Should robots replace human workers?

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by thecurly1, Jul 6, 2001.

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  1. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    From Newscientist:
    Bots knock the socks off city slickers
    Robots can make more cash than people when they trade commodities. By Duncan Graham-Rowe
    ROBOTS can make more cash than people when they trade commodities, according to Jeffrey Kephart at IBM's research centre in Hawthorne, New York.

    Kephart says his team's findings could have a much greater impact than the famous victory of IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer over chess supremo Gary Kasparov. "The impact might be measured in billions of dollars annually," he says.

    A commodities trader buys and sells goods, which are usually agricultural or mineral-based, like pork bellies or gold. Their aim is to buy low and sell high. While robotic trading agents have been entered in competitions before, they had never competed against people.

    In IBM's test, software-based robotic trading agents - known as "bots" - made seven per cent more cash than people. Both bots and people had the same set-up, allowing them to trade through an unbiased software-based auctioneer. The auction was designed to mimic the kind of commodities market where buyers and sellers have a fixed amount of time to trade in a single commodity.

    Six bots and six people traded against each other. Half were buyers and half were sellers. Buyers were given an upper spending limit, while sellers had a minimum sale price. Their goal was to maximise their profit at the end of trading.

    The bots used very basic strategies. Some tried to make better offers incrementally, in the hope that they could strike a deal, while a more successful version tried to work out the best price to trade at, by calculating its probability of success based on the form.

    Back in Britain, Dave Cliff, a researcher at Hewlett-Packard's research labs in Bristol who developed one of the trading algorithms used in IBM's experiment, described their finding as "significant". "I never designed it to outperform humans, so for me it's a very pleasant surprise that it does," says Cliff.

    "If it were up against the Gary Kasparov of trade I would guess that that person would beat these agents," Kephart says. But he points out that these early robotic agents were very simple indeed.

    Kephart believes that in the future billions of economic robotic agents will replace people in making these sorts of financial decisions on behalf of businesses. "We see agents being down there in the frenzy of the trading pit while humans are elevated to a more managerial role," he says

    Prehaps this is another front for the job loss field
     
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  3. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Yup, humans are not good at mechanistic processes. We should let the machines do that so that we can concentrate on what we do best, ah but what is that?

    Cris
     
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  5. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    Good question. Prehaps one that we our selves have not totally figured out yet.
     
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  7. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe. But there is another possibility that humans aren't really very good at anything and that machines will become superior to anything and anything we attempt.
     
  8. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    I may have missed it but I think this morphing business is one that we haven't really knocked around much. We have mentioned in posts of the idea of robots being able to be tailored to one task or another but not the idea of one with the ability to redesign for any given task and then changing configurations for the next. It seems to have quite limitless capabilities on tap.
     
  9. thecurly1 Registered Senior Member

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    HOLY COW I DIDN'T KNOW THIS IS STILL HERE!

    That's all I want to say.
     
  10. kmguru Staff Member

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    Should robots replace human workers?

    YES...as long as each person can afford a robot that goes out, earns money to clothe and feed the master that drinks beer and watches TV...

    It is a silly thought but I hope in next 100 years, our production of material goods is all done by specialized robots. That leaves the creative stuff to people. Along the way, there will be social revolution when the robots take human jobs, like they did in assembly lines.

    If the robots start to think, then we are in trouble. Imagine a movie made by your computer from the basic plot you provide...just for you. The computer will select the type of faces you like, backgrounds, and the environment...

    OR the computer making original compositions...
     
  11. thecurly1 Registered Senior Member

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    EXACTLY

    If this pans out this would be the most important revolution in human civilization in the past millenia. Equal to if not more important than the agricultural revolution that started human civilization.

    Currently our technology is surpassing our humanity, I will be happy to see our humanity surpass our technology.
     
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