Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Robots

Tidbits #31

The widening gulf between health and wellness? “The promises of strange elixirs and fine powders feel more deranged and seductive than ever.”

“But that life may be restored to the animal, an opening must be attempted in the trunk of the trachea, into which a tube of reed or cane should be put; you will then blow into this, so that the lung may rise again and take air.”—Belgian anatomist Andreas Vesaliu in his 1543 treatise De Humani Corporis Fabrica, writing about the mechanics of breathing used in today’s ventilators

Bidet usage is spreading as supermarket shelves of bathroom tissue are depleted. That’s no problem for those who prefer to clean their nether regions with water from bidets.

Ingenius creative solution. Vietnam set up rice ATMs. The machines distribute free rice in cities across the country, including a 24/7 dispenser in Ho Chih Minh City.

Panama papers? The indirect financial gimmick for the US multinational financial conglomerates to siphon in all the wealth of the world into the US financial treasury. The Rothschild conglomerate is the top of the pyramid and control how money should be distributed

On a trip and in a group of people who supercially know each other, a few members forget that each member is different. A few ignore some people as non-existent, some do not pay attention for the requests of others… Pretty soon, divergences emergent for Not giving each person his own due to opinions and rights.

In China, one coronavirus hospital ward served as the setting for an experimental program in which robots tended to patients’ needs. These bots can clean floors, deliver food, and even boost the morale of COVID-19 patients. 

Don’t count on permanence of waterfalls.  A sinkhole redirected water of a massive waterfall away from the San Rafael Waterfall in Ecuador.

I wrote in 2009: “Banks re-invest your safely net money in secured government bonds with outrageous interest loans ,extended to other customers who patronize the same bank.  Banks are the perfect financial sawing machine (up and down) with other people’s money. Banks are such icons that governments feel obligated to save banks, even investment banks from bankruptcy, by shamelessly propagating the myth of a most ridiculous excuse:  Banks are the “ideal oil” or lubricating medium to keeping society functioning for the capitalist system!

Les grandes puissances coloniales ont l’intention d’hypothéquer l’avenir du Nord Syrie, riche en hydrocarbure (25% des reserves de terre), surtout dans la region de Al Malikiyah (Rumaillah) pres de la riviere Tigre.

Since 2006, Israel has become a liability to USA administration. With their failure in Syria, Israel became a total liability. The USA and Israel are living in a Bubble of faked news and misinformation: All the people in the Middle -East, including the leeches of leaders, know by now that Israel is our existential enemy.

“In this age of ‘parenting as guilt,‘ please spread the guilt equally. Make fathers feel as bad as mothers.” Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s commencement speech is funny, simply stated, and empowering.

The UN is asking for $2 billion to tackle the pandemic in conflict zones. During the past week, Syria, Libya, and Gaza all reported their first Covid-19 cases. The United Nations makes it clear that if the disease is not controlled in these places, it will affect all of us.

US senators might vote on a massive coronavirus relief bill of a $2 trillion net impact on the US economy. An amount they could have afforded if Bush Jr. didn’t invade Iraq in 2003

Grand children look more like their ancestors: No need to display your beautiful mothers

Illusory superiority” cognitive bias? People who know the least are often convinced they know the most.  Social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger

The driving force to our survival is this sense of Pity. We extend a helping hand for someone to make it through the day, emotionally and financially.

We try to substitute the term Pity for Kindness or Responsibility, though responsibility is an acquired quality. If you still consider Pity as a bad connotation, then you are a pitiful person. This time around it is the worst of bad connotations.


If robots are the future of work, where do humans fit in?

Note: I watched a documentary on robotized industrial plants yesterday. Japan is the leading nation for 3 decades in manufacturing robots of all kinds and exporting about 180,000 industrial robots.

Soon, China is set to produce one out of 3 robots. South Korea is the leading State for adopting robots, around 450 per 10,000 employees, followed by Japan, Germany, the USA and France (barely 50 per 10,000 employees)

There is no turning back on that trend on a hard working machine that never sleep. More importantly, robotized plants generate more hiring of qualified personnel who undergo in-house education and training on the new setting.

Robin Hanson thinks the robot takeover, when it comes, will be in the form of emulations. In his new book, The Age of Em, the economist explains: you take the best and brightest 200 human beings on the planet, you scan their brains and you get robots that to all intents and purposes are indivisible from the humans on which they are based, except a thousand times faster and better.

For some reason, conversationally, Hanson repeatedly calls these 200 human prototypes “the billionaires”, even though having a billion in any currency would be strong evidence against your being the brightest, since you have no sense of how much is enough.

But that’s just a natural difference of opinion between an economist and a mediocre person who is now afraid of the future

These Ems, being superior at everything and having no material needs that couldn’t be satisfied virtually, will undercut humans in the labour market, and render us totally unnecessary.

We will all effectively be retired. Whether or not we are put out to a pleasant pasture or brutally exterminated will depend upon how we behave towards the Ems at their incipience.

We need to rethink our view of jobs and leisure|By Zoe Williams

When Hanson presents his forecast in public, one question always comes up: what’s to stop the Ems killing us off?

“Well, why don’t we exterminate retirees at the moment?” he asks, rhetorically, before answering: some combination of gratitude, empathy and affection between individuals, which the Ems, being modelled on us precisely, will share (unless we use real billionaires for the model).

Opinion on the precise shape of the robot future remains divided:

the historian Yuval Noah Harari argues, in Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, that artificial intelligence robots will be the first to achieve world domination. This future is bleaker than Hanson’s – lacking empathy, those robots wouldn’t have a sentimental affection for us as their progenitors – but essentially the same.

(With the rise of totally nonsense mass killing around the world for all kinds of religious emotions… well-designed robots, which know the laws, cannot be any worse)

Harari predicts the rise of the useless class: humans who don’t know what to study because they have no idea what skills will be needed by the time they finish, who can’t work because there’s always a cheaper and better robot, and spend their time taking drugs and staring at screens.

These intricacies, AI versus Ems, AI versus IA (intelligence amplification, where humans aren’t superseded by our technological advances but enhanced by them) fascinate futurologists.

Hanson argues that AI is moving too slowly, while only three technologies need coincide to make an Em possible: faster and cheaper computers, which the world has in hand; brain scanning, which is being worked on by a much smaller but active biological community; and the modelling of the human mind, “which is harder to predict”.

But all the predictions lead to the same place: the obsolescence of human labour.

Even if a robot takeover is some way away, this idea has already become pressing in specific sectors. Driverless cars are forecast to make up 75% of all traffic by 2040, raising the spectre not just of leagues of unemployed drivers, but also of the transformation of all the infrastructure around the job, from training to petrol stations.

There is always a voice in the debate saying, we don’t have to surrender to our own innovation: we don’t have to automate everything just because we can.

Yet history teaches us that we will, and teaches us, furthermore, that resisting invention is its own kind of failure. Fundamentally, if the big idea of a progressive future is to cling on to work for the avoidance of worklessness, we could dream up jobs that were bolder and much more fulfilling than driving.

There are two big threats posed by an automated future.

The first – that we will irritate the robots and they will dominate and swiftly obliterate us – is for Hollywood to worry about. There is not much apparatus we can build in advance to make ourselves less annoying. There will undoubtedly be those who believe our obliteration is so inevitable that every other anxiety is a sideshow.

If you can hold your nerve against that, the critical question becomes: in a world without work, how do we distribute resources?

It is a question articulated precisely by Stephen Hawking last year, when he noted:Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution.”

Like so many things, from debt cancellation to climate change, the reality of the situation is easily understood by scientists, academics, philosophers from the left and right, activists from within and without the establishment; and the only people who staunchly resist it are the self-styled political “realists”.

The question of how to distribute wealth in the future curves back round to meet a conundrum raised by the past: how do we remake the social safety net so that it embodies solidarity, generosity and trust, rather than the welfare state of the present, rickety with the woodworm of mutual suspicion.

The idea of a universal basic income is generally framed as a way to “shift from the Beveridge principle of national insurance based on contributions and the sharing of risk, to a system of income as of right” (as described in a Compass paper by Howard Reed and Stewart Lansley).

In its simplest iteration, all citizens receive the same income. There is work to be done on the numbers – whether this income needs to be supplemented for housing, in what form it has its most progressive effect, whether and how it is taxed back in the higher deciles, how it can be affordable at the same time as genuinely livable.

There is also work to be done on the surrounding incentives, whether a basic income would capsize the work ethic and leave the world understaffed while we await the robot takeover (a pilot scheme in Canada concluded the only groups who worked less with an income were mothers of young babies and teenagers still in education; other pilots are under way in Kenya and across Europe).

Enter the future, with its possibility that many vocations will be unnecessary, and we face more existential questions: how do we find meaning without work? (That’s the most critical point)

How do we find fellowship without status?

How do we fill leisure intelligently?

These mysteries possessed Bertrand Russell and John Maynard Keynes, then fell out of currency as we realised we could consume our way out of futility, and ignite our urge to earn by spending it before it arrived.

Even absenting the constraints of the globe, that plan has failed. Consumption may have lent necessity to work, but it didn’t confer meaning upon it.

And perhaps the most profound accommodation we have to make with the future isn’t whether or not we are capable of sharing, but where we will find our impetus.

“Can you just write,” Hanson asked at the end of our conversation, “that even though I’m talking about dire and dramatic things, I’m a friendly guy who smiles a lot?” I’m not sure how much this helps.

Some of his predictions are only bearable if you assume that you’ll have died before they come to pass.

Hanson doesn’t insist that his is the only possible outcome.

Rather, “you should expect that, whatever change is going to happen, it’s going to happen pretty fast. Like, five years from nothing different that you’d notice to a completely different world. What I want is to have people understand how urgent it is, when this thing shows up, to have made a plan.”


It’s No Myth:

Robots and Artificial Intelligence Will Erase Jobs in Nearly Every Industry

With the unemployment rate falling to 5.3 percent, the lowest in seven years, policy makers are heaving a sigh of relief.  (Every time these short terms sighs of relief to fool the people)

Indeed, with the technology boom in progress, there is a lot to be optimistic about.

Manufacturing will be returning to U.S. shores with robots doing the job of Chinese workers;

American carmakers will be mass-producing self-driving electric vehicles;

technology companies will develop medical devices that greatly improve health and longevity;

we will have unlimited clean energy and 3D print our daily needs.

The cost of all of these things will plummet and make it possible to provide for the basic needs of every human being.

(No sweat hoping. And what of the people who needs a job?)

I am talking about technology advances that are happening now, which will bear fruit in the 2020s. (How about in 50 years if no major calamities hit us before then?)

But policy makers will have a big new problem to deal with: the disappearance of human jobs.

Not only will there be fewer jobs for people doing manual work, the jobs of knowledge workers will also be replaced by computers.

(So even educated people will have no jobs?)

Almost every industry and profession will be impacted and this will create a new set of social problems — because most people can’t adapt to such dramatic change. (Why should they?)

If we can develop the economic structures necessary to distribute the prosperity we are creating (here we go again), most people will no longer have to work to sustain themselves. They will be free to pursue other creative endeavors (assuming that the opportunities are there?

The problem is that without jobs, they will not have the dignity, social engagement, and sense of fulfillment that comes from work.

The life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that the constitution entitles us to won’t be through labor, it will have to be through other means. (How about we start thinking of these other means?)

It is imperative that we understand the changes that are happening and find ways to cushion the impacts.

The technology elite who are leading this revolution will reassure you that there is nothing to worry about because we will create new jobs just as we did in previous centuries when the economy transitioned from agrarian to industrial to knowledge-based. (kids were working in the mining industries, in tunnels deep inside the bowel of earth)

Tech mogul Marc Andreessen has called the notion of a jobless future a “Luddite fallacy,” referring to past fears that machines would take human jobs away. Those fears turned out to be unfounded because we created newer and better jobs and were much better off. (Please expand on these new jobs and their cumulative trauma disorders)

True, we are living better lives. But what is missing from these arguments is the timeframe over which the transitions occurred.

The industrial revolution unfolded over centuries. Today’s technology revolutions are happening within years.

We will surely create a few intellectually-challenging jobs, but we won’t be able to retrain the workers who lose today’s jobs.

The working people will experience the same unemployment and despair that their forefathers did. It is they who we need to worry about. (Which means 6 billion people?)

The first large wave of unemployment will be caused by self-driving cars. (if the technology is here, who in his right head will give up control over the car?)

These will provide tremendous benefit by eliminating traffic accidents and congestion, making commuting time more productive, and reducing energy usage. But they will eliminate the jobs of millions of taxi and truck drivers and delivery people.

Fully-automated robotic cars are no longer in the realm of science fiction; you can see Google’s cars on the streets of Mountain View, Calif. There are also self-driving trucks on our highways (they should be banned) and self-driving tractors on farms.

Uber just hired away dozens of engineers from Carnegie Mellon University to build its own robotic cars. It will surely start replacing its human drivers as soon as its technology is ready — later in this decade (And give away the profit it is amassing by hiring drivers?).

As Uber CEO Travis Kalanick reportedly said in an interview, “The reason Uber could be expensive is you’re paying for the other dude in the car. When there is no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber anywhere is cheaper. Even on a road trip. (Assuming the clients will prefer Not having this dude on the wheel)”

The dude in the driver’s seat will go away.

Manufacturing will be the next industry to be transformed.

Robots have, for many years, been able to perform surgery, milk cows, do military reconnaissance and combat, and assemble goods. But they weren’t dexterous enough to do the type of work that humans do in installing circuit boards.

The latest generation of industrial robots by ABB of Switzerland and Rethink Robotics of Boston can do this however. ABB’s robot, Yumi, can even thread a needle. It costs only $40,000.

China, fearing the demise of its industry, is setting up fully-automated robotic factories in the hope that by becoming more price-competitive, it can continue to be the manufacturing capital of the world.

But its advantage only holds up as long as the supply chains are in China and shipping raw materials and finished goods over the oceans remains cost-effective.

Don’t forget that our robots are as productive as theirs are; they too don’t join labor unions (yet) and will work around the clock without complaining.

Supply chains will surely shift and the trickle of returning manufacturing will become a flood.

But there will be few jobs for humans once the new, local factories are built.

With advances in artificial intelligence, any job that requires the analysis of information can be done better by computers. This includes the jobs of physicians, lawyers, accountants, and stock brokers.

We will still need some humans to interact with the ones who prefer human contact, but the grunt work will disappear. The machines will need very few humans to help them.

This jobless future will surely create social problems — but it may be an opportunity for humanity to uplift itself. (That is the biggest lie that has been perpetrated this century)

Why do we need to work 40, 50, or 60 hours a week, after all? Just as we were better off leaving the long and hard agrarian and factory jobs behind, we may be better off without the mindless work at the office.

What if we could be working 10 or 15 hours per week from anywhere we want and have the remaining time for leisure, social work, or attainment of knowledge?

Yes, there will be a booming tourism and recreation industry and new jobs will be created in these — for some people. (Assuming the money are there for these entertainment)

There are as many things to be excited about as to fear.

If we are smart enough to develop technologies that solve the problems of disease, hunger, energy, and education, we can — and surely will — develop solutions to our social problems.  (Then why famine is still harvesting millions of people?)

But we need to start by understanding where we are headed and prepare for the changes.

We need to get beyond the claims of a Luddite fallacy — to a discussion about the new future.


Vivek Wadhwa is a fellow at Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, director of research at Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke, and distinguished fellow at Singularity University.

His past appointments include Harvard Law School, University of California Berkeley, and Emory University. Follow him on Twitter @wadhwa.

Though robots and artificial intelligence will erase jobs and bring social challenges, they may also provide an opportunity for humanity to uplift itself.




March 2023

Blog Stats

  • 1,518,768 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 764 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: