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Thread: When will they come for the truckers?

  1. #31
    Market follows what Walmart and Amazon can get to work and Walmart has shown it's quite willing to jump into advancements in their backend before it's been proven cost effective elsewhere. It's how they defeated Kmart in the 90s and they moved their warehouse operations to RFID way before the industry thought it viable. Amazon uses robots all over it's warehouses and can write off an insane amount shoplifting from it's registerless store from how much they save in payroll.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  2. #32
    Plus saving off what payroll shoplifts themselves ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  3. #33
    Which is so prevalent that places like Walmart will wait till you're in felony territory before firing and filing criminal charges.

    Even when it's straight from the register.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Hence why I mentioned unions.

    Quite frankly I don't see how trucking can survive due to Luddism. Luddism works best in unionised monopoly environments and there is no union monopoly here. Unless the law gets in the way (unlikely) economics will ensure this happens.
    See, I do think laws will get in the way.

    Look, right now there still isn't automation sufficient to do actual driverless long-haul traffic* We need to actually get one developed first, and I put that in the 2-4 year range. After we've developed it, in the US we need to create or modify the legal framework to accomodate it across the entire lower 48 states. That's not happening overnight. It only takes a handful of states to significantly slow things down. It'll still happen, but I don't see it happening quickly.

    *I did note a suggestion made earlier about automated caravans with one driver/supervisor but while that may work out on private property it isn't going to BEGIN to work out for long-haul service on the shared public highway system. Also level 4 or 5 automation under geofenced conditions is not sufficient. GPS-based geofencing isn't good enough for lane-keeping on the public road network and an RFID network or sufficiently-detailed mapping of it doesn't exist.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  5. #35
    Yes certain nations and within the USA certain States are adopting legal provisions to allow this technology to develop much faster than others. California in particular from my understanding is leading the way in America.

    Even without interstate commerce a lot can be done within States - California is a very large territory with a lot of commerce internally. Once the technology is up and running I think other States will struggle to stay behind - but maybe I'm too optimistic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  6. #36
    So....anyone care to predict how long it will take for economists or policy-makers to change from 'population replacement' models to global migration/immigration models? Given the growing billions of people on the planet, and developing nations with millions still trying to get out of subsistence living, or entrenched poverty, Rand's theory seems overly optimistic or short-sighted.

    There will be "cheap human labor" for a long time (forever?) that won't be replaced by technology. (No, innovation and progress won't be stopped by Luddites or Unions. ) We already have growing income inequality, the 'middle class' losing ground, and problems with 'upward mobility'. The question is whether low wages can provide a decent standard of living? Plus the dilemma of retirees living longer than ever.

  7. #37
    Economists do model for migration
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Economists do model for migration
    Even if they do, it's not a model routinely used by elected policy-makers. If politicians are good at anything, it's exploiting voters' fears that immigrants will take their jobs, or cheap immigrant labor is reducing their wages, etc. Now replace the word immigrant with AI and you'll get the same response: fear that your work and your livelihood is at risk; that you'll be made redundant and easily replaceable. And oh yeah, you'll have to figure out how to live the much longer life (thanks to medical and tech advancements) without a job, or a guaranteed pension, unless you work until the day you die.

    I hope you can at least admit there are real gaps between modern hopes, expectations, and academic theories.

  9. #39
    Yes it is a model routinely used.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  10. #40
    Then your market optimism rides on human misery, and you're okay with that?

  11. #41
    No, because it doesn't. It rides upon evolution, adaptability, human ingenuity and technology - and I'm OK with that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  12. #42
    What's your prescription for people that fall in the cracks?

    I was thinking of my own predicament, but maybe you should be thinking of your own children and their future. Will it be enough to tell them to "do well in school"? What does that mean? Maybe you'll tell them that success is doing better than you did. What does that mean? You once said that you'd like to be a millionaire by age 40. Same standard for your kids?
    Last edited by GGT; 02-20-2018 at 11:30 AM.

  13. #43
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    No, because it doesn't. It rides upon evolution, adaptability, human ingenuity and technology - and I'm OK with that.
    Your optimism for displaced workers rests on evolution, adaptability, ingenuity and technology? Leaving aside evolution because it works on a generational turnover timescale, isn't the rest more or less just arm's length I-don't-want-to-know-how-bad-it-is BS?

    Example, are you optimistic for a 55 year old truck driver with a high-school education, and truck driver's training, who just lost his job in favor of a self-driving truck? In a realistic scenario he's going to try to get short-haul work, because it will be the long-haul truckers that go down first, but there are already short-haul drivers and every other long-haul driver will be going for the same work. This will leave most of the long-haulers with no work while driving down the wages of the short-haulers, unless they are unionized. What's this guy supposed to do? Go get a technical degree and start over with a new career? Even if he could do it, three or four years later he's pushing 60, got a bunch of education debt, and looking for an entry level position where, realistically speaking, "old" people don't get hired. Come on. If he works again at all it'll be for minimum wage until he can't work anymore - aka poverty until he dies.

    This is what's going to happen to more and more people as AI ramps up. Technology and adaptability and ingenuity are not going to help them provide for themselves. I love technology and I don't think it should be held back just to make work for people, but there needs to be some kind of non-BS, non-smokescreen-lip-service help for those left behind. And it's not going to be a temporary thing - for many its more or less until they die.
    The Rules
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  15. #45
    No they're based on studying hundreds of years of economic and technological history. I'm not saying I don't-know-how-bad-it-is I'm saying overall it is good and for the best.

    Yes a 55 year old may end up in a minimum wage job rather than a job as good as they used to have but that's better than no job at all. Plus they'll likely have left school at 16 or 18 and have already had by that point probably 37-39 years of work behind them with the opportunities that presents to save up for their pensions etc and only had a forecasted 10-12 years of work left in which to earn just minimum wage. Many 55 year olds have already by that stage paid off their mortgage too and their children have likely flown the coup so they have lower living expenses too.

    Sucks for the 55 year old to end up on minimum wage from that perspective but better that than the next generation who are have no equity, are quite probably saddled with large debts from college, saddled with massive governmental debts being inherited from the Baby Boomers and saddled with providing for unfunded healthcare for the Baby Boomers, all the while trying to start their own families and look after their own children are left with unproductive and lower-technology work than they should be able to use. If the cost of the next generation getting a better deal is that someone at the end of their career ends it in a minimum wage role rather than what they were accustomed to then so be it.

    I choose the future. I choose technology. I choose progress.

    What else are we supposed to do? Keep shit unnecessary jobs and technology forever because improvements are disruptive? Should we still all be breaking our backs in the fields for feudal overlords because technology is disruptive? No thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  16. #46
    Don't think that's what Choobs was proposing.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  17. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Don't think that's what Choobs was proposing.
    Correct. My last paragraph explicitly states the opposite, in fact. The hazards of skimming vs reading, I guess.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  18. #48
    Your last paragraph was very vague. If you have a specific suggestion I'd be curious what it is.

    If its having for instance a much higher minimum wage then your former trucker is likely to potentially end up with no job at all rather than a minimum wage job.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  19. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Your last paragraph was very vague.
    No it isn't - not on the point that tech progress should not be held back just to make work for people.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
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  20. #50
    Sorry I haven't been around to chime in earlier, but I think there's an interesting debate here. I have a lot of sympathy for RB's take on things, but there's some issues I think he minimizes. Yes, capitalism is all about creative destruction - and this isn't just destruction of companies or products, but entire industries and, yes, jobs. And to an extent it's easy enough to argue that just because one class of jobs might go extinct doesn't mean that those workers are irretrievably screwed - that's as much of a logical fallacy as the (related) Lump of Labor argument against immigration, or similar arguments opposed to free trade. Yes, those workers can be retrained or slowly phased out as their old jobs are made redundant by technology, and that's just a fact of life that is no different than any other technological advancement before automated driving (and, more broadly, AI-enabled automation).

    Yet. It's easy to wave away these concerns on a macroeconomic level, mostly because it's all more-or-less worked out this way before. But more and more economists have been looking more closely at things and finding that while the benefits of these changes (immigration, free trade, and automation) tend to be widely distributed but relatively small to any individual person, the costs tend to be higher than expected and concentrated in a relatively small population. It's likely that this will continue to be the case for automated driving and other AI-enabled transformations. In general the US (and, to be fair, most other countries) tend to be pretty bad at helping those who get screwed by such events/policies - benefits for e.g. worker retraining tend to be wildly inadequate and often inappropriate.

    This challenge shouldn't be waved away as the inevitable result of progress; I don't think that this is a solution that can be solely solved through better resources (though that would help) - we need to change the model of how people are trained in general. Technological development moves too quickly to believe that we can train someone by the age of 20 or 25 a set of skills that will be valuable until the age of 60 or 70. Instead, we'll need to change the paradigm to include lifelong learning, potentially including regular breaks from work to retrain and gain additional skills. Even better would be to focus on educating our students how to learn, rather than on a specific set of skills that may become obsolete later in life. These changes aren't going to be easy or cheap, but I think they're necessary, especially for less-skilled workers.

    (For the specific case of driving, I think the predictions of imminent doom are a bit exaggerated. The technology is still far from perfected, the legal framework hasn't really been sorted out yet, and it's likely that the initial capital cost might be unpalatable for a while. I recently was driving a car with a lot of sensors made by one of the big firms in the automated driving market, and it was surprisingly dumb. I question whether my 3 year old will ever learn how to drive, but I think that cab and truck drivers still have a bit more runway.)

    I've thought a lot about the broader problem of automation. There are scaremongers out there who argue that even without Strong AI a lot of traditionally 'immune' white collar jobs like accountant, lawyer, doctor, etc. will face competition from automation. Even as high end specialists in each discipline become more and more valuable, the bread-and-butter work that keeps most white collar professionals busy will be outsourced to clever computers. To an extent this is already true - most people draw up simple wills and fill out simple tax returns using software; a lot of diagnostic work is now at least aided/sped up by computers, and even relatively complex tasks like trawling through documents during legal discovery are being automated. While this doesn't directly displace anyone, the long term trend for these professions is indeed to have fewer practitioners, or at least slower growth.

    But the counterfactual is my own field. Automation - robotic, computational, and more broadly technological development - allows me to do more research in a month than someone could have done in years just a few decades ago. One of my academic advisors who is near the end of his career mentioned that the work he did 30-odd years ago for his PhD would never be seen as enough for even a Master's student nowadays; it had far too little data and too few studies to qualify. Based on the logic above, one would imagine that there would be an order of magnitude fewer scientists/engineers out there, when that's obviously not the case - in fact, companies in the US find it incredibly hard to recruit enough talent. The reason is obvious: just because our productivity has increased (as in, our economic output produced per hour worked) doesn't mean that we can't make the pie bigger. There's just a whole lot more data and intellectual property being produced now than there used to be, and the questions we ask have gotten a whole lot more complicated and ambitious. Now I can reasonably design a study that sequences the transcriptosome of every subject I test, or develop finite element models and computational fluid dynamics simulations of patient-specific geometries, or whatever other approach I might suggest that would have been seen as prohibitively expensive and ridiculous just a decade or two back.

    There's no reason, in principle, why other professions can't go the same way. Fundamentally, white collar professionals are valued for their intellectual work, not the drudgery that may end up taking a lot of their time. Automation, in this context, is a fantastic tool to improve our output, not a bogeyman to fear. Yes, there are people who will be displaced by automation, and appropriate remedies should be developed to address this. But it's not the end of human work.

    Keynes famously predicted that his grandchildren would have a massive increase in leisure time, because productivity gains meant they'd only have to work a handful of hours per week. He was wildly wrong, mostly because even if productivity increased, so did our consumption, massively so. But there's a more subtle point: the basics of human needs can indeed be met with a relatively small amount of human effort, mostly because of automation: we can feed the world, provide shelter, plumbing, electricity, and basic healthcare with only a small fraction of the world's workers. So why does everyone else work? Mostly, it's either to make things that are, in the final analysis, luxuries, or to perform creative work. Creative work might be art, but it also could be technological innovation, or marketing, or fashion, or whatever else. More and more of the world is engaged in these kinds of activities that aren't 'core' to our basic societal needs (that are getting increasingly automated), but are still valued by our society. I think that at steady state there will always be jobs for people, even with much more automation, mostly because as a society we seem to be pretty good at coming up with more stuff we want. That doesn't mean that temporary disruptions won't be severe and important to anticipate and address, but it does mean that the worst of the doomsayers might be wrong to predict the coming dystopia full of an under/unemployed underclass hopelessly outclassed by a technological future.



    There was some interesting ruminations on the value of work in a post-scarcity economy in Haldeman's Forever Peace. There's a lot of more serious treatments of it as well. I'm not convinced that any of the predictions will come to pass, but it's worth noting that people have been predicting a post-scarcity economy for a while now and we never seem to reach it.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  21. #51
    Well said, I agree with pretty much all you wrote.

    I think the reason we never reach a post-scarcity economy is because we ratchet up our expectations. What would have been considered a life of luxury 50 years ago could be considered impoverished now. I'm reminded of Maslow's heirarchy of needs which while not entirely suitable is a good analogy. As we get what we need/want we look higher and higher up the pyramid and start to view what we previously just wanted as something we need, and what was previously a luxury as something we want.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  22. #52
    I'm not the only skeptic. There are entire shows dedicated to future ethical/social conflicts of AI. Framed in a dystopian future. Disguised as entertainment.

    Don't bastardize Maslow's hierarchy of needs just to protect capitalism's flaws of greed, Rand.

  23. #53
    Desire isn't a flaw of capitalism, it happens under any system.

    Capitalism just works because it models for it rather than pretending it doesn't exist.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  24. #54
    Maslow's hierarchy isn't based on desire, but need. Capitalism just makes money exploiting both. Does pretending otherwise put you in the Milgram category?

  25. #55
    Capitalism doesn't make money, capitalism is a system.

    I said that I was referring to Maslow as an analogy and it does fit. If you haven't got your physiological needs then you are far less concerned about self-actualisation or esteem etc because the need for food, water, air and shelter etc take precedence. If your physiological concerns are met, then you can move further up the pyramid and other needs become more important.

    That analogy works as true with economics as it does with philosophy. I may be mistaken but I believe you've referred to economic things as "needs" like a "need" for the internet etc which in the past would not be viewed like that. If you're lacking food, water, shelter etc then you're not going to need the internet. If however all your basic needs are getting met then other things become things that you "need". That is the point.

    Milgram is quite irrelevant and really either quite an ignorant or offensive remark to make. Nobody is being tortured here. Suggesting that people can be better off than what was sought in the past is not the same thing as torturing somebody and how you link the two in your head is beyond me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  26. #56
    Hmm, I just read your post to Lewk where you recognize the impact of pollution to health, which fits the Maslow analogy well. Especially in China where many high-tech devices are made, connecting billions to the internet...but they have smog alerts that shut down traffic, and routinely wear masks. The Milgram mention wasn't about torture per se, but that people can be convinced to do things which harm or hurt others (especially an unseen victim), because their boss/superior told them to.

    Of course capitalism is a system, but for generations it was predominantly about making money, damn the consequences. Now we have an emergence of "ethical capitalism" that not only considers the consequences to unseen victims, but tries to anticipate future problems. And the future no longer means what the next generations will face, but what we will face in our own lifetimes. Not just because we're living longer, but because change is exponentially faster than ever.

    Apparently California has approved fully automated cars in limited areas beginning next month; no human in the vehicle at all, just a remote operator.

  27. #57
    Good write-up about a subject I've been following with growing concern for a while:

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...l-intelligence

    Automation in the process of screening and interviewing job applicants.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  28. #58
    Waymo (Alphabet (Google)) announced testing auto-trucks in Atlanta....

    https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/w...NET+River+RSS)
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  29. #59
    Lyft is also testing autonomous vehicles now on a 5000-acre facility.

  30. #60
    All this time I thought Maximum Overdrive was a stupid story... A.I. + big autonomous machines, sounds like a, uh, semi-plausible premise. Heh.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

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