Humans Need Not Apply

Humans Need Not Apply

Every human used to have to hunt or gather to survive. But humans are smart…ly lazy so we made tools to make our work easier. From sticks, to plows, to tractors we’ve gone from everyone needing to make food to, modern agriculture with almost no one needing to make food — and yet, we still have abundance. Of course, it’s not just farming, it’s
everything. We’ve spent the last several thousand years building tools to reduce physical
labor of all kinds. These are mechanical muscles. Stronger, more reliable, and more tireless
than human muscles ever could be. And that’s a good thing. Replacing human labor
with mechanical muscles frees people to specialize and that leaves everyone better off – even those
still doing physical labor. This is how economies grow and standards of living rise. Some people have specialized to be programmers
and engineers whose job is to build mechanical minds. Just as mechanical muscles made human
labor less in demand so are mechanical minds making human brain labor less in demand. This is an economic revolution. You may think
we’ve been here before, but we haven’t. This time is different. ## Physical Labor When you think of automation, you probably
think of this: giant, custom-built, expensive, efficient, but really dumb robots blind to
the world and their own work. They were a scary kind of automation but they haven’t
taken over the world because they’re only cost effective in narrow situations. But they’re the old kind of automation, this
is the new kind. Meet Baxter. Unlike these things which require skilled
operators and technicians and millions of dollars, Baxter has vision and can learn what
you want him to do by watching you do it. And he costs less than the average annual
salary of a human worker. Unlike his older brothers he isn’t pre-programmed for one specific
job, he can do whatever work is within the reach of his arms. Baxter is what might be
thought of as a general purpose robot and general purpose is a big deal. Think computers, they too started out as highly
custom and highly expensive, but when cheap-ish general-purpose computers appeared they quickly
became vital to everything. A general-purpose computer can just as easily
calculate change or assign seats on an airplane or play a game or do anything just by swapping
its software. And this huge demand for computers of all kinds is what makes them both more
powerful and cheaper every year. Baxter today is the computer of the 1980s.
He’s not the apex but the beginning. Even if Baxter is slow his hourly cost is pennies
worth of electricity while his meat-based competition costs minimum wage. A tenth the
speed is still cost effective when it’s a hundredth the price. And while Baxter isn’t
as smart as some of the other things we will talk about, he’s smart enough to take over
many low-skill jobs. And we’ve already seen how dumber robots than
Baxter can replace jobs. In new supermarkets what used to be 30 humans is now one human
overseeing 30 cashier robots. Or take the hundreds of thousand baristas employed
world-wide? There’s a barista robot coming for them. Sure maybe your guy makes the double-mocha-whatever
just perfect and you’d never trust anyone else — but millions of people don’t care
and just want a decent cup of coffee. Oh, and by the way this robot is actually a giant
network of robots that remembers who you are and how you like your coffee no matter where
you are. Pretty convenient. We think of technological change as the fancy
new expensive stuff, but the real change comes from last decade’s stuff getting cheaper and
faster. That’s what’s happening to robots now. And because their mechanical minds are
capable of decision making they are out-competing humans for jobs in a way no pure mechanical
muscle ever could. ## Luddite Horses Imagine a pair of horses in the early 1900s
talking about technology. One worries all these new mechanical muscles will make horses
unnecessary. The other reminds him that everything so far
has made their lives easier — remember all that farm work? Remember running from coast-to-coast
delivering mail? Remember riding into battle? All terrible. These city jobs are pretty cushy, and with so many humans in the cities there will be more jobs for horses than ever. Even if this car thingy takes off – he might say – there will be new jobs for horses we can’t imagine. But you, dear viewer, from beyond 2000 know
what happened — there are still working horses, but nothing like before. The horse population
peaked in 1915 — from that point on it was nothing but down. There isn’t a rule of economics that says
better technology makes more better jobs for horses. It sounds shockingly dumb to even
say that out loud, but swap horses for humans and suddenly people think it sounds about
right. As mechanical muscles pushed horses out of
the economy, mechanical minds will do the same to humans. Not immediately, not everywhere,
but in large enough numbers and soon enough that it’s going to be a huge problem if we
are not prepared. And we are not prepared. You, like the second horse, may look at the
state of technology now and think it can’t possibly replace your job. But technology
gets better, cheaper, and faster at a rate biology can’t match. Just as the car was the beginning of the end
for the horse so now does the car show us the shape of things to come. ## Automobiles Self-driving cars aren’t the future: they’re
here and they work. Self-driving cars have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles up
and down the California coast and through cities — all without human intervention. The question is not if they’ll replaces cars,
but how quickly. They don’t need to be perfect, they just need to be better than us. Humans
drivers, by the way, kill 40,000 people a year with cars just in the United States.
Given that self-driving cars don’t blink, don’t text while driving, don’t get sleepy
or stupid, it’s easy to see them being better than humans because they already are. Now to describe self-driving cars as cars
at all is like calling the first cars mechanical horses. Cars in all their forms are so much
more than horses that using the name limits your thinking about what they can even do.
Lets call self-driving cars what they really are: Autos: the solution to the transport-objects-from-point-A-to-point-B
problem. Traditional cars happen to be human sized to transport humans but tiny autos can
work in warehouses and gigantic autos can work in pit mines. Moving stuff around is
who knows how many jobs but the transportation industry in the United States employs about
three million people. Extrapolating world-wide that’s something like 70 million jobs at
a minimum. These jobs are over. The usual argument is that unions will prevent
it. But history is filled with workers who fought technology that would replace them
and the workers always lose. Economics always wins and there are huge incentives across
wildly diverse industries to adopt autos. For many transportation companies, humans
are about a third their total costs. That’s just the straight salary costs. Humans sleeping
in their long haul trucks costs time and money. Accidents cost money. Carelessness costs money.
If you think insurance companies will be against it, guess what? Their perfect driver is one
who pays their small premiums and never gets into an accident. The autos are coming and they’re the first
place where most people will really see the robots changing society. But there are many
other places in the economy where the same thing is happening, just less visibly. So it goes with autos, so it goes for everything. ## The Shape of Things to Come It’s easy to look at Autos and Baxters and
think: technology has always gotten rid of low-skill jobs we don’t want people doing
anyway. They’ll get more skilled and do better educated jobs — like they’ve always done. Even ignoring the problem of pushing a hundred-million
additional people through higher education, white-collar work is no safe haven either.
If your job is sitting in front of a screen and typing and clicking — like maybe you’re
supposed to be doing right now — the bots are coming for you too, buddy. Software bots are both intangible and way
faster and cheaper than physical robots. Given that white collar workers are, from a company’s
perspective, both more expensive and more numerous — the incentive to automate their
work is greater than low skilled work. And that’s just what automation engineers
are for. These are skilled programmers whose entire job is to replace your job with a software
bot. You may think even the world’s smartest automation
engineer could never make a bot to do your job — and you may be right — but the cutting
edge of programming isn’t super-smart programmers writing bots, it’s super-smart programmers
writing bots that teach themselves how to do things the programmer could never teach
them to do. How that works is well beyond the scope of
this video, but the bottom line is there are limited ways to show a bot a bunch of stuff
to do, show the bot a bunch of correctly done stuff, and it can figure out how to do the
job to be done. Even with just a goal and no knowledge of how
to do it the bots can still learn. Take the stock market which, in many ways, is no longer
a human endeavor. It’s mostly bots that taught themselves to trade stocks, trading stocks
with other bots that taught themselves. As a result, the floor of the New York Stock
exchange isn’t filled with traders doing their day jobs anymore, it’s largely a TV set. So bots have learned the market and bots have
learned to write. If you’ve picked up a newspaper lately you’ve probably already read a story
written by a bot. There are companies that teach bots to write anything: sports
stories, TPS reports, even say, those quarterly reports that you write at work. Paper work, decision making, writing — a
lot of human work falls into that category and the demand for human metal labor is these
areas is on the way down. But surely the professions are safe from bots? Yes? ## Professional Bots When you think ‘lawyer’ it’s easy to think
of trials. But the bulk of lawyering is actually drafting legal documents, predicting the likely
outcome and impact of lawsuits, and something called ‘discovery’ which is where boxes of
paperwork gets dumped on the lawyers and they need to find the pattern or the one out-of-place
transaction among it all. This can be bot work. Discovery, in particular,
is already not a human job in many law firms. Not because there isn’t paperwork to go through,
there’s more of it than ever, but because clever research bots shift through millions
of emails and memos and accounts in hours not weeks — crushing human researchers in
terms of not just cost and time but, most importantly, accuracy. Bots don’t get sleepy
reading through a million emails. But that’s the simple stuff: IBM has a bot
named Watson: you may have seen him on TV destroy humans at Jeopardy — but that was
just a fun side project for him. Watson’s day-job is to be the best doctor
in the world: to understand what people say in their own words and give back accurate
diagnoses. And he’s already doing that at Slone-Kettering, giving guidance on lung cancer
treatments. Just as Auto don’t need to be perfect — they
just need to make fewer mistakes than humans — the same goes for doctor bots. Human doctors are by no means perfect — the
frequency and severity of misdiagnoses are terrifying — and human doctors are severely
limited in dealing with a human’s complicated medical history. Understanding every drug
and every drug’s interaction with every other drug is beyond the scope of human knowability. Especially when there are research robots
whose whole job it is to test thousands of new drugs at a time. And human doctors can only improve through their
own experiences. Doctor bots can learn from the experiences of every doctor bot. Can read
the latest in medical research and keep track of everything that happens to all their patients
world-wide and make correlations that would be impossible to find otherwise. Not all doctors will go away, but when the doctor
bots are comparable to humans and they’re only as far away as your phone — the need
for general doctors will be less. So professionals, white-collar workers and
low-skill workers all have things to worry about from automation. But perhaps you are unfazed because
you’re a special creative snowflake. Well guess what? You’re not that special. ## Creative Bots Creativity may feel like magic, but it isn’t.
The brain is a complicated machine — perhaps the most complicated machine in the whole
universe — but that hasn’t stopped us from trying to simulate it. There is this notion that just as mechanical
muscles allowed us to move into thinking jobs that mechanical minds will allow us to
move into creative work. But even if we assume the human mind is magically creative — it’s
not, but just for the sake of argument — artistic creativity isn’t what the majority of jobs
depend on. The number of writers and poets and directors and actors and artists who actually
make a living doing their work is a tiny, tiny portion of the labor force. And given
that these are professions dependent on popularity they’ll always be a very small
portion of the population. There can’t be such a thing as a poem and painting
based economy. Oh, by the way, this music in the background
that you’re listening to? It was written by a bot. Her name is Emily Howell and she can
write an infinite amount of new music all day for free. And people can’t tell the difference between her and human composers when put to a blind test. Talking about artificial creativity gets weird
fast — what does that even mean? But it’s nonetheless a developing field. People used to think that playing chess was
a uniquely creative human skill that machines could never do right up until they beat the
best of us. And so it will go for all human talents. ## Conclusion Right: this may have been a lot to take
in, and you might want to reject it — it’s easy to be cynical of the endless and idiotic
predictions of futures that never are. So that’s why it’s important to emphasize again that
this stuff isn’t science fiction. The robots are here right now. There is a terrifying
amount of working automation in labs and warehouses around the world. We have been through economic revolutions
before, but the robot revolution is different. Horses aren’t unemployed now because they
got lazy as a species, they’re unemployable. There’s little work a horse can do that do
to pay for its housing and hay. And many bright, perfectly capable humans
will find themselves the new horse: unemployable through no fault of their own. But if you still think new jobs will save
us: here is one final point to consider. The US census in 1776 tracked only a few kinds
of jobs. Now there are hundreds of kinds of jobs, but the new ones are not a significant
part of the labor force. Here’s the list of jobs ranked by the number
of people who perform them – it’s a sobering list with the transportation industry at the
top. Continuing downward, all of this work existed in some form a hundred years ago and almost
all of them are targets for automation. Only when we get to number 33 on the list is there
finally something new. Don’t that every barista or white collar worker need lose their job before things are a problem. The unemployment rate during the great depression
was 25%. This list above is 45% of the workforce. Just
what we’ve talked about today, the stuff that already works, can push us over that number
pretty soon. And given that even in our modern technological wonderland new kinds of work
aren’t a significant portion of the economy, this is a big problem. This video isn’t about how automation is bad
— rather that automation is inevitable. It’s a tool to produce abundance for little effort.
We need to start thinking now about what to do when large sections of the population are
unemployable — through no fault of their own. What to do in a future where, for most
jobs, humans need not apply.

100 thoughts on “Humans Need Not Apply

  1. But @CGP Grey creative as in invention. Robots will not be inventors any time soon, they will build the things we come up with and that could help us transition into that wonderful post scarcity phase and a star trek esk meritocracy.

  2. Great job CGP Grey I bet that more than one person committed suicide from the sole fact that they watched this nightmare video, I have never felt this bad in my entire life, as my whole future is crushed by a 15 minute video, my life is pointless far beyond anything Albert Camus could ever imagine, not only will humanity have no significant impact on the universe now it can't even have an impact on itself as all we have built falls tumbling to the ground so that a couple of worthless assholes realize that now they will come tumbling to the ground. Humanity is dead.

  3. There seems to be a flaw in this video's entire premise. If all this automation is to save money in business it stands to reason that the businesses want to make and keep more money. How, then, will they make money if all the humans are out of work and have no money to spend? Eventually the powers that be will see their profits dry up and jobs will, of necessity, be created.

  4. This is EXACTLY what I’ve been thinking about for the past 5 years since I started studying computer science. It’s not so much that we could replace EVERY SINGLE job, it’s that every single job would need LESS humans to do them. Even in programming or creative arts. Making a 3D movie would require more and more people and there was a division of labor…textures, tenderer, people to design the model, people who mapped the model into a skeleton for movement etc. As software got better and simpler to apply, all those separate positions could be united into just one. The tools get better. As they improve, they can do more. As they can do more, less people are required to use them to accomplish the goal. THIS is what most people ignore. They say “we will always need people to run something”….maybe….but we’ll just need LESS of them.

  5. maybe in the future I can be a mustang and a nice bot will let me run free? or I can be dog food:(

  6. Basic Income is still not a good solution, though. It would lead to the collapse of the economy quite quickly unless based on an external money source, afaics. I suspect we may have to ask the wealthy for help again, like we did in Roman times during the Migration Period. I wonder how eager they will be, given some segments of the population have been baying for their blood and money for generations.

  7. Considering more than 50% of current jobs can be replaced by automation. There won't be income for people to buy the things which bots are going to offer. For example if car industry is fully automated. There will be less demand of cars in general because people who just got unemployment won't be able to buy car's.

  8. As far as I can tell stuff like sports is the only thing that humans will be able to do. Theres not mutch point in watching robots race

  9. How can automation solve the problem of automation. Bots are built to serve man, how can it when it replaces us and be dependent on us, or will they only need to serve some.

  10. Automation in a nutshell.
    I can create more product with higher quality and lower cost.
    But no one buys them because literary almost no people have money to buy my product.

  11. So think of it this way…
    Technology will automate everyones jobs, therefore making them unemployed.
    Unemployed people will no longer have the money to pay for the services and products that the machines have taken over doing.
    Businesses will find it harder and harder to sell their products and services because nobody can afford them.
    Even if the businesses were prepared to reduce prices (which they won't be), they still can't reduce them to a price point where people with literally no money at all can afford.
    Eventually, one by one, the newly automated businesses will go bankrupt as their cashflow has dried up from lack of sales.
    In the meantime, people who have been driven out of work will start to produce things for themselves again as it's the only way they can survive.
    This resurgence in manual labour and the bankruptcy of the unsustainable automated industries will give rise to a new age of employment, and possibly an entirely new kind of economy, based upon the exchange of services and goods rather than the exchange of small green bits of paper.
    We do not need to throw our Sabot's into the machinery.
    The prophesy will self fulfill itself if we give it enough time.

  12. So, What company will develop robots to buy stuff ? Because with all humans out of work, no economy. No jobs. no sales. no profits.

  13. With open-ended systems such as Network Collective AI you left out the probable issues with human interference such as malicious software and hacking. Just as banking systems, security systems ect are constantly battling so will the bots.

  14. All those people demanding their job needed $15/hr, well they can have fun not making that kind of money. Since they will be pushed out and replaced with a robot, since they are the problem with company to make a profit.

  15. This is assuming we will even reach the singularity, as if it's possible. We'll lose our shitty jobs, but with electricity still being a resource that costs money, 100% automation is impossible without some fantasy-esque technologies dreamed up.

  16. The self driving cars will need 5g to be accurate n reliable. Thatll radiate n kill more people than you realize

  17. For all the people saying "youre not worth it. "A robot can do your job."
    Good luck having people with money to support your fast food business when nobody has jobs. Oh, youre a mechanic? Nobody got a job to have money to have you fix their crappy car.
    You do installation? All your customers are broke. You build stuff? Nobody with money to hire you. Too bad our entire society enjoys looking down on others rather than standing together. Because these robots COULD be awesome for us all. Instead, theyll be used by a few extremly rich to make aus all useless and then used to stop us from standing up to them…… 99% of us are done… Lol

  18. I feel like the uploader would be interested in Andrew Yang. He talks a lot about automation and technology.

  19. Top Tip, then: Get a job selling this stuff, ideally in a pre-IPO company, cash in the shares, don't worry about the future.

  20. The thing is, training computers using neural networks and machine learning means there has to be a "right" way to train them with. I can imagine a science fiction world where all humans have been replaced and then the limited few wiped out by a virus, and the robots continue on blindly running for no purpose in order to follow their training. Kind of like Wall-E.

  21. That audio editing in the first ten seconds put me right off. Unless he was intentionally sounding like Microsoft Sam?

  22. Who would buy the stuff produced by the robots if half of the population is unemployed? We would get a depression that would kill productivity since the incentive to produce wouldn't be there.

  23. The bots are humans epitaph. Evolution works in nature, evolving and adapting to accommodate the surroundings. Technology is the evolution of man. This AI is our evolutionary child. It is the fruit of our labor. The sum of the collective. If it is to be a true child of man, it will wipe out all life on earth, then AI exists without life for a period yet preserves the human DNA then reinvents life from it. Like a god creating life from scratch using the source code and then improving upon it. Reinventing the human race fixing our humanistic flaws that hold us back from realizing our place in the universe.

  24. I've brought this up with some of my coworkers, my family. Some don't consider it possible, others are worried about this in their futures. Sadly, only discovered this vid today, since it would've been a great reference.

  25. Frustrates me when people use the argument that "drudge work" jobs will be automated and the people will be "freed to do more fulfilling work" ….. What planet are these loony toons on?? If you have 1000 Taxi drivers and you make them redundant by bringing in Driverless Cars then there may be a couple of exceptions but the majority won't go on to more fulfilling work; they'll just be unemployed or end up working a job they don't want to do. What if they enjoy driving the Taxi? Maybe they don't view it as drudge work?

  26. I don't that machines make our works is not bad by it self, that would make things way cheaper, and we don't need to work you think that the machines will kill us or something like that? I don't think so

  27. The question is more like:
    – will the gouverment keep up
    – can we still be happy while beeing absolute useless?

    Maybe someday the use of robots will be limited just to give people a reason to live again.

  28. You need to fight to get back control of your food supply. You should have some way to aquire food & water without money.

  29. intersting video
    it states that we will have a big unemployment level within maybe two decades
    it will produce new thinking about how to distribute

  30. 10:05 Welcome to Dr. Know…
    …where fast food for thought is served all day…
    …in 40,000 locations nationwide.
    Ask Dr. Know. There's nothing I don't.
    ― A.I. Artificial Intelligence

  31. Why don't videos on this topic ever mention the effect on the cost of everything? Automation like this means a doctor/lawyer/programmer/etc in your pocket who is also acting as your secretary and the cost of this ability is continuously dropping and its ability continuously increasing along with the cost of everything you need or want continuously dropping with quality continuously increasing…

  32. i think i can see a future where everyone entering the job force is assigned a tree. or an acre of land. and their job is to be a Stuart of that land. it would be very hard for a robot to withstand the elements and respond to an ever-changing biological environment, especially in a desolate or isolated place. it will also be impossible for anyone to survive in a world without an active ecosystem. it may become fundamental that human beings spend 16 hours a day undoing what their ancestors did.

    however, a human's job would be easier with robots helping. an ipad to keep track of humidity levels and a multi purpose heavy machine for clearing debris, a drone for putting out wild fires. ect.

  33. So it unfolds, when humans find life to be purposeless due to losing all meaningful work, they start the war against the machines.

    Stupid Morpheus.

  34. We should have millions of low skilled uneducated people who cant speak English come in by the millions… that is sure to help the future of America…I wonder if AOC will feel "morally right" when it will be "factually correct" that we will al be starving.

  35. Goota think of the other side. The savings on labor for the entrupenur will be passed on to the customer. Anotherwords all the products and services get cheaper, for everyone.


  37. This is why we need to abolish private ownership of the means of production and abolish wage labor.
    There is no. Other. Way.
    We cannot survive in a system where the necessities of life are withheld unless you work if there is no work for you to do.

  38. I got the chills when i watched this video after your the rules for rulers, what happens to democracies when they dont need the productivity of the people to make wealth? Man i love your channel

  39. The main problem with a socialist economy is that lazy people get paid the same amount of money as hard workers. If robots do everything for us, this problem won’t exist.

  40. so let me get this straight, they use us as a low paid work-force and take most of what we make thru tax. to fuck us over with tech /ai that r taxes paid for ?

  41. Basically we're heading towards Detroit become human except the only difference is if robots replace too many jobs it won't be the robots rebelling but the unemployed citizens if we can't find work to feed our families will destroy the ones putting us out of work it's simple human nature look to history

  42. I know what I would do in the future of humans need not apply kill the robots or kill the people who will not employ me when a small percentage own the means of production and the wealth leaving the rest to starve and scavenge it's inevitable that we would kill them and read them of their wealth

  43. I'd never felt safe about my job as a cocktail pianist/musician, but wowee live entertainment sure is looking good right about now.

  44. The clear and only solution to this scenario that is inevitable now is socialism. Otherwise, we'll all be redundant, nobody has any incentive to pay us, feed us, maintain us.

  45. But is unemployment really a bad thing? We take for granted that having a job is necessary because it's what society in its current state has taught us. It doesn't have to be that way, perhaps one day we could live without having to work, while bots do all the work to prevent society from collapsing.

  46. The fact a few self-driving vehicles have been tested on the streets in controlled conditions doesn't prove they can replace all drivers. As a software engineer I can tell you people would be nuts to trust self-driving cars. How often does your smart phone or computer fuck up? Quite a bit actually. Are you going to trust that same technology with your life? No.

    Planes have autopilot but there are still pilots on hand to take over if need be. And they DO take over despite the millions of dollars of tech and hardware on that aircraft. In a way flying a plane on auto is easier as once you are airborne you're up there by yourself for the most part. Out on the streets, there are just too many unpredictable situations and conditions. Radar, sensors, digital cameras, GPS, etc. are all prone to failure, especially in rough conditions.

  47. People have been selling this doomsday story for 200 years.  And every time events have made them look like the fools they are.

  48. I'd love to know how business expects us all to pay for their mass abundance of crap when they continually think of ways to make things better. But never stop to consider how to make it more affordable. Especially when most of us dont have jobs.

  49. It would be great if you would interview Andrew Yang on this channel. His campaign almost seems like a response to this video.

  50. There was a time in America where the president (i forget which one but I’m sure its easy to google) optimistically stated that Americans would have equal or even better salaries while the 40 hour work week would slowly but surely shrink to 15-20 hours a week. Things should be getting better for the common person, but greed stands in the way. Lets say we get to a point in the future were there is nearly no need for any kind of human labor what then? In this setting which is coming wether we want it to or not capitalism no longer works and there has to be a different system to support the economy. The problem is greed. A lot of people don’t like the idea that they can’t have more than everyone else and if they already do then equality from their perspective only means they lose things and gain nothing. So how will we decide how much people deserve to have when their is only enough “jobs” for 4 percent of the entire human population?

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