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Thread: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    That's at least the gist of what I would argue is an incredibly dumb, junk opinion piece published recently by John Lloyd for Reuters. The latter has such a strong reputation for outstanding news articles, while even the opinion pieces are usually top notch and informed. This article, however, drags that image through the mud at least in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by The coming jobs massacre and a more violent world
    The elephants in the room lumber about, undisturbed by politicians or people of vision.

    The hard issues of the economy are well known. Politicians, bureaucracies, CEOs and trade union leaders have dealt the the issues of productivity, unemployment, competition from east and west, the collapse of industries through the decades of the 20th, and now the 21st, centuries. Yet these are harder now. Intelligent systems, robotic manufacturing, driverless vehicles, online services, all carve deep into established trades.

    In the post-war decades, every time a new technology came along, the feared bonfire of jobs didn’t happen — or only briefly and not everywhere. It’s different this time. The jobs massacre that super-intelligent machines and systems presage, doesn’t — for now — seem to leave many large areas of human work.

    My son settled, in his mid-teens, on the trade of an actor as his life’s work: and in his mid-twenties, became one. I was glad, yet felt obliged to issue the warning that this was a trade renowned for unemployment, and frustrated hopes.

    But acting is not yet a candidate for automation. Maybe he was wiser than his co-evals who studied law, engineering and business studies. Maybe, if automation relieves us of much physical and mental toil, the old utopian dream of leisure and cultivation of the mind and body could be realized, and actors will be in short supply and highly rewarded.

    Maybe: but what a massacre of jobs to get there! And as that comes closer, the political world has to simultaneously come to terms with a possibility rapidly becoming a fact. That is, the likely end to Western Europe’s long period of peace.

    As the Soviet Union was disintegrating a quarter of a century ago, the “evil empire’s” foreign affairs advisor Georgy Arbatov said to the then-U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott — “we are doing something terrible to you: we are depriving you of an enemy.”

    That’s no longer true. Russia, the Soviet Union’s successor state, is now an enemy, if still a cold one. Its seizing of parts of Ukraine; its threats to the Baltic states; its probing of NATO defenses at sea and in the air; its relentless propaganda against the West — all at the bidding of President Vladimir Putin — leave no doubts.

    And if there is legitimate debate about how dangerous Russia is, there is none about the Islamist movements whose virulence and power appears presently unstoppable. In just a week, Islamic State has taken Ramadi in Iraq, and now Palmyra, in Syria. Jihadists rule large parts of Libya, Saudi Arabia is trying to wipe out the Houthi rebels in Yemen and extremists on both the Sunni and Shi’ite sides of a now murderous divide strengthen their positions.

    In all of the states of Europe, their recruiters and websites beckon young Muslim men and women to join them in the mission to create a new caliphate to rule all Muslims and put their enemies — mainly other Muslims — to the sword. Thousands of Europeans have joined the cause.

    No sense now in shrugging this off as a fantasy. Even if the caliphate could never be realized — the forces that could be massed against it would be vast — yet still the vision sucks in the young, and renders helpless the Muslim communities of Europe and elsewhere who do not share the vision but fear their children might.

    The killing of Jews, of Christians and most of all of Muslims opposed to the vision is making of the Middle East a place of war, in Syria and Iraq, Libya and Yemen; of defensive repression, as in Egypt; and of fear everywhere. This is a region, as Steve Coll wrote this week, “descending into what looks to be a long, intimately violent war.”

    Europe must become less liberal so that liberal democracy is protected. France has a bill extending surveillance before its Senate; Britain will table one soon. Italy, beset with immigrants from North Africa, cannot cope and fears that jihadists are among those washing up on Italian shores. This last fear is not an idle one: Abdel Majid Touil, suspected of being one of these who planted a bomb in a Tunisian museum which killed 24 (four of them Italian) last March, was arrested in Milan earlier this week: he had been saved from drowning, when his migrant boat sank, by the Italian navy in February.

    These worsening events and movements confront Europe’s politicians: in sum, they make up a world in which the promises of ever more comfortable living recede, and are replaced with anxiety. No wonder, on the campaign trail, political leaders stay with platitudes and generalities. But sooner or later, they must draw their citizens into a mature debate on what the world now holds for us.
    So many problems...where to begin?

    The whole premise of the article is hinged on the idea that Western European standards of living will soon dramatically decrease because:

    1) Not only manufacturing jobs, but also those requiring law, engineering, and business degrees will be threatened by robotic automation (WTF?!)
    2) Russia is an apparent enemy of NATO because of Ukraine (he failed to detail how on earth this leads Western Europe into its doomsday and state of ultra-violence)
    3) Civil wars between Sunnis and Shia in the Middle East exist in multiple countries at the moment, while Islamic terrorists have been found in limited numbers in Western Europe so far, suggesting this will become widespread

    As for the first point, it is just insanely ignorant in regards to how people working in those fields require skills only humans (not machines) possess. A robot can't lecture a jury as a defense attorney about the well-intentioned motives of his client, for instance. The other fields should just speak for themselves. Really? Does this guy imagine that there will be some robot CEO of a major business in the future? Not even The Fifth Element was that stupid. He completely ignores the reality that, while the manufacturing base in Western countries has eroded, the service industry has grown in equal measure as the greater employer. Manufacturing has gone overseas to the third and second world countries instead.

    The second point is just a total miscalculation of the importance and threat of Russia, let alone the latter's real goals and intentions (i.e. Putin does what he does because of a desire for self-preservation in a domestic environment where he could be toppled).

    The third point about the Islamic world is just inane babbling it seems. Yes, Islamic terrorism is a real threat to Europe and the West, but he makes it sound as if the civil wars playing out in the Middle East are coming to European soil. You'd have to be completely ignorant about how Europe works and interacts with the rest of the world to believe that. In no way shape or form would first-world NATO powers tolerate that nonsense in their own territories. He makes it sound as if ISIS capturing Palmyra in Syria is a harbinger for their future invasion of Europe via the soft underbelly of Italy. I'd like to see them get past the Italian navy, first, let alone the combined strength of NATO air power.

    This whole thing is just a cheap click-baiting scare article. The actual scary part? This guy is apparently an accomplished journalist otherwise:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_L...8journalist%29

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    cenkiss's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Don't ever dismiss writings easily even if they are nonsense. Students in Iran thought they were being joked when they were forced into hijab, too.

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    I'd like to see them get past the Italian navy, first, let alone the combined strength of NATO air power.
    But they already did get past the Italian navy, as the bit about the terrorist being rescued demonstrates. Meanwhile, how many more enemies of Europe have managed to slip in among the "refugees"?

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    athanaric is right, daesh and other jihadists trickle in pretending to be ordinary migrants, just like they trickle through Turkey's border, they're going up through Libya and the Italian navy has been asking for firearms because they do not carry any.

    as for the article though, i can't comment on the jobs situation in western europe which is what the author seems to be focused on, but the US in particular is in a golden age of low unemployment so im having trouble applying his doom forecast there.

    he throws around a few examples of innovative technology (some of which are SUPER prototypical) but never builds up on each of them. i mean driverless vehicles, really? you'd think he's from the future, at most there are a few cars that self park and it isnt even fully automated. slow down there Mr. doom and gloom. are driverless vehicles already putting taxi, chauffeur, logistic companies out of jobs? can all companies afford shiny new driverless vehicles and advanced robotics when they become available for mass production in the far future?

    feels like a rant, he starts off with the job massacres due to automation and then just switches to geopolitics with no segue.

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Quote Originally Posted by cenkiss View Post
    Don't ever dismiss writings easily even if they are nonsense. Students in Iran thought they were being joked when they were forced into hijab, too.
    Iran in 1979 is not exactly in the same situation as Italy or France in 2015.

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    But they already did get past the Italian navy, as the bit about the terrorist being rescued demonstrates. Meanwhile, how many more enemies of Europe have managed to slip in among the "refugees"?
    I'm not talking about a few random sleeper cells, I'm talking about a massive armed invasion ala ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria (which the article mentions and tries to compare with one guy who made it to Milan only because he was rescued by the Italian navy on a sinking refugee ship). For starters, ISIS doesn't have a navy or an air force, so they're not much of a competition even if they pose a threat with individuals or small tight-knit groups of terrorists living in Europe. The worst damage they offer however is shooting up some grocery stores or an office headquarters for a satirical magazine full of cartoonists. They aren't exactly storming city hall, raiding the banks, or dislodging NATO armies from their bases.

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    7673
    Some aspects of the future are encroaching faster than others.

    Engineering might never take away the human factor, but more sophisticated programmes may speed up the process, which means that a good and efficient engineer could keep run of the mill ones under employed.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    I kinda lost his thesis about fifteen percent of the way through. Something about jobs turned into something about war.
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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Supposedly the writer is a rabid Blairite former Commie (they often are) who has slavishly supported every one of said Elder Statesman's foreign expeditions. I wouldn't be too surprised by his views.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    But they already did get past the Italian navy, as the bit about the terrorist being rescued demonstrates. Meanwhile, how many more enemies of Europe have managed to slip in among the "refugees"?
    You expect a bunch of terror acts will have ISIS invade Europe?
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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Quote Originally Posted by Setekh View Post
    You expect a bunch of terror acts will have ISIS invade Europe?
    That's the heart of what I was after. The author to this article seems to imply that the terrorist cells infiltrating Europe today will foment future civil wars in Europe between Shia, Sunni, or the local governments like we see in the Middle East right now.

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    In a hypothetical case - christians landing on muslim soil and asking for jobs - wouldn't have been saved from the sea without being offered to accept islam. Would have just drowned. The italian navy ... didn't carry guns ...if it had wouldn't have opened fire at jihadists but saved them from the sea ... To combat their families at home. It is pathetic and hugely stupid.

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    ISIS does not invade. They are *suddenly* there. IMHO they would attract many European Muslims.

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Put a wall up. It seemed to work for China.
    One thing is for certain: the more profoundly baffled you have been in your life, the more open your mind becomes to new ideas.
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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Better would be to make the milk (social benefits) sour.

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Europe is already being destroyed by retarded politicians. No need to wait for robots. I'd replace politicians with robots though.

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    I'm only going to focus on the technology part as that's my expertise (programming and AI).

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    So many problems...where to begin?
    With research before blindly dismissing something would be a good start.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    1) Not only manufacturing jobs, but also those requiring law, engineering, and business degrees will be threatened by robotic automation (WTF?!)
    Not robotic automation, just automation. Software automation can do a lot of white collar jobs that humans do now, and have already started to replace humans. Yes even in law, business and engineering. Hell software engineers write software to automate their work all the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    As for the first point, it is just insanely ignorant in regards to how people working in those fields require skills only humans (not machines) possess. A robot can't lecture a jury as a defense attorney about the well-intentioned motives of his client, for instance. The other fields should just speak for themselves. Really? Does this guy imagine that there will be some robot CEO of a major business in the future? Not even The Fifth Element was that stupid. He completely ignores the reality that, while the manufacturing base in Western countries has eroded, the service industry has grown in equal measure as the greater employer. Manufacturing has gone overseas to the third and second world countries instead.

    Do you know the majority of of a lawyer's work doesn't involve standing in front of a judge or jury? For example discovery which I mentioned because not only is this something that software automation can do, it already does.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_%28law%29

    Business is a perfect industry where software automation can do a better and faster job than humans, and guess what? Already does in part. There may never be a robot CEO, but that's not the point. The point is that AI and robots have the potential to replace a large percentage of the workforce.


    Quote Originally Posted by snuggans View Post
    he throws around a few examples of innovative technology (some of which are SUPER prototypical) but never builds up on each of them. i mean driverless vehicles, really? you'd think he's from the future, at most there are a few cars that self park and it isnt even fully automated. slow down there Mr. doom and gloom. are driverless vehicles already putting taxi, chauffeur, logistic companies out of jobs? can all companies afford shiny new driverless vehicles and advanced robotics when they become available for mass production in the far future?
    There are driverless cars that have driven thousands of kilometres on real roads including cities and highways without human input. Just because you only know of some cars which self park doesn't mean they don't exist. It's actually funny self parking is the only automation you've heard of. Never heard of automatic transmissions, automatic clutches, anti-lock braking, launch control, climate control, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers or automatic breaking? That's just quickly from the top of my head, I'm sure there's others. That's all stuff which mechanical and or electrical systems now do for humans which are in mass produced cars and have been in for many decades in some cases.

    There are other automatic "vehicles" which are in operational capacity. Porsche use automatic vehicles to move parts around their factory in Stuttgart for example.
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    Gäiten's Avatar Protector Domesticus
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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    I do not see an increasing level of automation as problem, birth rates have been decreasing for years, using robots is a reasonable replacement for a workforce you do not have in near future.
    You will need a workforce, but these people will have to be better educated.

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaidin View Post
    Put a wall up. It seemed to work for China.
    Worked great against the Mongols

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewy View Post
    I'm only going to focus on the technology part as that's my expertise (programming and AI).



    With research before blindly dismissing something would be a good start.




    Not robotic automation, just automation. Software automation can do a lot of white collar jobs that humans do now, and have already started to replace humans. Yes even in law, business and engineering. Hell software engineers write software to automate their work all the time.





    Do you know the majority of of a lawyer's work doesn't involve standing in front of a judge or jury? For example discovery which I mentioned because not only is this something that software automation can do, it already does.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_%28law%29

    Business is a perfect industry where software automation can do a better and faster job than humans, and guess what? Already does in part. There may never be a robot CEO, but that's not the point. The point is that AI and robots have the potential to replace a large percentage of the workforce.




    There are driverless cars that have driven thousands of kilometres on real roads including cities and highways without human input. Just because you only know of some cars which self park doesn't mean they don't exist. It's actually funny self parking is the only automation you've heard of. Never heard of automatic transmissions, automatic clutches, anti-lock braking, launch control, climate control, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers or automatic breaking? That's just quickly from the top of my head, I'm sure there's others. That's all stuff which mechanical and or electrical systems now do for humans which are in mass produced cars and have been in for many decades in some cases.

    There are other automatic "vehicles" which are in operational capacity. Porsche use automatic vehicles to move parts around their factory in Stuttgart for example.
    You present a good argument, but I think your argument is weakened by the fact that software is merely the TOOL by which educated people carry out their professional jobs. It is not a be-all-end-all substitute for the professionals themselves and more akin to the present-day robotic assembly line producing automobiles instead of having them being assembled by grunt workers (like seen in photos from the 1920s, 30s).

    Take for instance a person with a degree in structural engineering who works as an architect. Yes, a computer provides him/her with necessary simulations and conveniences of handling large amounts of data that didn't exist in the age before PCs. However, that doesn't replace the person who is making value judgments or unique designs demanded by his contractor/employer.

    Even when taken to the absolute extreme, your argument only accounts for people doing menial labor and minor office tasks usually handled by interns. It does not account for professionals or even mid-tier professionals. Software cannot make pivotal judgments and decisions, for instance, on the longterm costs or benefits of messy and complex corporate mergers, the proper narrative that needs to be constructed for the legal defense of a client in a murder trial, or common sense locations for a new office headquarters or a new industrial plant that has to take into account environmental concerns of local inhabitants. These are all things that require human intuition and in some cases empathy (I'd like to see a software program compute that).

    As for the article in question, I think it is basically all doom and gloom with very little substance and I was completely justified in criticizing it, especially since it lacked any or all of the eloquence and supportive examples that your post here has delivered. Yet, as eloquent as it is, I think your argument is a bit short-sighted in regards to the importance of the human presence behind the cogs and wheels.

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    Default Re: Europe will be destroyed by job-taking robots and the Caliphate

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil II the B.S View Post
    Europe is already being destroyed by retarded politicians. No need to wait for robots. I'd replace politicians with robots though.
    People having been saying similar things for literally centuries.
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