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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » The Beginning of the End or A New Future

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Author Topic: The Beginning of the End or A New Future
Mynnion
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I have been predicting the end of truck driving for a while now. We have had discussions on the loss of human jobs to technology. There are currently an estimated 3.5 million truckers in the US. We can estimate more than 1% of the population will likely be out of work in the next 10 years. It will interesting if this leads to fewer trucks on the highways (more hours on the road per truck).

First Step.

Yahoo News

Large scale grain farming in the Midwest is even closer.

What other industries are likely to impact employment in the US? Large Scale 3D printing tech?

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philnotfil
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Great news, now all of those truckers are freed up to follow their dreams instead of slaving away for money [Wink]
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D.W.
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Being a fan of VR and the book "Ready Player One", I don't think the premise of VR schools is all that kooky an idea.

That would have a ripple effect. To an extent you dump your resources into programmers and teachers and cut out the physical buildings and infrastructure needed to get kids there and back.

The social aspects are a bit concerning however. So I'd expect you'd see it first in higher education where online courses are already not an oddity.

I expect gas stations/convenience stores will decline eventually. When we finally get around to more electric cars, or at least more hybrids, the number of gas stations required will decline. Already I frequently see the corner with 2 gas stations more often than not with one of them already closed down. Previously there was enough customers that even with fierce competition (or agreements between the two) that if one filled up, the traffic would go to the 2nd before waiting in line. Now, I expect, they are less content to share the one large pool of drivers. Then again that could be the completely wrong read off what I observe. [Wink]

My own field, architecture, may shift a bit but nothing too radical yet. I see the line between general contractor and architect blurring. We are getting closer and closer to “constructing” a virtual building as part of our process. The difference between handing someone an instruction manual and handing someone a 3d model which shows where every metal stud and sheet of drywall goes.

I’m also interested in nanite medicine but while we are getting better at miniaturizing surgical procedures this field doesn’t seem to be pushing anywhere close to the science fiction that’s been imagined for decades now. [Smile]

One invention I would love to see, probably my Michigan showing, would be for someone to come along and make a resilient road surface material which functioned as a solar panel. Obviously not quite compatible yet with how we make solar panels but it seems a huge opportunity if anyone could pull it off. No giant solar farms required, no stealing of land required. Hell maybe someone could factor in the heat baking off them or kinetics to generate some jucie.

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kmbboots
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Like these?
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Mynnion
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It will only be a matter of time before all vehicles will be equipped like the trucks. I wonder if my wife will reach for the grab bar every time the car turns like she does when I drive [Smile]

I find the radical cultural change that this represents a little scary. How long before we reach a society where human intervention is the exception rather than the rule?

Maybe the fact that I will be retired by that time makes me a hypocrite but once there is no real work for the masses what will the outcome be? Sure there will be those who will create but I think that is unlikely for most.

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Wayward Son
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There will always be something for people to do, if only interacting with other people--taking care of the young and old, councelling people, and just "hanging out." Interaction is a necessity for our mental health. The only question is how much value we will give to these activities.

And if nothing else, there is always the "pet rock" example. Just think how many people were employed producing, distributing and selling Pet Rocks back in 1975. [Smile] Even if it is ultimately trivial, people will produce and consume.

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D.W.
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Like these?

Umm... WOW!

Thanks for the link. [Smile]

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by Mynnion:
Maybe the fact that I will be retired by that time makes me a hypocrite but once there is no real work for the masses what will the outcome be? Sure there will be those who will create but I think that is unlikely for most.

We will still need people for Soylent Green?
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Mynnion
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Great idea but there are other forms of protein that have a smaller carbon footprint [Eek!]
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scifibum
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Well, if we only use newly obsolete workers...
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The Drake
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Then again, airliners largely drive themselves, but they still employ pilots in case something unthinkable happens. I could imagine paying someone to sit in the seat and take over when bad weather hits or if there is a mechanical emergency that automation can't handle. That seems to be the indication in the original posted article.

Service industry jobs are about to go the way of industrial and agrarian, much faster I expect. The stakes are lower, and the jobs repetitive. Picture all the folks currently standing at a counter and taking orders for fast food. Voice recognition is getting really good - improved over time by both the proliferation of mobile technology and electronic call centers.

Take away the need to physically hand over cash once electronic pay becomes mainstream and you just need someone to physically put the food on the counter. Grocery and retail stores have tried this, but have had limited success because of the awkward scan and verify to prevent widespread theft.

My favorite though is robot hotels.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Grocery and retail stores have tried this, but have had limited success because of the awkward scan and verify to prevent widespread theft.
In the Pittsburgh area, at least, self scan is everywhere as far as grocery and hardware stores go. It's not at 100% adoption anywhere, but there doesn't seem to be any sign that it's having trouble taking hold either.
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D.W.
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Same in my area. You typically need 1 person per 4-6 lanes just to clear errors or fix someone's case of dumb, but it works.
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The Drake
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In my area, there are about four human lanes for every automated lane and you will exit faster on a human lane. Especially if you have alcohol.
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philnotfil
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I have found myself making purchasing decisions based on whether or not I will be able to use the self checkout with that item.
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