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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
6/17/2017 7:41:36 PM
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Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
srufolo1,

Economic historians quarrel a lot about whether there even is a technological shelf (I think there is, but some very smart people would disagree), and of the ones who think there is, there's even fiercer disagreement about why the shelf suddenly empties into the market after years of filling up.  Kondratiev himself, and after him much more Schumpeter, both leaned to the explanation that you needed "creative destruction" to do the job -- i.e. massive disinvestment from existing industries, either because profits had fallen too low or because something like a major depression or war had dislocated everything. Kondratiev thought such tech booms happened mostly in the aftermath of depressions/wars, but given that he was a Marxist trying to figure out when the Revolution would finally happen, maybe that was just his bias. Right-wingers Schumpeter and Hayek both thought that the tendency of profits to fall in industry over time (as price competition erodes revenue down toward costs) eventually created a pool of desperate-to-invest money.  Keynes would have split the difference and said that depressions are periods of longterm low-to-no profits, wars are times of restricted demand, and the necessary low priced capital for a tech surge piles up until it gets released, at which point the pile of accumulated cheap investment cash tips over the tech shelf, to mix us some metaphors in a major way.

Given that we are now coming out of the Great Recession with employment close to full (i.e. high demand) and interest rates close to zero, maybe that shelf is already tipping over. That might explain why there's so much new tech news to cover here at TT!

 

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srufolo1
srufolo1
6/12/2017 12:25:26 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
The technology shelf is plenty full with things like VR and AI, including smart cars and smart cities. We drag our feet mainly because of politics. For example, Elon Musk of Tesla recently resigned from Trump's advisory council. Companies such as Tesla are talking about flights to Mars carrying people. How long do you think that will take? I'm sure the technology is in place.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
6/11/2017 11:04:54 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
Srufolo1,

If there's anything in the long-wave cycles in economics (Kondratiev and his descendants), the pattern seems to be that tech develops in fits and starts over long periods of time, but then deploys in short very intense bursts (like the 1900-20 burst that brought out automobiles, movies, airplanes, sound recordings, radio, or the 1950s burst that brought satellites, computers, television, nuclear power, the beginnings of modern DNA-based genetics, industrial plastics and ceramics, and so on). All those things were possibilities on the "tech shelf" for a long time; the right combination of politics and economics suddenly started them all jumping off the shelf at once.

Just now the shelf is getting very full.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
6/11/2017 11:00:02 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
srufolo1,

From what I see in labs and in tech reports, it's not a long way away. It's already here. What's missing is the capital and decision-making to move into deployment.

 

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
6/7/2017 7:39:09 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
> "it worked in Star Trek"

Ha! Except they had Replicators that could make almost anything (except alcohol?) in seconds. 

I'm thinking more along the lines of a pizza-making robot:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/artisanal-pizza-made-by-bruno-the-robot-and-other-true-tales-of-automated-food/2016/10/31/2ba482dc-9a0d-11e6-b3c9-f662adaa0048_story.html?utm_term=.e46668d0d7c0

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srufolo1
srufolo1
6/7/2017 4:54:39 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
@JohnBarnes I see that kind of accuracy by any machine a long way off. As humans, we will always crave the company of others. Machines are cold.

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srufolo1
srufolo1
6/7/2017 4:52:25 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
@JohnBarnes  Yes, I agree that technology is advancing far more quickly than it has since before the Civil War, or even after the Industrial Revolution. It's not to say that certain technologies could have been in place years before they were, it was a matter of economics. When I attended the 1964 World's Fair in New York, we were amazed by just a blender making peanut butter out of peanuts. And the GE Futuruma and Westinghouse exhibits showed and talked about things that are just happening more than 50 years later. The technology was there, it just was not implemented.

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afwriter
afwriter
6/7/2017 12:34:47 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
"I assume that's how fast food might evolve, too... you order your food on an app.. and then a drive-thru vending machine just spits it out to you when you arrive."

@mhhf1ve it worked in Star Trek

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
6/7/2017 12:33:54 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
There's also the chance that live video streaming will become more widespread-- and then remote humans will compete (or train/augment) the robots that people will interact with. So a remote human can help scan your groceries with a video chat app built into the checkout machine.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
6/6/2017 11:12:18 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Virtualization connecting with AI and Big Data
srufolo1,

Though machines are harder to bribe, don't get bored and fall asleep with their eyes open, and could probably be given a reasonable set of criteria to describe behaviors that were suspicious and required intervention ("Shopper in produce aisle who has just put a bunch of bananas under your sweater, please take them out and plan to pay for them. You have been recorded and  tracking and facial recognition will allow us to report your likely identity to the police if necessary."

Also, come to think of it, that robot won't get bored and decide to tackle a shoplifter and create the grounds for a lawsuit.

The biggest advantage humans have is that some people prefer their company, and would rather talk to Fred the butcher than to F2E0 the meat dispenser. That may not always be the case; right now self-service checkout is cranky, obnoxious, prone to breakdowns. Eventually it's more likely to say "please place your basket of items here. I'll unpack and bag them. Any special bagging instructions?" and will know about such things as not crushing eggs, bread, or tomatoes, making sure meat is positioned not to leak, etc. Eventually you may decide you like F2E0's accuracy and efficiency (and not having to be nice to it) more than you like Fred's corny jokes and nosy questions, even if he does really understand what "thin even slices" are (especially because F2E0 will understand that better).

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