Author Topic: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!  (Read 8296 times)

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Offline Zero999

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #50 on: December 28, 2017, 10:34:29 am »
High tech is fascinating and a lot of fun, and may even be good for work, now.

But don't fool yourself to think that simply being great at something, degree or not, will get you a stable job for the rest of your life. Stay out of debt and lighten your burn rate. Keep aware of the fact that there are a lot of incomplete contracts in the world. Assume nothing about our future.

Tech careers may soon become precarious work.

Which itself may rapidly dry up, wages falling, due to automation.
Automation is only a threat to unskilled, lowtech jobs. Engineers and technicians are the ones who will be designing, optimising and maintaining automated processes. No degree is necessary to become a technician who will often get paid more to fix a machine, than the engineer who designed it!
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 10:45:26 am by Hero999 »
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #51 on: December 28, 2017, 10:36:29 am »
Everybody reading this thread really ought to speed read an old short story by Isaac Asimov, "Profession". It is as valid as it was when written, and is relevant to this thread.

See http://www.abelard.org/asimov.php
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #52 on: December 28, 2017, 10:37:44 am »
Automation is only a thread to unskilled, lowtech jobs. Engineers and technicians are the ones who will be designing, optimising ans maintaining automated processes. No degree is necessary to become a technician who will often get paid more to fix a machine, than the engineer who designed it!

Very true; I've seen that!
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #53 on: December 28, 2017, 10:49:58 am »
Automation is only a threat to unskilled, lowtech jobs. Engineers and technicians are the ones who will be designing, optimising and maintaining automated processes. No degree is necessary to become a technician who will often get paid more to fix a machine, than the engineer who designed it!
I don't quite agree. Engineering is outputting a solution to a problem. Even though it's not trivial in a lot of cases, it can be automated.

Looking at the developments, even creative jobs aren't safe. It may take a little longer before humans are made obsolete in these areas, but it will happen sooner or later.
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #54 on: December 28, 2017, 11:01:44 am »
Automation is only a threat to unskilled, lowtech jobs....
And they are fucked anyway, automation or relocalisation, those jobs dissapear anyway.

No degree is necessary to become a technician who will often get paid more to fix a machine, ...
No degree is necessary, +10 years of intrest, effort and experience is enough, and that starts at 12 years old.
Biggest mistake many cheap corporate types make, is to be blind about the differences between those "no degree" guys.
The question "what did you ever make, repair, assemble, take apart, try,... for yourself, without anyone asking for it ?" is an easy trick to rougly classify them.

If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #55 on: December 28, 2017, 11:06:34 am »
Automation is only a threat to unskilled, lowtech jobs. Engineers and technicians are the ones who will be designing, optimising and maintaining automated processes. No degree is necessary to become a technician who will often get paid more to fix a machine, than the engineer who designed it!
I don't quite agree. Engineering is outputting a solution to a problem. Even though it's not trivial in a lot of cases, it can be automated.

Looking at the developments, even creative jobs aren't safe. It may take a little longer before humans are made obsolete in these areas, but it will happen sooner or later.
Can you give any examples?

The office jobs which have been replaced with automation so far, haven't been the creative ones, mainly: draughtsmen, secretaries and administrative rolls and people are still required to operate the computers which replaced them. Engineers are still required to design machines, it's just they directly use the CAD software, rather than getting a draughtsmen to draw it.

So far, design and programming rolls haven't been automated and going by the lack of progress in real general artificial intelligence (not search and pattern recognition algorithms which many deem to be AI, which isn't) that won't happen any time soon.
 

Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #56 on: December 28, 2017, 11:16:46 am »
Mmmm, rolls.



Can't replace those with AI.
*Except AC/DC adapters on eBay. Avoid them all!
 

Offline bd139

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #57 on: December 28, 2017, 11:30:31 am »
Now I want rolls!
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #58 on: December 28, 2017, 11:42:13 am »
The question "what did you ever make, repair, assemble, take apart, try,... for yourself, without anyone asking for it ?" is an easy trick to rougly classify them.

That's a question, and one discussed in the Asimov story noted in reply #51 above.

Questions that have been relevant in my career are "what have you created that nobody has done before?", "what are the problems with technology X, and what is needed to improve it?", "what do you want to create, and why?".
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline wraper

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #59 on: December 28, 2017, 11:47:41 am »
I love how you say they're not protected and then proceed to list the titles as protected 

You fail to see the difference between the long words and the abbreviations.
Not difficult, try again.

I did say "title of engineer" to avoid having to go through the entire list.  |O But if you go full grammar nazi sure, then we'd have to call it honorific. But here's the actual relevant law: https://data-onderwijs.vlaanderen.be/edulex/document.aspx?docid=12722
:palm: Being engineer (and being called such) and having an academic engineering degree are 2 different things. Being one, does not necessarily require another. You can have an engineering degree and work at fast food restaurant. But there are some places in the world where cannot call yourself an engineer without having appropriate education.

FYI
Quote
A Master of Science degree in engineering It is an academic degree to be differentiated from a Master of Engineering degree. (abbreviated MSE, M.Sc.Eng. or MScEng) is a type of Master of Science degree awarded by universities in many countries.

So what was mentioned protected is not even engineering degree as such but academic degree. But seems you cannot see the difference.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #60 on: December 28, 2017, 12:15:49 pm »
Can you give any examples?

The office jobs which have been replaced with automation so far, haven't been the creative ones, mainly: draughtsmen, secretaries and administrative rolls and people are still required to operate the computers which replaced them. Engineers are still required to design machines, it's just they directly use the CAD software, rather than getting a draughtsmen to draw it.

So far, design and programming rolls haven't been automated and going by the lack of progress in real general artificial intelligence (not search and pattern recognition algorithms which many deem to be AI, which isn't) that won't happen any time soon.
An engineering problem is just that. If you input the correct parameters, software should be able to come up with the most ideal solution. You'll probably see a gradual shift from software aiding the engineer to software doing the engineering work, but in the end, a human is a weak link in the chain. Software is able to evaluate much more options much faster. Just like pilots are mostly obsolete now and ride along for emergency and regulatory purposes, the same will happen to engineers, until they are made truly obsolete.

I don't see this perceived lack of progess in regards to artificial intellegence either. There are numerous experiments where AI is tasked with something creative and while some of the results are horrible, other results are freightingly good. Currently they require input of work done by humans, but there is on reason they couldn't sustain their own cycle of creating things and feeding on the successes. You can teach a human creative thinking, and it appears you can teach AI too.

 

Offline bd139

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #61 on: December 28, 2017, 12:20:09 pm »
AI is good at cute mimicry of ideas it has been taught but spontaneous original thought as yet has not materialised at all. Until that happens it’s just a puppet of human intelligence.

If that does happen we are universally fucked.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #62 on: December 28, 2017, 12:28:48 pm »
AI is good at cute mimicry of ideas it has been taught but spontaneous original thought as yet has not materialised at all. Until that happens it’s just a puppet of human intelligence.

If that does happen we are universally fucked.
Your desciption of AI is a perfect description of the capabilities of humans too. Humans are mostly good at repeating and permutating existing ideas, which is exactly what AI does reasonably well and gets better at every day. Humans being capable of spontaneous original thought is romanticizing things. Humans love to assign all sorts of magical properties to themselves and their brains, but we're just fancy neural networks in bipedal flesh husks ourselves.

There's no reason AI couldn't use it's own output and the public response to it as its input, to do something like writing pop songs.
 

Offline bd139

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #63 on: December 28, 2017, 12:47:36 pm »
Pop songs are by far the least original creations on the planet. You can generate that shit by feeding in data from things that sold and coming out with more things that sell. That's what Simon Cowell for example does.

Original thought is emergent and without basis as far as we understand at the moment. Fundamentally all thought and ideas came from somewhere else than an abstraction of existing ideas. 99.9% of humans merely assemble these thoughts in different patterns to get new ideas but there's something special under there and they haven't managed to work out yet. There are lots of papers out there. There has only been one report of this back in about 2009 and many papers were written on the matter. I don't have any citations as I'm not at work this week (yay!) :)

And I'm not talking about trivial pattern matching and weighting "AI" where you put old data in and new insights come out (that's what I do). That's not even AI; it's merely expert systems and simple algorithms applied to look for patterns. AI is just a marketing tab over that. Fundamentally my job is to oversee the design of these sorts of systems and there's no sign of emergent intelligence. Sometimes the insights are surprising and original but this is not intelligence; this is just us being surprised at how shit we are and slow at finding solutions. I'd expect a true AI to be as shit as we are, if not worse.

AI is mega hot topic at the moment so there's a lot of bollocks out there if I'm honest. 99.9% fluff and lies.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #64 on: December 28, 2017, 01:51:13 pm »
Again, 99% fluff and lies sounds about right for humans too  :P

Iterative processes have been able to develop new methods and aproaches for something, so you might call that original thought. It produces solutions for complex problems.



 

Offline Zero999

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #65 on: December 28, 2017, 03:00:45 pm »
Can you give any examples?

The office jobs which have been replaced with automation so far, haven't been the creative ones, mainly: draughtsmen, secretaries and administrative rolls and people are still required to operate the computers which replaced them. Engineers are still required to design machines, it's just they directly use the CAD software, rather than getting a draughtsmen to draw it.

So far, design and programming rolls haven't been automated and going by the lack of progress in real general artificial intelligence (not search and pattern recognition algorithms which many deem to be AI, which isn't) that won't happen any time soon.
An engineering problem is just that. If you input the correct parameters, software should be able to come up with the most ideal solution. You'll probably see a gradual shift from software aiding the engineer to software doing the engineering work, but in the end, a human is a weak link in the chain. Software is able to evaluate much more options much faster. Just like pilots are mostly obsolete now and ride along for emergency and regulatory purposes, the same will happen to engineers, until they are made truly obsolete.

I don't see this perceived lack of progess in regards to artificial intellegence either. There are numerous experiments where AI is tasked with something creative and while some of the results are horrible, other results are freightingly good. Currently they require input of work done by humans, but there is on reason they couldn't sustain their own cycle of creating things and feeding on the successes. You can teach a human creative thinking, and it appears you can teach AI too.
Engineering is more than search and pattern recognition algorithms. It involves understanding actual concepts, something which computers can't yet do and progress in doing so has stalled for a long time. For example a skilled chess player will be good at similar strategy games and can easily learn to be better than most humans, with minimal learning involved, because they understand the concepts involved. A computer chess program, may be better than any human player, mainly due to brute force processing, rather than being smart and will need to be totally re-written for a different game. One cannot take a computer, spend a few minutes teaching it to play chess and it will become a grandmaster on its own. It took many years of development to create a superhuman chess program.

Again, 99% fluff and lies sounds about right for humans too  :P

Iterative processes have been able to develop new methods and aproaches for something, so you might call that original thought. It produces solutions for complex problems.
That's a somewhat brute force approach to problem solving, rather than smart. A big problem is it relies on models, which are often wrong or incomplete.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 03:07:22 pm by Hero999 »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #66 on: December 28, 2017, 03:25:15 pm »
Again, I disagree on both. Google developed an AI that can learn a game knowing the rules and playing it, rather than by being programmed to understand it or getting large datasets supplied. This AI beat the pants off the previous AlphaGo, which in turn beat the pants off one of the best human players. It learnt to play at this level within three days. More importantly, it should be able to learn itself other games without a lot of manual intervention too. You could argue whether this AI understands the concepts of the game, but you can't argue with the results. It simply works.

Humans also learn by brute force. We literally need to repeat something over and over to refine and hone our skills and that's exactly how this AI does it. Obviously, it can play a lot more matches than humans, so it learns quicker. There isn't a human who can be explained the rules of chess and suddenly is a chess master. He needs to go through the motions.

Solving engineering problems isn't much different. You have a limited set of constraints and a computer can optimize within them. It's probably already quite feasible to have AI design a bridge that's both as strong as needed and as cheap as possible.

"Silver explained that as Zero played itself, it rediscovered Go strategies developed by humans over millennia. “It started off playing very naively like a human beginner, [but] over time it played games which were hard to differentiate from human professionals,” he said. The program hit upon a number of well-known patterns and variations during self-play, before developing never-before-seen stratagems. “It found these human moves, it tried them, then ultimately it found something it prefers,” he said. As with earlier versions of AlphaGo, DeepMind hopes Zero will act as an inspiration to professional human players, suggesting new moves and stratagems for them to incorporate into their game. "

https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/18/16495548/deepmind-ai-go-alphago-zero-self-taught
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #67 on: December 28, 2017, 03:30:17 pm »
If that AI takes off too fast, I can't help but wonder what if it learns the rules of the "encryption game" and no password/connection is safe anymore... :o
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #68 on: December 28, 2017, 03:39:02 pm »
If that AI takes off too fast, I can't help but wonder what if it learns the rules of the "encryption game" and no password/connection is safe anymore... :o
Encryption algorithms are specifically chosen not to have easy solutions, but there might be a shortcut that got overlooked. That wouldn't apply to all encryption algorithms though, so it would be bad but not catastrophic.
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #69 on: December 28, 2017, 03:42:50 pm »
Again, I disagree on both. Google developed an AI that can learn a game knowing the rules and playing it, rather than by being programmed to understand it or getting large datasets supplied. This AI beat the pants off the previous AlphaGo, which in turn beat the pants off one of the best human players. It learnt to play at this level within three days. More importantly, it should be able to learn itself other games without a lot of manual intervention too. You could argue whether this AI understands the concepts of the game, but you can't argue with the results. It simply works.

Humans also learn by brute force. We literally need to repeat something over and over to refine and hone our skills and that's exactly how this AI does it. Obviously, it can play a lot more matches than humans, so it learns quicker. There isn't a human who can be explained the rules of chess and suddenly is a chess master. He needs to go through the motions.

Solving engineering problems isn't much different. You have a limited set of constraints and a computer can optimize within them. It's probably already quite feasible to have AI design a bridge that's both as strong as needed and as cheap as possible.

"Silver explained that as Zero played itself, it rediscovered Go strategies developed by humans over millennia. “It started off playing very naively like a human beginner, [but] over time it played games which were hard to differentiate from human professionals,” he said. The program hit upon a number of well-known patterns and variations during self-play, before developing never-before-seen stratagems. “It found these human moves, it tried them, then ultimately it found something it prefers,” he said. As with earlier versions of AlphaGo, DeepMind hopes Zero will act as an inspiration to professional human players, suggesting new moves and stratagems for them to incorporate into their game. "

https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/18/16495548/deepmind-ai-go-alphago-zero-self-taught
I can see your point but I think understanding concepts is the crucial part of AI which is missing. For example one can learn the concept of gravity and they can intuitively apply it to other things, be it designing a bridge or launching a rocket. A human will know what will work and what won't, intuitively, without having to try it out. Being smart can eliminate a lot of trial and error.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #70 on: December 28, 2017, 04:01:58 pm »
I can see your point but I think understanding concepts is the crucial part of AI which is missing. For example one can learn the concept of gravity and they can intuitively apply it to other things, be it designing a bridge or launching a rocket. A human will know what will work and what won't, intuitively, without having to try it out. Being smart can eliminate a lot of trial and error.
I think you would need to define what "understanding" means. What it really means, while being properly specific. In humans intuition just means the ability to subconciously calculate a predicted outcome after many experiences with a phenomena. The AI can calculate a predicted outcome after many experiences with a phenomena.

I understand where you're coming from, because it "feels" different when a computer does it. But then I have to remind myself that we're just fancy neural networks and that out bodies don't seem to do something computers won't be able to do too. It's just hardware versus hardware. Brains just do it with a sophistication and complexity as of yet unmatched by computers.
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #71 on: December 28, 2017, 04:20:02 pm »
I can see your point but I think understanding concepts is the crucial part of AI which is missing. For example one can learn the concept of gravity and they can intuitively apply it to other things, be it designing a bridge or launching a rocket. A human will know what will work and what won't, intuitively, without having to try it out. Being smart can eliminate a lot of trial and error.
I think you would need to define what "understanding" means. What it really means, while being properly specific. In humans intuition just means the ability to subconciously calculate a predicted outcome after many experiences with a phenomena. The AI can calculate a predicted outcome after many experiences with a phenomena.

I understand where you're coming from, because it "feels" different when a computer does it. But then I have to remind myself that we're just fancy neural networks and that out bodies don't seem to do something computers won't be able to do too. It's just hardware versus hardware. Brains just do it with a sophistication and complexity as of yet unmatched by computers.
I think it's very difficult to define intelligence and understanding, which is part of the problem.

Reading up about AlphaGo Zero has made me realise how things in the field of AI have improved, since I studied it. However, until I can get a computer to design a circuit, or write a program to do X for me, with minimal input, I'll remain sceptical about general AI.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 04:22:00 pm by Hero999 »
 

Offline wraper

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #72 on: December 28, 2017, 04:22:40 pm »
However, until I can get a computer to design a circuit, or write a program to do X for me, with minimal input, I'll remain sceptical about general AI.
At that point you won't be required.
 

Offline bd139

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #73 on: December 28, 2017, 04:34:04 pm »
We will to arm ourselves against our mechanised overlords  :-DD
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: I quit university and now I'm doing a job I love!
« Reply #74 on: December 28, 2017, 04:56:21 pm »
However, until I can get a computer to design a circuit, or write a program to do X for me, with minimal input, I'll remain sceptical about general AI.
At that point you won't be required.
I'm not worried. I'll be either dead or retired, long before that happens.

People have made all sorts of optimistic predictions about general AI, since the invention of computers, yet so far they've failed to come true. AI has progressed a lot since then, but like anything else, it's different to what was predicted.
 


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