tv Andres Oppenheimer The Robots Are Coming CSPAN June 3, 2019 1:00am-2:34am EDT
booktv continues now on c-span2 hundred television for serious readers. >> good evening ladies and gentlemen. i am a manager here at books and books. before we get started a few announcements. if you don't mind take a few seconds to actually i would normally ask you to silence your cell phones but i would like you to turn it off.
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scandal and won the award twice he's the winner from columbia university. tonight she's here to discuss his new book the robots are coming which is a thought provoking search to understand what the future holds for the rapid automation and growt the h of online products and services. it's particularly relevant for us here. i know no one in this crowd but there are people that do a buy books from the retailers. [applause]
>> thank you for being with us and for those of us that are watching on c-span, there is severe weather outside. thank you to my wife for being here, my son thomas. i am a brat about him. one of the top florida under 40 lawyers. [applause] i'm very honored. thanks for being with us. i'm here to present my new book the future of jobs in the age of automation what's going to
happen now as they are doing more and more of the things we do every day. i started with the idea of writing the book six years ago when a study came out by two oxford economists saying 47% of our jobs are at risk of disappearing over the next 15 years. 47%. almost half of our jobs. when i first read it here in miami, i thought well half will disappear in the next 50 years and it sounds like it's been stretched out but then i realized what's happening around myself and my job as a journalist and i started
realizing it's happening already. five years ago, i take my tv show with five cameras and five cameramen. how many cameramen divide have today? >> zero. i have somebody whispering into my ear and then somebody says say goodbye to camera two, etc.. somebody moves i don't know where, but there's nobody behind the cameras. i've been commenting for the past 30 years with a human
translator. i used to write my column in english percent and e-mail to the translator and she would e-mail me and it took about 20 minutes. about 20 years ago, i don't remember what happened she went on vacation, got ill, couldn't make it. google translator used to be a joke. it took me the same 20 minutes to edit it as i used to with my translator did.
pay the time i got there i had a transcript. so, more and more i was seeing all the jobs around myself disappearing and once the books came out, they asked me to read the prologue of the spanish version and asked if i could be so kind to go to a studio. when i get there, they told me i read your book and a i said how
so i decided to look into the future of the jobs for a practical job and i started looking into the professions what is going to happen to doctors, lawyers, accountants, bankers, salespeople. so i traveled to silicon valley, europe, south korea, many of the places. all of these professions we ask them what is going to change in each of these and i dedicated a chapter to each of them so it
starts the first chapters and it's a job i know best and then i dedicate one chapter respectively to the future of marketing to the people working there with healthcare and future of teachers and education, the future of transportation, manufacturing, music, sports. i dedicated one chapter to each of these and what i did basically is interview the people who know better than i
every story that you read say the candidate won the district of columbia by 3% of the vote and then the story and what this means in the general election all of that was already written by a robot. how does that work, a human puts information into an algorithm. then on election night the only thing is putting the results which he or she gets from another wire service, just to figure out 3% and ten the algorithm was put together to add in the winning candidate's
background and what is the context. what does it mean this person's victory in terms of the congress etc. this doesn't mean we are going to see this over and over. but if we does the journalists will have to change what they do today to radically because. the number of journalists in america fell by almost 40%. it used to be 66,000 in america ten years ago. today there are 41,000 in other
this lady comes out from a door behind him and says they started working two weeks ago. they will be able to answer any questions in a short time. it turns out that they had over 100 rooms and at that time at night without 10:00 at night she was the only person in the hotel so here is the question how our hotels manned by humans going to
compete with if it is staffed by one person. needless to say the robotic dinosaurs you can make them whatever you want. they were three shifts a day. don't sleep, don't eat, don't starting working hours, don't take medication, never ask for a raise. how are you going to compete with that. so that's something that's coming. we sent to a sushi chain of where the receptionist is a robot who asks how many people
are in your party and you say three or four and a robot falls you go to the table number five. like in airports they have conveyor belts and it was going through all the tables and a tablet is on your table so you pick what you want to. the screen will tell you you are number 1yournumber 17 so you loe conveyor belt you take it out, put it on your table and eat it. they don't have any waiters of course and even the chef is a
waiter or waitress. i want to be with my friends so instead of spending time trying to make eye contact with a waiter or waitress and then waving with me, they find it much more convenient to use a tablet and totally automated restaurant. in that same chapter, i interviewed the union leader and they threatened to go on strike as i was finishing the book and
the i asked the union leader how are you going to compete with these guys that don't ask for a raise etc. and she said we know that is a losing battle he can't come each with that. what we are telling them is for every displaced waiter and play tricks you need to train them to do something else in other words, train them but us trainee workers to do something else.
if the displaced is to become an advisor on fitness if the waitress is a good cook, put her in the kitchen etc.. so that is going to revolutionize the workforce even in the jobs you at least think of like teachers, physicians, lawyers. i interviewed and had him on my cnn show called professor einstein. he teaches math, science and geometry i think.
you can ask him anything about math and people explain it to you. you can tell him i don't get it can you explain it in another way and he would explain it in a second and third and fourth way. there are ways of explaining something and if you are good at getting information you can show it in a tablet. so what does this mean it doesn't mean that they are going to lose their jobs but it does mean they are going to become something totally different than what they are now because it
doesn't make sense to continue being purveyors of information at this time and age any child or young person can google whatever he or she wants. it doesn't make sense to have somebody telling kids that columbus discovered america in such and such year or that gutenberg invented the printing press. it doesn't make sense any kid can look that up in a fun way them from getting it from a human. again just as with journalists they will stop basic reporters telling people what happened and who said what.
in the same way they will not be purveyors of information. there are going to be motivators and show people how to become team players and most importantly, they are going to be people who help kids find their futures. the same thing for physicians and lawyers. they were telling me a company in south korea have about 20
human workers and robots and a good joke which is in silicon valley as both said it would have only two employees. a man, a woman and a dog. the dog would be there to make sure the man doesn't touch any of the machines. i'm going to shorten this up. we can talk about any of the other professions right now. but two of them are
irreplaceable. physicians and lawyers have judges you would think that they have this tuition or perception that a physician can look at you and tell you whatever you have. first of all, half of what they do in many areas is already being replaced by & robots. today you may spend half your day telling patients whether thetheir sunspots were good or . they probably spend half and now there is an app you can take a
picture. but you would think that judges are, to be h. you need a lot of comments and. again there was a study done in israel with i think it was 30 traffic judges and what they found out is that an algorithm can do better than the judges because they looked at the judges rulings for about six months and it turned out when they started that morning, they were incredibly nice and condoned almost every traffic
ticket. as the morning went on and they got hungrier, they became more and more inpatient. then they went to lunch and when they came back and drove the afternoon they were in very good humor. then they would become strict. so an algorithm can do the job much better. just start winding up, some of you may be saying okay what you say is right but i've been hearing this for decades they
had the robots working as employees etc.. but there is something that is very new to and much smarter and cheaper because today it costs a fraction of what it costs years ago. in 2010 if i remember in the book and industrial robot in china was 5.3 years of a workers salary. today it is less than one of a
human workers salary and probably since i wrote the book by now it may be much more. so they are becoming incredibly cheaper and at the same time incredibly smarter because five years ago a robot was an individual machine. now it is connected to the crowd and threw the cloud is connected with this robot and that robot and its learning constantly from each robots mistakes so this combination is much smarter and
cheaper and it's going to change everything over the next few years. i am convinced that this is going to be the biggest issue globally, technological unemployment. and i am not a pessimist. i am an optimist because in the long run technology has always created more jobs than it has killed. history shows we are much better off than we used to be a. in the industrial revolution they went on strike thinking
that the automatic textiles would kill the jobs so they started burning automatic sorting machines and it's the opposite of what they thought would happen. it produced cheaper clothing that's meant people could buy cheaper clothes and they had more disposable income and in the end there were more and same thing with the car industry. the carriage makers went on strike and started burning cars. they are going to kill those of us that both the characters and those who clean the stables and
those of us who feed the horses, this is going to be in a disaster. they created millions in the roads and bridges and infrastructure through in the past, technology has always created more jobs than it has killed but in the short term, i'm more pessimistic and one of the things i found in researching the book in those five years is that when i started, they were very
optimistic and it's good to be fabulous, etc.. they cited all of these examples they didn't kill many bank jobs etc. but at the end most of them if not all in the short run it is going to be very dramatic because something has happened. the timing. people already have less time to reinvent themselves. when we were cavemen and women we have thousands of years to reinvent from hunters and gatherers to farmers.
we have thousands of years and we did. more recently in the industrial revolution, we had hundreds of years to reinvent from farmers and factory workers and then many years to reinvent from factory workers into service workers. but today with the skyrocketing automation we don't have thousands of peers with a couple of decades we have 24 hours. a woman working across the street has been told overnight as of monday you are going to be replaced by an automatic cashier
that gets you a ticket like the one who takes your credit card when you leave. to turn into a data analyst in 24 hours in the short run we will all have major challenges to reinvent themselves. i'm going to finish it right here and you may be interested at the end i have a chapter and what i think is going to happen over the next couple of years.
right now we have low unemployment in this country but let's not kid ourselves. this is going to hurt everybody. it's going to be a major problem in our next ten to 20 years. in the first couple of chapters i have examples of how the industries are changing. the biggest companies a couple of decades ago had 700,000 employees, the biggest companies today on the ones that have the biggest market value of 5,000, 10,000, 758,000 people. google employees, 55,000. blockbuster has 50,000 employe
employees. by instagram they had a few dozen employees and today have 5400. so, more and more people are going to work independently as they are now the economy is becoming polarized and independent there is a study that says 80% of us are going to be temporary independent workers, so forget about working your whole life for a company that's going to be increasingly difficult. in the long run as i said, i'm optimistic. technology is going to make goods cheaper and make our life better as it has done in the past but in the short term all of us we are going to be effective as people and as
analysts, etc.. but one of them summed it up saying i tell young people find a wave of the future meaning one of these jobs. put your surfboard on it answered. so, there are many lists i cite here in the future. i won't say them all because then nobody will read the book. for most health care is going to
be the wave of the future. there will be 300 million more 65 and over whether you are a physician, nurse, instructor there is going to be more ways. data analyst, of course. digital security guards, robot technicians. but, going back to the future, this technology guru told me i tell young people find a wave of the future, put your surfboard on it and serve it. my conclusion was different because i found him doing this research that there is a bright future for things that don't
have anything to do with technology as well. we are going to have more and more free time in the future. although many of us work like crazy hours. we are working less and less. we used to work 24/7. defendant in biblical times we took two days off a week and now in many countries you have three days off a week so we are working less and less and more
of us are spending more time watching netflix with actors and actresses so there will be a lot of room for humanities and anything with leisure. contrary to what many of them say, i cite several areas not related to technology that also had a bright future. so i have added to that metaphor about surfing the waves of the future and i think if you have a passion, follow your passion because that's what i did.
to this day it is the best decisions i've ever made because i never thought about making money. if you do what you want if you have a passion you will be much better at whatever you do then if you follow the waves of the future that may change at any time but don't feel passionate about it. my advice if you have a passion
and you want to be a plumber and love plumbing and you were able to work night and day you will be an excellent plumber and make a lot of money at the end and if you don't you will be a happy man. but if you don't, then find a way, find one that you reasonably like. my wife and i were in taiwan in the late '90s and they gave saturday afternoons off nobody knew what to do.
there were different areas in the industries and tourism and whatever. >> one of the people i interviewed this is a swedish guy that wrote a bestseller called super intelligence and expert on artificial intelligence and he told me we are headed towards a childless world and that is the best thing that could happen. he says of course the concept
that this gives us a purpose in life is new. in the middle ages, aristocrats didn't work they spent the day listening to music, reading poetry, those words were looked down upon. so, when they taught us to value work and turn our jobs and the purpose of our life that is easier said than done because we already have in our chip that those values inside us from where we grew up so i don't
think we will be able to change very easily. the concept that technology is going to create robots and mankind in 50 years would be pretty much watching netflix while robots have headsets and do the work and horses used to do much of the work. one day we invented machine and population declined dramatically relieves them to paper writing and sports a.
of perhaps 200 years from now if we start changing them gradually we make it to a world where people are happy, robots are doing the work and watch netflix or do sports or do whatever they want. the we already have it inside ourselves the notion that it gives a meaning of life bill gates and others have suggested
because he said if we pay taxes why shouldn't robots and add code to solve the problems. i propose at the end of the book a sort of middle ground they are trying that in canada and finland and several other countries getting people a base salary whether they work or not. i support a different solution which is a universal basic income linked to social work to upgrade the status of social
work and turn it into a respectable thing that today is not as much as it should. i will ping your basic income if you go tbut you've got to teachn a poor neighborhood of mass debate comeback. you are good with senior people come and go and entertain and 85-year-old lady and you get a basic income for that. if we do that at the same time, we pray that the social status and then will be heading towards something meaningful. you go around talking to government leaders.
i've asked several about this, and it is very rude awakening because one of the most interesting things i learned in researching this book is that i thought when i started doing this research that is going to hurt the developed countries the most, the u.s., japan, germany and virtually all of those that i interviewed told me it is the opposite people that are going to be hurt the most by this are countries that rely heavily on manufacturing like china and mexico because the first thing a robot can do is mechanic, competitive work. the countries that will be hurt
the most are those that rely don't have the foggiest idea what i was talking about. the one i mentioned earlier told me a funny anecdote and they can't kilcancel it because it'se record. i think i got it on my cnn show. he told me an anecdote he had recently heard about a $200 million investment in argentina he was very happy about it. he called his ministers and information people and said i think it was a beer factory he called his advisers and said when are we going to announce this. he said he was ready to make a
big announcement until he heard how many jobs this $200 million investment would have created and he said 22. most presidents he was aware of that. they don't have the foggiest idea about this and in china for instance in preparing for this they've become the biggest in the world. mexico isn't doing anything about this, not even talking about it.
and the guy invented a little thing they would put in your artery and it will go through and clean up. they are already doing it with animals, doing clinical trials and it will be out very soon. >> [inaudible] >> the way they came about this discovery, they were discussing how to come in an and the mayord be interested in this they had a meeting at the university of.
science and history in medicine and that will begin in about 30 minutes. joining us now on the set at the university of southern california's author james donovan, his book, shoot for the moon, the extraordinary voyage of apollo 11, mr. donovan before we get to july of 1969, let's start 1957, 1958, what was the effect on this