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Why are people so blind to the change that is coming!


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#21
zEVerzan

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It's fun to imagine the changes when you're on a forum, watching videos of experts discussing hypotheticals, and writing science fiction novels. But actually spend a little bit of time around real people, and that excitement gets tempered when you imagine them being put out of work by machines. Some of them will be unemployed before their natural deaths, but they are older than some parents of this forum's members.

 

This is very well said as it's basically what happened to me. Years ago I would often talk excitedly to my friends and family about the changes to labor and machine intelligence that are coming in the following decades and the possibilities it would open up, and they would tend to react with open dismay. Over time it changed my perspective on futurism, automation, and "tech-bro-ism".

 

I realized that from the position of a creative, I didn't really have to deal with the existential horror that comes with the realization that a machine could potentially do my job better than I could in the near future (not until AGI). And when thinking about that sort of thing, that's what most people feel: existential horror. It stands to reason that many people who feel it don't want to deal with it, and so deny, justify, bargain, whatever they can to not feel like shit when they think about how grim the future will be for them.

 

The future might *not* be grim for them... in the future. By then they might become accustomed to and fond of the idea that they can just relax and pursue their passions while machines do all the work of running a society nobody wants to. I don't think anybody really WANTS to be an accountant!

But right now, their personalities find the future to be a horrible place where they're basically useless and their labor is not in demand, since they're contextualizing the future using their current personalities and worldviews.


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I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
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#22
bgates276

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It's hard to be completely certain about the future. Futurists in the past havn't always been right. They may not have been completely wrong either, but often they are in the specifics. For example, they often underestimate the time in which technologies will come to pass. Ray Kurzweil has been wrong many times in the past in this regard. You've also got alarmists telling people that the economy is going to crash any day now, the machines are going take our jobs, etc. etc. Oftentimes, they are trying to create a sense of urgency, because they are trying to sell you something. 

 

Accounting, however, in some form or another, has existed for centuries now.

 

If I was to bet my money on it, I'd say accounting, as a profession, will still exist in some manner 10, 20 years from now. Certainly within someone's lifetime. I'd say that there is a more likely chance that it will exist, then the idea that machines will have completely taken over by then.  

 

Now, that being the case, the rational thing for this accountant in training, is to continue to work hard and achieve her goals of becoming an accountant, rather than listen to futurist headlines, and doing nothing with her life. It's always good to have a backup plan, just in case these predictions don't happen.


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#23
_SputnicK_

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When I first discovered exponential growth, I was similarly dismayed that the average person had no clue that massive change is on the horizon. I tried to explain the ramifications of automated systems, the inevitability of job displacement in such a network. They either didn't believe me or simply were uninterested. The irony is that should these events occur, they will not even notice because it will creep upon them so slowly, until one day the lofty goals of the future have become reality manifested. 


"We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours." -Jimmy Carter, 1977

"In my mind and in my car, we can't rewind we've gone too far. Pictures came and broke your heart, put down the blame on VCR." -The Buggles, 1980


#24
Alislaws

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Accounting, however, in some form or another, has existed for centuries now.

 

If I was to bet my money on it, I'd say accounting, as a profession, will still exist in some manner 10, 20 years from now.

Yes it may still exist as a profession but there I seriously doubt it will it still require as many human accountants as it does now.

 

Accounting is just following sets of rules, even if it can't be fully automated, AIs and new payment systems and platforms as well as just the continual improvement of accounting software will all combine to make accountants dramatically more productive, while also reducing the work they need to do to only the hardest, or most unpredictable of tasks. 

 

Which means your team of 5 accountants can be replaced by 1 accountant and an AI. so you have 100% of accountants competing for 20% of the old number of jobs which means wages will drop and anyone who is in the bottom 80% of accountants will need a new career. 



#25
cerealkiller

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I love talking about this subject but since I don't have any Adderall to fuel my writing binges right now, I'll instead put it in short before my energy levels drop to nothing and I waste the day watching YouTube videos:
 
People are used to last year, not next year. Most first-world people live in the year 2008 right now. Which is to say, 2008 but with 2018 smartphones. And we don't think exponentially. Part of the reason is that we can't. We can try, but we have doubt built in to temper expectations. Not to mention we vastly oversimplify things, assigning narrative and meaning to meaningless patterns and unfolding events. 
There's a paradox at work as well— we remember the times futurist predictions have failed and use those failures to claim new developments won't happen or are exaggerated, but we also use science fiction to claim that we should have certain things and then get disappointed when they don't arrive "on time." See: predictions of food pills, moon bases, and flying cars vs. mania over Back to the Future 2 in 2015. 
 
In short, people have a very specific idea of what "the future" is supposed to be (hence why I trademarked it so many years ago). They think it sounds cool, dystopian, exciting, whathaveyou, but they also believe that it's something they won't experience. Because it's such tremendous change, part of them— us— don't want it to happen sooner than a day after our natural deaths. It's so vulgar to think about. 
It's fun to imagine the changes when you're on a forum, watching videos of experts discussing hypotheticals, and writing science fiction novels. But actually spend a little bit of time around real people, and that excitement gets tempered when you imagine them being put out of work by machines. Some of them will be unemployed before their natural deaths, but they are older than some parents of this forum's members. They grew up being taught how the world works. There have been many changes, but things are still at least somewhat recognizable. But it won't be that way for long. 
 
We are nomadic at heart, so we evolved to deal with the unexpected. However, we also evolved in a world that didn't change over the course of tens of thousands of years, whereas now people have to be re-educated in their own fields sometimes every 4 to 6 months because of all the change that's occurring (see: oil industry).
 
It's all too much, but we keep looking back at our own experiences and education to guide us, and we were taught "things won't change much." The trope, Status Quo is God, subtly reinforces this. Skepticism, doubt, and an inability to think exponentially properly all lead back to the same thing: people failing to see what's coming up ahead.
 
There are still so many people who probably think the 2020s and 2030s will be indistinguishable from the 2010s, and the 2010s were indistinguishable from the 2000s.

You're right, we haven't seen a disruption like this since the industrial revolution. Some international news agencies are starting to pick up on the fact we are undergoing a exponential change.

An awful lot of people think that AI and robots will just make their jobs easier and that introduction of AI and robots will create other roles, but I don't think this is always going to be the case going forward.
People make the argument: Moving from horse and cart to cars created mechanics etc. Whilst that is correct and has bucked the trend this far, I don't think the same can be said for the majority of roles that are going to be lost to AI. When the retail section goes automated or secretaries and office based work goes automated what sort of jobs are going to be created instead? There's only so many engineers and programmers the world is going to need.
We create our own future's and therefore our own destinies.

#26
cerealkiller

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It's fun to imagine the changes when you're on a forum, watching videos of experts discussing hypotheticals, and writing science fiction novels. But actually spend a little bit of time around real people, and that excitement gets tempered when you imagine them being put out of work by machines. Some of them will be unemployed before their natural deaths, but they are older than some parents of this forum's members.


This is very well said as it's basically what happened to me. Years ago I would often talk excitedly to my friends and family about the changes to labor and machine intelligence that are coming in the following decades and the possibilities it would open up, and they would tend to react with open dismay. Over time it changed my perspective on futurism, automation, and "tech-bro-ism".

I realized that from the position of a creative, I didn't really have to deal with the existential horror that comes with the realization that a machine could potentially do my job better than I could in the near future (not until AGI). And when thinking about that sort of thing, that's what most people feel: existential horror. It stands to reason that many people who feel it don't want to deal with it, and so deny, justify, bargain, whatever they can to not feel like shit when they think about how grim the future will be for them.

The future might *not* be grim for them... in the future. By then they might become accustomed to and fond of the idea that they can just relax and pursue their passions while machines do all the work of running a society nobody wants to. I don't think anybody really WANTS to be an accountant!
But right now, their personalities find the future to be a horrible place where they're basically useless and their labor is not in demand, since they're contextualizing the future using their current personalities and worldviews.

It would be great, but I think humans need to recondition their brains to a lifestyle of leisure. All we have ever known as a species is working to live and survive.
Humans will still need something to occupy our minds, whether that be voluntary work or something kind of hobby. It's going to be really hard and difficult to accept.

Let's hope humans don't end up like the ones in Wall.e
We create our own future's and therefore our own destinies.

#27
cerealkiller

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Accounting, however, in some form or another, has existed for centuries now.

If I was to bet my money on it, I'd say accounting, as a profession, will still exist in some manner 10, 20 years from now.

Yes it may still exist as a profession but there I seriously doubt it will it still require as many human accountants as it does now.

Accounting is just following sets of rules, even if it can't be fully automated, AIs and new payment systems and platforms as well as just the continual improvement of accounting software will all combine to make accountants dramatically more productive, while also reducing the work they need to do to only the hardest, or most unpredictable of tasks.

Which means your team of 5 accountants can be replaced by 1 accountant and an AI. so you have 100% of accountants competing for 20% of the old number of jobs which means wages will drop and anyone who is in the bottom 80% of accountants will need a new career.
I agree. There will still be a need for accountants and that human element between businesses for some time yet. It will, however, reduce as new technology, programmes and apps become available.
There are a lot less accountants around now than there were before the digital calculator and less since the creation of Excel.
Now there are other programmes becoming available to customers which makes it easier for them to do their own accounting and auditing, look at QuickBooks for example.
We create our own future's and therefore our own destinies.

#28
zEVerzan

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Let's hope humans don't end up like the ones in Wall.e

 

But the humans from Wall-E did have something to occupy them, and that something was endless consumption. Consumption of food, games, other media. I just hope that people with nothing better to do will prefer to create rather than consume.

 

And that's not to knock the individual people on the Axiom who became lazy and infantile - the system they were a part of made them that way. Thinking about the differences between individualistic worldviews vs sociological worldviews is interesting and kind of helps me to understand the differences between the way many groups view the world. This video's a good watch about that.

 

But I digress. The best way to ensure a dignified future for a humanity whose labor is unnecessary, is to make a system that engenders creativity rather than passive consumption.


I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
Attention is currency in the "free marketplace of ideas".
I do other stuff besides gripe about the future! Twitter Youtube DeviantArt +-PATREON-+




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