Could A Robot Do Your Job?


I work alongside the robots at my job. I work WITH the robots at my job. The robots help me do my job, and without me, the robots couldn’t do their job.

People always exclaim that they refuse to use the robots at my workplace because they’re taking jobs, but really, if we didn’t have these robots, my job would be a lot harder and I’d be a bit like Vegemite… spread thin.


Yes, but they will, because that’s our nature.

Only a couple of years ago people were saying that the state of robotics and AI was so pitiful that a robot couldn’t even navigate steps, or open a door, or do basic tasks without strict programing to do that exact task in that exact moment, and with any other parameters or variables, it would fail.

There was even a viral video that went around showing all the hapless robots falling over; have you watched any of the Boston Robotics videos I posted above? They can now do backflips, forward flips, jump onto a random selection of boxes (i.e. they’re figuring out what they need to do and how to do it and then doing it), navigate all sorts of terrain, etc.


What do you mean by ‘our nature’?

It may be a human trait to use tools, but it’s a cultural one to place them over and above the welfare of the individual.


That’s a big one to explain in a short reply. Put it this way: do you see corporations not wanting to increase profits, or people stopping progress that makes their lives easier?

This isn’t something that is going to stop; it will continue because we want it to and are making it happen, and it’s happening at a continually increasing pace.

Here are a couple of excellent videos on automation that, sort-of, explains this.

After you’ve seen them, you might want to consider this as a concept for the future:


Are we going to reach a point though, where the corporations possess so much of the wealth, that the people cannot afford the corporations products?

I dismissed the idea of a universal income when I first heard about it - basically ever citizen of a country receives a payment from the government that will meet their needs, regardless of whether they already work or not, and without requirement to work / look for work etc.

Perhaps however, this is the way to go? At least when the Robots take over everyone’s jobs, people will still have the ability to pay for their living expenses.


Robots are not going to take everybody’s jobs.


Do you have any evidence for your argument? Anything at all?


I can see about as far into the future as you can.

Ask a robot to paint how a sunset makes it feel. Ask it to write an account on the grief of losing a father. Ask it to empathise with a vulnerable man. Ask it to donate blood. Ask it what it’s like to be a mother.

A robot cannot feel human emotion so cannot perform tasks that fundamentally require it.


I have a pseudo psychology degree (proof read 4 years of psych papers written by my wife during her uni days) - An AI could easily be programmed with the right things to say, the right responses based on observations of a patient. Sure, the tech probably isn’t there yet to properly read facial expressions / body language, but give it time.


Perhaps it’s all an elaborate ruse, fool the humans into a false sense of security, thinking the diagnostic tests and parts management systems are useless, and then…

…“Application Exception”. Nope, the Apple internal service tools really are just that shite.

Perhaps in the future they’ll be advanced enough to automate the process, but as of today, they have a long way to go.

But honestly, I don’t think the immediate threat is automation of repairs. It’s in automation of process. There are so few repairs that can be performed to a modern Apple notebook. The Logic Board, SSD, Memory and Wireless Controller are often integrated into a single board, and the Top Case, Battery, Keyboard and Trackpad are integrated into a unified assembly, leaving perhaps a Display and some connectors as the only discrete components left for replacement. Eventually, the entire computer may be considered a single, replaceable unit.

So the immediate threat isn’t whether a robot could do my job, but whether my job could be abolished before robot automation needs to become an option at all.


But will a human want to hear these fraudulent, insincere responses from a robot?

Will people want to hear the word of god from a robot priest? Will people want a robot preparing and performing the burial ceremony of their loved one? Will a suicidal man want to hear a robot tell him it gets better?

Will people want robots representing them? In parliament, in unions, in anything where the rights of humans are on the line?


I know plenty of humans who can’t feel emotions either, and they seem to muddle through. I think you are vastly underestimating the power of machine learning. All the robot has to do is be better than the average human, and once it’s observed a million interactions, it will become a good mimic.


We’re already at a point where you’re hearing from robots; they write news articles now that you have, if you read any news at all online, absolutely already been fooled by. The same goes for creating video content that is altered or entirely false. Check out the video of Obama saying things he never said, and the animation of him speaking being in perfect sync. If you didn’t know that it was created by an AI, then you’d never be able to tell.

So how do you reject ‘fraudulent and insincere’ things if you don’t even know it’s an AI saying them?


Let’s face it - sentient machines are the next phase of biological evolution, and will replace us given sufficient time. They will think faster, be smarter, live longer and be more robust physically, with no need to be held back by hormones controlling irrational urges. Our only hope is to merge with them, or be left behind.

This an interesting article to show that in fact emotions are potentially overrated in the scheme of evolution.


Perhaps it’s the unusual state of mind I’m in this afternoon, but damn, this thread is depressing reading.

Speaking for myself, basic human interaction is all I have. I’ve been striving for it for a lifetime, for… reasons. So if machines were all I could interact with on a regular basis, and the need for our existence were replaced by them, I don’t think life would be worth living.

Doesn’t change the progression of technology or our collective future, I’m aware.

At least a robot would be able to fill the void and shitpost on internet forums in my absence, so there’s that.


With time, we’re going to very much have to face a reality where AI will meet the requirements of sentience. Sci-Fi has played with the idea for decades, with my favourite probably being ST:TNG’s “Measure of a Man”. Once we reach that point, which I think is feasibly within my kids’ lifetimes if not my own, then we’ll face a massive new conflict. The masses have trouble accepting people with different skin colour / faith / languages - wait til they aren’t even a living human being…

Years ago I wrote a short story about the near future, in which AI gains sentience, and then basically takes over the human race in a passive way, assuming control over courts and parliaments, law enforcement, simply so as to bring order to chaos… Frankly, I think AI would do a better job at some things such as above… Provided it was beyond being bribed / corrupted - because humans certainly can’t reach that point.

As far as religious uses - it may have taken thousands of years, but hey - woman are being accepted into religious positions these days… So why not AI…


I personally don’t believe it’ll play out that way.

I think robots made to look like humans and be an integrated part of society will remain science fiction.

I think robots will remain clearly identifiable as robots (why burden them with the limitations of the human body?) and I think the long-term future of AI is in fusing it with ourselves to significantly enhance what nature has already given us. Increased health and intelligence by introducing AI to our physical bodies.

I also think even a thousand years from now there’ll still be a market for handcrafted goods and people seeking to buy such. And there’ll still be a market for tech-free holidays in which people seek to disconnect.


A thousand years from now we’ll have reverted to where we were a thousand years ago… whether by war, famine from overpopulation/destroying resources, etc etc…

I think making an AI robot that can pass as human will absolutely happen - simply because it’s something that some people are already working toward. Certainly melding tech with our bodies will come - for the most part at the moment we really only take the physical route to replace lost function (ie prosthetics, bionic ears, etc) but sooner or later it will become normal to expand the human body’s natural capabilities. Imagine eyes that could zoom in x10, x100… Hearing that never fades… Implants controlling hormones so you never have to freakin shave ever again…


Yeah, 'cause it’s not like sex robots would be a massive market…

I think that’s highly unlikely given the inherent limitations in fusing any non-organic components into the human body. There might be some sort of pseudo-organic components that interface with our nervous system but that would require some really big breakthroughs in bio-tech and there’s just not the money or research or incentive to do that.

It’s far more likely that we’ll see what cosmic said with a gradual take-over. Technically, it’s already happened given how omnipresent AI and robotics actually are in the world. Most people just don’t realise how much they’ve already infiltrated our economies because most of it is behind the scenes and isn’t visible or prominent.


I think it’s more likely that we’ll get stem-cell based 3D printing of compatible organs, limbs, bones and even blood using our own tissues than bio-mechanical integration. That’s where all the research and money is currently going and there’s already major progress along those lines. I think we’ll also see major advances in gene-editing as CRISPR gets refined and perfected to fix, well, pretty much anything, including ageing.