Robotics and LENR

An interesting article written by Kevin Kelly in Wired discusses the impact that robotics is having on our world, and how that will continue in the future. The focus is specifically on employment — how the world of work will be affected. The article begins:

Two hundred years ago, 70 percent of American workers lived on the farm. Today automation has eliminated all but 1 percent of their jobs, replacing them (and their work animals) with machines. But the displaced workers did not sit idle. Instead, automation created hundreds of millions of jobs in entirely new fields. Those who once farmed were now manning the legions of factories that churned out farm equipment, cars, and other industrial products. Since then, wave upon wave of new occupations have arrived—appliance repairman, offset printer, food chemist, photographer, web designer—each building on previous automation. Today, the vast majority of us are doing jobs that no farmer from the 1800s could have imagined.

It may be hard to believe, but before the end of this century, 70 percent of today’s occupations will likewise be replaced by automation . . . This upheaval is being led by a second wave of automation, one that is centered on artificial cognition, cheap sensors, machine learning, and distributed smarts. This deep automation will touch all jobs, from manual labor to knowledge work.

Kelly goes on to say that there will be barely any job that will be left untouched by robotics — including white-collar and information-intensive professions. The key reason for the accelerated impact of robots is that they are ‘acquiring smarts.’ — computer-based artificial intelligence is taking robotics to a new level, and according to the article will continue to do so.

Here’s a video of one of the machines mentioned in the piece: Baxter. Baxter is a relatively inexpensive robot who can be trained by the average worker to do simple manual tasks — no programming required.

One thing that Kelly doesn’t deal with in the article is the energy required to run a robotic world. If, as he predicts, we will all at some point in the future we will all be supervising personal robotic assistants which will be doing all the work we currently do, huge amounts of power will be needed to keep them going. Mobile robots doing heavy work will need much more power than mobile phones. It would seem that current energy technologies wouldn’t be able to meet those needs — would LENR be able to fit the bill? Currently, of course, no — but developers of this technology will be looking at all possible ways to incorporate it into future technologies.

I thought the conclusion of Kelly’s article was very interesting and thought provoking:

We need to let robots take over. They will do jobs we have been doing, and do them much better than we can. They will do jobs we can’t do at all. They will do jobs we never imagined even needed to be done. And they will help us discover new jobs for ourselves, new tasks that expand who we are. They will let us focus on becoming more human than we were.

Let the robots take the jobs, and let them help us dream up new work that matters.


I thought it might be interesting to think about the combined effect of robotics and LENR

  • Claes

    Nice, what we really need to become happy finally is more cheap stuff!

    No, but it’s pretty important to have some sort of political control on all of this. What will it lead to? Indeed what has it already led to?

    What will all the people without a role do? Will they be sustained by those that have a role? Will they just become a gigantic impoverished mass? As things are organized now, it looks like the latter. The notion that everybody should be the masters of their own fortunes presupposes that there is a fighing chance to be such a master.

    If that’s not so, then we either feed those people – which will lead to decadence I suppose. Or we keep them down by sheer oppression – which leads to a police state. Or we will have a revolution at the doorstep eventually – which as revolutions tend to do will probably lead to something even worse.

    …or we need to rethink societal organization without having too many ideological taboos (which goes both for the left and for the right by the way).

    • http://twitter.com/zvibenyosef2030 Zvi Ben Yosef

      Interesting post, you cut right to the heart of the question, where is all this technology leading us. Although the current American form of Government, is considered one of the best in the world, I think many people would agree that there is still room for improvement. In our current system many people “fall through the cracks”. Compared with some European countries, particularly Americans are much worse off, in many ways, Education Health Care, even their economy is managed much better. They avoided the steep cuts in employment during the height of the recession, by subsidizing employers to keep people working. But getting back to the technological innovations which are changing the workplace, I believe they could be implemented in a way which will empower more people and lift them out of poverty. It all depends upon how we choose to apply them. I reject the notion that people are born basically lazy, and will choose to live on handouts rather than work. We are all born with certain innate talents which can be honed into useful skills. A person only gives up trying and becomes dependent or worse, after they have been taught that society has no use for them. One thing is certain, the current disparity in the distribution of wealth in America does not bode well for our future. The last time that 1% of the people owned almost all the wealth was just before the great depression. Here is an article about wealth distribution in America from the Center On Budget And Policies, an independent non partisan organization

      http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3629

  • http://www.lenr-forum.com/tags.php AlainCo

    Just found that article
    http://www.buildtheenterprise.org/are-we-paying-to-hold-down-the-african-poor

    note that I noticed that since China tried to exploit Africa, they get better… linked or not…

  • GreenWin
    • Zaghlool

      Well, where MIT and the others been before the appearance of Andrea Rossi in the seen ?

      • Gerrit

        if you would read about the history of cold fusion you’d know

      • clovis

        hi, guy
        In denial.—- smile

  • Job001

    Well, it’s interesting. The robotic/automation learning curve will reduce the cost of goods to cost of materials. Cost of materials is 2/3 energy cost now. Cost of energy will decline an order of magnitude(90%) with fusion(CF, LENR, Hot fusion, et al), so cost of goods will decline to 1/3 of now or less.

    As automation/robotics becomes very cheap, productivity will shift from corporate to individuals. It’s the corporations that may be out of a job, but that assumes the governed learn to control corruption, and that’s a stretch.

    So far, corruption has been increasing and productivity is going into concentrated wealth. The paradox is that price cannot increase above the unemployed DIY with a rented robot and 3D printer level without creating a monopolistic price of goods crash when profit shifts from corporations to individuals or cooperatives.

    Likewise with drugs and health care, it’s 400% above world average levels and rising. Innovations will cause an inevitable crash, maybe free trade zones, maybe robotic nursing and doctors. The higher the exploitation bubble, the harder the crash.

    i like the young way of thinking regarding what things are actually worth. If things are valued at commodity prices buy them. If things are highly priced by false patents and monopoly, reverse engineer, rip, give away, crowd source, common source, etc. i applaud creative rebellion against injustice, corruption, and freedom loss.

    See: http://lenrproof.com and http://lenrnews.eu
    Sweden research shows many LENR reactions and alpha energy signature results using Lithium liquid, excellent research by high credential physicists.

    • GreenWin

      Re: your last comment; Li metal changes to liquid at a very low 180C, making it a potential component of the hot e-cat. IMO, the “western” news blackout that started after Oct 6th, 2011 demo in Bologna, is due to a battle of spheres. One sphere, driven by the Swedish-Japanese alliance, insists the world receive LENR now, in humanitarian interest. The other sphere, petro-dollar driven, insist on military/industrial secrecy. The second comprises most of the old PTB. They have pinched off access to media, science journals and funding in a desperate attempt to maintain status quo.

      But the Forces That Be, (FTB) are greater than PTB. And FTB insist the universe will support humanitarian interests before orthodoxy. The proof for this is when (and if) the Ikegami chemonuclear LENR theory and test evidence is published in a former PTB dominated journal.

      • PeterRoe

        I hope and pray (or would if I was religious) that you are right about the strength of the ‘libertarian’ faction of PTB. I think we are entering a very critical time that will decide which path prevails, at least for the rest of my lifetime.

  • clovis

    Hi, folks,
    what a great article, and film, it has just over the moon, lol good one, Frank, i love roboitcs,it’s a exciting field,, but they don’t move without energy, so if you please you can set your site higher, —smile

  • Ramsy

    “Two hundred years ago, 70 percent of American workers lived on the farm.”
    Well let those good old days to come back – It much better than what we have today.

    • Joel C.

      Not going to happen until we throw ourselves back to the dark ages by means of a nuclear holocaust…

      • Invy

        North Korea seems itching to start that, they want the rest of the world to look like them in the night.

        • AB

          Doubtful. The ruler(s) of North Korea in all likelihood simply want to preserve their power and privileges. Starting a nuclear war is a quick way to lose it.

  • orsobubu

    A classic problem already addressed by Marx, Engels and Lenin. Nothing new, here. Remember that, on average, you have profit and money ONLY if exploited/wage work does exist. First, you cannot exploit robots, because their costs tend to zero, so surplus value disappears, and so profits and money. Second, the capitalist cannot retain a profit margin, because he must give it to other capitalists to obtain their goods. So, in order to maintain en ever expanding profit rate (mandatory in capitalism), owners of means of production must substitute workers expelled by machines with even more workers in a never-ending incremental cycle. This is a mathematical impossibility; the problem resembles the logic contradiction that if mankind should reproduce at present rhytm, its weight would exceed the universe’s mass in a few centuries. So, the fall of the profit rate will bring deepest crisis and revolutions, and only a communist society could permit an interplanetary expansion: it is an absurdity to export millions of workers into space to increase the profit rate, because capitalism cannot invest in such a long term enterprises: it just fails TODAY to allocate resources enough to discover new antibiotics against the new super-germ strains developing in our hospitals!! Capitalistic counter-revolution and war will come, because bourgeoisies’ ultimate solution will be to destroy and then rebuild. Organize the resistance and prepare the counteroffensive will be the imperative duty. Lenin and Trotsky already showed us the way to go.

    (A warning to readers: please DO NOT use the old trick to compare communism with Soviet Union, etc; they killed more communist than anyone else: that system – like chinese, etc – is scientifically called STATE CAPITALISM: it is full of wage workers, money, banks, and so on; also US economy today is more similar to a state capitalism than a free market economy)

    • Bernie Koppenhofer

      Well, that is a very optimistic outlook. How about just tweaking our free enterprise system and get the best of both worlds. (Or, just a better free enterprise system)

      • orsobubu

        ok, let’s wait and see, but you’ll excuse me if I’m not going to help :)

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      orsobubu says, “First, you cannot exploit robots, because their costs tend to zero, so surplus value disappears, and so profits and money.”

      Amazon and NetFlix are more than 90% automated and both are very profitable.

      • orsobubu

        Big profits from a few workers does not imply profits from robots, it implies very high exploitation levels.
        However, Amazon has 70,000 full time workers, squeezing from each of them them one-fourth the profits than GM, so they have plenty of people. And this without consider part-time work. Also, you’ve to take into account the over-profits: they don’t come from direct exploitation, but this money over-payed by customers will come from other exploitations, from different business sectors. Netflix has only 2,400 full time workers (but pays part time people to watch films etc); they squeezes more profits than Amazon, and surely making big over-profits, but they’ll gradually decline; it seems to me Netflix is going badly, it has about the same stock value than in the beginnings. Probably they’ve overstretched in automation, time to hire more and create value!

        • Iggy Dalrymple

          My niece just started with Amazon at over $100,000/yr…she won’t say exactly. I wish someone would exploit me.

          • orsobubu

            Fantastic good job! This high salary (adding probably some stock options as benefits) could mean:

            -high skills and productivity, relatively scarce in the labour market, and difficult work (often it implies restructuring and firing other workers); hence its high price. But this price is exactly the worth of the work, so, to profit from it, the owner appropriates a much higher value

            -a high revenue could be not a salary, but a form of surplus value; the worker gets a quota of other workers’ exploitation

            -a high pay could include some over-profits: in favorable conditions, owners could charge a margin over the market price (that gives the normal profit: a good is priced what it costs) and a part of over-profits can leach down to workers. Incoming over-profits, however, derive from exploitation in other production/market sectors

            • GreenWin

              Huh? Profitable industries that want to keep good people pay good salaries. “Pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

  • Gerrit

    Have we discussed the recent finding of the shrunken proton yet ?

    The proton in muonic hydrogen is 4% smaller that normal hydrogen. They cannot explain it with current understanding, yet the new measurements are very high accuracy.

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/01/hydrogen-made-with-muons-reveals-proton-size-conundrum/

    “The proton structure is important because an electron in an S [ground] state has a nonzero probability to be inside the proton.”

    Oh wait a minute, if the electron is inside the proton, doesn’t the whole structure look like a neutron, ie it won’t see a coulomb barrier and can fuse with another hydrogen at will ?

    The next question that “established” science should target is measuring the proton size of a hydrogen in a metal lattice.

    I think it is inevitable that “established” science will eventually stumble over the same phenomenon that has been shown to exists for over 23 years.

    In a few years we’ll probably be hearing “Well, with the current understanding of physics we can no longer claim that Fleischmann and Pons were wrong”

    • georgehants

      Even if the correct research had been done and it was found that P&F where in error they should never have had to endure the horrific treatment that they have.
      Being wrong is not a sin but for science to debunk and deny without the competent open-minded research is not science but childish incompetence.

      • clovis

        hey, you’ll
        I totaly agree, but histroy will get it right,
        But, someone got rich, and someone lost, but for all thing there will be balance. sometime, somewhere. vingince is mine said the lord, we should only look ahead and try to make our self accountable at the very least.

  • georgehants

    As always many interesting points of view and opinions.
    If things are to be changed then each discussion must be working toward establishing the known Facts.
    Once established then they can be used to hopefully advance toward a system incorporating those Facts.
    —-
    One Fact at a time.
    Since the 1950′s production has risen many times and removed workers from the traditional labours, yet working hours have not decreased and many more women are forced to work to maintain the household.
    —-
    A great percentage of these people are not working in production or necessary services but circular and pointless jobs such as money and finance etc. etc.
    If all money and finance where removed then millions would be out of work as it should be, then the necessary work can be shared between all, reducing working hours and working life drastically.
    As each robot or advance comes along more people clearly must be happily removed from needing to work therefor reducing further the working lives of all.
    —-
    I am happy to answer sensible questions concerning the above Facts.

  • Omega Z

    It’s a Paradox.

    The Unknown can be scary!!!

    Robots replace everyone. No one has a job or Money. No one buys products. Corporations make no money. Government has No Income. Don’t need no stinking Robots.

    Things will work themselves out.

    I’ve have contemplated this Coming of the Robots since the Mid 80′s. I was already aware of the Future potential of Computers & Robots.

    I have a few friends who are all about a Socialist system. Interesting convo’s as I’ve always said Socialism never works. Quite Simply because it Involves People. And Besides- None of them would like the results if they got what they think they wanted.

    This is where I really Lose them. I tell them that Free Enterprise & Capitalism ->Could<- Provide a more Social System as in much more equatable for everyone. Eye's Roll- They can't comprehend it…

    The Transition will probably be a little rough, But it will happen. The way we think will have to change somewhat. With LENR & a couple other technologies in development it will be possible.

    We'll be able to be more Socially equatable to all, Yet retain our Individuality. Our Independence. Our Sense of Self. Without which nothing else has meaning. We become a dead Shell. Which is why the type of Socialism that many propose will never succeed. Enough said here.

    With Robotics replacing the Old, New Jobs will be created. Probably with shorter works hours unless you choose otherwise. More People will have jobs they enjoy rather then doing them just to survive.

    One of My Concerns has always been when this day comes is that some people are limited in their skills & abilities. Technology may Alleviate a Lot of this.

    Enter Ray Kurzweil: Some Here at ECW know of him. He Predicts that in about 20 years, we will be able to interface with Computers. (Caveat I think 30 years more then likely.) I've been a follower of his since his college days. An Interesting Fellow. Brilliant. Ahead of his time.

    This Technology will enable all but a few to adapt to the future. Those few we can accommodate in other ways to make a place for them.

    Technically, there are at least 2 people, Professors Man & Wife team (Don't recall their names, I lost track of them) That have Implants similar to RS232 or USB type connectors for interfacing research. Have had for many years. I always thought this was kind of Gutsy. We all have times when we'd rather our other half didn't know what we were thinking. LOL..

    Anyway, I can Imagine in time, you can download knowledge into your brain. Want to fly. No Problem. Jack in & you become a Pilot.

    I'm aware we have friends here that are researchers. You spend 10 or 20 years getting up to speed learning before you break new ground. A Few days of Jacking in & you start with years of experience & Knowledge. I've read where this is becoming a problem Leaving only a few years in ones career to advance science. A Bottle Neck to knowledge Broken. We just need to filter out the Dogma.

    Anyway, That's the possibilities I see. Leaving only One Concern. The Bozo's in Charge. We need more Ray Kurzweil's around to advise them.

    • Richard Prichard

      Very visionary thinking, mirage like. Yes, there are going to be some rough spots. With a world full of weapons and millions of discontented, unemployed people. Extinction event.

    • http://www.lenr-forum.com/tags.php AlainCo

      +1

      the experience is tha increase of productivity create hapines, wealth and happie worker…
      the proble is not the change, but when the incumbent try to block the changes instead of adding some oil to make it softer and faster.

      some redistribution might be useful if we cannot redistribute the competence enough, but there is limit because without inequalities of income there is no incentive.
      but the incentive have not to be huge, just motivating.

    • Invy

      Socialism is the means of productions controlled by the people… meaning, you do not lose individuality or freedom… the work-place just becomes organized like a republic or democracy… what gets produced is determined by the community, and afterwards everyone shares in what profit there is…

      The difference is, in the system as it is, the work-place is authoritarian… what socialist want is democracy in the work-place… that is it.

  • jacob

    as Nikola Tesla said long ago,humanity will hook their machinery to the wheelworks of nature,to power the world from the unlimited energy source available anywhere in the Universe,as thousands of galaxies already were created by that ficticious force ,that even scientists are not willing to get to the bottom of and refuse to accept the reality of something to big to understand or believe,even most people of planet earth know ,that electrons spin around the atom,but right from the start no explanation is given by what energy source are the spinning,so science to me and many others is really a guessing game of what different scientists believe.
    So science is really nucking futs to think ficticious forces are not real,since the are stummed and stammered and dumned and haggered,still pulling their hair out over ficticious forces unexplained.
    Since we can then not learn from the best and brightest Scientists this world has to offer ,should we then not find the answers to our origion and that of the galaxies ourselves ,

    and after some years of research discover we are not alone in this universe,which some scientists theorize is possible ,but many light years away.

    Are our ancesters really from far away planets,who discovered space travel millions of years ago,and dropped us of as part of some sentence,is this just a prison planet,where abundant free energy in the hands of primitive warlike humanity is forbidden,until we live in peace and harmony ?

    Even though I am not religious,I abide by my concience ,which I believe is directly connected to a higher power, which I believe to be the universal creator who creates abundance.

    For me it is ubsurd to believe the ape is our forefather,we are supposed to be the most intelligent creature on earth,yet the first years of our life is spent in diapers and lacks intelligence
    completely,meanwhile all other mammals can stand up and run after a few hours after they are born, even the supposed ape ancester baby jumps from tree to tree shortly after birth.

    Science is giving us a heck of a make believe story.

    Science is not scrambling to be the first to explain LENR

    Science is not paid to do so,except for tiny research amounts.

    LETS not believe anything they say ,unless they have the proof.

    Theories don’t mean a thing.

    The age of the Universe is in the billions of years old, we have a history of ten thousand years, but did not wake up yet and are at a toddler stage,and can only play with approved toys,the big LENR toys are not allowed to be played with, they are only for mommy and daddy to touch.

    Seek the TRUTH and you will find it,peace to all.

    • http://neotreksoftware.com Allan Shura

      Science cannot prove anything is impossible by the reason that it has not been observed before or has not occurred before.

      Like a nut on the assembly line 99 might be good but number 100 is out of tolerance. Most accepted experiments are two tries and good enough with some others then reproducing the experiment. We are still dealing with the probability of assumptions of the observed results.

      That which has not been explored or experimented with cannot be said to be non-existent.

  • h_corey

    A robot world also requires battery technology 10x what it is today.

    • Thinksforself

      Not necessarily. There is the likely possibility of a portable self contained LENR reactor inside the robot itself. If energy production becomes cheap and abundant, a LENR/Thorium reactor in every buildings basement, then you can plug in or inductively charge your robots all the time. If they do not need to move from place to place there is no reason that they can’t be plugged/wired in. Walkways and roads could and likely would have inductive charging equipment built beneath them for those that need to move between places.

  • Ramsy

    I believe the world reached an unrepairable condition – bad things coming ahead.

    • tom h

      unfortunately you are correct

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      George Carlin begs to differ:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RluYFCIulA

    • Thinksforself

      For those who are part of the plutocracy I believe you’re correct. For the rest of the world not so much.

      • clovis

        hi,
        I believe things will get much better, soon and it don’t have to be any bad part, because, we have a choise, and the right to change our minds anytime we choise, god given rights, smile

      • http://www.lenr-forum.com/tags.php AlainCo

        For Asia, there is huge huge progress.
        for occident, we have forgotten the time of our grand parent, the epidemic, the deep general poverty.
        dad survived from tuberculosis in his fishermen family raised by a widow mum, and because of 50s boom, he could send me to engineer school, and finish high executive…

        in Asia thing are even changing more quickly.
        In africa too, since the Chinese business men stop treating them like kid.

        the chinese wife of a relative just learned that she would not need to sell her kid to have money, because her husband can afford it.
        You just don’t imagine what is the real life in underdevelopped, low productivity, farming sector…
        starvation, poverty, low education, no basic human right (I don’t speak of free speech, but right to marry, to be alive, to have kid, to eat, to learn)…

        Only in occident are things getting worse because our elite refuse to adapt, and we ask them through demagogy.

        ther is also the energy cost which explode, because of oil, and because our elite convinced us to develop expensive energy, with a reduction of productivity, so the elite can catch the added value, and ruin us…

        LENr can help that point, but cannot cure us from demagogy and our stupidity.

  • GreenWin

    All bots need Asimov in un-erasable bios:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AONiXPsvQk

  • http://neotreksoftware.com Allan Shura

    This has been the trend since the first industrial revolution
    though to Charlie Chaplain’s Modern Times to Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano. The horse replaced legs and the car replaced the horse.

    The issue is really one of societal organization and income
    redistribution. There are cultural barriers with mentality of nothing for nothing so the philosophy of “not everyone is deserving” of the plentitude of an ample supply of the basic necessities of life, food, shelter, clothing and health care.

    These basics have the highest value now but if thay can be met
    easier with robotics society must place a higher value on other contribution and service and have a minimum standard.

    • henk

      A technocratic vision, where a “job” is nothing more than an abstraction, the worker is already a number or industrial commodity that comes at a price. So, yeah, give us Baxters, so “we” can all blast off into space and leave all Baxters behind together with a few billion loosers and social outcasts…

      • Iggy Dalrymple

        I’ll leave the light on for you.

      • GreenWin

        Loose – not rigidly fastened or securely attached.

        LOSE – to miss from one’s possession or from a customary or supposed place.

        Useage: “My mouth was looser than my logic.”

        • Iggy Dalrymple

          I thought I was lost but learned that it’s no great loss to lose a loose woman.

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      Lenin and Mao tried that and neither were successful.

      Listen to “The Secret Document That Transformed China”.
      http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=145360447&m=145532511

      • http://neotreksoftware.com Allan Shura

        Iggy you just commented below “Have faith in free enterprise. There will be no market for industrial robots unless there is demand for the robots’ products.”

        What world do you image? There is no free enterprise
        just state sanctioned global capitalist oligopolies.

        There will always be a demand for adequate food clothing and shelter. If these necessities of life can be produced by cold fusion robotics then why shouldn’t the wage slave or beast of burden have a right to live in emancipation?

        You can see from the disasterous results of the deregulated 2008 crash that even Goldspan and
        Bernake belie their own philosophy by bailing out
        the banks and car companies while letting the little
        guy go under and throwing the taxpayer overboard.

        Have you seen Norway or Germany lately?

        • Invy

          People still buy into the free-enterprise/free-market propaganda… at this point you have banks propping themselves up by “borrowing” money at 0% interest, the FED buying mortgage backed securities through QE, i.e. offloading the high risk debt from the banks… Then you have blatant refusal by the DOJ to prosecute HSBC… 90% of loans are backed by the government, without the housing market would crash again…

        • Iggy Dalrymple

          “There is no free enterprise
          just state sanctioned global capitalist oligopolies.”

          That’s true, but the socialists want to make enterprise become even less free.

          In my community, the “1%” is the courthouse gang, and the “5%” are the government employees.

        • http://www.lenr-forum.com/tags.php AlainCo

          right, but that is not the reason to go the oppisite…
          the mission of state is not to help the crony capitalism, the incumbent industry
          it is not to protect the existing jobs.

          it is first to help the people that get fired to survive until they find a new job, and so they find a new job to train them.
          it is also to creat infrastructure that provate sector need and cannot build themselve because market is imperfect…

          both vision of laisser-faire and dirigism are stupid. funnily the Chinese does it well.
          they let capitalism (chinese people are very capitalist, that is cultural, more than american) manage the business, but also use state to organize the transition, through investment , education, research, all with long term vision and no pity for the old economy, doomed to die.

          really read “the next convergence”, it is well explained. It happens in teh 50s in france… in Korea recently, in china currently.

          in occident we just have the bad examples of government that protect crony capitalism, incumbent industry, economic rent, existing doomed jobs, and try to prevent the change… less in the US I agree.

        • GreenWin

          “Have you seen Norway or Germany lately?”

          Germany suffers from subsidizing PV and wind. Norway’s Oil Trust Fund is currently valued at $700B – making each Norwegian a millionaire 14 times.

          • http://neotreksoftware.com Allan Shura

            We have to learn from realistic management good and bad.

            Ireland went gung ho deregulated crony and
            the housing bust is almost as severe as Greece. Let’s not forget the fiasco finance of the hydrogen economy in Iceland.

            For now Brazil and Australia are doing wery well with a mixed economy while not neglecting social programs.

      • Omega Z

        Iggy

        A Similar situation was seen in Russia.
        They were dependent on food imports to feed their people.
        After the collapse & Capitalism & Free Enterprise enter their system, they became Food exporters.

        Problem with Capitalism & Free Enterprise is the people who game the system. This doesn’t mean all these people are bad. It’s just what they were taught. They just don’t know any better & can’t think outside the box.

        We Need a New Economic Theory/Model. The Old ones don’t work very well…

        • Warthog

          Not quite the full story:

          BEFORE COMMUNISM, the areas that comprised the Soviet Union were large-scale exporters of food, even with the limited agricultural capabilities of the day.

          DURING COMMUNISM, food production cratered, and those exporters were forced to import.

          AFTER COMMUNISM, they have returned to exporter status, and once modern methods and equipment become widely available, will probably be MASSIVE producers.

          And robotics will impact farming as well. Farm technology is now using automated methods to tailor the distribution of (for example) fertilizer to exactly match the needs of the crop despite the variation in nutrients in the soil….satellite mapping, GPS positioning, automated dispensing. Soon tractors/combines/etc will largely drive themselves.

          • GreenWin

            And the cost of food will continue to decrease as more land is made arable by ultra-low cost LENR desalination. Much of East Africa and most all of Western Australia will be turned into a new produce/breadbasket for the world. Same in China and parts of India. Food will become overly abundant and cost less due to desal irrigation.

          • Iggy Dalrymple

            Kinze autonomous graincart.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFy6ZAjbeew

    • Bernie Koppenhofer

      Tell that to international corporations making billions and not paying a penny of income taxes……see what they say when asked to contribute more taxes for the health of society.

  • AstralProjectee

    I’ll put it like this. If I can buy Baxter and put it into a company I work at and get paid for doing this, training Baxter, and getting paid for Baxters work, then yes that would be fair. But no it will not work that way. What will happen is the company will fire me then bring in Baxter themselves, and they alone will get all the profits. So no this is not fair, no matter how nice they package it up. This is meant to benefit the wealthy and corporate.

    All this would be true if the money was more evenly distributed. If we didn’t have such a gap between the classes. What they didn’t say is that during the industrial revolution is that it worked for a while but now the rich and the poor gap is getting even bigger and bigger because of it. Not only that if you count for inflation you actually make less than you did 40, 30 years ago. Not only that but unionization is at an all time low. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. As it is now only the rich wealth and specially trained would benefit. I have yet to see enough jobs to compensate for these robots, for the average Joes out there to really benefit. I think this means the only way we can fix and transition into this new economy and robotics world is if the average Joe can benefit, but I don’t see that. It’s all BS for corporate and the wealthy.

    • kwhilborn

      “Baxter” won’t be the first. Computers have eliminated need for paper and most printing jobs. Accounting software is eliminating most accountants. Carbines farm hundreds of acres and replaced 99% of the farming work force. Cashiers scanners have eliminated many inventory jobs as inventory is tracked and even shoplifting is lightly calculated in ordering. Inventory is required but only on a small scale. Receptionists and switchboard operators are replaced by automated phone systems and answering machines. Dictation can be automatic. Mail can be electronically sent. Money is not printed in such large quantities because we spend with cards. Doctors speed up diagnosis with computer assistance.

      You could go on all day.

      “Baxter” type stuff is not new. Even the invention of the wheel took jobs. Imagine all those carriers unemployed by the wheel barrel.

      The government will need to add low paid government positions funded by the corporations or risk too many welfare or jail people.

    • Wes

      Yes. Exactly. Full automation without an equitable means to distribute the benefits from automation are social self-destruction. Multiplying the productivity of the Few at the expense of the Many will result in an imbalance of resources which will force the Many to overthrow the Few. The Industrial Revolution has just begun.

      • GreenWin

        It’s the New Fire revolution which lowers overhead, making for less costly products, meaning people can pay $50 for an iPad ‘stead of $500. Only the bankers lose.

        • PeterRoe

          The way things are going, we’ll still pay $500 for an iPad, but the banksters will find some way to take the $450 extra profit, just as they will when electricity costs 5 cents a kWh to produce.

          • George N

            That’s why we need copyright and patent reform, u only have the right to lament if you have articulated a logical solution to a defined problem

      • George N

        People and their outdated socialist “equality” thinking… If anything, the Internet revolution has shown that new technologies lowers the barrier of entry to many markets — therefore competition increases, prices go down and quality goes up, and profits are naturally distributed more evenly (as long as obscene gov protections are not in the way such as patents/copyrights that last forever, or overly complicated laws that only large corporations can afford the lawyers to navigate). Cold fusion robotics will just make it easier to start one’s own business, or to automatically cultivate barren land in the middle of nowhere into a paradise where it is dirt cheap to live… But then what would democrats have to complain about then? The left’s utopia will be achieved by the small business free market if the usefull idiots don’t keep on voting the wrong way!

        • Iggy Dalrymple

          Well said!

        • AstralProjectee

          Where are the jobs then?

          • George N

            Good question, I’ll give u my take… I think the real reason why we are in this financial crisis goes all the way back to the dot-com bubble — in the late nineties the financial sector genuinely saw that IT would make existing businesses more efficient and more profitable, and the resulting B2B IT industry would eventually be bought up by the traditional companies, which would make more money because wall street only measures large companies. But then when the financial sector started to realize that it was very difficult to pick software winners, coupled with the mainstreaming of open source communities, that started the sell-off resulting in the dot-com bust. It was then that the financial sector understood that new technologies were only going to lower the barriers of entry to many industries, thus reducing their profits. So they put their money into the housing market as a safe investment to think things over, which in turn led to the housing bubble. The while wall street pondered where to put their money next as they road out the the housing bubble, they came to the realization that entire industries must collude to not develop technologies that will further lower the barriers of entry to their industries and cause further competition (I remember reading course descriptions of prominent Executive MBA programs that advertised this concept in their learning objectives). Industry also started working more closely with government to modify patent and copyright law so that they favor large companies (i.e. First to file; copyrights last 70+ years after the creator dies). Industry also lobbied government for more complex regulations such as Obamacare so that the costs of compliance acts as an artificial barrier of entry in order to replace the natural barriers of entry that industrial age technologies provided. New financial regulations keep banks from lending to small start-ups because the banks can now be sued if they make “unreasonable” loans (I.e. The banks can be sued for taking risks). Industry also targeted specific disruptive technologies from hitting the market such as Ultra Wideband by creating a phony competing standard and reaching a stalemate at the IEEE (otherwise we would have cheap gigabyte wireless decentralized communications by now). Our government run schools still operate on a one-size fits all production line which is starving our economy of the skills it needs (only reason we can halfway fill IT jobs is because of free online resources — our education system would meet market demands if school vouchers were introduced because schools would then be held accountable without drowning in paperwork and standardized tests, and students would be able to choose from a wider variety of schools that better fit their learning styles). Also, the stock market is now booming because of the fiscal cliff was reached — one in fifty people’s taxes go up which are the small business owners, which slows their growth — wall street loves this because they have less competition to worry about and can expand their market shares. The reason why we have no jobs is because the gov won’t get out of the way, and big business is colluding with big gov for their mutual survival — by exploiting people’s uncertainties of how the economic structure is changing, rather than guiding them through the change that will ultimately lead to true economic equality of the small business and open source/non-profit economy. Therefore we are at a crossroads, the truth will win, it’s just how ling will it take? 5 or 50 years? It all depends on how oblivious the voting public is…

    • http://www.american-reporter.com Joe Shea

      I’m a writer, and I don’t think I’ll ever be replaced by a robot. But editors, with a little further work on AI, may lose their jobs at some point. The arts are the only profession I can think of where performers are irreplaceable by robots – at least until lip-synching becomes universal!

      • Thinksforself

        There are already robots/computers that paint and compose music. Computer chips and high level (machine language) programs are written by computer mostly with slight input from humans. Once the rules for written and spoken language are translated into a means that can be understood and followed by binary logic it will be very possible to tell your AI assistant to write a dissertation on any given subject. Creativity can be simulated simply through randomness which in truth is very close to how it is done in the human brain. With a working creativity algorithm you won’t even need to give it the outline of the story your want written it will simply choose its own as it goes along just like an author does.

  • Bernie Koppenhofer

    Society must solve the problems/benefits of productivity increases. Since 1980 productivity has increased 80%, “arithmetic mean” wages have increased by 10%. This “mean” worker must also get the benefits of the robotic revolution, or there might be a different ugly kind of revolution.

    • Hal

      I agree with that very short statement, especially as I’m finding work increasingly difficult to find thanks to robotics. Could you please expand that statement to a level that my MP if not national governments can understand?.It seems to me that the speed of technological progress is far outstripping that which governments can cope with in terms of providing alternative means of employment.:(

      • Iggy Dalrymple

        Have faith in free enterprise. There will be no market for industrial robots unless there is demand for the robots’ products.

        • Bernie Koppenhofer

          Forty years of disparity…..how long do we have to wait?

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      OK, you just read that automation and mechanization caused a 99% reduction in farm labor. We got through that just fine, and we did it without the benefit of the “Central Planning Committee”.

      • GreenWin

        But think of how many junkets were missed. :)

    • Warthog

      And the price of goods produced has dropped hugely (in constant dollar terms) as a result, so the “mean worker” can now afford to buy more and better items despite the fact that his wages have not hugely increased. We have available to the common man goods and services that the greatest rulers of the past could not even imagine, much less buy.

  • Mannstein

    In the end the increased productivity will mean more products in the market for consumers to buy provided they have well paying jobs. Without those the system is not sustainable from a simple economics point of view. This is one of the reasons for the malaise of our present economy. Lack of demand as a result of ever lower worker earnings is holding back investment by industry leading to a deflationary spiral. Notice that Bernanke’s efforts to counter this trend with QE is becoming less and less effective. He is slowly running out of options.

    • http://www.lenr-forum.com/tags.php AlainCo

      and vacation, you thought about it as a solution….

      our problem is not increase of productivity, but insufficient increase of productivity to compensate the increase in needs.

      if the robost do all the job, we will simply invent new job… if not, we will invent leisure, vacation.

      because if productivity increase, price get lower.
      even if the comppanies steal the added value, it will finally get consumed by the rich people, or be invested in something else that we will use or that will be build by other workers…

      the proble is if people cannot do the new work, or if the productivity decrease, and thsu there is less wealth to share…

      like all media yo make a bad reasoning.
      Of course transition can lead to turmoil, changes, but globally it will get better…

      simply, it is not happening because energy (oil or inefficient subsidized) is too expensive, and productivity decrease.

      that is the problem, not robots.

  • Peterem

    There have repeated discussions about the impact of LENR on society. Numerous scenarios, some as imagined by Science Fiction writers portray a future with menial labor assumed by an army of robots. Establishing a paradigm which accommodates workers displaced by technology is becoming a crisis not addressed by governments. Skyrocketing unemployment is driving economies under while productivity increases exponentially. How can we address the need to gainfully employ millions at jobs that are not survival based? Can the arts, cooperatives, personal counseling, probation, research, sports and recreation fill the void?

    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/business/economy/2013-01-25/great-reset-will-smart-machines-create-world-without-work.html

    • http://www.lenr-forum.com/tags.php AlainCo

      This scenario, which is the one laymen know, is based on one big pathology based by demagogy : people are not trained enough…
      Read “the next convergence”.
      the job of the state is not to block innovation, to support dead industry, to protect jobs from changes… it is first to protect the people in turmoil to survive, then to train them so they can participate to the new industry of the future, then to support investors who invest in the new economy and help increase productivity.

      today government typically do the opposite. they protect incumbent economy for demagogy, they protect the job not the worker, and they don’t train the workforce .

      china is doing that job much better, and guess why they are investing in top science, and universities…

      don’t blame the change, blame the bad policy.
      It seems that China and Sweden share the fact to train their workforce.

      our current problems is that we have not enough increase in productivity, compared to the increase of forced needs (regulation, marketing, network effect)

      by the way, do you think that a smartphone is a survival product ?

      farming itself is a great productivity increase compared to hunting, and allowed new jobs in cities

      Strangely I’ve just commented a similar article from wired
      http://www.lenr-forum.com/showthread.php?1066-Robotics-and-LENR-Why-Robots-Will-And-Must-Take-Our-Jobs

      • Peterem

        While investigating this further, the Venus project and Zeitgeist popped up. No money, technology and science rule the day and human beings with all needs met are released to pursue their passions unfettered by created scarcity and selfish profit motives. There has to be a better way than what we’re doing now.

      • Peterem

        A Resource Based Economy seems to put it all together. Possible?

  • Brent Mosley

    Drone tech could be used for small combines and tractors. Pilots from all over the world could be used to put in crops and fly the combines. Maglev drone controlled farming.

    • Invy

      The manual labor though, picking fruit (ect) probably wont be replaced anytime soon… simply because battery tech isnt up to par … we need much smaller batteries with much bigger charge (think lithium-air batteries) before that is a capability.

      Of course if a miniature LENR reactor comes along, then we are totally boned (assuming we still live under a capitalist society, the wealthy wont have a reason to keep us around…)

      • Lux

        actually bots that were solar-powered or bots that returned periodically to hybrid, solar power/grid power charging stations could pick produce quite efficiently, I would imagine.

      • Warthog

        Actually, it probably WILL be replaced quite soon. The problem isn’t batteries….farm equipment runs just fine on hydrocarbons. The problem has been sensors, actuators, and software capable of deciding what is ripe and what isn’t. Agricultural engineers have been working in this area for quite a while.

  • Ramsy

    So, no jobs are left for us.

    • Joel C.

      Not necessarily a bad thing. Look up on resource-based economy.

  • Guga

    I must disagree. I’m pretty sure that the energy needed to drive such robots is negligible as compared to industrial and household heating and cooling and cars or other heavy machines already in use.
    Though LENR might become a long lasting energy source, also for robots, maybe.

    • Hugo

      I agree. Besides, in all the historic examples (farming, manufacturing, computerization etc.) automation actually decreased the energy required per unit produced. It didn’t increase it. Computing made accountancy so efficient that a single watt second is enough to do the work of a classical accountant laboring along with a typewriter and a slide rule for a whole day. Or transportation. A single liter or jet fuel burned in a fully seated 747 is equivalent to the transportation capabilities of a galloping horse for a day. What leads to increased energy consumption despite that is the explosive use we make of these technologies once they become available or more accessible. We probably use megawatt hours on computer games per kid per year because they exist and we fly to Paris over the weekend because we can. We wouldn’t ride there, let alone walk.

  • Charles Stewart

    NOVA just did an article on robotic drones that was, to me, mind-blowing. And I retired as an electronics engineerng manager involved in producing the world’s best atomic submarine navigation systems.

    The display that really impressed me was the flight of a group of small 4 rotor helicopter-like drones that behaved very much like a flight of small birds, dodging impediments and each other. I heard terms like rate gyros, accelerometers, etc that I haven’t heard for years. The public is unaware of how much progress has occurred in the robotics field. There may be a robotic drone hovering over your house watching you breathe. LENR will someday be the energy supplier for these robots.

    We have the need for fewer and fewer human workers as technology advances. Think of all the different jobs that have just disappeared! We must work on how we will support those for whom jobs no longer exist. What will we do?

    • Drago Fredda

      Hi Charles, I watched that too. It was very well done. My son is in the FIRST Robotics Competition which was started by inventor Dean Kamen. Dean Kamen is an amazing individual. He wanted to inspire kids in science, technology, engineering and math. And it seems to be working.

      I hear people say robots will take away jobs. As a kid I hear that computer will take a way jobs. That didn’t happen, it just created more opportunity.

      Robotics is a very exciting field. And I am impressed with what high school students are able to accomplish in building robots. Check out youtube and search First Robotics Competition. Cool stuff.

    • Mannstein

      I saw the same program. Having worked in robotics when it first began in the 1980s the new technical achievements are familiar to me. What really impressed me is the reaction of a group of individuals that blew a snooping flying robot out of the sky with a shot-gun. I think there will develop a whole new industry for counter measure devices to protect people’s privacy unless laws are passed to restrict the use of such drones. As for the military applications drones are extremely vulnerable should the US ever face a technically sophisticated adversary capable of taking out satellites.

      • GreenWin

        There was an episode of “Harry’s Law” that featured Harry (Kathy Bates) blowing a local PD’s drone out of the sky with her shotgun. Court ruled the drone entered her airspace without prior permit – thus her blowing it up bore no penalty. Hilarious!

        Drones of the four rotor type make easy targets for even a slingshot.

  • AlainCo

    Good news.
    we don’t need the job, we need the goods that the work produce, paid with our salaries…

    the reason today why we lose our jobs, is first that par of the world is working less and produce more (Yes, chinese workers work less than chinese farmers before), but also that unlike before we don’t increase enough the real productivity of humans in occident.

    the real productivity is not to be mesured per good of similar quality, but per package of the standard mandatory quality …
    I’ve seen that product are more and more regulated, of better quality with no allowance to be lower. house are more reguated.
    this have a huge cost, in building, in checking, in administration.
    Same for new energy which is more and more expensive, even when produced locally, some because prince get more money, some because it is harder to pump like shales oil, or some because it is expensive subsidized inefficient fasshion, and we have not enough increase of productivity to compensate that increase of need.

    we absolutely need to make productivity increase, through robots (don’t call that unemployment, but vacation… if the work is done, we will be paid, even if the robot work for us), through cheaper energy (and not expensive=”need more work for lower wages or higher price” energy like we try today)…

    or course there is a strong need of education to allow us to work a little to build the robots, and some redistribution so that everybody get paid for the work done by the robots.
    same for energy.

    don’t forget that money does not exist.
    there is work and there is goods.

    money is just a promises of goods, that you can exchange for a work done, at a changing rate…