companies stated they have technology budgets ON PAR with the digital laggards. So there is more going on than what shows in the first batch of numbers. The same 25% of laggards spent 3.2% of their revenue on IT while the leaders spent 3.5%.
In digital companies, digital leaders approached the digital opportunity with a different mindset. Perhaps the way these companies executed in their operations would have given them a similar advantage even if they hadn’t seized the digital opportunity? I don’t know. But it would not appear to be so.
The main difference which may speak to my question is the digital leaders have consistent up-to-date metrics for decision making and can make the best use of the data they collect.
Managers make decisions. What is changing, dramatically, is the best managers are taking advantage of the new technologies to plan and execute faster and more efficiently.
Many, many years ago I was given the task of installing, training and supporting computerized cash registers in the restaurants I supervised. The question asked by upper management, “Is it worth it?” My answer was the computers would make the good managers better and that the not as good managers would waste the opportunity. Forty years later the same question is being asked.
Another issue is the new products that are coming to market. The new products themselves are taking advantage of the new technologies in ways the laggards will never be able to capture.
I recently read an article that said the newest equipment entering field service today have built-in sensors to report on the performance of the device, any health issue that may be occurring, and what/when preventative maintenance tasks need to be performed. Manager’s time can now be spent planning and executing strategies rather than tracking what machine is due for its next checkup. That sounds more profitable.
Data now being collected aids not only the user of the device but the manufacturer as well.
How to better meet customer’s needs, last longer, run more efficiently to save even more resources. All these are happening NOW!
Companies that are laggards are probably going to be laggards forever, at least until they succumb to the early death of laggards. Not getting with the ‘program’ soon enough.
I remember a project. It seemed like it took years to finish. I had to develop a Bill of Materials for a company I worked for. That was progressive back then but now that company is still mired in old inventory and old sales methods. The progressive attempt at achieving real cost knowledge and cost savings (profits) which would have accrued.
I see that happening so often as I visit businesses that I have supported for years. I do not know what is keeping them from modernizing but surely their days of existence are numbered and death is approaching ever faster.
These companies have great people working for them. I wonder if the employees know the disservice the owners and managers are doing to their careers.
Example of Digital Transformation and a Swift Kick
An example of digital transformation is that Amazon’s website changes every three seconds!
If you are a business owner or if you know one that can benefit from a swift kick to get motivated, please read this Harvard Business Study.
You will be richly rewarded if you heed the opportunities it presents. It is well researched, well written and presents solid opportunities for getting on with the digital lifestyle.
The Same Old Communication Problem – Apples to Oranges
Does AI mean the Same as AI?
“In 2017, artificial intelligence attracted $12 billion of Venture Capital investment. We are only beginning to discover the usefulness of AI applications.” by David Pring-Mill 3/15/2018
David Pring-Mill quotes Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, a Taiwanese venture capitalist and the founding president of Google China “it’s tempting for every entrepreneur to package his company as an AI company, and it’s tempting for every VC to say “I’m an AI investor”.
But Dr. Lee concludes that 2018 will be the year where many of the fakers will be exposed.
David Pring-Mill found an expert in the field of natural language processing, Erik Cambria, who said: “Nobody is doing AI today and everybody is saying that they do AI because it’s a cool and sexy buzzword.”
Mr. Cambria said that much of ‘AI’ is just emulation of human intelligence. “And there is nothing today that is even barely as intelligent as the most stupid human being on Earth!” “No one is doing AI yet, for the simple fact that we don’t know how the human brain works.”
Mr. Cambria continues “Companies are just looking at tricks to create a behavior that looks like intelligence but that is not real intelligence, it’s just a mirror of intelligence.”
I think respectable companies look at scientific integrity regarding the issue of accurate definitions and it is not a matter to be taken lightly. I am afraid though that hype is currently the currency of choice regarding Artificial Intelligence.
The lions of this Fourth Industrial Revolution: Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Vernon Vinge, Ray Kurzweil, Ben Goertzel, Paul Allen, Hartmut Neven, Larry Page disagree among themselves as to what constitutes AI; where will AI lead us; will AI be benevolent or malicious?
So many people of hyper vision, of massive intelligence, of uncommon bravery to speak their minds openly to generate the questions and answers that are essential to the proper growth of AI is exciting to see.
Richard Feynman, during a commencement address at Cal Tech in 1974, said: “The first Principle (of AI) is that you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool”. Later he added, “You should not fool the layman when you are talking as a scientist. Scientists should bend over backward to show how they could be wrong.”
I recommend the booklet I listed below. It is an extremely thorough look at the world using the lens of Artificial Intelligence. So many graphs, so many groups of topics just so many of everything in an easy to read and understand format.
I hijacked the following text from the PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) booklet
“AI, shorthand for artificial intelligence, defines technologies emerging today that can understand, learn, and then act based on the information. Forms of AI in use today include digital assistants, chatbots, and machine learning.
Today, AI works in three ways:
Assisted intelligence, widely available today, improves what people and organziations are already doing. A simple example, prevalent in cars today, is the GPS navigation program that offers direction to drivers and adjusts to road conditions.
Augmented intelligence, emerging today, enables people and organizations to do things they couldn’t otherwise do. For example, the combination of programs that organize cars ride-sharing services enables businesses that could otherwise not exist.
Autonomous intelligence, being developed for the future, establishes machines that act on their own. An example of this will be self-driving vehicles when they come into widespread use.
With a market projected to reach $70 billion by 2020, AI is poised to have a transformative effect on consumer, enterprise, and government markets and around the world.
There are certainly obstacles to overcome, but consumers believe AI has the potential to assist in medical breakthroughs, democratize costly services, elevate poor customer service, and even free up an overburdened workforce.
“Some tech optimists believe AI could create a world where human abilities are amplified as machines help mankind process, analyze, and evaluate the abundance of data that is created in today’s world, allowing humans the spend more time engaged in high-level thinking, creativity, and decision-making.”
I also recommend the article: “Everyone is talking About AI But do they mean the same thing?” by David Pring-Lee.
Mr. Pring-Lee introduces so many topics and attributes so many statements you will find it easier to read the article and take your own notes rather than relying on my version of “Cliff Notes”.
Today’s Blue Moon is the last until 2020. It is also known as the Paschal Moon- for Easter!
Veterans Crisis Line: 800.273.8255 Press 1.
I am maintaining my promise to provide information to veterans regarding information I would have covered in my blog “Lodestarandyou.com” before I melded it into dabblerduckbutts.com.
Paul Szoldra is a US Marine. He describes the history (short and personal) of US Military blogs and how they gained recognition as real spaces for the military member could tell his or her story. “At War” as it came of age in Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, as told by C.J.Chivers, a Marine Corps veteran, and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times. He tells of Teresa Fazio who offered a deeply personal account of a “mortuary affair in Iraq” and Thomas Gibbons-Neff who is now a Pentagon correspondent for The Times. Other writers got their start at Task & Purpose, War on the Rocks and Strategy Bridge.
These stories, written by combat veterans bring a level of credibility that other journalists don’t have.
The Times has relaunched its “renegade” ‘At War’ blog in March 2018. Its new editor Lauren Katzenberg “hopes that At War will inspire more people to share their voices and stories at a time when there is less transparency around wars being carried out in American’s name”. Paul Szoldra March 2018.
His best-known concept is Artilect War. “He predicts that a sizable proportion of humanity will not accept being cyborged and will not permit the risk of human extinction at the hands of advanced cyborgs and artilects.”
Professor de Garis is the author of two books “The Artilect War: Cosmists vs Terrans: A Bitter Controversy Concerning Whether Humanity Should Build Godlike Massively Intelligent Machines” and the other “Multis and Monos: What the Multicultured Can Teach the Monoclultutered Towards the Creation for a Global State.”
The thought just crossed my mind regarding two battles currently being waged in rage by those for populism and nativism vs those that oppose those forces in the US and around the world.
Before going any further we should define the ideas espoused by the proponents of The Singularity.
Vernor Vinge, in a paper for a symposium by NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, categorically states that “within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended.”
This pronouncement is by a retired professor of mathematics and computer science who is also a science fiction writer.
His thinking appears in his paper “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era.”
Professor Vinge states the acceleration of technological progress has been a central feature of this century.
He argues that we are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on earth. This change will be wrought by “entities” with greater human intelligence.
He postulates if we are able to answer the question: if artificial intelligence (AI) can create the human equivalent in a machine in the affirmative “yes, we can” so then there is little doubt that beings more intelligent can be constructed shortly thereafter.”
The Singularity then is the point of no return, technology will overtake humanness.
Another well-known futurist, Ray Kurzweil, is Google’s Director of Engineering.
He claims an 86% accuracy rate relating to his 147 predictions since the 1990s.
He predicts that “2029 is the consistent date I have predicted for when an AI will pass a valid Turing test and therefore achieve human levels of intelligence.”
He continues “I have set 2045 for the ‘Singularity’ which is when we will multiply our effective intelligence a billion-fold by merging with the intelligence we have created.”
Mr. Kurzweil is not alone in his prediction. He is joined by Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son who predicts this will happen by 2047.
Kurzweil believes that process has already begun.
On his site: http://www.kurzweilai.net/, he also discusses Universal Basic Income, the end to human disease, the future of human longevity and so on. It is a clearinghouse for other fascinating articles and predictions.
Mr. Kurzweil proposes his ‘Law of Accelerating Returns’. He believes some of the incredibly fast revelations of the power and might of AI such as Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Neural Networks and so on have already crashed into our psyche.
Additional notable references to The Singularity are made by Peter Rejcek in an article “Can Futurists Predict the Year of The Singularity” March 31, 2017, posted at http://www.singularityhub.com.
He notes that many futurists are restless while waiting for The Singularity to occur.
They see it as a positive event to free us mere mortals so we can dedicate ourselves and our intellect to more high brow tasks than merely working, eating, living as humans.
Even Elon Musk, of the Space X rocket and driverless AI-powered semi-trailer trucks fame, has a strong interest in The Singularity.
Mr. Musk has a company, Open AI, that is dedicated to developing artificial general intelligence (AGI) to ensure the development of AGI is beneficial to humanity. AGI is another term for human-level intelligence.
Another futurist is Ben Goertzel, the chief scientist at financial prediction company ‘AidyiaHoldings‘ and robotics company ‘Hanson Robotics’. Hanson is an advisor to Singularity University.
Hanson Robotics has built the most advanced robot to date (March 2017). Her name is Sophia. She is a media darling starring on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Her press coverage has the potential to reach over ten billion readers. Breathtaking! She even has her own website.
Dr. Hanson believes that three main characteristics have to be developed in intelligent machines namely creativity, empathy and compassion.
He believes that genius machines can evolve to solve the world’s problems that seem to be insurmountable problems to humans.
So we have divergent views of what ‘The Singularity’ will bring.
Will it be creative and compassionate as Dr. Hanson wishes?
Will it be benevolent per Elon Musk?
Will it have the level of human intelligence of Ray Kurzweil?
Or will it be foreboding as Dr. de Garis envisions?
Just maybe The Singularity will not occur by 2045 as Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft asserts. His article “The Singularity Isn’t Near” appeared in the MIT Technology Review.
One of Mr. Allen’s assertations for predicting that the 2045 expected date will fail is that he believes that there will not be enough computing power by 2045. He also believes that software complex enough to calculate the components of the human brain will not be available by then either. This article was written in 2011 but seems as current today as it was then – until last month.
However, enormous progress has been made in quantum computing. This progress has just exploded in the last month or two.
Albert Einstein had trouble with Quantum Computing. “The Nobel Prize Winning physicist declared that the thinking behind quantum mechanics was fundamentally flawed.
Scientists have since proved the theory repeatedly and conclusively.” Jack Nicas October 16, 2017, How Google’s Quantum Computer Changed the World in the Wall Street Journal.
In his article, Jack Nicas interviewed Hartmut Neven, the German computer scientist that led the Google Glasses project.
Jack tried to use a “Cliff Notes” version of the theory of quantum mechanics and I must confess even the simplified version is way over my head.
I think I need a really ‘dumbed down’ version.
My simple explanation, and it may not be correct since it misses so much ‘meat’ is a single atom can be in two locations at the same time.
This, of course, leads to speculation of objects existing in multiple dimensions, or parallel universes.
It would seem that is a pretty secure way to keep something. If someone tries to look in, boom, it vanishes.
The experiment that demonstrated this successfully was between China and Austria. It has led to the thinking of the ‘quantum internet”.
Just last month Intel joined Google and IBM in the race to build the first practical quantum computer by announcing a new 49 qubit neuromorphic chip designed
for computing research. Intel made the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2018.
In an oversimplified explanation of how quantum computers work: regular semiconductors represent information as a series of 1s and 0s. The unit of computing in a quantum computer is a qubit. Qubits can compute as both a 1 and a 0 simultaneously. Two qubits can represent the sequence 1-0, 1-1,0-1,0-0 at the same moment in time. A quantum computer with as little as 50 qubits can pack more computing power than the most powerful supercomputers.
The basis of computing power is found in Moore’s Law. It dictates that computing power per unit would double every 18 months while the price per unit would drop by half.
However, the point has now been reached where the amount of money needed to squeeze out improvements is greater than in the past.
Quantum computing is a way to move past that.
In November 2017 IBM announced it had built a quantum machine that uses 50 qubits. This is a major breakthrough because it represents the critical barrier where quantum computers are believed to accelerate past traditional supercomputers.
A major issue with quantum computing is displayed in the IBM machine.
It can only maintain the quantum computing state for 90 microseconds at a time. These machines must be supercooled to work and a separate set of calculations must be run to correct errors in the original calculations.
Google’s quantum computer is racing to achieve “quantum supremacy” in 2019.
The test needed to pass to achieve this prize is an obscure computational problem that would take a classic computer a billion years to complete.
Success means that this computer will achieve something that even a few years ago would have been thought to be impossible.
This computer will mark the end of the ‘classical age’ of computing.
Hand in hand, the end of the classical age in computing and the beginning of the age of machine intelligence will mark extreme changes.
The next few years will mark advancements in human knowledge that have taken the time since man-made cave paintings to achieve.
When accomplished, the very next few minutes of time will eclipse that sum of knowledge.
Veering off Course
Another Googler, Google co-founder Larry Page has a flying taxi service. It is cleared for takeoff in New Zealand. This all-electric vertical take-off and landing machine has taken flight.
Seemingly a cross between the Delorean of “Back to the Future” meets the hovercraft of “The Jetsons”, Cora is on the move. The comparison is presented in an article by Sherisse Pham of CNN Tech March 13, 2018.
“Cora” the vehicle takes off like a helicopter and transitions to a plane. Cora is self-piloting, can fly at 93 miles per hour and can travel 62 miles.
Fred Reid of the company Kitty Hawk which has its operations in New Zealand boasts of a “pollution-free, emission-free vehicle that flies independently.”
Uber and Airbus are also racing to commercialize flying taxis.
Meanwhile, in China, a company ‘Ehang’ released a video of passengers climbing aboard its autonomous drone and taking off with the push of a button.
As predicted, this year is gonna to a full court press from one end to the other. I thought the title of a basketball movie would be appropriate. The whistle just blew, so let’s get our “Slamma Jamma”
Well, it’s a new morning. I am in a hospital room waiting for breakfast to be delivered. This hospital stay has really wreaked havoc with my blog posts. I have mounds of research for this blog – but it’s at home. In addition, I have written a blog on others subjects but in my blog “minecrjm.blogspot.com“.
Before I continue I must raise the alarm on a few items. Normally I would post them at ‘ minecrjm.blogspot.com but I don’t anticipate posting there for a few days.
1) Jeff Sessions wants to keep out immigrants that are illiterate. I sure wish that rule applied to his forefathers
2) Trump is 6’ 3″ tall. Except that he is not. His previous health records list him at 6’2”. If that is true his weight at this physical would list him as obese. True to form: lie rather than fix
3) His henchmen are doctoring federal reports that list terrorist activities. They are changing ‘homegrown activities to make them appear as if they were from foreign countries they want to keep people out. Almost all terrorist actives in the US have been from homegrown terrorists.
4) Another sign this country is tilting to fear of Trump’s white supremacist henchmen: Psychologists called off a public discussion on the “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”: Reason? The henchmen were making dangerous threats.
5) Not only did two United States Senators lie about the racist vulgar words from Trump, but the newly minted Secretary of Homeland Security joined the chorus during her confirmation hearing. How do we trust these liars? How do other counties? Each other? This is all going to crumble into a pile of smashed breadcrumbs. Croutons anyone?
Money Transfers = Russia
6) Future News: Watch for it! Mueller has found many suspicious money transfers between Russia banks and US entries. Example: former Russian Ambassador to the US was paid $120,000 10 days before the election; a $150,000 transfer was thwarted by bank employees 5 days after the election. KEEP FOLLOWING THE MONEY!
It is morning and I am in my room at Ecumen, a rehab facility. In order to go home, I have to be able to climb 12 stairs. I have 12 stairs at home. I have to prove that I can perform the necessary tasks at home. However, after 5 days in a hospital bed, my muscles really have lost a great deal of strength. I agreed with the hospital therapist that I should spend a few days at a rehab center before attempting a full-blown home challenge.
Deep Education Web
Back to my post.
I am going to experiment with shorter posts using ‘bullet’ headlines. There is just so much going on and can’t give each topic the time it deserves but I want to make sure you have the most information possible.
Elon Musk had a fabulous 2017. His Tesla 3 production is still suffering but Space X proved the concept that reusable rockets do work. He also had a slammin’ opening to his driverless semi. UPS ordered 145 of them the day after his show. He also built a huge battery in Australia.
Another Prediction Coming True!
China is surpassing the US. It is ahead of us in trust among nations the US fell from first place in the first year of Trump. Surprised? Germany is now #1.
China has the most advanced quantum technology. It perfected the ability to encrypt and send useful signals over far greater distances than thought possible.
The current use of strings of numbers to transmit bank accounts info, secret databases etc. are brittle and easy to crack by skilled hackers.
Jian-Wei Pan a researcher at the University of Science and Technology of China States ” Historically, every advance in cryptography has been defeated by advances in cracking technology. Quantum key distribution ends this battle.”
Quantum keys, used for opening encrypted files, are encoded in the physical state of quantum particles. This means that they are protected not only by the limits of computers but the laws of physics.”
While we can encrypt transmissions between normal computers they cannot be copied or stolen. A rule of quantum mechanics states that an object can only be viewed once. Autonomous Destruction!
Another prediction come true!
Asia under Trump: How the US is losing the region to China
Headline CNN dated January 27, 2018
A Rare Event – see the blog for January 31, 2018
Just finished a post on the Super Blue Blood Moon on this blog. It is Sunday, January 28, 2018. I am finishing my stay in rehab on Wednesday, February 2 and returning to a crazy life.
Back to the Future
Now I can start back at the top. Catch me if you can😄 How many hundreds of thousands of people will come to Amazon Go over the next generation?
After a year’s delay, Amazon opened its convenience store to the public. WOW!
Clean. Dynamic. CONVENIENT. That is how I describe this brick and mortar venture from the world’s premier e-tailer. Scan your Amazon card on your way into the store. Specially designed cameras using artificial intelligence will charge the card (credit or debit) that you have on file with Amazon, as you pick up each item.
Congestion gone! People are doing the work of creating salads etc that you will take home. A deli on steroids. Machines will be doing the heavy lifting and thinking.
Now imagine this concept as your grocery store. You will have to wait for a while. Amazon will use this concept store to reconfigure the stores of Whole Foods Coop that Jeff Bezos purchased last year for $13 Billion. I imagine he has been chomping at the bit to get this going. I don’t know what the daily interest on $13 billion is but I will bet I couldn’t pay it. I expect these concepts to roll out to Whole Foods as fast as he can get them.
Next, they will come to a neighborhood near you. Imagine the money that this operation will save him! No cashiers. Soon robots doing most of the stocking! After all, that is what Amazon is famous for. His warehouses i,e, ‘fulfillment centers’ are staffed with robots that pick the orders. Save labor costs.
Indeed, SAVE LABOR COSTS! As these stores roll out to his corporation and shortly to his competition what are all the cashiers going to do? Maybe they can be utilized in- store to make salads and whatever signature items are designed to be sold but how many single mother’s, widows, physically challenged people are going to be left out of a paycheck?
How many of the labor force that keeps the grocery store’s running are going to be left behind by the Fourth Industrial Revolution just like the coal miners of West Virginia?
In the early morning hours of January 31, 2018, you can witness a TRIFECTA of MOTHER NATURE! A Triple moon event. A BlueMoon. A Blood Moon and A Lunar Eclipse! All in one glorious spectacle – depending on the weather AND whether you can wake up!
Who, What, Where, When, Why, WOW!
The WOW applies if you took the same journalism class or curriculum that I did.
Wake up, especially if you live on the west coast. Those living on the east coast will
be gipped of the finale since dawn will ruin the show.
Gordon Johnston program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC said if you live in the eastern part of the United States to “Set your alarm early look outside about 5.51 AM. The best time will be about 6.45 AM making sure to have a clear line of sight and look in the west-northwest direction, opposite from where the Asunción will rise”.
In the Central time zone action begins at 4.51 AM with the reddish shadow will appear at 6.15 AM CST, The eclipse will be hard to see because the Sun is rising. The moon will set at 7.00 AM. Your best viewing will be a high place will a clear line of sight looking West.
The show will begin in the Rocky Mountain time zone at 4.48 MST. The peak of the blood moon eclipse is at 6.30 AM MST.
California and Western Canada will see the show start to finish. Have your seat in your spot by 3.48 PST. The eclipses will begin at 4.51 AM PST.
1. The moon will be 14% brighter because it will be at its perigee when it is closest to the earth.
2. A blue moon is so called when it is the second full moon in a month. This one is being stolen from February. No full moon this month. Sorry.
3. A blood moon refers to the color the moon takes on when it enters a total lunar eclipse. The moon moves entirely within the earth’s shadow. The sun, moon, and earth must be in alignment for this to occur.
Review: supermoon – the moon is at its closest to the earth; blue moon – two full moons in one month; blood moon – reddish color when the moon is in earth’s shadow; lunar eclipse – the moon is entirely within the shadow of the earth.
Test Question: When was the last time this triple whammy occurred?
One hundred and fifty years ago!
On January 1st we had the Wolf Moon
On January 31st we will have a Super Blue Blood Moon
On March 1st we will a full Worm Moon
On March 31st we will have a full Pink Blue Moon
On April 29th we will have a full Flower Moon
On May 29th we will have a full Strawberry Moon
On June 28 is a full Buck Moon
On July 27th is a full Sturgeon Moon
On August 26th is a full Corn Moon
On September 24th is a full Harvest Moon
On October 24 is a full Hunter’s Moon
On November 23 is a full Beaver Moon
On December 22 is a full Cold Moon
Enjoy these Spectacles of Space!
150 years ago, January 1918 from Scientific American
“It’s more or less true—no one really knows anything about the future. So here goes, for a try. The automobile of the future will be weather-tight. Probably it will be all glass—sides, front, rear, and roof. If a malleable glass is ever made, the frame may be dispensed with, but nobody has discovered malleable glass, to date! In the future, the car with the steering wheel will be as obsolete as the car with the hand pump for gas or oil is today! Driving will be done from a small control board, which can be held in the lap. It will be connected to the mechanism by a flexible electric cable. A small finger lever, not a wheel, will guide the car.”
How will applications of machine learning change in the next 10 years
What are the shortcomings of machine learning
What language do you think is best to write a machine language application in
How can machine learning differentiate between a recorded voice and a real one
In what ways does Pindrop’s audio machine learning differ from conventional forms of ML
How is the Atlanta tech scene different from Silicone Valley
A month or so ago I found a discussion on Machine Learning on Quora. Are you familiar with Quora? It is a cool app. You pose a question to Quora requesting an answer, Quora puts the question out in cyberspace and whoever wants to answer can do so. Interesting to spend so time on.
The above questions were answered by Professor Vijay Balsubramaniyan PH.D. at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta Georgia. The first question he addresses is:
How will applications of machine learning change in the next ten years
Answer requested by Ashish Ranjan, Gyanendra Kumar, and 94 others
His answer struck me because I had not heard that this was the plan or I just wasn’t paying attention. But it makes great sense. He said that the future of ML or any technology makes it more human. I just heard an ad for Google. They claim that their computer voice for answering machines is indistinguishable from a human voice. That will be interesting to check out.
Machine learning he says is getting close in specific areas such as image recognition and classification, speech recognition for self-driving cars. “For example, Googles’ word error rate for speech recognition has gone from 30% in 2012 to 5% in 2017. That’s the difference between understanding 13 words out of 20 (2 sentences out of 3) to 19 words out of 20.” The difficulty is the last mile (95% to 99%).
He indicated that researchers expect to make significant strides in the next 10 years. Now that is the comment of a researcher. He didn’t say they were expecting to solve the problem in 90 days, 365 days but in terms of years. And quite a long time also. An interesting goal that they have also “computers will make our everyday tasks easier at home, at work, everywhere we go.”
What are the shortcomings of machine learning
Answer requested by Gyanendra Kumar, Hasha Ramanagoudra, and 44 others
Machine learning has several shortcomings he admits. First ML is only as good as the quality of data used. The old “garbage in, garbage out.” As everything gets more voluminous and complex the challenges increasing can lead to false conclusions such as ‘seeing what you want to see.’
He states that “ML helps technology become more human but it is necessary to guard against it absorbing our deeply ingrained human biases.”
“The ML model that you are working with needs to be critically evaluated using traditional experimental methods. Its strengths and weaknesses have to be identified. All of this is more challenging than developing the model in the first place.”
A Short Aside
Vijay and two other PhDs founded a company called Pindrop Security. They serve the global marketplace by phone anti-fraud and authentication technology. They primarily work with Call Centers. Their applications provide audio analysis technology analyzes 147 different features of a phone call. In 2015 Pindrop screened more than 360 million calls and raised $122 million in funding. In 2017 they protected 410,826,795 phone calls, detected 401,926 fraud calls, generated $200,500,000 in savings for their clients. The company’s mission statement is: “Our Mission is to provide security, identity, and trust in every voice interactions.”
What language do you think is best to write a Machine Learning application in
Answer requested by Jamie Corkhill, Harsha Ramanagoudra and 79 others
According to IBM research, Python is the most popular language currently used for Machine Learning. It has flexibility, an abundance of strong ML packages like stikit-learn, and they can easily replace critical routines with C/C+ when necessary.”
He did suggest keeping an eye on Golang which is gaining in ML support and popularity.”
How can machine learning differentiate between a recorded voice and a real one, given that the quality of the recorded voice is fairly good
Answer requested by Pushkar Sharma, Hammad Arshad and 9 more.
“Even the most realistic recorded voice that sounds legitimate to the human ear retain some trace features that are different from the live voice of the genuine speaker. These features are often emphasized (example played back in higher volume) while analyzing the spectral characteristics of the signal.”
Thoughts on Adversarial Machine Learning
Answer requested by Amit Jadhav, Praveen Krishna and 14 more
“Adversarial machine learning is a particular class of online machine learning that is intended for computer security.”
While typical (offline) machine learning tools use fixed training data and assume that the unseen test data follows the same distribution as the training data. Adversarial machine learning tools are continuously adapting to the ever-changing distribution of data.
This is often the case in authentication systems where malicious impostors keep looking for new vulnerabilities to defeat them.
“Adversarial machine learning is very important at Pindrop. Fraudsters keep changing their attack techniques and are becoming smarter over time.”
“Our fraud prevention system is in a continuous evolution to keep catching new kinds of fraud activities over the voice channel.”
We have heard that refrain several times lately. Elon Musk has proclaimed it, Steven Hawking has warned us of the same.
So Trump portrays Mexico and China and global trade as the enemies. What is he talking about?
Back on January 26 of 2017, he declared: “It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost”. Hmm
President Obama stated “The next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good middle-class jobs obsolete.” He offered these words of caution during his farewell address.
Research supports Obama’s claim. Far more jobs are lost to robots and automation (better technology) than trade with China, Mexico or any other country.
America has lost jobs to trade, but robots are the big threat. Any job that is repetitive in nature and even more so if it is hazardous to worker’s health are in danger of being replaced by robots.
In Manufacturing, nearly 5 million jobs have been lost.
Real Numbers for Real Issues:
U.S. Trade with China killed 985,000 American manufacturing jobs between 1999 and 2011
per MIT professor David Autor
U.S. Trade with Mexico cost roughly 800,000 jobs between 1997 and 2013
per Robert Scott, Economic Policy Institute
That might sound high. But last year alone the US added more jobs than those losses combined. And remember Mexico imports 40% of its goods from the United States.
Additionally, two Ball State professors found that between 2000 and 2010 about 87% of the manufacturing job losses stemmed from factories becoming more efficient.
The main driver of more efficiency? Automation and Better Technology.
J. Bradford Jensen, an economics professor at Georgetown University stated “There has been a lot of technical change that has reduced the need for labor – some of it is automation, some of is design, more software, less hardware.
So why not crack down on robots?
“It’s harder to demonize what everyone sees as technical progress. It’s easier to demonize the foreigner,” Jenson added.
It’s hard to really get solid numbers when talking about automation because it also creates jobs. ATMs are a case in point. They perform jobs that bank tellers one did. But there isn’t much evidence that bank employment tanked as a result of ATMs. MIT professor Daron Acemoglu
One last point to consider. Mexico imports goods. 40% of those goods are American.
Editors note: I recommend reading a post I wrote New Year’s weekend. It is on my blog “dabblerducksbutt.com” The title is Capitalism Overreach.
It is a story of coal mining in West Virginia. As you know the miners of West Virginia did not get a chance to enjoy the fruits of the twentieth century. Hopefully, we will use this example to ensure that no family, no community is left behind in this Fourth Industrial Revolution.
If the job loss rate is even close to 47% the pain felt by the middle class and working families is going to be unimaginable. There won’t be other jobs to go. Nowhere to live.
I have found so much more material that I am going to digest and file another post shortly after this one.