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Thread: Automation Coming on Strong

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    East SF Bay Area
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    Automation Coming on Strong

    I have a very close friend who is a key in maintenance and installation of equipment at a large scale food processor. Currently the plant employs about 1300 people and automating just one line is going to cut the head count from around 250 to 4. As far as the whole plant he sees the head count going from 1300 to under 400 in two years. Automation of everything from physical processes to mental ones is on the very edge of major disruption of the labor force at a rate faster than society can adapt. If special interest and government doesn't adapt to a system that is advancing at an ever faster rate people whose skill sets are open to automation will be hurt by the high prices for areas protected from automation by bought and paid for government and industry regulation keeping their prices artificially high. All aspects of the semi industry have accelerated the rate of change in many areas, but has been hampered by special interests in other areas. Educational books and manuals are but one example, all should be viewed as a file so they can adapt to the "Great Acceleration" at an ever increasing rate.

    How our entire economy is structured needs to be restructured from education, training, regulations and even how buildings are set up to this new paradigm or we will all pay the price. In this new environment we will have to have far more specialization in skill sets to keep up the vastly increased rate of obsolescence. Education, training and job structures will all have to adapt to an ever shrinking half life that is accelerating towards small and smaller time windows.

    Construction is the next large area for automation and operational efficiency. The Chinese are so far ahead of the US in this area it's sad. I have three contractors licenses and can see where two thirds of the labor could be eliminated and deliver a totally superior product. All this is going to create an ever increasing demand for semi and nanotechnology at a vastly accelerating rate. Virtual and augmented reality in the cloud have the power right now to change everything dramatically, let alone just a few years from now when robotics goes from specialized uses to almost every aspect of the world we live in.

    The world will belong not as much the creators, but the people who can create, sell and implement entirely new uses and platforms for delivering it and get around government regulation as Uber and Airbnb have done. Medical especially is desperately in need of disruption before it distorts the economy so greatly we collapse. Already the US delivers 37th in quality in medical at the world's highest cost. This should be the next area for major disruption for the US, for if we don't, just this one industry could crush the US and our social/economic structure as we know it. This is a here and right now issue of the greatest importance. The US has everything it needs to take the lead in medical and construction and so far we have chosen to ignore these areas and settle to not even be in the top ten. It isn't just about inventing technology, but selling it and getting it implemented despite social, government and special interest road blocks.

    The greatest skill in the future will be the ability to build intuitiveness into products physical and virtual. The semi/nanotech sector require a brave new world and will to take the needed steps.

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    Last edited by Arthur Hanson; 09-10-2018 at 11:59 AM.

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