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Robotics Businesses The Almighty Buck Technology

Bankers Publicly Embracing Robots Are Privately Fearing Job Cuts (bloomberg.com) 183

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Within the upper echelons of many financial firms, there's a lot of soul searching as executives prepare to roll out a new generation of technology. Publicly, they're upbeat, predicting machines will perform almost all repetitive tasks, freeing humans to focus on more valuable pursuits. Privately, many confide to peers, consultants and sometimes journalists that they're worried about what will happen to their staffs -- and what to tell them. There's also uncertainty. Maybe it's all overblown, executives say, because the tech will be hard to implement and humans will find new roles. Or perhaps it's the beginning of the end for legions of professionals in one of the world's most lucrative fields. Can jobs held by office-dwelling millionaires disappear like those on factory floors? The result, is that employees aren't getting a clear message on what's to come.

For a rosy scenario, look to McKinsey & Co. In July, the consulting firm published a report estimating machines are ready to assume roughly a third of the work now performed by banks' rank and file. The authors framed it as positive: People will have more time to tend to clients, conduct research or brainstorm ideas. So far, it noted, firms at the forefront aren't slashing jobs. At JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the most tech-savvy banks, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon predicted in June that his workforce will more likely grow than shrink over the next 20 years. Technology may displace workers, he's said, but it also creates opportunities. Yet in interviews, about a dozen Wall Street executives and consultants responsible for deploying technologies -- and steeped in their capabilities -- were more bearish on humans. Machines will take over task after task, they said, and banks simply won't need nearly as many people.

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Bankers Publicly Embracing Robots Are Privately Fearing Job Cuts

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  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @10:36PM (#55394267)
    and I'm guessing we're not going to do a damn thing about it because a good chunk of us can't bear the thought of somebody having a nice things in life and not working relentlessly to get it. It comes down to an antiquated concept of 'fairness'. They worked and sacrificed and suffered to get what little they've got in life so why shouldn't everybody else? Hell, I've seen it with some of my liberal LGBTQ friends even, who were upset that the younger generation of LGBTQ folks didn't go through as much shit as they did. It's a pretty common sentiment and one that the ruling elite have always been good at exploiting.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm thinking we're in for a second industrial revolution. And that includes the 80 years of rampant unemployment, poverty, social unrest and war they don't talk about in grade school.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That second industrial revolution will NOT end, it will go full throttle to a dystopia, sprinkled with mass genocide.

      • Well, since the second industrial revolution ended in 1914, those "80 years of rampant unemployment, poverty, social unrest and war" have been happily behind us for two decades.
        • Can't tell if sarcasm, cluelessness, or troll.
          • None of the above, just a simple statement of facts.
            • Well, it would help if I had read your post correctly. Although I'm not sure the last two decades have been free of problems, it's nothing like the industrialized wars of the first half of the 20th century, that's for sure.
        • The OP is unfamiliar with the various periodizations of subsequent "industrial revolutions" offered by recent historians. Only the First Industrial Revolution (beginning circa 1770) is universal and unambiguous in the historical literature.

          The term "Second Industrial Revolution" as you characterize it was only offered in a standardized form in 1972 by David Landes in Prometheus Unbound and is not universally accepted among historians even today.

          There is clearly a third phase of industrialization in the Twen

    • and I'm guessing we're not going to do a damn thing about it because a good chunk of us can't bear the thought of somebody having a nice things in life and not working relentlessly to get it.

      Nobody is ever going to get nice things without working hard to earn them. At best, they'd have their basic needs met and probably not feel much fulfillment in knowing their existence amounts to being a burden on society.

      Charles Dickens pretty much nailed the conservative mentality towards this in A Christmas Carol. If those who are unable to work can't make use of the existing social services already in place, then they may as well die to eliminate their burden on society. Notwithstanding the negative s

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2017 @01:49AM (#55394663)

        I see a few issues with your logic.

        I agree that people should want to be productive members of society. However, people aren't paid according to the contribution they make to society, but rather how the market values the goods and services they produce. For example, a parent who raises a child well to be a productive member of society has made a valuable contribution to society in the process, yet we don't pay them for their contribution. Although the United States provides a tax deduction for dependents (not sure what other countries do), this does not measure the effort and skill to raise the child well.

        Although it has changed in recent decades, stay-at-home mothers were once very common. Those women didn't get paid for goods and services unless they ran a business out of their house. However, they did contribute to society by raising their children well. I also believe our society was better off when parents, both mothers and fathers, spent more time around their children and less time working. Unfortunately, they don't get paid for that contribution to society.

        There are plenty of other examples of the differences in how people are paid versus their contributions to society. Furthermore, there are plenty of jobs that are essential for society to function, but do not pay well. For example, the building I work in is cleaned by janitors at night who aren't paid particularly well for their services. The low pay is because the job doesn't require skilled labor and it isn't difficult to find a replacement. The market doesn't place great value on the services they provide, yet they are necessary for the workplace to function. If the scientists working in the building during the day had to take time away to clean the building, they would be less productive. The market doesn't account for that in valuing the work done by the janitors. That's why low income workers get tax credits, because they provide essential services and we need to ensure that they have enough to live on. We need to ensure that someone is providing those services.

        I'm also not convinced that providing a universal basic income would make society less productive. I'd love to innovate and have the opportunity to start my own business. However, I depend on the monthly pay from my current job, and the risk is too great to leave that job and focus on my business. A universal basic income might remove that risk and give me the freedom to focus on innovating and starting my own business rather than being tied to my current job. I might be able to make a greater contribution to society if I could do that, but right now, it isn't a viable option. There are many other potential innovators and entrepreneurs who don't take that risk because it's too great. Sure, there are people who would mooch of of a universal basic income. However, it is entirely possible that there would be a net benefit to society because of the freedom to take risks as entrepreneurs and innovators knowing that they're basic needs would be met through a universal basic income and universal health care.

        Does it matter if some people get to mooch off of the system if society, overall, is advanced? I suspect that a universal basic income and ensuring that everyone's basic needs are met would actually lead to a more productive society than we have now.

        • by Kiuas ( 1084567 ) on Thursday October 19, 2017 @06:16AM (#55395239)

          Does it matter if some people get to mooch off of the system if society, overall, is advanced? I suspect that a universal basic income and ensuring that everyone's basic needs are met would actually lead to a more productive society than we have now.

          Entirely agreed. One of the reasons we're trialing basic income here in Finland (not for everyone at the moment, it's an experiment where a group of people on unemployment benefits have been transitioned to basic income) is that the current models of social security are outdated and no longer in tune with the way the job market functions. Back in the 60s-80s when the Finnish welfare system was created (much of it being copied from our neighbors to the west in Sweden who, having been spared the 2nd world war had had a head start in building theirs) there was still an idea going on that full-time employment is the end goal of all healthy people. This meant that the unemployment benefit was to be used as a mechanism in between full-time contracts or for people who've just graduated.

          However, as we know throughout the west outsourcing and especially automation have already changed the landscape drastically. Companies hire less and less people on permanent contracts and instead favor a gig-based economy. This creates a lot of issues with the current old fashioned social security system because if someone's unemployed and they take up say a 2 week contract or a part time job, this immediately either entirely cancels or massively shrinks their unemployment benefit. This leads to a situation where people who're unemployed do not want to pick up such job-offerings because it affects the stability of their income. If your benefit is cancelled because you got work for a few weeks, you have to re-apply for it after that which takes time and may make a significant dent in your income. The same goes for micro-businesses and self-employment. Even if someone has a skillset that they could use to make some money on the side while looking for a job, many people choose not to do so because there's a real risk of the officials saying: 'aha, I see you've been tutoring students and being paid for it, that makes you an entrepreneur and we're now going to slash or revoke your benefit'. So it's pretty much an 'all or nothing' scenario right now where the system either expects you to be unemployed or working, there's no 'in between' mode and that's becoming more and more of an issue.

          Unfortunately our current government is center-right and blind to the current realities so they're working their assess off to make the situation worse, not better (the basic income trial mentioned earlier was created prior to the current government). We have a couple hundred thousand more unemployed people than open job offerings at this point (the '08 crisis combined with the implosion of Nokia created a huge crater on the job market form which we've not fully recovered, people don't realize this but Nokia was responsible for almost a third of all of our exports), but the government, despite being aware of this, brazenly and openly lies and claims that the problem is that unemployed people arr all 'lazy' and just wanna mooch off the system. So using the 'lazy moochers' as a lame excuse they're creating all kinds of bureaucratic contraptions creating more and more pitfalls for the unemployed people to go through for them to maintain their benefit, such as increasing the amount of paperwork and documentation that has to be provided lest the benefit be cut, and even in some cases forcing people to take what amount to unpaid internships or face a slash in their income (this is actually an illegal thing to do, but they do not seem to care anymore, it also skews the job market even further by injecting free labor into the system which reduces the number of paid positions). This is especially idiotic because the right to social security is in the constitution here, so even if a person falls out of the unemployment benefit, the state is still obligated by law to make s

          • I agree with most of your comment, but there is one place I disagree: UBI

            For a long time I was on the UBI wagon, believing that it would solve a lot of the problems we're facing with the mismatch between skills in the labor force and jobs available. But moving from a somewhat rough neighborhood to a somewhat well-off suburb has changed my opinion.

            The largest amount of trouble in both neighborhoods is caused by people with nothing to do. In the rough neighborhood it was the teens and young a

            • I think we can't have that revolution as long as we all have to work desperately to pay our ever-increasing bills. We have to get off the treadmill before we can take a breath and then start to figure out our next steps.

          • Very good and informative comment. Thanks for taking the time to contribute.

    • by Talla ( 95956 )

      and I'm guessing we're not going to do a damn thing about it because a good chunk of us can't bear the thought of somebody having a nice things in life and not working relentlessly to get it. It comes down to an antiquated concept of 'fairness'.

      What it comes down to is if you really want to pay twice the price for banking services just so that bankers can keep their highly paid jobs. I do banking in both Norway and Spain, and it is significantly more expensive in Spain, where they still have a lot of physical banks everywhere. The difference between the deposit rate and borrowing rate is about 1.5 percentage points in Norway and 2.5 percentage points in Spain. In addition the Spanish banks charges all kinds of fees for banking operations, while th

      • The differences between countries in terms of how banks charge are quite varied and what you are observing is a difference in the structure of charges more than anything - in some countries banks effectively subsidise the "day-to-day" banking for individuals (in the UK to the point of it being completely free) out of other parts of the operations - usually these days by charging business customers much more for payments, account maintenance etc. There are differences in cost structure but those aren't reall

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday October 19, 2017 @05:05AM (#55395049) Homepage

      Well, people tend to take things they haven't worked for as granted and that goes both for technology and society. My dad was born before WW2, he remembers Norway as occupied by the Nazis. I can't appreciate our freedom the way he can, I've never lived it. And that means we sometimes lose perspective, like how a few deaths to terror is actually a lot better than the millions upon millions killed in the last great war. While I can read a history book I can't really grasp how it was to live before TV, but I do remember the time before cell phones and I understand the difference that makes far better. I'm not saying it's always so, but often those who have worked and sacrificed and suffered are under-appreciated by posterity, not by intent or malice but simply because we haven't truly felt the impact they made. For us it's "always" been so.

      • I agree fully with Kjella's comments and here's some added perspective. In my wife and my cases, we are both children of parents who matured and started out during the Great Depression of the 1930s and were non college grads, working class folks. One thing that was drummed into us was that we needed to save money. Things were to be done on the cheap. Toothpaste cost money and if there wasn't any around, we used baking soda to brush our teeth. Dad did car repairs himself - I remember him grinding the valves
    • Tech is already replacing office staff. 30 years ago you needed 2-3 book keepers for a small but growing office. Now one person with quick books can do the job and still have time to do reporting too.

      Accountants and finance people are being replaced with software that can sort, collate and show data in pretty colors for the executives.

      Why do you need an assistant when the computer can do scheduling and call blocking for you? Cortana, Alexa?

      Why would we do anything about it? The boring repetative busines

      • by tsstahl ( 812393 )

        Can you imagine if Google could index every legal journal so that lawyers could quickly search case history? That would double the number of lawyers able to practice law instead of bieng [sic] research assistants.

        Westlaw and LexisNexis already are this Google for law of which you speak. For a couple decades now. Your prediction is not true so says history.

        You have to try another analogy to make your point. I suggest something automotive in nature as this _is_ slashdot. :)

        • Westlaw and lexisnexis have severe user restrictions or at least did 10 years ago.

          Also older case law which might still be relevant were not in those searches. As records weren't digitized

    • It comes down to an antiquated concept of 'fairness'. They worked and sacrificed and suffered to get what little they've got in life so why shouldn't everybody else?

      With fuel to the fire added by people like you who genuinely seem to believe the exact opposite - that anybody who worked or sacrificed or suffered or who has anything right now didn't come by it honestly and deserves to burn in penance for their elitist past.

  • Wait and see (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Do the elite pay the underclass a basic income for nothing other than peaceful coexistence, or do they preemptively put down the inevitable rebellion against their intended genocide?

    I could see it going either way, but I know which way I find more likely.

    • The real question is why should the elite own the factories and machines that do all this production? It rests on centuries of labor, thought, and infrastructure that all of us (or our ancestors) contributed to (and that's not to mention that some of us have ancestors who productive capacities were literally stolen from them).

      At least the companies that are largely automated that have public stock available, those shares should be paying heavy dividends, executives can be paid in stock options almost pure
    • On the other hand - in a world where robots can actually do _everything_, why would you need an income at all? Robots can plant food, raise crops, slaughter animals and turn them into hamburgers, build houses, weave textiles... if your basic needs can be met by food, clothing and shelter, and robots can run around providing everybody with all of those, what would you need money for? What could you even use money for? The bigger problem with a "robots do everything" future is that this planet can only sus
      • In a world where everything is made by machine, you will need money to pay people for jobs that can only done by hand.
    • Do the elite pay the underclass a basic income for nothing other than peaceful coexistence, or do they preemptively put down the inevitable rebellion against their intended genocide?

      I could see it going either way, but I know which way I find more likely.

      Good thing /. supports religion then!

      'cause if everyone trashed religion and just loved lording their supposedly superior intelligence over everybody, it could turn out bad, huh?

  • ATMs started coming out in the 1970s. People back them wondered what would become of all the teller jobs these machines would replace.

    In the 90s it was automatic deposit of payroll that kept people from having to talk to a human at a bank.

    Nowadays, it's been months since I set foot in a bank. I'd guess that's true for many slashdot readers. Still, the banking industry is employing more people, not less!

    According to BLS [bls.gov], there are 8.4 million people employed in the US financial sector, and this is expected t

    • by mentil ( 1748130 )

      there are 8.4 million people employed in the US financial sector, and this is expected to go up by half a million in the next 10 years.

      Simple extrapolation. A bursting of an economic bubble, or simplification/reform of the tax code, could end many of those.

    • Still, the banking industry is employing more people, not less!

      This is known as Jevons Paradox [wikipedia.org], but it really isn't a paradox at all. If you owned a bank, or factory, and automation increased productivity so each worker produced twice as much profit, would you fire half of your workers, or would you hire more?

  • Nationalize Banks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mentil ( 1748130 )

    In the US at least, banks are so deeply in bed with the government that they ought to just be nationalized. For the average person, they only use a bank to keep their money safe (insured by FDIC), process checks, get a car loan or mortgage, and maybe a certificate of deposit for people who like safe investments. Time-bomb mortgages were bought writ large by the government. When the banks were about to go under, the federal reserve handed them trillions of dollars. 'Quantitative easing' afterward involved gi

    • Frankly, no. With the people who currently hold a majority of the seats in Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House, the last thing I want is the federal government controlling a damn thing that matters to me. I mean, the President is a pathological lying narcissistic freak! The dysfunction among all these so-called conservatives is Off The Charts(tm) bad. They can't even repeal a health care law some of them say is the worst thing since slavery. The President actually goes on Twitter to bad mouth h
  • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @11:06PM (#55394349)

    All one needs to do is leverage that GO playing AI to trade the financial forex and commodities markets.
    Once it figures out how those markets routinely move - AND THEY WILL (because the "business model" that runs them simply doesn't change - evidenced by Wall Street millionaires), then all one has to do is keep a server running and exploit the market for millions at a time while it makes automated trades.

    I'm not even talking about HFT trading. I'm talking about standard swing trading.
    Of course the only possible downside to this is EVERYBODY having an AI that can do this, and then the system will likely come crashing down, or become as volatile as BitCoin - with the key difference that it will affect actual world economies.

    • by Mitreya ( 579078 )

      EVERYBODY having an AI that can do this

      Once everyone has the same AI, it will still come down to connection speed
      People who can build the closest to the stock market server will beat people who cannot afford a direct channel or have a direct connection that is further away.

      I don't think we have to worry about having too much equality in the foreseeable future.

  • by pipingguy ( 566974 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @11:26PM (#55394403)
    ... unless you're a plumber, electrician. I.e., any job that requires your physical presence and is not easy to automate.

    "conduct research or brainstorm ideas"

    Too many people doing this just creates chaos.

    "workforce will more likely grow than shrink over the next 20 years"

    Most people doing unrewarding, low-paid, make-work jobs precariously (since it'll be easy to replace anyone). Hire people or face big taxes.

    "creates opportunities"

    For a select few aided by automated systems.
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      All infrastructure projects are very much labour intensive but I would hardly call it make work, to have the best roads, the best footpaths, the best public paths, the best railroad, the best highways, the best electrical grid, the best sewer system, the best fresh water systems, the best storm water systems, the best communications network, the best ports, the best airports and of course out into the future, the best space ports, the best star bases, the best Lunar colonies. When people can not see beyond

    • by hipp5 ( 1635263 )

      ... unless you're a plumber, electrician. I.e., any job that requires your physical presence and is not easy to automate.

      I suspect even those could eventually be automated by changing the way we do buildings. Instead of having site-built homes that get renovated over time, homes might eventually be treated like cell phones. Build them in an automated factory, ship to site, and when they break or become obsolete remove them, recycle them, and replace them with a new factory-built module.

    • Have you done any plumbing lately? Pex with some sharkbite connectors is on the level of Lego as far as difficulty. The (admittedly kind of weird sounding to me) newish way of wiring power to everything but using wifi to connect the switch to the light could make electrical pretty simple, too. Those jobs will continue to exist but the more dumbed down it gets the less it'll pay because you'll be paying for convenience rather than skill.
  • What about the executives jobs, what exactly do they do again that machines can't replace them too? I mean, it's not like a machine can't order machines to take over jobs.
    • Erm, endless meetings, political maneuvering, backstabbing, that's pretty much what they do, oh and golf. Going to be a while before they can be replaced by a bot. My wife works at a major bank in my country, they are busy implementing "bots" to automate stuffs. I worked at another company and we rewrote their logistics system, the looks on some of the staffs face when we gave a demo and they realized we had automated their jobs away still bugs me to this day. My sister works for a major retailer and th
      • Speak for yourself. I make games to entertain all the people the other programmers have made idle.

        • In some sense, even making games automates people away. You are entertaining people with those games. This is going to take some entertainer related jobs out of the market since those entertainers have to compete with video games.
      • I was talking to a guy at work about an initiative to go paperless. "Think of all the time [his dept] will have to do [other things] when we don't have to review paperwork anymore!" The other things are processes that have plans in the pipe for optimization and automation already, so I think the best case scenario will be that the company allows attrition to take care of things after everything is put in place...
        • I suppose a lot would depend on how many people are replaced at a time, attrition is only economically feasible if you have something productive for the person to do, having people sitting around twiddling their thumbs is really bad for morale. Otherwise it's mass retrenchments, which while also bad for morale is at least over quicker.
  • by Richard Mills ( 17522 ) on Thursday October 19, 2017 @12:40AM (#55394545)

    You mean this won't just give humans more time to do the important Wall Street banker things, like snorting coke off of hookers?!

    • by tsstahl ( 812393 )

      You mean this won't just give humans more time to do the important Wall Street banker things, like snorting coke off of hookers?!

      To be fair, great inroads have already been made to automate the hookers. I'll leave the reader to find their own link. ;)

  • ... is pretty much pointless in a post-scarcity economy.

    That many bank jobs will go is blatantly obvious. Most bankers I see today could be replaced by some shell scripts and a speech recongizer.

    A post scarcity economy, if done well, will simply have the long awaited 15 hour workweek.

    Point in case: the biggest job I have incoming is 2 days per week as a coach for agile work and Scrum. Not even a Scrum master but a coach for Scrum. Not coding and no Dev ops. And that job is enough for decent pay that others

    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

      In two or three million years, when humans have a post-scarcity economy, we can worry about bankers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2017 @02:34AM (#55394747)

    Their fear isn't what is going to happen when they have to fire their rank and file.

    The real fear is what happens when the american public opens their eyes to this farce when they no longer can get any jobs and start rioting against the bankers and system

    I like the comment about more time to "conduct research or brainstorm ideas" Yeah, on your own time, at home, while you're collecting unemployment and job searching.

  • If he truly believes that the tech will increase jobs at his company, then this comment, in conjunction with his anti- Bitcoin nonsense, shows him to be a finance industry dinosaur.
  • How often do you go to a bank, compared to before the Internet? The last time I went I needed to go because I opened an account and it was required they knew I was alive and present in person. At another bank I do everything online.

    Most of the things that might need a human interaction can be done over the phone. The people on the phone can do more people AND are cheaper, even if their wage would be the same as a person that you visit.

    And many of the things that need to be done over the phone can be automat

    • by tsqr ( 808554 )

      How often do you go to a bank, compared to before the Internet? The last time I went I needed to go because I opened an account and it was required they knew I was alive and present in person. At another bank I do everything online.

      Most of the things that might need a human interaction can be done over the phone. The people on the phone can do more people AND are cheaper, even if their wage would be the same as a person that you visit.

      And many of the things that need to be done over the phone can be automated. There are now still people who do not have a PC or do not know how to use one. They are latterly dying out. From guestimated experience it is people who are born before around 1955. Yes, there are many exceptions on both sides of that date.

      There are several banks in Europe that are only online. No brick and mortar. I even have an account in a different country. (No, I am not rich enough to dodge taxes).

      I don't think a person's use or non-use of brick and mortar bank services has much to do with their computer comfort level. I usually go the bank once a week, to withdraw cash from the drive-through ATM; it takes about a minute because I do it on my way to work in the morning. Two or three times a year I actually go into the bank, to exchange coins for currency; sometimes this can take as long as 15 minutes. These minor inconveniences are the by-products of preferring not to live an entirely cashless life,

  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Thursday October 19, 2017 @06:03AM (#55395197) Homepage Journal

    I used to work for a major regional finance company in their IT department, after almost three years there I finally made it down to one of the processing floors. What a disaster, something like 200 people on this floor, all overweight "lifers" with at least 18" deep of nick-knacks on their desk, they did... something? One lady I helped, every 10th check did not have the company logo on it. Her job was to print checks for brokers. Somehow the 20 programmers up on the IT floor hadn't gotten around to automating her job yet. The other 199 people on this floor had similarly mind-numbing jobs that were likely 2-10 lines of scripting away from being automated away. I suspect as these people get hit by busses and/or die of clogged arteries, their jobs will be automated. But 200 jobs is roughly 10% of that company, an entire floor of a skyscraper, poof, gone. They'll likely be out-competed by a much smaller company that can do the same services for a quarter of the cost and 6x the uptime before the last of those lifers retires.

    • This is the biggest problem. It's not just the "lifers," it's what we're going to do with the pipeline of college-educated new graduates. I've mentioned this before, but colleges are graduating millions of students with a generic "management" degree or something similarly vague. The previous social contract was that large companies would take these new grads and find...something...for them to do. I see this a lot working in IT for large companies. If we have nothing to do for all these new grads, and all th

      • >According to them, it was so crowded that they had to stagger start and end times to get people in and out of the buildings efficiently.

        Ahh... FlexTime. That brings back memories.

        It didn't take them long to figure out that this reduced efficiency because people weren't all on the same shift schedule. Don't forget, whatever the 'stagger' is gets doubled because not only does employee B show up an hour after employee A, but employee A leaves an hour before employee B. That's 25% of a standard work day w

  • If all your job amounts to is running numbers through spreadsheets you're toast. Bye bye data analysts (aka "Statisticians in drag") it's been good knowing you.

  • It's really annoying when corporate people try to feed me a shit sandwich and then tell me it's nutritious. I hope that the same thing happens to rank and file employees that happened to factory workers. That may force America to wake up from it's stupid slumber.
  • I'm pretty sure I read about leaders of companies already being able to automate most positions, but they needed to be able to hire future leaders/managers/ceos so they had to keep lower positions around to train, evaluate and mentor people into higher company positions.
  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Thursday October 19, 2017 @09:11AM (#55396055)

    I live near New York City. NYC, London and maybe Hong Kong are the investment banking capitals of the world, and there are billions floating around because of it. Banks don't worry when their rank and file employees don't have jobs anymore due to automation, but that changes a lot when we start talking about the elite ranks.

    For those who don't know, an associate job at an investment bank is an extremely common congratulatory gift for graduating from Ivy League and other elite schools' MBA programs. It's a closed club because the jobs (for new grads with zero work experience) start at a crazy six-figure salary and have bonus potential going way beyond that. The banks work the associates to the bone doing what basically amounts to number crunching in Excel and preparing pitch books for potential investors. If you live through this without getting fired, you will never worry about money again in your life once you graduate to the management and director/partner ranks. These are guys in their late 20s who own several cars, a condo in Manhattan and a Hamptons beach mansion...the amount of money floating around investment banking is unimaginable to regular humans.

    If the elite don't have a place to put their kids after they get out of MBA school that gives them the same standard of living they have, you can bet they'll be privately worried, but they also have to publicly cheer for the automation of work because it's great for their clients. I hope we figure out the right balance, because otherwise someone is going to suggest killing off anyone who doesn't get over 120 on an IQ test, and that's not going to end well.

    • Part of the dystopia in 1984 was the constant war to use up the excess in production. Too many people ready to revolt is an easy target for some jingoism and you send them off to the meat grinder while putting their peers into make-work jobs putting together tanks. The future of warfare meant to win will be in drones, though, so maybe after one of the hegemons wins the drone wars they'll have to go Brave New World to fix the issue, instead.
      • by rgbscan ( 321794 )

        Check out the short staory "Manna" by Marshall Brain. It pretty much takes this scenario to it's endgame. It's a free online publication: http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm

  • Yes job displacement will only accelerate and millions will no longer work in our society. So just how could we make it worse? First denial is everything. By using denial we can build a catastrophic disaster out of a fairly simple problem. We must change our entire economic and belief systems to assure that the jobless do not suffer or regret the changes. One choice is planing and action. The other choice is not to believe it and get to the point at which all hell breaks out. considering the nature

Is a computer language with goto's totally Wirth-less?

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