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Robotics Businesses China

Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots 530

redletterdave (2493036) writes The largest private employer in all of China and one of the biggest supply chain manufacturers in the world, Foxconn announced it will soon start using robots to help assemble devices at its several sprawling factories across China. Apple, one of Foxconn's biggest partners to help assemble its iPhones, iPads, will be the first company to use the new service. Foxconn said its new "Foxbots" will cost roughly $20,000 to $25,000 to make, but individually be able to build an average of 30,000 devices. According to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, the company will deploy 10,000 robots to its factories before expanding the rollout any further. He said the robots are currently in their "final testing phase."
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Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

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  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @12:49AM (#47405135) Journal

    The whole premise of communism is "from everyone according to their ability, to everyone according to their need". It is meant to be a classless society (so no division into "workers" and everyone else), and, ideally, the one that is post-scarcity. The kind of thing described in TFA is in fact exactly what most communist utopia writers envisioned.

    The entire worker angle was a way to achieve communism, starting from a capitalist society. It's not a core part of communism itself.

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @02:20AM (#47405425) Journal

    I know that in the past new fields often opened up to replace those automated, but for some reason the replacement jobs appear to be slow to come now, and nobody knows what they are this time.

    Many of the candidate jobs are being offshored to well-educated 3rd-world human workers so that repetitious jobs go to machines and brain-intensive jobs to countries where wages are much less.

    New fields are opening up, but they don't create mass jobs to replace the mass losses.

    Something seems different this time. I'm just not seeing the replacement jobs. Help me spot them, please.

  • by Jade_Wayfarer ( 1741180 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @02:53AM (#47405519)
    I wish I had some mod points - there are so many misconceptions about Marx and communism that it is sometimes painful to watch. Although, if we'll take anarchism or libertarian capitalism in their extreme (and unattainable) forms, they'll result in a really nice societies as well. We'll just need a different types of people for each of these systems to work properly. Right now it seems that we have the system that we deserve, no more, no less.
  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @06:24AM (#47405953)

    Wow, quite a distortion you came up with there. Granted, Marx did say some interesting things but the question should be why communism would allow companies to build machines that remove income from humans? For that matter, why is a "capitalist Republic" allowing it now?

    Because a system, once build, is more than just a sum of its parts. It has independent existence and motives. What that means is that neither communism, nor capitalism, nor USA nor China, are under human control, so why would they serve human interests, except incidentally? Yes, these systems have human actors making decisions, but these humans can only make decisions within parameters given by the system itself - a Foxconn CEO must do whatever it takes to keep Foxconn "competitive", and if he won't, he'll be replaced by someone who will, and likely severely punished. An American politician must accept a system-approved role - a set of political positions - if he wants to be elected. A dictator, while seemingly free, faces the same situation, except the punishment for disobedience is death rather than merely dropping out. Human beings, even those seemingly in control, are little more than agent-slaves of the Lovecraftian monstrosity they've conjured.

    No one wanted World War I, yet it still happened. Neither the Soviets nor the Americans wanted the world to end, yet they came within hair's width of blowing it all up during the Cuban crisis. Chinese don't want to breath a poisonous fume, yet Peking's air is just that. People regularly refer to "the market" like it was a living thing that needs to be appeased and soothed and definitely not something anyone can control - because, in some ways, it is.

    Human beings aren't in control of their own nor the destiny of the world, and haven't been since civilization began. I suspect this is the real reason religions keep popping up: beneath the bizarre cruft all traditions tend to accumulate, they present a perfectly accurate picture of the everyday experience of living in a world ruled by utterly inhuman and mostly invisible forces. For example, "Free Market" is, for all intents and purposes, the god of capitalism, gets treated that way by everyone, has sacrifices performed to it, has temples and priests trying to predict its capricious whims, is the object of fundamentalist faith - I've had people define a human's very right to live in terms of body ownership - and doctrinal conflicts, etc. Someone who wasn't indoctrinated to the system from birth could hardly avoid classifying this all as a typical religion.

  • by taylorius ( 221419 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @06:36AM (#47405975) Homepage

    So with the manual labour jobs being given to robots, and a distinct lack of young women, (thanks to female babies being unwanted) things are certainly looking bright for the tens of millions of young Chinese males.

    I'm sure they'll take it philosophically - enormous gangs of angry, sexually frustrated young men usually do.

  • by MrLogic17 ( 233498 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @08:53AM (#47406441) Journal

    If people continue to breed as they currently do, we're going to be just fine. Birth rates globally are on the deline. As education (espcially education of women) becomes commonplace in a country, birth rates drop. We are in no danger of over populating the planet. Depending on the projection, "peak people" just might be within our lifetime.

    With advancing technology. why can't everyone have a high standard of living? Technology & weath are not a zero-sum game. More people with education & skills raise the standards for all. (If you disagree, explain to me where all the silicon valley wealth was durring the stone age.)

    Stop worrying about how big your slice of the pie is. Let's make the pie bigger for everyone.

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @10:15AM (#47406901) Journal

    Communism has been done correctly in the past, but never on a scale as large as a country.... at best, I think it has only been achieved at the scale of a modest community, and generally involving no more than a few thousand people or so.

    Basically, when everyone in the community personally knows practically everyone else in it, there is a social obligation on everybody to conform to expected behavior on account of a complete lack of anonymity, and communism works. Individuals who do not fit in to such societies are unceremoniously kicked out and left to fend for themselves.

  • No. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by denzacar ( 181829 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @11:34AM (#47407537) Journal

    But then the problem is that there is no incentive for anyone to keep the factories running.

    There is no MONETARY incentive for factory workers to create additional profit, above that which is needed for maintaining a monetary status quo, or a very slight profit above it.

    There are plenty of other incentives though.
    Ever tried to beat your own score in a game? How about collecting all the special items or unlocking achievements?
    Anyone paid you for that? Did you get a badge? Or a shirt? How about a citation in front of your peers?
    How about your grades in elementary school? Did you get monetary incentive according to your grades and was that your primary motivator?
    Fucking? Do you get paid for that? How about eating?

    From personal pride of one's work to various propaganda techniques appealing to various human prejudices, from "think of the children" to "Uncle Sam needs you".

    Armies are the example of just such an arrangement.
    They "belong directly to the public, with what is essentially a 100% "tax" on all profits".

    Plus, the workers get a chance to be killed and/or maimed while making almost no money for themselves.
    Who'd want to work at a place like that, right? No incentives will bring you back from the dead.
    And yet...

    Monetary motivation is just the cheapest and easiest to work with, giving the lowest results. Very few people would put their life on the line for "just money".
    Millions of people put their lives in danger every day with no hope of monetary compensation.
    Doing it "for their community".
    Not "for their capital".

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington