GPS is technological the backbone of self driving cars. If there were no
GPS, the development of self driving cars would not have been so rapid.
the other automation you speak off will proceed slowly as long as social
security for "working age" men and women is linked to paid employment. Harry
On Sep 18, 2017 4:22 PM, "Jed Rothwell" <> wrote:

> Axil Axil <> wrote:
>> Might robots prove so cost efficient and reliable that restaurant
>> employers replace a significant number of workers with these robots?
> I say yes. I think in 10 or 20 years nearly every employee at every
> restaurant will be replaced with a robot. In Japan automated sushi
> restaurants are becoming popular. One of them opened in Atlanta recently.
> Here is the web site and a short video advertisement showing how it works:
> There is more automation here than the video shows. You do not see the
> machines that make the rice and form it into sushi, something which until
> now required a skilled sushi chef. (Supposedly, it did.)
> Here is a British video showing more of the automation at this restaurant
> chain:
> I am not a fan of sushi, but this place is fun and I thought the
> (non-fish) sushi was pretty good. My daughter says it is meh.
> ANYWAY . . .
> I find the video of the burger flipping robot thought-provoking. Here are
> some of the thoughts it provokes:
> This hardware is custom-designed to flip hamburgers, coupled with what I
> assume is a general-purpose, vision-enabled robot, probably about as
> powerful as the Baxter robot.
> A person worried about the future of employment might feel sanguine
> looking at this because it seems like it is a custom solution for one
> application. You would have to design another robot to lay out the buns the
> way the human worker does in this video. You would have to design yet
> another robot to crack eggs, and another to make salad. It seems every job
> will require specialized hardware and perhaps specialized robotics and
> software. You might think that it would take a long time to make all the
> robots we need to run a restaurant, not to mention all the robots we need
> to do housework, stock grocery store shelves, or do carpentry.
> I don't think so. I predict faster progress for two reasons. First, many
> programmers and other technical experts will gain experience applying
> general-purpose robots and they will soon learn how to apply them more
> quickly. They will be more of these people. They will start their own
> companies, branching out into new applications. They will train others, who
> will train others. Second, the technology will become more general-purpose,
> and less custom-designed. Even the parts which are custom-designed will be
> easier to design. Once you know how to flip hamburgers, you can flip other
> objects, or form pancakes, or wash lettuce.
> The situation reminds me of software in the 1970s. In the 1960s, every
> company had custom-designed accounting software made specifically for that
> company, often in-house. In the 1970s specialized software firms began
> offering packaged accounting software that could be customized for various
> industry segments.
> In the 1980s general-purpose tools  and database tools became available
> that made it easier to write accounting programs. Computer memory and disks
> expanded by orders of magnitude. Extremely powerful accounting program such
> as Peachtree software became available. This was suitable for nearly all
> small businesses, and it reduced the need for industry sector specific
> solutions. Accounting software for large companies is now offered by a
> small number of large vendors such as Oracle and SAP:
> Few companies develop accounting programs in-house.
> The other reason I predict faster progress is because people are
> developing self-driving cars, which is one of the most difficult
> applications. Tremendous progress has been made in this. Much more than I
> predicted a few years ago. This is one of the most difficult jobs that can
> be done by a robot. If it is done wrong, people will be killed and
> tremendous liabilities will be incurred. It seems odd that corporations
> would start with such a dangerous and critical application. You might think
> they would start by making robots that fold sheets and flip hamburgers, or
> do other jobs that cannot accidentally kill someone. They are concentrating
> on self-driving cars because the market is gigantic, the potential profits
> are gigantic, and the penalty for getting left behind by competition and
> rapid bankruptcy.
> There is no longer any question that the technology works and it is safer
> than human-driven cars. All automakers are frantically developing this
> because if they do not they will not survive another 20 years.
> My guess is that once you develop robots that can drive safely, developing
> robots to crack eggs or fold sheets will be easy in comparison. A whole
> generation of robotic engineers and programmers will cut their teeth
> learning how to make self-driving cars. They will soon be making other
> things. This is similar to what happened when people developed the MIT
> whirlwind project, Princeton's AIS computer, the IBM stretch computer and
> the IBM 360. The young engineers and theorists who participated in these
> projects went on to develop the computer industry in the 1960s. The AIS
> project was directed by von Neumann himself. He had a lot more practical
> knowledge and engineering ability than most other 20th century giants of
> physics. If five or 10 people of his caliber become involved in developing
> robotics for several years you can bet things will move quickly.
> One of the first uses of the AIS computer was to develop the hydrogen
> bomb. That was a rather complicated application compared to some of the
> ones that followed. In other words, like self-driving cars, they started
> with a difficult project. Because that's where the money was. That's what
> the customer (Uncle Sam) wanted.
> - Jed

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