Robots in demand in China as labour costs climb.

May 2024 Forums General discussion Robots in demand in China as labour costs climb.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 118 total)
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  • #90855

    A rising organic composition of capital would be compatible with both continuing/increasing capital accumulation and falling employment (especially if part of the rise is due to a fall in variable capital).  Surplus population wouldn't be a new phenomena within capitalism, save that nowadays the option of emigration is much more problematic than it was.  The mega slum model is before our eyes of how it's managed elsewhere.I think, though, what is more likely is an increased rate of churn, where once it was a once in a lifetime event to have a job mechanised out of existence, we may see repeated instances.  The key phrase in the Spiegel article you linked to was that the rate of jobs being destroyed was higher than the rate of the creation of new ones, which I think could be the equilibrium position, meaning there will just be a time lag between job loss and new opportunities.

    #90856

    Even footballers jobs aren't safe: https://theconversation.com/robocup-2013-new-moves-to-keep-players-on-the-ball-14287 

    Quote:
    In just a few weeks, soccer-playing robots from around the world will converge on Eindhoven in the Netherlands to compete for the prestigious RoboCup 2013. With around 2,500 particpants, competition is sure to be tough – just have a look at the final from last year’s RoboCup in Mexico City.

     Watching the videos is truly staggering:http://www.robocup2013.org/middle-size-league/ 

    #90850
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Interesting extract from an article in today's Times headed "Don't expect robots to do it all for you — or steal your jobs":

    Quote:
    The demonstration [of some robots at work] was part of a debate at the Work Foundation about robots and enhanced humans, asking the question will they steal our jobs? The answer, it seems, is "not quite". Geoff Mulgan, the chief executive of Nesta, a charity set up to promote innovation, points out that predictions about armies of robots in the workplace have yet to come to pass. Rather, globalisation has left companies chasing cheap labour overseas instead of replacing human beings with automatons. "The public," he says, "is still astounded to discover how little robots do and how feeble they still are."

    It seems the public have been misled by talk of a coming "exponential" growth of robotisation. Meanwhile capitalism itself impedes robotisation because firms won't introduce it if getting the work done by humans is cheaper.

    #90857
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    I wonder if this link may be of interest to this thread  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/07/should-we-fear-the-end-of-work.html

    #90858
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Yes, it is. It brings out all the issues, as in this extract;

    Quote:
    To put it in economese, is the persistently high level of unemployment a result of cyclical factors (the traditional ups and downs of economic growth) or structural factors (new game-changing technologies, dramatic shifts in the global economy)? (…)From one decades-long leading student of the American economy came a succinct one-liner in favor of cyclicality: "This isn't a jobless economic recovery as everyone insists on calling it; it's simply just not yet a recovery."In other words, as painful as the waiting certainly is, the economy will heal — and once again, create jobs — in time."Brace yourselves," countered Eric Brynjolfsson, from MIT's Sloan School, co-author of "Race Against the Machine," a much-talked-about recent book which argues that the introduction of new transformative technologies has only just begun, and that we're dangerously unable to perceive what's actually going to happen.  He added:"Many of our intuitions about what's coming next are going to fail us. All the disruptions we've been talking about today about the past 10 years, the past 20 years — as important as they've been and as hard-hitting as they've been for so many people — are just a small glimmer of the much bigger disruptions that we think are in store for us in the next 10 and 20 years, at least the ones that are related to technology."Princeton University economist Alan Blinder, who served in the 1990s as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, took a more measured view. He believes that both cyclical problems and disruptive technological change are at play, along with the changing face of the global economy:"In terms of the number of jobs, it looks like an awful lot of the problem is cyclical. That's the first problem."The second problem is the lagging average wage. Until a few decades ago, India, China, and the former Soviet Union were isolated and not really participating in the world economy. But now they have roughly doubled the world's labor force, in a couple of decades."What did they bring to the table? Capital? No. They had almost none. But they had a lot of labor. So, if you double the amount of world labor and you don't change the amount of world capital much, then loosely speaking, the returns to labor are going to go down while the returns to capital go up. And this is about to end. And it's not mainly about technology."But then there is the third problem: what's behind the trend toward greater wage inequality? The non-economist in me wants to think about institutions and social norms. Some of the increase in inequality has to stem from changing attitudes in our society. I just don't believe that it's only technology."
    #90859
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    3-D printing and the prospect of 50 million garment workers being eventually redundant http://truth-out.org/news/item/18622-the-3d-printed-guns-wont-hurt-you

    #90860

    https://theconversation.com/machines-on-the-march-threaten-almost-half-of-modern-jobs-18485

    Quote:
    The threat of computerisation has historically been largely confined to routine manufacturing tasks involving explicit rule-based activities such as part construction and assembly. But a look at 700 occupation types [link, PDF] in the US suggests that 47 per cent are at risk from a threat that once only loomed for a small proportion of workers.

    Abstract of the article linked to:

    Quote:
    We examine how susceptible jobs are to computerisation. To assess this, we begin by implementing a novel methodology to estimate the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, using a Gaussian process classifier. Based on these estimates, we examine expected impacts of future computerisation on US labour market outcomes, with the primary objective of analysing the number of jobs at risk and the relationship between an occupation’s probability of computerisation, wages and educational attainment. According to our estimates, about 47 percent of total US employment is at risk. We further provide evidence that wages and educational attainment exhibit a strong negative relationship with an occupation’s probability of computerisation.
    #90861

    Two new stories on this theme:http://theconversation.com/what-to-expect-from-dysons-new-robotics-lab-23054

    Quote:
    The Dyson lab won’t bring us Rosie the Robot Maid any time soon but this investment could open the way for a new generation of single-purpose intelligent domestic appliances. It could bring us the robot vacuum that can clean around your complicated media centre and perhaps even something that can tidy up a child’s bedroom without putting everything in the wrong place. That’s a pretty enticing prospect for most parents.

    andhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/nuclear-fusion-hits-energy-milestone-1.2534140

    Quote:
    Now, researchers at the National Ignition Facility of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the U.S. announce that they managed to use lasers to compress fuel made from two heavier forms of hydrogen enough to kick off a nuclear fusion reaction. And for the first time, the reaction managed to generate more energy than was absorbed by the fuel from the lasers."That's a major turning point in our minds," said Omar Hurricane, lead author of a paper describing the results, published in Nature today.However, he was quick to point out that because the fuel absorbed only a small amount of the energy from the lasers, there is still far more energy put into the entire process than comes out.That is partly because the fuel did not reach ignition — the point at which the reaction becomes self-sustaining and energy production increases dramatically.
    #90862
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    We are going to see many industrial corporations leaving China due to the high cost of production. Apple is going to re-establish one of their factory in the US again. In any way,  the labor cost, and wages  have  been reduced drastically in the US, and there is big army of unemployed

    #90863
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    More on the topic herehttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/02/18/some-predict-computers-will-produce-a-jobless-future-heres-why-theyre-wrong/ “there’s never been a worse time to be a worker with only ‘ordinary’ skills and abilities to offer, because computers, robots, and other digital technologies are acquiring these skills and abilities at an extraordinary rate.” In the past, new technologies tended to automate blue-collar jobs. Now information technology has begun automating white-collar jobs, and the new technologies will increasingly automate even professional jobs. Already computers can diagnose breast cancer from x-rays and predict survival rates at least as well as radiologists.  "As long as there are unmet needs and wants in the world, unemployment is a loud warning that we simply aren’t thinking hard enough about what needs doing. We aren’t being creative enough about solving the problems we have using the freed-up time and energy of the people whose old jobs were automated away. We can do more to invent technologies and business models that augment and amplify the unique capabilities of humans to create new sources of value, instead of automating the ones that already exist…As long as technology continues to address major unmet needs, machines do not determine our fate."

    #90864

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26438661

    Quote:
    Writing about the future of shipping Oskar Levander, Rolls-Royce's vice president of innovation, engineering and technology said: "Now it is time to consider a road map to unmanned vessels of various types. Sometimes what was unthinkable yesterday is tomorrow's reality."Given that the technology is in place, is now the time to move some operations ashore? Is it better to have a crew of 20 sailing in a gale in the North Sea, or say five in a control room on shore?" he asked.

    Such vessels would not need expensive crew quarters.  People would not need to risk death, be separated from the families or just spend their lives on a boat.  But the 100,000 merchant marine vessels are the livelihoods of around half a million (I'd guess) people and their dependents.  Of course, the next step would be the automated car and truck. Of course, the mid point is that a human remains on ship, as a token (or flies between them).

    #90865
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    Of course, the mid point is that a human remains on ship, as a token (or flies between them).

    Unfortunate juxtaposition of words and not a particularly savoury concept at that..

    #90866

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26614051

    BBC wrote:
    The Los Angeles Times was the first newspaper to publish a story about an earthquake on Monday – thanks to a robot writer.Journalist and programmer Ken Schwencke created an algorithm that automatically generates a short article when an earthquake occurs.

    How long before we can get robot writers to write the Standard:<Something awful has happened/is happening><it's all the fault of capitalism><Only in World Socialism…>

    #90867
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    This may be of interest  The Zero Marginal Cost Society by Jeremy Rifkin. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/03

    #90868
    ALB
    Keymaster
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