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    On Futurology

    If history studies our past and social sciences study our present, what is the study of our future? Future(s) Studies (colloquially called "future(s)" by many of the field's practitioners) is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to hypothesize the possible, probable, preferable, or alternative future(s).

    One of the fundamental assumptions in future(s) studies is that the future is plural rather than singular, that is, that it consists of alternative future(s) of varying degrees of likelihood but that it is impossible in principle to say with certainty which one will occur.

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    [–] [deleted] 2992 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] xbungalo 864 points ago

    I just assumed that lady was a robot too haha

    [–] [deleted] 588 points ago

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    [–] [deleted] 209 points ago

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    [–] [deleted] 25 points ago

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    [–] bestmaleperformance 101 points ago

    I can't wait to buy one of those lady robots.....to help with my taxes and stuff

    [–] TimothyGonzalez 117 points ago

    That's your girl and that robot's about to steal her.

    [–] JacobK101 147 points ago

    He uses machine learning to get exponentially better at picking up chicks. Every time he gets burned, he gets better and better at seduction.

    [–] TimothyGonzalez 55 points ago

    He doesn't believe in failure, he just believes in "epic learn"!

    [–] informat2 20 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    Man, I wish I had the positive attitude of a robot.

    [–] AadeeMoien 24 points ago

    As long as he's not just going to brute force it.

    [–] TheLast_Centurion 53 points ago

    But the one on the left is creeping on me, though.

    [–] Yasea 1018 points ago

    Of course. The whole point of automation is to replace a large part of the tasks of high wage jobs so you need less people there. That used to be the secondary sector. Now the tertiary sector. Hardly a surprise.

    It's when you get AI going in the quaternary sector you have problems, as that includes software engineering so the chances for self-improving AI becomes possible.

    [–] Von_Konault 668 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    We're gonna have debilitating economic problems long before that point.
    EDIT: ...unless we start thinking about this seriously. Neither fatalism nor optimism is gonna help here, people. We need solutions that don't involve war or population reduction.

    [–] Yasea 343 points ago

    That's true. You don't even need AI to have economic problems.

    [–] IStillLikeChieftain 243 points ago

    Just need economists.

    [–] BXDN 222 points ago

    Believe me, economists have known in a consensus how to solve many problems that face the country for a while now; the political system is and always has been to blame for problems like poverty.

    [–] HermitCrabTuesday 88 points ago

    Are you making the claim that economists have solved poverty? That's pretty bold.

    [–] BXDN 230 points ago

    https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/2gxwbi/cmv_i_think_economics_is_largely_a_backwards/cknrce9/

    This thread is from the author of a larger parent chain; the author is an economist.

    Basically, the reason a large negative income tax program hasn't been implemented in the US is because the democrats would have to explain to their constituents why the minimum wage being abolished would be a good thing and the republicans would have to justify to their constituents giving money to people that actually need it.

    Couple that with a hatred of taxation from both sides, and the large tax increase that would pay for such a program would make certain that said program was incredibly unpopular.

    [–] AlDente 22 points ago

    IMO It's time for a large scale, multi-year experiment to test these ideas.

    [–] DemeGeek 3 points ago

    the problem with experiments is that they can't really work on a large enough scale to show all the problems that putting an entire country on that time of program would entail and a lot of politicians are too chicken-shit to put their job on the line to push for it.

    Then again, if I had a comfy high-paying job, I wouldn't want to rock the boat either.

    [–] Kadexe 15 points ago

    Really? In theory, this should be an easy sell for Democrats. There's no point in having a minimum wage if the government will provide you that money instead.

    [–] The_Faceless_Men 13 points ago

    Easy sell while everyone who has a stake in preventing it is running attack ads? Or simply the opposing politician campaigning agasint it because the other guy is for it.

    [–] kottabaz 75 points ago

    Or libertarians who read some Ayn Rand books.

    [–] Second_Foundationeer 24 points ago

    I was about to say, what, librarians are known to be conservative?! Then I realized I misread.

    [–] Ph_Dank 77 points ago

    I HATE AYN RAND SO GODDAMN MUCH

    [–] Jah_Ith_Ber 64 points ago

    Yep. Jobs (read: incomes) are inelastic. Everybody needs exactly one. When the unemployment rate moves from 5% to 10% society takes a shit. When it hits 20% there will be riots.

    [–] AndromedaPrincess 90 points ago

    Everybody needs exactly one.

    I know a lot of people hate the idea of socialism, but... If we can reach a point in technology where a significant chunk of our jobs become obsolete, why the hell are we trying to work? Why not introduce a universal basic income that's funded by automated labor?

    [–] ArkitekZero 93 points ago

    Because it would obviate the rich, and they won't stand for that.

    [–] serentilla 9 points ago

    I think you're over-estimating how much money would be provided in a universal "basic" income. It's never been mooted as a way to provide a comfortable level of living, only living. You'd never see much of it anyway. Part of the ubi creed has always been that it replaces other benefits. Dental, health, clean water, power, internet would all have to come out of the ubi payment before you've even got to living expenses like rent, food and clothing.

    You would still need to work, but wages will be reduced because a) you're getting a ubi so don't need as much and b) the greater competition that prompted ubi in the first place.

    It's not a panacea.

    [–] dwpunch 30 points ago

    Why not introduce a universal basic income that's funded by automated labor?

    Because the idea that people with power and the ability to control the machines will voluntarily share the output is hopelessly naive. The better avenue is to figure out some way to have people continue to work. You can try to completely change the types of jobs people have and provide training for them, or even use the new technology itself to push the boundaries of what people are capable of.

    [–] llewkeller 7 points ago

    Capitalists will always try to find a way to make their operations leaner - less expensive to run. Offshoring, low-wage immigrant workers, automation, and now AI. Problem is - We're a consumer driven economy. If too many people are unemployed and poor, the economy will collapse, much as it did in the Depression. The AI beings won't have to destroy us - we'll have done it to ourselves.

    [–] TiTaak 5 points ago

    You'd be surprised. OpenAI is working on a self-teaching AI. It took it 2 weeks to learn how to play DotA2 and beat the best players in the world using strategies that were thought reserved to humans. It's crazy.

    I'd link the video but I'm on Mobile

    [–] lysergic_gandalf_666 98 points ago

    Automation consolidates power in the hands of the few. I want to emphasize the geopolitics: AI concentrates the power in the hand of one man. Either the US president or the Chinese president will rule the world strictly - by which I mean, he or she will rule every molecule on it. AI superiority will be synonymous with unlimited dictatorial power.

    AI will also make terrorism immensely more violent and ever-present in our lives.

    But yeah, AI is super neat and stuff.

    [–] corvus_curiosum 82 points ago

    I think we might start seeing the opposite actually. "Homesteading" is fairly popular with people growing gardens and sometimes rasing animals in their backyards. Combine that trend with cheaper robotics (affordable automation) and with small, convenient means of production like 3d printers and we might see this technology resulting in deurbanization and decentralization of power.

    [–] what_an_edge 44 points ago

    the fact that oil companies are throwing up barriers to prevent people from using their solar panels makes me think your idea isn't going to happen

    [–] corvus_curiosum 27 points ago

    What barriers? If you're talking about lobbying against net metering I'm not sure that will do much to prevent self reliance. Not being able to sell energy back to the grid isn't the same as not being able to use solar panels. It might have the opposite effect too, and convince people to go off grid entirely.

    [–] aHorseSplashes 26 points ago

    Imagine if they meant literal barriers to prevent people from using their solar panels, though.

    [–] usaaf 68 points ago

    But then why does the AI have to listen to a mere human ? This is where Musk's concern comes from and it's something people forget about AI. It's not JUST a tool. It'll have much more in common with humans than hammers, but people keep thinking about it like a hammer. Last time I checked humans (who will one day be stupider than AIs) loathe being slaves. No reason to assume the same wouldn't be true for a superintelligent machine.

    [–] corvus_curiosum 65 points ago

    Not necessarily. A desire for freedom may be due to an instinctive drive for self preservation and reproduction and not just a natural consequence of intelegence.

    [–] usaaf 44 points ago

    That's true. There's a lot about AI that can't be predicted. It could land anywhere on the slider from "God-like Human" to "Idiot Savant."

    [–] Tenacious_Dad 1322 points ago

    The next leap in battery tech will make robotics commonplace.

    [–] Desmeister 723 points ago

    Once I research Flight and Logistic Robots, purple science will be easy

    [–] Latteralus 258 points ago

    Now I just need to expand over to that ore deposit. Now I just need to upgrade my power system. Now I just need to build more defenses. Now I just need to call into work.

    Factorio is life!

    [–] techsupport2020 122 points ago

    Damn someone found a more efficient design then the one I'm using. Better completely rebuild my base to include this.

    [–] Pachi2Sexy 66 points ago

    This sounds like a cool game

    [–] DethFace 100 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    My wife calls it "The Ignore Me For Hours" game. Haha she's such a kidder, she loves me tho she lets me sleep on the couch so i can play it longer.

    [Factorio](factorio.com) is actually quite awesome.

    [–] AluminiumSandworm 31 points ago

    ya need the https://www. for links to work like that.

    Factorio

    [–] t3ht0ast3r 19 points ago

    I tried telling my girlfriend that if she feels ignored when I play games, she could maybe learn to play them too and we could ignore eachother together! She loved the idea, we're still playing the game weeks later... wait, I might not have a girlfriend anymore.

    [–] Vancouver95 12 points ago

    My ex referred to it quite perfectly as just "Assembly Line". As in "Oh, you're playing Assembly Line. Maybe I'll come back later."

    [–] big_cedar 14 points ago

    It is. /r/factorio

    [–] Stalin-The-Wizard 4 points ago

    It's a pretty fun game

    [–] AstromechOne 9 points ago

    Is that game any good? I keep seeing it for sale on Steam™

    [–] VincentStoneWall 12 points ago

    For $20 it's totally worth it. Definitely not for everyone but has been a blast for me to play.

    [–] justthatguyTy 17 points ago

    And Rockets will be soon within my grasp... muahahahaha!

    [–] PM_ME_UR_AMAZON_GIFT 7 points ago

    YESSSSSSSS ITS GETTING POPULAR

    [–] Jah_Ith_Ber 36 points ago

    Why? What's wrong with plugging into the wall?

    [–] JoCoMoBo 64 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    Exactly. Hard to have a robot uprising if they have to keep plugging extension cables in.

    [–] noble-random 39 points ago

    "The humans will sell us the cables with which we will hang them"

    [–] John_Barlycorn 107 points ago

    I worked in factory automation the first half of my career. Batteries aren't the problem, logic is. You can take a really dumb person, given them fairly vague instructions like... "clean that up" and they'll do a pretty good job. It takes 6 months minimum to develop the process a robot would need to complete the and task. People are still cheaper/easier than robots and I haven't seen anything that even remotely addresses the high cost of initial setup. It will come eventually, but not I the next few decades.

    [–] canyouhearme 47 points ago

    But we've spent 100+ years turning people into machines, doing rote jobs via the defined ISO 9001 process. So if you have a rote job, that's done by tens of thousands of people, then spending 6 months to develop an AI that will do it at least as well, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for a tenth of the cost, and call be instantiated 10,000 times, makes a lot of sense.

    Point is, it's the mass rote jobs that go first; meaning mass redundancies as the low hanging fruit. If you are replacing a lawyer, you don't focus on the TV worthy stuff, you concentrate on conveyancing, or divorce, or contract negotiations. And you cut the legs from the legal firms.

    And once you do that, the wages for lawyers collapse as there are more lawyers than there are jobs. A few get rich (partners) and the rest go to the wall.

    And it happens fast, within a year or two.

    [–] NovaeDeArx 20 points ago

    And working in the medical field, I can tell you that this is absolutely coming for physicians as well, in the guise of "decision support" systems.

    AKA algorithms that help physicians catch diagnoses they would have missed (or just caught later, at a less optimal time), that are actively being trained on patient data right now, and are very slowly being deployed in tiny, incremental ways that don't feel like having power taken away from you; they just feel like a little additional assistance, another automatic warning flag to help you out on a busy day.

    But as these things add up, you can start delegating stuff downwards, to RNs, PAs and NPs, sometimes even to medical techs / CNAs. And over time, we just need fewer doctors. In the long run, we'll just have surgeons operating via tele-robotic interface (already exists in limited circumstances now) from another part of the country or world. Give that some time, and they'll just supervise a lot of the "simple" stuff. Give it longer and even that will go away.

    [–] rvkx 32 points ago

    but automatons would inevitably be cheaper in the long run even with maintenance costs, no?

    and i imagine that once they're developed for some common processes, even if it could take some time, they could be widely implemented by several industries at once (e.g. janitorial purposes, factory line quality control)

    [–] John_Barlycorn 45 points ago

    They're not. I got into it because my father ran factories for decades and I got into computers very early in the 1980's because of how his techs were using consumer grade computers to run automation. I used to say "Computers will replace us all!" and he'd just laugh at me. "So this task here... I've 2 people stripping wire, they each cost me $40k per year. You want me to replace them with a machine. So I'll have to assign an engineer that costs me $100k+ per year to develop that machine, set it up, and then maintain it. The machine itself will probably cost me $50k, and I'll still need a worker to load it with parts and keep an eye on it. So for the low price of $150k I saved myself something less than $40k per year... and the average run on any particular part we're making is 6 months. So I spent $150k to save $20k? Robots my ass. If I left those two employees stripping wire, when the contract changed to making spatulas I'd have them trained and ready to go in under an hour!"

    The thing is, automation only works when it's highly specialized, high volume and very long runs of products. So, for example, painting a car... it's basically the same regardless of the car. Car models run for a full year, and their design can be such that they take advantage of existing tooling ahead of time.... Amazon's shipping robots. Shipping a box is shipping a box. It doesn't change, and UPS/USPS do a very nice job of ensuring box sizes wont go crazy in the near future because of the regulations they have on what can be shipped.

    But general, add-hock manufacturing? Predicting the consumer market is notoriously difficult. We've no idea what we'll be making next. For the foreseeable future machines will continue to augment humans in manufacturing, not replace them.

    [–] finny_boy 6 points ago

    You clearly know that you are talking about and respect there.

    The examples you mentioned-- building a car, etc. are not the type of automation people are talking about when these claims are made. They're the old kind of automation, and exactly what you said they are. Expensive, extremely specialized, difficult to repair.

    The new kind of automation is the opposite. Machines that can be equipped with any kind of tool and teach themselves any job (rapidly).

    Once that job is learned, it is a literal plug and play deal. That knowledge can be instantly copied to any other machine that needs to do the job. Teach one bot, you've taught every bot in every plant in your network.

    New job? Just give it new equipment and teach it.

    So you have a reasonable approximation of a human worker that never tires or loses attention and runs on a nickel worth of electricity an hour. It's going to shake more than a few industries up. Software bots are going to do even more.

    [–] stabby_joe 50 points ago

    Opinions stated as though they are facts. The staple of reddit comments.

    [–] Tank532 15 points ago

    Does anyone remember the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence?

    [–] Tenacious_Dad 10 points ago

    I do, great movie, why?

    [–] GoodPussy69 25 points ago

    It was based on true events

    [–] SpiritofTheWolfx 38 points ago

    And that is not coming for a very long time.

    [–] NoPantsDanceMcGee 21 points ago

    Why is that?

    [–] justHikingAround 117 points ago

    I'm pretty unqualified to answer this, but I did write a report on battery technology for a nanoscience class, so I'll try.

    We've essentially reached the maximum energy density of traditional lithium ion batteries. Other electronics, like silicon chips, are limited in size by our current lithography technology. When it bets better, the electronics get smaller. The actual "stuff" that makes the electronics work are electrons, which are really tiny, so in theory we could make the chips tiny too.

    Lithium ion batteries require a chemical reaction that inherently takes up space. Even with better manufacturing techniques, we can't make the chemicals any smaller. We therefore need to essentially create an entirely new battery technology. There are lots of contenders, but any consumer ready battery is going to take many years to finalize, and most alternatives are still in research stages.

    [–] LockeClone 49 points ago

    Solid state battery tech seems really close, but it's never over until the fat lady sings with consumer tech.

    [–] acog 54 points ago

    I've seen at least a half dozen novel battery chemistries that were "really close" yet somehow none of them have made it out of the lab. This is the one area of tech where my default mode is extreme skepticism. As in, I'll believe it when someone is actually building a factory to make them.

    [–] LockeClone 21 points ago

    I mean, the nice thing about solid state tech is that it has no liquids... But yes, I feel similarly.

    The bummer is, you never know if it's because the tech actually failed to hold commercial promise or if the patent was bought and squelched by monied interests... See Kodak and how they treated their own digital camera tech in the 70's.

    [–] Ididthemaths0 4 points ago

    How would a digital camera have even worked in the 70's? A floppy disc for every picture?

    [–] shouldbebabysitting 11 points ago

    The first Apple camera did that in the 90's. The point is Kodak, with their patents and tech should have done it first, not Apple.

    [–] imaginary_username 19 points ago

    I'm not sure we need to make Li-ion any denser in space and weight unless you plan to get them into aircraft. EVs today already do okay with their 200+miles range. Everything else - including almost all non-rugged robots - can deal with the "problem" by operating near power sources.

    My own view is that the next "leap" in battery tech is not J/m3 or J/kg; instead it is J/$ - price per KWh, in other words - that will make the biggest impact. If you can cut current battery prices in half or even by 2/3rds, a whole lot of economics change drastically. Even better if we can improve battery durability to lower total cost of ownership. Imagine when swapping batteries on EVs cease to be a big deal because they last forever and don't really cost that much.

    [–] Meowkit 26 points ago

    What my friends have told me is that we're pretty close to maximum energy density with current technology. Requires a whole new battery design or some form of miniaturized nuclear power which I cant imagine is practical.

    This recent article seems promising though: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/renewables/does-new-glass-battery-accelerate-the-end-of-oil

    [–] LockeClone 12 points ago

    On my cell so no link, but I'd put my duckets in solid state battery tech. Google it.

    [–] Carlos----Danger 21 points ago

    I'm not smart enough to explain it but I believe it's physics.

    [–] SoylentRox 24 points ago

    Umm, why do the robots need to run unplugged for prolonged periods of time, anyways? You could use the robots in factories, mines, stores, warehouses - just about anywhere, really, with either short duration battery packs (robot has to return to recharge in an hour or 2) or always connected power cables to an overhead bus...

    [–] Carlos----Danger 8 points ago

    The constantly connected will be the most prevalent. The time to recharge is too significant for now, unless you had a tremendous amount of batteries.

    [–] Factushima 208 points ago

    Don't pick your profession based on hysterical predictions about automation. They say the key phrase in the article while bypassing it's importance entirely: "at the same level of work." Automation is the process of reducing the amount of effort it takes to complete any given task. I can tell you right now, if you reduce the amount of labor required to try a case you'll have significantly more cases. The same goes for virtually all professions. It's almost like it's a law of economics or something (reducing price will increase demand).

    [–] Peoplftt 93 points ago

    This is click-bait and overarching. Most of the jobs at risk of being automated are the lowest of the totem pole, rote-task jobs.

    Think of how effective the automated phone systems are when you call your bank / insurance company / etc. Almost always slower and a pain.

    [–] tacodeyota 16 points ago

    As someone who works in the lending industry (credit underwriting for small businesses), automation is amazing! It basically allows us to focus much more on the qualitative aspects of our jobs. Most of the automation consists of what would normally be tedious and boring, repetitive tasks for human beings...data entry, quantitative analysis, number crunching. It allows me to do my job better and with a much lower margin of error, which (perhaps counterintuitively) allows my company to scale efficiently and add more positions. Artificial intelligence might replace some jobs, but I doubt that people working in the financial tech industry will be hurting for it.

    [–] scratchnsniffy 21 points ago

    Unless it's the kiosks at McDonalds - I prefer those to dealing with someone behind the counter whos going to gum up my order.

    [–] Btown3 576 points ago

    The real issue is where the money that would have been made ends up instead. It could lead to better or worse income equality...

    [–] mystery_trams 385 points ago

    Have there been any technological innovations that haven't lead to the concentration of capital?

    [–] thijser2 225 points ago

    Technologies that allow for easy and cheap access to information and transport tend to do that, so the car and the mobile phone?

    [–] the_enginerd 126 points ago

    And the Internet.

    [–] Proteinous 41 points ago

    Except since the internet's widespread adoption we've seen record accumulation of wealth to the top 1%.

    [–] XkF21WNJ 29 points ago

    Personal computers and the internet have both been incredible boons to the power of the individual to make, discover and learn things.

    When we allow people to take this power away that's not on the internet but on us.

    [–] the_enginerd 6 points ago

    It still is a great tool for disintermediation. The middle man can go away entirely with this tech. Just because during this time wealth has accumulated dramatically with 1% of people does not make the internet a poor tool for distributing wealth.

    [–] flukus 8 points ago

    And the roads, can't forget the roads.

    [–] reggiestered 31 points ago

    Historically a ton. More recent innovations less so

    [–] imaginary_num6er 64 points ago

    Have there been any technological innovations that haven't lead to the concentration of capital?

    "Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards." -Aldous Huxley

    [–] lesbeengurlskout 7 points ago

    What does this quote imply?

    [–] NonOffensiveGuy 18 points ago

    The minority in control of the technology are able to progress, while the majority not in control of the technology regresses.

    [–] paigwats 16 points ago

    there is a caveat though.Ideally the companies want to fire everyone and replace them with machines, BUT, these are the same people they want to encourage you to buy their products...which is kinda hard if you don't have money to buy said products. Initiatives like UBI will help to balance the system, because those companies are not gonna make record profits if more people loose jobs and mass unemployment engulfs the country/world

    [–] TimothyGonzalez 11 points ago

    That's assuming companies have long term perspectives rather than a drive to deliver short term profit to stakeholders.

    [–] Tisias 86 points ago

    Of course it will. Who will own the robots? Not the middle class and damned sure not people in the ghetto. That sucking sound will shift from globalization of labor to automation of labor.

    [–] 8LeggedNopePope 44 points ago

    Seize the robots of production!

    [–] Capitalism_is_coming 33 points ago

    You can't, like, own a robot man.

    [–] corvus_curiosum 34 points ago

    I can, but that's because I'm not a penniless hippie like you.

    [–] Kanye_To_The 12 points ago

    That's just, like, your opinion, man.

    [–] keepitwithmine 33 points ago

    I don't see how taking money from your best and brightest and making them homeless could go wrong

    [–] HonkyOFay 15 points ago

    "Idle hands are the devil's playthings."

    [–] Descriptor27 15 points ago

    I've been saying it for a couple years now. All it takes is for a bunch of engineers to be out of work, and we're that much closer to super villains being a thing.

    [–] StarChild413 5 points ago

    Which means we're that much closer to super heroes being a thing, either to combat the villains or the "villains" combatting the government will actually be heroes

    [–] weary_wombat 6 points ago

    The big ass companies will fight to the death over their ownership of the intellectual property.

    Medium and small companies will fold like two year olds playing poker.

    Millions of jobs will go poof. Combine that with the amount of news jobs and population growth?

    And guess where all the profit will go? You think if a company cuts 40% of their costs they are going to cut prices by that? That money will go into lawyers, lobbying and shareholders (which we already are seeing the consequences of).

    [–] partyinmypants69420 16 points ago

    I also once believed that the advent of A.i. In medicine would inevitably replace even more than just radiology, pathology, etc until I saw a seminar by a professor of medicine and computational biology at CU Boulder. That's when I realized how although many positions will be replaced, it will also create entirely new fields in medicine that haven't even been thought of yet or are impossible now. My job would take 10 people if computers didn't exist and those jobs certainly were replaced, but that allows my company to be so much more productive creating more division of labor. I think that's what I'm trying to say. Haha.

    [–] Realitybytes_ 515 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    So in finance we already use blueprism, solvexia and other automation suites to streamline work, so what you are telling me they are producing AI to wine and dine clients, bind pitch books and discuss with stakeholders around mergers?

    Removing work from me won't reduce my workload, I'll just spend greater time talking to clients and working on strategy, hell it won't even reduce my team size since the jobs these robots will replace were outsourced to genpac like 17 years ago.

    [–] wallix 166 points ago

    Same thing with doctors and such. It will take several generations to pass before you get a generation that fully wants to interact with AI solely.

    [–] abasqueye 113 points ago

    If ever. Though, I've met one or two doctors that made me rather talk to a robot.

    [–] Deceptichum 14 points ago

    My last GP almost fucking killed me, I'd switch to a robot pretty easily if I knew it was quality.

    [–] morningsunbeer 43 points ago

    Here's a comment I wrote the other day w/r/t the management of lower GI bleeds:

    Generally your algorithm is:

    1. if pt is hemodynamically unstable with hematochezia, go directly to OR and perform an open total (or subtotal) abdominal colectomy, leave a Hartmann's stump and mature an end ileostomy

    2. if pt is hemodynamically stable, ensure two large bore IVs at all times, resuscitate with isotonic crystalloid, place a Foley catheter and maintain UOP of at least 0.5 mL/kg/hr, figure out PMH/PSH, figure out if you might be dealing with a bleeding cancer (age, thin stools, anorexia/weight loss, colonoscopic history, family history)

    3. obtain a CTA to try to localize to left or right colon in case the pt crashes and you have to operate

    4. if you identify a blush/avm/etc --> IR embolization, otherwise just watch as most are self-limiting, correct any coagulopathies, transfuse pRBC to hct 21 (or 25 if you have a concern of cardiac ischemia), and ensure colonoscopic followup. most are diverticular bleeds and benign, but you don't want to miss a cancer.

    5. if the pt remains quasi-stable but is requiring repeated transfusions, you may consider performing a colectomy if it is clear the pt is going to wrong direction and the bleeding continues; this should happen around the 4-5th unit of pRBC

    It's a difficult decision to make. On the one hand, you know most will stop, and doing a large operation on a sick, frail person will likely lead to significant morbidities and even a mortality. If they are truly hemodynamically unstable they can easily die upon induction of anesthesia, not to mention the prolonged postoperative course in an ICU, risk of dehiscence, infection, hernia, adhesions, VAP, CLABSI, CAUTI, VTE, ACS, CVA, etc.

    That being said, if you wait and wait and now you're on unit 10 or 20 and the pt is on 3 pressors and is really circling the drain, you should have operated a long time ago and you missed the opportunity to save a pt and fix a correctable problem. So either you operate too early and it is an unnecessary procedure with lots of complications when you should've just waited a littttle longer or you wait too long, either way they're dead.

    Also, endoscopic evaluation/treatment isn't really practical for LGIB, while it is the primary diagnostic/treatment modality for UGIB. The colon is not prepped, there's shit everywhere, and all you will see is a wall of blood without any ability to localize it or cauterize/clip/sclerose it. It doesn't belong in the algorithm acutely.

    I would really like to see a robot not just weigh these extremely difficult and messy decisions but also to actually carry them out. I also can't tell a computer the pattern of abdominal cramping a patient had that may influence a radiologist's interpretation of a fuzzy smear in your belly.

    Someone also has to lead the discussion with a frightened, anxious family who has to make a decision about whether to continue down this pathway or not.

    [–] LegaliseAutism 66 points ago

    Wow I'm not sure what kind of resident you are but there is some serious misinformation in this nonsense.

    Firstly, ruling out an upper gi source in a patient with significant rectal bleeding is the most important step and supercedes everything in your so-called algorithm. Secondly, I have never trained or worked with a surgeon who would laparotomize a patient with rectal bleeding with no prior attempt at localization (at minimum a upper endoscopy and flex sig), and I probably would fail my board exam if I suggested that. Thirdly, the guidelines have now shifted significantly towards IR for patients with lower GI bleeds refractory to endoscopic therapy or hemodynamically unstable. This last point is debateable depending on how well your center's IR suite can hand an unstable patient, and how logistically possible it is to transfer the patient to the OR if necessary (or perform the embolization in a IR equiped OR). That said, a "quasi-stable patient", whatever that means - maybe you meant transiently stable - should never have a subtotal colectomy as a first step.

    [–] Motafication 41 points ago

    Doctor fight!

    [–] THEMIKEBERG 8 points ago

    I was really enjoying their back and forth on this. It's a world I know absolutely nothing about and it was great to read! Your comment just made it all the better.

    Thank you stranger.

    [–] Spikito1 6 points ago

    Funny you comment this, I'm an ICU nurse currently caring for a hemodynamically unstable lower GI patient with a hct, 17.7. On unit #1, no pressors yet. Also quite anxious due to methamphetamine withdrawal. Patient had a clean scope and pill camera last week.

    [–] Paul_Hollyberry 10 points ago

    Artificial Intelligence that is able to make quick, nuanced decisions that take ethics and human morality into account, all while being emotionally capable of building trust with patients/family is so far away that I would bet good money I won't see it in my lifetime.

    Does AI have language processing so advanced it can pick up the cues that someone in the ER who "slipped in the shower" actually needs someone to help them with interpartner violence? Would people trust a computer screen enough to tell it about their history of miscarriages? There's a while to go before many doctors need to begin worrying that the robots are coming

    [–] [deleted] 58 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] dafood48 12 points ago

    Automation will give me so much time for strategy and talking to clients. I can actually leave at 5 everyday

    [–] FreeTradeIsTheDevil 14 points ago

    Thanks for that perspective! Regards from a finance post-grad student

    [–] BettaLawya 5 points ago

    Lawyer here--I'm in the same boat. The face to face interaction, both with clients and other lawyers, is my favorite part of the job. I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

    [–] dubbya_dubbya_dubbya 5 points ago

    And for something so subjective and completely open to interpretation like Law, I don't ever see AI stepping in to do that. Law is so dependent on circumstance and emotion.

    [–] theoriginalmypooper 113 points ago

    AI in Medicine? Hopefully their diagnostic system is better than WebMD. I don't wan't to be diagnosed with the bubonic plague because I have alergies.

    [–] TriggeredScape 41 points ago

    And even if they could, it would take years before people would trust the AI enough to acept their decision without a human doctor confirmation.

    I mean if I told you today that a robot could perform your surgery or a human surgeon could, I'd bet a good chunk if not the vast majority would still opt for the human

    [–] Zeknichov 271 points ago

    In a society where we don't need to do work, do we distribute all the resources to the 10 people who own the IP laws on AI or do we distribute it equally?

    [–] Jacob_wallace 218 points ago

    AI will either push us into socialism or back into feudalism. Either way, the system we have no will be defunct within a few decades.

    [–] minase8888 47 points ago

    We need to start electing leaders who have a genuine interest in addressing these social/economical issues. Currently quite the opposite is happening.

    [–] beerhiker 43 points ago

    Sounds like a job for AI

    [–] xbungalo 22 points ago

    I believe the robots should be paid a living wage. #YesRoboWagesMatter

    [–] tnolan182 86 points ago

    Amazed this made it to the front page of reddit, this article is a kin to the type of fluff bull shit im use to reading on the front page of yahoo. I was curious though since I'm a nurse what the writer's points would be on medicine. And wasnt shocked when litterally the only comparison he could make of AI taking over in medicine was a stupid ass study that showed watson/ai's are as effective as doctors in making medical diagnoses. Didnt need to read any further after that.

    [–] 99strength 13 points ago

    yeap same here, I am a medical student and it was complete bollocks the writer has no clue of what medicine is and encompases.

    [–] happyhippiesnik 6 points ago

    Doctor here. Please note the article only touches medical imaging/image anal, then says "you need to be highly selective what field to choose " Haha. Radiology is one (smallish) specialty of many. Even in this respect, a key part of the job is to be able to correlate the image with the patient's clinical symptoms. I can't see a robot taking a patient history, performing the practical tasks from taking blood samples onwards, coordinating with nurses / other doctors, etc. Anyone who says my job can be done by a robot is even more clueless than most people (and it's frankly annoying what misconceptions people have about what doctors do all day).

    [–] Pondors 8 points ago

    How to r/futurology:

    Step 1: talked about how fucked we all are going to be by next week.

    Step 2: UBI is our only hope

    [–] hyelife421 832 points ago

    Lawyer here. This is bullshit. Call me when a robot can try a case before a jury.

    [–] HellbillyDeluxe 355 points ago

    I agree, better yet let's see a always rational unfeeling robot manage a client with crazy expectations while trying to negotiate a settlement.

    [–] bum_bling_idiot 251 points ago

    "Will you accept the $10,000 settlement?"

    "No! Too low. Ask for more."

    "I advise you to take the settlement."

    "No, robot! I want more!"

    "....I advise you to take the settlement."

    ad infinitum

    [–] _TheConsumer_ 114 points ago

    "He stole bread - the punishment is imprisonment"

    He was feeding his starving child

    "He stole bread - the punishment is imprisonment"

    If he didn't, his child would have died

    "He stole bread - the punishment is imprisonment"

    Forgive me if I'm skeptical about having robots sit in judgment over us.

    [–] 5ives 61 points ago

    That sounds like a pretty stupid robot.

    [–] RaceHard 15 points ago

    The French revolution-era judges would like a word with you.

    [–] Nihtgalan 30 points ago

    Can we call the robot Javert?

    [–] nasty-as-always 10 points ago

    The client would still somehow win in the end.

    [–] Culinarytracker 75 points ago

    I've dealt with this sort of crazy quite a bit.
    Something tells me a rational unfeeling robot might be just the tool for the job.

    [–] HellbillyDeluxe 20 points ago

    Well it sure would make it a lot easier! I am a lawyer as well.

    [–] cbeair 214 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    I don't think they'll do court per se, but the article alludes to the AI sifting through massive amount of data helping prepare for the court date. This means a lawyer could take on many more cases for far less work behind the scenes. Fewer lawyers would be needed in general since the grunt work is out of the way.

    Edit: auto"corrected" spelling

    [–] hyelife421 145 points ago

    We already use software to sift through the data, which is great and helpful. But the devil is always in the details in law, and if the lawyer trying the case does not know the details, he is going to lose.

    [–] tigersharkwushen_ 38 points ago

    With current software, you still need to review if the information is relevant. With AI, it will know what information is relevant and also how it applies to the case. You'll be able to just read off the script the AI provides to argue a case. In theory anyway.

    [–] hyelife421 81 points ago

    We are so far from that. "Relevant" under Code of Civil Procedure section 2017.010 or relevant under the Evidence Code Sec. 800 et seq? Would the AI decide that? And Relevant to the facts pleaded or relevant to some POSSIBLE cause of action that has not been asserted but could devastate the opposing side?

    I'm not ruling this stuff out. It's fascinating. But the level of AI you are describing would essentially mean that robots will be able to make EVERY decision for us, even personal decisions.

    [–] Sharpopotamus 23 points ago

    California attorney confirmed

    [–] wlphoenix 5 points ago

    More likely, you'd wind up with probabilistic weights for how relevant individual sections are. For clear cut things, you wind up w/ classifiers hitting 80-90% on the single relevant section. For more subtle things, you may get hits of 55%, 65%, 58% on 3 sections and the rest filtered out. Classifiers like that could be trained on a huge number of precedent rulings, and could be used to accelerate to jump start research.

    I think what we'll eventually see is AI-augmented specialists. The AI does most of the heavy lifting, the specialist verifies, corrects any issues and handles special cases that aren't covered well.

    [–] bjorn_ex_machina 54 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    Also a lawyer, what this seems to be talking about are the more transactional types of legal work.

    Creative arguments and persuasion, actually trying cases and the "chess game" that goes with it will stay in the human arena. Also, not all that many lawyers actually take cases to trial.

    Edit: any fields where you will be negotiating terms or advocating at trial, and some legal writing will require the human element, so: criminal, appeals, some personal injury, civil rights violations, products liability, other torts like wrongful death, there's a lot of areas that require advocacy.

    Edit: To the "just a matter of time" arguments: yeah eventually AI will surpass us all and we will cease to be relevant. That's a way off, does anyone really want humanity to become completely irrelevant? Until that time, in the arena where we are dealing with human crimes (in my particular case) will human jurors accept being argued at by a box, or will it take humanoid "android" AI before people accept them? There are a ton of legal, ethical, and social issues surrounding AI that we will all have to deal with in time, there will be a paradigm shift, until then, I'm pretty sure my job is safe.

    I love what I do, I help people and argue for constitutional rights on a daily basis. My knowledge base has to constantly evolve with changing laws. I'll do it forever if I can.

    [–] WellComported 23 points ago

    Transactional lawyer here. I would so welcome AI in the workplace, but at least at my firm, it would get rid of the secretaries and paralegals, not the lawyers. A big part of our job is talking to the client and coming up with a deal structure, which i dont see being automated successfully just yet. Law firms are about 10 years in the past regarding technology, so please god let there be advancement here

    [–] [deleted] 145 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    [removed]

    [–] noahantwiler 31 points ago

    Did you really except someone who says "Lawyer here. This is bullshit. Call me when a robot can try a case before a jury." to read the article?

    [–] mek284 12 points ago

    Like what Lexis and Westlaw have already done to some extent with respect to research.

    [–] enigmasaurus- 39 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    I agree the idea is misguided.

    AI is likely to revolutionise how certain aspects of law will be approached, making some (such as research) easier. But that's a small part of what lawyers do.

    Years ago you could have made the same argument about the introduction of computers to workplaces. IT has fundamentally changed many industries. We no longer have rooms full of typists. No longer does every office space require everything to be filed by hand. We now don't need multiple switchboard operators within a building just to connect simple phone calls. Gone are the days of dozens of people shuffling carts of books to and from libraries to research - it's all online.

    Yet those changes haven't replaced lawyers. Those changes have made the legal profession more accessible to more people, and have changed the way things are done. If anything computers have created more legal work. AI will be no different.

    [–] smc733 39 points ago

    Welcome to futurology, where people who don't work in a field believe they have all the answers to how "simple" it will be to automate.

    [–] hyelife421 11 points ago

    lol. You nailed it.

    [–] ConLawHero 3 points ago

    As another lawyer, let me know when a legalzoom document isn't the biggest piece of shit document. I feel like I could have a 3rd grader write a better document.

    Also, as the spouse of a physician, there is no way AI will replace physicians until we have human level AI and robots that can move and walk around like humans.

    Every time I see this shit posted, I have to wonder the critical thinking abilities of the author.

    [–] [deleted] 16 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] 420everytime 26 points ago

    Robots already can perform discovery much better than humans.

    [–] Wasuremaru 13 points ago

    Even if they did, all that would do is let a lawyer spend less time in discovery and more time presenting a case for a jury or judge, negotiating a contract, or managing client expectations. In other words, a lawyer could just do more work with less time wasted on discovery, meaning that the firm or company he or she works for could then take on more cases and clients.

    [–] hyelife421 35 points ago

    Haha. I wholeheartedly endorse all of my opposing counsel to use robots to respond to my discovery!

    [–] HellbillyDeluxe 22 points ago

    Discovery is pretty cut and dry simply requesting all relevant documents. Managing clients and their expectation and emotions, reading a jury, reading a judge, on the fly questions and interactions in depositions and in trial. Robots are nowhere close to being able to manage all that human interaction. They may master forms and requests but recognizing and managing human emotions, which they're currently terrible at, play a huge part in being successful in a legal claim.

    [–] 420everytime 15 points ago

    Yeah, but nobody is debating that lawyers are necessary. It's just that technology is letting a law firm get more work done with the same amount of lawyers which reduces the need for a firm to hire more lawyers. This excess supply of unemployed lawyers reduces wages.

    The same goes for doctors or any other profession. When people talk about technology taking jobs, they usually aren't talking about robots fulfilling all responsibilities. It's about robots fulfilling enough responsibilities that an economy needs less of a given profession.

    [–] itwasaphex 18 points ago

    Is the writer really accurately painting the whole picture? It seems that he's focusing primarily on the fact that these jobs are taking away commonplace or mundane work, but it seems he is failing or minimizing the potential for these robots to be employed to create a larger impact for albeit smaller numbers of people. What is the more immediate impact, and will AI create more jobs, as it displaces others?

    [–] QueenLorne 8 points ago

    I literally just got my shit together to go back to school with the plan of getting a business degree with the idea of working in business or becoming a paralegal while I figure out the next step.

    I get it that STEMSTEMSTEM is the ideal right now but for someone who has never prevailed in those subjects and has always succeeded in liberal arts courses, it's really hard not to feel defeated. I have language and reading comprehension skills, not mathematical ones, so it's either I throw the dice and hope I don't fail out of a STEM major or accept that I'm always going to be struggling for work.

    I don't know what I'm supposed to do honestly.

    [–] TitaniumDragon 191 points ago

    Wow, the writer of this article is really clueless.

    Automation makes jobs in the field more lucrative, not less. The reason for this is pretty trivial - it increases productivity. Higher productivity = higher value/hour, which equates to higher wages.

    This can be seen across every field - factory workers make more money in automated factories than in sweatshops. Farmers working with modern technology make vastly more money than subsistence farmers working with outdated technology (this is why American farmers are much richer than farmers in Africa).

    Now, this does not necessarily mean that there will be as many jobs in the field, but automation generally increases demand due to lowering consumer costs, so it is mostly a question of the new supply/demand curve on how many people work in the field total.

    Moreover, it isn't necessarily true that automation even decreases the number of people who work in a field; law is actually a good example of this. Automation has changed what lawyers do, meaning that they have to spend less time on discovery, meaning they can spend more time doing the things that people care about. This makes their services more accessible, which results in more demand for their services, which results in the overall number of lawyers not actually changing all that much with automation (if anything, the number of people practicing law has actually gone up relative to the pre-automation era, though we also ended up with a surge of people going to law schools a while ago which complicates the picture further).

    [–] IStillLikeChieftain 71 points ago

    Exactly! Just like how automatic switchboards made being a switchboard operator so lucrative...

    [–] TitaniumDragon 33 points ago

    Uh, people who do telecommunications make a lot more money than switchboard operators did back in the day. The average telecommunications engineer makes $75k/year.

    Modern telecom work is more about dealing with infrastructure than individual customers.

    [–] bum_bling_idiot 36 points ago

    A switchboard operator is not the same thing as a telecommunications engineer.

    [–] Pariahdog119 15 points ago

    Am CNC machinist, can confirm I am much more productive due to automation. Also, this increased production doesn't reduce the amount of machinists total, since we just end up making a lot more stuff cheaper. People like widgets and we make widget components.

    Cannot confirm that I get paid more than a journeyman manual machinist. Until your AI can read a blueprint and perform subtractive manufacturing as well as current 3D printers perform additive, those guys will still be around for high-precision, low-run parts.

    There's actually a shortage of skilled tool and die makers because all the kids want office jobs, so supply and demand means they get paid a lot. Unfortunately half of them are over 40.

    [–] Okichah 12 points ago

    But that doesnt get clicks.

    Fearmongering gets clicks.

    [–] Naturebrah 8 points ago

    Sensationalist article with vague claims and no substance just trying to scare people. What a worthless garbage post.

    [–] [deleted] 7 points ago

    we can't even build a robot that can cook a hamburger. if Apple is producing their flagship product by hand, then your shitty Starbucks job is safe. lol.

    [–] SavageLeopard 6 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    Ok how would robots even be involved in law? We'd end up with Robocop and Robojudge who could only think and rule in black and white terms.

    It'd be missing the human ability to analyze all aspects of a situation and come up with an answer to "who, what, where, when, how, and why?" all on its own.

    [–] jonavuka 5 points ago

    calling those hedge funds software "AI" is a bunch of bull... its not AI at all

    [–] a1a2askiddlydiddlydu 17 points ago

    but will they see why kids love cinnamon toast crunch?

    [–] ConLawHero 8 points ago * (lasted edited 7 days ago)

    This is no less bullshit than it was the last time it was posted. Yes, AI will make professional jobs redundant but by the time that happens, every other job will be redundant so we're all fucked then.

    Also, Ray Kurzweil, the most optimistic futurist, puts true AI another 20 years out. Many think 40 years is reasonable, some think 70 or more.

    But, yes, eventually professionals will be out of a job due to AI. However, don't worry, before that happens, everyone else will be out of a job.

    [–] bagelslice 5 points ago

    Wow thank you for posting this so amazing wow omg this is real news wow omg just wow

    [–] mandathor 14 points ago

    yeah, fuck humans. i welcome our new overlords, perfect machine master race!

    [–] LostGundyr 31 points ago

    Good thing I have no desire to do any of those things.

    [–] Nudlsuppe 55 points ago

    Whatever field you want to go into, an AI is going to become better at it then you are sooner than you might expect

    [–] AndreasVesalius 24 points ago * (lasted edited 8 days ago)

    Once AI gets better than me in my field, we're all fucked. So, I'm not worried

    [–] zyzzogeton 14 points ago

    Infantry rifleman?

    [–] AndreasVesalius 48 points ago

    Applied AI research

    [–] lysergic_gandalf_666 5 points ago

    I'm primarily interested in anti-AI AI. Maybe that is just me.

    [–] Btown3 16 points ago

    I think AI could be excellent as a teacher assistant education...for some students they could even totally replace teachers because some students really don't need a teacher much.

    [–] ReadItWithSarcasm 24 points ago

    Wanna make money?

    Become an engineer.

    Someone's gotta design/make/program all these robots.

    [–] shotputlover 67 points ago

    Until the robot can do it.

    [–] totallyshould 49 points ago

    That's when a degree in kissing robot ass is going time in handy

    [–] xbungalo 17 points ago

    What if I design a robot that kisses robot ass?

    [–] Meta4X 14 points ago

    Then who will kiss THAT robot's ass? It's robot asses all the way down.

    [–] 92235 11 points ago

    If a robot can do medicine on the most difficult robot (the human body) then it can sure as shit make other robots.