Automation and AI are destroying jobs, not work

Automation and AI are destroying jobs, not work


Now is not a good time to be set in your ways.
The future’s here.
Jump on board.
The train is leaving the station.
Eric Krume is a logger
who’s betting everything he has
on the future.
If this project is just a huge failure,
it just means that I’m back to hand-to-mouth.
It’s everything that I’ve got.
Besides cutting trees,
Eric Krume is also a self-taught engineer.
And he’s spending all his money
to build and send machines
where they’ve never tread before.
So, in the past, that machine,
a machine like that,
has never come up a hill like that.
Like many American industries,
logging has been swept by a wave of automation.
But steep mountainsides have remained
a last refuge for people on the ground,
working with their hands. Until now.
So, if you had two hand cutters cutting,
and a seven-man rigging crew, that’s nine people,
with at least six or seven of them on the ground.
This is replacing those people directly.
Understanding how automation is playing out in
this industry can teach us a lot
about the future of work far from the woods.
While some of the benefits may be surprising,
the pain will hit close to home.
Eric’s son Tristan does a job
that Eric plans to automate.
After the trees come down,
Tristan is one of workers attaching cables, by hand,
to haul logs off the mountainside.
And he said his colleagues see what’s coming.
Almost half, probably,
just think their job’s getting stolen.
In that way, what’s happening on these Oregon slopes
could soon happen all over.
The machines may soon replace many of us.
The traditional logging, that we’re all used to, is over.
Nobody can compete with the latest technology.
Not if you’re doing it the old way.
People studying how automation transforms employment
generally agree that a vast swath of jobs
will soon dramatically change or disappear.
Probably in the last five years or so,
we’ve seen these technologies make
more progress than they’ve made in the last 50 years.
Especially the artificial intelligence part.
The worst predictions say
40 percent of today’s jobs
could be lost to automation
in only a few decades.
But if even half of that manifests,
we’re talking about a question
of fundamentally restructuring
what American life looks like.
It isn’t the first time we’ve seen lives
fundamentally restructured by machines.
In 19th-century England,
an economic recession, and changing fashions,
and a wave of automation
threw thousands of textile makers out of well-paid jobs.
The workers who reacted
by violently smashing machinery
came to be known as Luddites.
The people that became the Luddites—
the croppers, the weavers—
they were the middle class of that day.
And that’s one of the reasons
why they reacted so strongly
when automation and machinery
came along to take those jobs away.
Because they were falling from a pretty high height.
We’re talking about change that,
in a matter of a few years,
wiped out tons and tons of jobs.
And so that makes you think about today.
After the British government stamped out
the Luddite movement,
the textile industry continued to automate unabated.
And some students of history say
the Luddites’ core grievance
wasn’t really about machines at all.
They were comfortable with machinery.
They’d been using tools for years.
If technology was going to be used
in a way that benefited everyone,
they were happy with it.
They saw this, really,
not as a technological fight,
but an economic fight.
When the Luddites started breaking machines,
it was because they had lost their attempt to mitigate
the way that economic change would happen.
Today, technologists say
heavy economic change is coming
to jobs that involve mind as much as muscle.
The same way that Google Maps
slashed the mental calculations
needed to navigate around town,
new systems could soon automate the judgment calls
once needed to do stuff like prepare tax returns,
or parse legal precedent,
or make a medical diagnosis.
I think that’s what makes this time different.
Many of us imagine
that a lot of things that require emotional intelligence
are inherently human. Judgment, intuition;
those are the things that are inherently human,
where, historically, we’ve never really needed
power tools for those things.
And it’s likely that many people who never considered
their work a candidate for automation
will see artificial intelligence
change their jobs in big ways.
We actually found, in our research, that
something like 60% of occupations have, on average,
about 30% of their activities that can be automated.
What that means is that you’re going to have,
probably, more people working with machines,
alongside machines.
So it kind of becomes this collaboration,
this fluid, kind of like,
exchange of talents
between the machines and the people.
From the discovery of fire, all the way to
having a pen with which we write,
we always have invented tools.
AI is another tool.
AI did not come from the sky.
And here’s where it’s probably worth underscoring
one of the biggest lessons
the loggers may hold for the rest of us.
Sure, automation is going to lead
to less work for guys like this.
But it will also lead to less of something else.
If you have a man on a chainsaw falling trees,
they’re eventually going to get hurt.
You’re the softest thing out here.
If there’s an accident,
you’re either going to be disabled,
or you’re going to be dead.
Logging has the highest death rate
of any American occupation.
For its size, logging kills people
at a higher rate than the military.
So, sadly, yesterday, a hand cutter got killed.
It was pretty local.
That really brings it home
with what we’re doing.
That could be one of my guys.
I’ve come to the belief that
the only way I can ensure the safety of my people
is not have them there.
The best way not to kill a hand cutter is to not have one.
We can’t stop the automation coming to the woods,
and we probably shouldn’t want to.
The stakes may not be as high
for the algorithms automating work elsewhere,
but there are likely to be ways
that the technology coming to your workplace
will, one day, seem similarly indispensable.
To the extent that automation is destroying either
routine, uninteresting, dangerous, hazardous work,
that may be a good thing.
And also, hopefully, creating other kinds of work.
And the economy has done that for decades.
One of the things that gets lost in the
conversation about automation
is that there are actually enormous benefits
to us as a society.
The challenge remains dealing with the whirlwind pace
at which our era’s technologies
are entering and remaking our jobs.
I’ve been cutting timber for 22, 23 years.
I have four kids.
They need to learn a different trade.
So what will the future of work look like?
From here, it looks like a future
where careers could become a changing story,
of not one job, but many.
The majority of people
will end up having an episodic career.
It’s great to ask kids, for example,
what do you want to be when you grow up?
But one thing that might be added to that question is,
what five things do you want to be when you grow up?
You’re probably not going to do
the same job you did when you were 20.
You’re probably not going to do
the same job for 40 years.
The world is moving too fast right now.
The worst thing you can do right now is nothing.
Don’t be the guy
who refuses to look at the future.

100 thoughts on “Automation and AI are destroying jobs, not work”

  1. there is good and bad with everything and I dont know how the new tech will weigh 37% of people losing jobs does not sound good to me

  2. I shall become a professional masturbator that will be my job of the future. The robots won't masturbate for me otherwise that would be considered a handjob.

  3. Capitalism will still be a main component of the new system evolving because its best at creating and allocating capital (the innovations, machines, business systems, investments etc.) but you will also need a universal basic income also and certain socialist concepts to work along side it.

  4. This concept of an "episodic career" has been around for decades. When I was in school during the '60's they said you'll change careers 3 times in your life…then it was 5 time and then 7…and on and on. Doesn't this seem, at a basic level, inefficient?

  5. Jobs and work are identical. Both deal with solving the problem of supply and demand which is being interwoven with monetary income – same as 1000 years ago. Economy is in place to free us from work (jobs), because work is bad for us. I'm not talking about occupation/activity, but about income-work. Unless society doesn't find a way to replace the paradigm of job=income, economy will fail. We are producing goods with methods that eliminates the buying force. This is clearly not what should happen.

  6. The problem isn't automation and AI – it's WHO owns those tools. The future MUST be socialist, or this world's inequalities will become dystopian in scale.

  7. So many here are so stupid to not realize the actual problem is greedy fucking corporate money grubbing extortionists!

    If one set of people/country refuse to work for peanuts they go to other countries less fortunate with little to no labor regulations… all to pad the shareholders pocketbook.

    When will people wake up and realize the bigger picture… AI and tech is just a way for the few to pull ahead for a short time until it all catches up once more.

    The fleecing of a workforce will continue and job destruction will continue until nobody has the money to buy their shit and they move on to devour another country or civilization… wink wink MARS expansion ohh just think to the future!

    Bunch of retards we are horrible stewards of planet Earth and Human life now in this place what makes you think it's going to be any different later in the future!

    WE ARE DOOMED!

  8. I can understand the premise of this but what are people supposed to do when their job has been taken and they have no way to get back into the workforce… doing what? When they have spent years learning a trade or career just to have it destroyed and who is going to pay for the retraining or education and that's if you can even do it? At some point technology and everything advances until you are some worthless dinosaur?

    Advancement is good progress is good this Krume asshole says ohh safety… for his guys? After some point WHAT GUYS? When it becomes so automated 1 guy took the place of 9 so now what are the 8 doing? Only so many spots at the dinner table and when the dinner table gets smaller and smaller then what? We all supposed to sit around able to do nothing? This whole topic really pisses me off!

    It's all good for Mr. Krume tho he's still raking in the bucks even more so once this comes to fruition… can't say the same for his "guys" hahaha suckers!

  9. Automation is a good thing. It allows humans to become more productive and with that more wealthy as a whole. Then we can focus on tasks that can't be automated yet or inventing new items or processes.

  10. At the end of the day, people need to come to the realization that not everyone can be an engineer, not everyone can get a doctorate; not everyone has the mental capacity to be seen as more cost effective than their automation alternative. The fact of the matter is that competition will make AT LEAST a third of the workforce nonviable economically within the next half-century. This population will be forced into a world where they have no edge, no way to advance up the socioeconomic ladder, because while they might have the work ethic, their IQ is below the average. While IQ is not everything, it VERY STRONGLY correlates to income, and replacing menial labor jobs–held by those who generally don't inherent the most gifted minds–would be on par with restarting the eugenics movement; creating a majority low-income class at the mercy of people they can't realistically compete with. Like a horse having to compete with a automobile.

  11. Just as this revolution begins to take early shape, 7+ billion people are consuming more resources than the Earth can support. That's not sustainable. So as AI continues to replace people jobs, while the wealth divide continues to widen as politicians provide more tax cuts for the super wealthy and cut entitlements, more and more people will be forced to live without a home, in a van, in a tent or on the street. As those numbers of displaced people rises, talk of a guaranteed income will be floated, but the problem of too many people will still mean too many resources are being consumed. So it doesn't take much thought to realize billions of people will no longer be needed or even wanted. It's probably a logical progression of any evolving planet with a top tier species that can manipulate mass at a heightened level of AI, with too many people consuming too many resources, for this next progression to occur. Call it an AI revolution if you want, but really it's going to lead to the need to cull the masses. How is academic. If it has to happen it will in some manner. Most likely insect drones programmed to recognize disenfranchised people out on the streets, injecting a lethargy virus so that the person becomes so low on energy they just wither away. That way they aren't noticeable. They don't make a fuss, they don't act out, they don't band together to riot, they just go quietly into that good night.

  12. THere is no such thing as a shortage of jobs….just a shortage of humans sharing the work!!! .It MUST be made FINANCIALLY worthwhile to share the jobs left and work ever increasingly LESS as the robots and automation take over….you cannot work LESS other by sharing the jobs. Reducing the work hours just means the job doesn't get done.

  13. Am hoping robots and computers can take our jobs so that we as humans can step up our A-game in the disappearing job market.

  14. That guy in the beginning is absolutely oblivious to the damage he has brought to the world and he is a truly selfish and terrible person

  15. Try finding the customer! for the goods produced, works for a while to saturation of those that can pay that have not been displaced, oversees orders etc, and then wham – nothing, no sales with scampering politicians that have no answers.

  16. Just take over already. Let us live. People aren't lazy people want to do things but are stuck working a job more than they are living life. It would be a laugh love society. Majority of people are good and not lazy if anything it would make a far better reality with creativity out the butt. Money is evil get rid of it and let humans breath finally.

  17. Imagine all this workers finishing higher education and contributing in future only peoples job…how to make our life better

  18. Imagine if tree cutting became automated and 100x more efficient than it is now, we will be depleting our forests 100x faster than now, and we cannot make trees grow 100x faster than they do now. This is a problem that the documentary doesn't address. There are many factors that influence what goes into being automated and what doesn't, obviously economics is a huge one. But we should focus more on finding ways to live without using that much wood, reduce our environmental impact, and not needing to chop down a forest in a blink of an eye so that a growing population can keep growing.

  19. I wonder if people would want a ai as their judge in court than a human. Scary but when you look at Law I wonder if an AI could clean the corruption out or if it would the the legal dominance ruled by an ai software program. And if it ever penetrates legality and everyone follows the programs of the AI as laws than wouldn't we not be human? Wouldn't we be a resource to AI?

    This whole compelling evidence for automation is complete BS. If there any humans working they can't die by working accidents. You cannot stop human from making mistakes. Logging is the deadliest jobs? Are you kidding me? Who taught them how to cut trees? Who produced this video? The bias interview too. The actor when interviewed really seem like he teared up when he played on the local death of a gentlemen he didn't know or that maybe didn't even exist. Sponsored Videos are not appreciated. I came here for the truth and I got a snake oil trying to sell me something.

  20. Back in the 1970s when they were first discussing globalization they said "There'll be losers, but these losers will just have to reinvent themselves."

    That did work well, didn't it?

    And now we're telling us the same nice lies about automation "creating new jobs"

    Our society is utterly unprepared to face what it's coming as it was unprepared for globalization.

  21. There's plenty of talk about safety for these loggers, but now what? They aren't showing up, they aren't working, and now they're at the mercy of a job market with skills that have no value. Instead of a log crushing them, it will be a slow death by debt and depression.

    Not one job, but many, just means more of what we've already been experience. Being ferried from shitty temp-job to shitty temp-job, with no security, no future, and no hope.

  22. We are killing all life on this planet ..clearcutting is a perfect example. No need to worry about work if the human race becomes extint.

  23. I really cant stand hearing about how we have faced a technological threat to our livelihoods before… THIS IS NOT THE SAME SITUATION…. Not by a long shot. This is FAR FAR WORSE in every single way possible. You are a moron if you buy into this description of the problem.

  24. How about we spend on education so people can train in new jobs so we don’t have to worry about people falling off. Duh!

  25. Like the guy in the video said, don't forget all the good stuff that AI will bring us!!! Just imagine. A lot of services and products will be cheaper, healthcare will be cheaper and better. But ye you gotta be careful so that it is not concentrates to much power to anyone. But you can certainly not stop it.

  26. liberals: we need mass immigration because westerner population is declining and employers have no one to hire!!!
    also liberals: AI AND AUTOMATION ARE GOING TO MAKE YOU ALL JOBLESS!!!

  27. And the elephant in the room IS, wait for it…………….war! Robots used instead of humans to invade, say, a nuclear power would no doubt be setting themselves up for all out
    nuclear retaliation. Just a thought. Back to square one!!!

  28. Well on the bright side, as more and more people lose their jobs to machines and that includes you in the office, They will need less trees. Now since this man invested his money in this automation, he won't have to have the same number of machines running, but will still have the payments to pay and maintenance on the machines. So eventually he will be out of business and can join the rest of us on the streets.

  29. It's long been known that you want to be valued for what you KNOW, not what you DO. If you've chosen a career that pays you to DO something, especially something that's repetitive and labor-intensive, you can expect to be replaced by a machine at some point, simply because machines are more reliable and cost less over the long run. They don't call off. They don't show up late. They don't spend their day surfing the internet. They don't require HR departments to watch over them.

  30. When cars came to replace horses, New jobs for horses weren't created, Almost all horses just disappeared, so you can see the rest of them only in a circus in these days.

  31. Any business that replaces a human held position, with automation should pay a tax of $1000 a month, per a position lost to automation. Witch will still be a coast savings to those businesses; no workers compensation insurance, no sick time pay, vacation pay, extra, extra. Governments will have no choice, but to pass a basic income law.
    Unless it's some kind of super rich plan, thats far more sinister; for those conspiracy type out there. LOL

  32. the problem is that there are no capitalists that are thinking about what is going to happen to people who are put out of work. Sure younger people coming in will be trained for the new jobs but the older workers will simply be told to go die naked in a ditch. Too old, too dumb, just taking up space. That is what the young billionaire assholes are thinking about the older workers.

  33. Take a look at Andrew Yang for the 2020 elections. He has been talking about automation & AI taking over our country. His plan is Universal Basic Income and makes a good case for it.

  34. >we want to protect people like loggers by forcing them out of their dangerous jobs so they can avoid injury or death
    >be a logger who just lost their job to automation: "great so now I get to die because I have no way to earn money and now I can die slowly by starving"
    well, that's nice

  35. They say we are going to work alongside new technology… I don't think it's going to work this way. Once a job is automated it's gone for good.

  36. I'm so happy that I won't be part of the workforce soon. I am going to be retiring in a few years. I have 2 great pensions and I will be moving to a small place to enjoy myself. Good luck young people. You are going to need it.

  37. They had this same story in the 1970’s and we have low unemployment.

    This is the liberals against technology. They want everyone to be farming or low skilled labor.

    Another fear mongering movie against the benefits of a great society

  38. I my understanding many jobs will go into non routine maintenance. The kind of work that is non-repetitive and too expensive to automate. Example: A/C maintenance requiring to get to the building, access the various parts of the A/C system, troubleshoot and fix.

  39. I wonder what will happen to those machines when we have another Carringtin magnitude solar flare? They might wish they had more carbon based loggers around?

  40. We'll be ok. More than likely. If it doesn't work out, almost none of us will be around to cry about it.

  41. Blue collar jobs are mentioned but they left out mid level white collar desk jobs that can be done by AI and Machine learning, those jobs are just as vulnerable

  42. Now they need to replant all the tree they just cut down this is a huge contributor to global warming deforestation and habitat destruction

  43. I like how this guy pretends he cares about his employee's health and that's an excuse to take away their jobs. Nice try pal.

  44. Destroying the environment is not right in order for a job. Please keep forests for animals and wildlife.

  45. Learning for the future is always the way out don't be distracted by the social procrastination network

  46. The future is not going to be in the future of the ignorant. U can fool people to do a job but u can't fool robots to do a job

  47. with all the jobs going to IT, the repetitive, labor intensive jobs are the low hanging fruit.
    the $15 minimum wage raised that bar from low hanging too just reachable.
    for the cost of a years wages for a person, a shop can buy a computer and have it last 5 years.
    with the open boarder bringing in a million workers a year and the reduction of jobs, we are headed to crisis.

  48. Eric realizes he is a small operation guy. His son wont have a job in logging unless he agrees to work for a wage at a big corporation where highly trained REAL engineers much younger, more math oriented will work for less are. Eric knows this. TO bad he is doing better by his son.

  49. I think these stories about the future of automation are to optimistic. Nobody talks about the practical future of the technology or what innovations are needed to bring about the kind of automation their dreaming of.

  50. why we are fearing automation it will create more goods with less effort … a politician should start implementing UBI, and a way to create equality. It will be great to live in a world where people do not have to worry about how one will pay his monthly grocery bill, light bill etc., all basic necessity. There will be agriculture robots, there will be robots manufacturing solar panels, batteries to give you 24 hours of electricity. If you get bored play sports, hang out with human friends, do some artwork, watch netflix, do some research work. Just live do not worry about food, shelter etc. One two things we need to take care 1) let machines do not take over us 2) Let a
    few crooked people do not take over the entire planet.

  51. There are people who’s job is to automate other people’s jobs. They get paid good money too. It’s pointless to fight against people making intelligent machines that can do any job much better than any human could. Automation will only build on itself and will get faster and faster.

  52. Governments need to stop the unneccesary automation. Automation should be use in the work which human cann't do like cleaning sewage drains.

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