Ze Robots are comink

Via CIP what I agree is a rather nice story about robotisation, from the WaPo. The bit that seems interesting is that the robots are getting cheaper, and more flexible. You don't need to convert the whole factory at once; you can do little bits at a time. For the folk doing the work that the robots are going to push out, this isn't good news, except that they jobs are so mind-numbingly boring that perhaps it is good news, really. They're now free to do something better, in a slightly richer society. They even find one of the workers to say “It’s not a good job for a person to have anyway”.

In other news, I'm at work on Sunday. But I won't be next Sunday.

More like this

What nobody has figured out yet is what are all the interesting, well-paid jobs that those displaced factory workers can do that robots can't do, or can't do for less.

#1 - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

If you blow up that picture you can see that they actually pay the grand sum of 13.50 an hour on night shift. On their website they have all these pictures of advanced robotic machinery doing all kinds of wonderful custom manufacturing. It looks like to me that those shift workers are wage slaves to a robot.

By Toby Brown (not verified) on 06 Aug 2017 #permalink

Is Mentiflex, #1, a robot?

[I don't know, but pending some explanation of what the relevance is, I've spammed it -W]

By David B. Benson (not verified) on 07 Aug 2017 #permalink


The problem is more, you displace some 50-something workers who are not in a realistic position to retrain in 'new' technologies. And instead of pensioning them off - the 'new, interesting' jobs going to the next generation - we pretend that they can easily get new jobs. Hence problems. Something that's going to get worse as we lose those final salary schemes. Never mind the latest trends for student debts followed by 35-year mortgages followed by crap pensions..

Fundamentally, some of the increased productivity from robotisation has to be captured and redistributed to smooth the shocks and dislocations; moreso because we don't have a full employment situation where wages would automatically rise with productivity. Otherwise we'll see more and more of a backlash - we've already seen Brexit and Trump.

By Andrew Dodds (not verified) on 07 Aug 2017 #permalink

When only robots write blog comments only bots will read blogs.

Further to #9, our robot political overlords are virtually here!

As linked on another thread;

"Sam Woolley of the Oxford Internet Institute’s computational propaganda institute tells me that one third of all traffic on Twitter before the EU referendum was automated “bots” – accounts that are programmed to look like people, to act like people, and to change the conversation, to make topics trend. And they were all for Leave. Before the US election, they were five-to-one in favour of Trump – many of them Russian. Last week they have been in action in the Stoke byelection – Russian bots, organised by who? – attacking Paul Nutgall."

[one third of all traffic on Twitter before the EU referendum was automated “bots - is that even vaguely plausible? I doubt it. One third of *global* traffic? This is some clueless Graun columnist who has spent a few minutes on the phone to some bloke she hasn't really understood -W]

spelfix to #9, Paul Nutgall is Paul Nutall in the source, but my automated spelcheker insists on changing it to Paul Nutgall. The ways of bots are mysterious.

Someone actually put effort into attacking Paul Nutall?? The guy with slightly less credibility than Lord Buckethead..

By Andrew Dodds (not verified) on 08 Aug 2017 #permalink

Too think that bytes of torridal magnetic core storage used to cost $11 each. That's in 1956 dollars, mind you.

By David B. Benson (not verified) on 08 Aug 2017 #permalink

When you can buy twitter followers for $5 for 20,000, why is this so implausible?
"i bought a million followers for like $400 none of this shit matters antarctica is melting."

By Phil Hays (not verified) on 08 Aug 2017 #permalink

[one third of all traffic on Twitter before the EU referendum was automated “bots – is that even vaguely plausible? I doubt it.....]

Yes, seems implausibly *low* - 85% of email is estimated to be spam and I'd be surprised if that large a difference exists between Twitter and email.

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 08 Aug 2017 #permalink

> 85% of email is estimated to be spam

Now if only there was a way to tax it.

If it were eliminated, would we have solved global warming? All those servers, all those messages ....

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 09 Aug 2017 #permalink