Author Topic: Changing Technologies  (Read 417 times)

BWS

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Changing Technologies
« on: June 22, 2021, 11:51:20 AM »
Artificial Intelligence, Electric Vehicles, and Autonomous Vehicles are already with us and will likely play a more significant part in our future lives.
Ocado chief of advanced technology Alex Harvey appeared on BBC in April and said that they expect that ultimately their whole operation from receipt of stock to delivery to customer will be fully automated, with no human intervention at all.

My initial thought was that this was a few years down the line, but I have read this morning that it is already a reality in part of China. When the Chinese government put Wuhan on lockdown from the rest of China last year, Chinese e-commerce company JD.com brought forward its fully-autonomous plans and delivered some 13,000 packages to Wuhan customers, with no human involved from receipt of online orders, through warehouse picking and packing, robotic delivery hub that allows the robots to plan their own route, to the customers doorstep where only people with the emailed order verification code can take receipt from the robot delivery.

The World Economic Forum forecast that 85 million jobs could be lost to full-automation, however it also notes that 97 million new jobs could be created although these would be in higher-skilled areas such as data analysis and robotics engineering.
"I wouldn't say I'm the best manager in the business, but I'm probably in the top 1" - Brian Clough

PipMeHappy

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Re: Changing Technologies
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2021, 09:51:57 AM »
This is the inevitable wheel of change,
and it is never without pain: loss of jobs
is not only a statistic but also a loss of
community -whether it is fishing towns,
street markets,or other- and you only
have to think of the generational poverty
in former mining towns in northern England.

I am not a fan of technology evangelists because
no technology in human history has provided
global solutions to poverty, famine, or
peaceful coexistence.

I maintain, as well, that some jobs need to
be defended because supporting reskilling is preferable
to eradicating one or two (or more) generations
of professionalism at the stroke of a pen.

Think about trading: a lot of people successfully
migrated from pits to platforms and then from
manual to automated trading...

Kaitsu

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Re: Changing Technologies
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2021, 11:01:47 AM »
When the Chinese government put Wuhan on lockdown from the rest of China last year, Chinese e-commerce company JD.com brought forward its fully-autonomous plans and delivered some 13,000 packages to Wuhan customers, with no human involved from receipt of online orders, through warehouse picking and packing, robotic delivery hub that allows the robots to plan their own route, to the customers doorstep where only people with the emailed order verification code can take receipt from the robot delivery.
I read that, too. It is a mind-boggling achievement! I have also heard about the development of robot deliveries in the UK.  Where I live we are seeing remote deliveries and deployment of post/medicines/agricultural chemicals mainly by drones - and this is surely only the start of remote, automated logistics.

Like so many technological advances, their applications bring both benefits and difficulties/problems. Perhaps the most interesting - and concerning - development is whether "machines" can also take over this human role in deciding how technology could/should be applied, including its moral/ethical aspects.

One area that concerns me most is the application of automated/remote weaponry. We already have remotely controlled drone fighter/bomber planes but we also have technology that can automatically recognise an enemy and destroy it with no specific human input at all. It can also develop its own definition of who/what is an enemy - now that is scary!

But technology has allowed us to develop enormously over the years and created vastly improved quality and efficiency. We may not all agree that economic progress is the all and end all in decision-making, but it is certainly a major contributor to the overall well-being of the globe - if and when it is managed accordingly.

This thread reminded me of a situation already decades ago when I worked in a major retail bank in the UK as a mortgage lender. The physical property deeds of millions of home-owners were stored in a huge warehouse. But because the entire process of deeds handling was computer-managed the deeds packages were stored according to the computer's own logic for efficient logistics and totally beyond any human system. So if the computer system+back ups happened to collapse, it would be almost impossible to find anything manually. That was a scary thought in those days - now it is just a normal, everyday process.

The world moves on and we have to move and adjust with it. The problems are, though, how to recognise and react to those who struggle with it.......  another example of this direction is with the care of the elderly and those needing home assistance. We are already seeing the emergence of automated systems that check on whether such people have taken their medicines at the prescribed times, received their meal deliveries, and whether they check in to the system according to timetabling. And this is  all to reduce the number of home-caring staff visits. I wonder if I will actually ever see anyone when I get to that stage!! Maybe by then even the hearse will be robotic and respond to the AI system that declares one as deceased........ :D
Ships are safe in harbour - but that is not what ships are for......

Swiss_cheese

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Re: Changing Technologies
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2021, 01:50:27 PM »
China are storming ahead of the Western world with their technology...
With the recent major hit across the board on Chinese stocks. Should we be looking at investing in some of these Chinese tech companies?