"Unmanned factory" replaces 600 humans with robots

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We’re not allowed to do this in the United States because people only deserve to eat or sleep indoors if they’re working 40 hours a week. When we remove jobs by using robots or computers, people become homeless. Instead of sharing productivity improvements, we have to make up ridiculous jobs so that people can go to work and prove that they’re contributing to society.


In what sense is this not allowed? It happened a long time ago in Detroit. Also, where are these ridiculous made-up jobs? They would have been a really useful stimulus in 2008, except for the party that was opposed to stimulus.


Domo Arigato Mister Roboto


Eh, yes and vaguely no?

Look at it from the long game perspective, robots (not assuming human level AI here, just programmed machines - even if humanoid) in theory could do the vast majority of our work and we could be free to do as we please. Assuming we don’t jack everything up with advanced AI I think that future is a real possibility. The problem is the interim, because the world certainly doesn’t work like today. So until you get to some reasonable tipping point things are going to get “worse” as technology and robotics displace more and more jobs. Frankly I don’t know how society goes about a shift in production from human to robot without serious issues. (Hell and that even assumes people could agree on the idea and goal of robotic production…you know which means we are fucked.)

At the same time if you aren’t doing much more than placing the same basic parts together in the same way 500+ times a day, well that’s screaming for automation. I mean imagine Ford trying to build every model on one assembly line…you’d have to have people doing that job. The number of scenarios and problems becomes too complex for a robot to operate in, but if you scale it back to one model per line then it becomes much much easier.


This is why we need mincome and substantially increased infrastructure spending. The process of automation will only accelerate as time goes on, and there is no way for job creation to keep pace. We should be reorganizing our economy and our society to not just accommodate these trends but to take synergise with and take advantage of them.


Not really, I’d say. You need enough degrees of freedom for the manipulators and then you just load model-specific code to the line.

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If it can be broken down algorithmically, it can be automated. AI can handle complexity orders of magnitude better than meatsacks, it’s only a matter developing the science and applying it. Even that process can and has been done by AI.

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I know! It’s against the law!

Only in the sense that we think it’s bad to replace a working person with a robot because of the fact it has on that person’s life. In our economic system, the person needs a job to eat and pay for housing. They do not benefit from automation if they become unemployed and then homeless.

I don’t think that our standard of living really requires enough work for every able person to work 40 hours a week. It would require even less work with automation.

Instead of focussing on what people want and need - housing, food, a decent life - politicians focus on jobs. Jobs are a means to an end, not the goal. If a politician is concentrating on getting people work, they’re missing the point.


Considering how many politicians plan to increase the number of jobs in the US, instead of reducing the amount of work we all do to maintain our standard of living… it’s practically law. But, yes, I get it: I apologize for the hyperbole.


Meanwhile GE’s old “Factory of the Future” is being turned into a supermarket.

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Right now I’m working on robot navigation in supermarket-like environments, for barcode reading, stock out, category management, etc.

Here’s the bot I’m currently watching.


My motto is ‘I’d rather write a program to write a program instead of writing a program’. But that ideology must go hand in hand with either socialism or a mincome.

Unless we all accept we will eventually be inadvertently murdered by someone else.


Can’t you write a program to do that?

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perl turtlesAllTheWhey.pl 1&2> /dev/null

Pfffft! Perl is for architects who do old-fashioned text processing (read “what’s Big Data?”) while wearing Tweed.

It’s also for cats walking across keyboards.

Little known fact: 90% of all code on C-PAN was accidentally written by cats.


Safer alternative to APL, albeit nowhere near as good at summoning Great Old Ones. (However, given the coming futility of humanity we’re envisioning here, it might be worth handling this with APL…)


Nah, in the US we just go ahead and get rid of the jobs and then blame the unemployed for their lack of employment because they’re obviously lazy good-for-nothings. That’s the American way.