[ExI] roboburgers to go

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu Sep 26 06:46:01 UTC 2013

I don't know if this has already mentioned in this thread, but my 
colleagues Carl Frey and Mike Osborne has done a pretty intriguing study 
of what jobs are at risk from AI:
They have a list at the end. Don't aim at the high probability 
occupations for a career.

On 2013-09-26 02:37, spike wrote:
> I think I went off on a tangent: advertising rather than your point: 
> robo-burger will eliminate low-end jobs. Here's the scoop John: my job 
> was eliminated by technology as well, and it was my own fault.  I 
> invested years into learning a bunch of controls techniques that were 
> perfectly suited for software.  Matlab and Simulink can do everything 
> I did and a lot more, it never gets tired, it doesn't ask for raises.  
> Shelly's job has a half-life I would now estimate in months at best, 
> for all the same reasons.  Our fault: we should have foreseen that our 
> specialized knowledge could be automated.  It was.
That is the problem for a lot of the jobs on the list in the paper - 
they rely on a specific skill, rather than general creative 
intelligence, dexterity or some other broader, hard to automate thing. 
Everything that could be done by an algorithm will be done by an 
algorithm, so one better find the part of the job that is 
non-algorithmic and leverage it.

My data mining skills will be irrelevant soon, but hopefully not my 
ability to put the results into a delectable theoretical package or do 
weird cross-links between disciplines.

> Ja, that automated restaurant thing is still cool though.  I will eat 
> there, even if some big evil corporation is making a buttload of money 
> while the human former-burger flippers are turned out of one of the 
> lowest-end jobs our technologically advanced society can imagine.  I 
> don't have the answers to that.  My own memories of working in one of 
> those places is of unbroken misery, and I had the best job in the 
> place. As soon as I got a chance to do beekeeping, I jumped on that 
> like a ton of linemen on a loose football and never looked back.  I 
> did roofing in Florida in the summertime; even that job was better 
> than fast food, oy vey.
There are many jobs that we almost have a moral duty to eliminate.

> We are a species that needs to work.  We want to work.  So let's work 
> at that.  Why not? Even if we want to argue there is plenty of 
> oil/coal/natural gas/thorium/pick your favorite, there is little 
> downside to getting humanity going on building rooftop solar 
> everywhere while we wait for the other stuff.  We want to work, and 
> that's a task.
It is also a meaningful task, which is important. As Dostoyevsky said, 
"In order to destroy a man there is nothing more terrible than to give 
him meaningless work".

Now off to work! (in this case, explaining my work to suits in order to 
make a sponsor look good. I see it as cultural anthropology of the 
business world)

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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