Here are few sentences that I want to express in short thought on the matter of automation/AI. I think labor cost and other costs that impose on innovation, manufacturing, and whatnot would speed up automation and artificial intelligence a great deal, because countries such as the United States would like to outdo countries such as China in term of trade and other economic factors. For your information, I think as now China still has labor cost advantage over the United States. I see though that the United States could try really hard to push for automation and artificial intelligence, because in this way the United States can gain a competitive edge in trade such as in labor cost and whatnot. Nonetheless, if I’m China, I would do the same, and this vicious cycle would only speed up automation and artificial intelligence. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think we may live in the future sooner than we would have like or prepare for. Furthermore, automation and artificial intelligence will only increase job losses, but it will take a much longer time for people to find new jobs. After all, getting a new job in a totally different field requires retraining and relearn. Before you know it, the whole world will try to push for automation and artificial intelligence. It’s coming sooner than you think!
As of late, people all over the world are taking notice how China has become a leader in the port industry. For an example, in 2016, August 10th, if I got the date right, Chinese shipping group, China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco), completed the majority purchase of Greece’s Piraeus port. Since then, Cosco has turned Piraeus into one of the leading ports in the world. Just now, China is taking its port business into the next level by turning a terminal at Port of Qingdao into a fully automated container terminal. This means no human involvement is needed on most of the port container activities at this terminal. Well, you get a better idea if you watch the video right after the break.
As China is continuing to automate its industries, I wonder how will they cope with more unemployment. On business level though, things will be a lot more efficient in productivities and costs, but at what costs to the traditional social values such as full employment? Of course, certain traditional social values can always be updated or let go, but employment is one of the things that help put foods on the table for a modern fellow. Without employment, one would go hungry pretty fast or whatever a bad case that would be.
With roughly 1.4 billion plus population, if I’m not off on the number, China would be in big trouble if so many people won’t be able to find jobs. Automation will definitely create unemployment problem to be even more acute than ever before. Right now though, opportunities seem to be abundant in China still, because even some foreigners are leaving their home countries to travel to China for job opportunities. Nonetheless, once automation becomes evermore prevalent in China, I wonder how the opportunity picture in China would form. I can see the applications of automation will make China be evermore competitive in many global industries. In this case it would be all about the port/shipping industry.
On the day of Chinese New Year’s Lantern Festival in Guangzhou, China (2017), people got to witness 1,000 drones lit up Guangzhou’s night sky with various beautiful colors. The drones were synched up in different patterns that got purposeful meaning to the Chinese people. According to Chinese news services, the 1,000 drones performance just set a Guinness World Record since thus far it’s a biggest number of drones in the sky at once. What is amazing is that none of these drones was crashing into each other, and so the automation of fly patterns for drones is definitely ready for prime time. Don’t you think the future will be involving with more of drones that behave as if fireworks have gone off in the dark but beautiful night sky? Perhaps, the prediction of automation will come true in regarding to putting firework business out of business? In summary, these swarm formations of drone performance might be more fashionable and future proof than firework… but by witnessing how drones got to be so automated is making us worry for our future. We may worry how futuristic AI’s automation will put hundreds if not thousands of outdated, typical human jobs and businesses out of service. If I’m not wrong, I think Chinese Lantern Festival is usually celebrated on the last day of Chinese New Year. This year is all about the roosters, and so eat more chicken! Check out the drone synch performance of 1,000 drones in Chinese New Year night sky in the video right after the break. Enjoy!
In 2017, a lot people and various parts of different countries are talking and experimenting with basic income. Automation — comes naturally and intelligently through artificial intelligence — is the new thing that has gotten people worried. Some people argue that AI’s automation will replace human beings with robots/programs in all sorts of jobs. Dumb automation probably has already replaced humans in many cumbersome, repetitive jobs/functions. Intelligent machines/programs through AI can probably replace many white collar jobs already. When too many people are out of work, this could become a huge bother for many powerful people who carry important positions in our society. Displaced people would want to be able to survive and strive in a society in which they’re no longer productive, but this could mean standing up against the factory owners, corporations, and even the governments. If not careful, a world of full automation could mean a bloody revolution. Thus, basic income becomes an urgent question for many leaders in any country in our time.
Nonetheless, in the West, we have a thing that was being taught since the fall of Soviet Union is that communism has failed utterly. We look at China as if Chinese communistic society is the new capitalist society. How can basic income fit into a Western society in which communism has been taught to be disgusted upon? After all, basic income is about rationing, splitting equal income for everyone in a single society. Isn’t communism is also about rationing and splitting equal things for a community, a society, and in biggest case a country? I guess, we could argue a mix of basic income with capitalistic values won’t lead to new communism, but it could morph into an entirely different beast. I guess we should ask, can a strong supportive basic income be an uplifting element for the despondent citizens? I guess we should consider the humming capitalistic tunes of the middle class in this situation. Can basic income give the despondent ones a chance to reach the middle and eventually the upper classes within this beastly creation?
Perhaps, basic income may not be the only solution. Perhaps, we require many more parts of a larger, more creative solution in order for us to tackle the AI’s automation revolution. Imagine in a society in which doing good things promotes good karma, and this karma translates into real monetary credits. Can this route take us to a Nirvana? Basic income to support a crumpling foundation, and on the top of this reparable foundation we decorate it with good karma. The double edge sword of a good karma/credit system is that the implementation of punishments, punishing the good people who have bad karma/credits. Then the question should be asked such as what could be the punishments for the people who have bad karma/credits? This won’t be a good thing if new harsh punishments are there to wreck havoc in lives of good citizens. It could literally lead to a society in which looks very much like a Nazi one. Perhaps, karma/credit system should be used for the implementation of a positive, credit/monetary system only and not much more, and no punishment should come along with this very system. This way, good folks won’t be affected by stupid punishments. Just imagine good karma/credit system provides even more basic income on the top of the basic income?
I couldn’t let this go. Imagine a society in which isn’t too different from a fantastical Star Trek’s one, because a replicator alone could conjure any item out of the thin air. Perhaps, a replicator could replace basic income and money and credits altogether? If such a society and technology exist, this could mean the end of being desperate in a more intelligent universe. Perhaps, if this to occur, people won’t have the need for ancient money/credit system, because a replicator alone could conjure up anything. It’s magical. Anyhow, the summation of all is that an interesting time is upon us, and AI’s automation may be replacing us humans in all sorts of jobs. The old system isn’t providing an answer to how to create new jobs in an AI universe. A jobless society would be very different in nature, because people need money to survive. Without providing jobs to a hungry population, a society could face an upheaval of all sorts. Can basic income and good karma/credit system provide a way to cope with AI’s automation?
In the past, the rise of industrialization produced new jobs and discarded the old ones. With industrialization came new technologies and so forth, thus new civilizations evolved and destroyed the old ones. People became more urbanized eventually, and the old ways were mostly discarded. Factories sprang into the existence and assembly lines produced things en masse. Jobs were abundant for the industrialization was young and healthy. Industrialization was one of the main catalysts in which out-of-date jobs disappeared en masse.
We don’t really have to know the details of how industrialization of the past could build a civilization of today, because what we’re seeing are real. Furthermore, China has reinforced the notion of industrialization miracle by using this phenomenon so effectively in which industrialization plus urbanization has brought at least 600 million Chinese people out of poverty. China is now harboring the largest middle class that the world has ever known.
For India, she is looking at China with bewilderment, because she too has a huge population which will surpass China’s 1.3 billion head count, and yet her industrialization isn’t yet fully developed. The problem is that something is lurking in time in which even industrialization will soon become the thing of the past. By then even industrialization will not be able to help India to catch up with China.
What is lurking in time which will eclipse industrialization? In my opinion, it’s automation. It’s so simple to see why automation will turn industrialization into nothing more but a tale of history. As of now, we know industrialization as the catalyst for the rise of modern humans, because it has produced untold amount of jobs and products and in turn pushing human population into new height. Very soon though, automation will put so many people out of menial and even creative jobs, because so many things will be able to be automated with great efficiency.
Efficiency is the key to a future, because automation will be so efficient in which even more products will be able to be produced. Unfortunately, people will not be a part of this new enlightenment, because the production will become automation. Automation does not need human inputs. I surmise in the early stage of automation, some human inputs will be needed. When the efficiency of automation becomes fully transpired, human inputs will merely be needed.
Imagine how this future will unfold. Let’s be simple and take a look at things that are closer to home. Automation will put truck drivers, taxi drivers, pilots, construction workers, manufacturing workers, programmers, engineers, and even musicians out of job. It’s simple to see self-driving car technology will be able to replace jobs that require human drivers. It’s simple to see self-flying plane technology will be able to replace jobs that require pilots. It’s simple to see the construction process of any building in the future will become evermore automated such as 3D printing machine technology for construction process, thus less construction workers will be needed. It’s simple to see manufacturing workers will be replaced by machines, because machines don’t demand wages. Artificial intelligence will be able to replace programmers, engineers, and musician, because the smarter artificial intelligence gets the less human inputs are needed in these jobs.
I bet China and elsewhere in the world are looking toward this automation trend, because these places are already being industrialized. The next logical step for them is to go automation for even more efficient future. Unfortunate for India, if she isn’t industrialized fast enough, she may have to face a future in which the world is going full speed ahead for automation. In the automation world, companies don’t need cheap labor jobs, but these companies can purchase cheap machines to build products. India will find herself to be vulnerable in such a future for sure. Besides India, I think anywhere in the world will see automation as a challenge, because automation means less jobs for everybody.
You can argue automation will also create new jobs, but we have to remember that the number of jobs that automation needs won’t be able to replace untold amount of jobs the world needs. For an example, a manufacturer plant’s automation may require one or two skill engineers to reprogram the automation process, but thousands of employees will be fired for machines are the only answer for automation. This whole automation thing reminds me of “The Matrix” very much. The movie “The Matrix” first came out for entertainment, but we may never know it might just be so prophetic in the future.
In summary, automation will give India and China so much pain, because the population sizes of these two countries are so huge. Huge population means more jobs are needed, but automation will replace so many jobs that huge population may have to cry for mercy. China will fare better than India if automation is to speed up, because China has the surplus of money, infrastructure, and so on to help her population cope with automation. India will not fare very well in the automation world, because she is still trying to industrialize her way out of poverty. In a world where machines replace humans, I think India won’t be able to fully industrialize. Check out the video right after the break to find more on why India could be in so much pain when automation comes knocking.
The future is already here, well not quite but somewhat inspirational, I think! According to Gizmodo, automatons with futuristic aesthetic have zipped around Heathrow airport since April this year, and passengers can use them on demand basis. So, by staring at the image of these vehicles (image could be found on Gizmodo’s article “Alien-Looking Automatons Have Taken Over Heathrow Airport“), I think I’d seen them before. No, I’d never been to Heathrow airport so I could never have been on one of these futuristic vehicles. Perhaps, in one of those science fiction movies I’d watched that these automatons reminded me of something similar. Anyhow, Gizmodo has that these futuristic airport vehicles are known as Ultra PRTs and the creator of these awesome futuristic vehicles is BAA. Hmm… wondering if customers have to pay a fare to ride them. Nonetheless, airport is exciting again for me! USA needs to get this type of vehicles to our airports already!