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Old 23rd November 2016, 11:12   #301
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Default Re: Recession Again ?

Everytime I user AWS services to solve an IT problem, it makes me wonder how an online book seller had the foresight to abstract infrastructure and offer them as services but not Infosys, TCS or Wipro. It is a damming conclusion and unless we change, the future is not looking too bright.

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Old 23rd November 2016, 17:41   #302
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Income inequality is a big deterrent to commerce. Take a billion dollar, and give:
1) $1000 each to a million people who are on minimum wage.
2) the whole $1B to a billionaire who already has $10B liquidity.

In the first case, virtually everyone will spend the $1000, circulating the money back into the economy. In the second case, most probably the billionaire won't increase his spending. His liquidity grows from $10B to $11B. That $1B goes out of circulation.
Let me take an exception here.


The billionaire in most possibilities will never sit on the pile of cash.
The $1 billion would be mostly invested - either in bank (which allows banks to provide loans to enterprises and people), or in various funds like hedge funds, mutual funds, startups incubation etc (which allows the money to be invested into the economy), or in buying physical assets like gold and real estate (which does not really benefit the economy but at least keeps the currency in circulation)

Coming over to the spreading of wealth. If the same billion is spread over a million population, leaving everyone with $1000. Everyone will probably spend more on consumer goods than investing this money (investment helps the capital goods industry).

Is this a good thing? Haha, there is nothing good or bad.

Is this a desirable thing? Not really: considering that all human "progress" (debatable word though) has actually resulted from human's tendency of forgoing pleasure today for happiness tomorrow (= in monetary words: forgo consumer goods today for capital goods that results in better consumer goods tomorrow)
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Old 23rd November 2016, 17:59   #303
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The billionaire in most possibilities will never sit on the pile of cash.
The $1 billion would be mostly invested - either in bank (which allows banks to provide loans to enterprises and people), or in various funds like hedge funds, mutual funds, startups incubation etc (which allows the money to be invested into the economy), or in buying physical assets like gold and real estate (which does not really benefit the economy but at least keeps the currency in circulation)
Good point, but I was thinking in the sense of local economy. Billionaire was my metaphor for large MNCs whose spending may not happen in the same economy.
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Old 23rd November 2016, 22:23   #304
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In the past few years, IT commerce is moving steadily from smaller companies to larger companies. So the net spending is coming down.
Slightly different perspective on this. IT spending is certainly moving away from some companies, but specifically those companies that are both small and somewhat stale.

For small companies that can disrupt (E.g.: Whatsapp, Waze on consumer side and Workday et. el. on enterprise side), it is an awesome time to be.
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Old 28th November 2016, 18:29   #305
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Looks like H1-B visa may soon become history... or at least change drastically.

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/rEL3...ald-Trump.html

Already the upcoming trends Robot Process Automation are soon to impact IT jobs. I have seen some companies implement it for Accounting and HR. more applications will follow soon.

is the Indian IT sector up for a KODAK moment?
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Old 28th November 2016, 18:52   #306
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Already the upcoming trends Robot Process Automation are soon to impact IT jobs.
This is a similar thought which came up when computers were invented saying people will lose jobs as the computer will do everything. Even if RPA goes mainstream big time, people will still be required to write the code for the RPA and enhance them. So doubt it will render many jobless but yes the landscape will get challenging and people will be forced to give out 200% IMHO

Last edited by centaur : 28th November 2016 at 18:55. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 28th November 2016, 22:02   #307
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This is a similar thought which came up when computers were invented saying people will lose jobs as the computer will do everything. Even if RPA goes mainstream big time, people will still be required to write the code for the RPA and enhance them.
Unfortunately, this is not the repeat of that. The computerization in the 80-90s that started the IT services revolution was about converting manual processes to computer processes. It was not about eliminating people, although many people mistook it to be so at that time. The purpose of computerization was to make processes faster, and error free. But it still required people to make all the decisions.

But what is happening now IS about eliminating people, and automating entirely. Now the CPUs are powerful enough to make machine learning cheap and affordable. Lots of paper pushing jobs are going to vanish. In fact, bureaucracy can be completely handled by computers in future, they will be hell of a lot more efficient & lot cheaper than people.

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So doubt it will render many jobless but yes the landscape will get challenging and people will be forced to give out 200% IMHO
The skill set required for IT jobs will be very different in future. At least 90% of the current IT work force doesn't have that skill set.
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Old 29th November 2016, 11:31   #308
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Agree to a certain extent, but in any case a machine is a machine and cant completely replace a human. It can at most reduce the number of people required but still you will always need people to even maintain/run the machine. Machines can reduce people required for mundane/repetitive tasks but cannot think on its own. There is a evolution in everything and like computers which were invented to ease out processes/tasks, they were later further harnessed for more tasks. Likewise, even if RPA is used, IMHO, it wont completely eliminate people.

On the skillset, what you say is true and the IT industry is already feeling the heat with clients saying they do not need a resource just to do people management. They want someone who can code and simultaneously do people management or leave the people management part to them. Because of this many people in the management levels are feeling redundant now and will be axed if there is a recession again. People will have to scale up irrespective of the level they are if they want to matter somewhere down the line else they are a goner
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Old 29th November 2016, 11:54   #309
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Agree to a certain extent, but in any case a machine is a machine and cant completely replace a human. It can at most reduce the number of people required but still you will always need people to even maintain/run the machine. Machines can reduce people required for mundane/repetitive tasks but cannot think on its own.
Machines don't have to replace everybody, just replacing 25% of people can wreck the economy as we know it. Keep in mind we are not talking just IT workers here, but the whole working population.

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There is a evolution in everything and like computers which were invented to ease out processes/tasks, they were later further harnessed for more tasks.
Check this video to understand the path we are all travelling. Once machines start thinking, they can evolve million times faster than humans.

http://www.ted.com/talks/sam_harris_...it?language=en
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Old 29th November 2016, 12:05   #310
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But what is happening now IS about eliminating people, and automating entirely. Now the CPUs are powerful enough to make machine learning cheap and affordable.
And in today's news: Robot flunks univ entry exam
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The dream of a Japanese robot with artificial intelligence to secure a place at University of Tokyo is over after the robot failed in a standard entrance exam. The robot called Torobo-kun has now failed in the entry exam for four years in a row and will have to work in a “real job“ in industry. “As the robot scored about the same as last year, we were able to gauge the possibilities and limits of artificial intelligence,“ said Noriko Arai, a professor at the National Institute of Informatics.
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Old 29th November 2016, 12:13   #311
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Machines don't have to replace everybody, just replacing 25% of people can wreck the economy as we know it. Keep in mind we are not talking just IT workers here, but the whole working population.

Check this video to understand the path we are all travelling. Once machines start thinking, they can evolve million times faster than humans.

http://www.ted.com/talks/sam_harris_...it?language=en
Yes even if the replacement is miniscule it will still have an impact but I still have serious doubts on machines being able to evolve. Self driving cars are a great example which still hasn't evolved. Forget self driving cars, if news is to be believed, then even something as simple as cruise control (the skoda crash) hasn't really evolved. I am personally of the opinion that where there is a machine there can be problems as well and they cant evolve unless humans assist, in which case too they will never really replace humans.

Whenever there is something new related to machines in the market, there is a big hue and cry but in the end nothing happens. Yes it will happen but I dont see it happening big time in the near future (read as 10 years or so)
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Old 29th November 2016, 12:19   #312
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And in today's news: Robot flunks univ entry exam
Wrong analogy. This is general intelligence, which machines are yet to achieve. When it comes to specific intelligence, machines are already well ahead. Now computers are way ahead of humans in Chess. But most everyday jobs don't need chess grandmaster level intelligence.
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Old 29th November 2016, 19:31   #313
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One should ask the out-of-business floor traders on Wall Street about how computers have replaced their jobs. Heck, even my day job involves doing exactly that

All that in a span of 7-8 years.


[Wikipedia]

PS: We're at the risk of going slightly OT?
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Old 29th November 2016, 21:58   #314
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This is general intelligence, which machines are yet to achieve.
Passing such exams should not require general intelligence. I.B.M's AI system beat human players in 2011 by answering questions in Jeopardy.

In fact, this robot did clear the exam (I.e. got NIT-level B.Tech seat instead of IIT). It did pretty well in History and General Knowledge.

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However, its efforts were not completely in vain. Torobo-kun's score meant that it would have had a chance of 80 percent or higher to get into 1,373 departments in 535 universities throughout Japan including 23 national and public institutions. Some of these schools are as difficult to get into as the prestigious MARCH schools, which comprise of Meiji, Aoyama Gakuin, Rikkyo, Chuo and Hosei universities.
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201611150071.html
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Old 30th November 2016, 03:58   #315
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Agree to a certain extent, but in any case a machine is a machine and cant completely replace a human. It can at most reduce the number of people required but still you will always need people to even maintain/run the machine. Machines can reduce people required for mundane/repetitive tasks but cannot think on its own. There is a evolution in everything and like computers which were invented to ease out processes/tasks, they were later further harnessed for more tasks. Likewise, even if RPA is used, IMHO, it wont completely eliminate people.

On the skillset, what you say is true and the IT industry is already feeling the heat with clients saying they do not need a resource just to do people management. They want someone who can code and simultaneously do people management or leave the people management part to them. Because of this many people in the management levels are feeling redundant now and will be axed if there is a recession again. People will have to scale up irrespective of the level they are if they want to matter somewhere down the line else they are a goner
I think you really need to read the work being done by DeepMind... a UK company which was acquired by Google sometime back. Apparently the moto of the company is to solve intelligence and then use that to solve problems so they are not working on some specific AI but Artificial General Intelligence. The company has the best people in the associated fields working for them - from neurologists, to computer science phd's etc. The algorithm already beat a human champion at a Chinese board game called Go which is impossible using brute force method as it has something like 10^70 permutations and combinations so the algorithm relied on intuition and past experience of "watching" the game being played. The experts in the field had predicted that such an algorithm was atleast a decade away! The same algorithm has been used by Google to improve data center efficiency, create more natural text to speech engine and even create music!

So no, the threat this time is real and genuine. They aren't replacing processes, they are replacing human intelligence and more than anything, the sheer pace at which this is happening is scary. The governments all around the world have already started thinking about the future. Read universal basic income. Unless we can comprehensively uplift the skills of an average IT professional working in an Indian sweatshop, the future is very bleak. Also it is no co-incidence that the right wing parties in developed economies are on the rise.
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