DiscoverTED Radio HourThe Digital Industrial Revolution

The Digital Industrial Revolution

Update: 2017-04-2110


As machine learning surpasses human intelligence, where does that leave us? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the exciting and terrifying future of human-robot collaboration.

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support for this podcast and the following message come from C D W I T orchestration by CW brings together experts technologies and partners like Cisco to turn complexity into simplicity CW people who get this the is the Head Radio Hour each week the groundbreaking Ted talks Technology Design at Stanford delivered and Ted conferences around the world gift of the human imagination we had to believe in impossible the true nature of reality beckons just beyond those talks those ideas adapted for radio NPR so robots and they've made our lives a lot better but one be we think they could also be the The End of us the last thing we humans invent the end but before we go there let's just reflect on how far we've actually come because if you look back at the course of human history for most of that time the way the average person lived didn't really change all that much until the late seventeen hundreds when I walk developed a much better steam engine this is Eric is a real sense are a lot of consonants all next to each other in Iceland they find it very easy x a professor at MIT and the walk he was referring to talking about James watt the inventor of the wok to steam engine which was basically a really efficient steam engine and that ignited what we call the first industrial revolution after that the Second Industrial Revolution and with it electricity and the birth of a worldwide economy which then led to the first machine age and eventually the information age and before that living standards basically flat since then they've been growing two percent a year were about thirty times richer so technology machines is really arguably the most important thing that happened to him in terms of our living standards you could look to the introduction of digital computers and nineteen fifty last the the personal computer in the nineteen eighties on January four Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh machines could first be humans that games like Chess in nineteen ninety seven the the the team or the as far as to simply store away the ghosts are all milestones of increasing imports and increase the large effect on the economy in our lives in part because of because they prove that maybe maybe one day they can be smarter than us no doubt about it I mean let's face it Ari are much harder us in so many things to try to multiply to ten digit numbers to it with each other or sift through a thousand documents has lots of things that machines are better at including in mental task the house has many more that they're not as good at but the direction is pretty obvious in the progress it is clear the U show today the digital Industrial Revolution the ideas about the economic future we're creating how we can shape it and if will find a place among the machines because if we can eventually create robots to do everything to do it better the where's that leave us a future of blissful human robot collaboration possible yeah or maybe something a little darker the air for Nelson says right now we're at the beginning of a new machine age where technology is developing at such a rapid pace that it's kind of hard to keep up with it starts with the small exponential trend and as you know exponential trends double and double and double and each time you can barely detect them and are small and they start becoming overwhelming this is the biggest challenge of our society over the next ten years is going to be can we adapt fast enough the tears at the center had staged the the computers get better faster than anything else ever a child's Play Station today is more powerful than a military supercomputer from nineteen ninety six but our brains are wired for linear world as a result exponential trends take us by surprise I used to teach my students that there are some things you know computers just aren't good at like driving a car through traffic but perhaps the most important invention the most important invention is machine learning consider one project IBM's Watson at first Watson was very good but it improved at a rate faster than any human could and Watson beat the world jeopardy champion at age seven Watson is still kind of a childhood recently it's teachers like surf the Internet unsupervised the next day it started answering questions with profanities the dam but you know Watson is growing up fast it's being tested for jobs in call centers and it's getting them it's applying for legal banking and medical jobs and getting some of them like the first two industrial revolutions the full implications of the new machine age are going to take at least a century to fully play out but they are staggering the the the heavy you imagine the economy of the industrialized world changing of the next twenty to twenty five years will be noticeable with the huge decline in Acts twenty twenty five years in exchange for more than eight in the last twenty twenty five years and that's because these exponential trends are affecting a bigger and bigger share of the economy so we'll have some huge disruptions in store and I can't predict exactly what the innovations are going to be if I did I would have already invented them but I think ill be comparable to the innovations we saw in the past twenty twenty five years if not greater so like something as significant as the Internet presumably I'm sure that you know the Internet of Things sort of doesn't take a lot of creativity to see that coming down the pipe I were to be literally trillions of objects all connected in this digital infrastructures like the earth growing a skin and nervous system where all the objects can communicate with each other and that's just one small part of this new world I mean we could have a future in the not too distant future in which truck driver side of work because trucks are automated and driver listen not just rich but it's likely but no I think that's likely but that university professors because every case study women I have a free book will will be processed by a machine every case study of a business problem will be studied by machine which will then be able to be a better consultant that human consultant better journalists than me because they will be able to analyze every interview ever done in that machine could maybe do a better job I mean that's not out of the realm of possibility it's not other realm of possibility although you gotta think about the timelines its most useful to think about not jobs the tasks and within any given job there are lots of different tasks if you're a radiologist may be reading the images machines can build that better maybe making a broader diagnosis and communicating it to the patience for long time humans going to be better off at that and the machines and so different parts the job will be leveraged in a way that's happened for centuries and we've adapted and it's made the people who had part of their jobs automated more more productive to the scented eight are essential for the other components of their jobs but in d do you believe is possible down the line that we could create an artificial thing of metal and ones and zeros that is more empathetic and exercise better judgment than OS and is just all I'm smarter than we are one certain of it there's no question that it's possible I mean you know in between your ears is a proof that there's a physical object that can do all those things and I don't think to some ghost in there I think it's made of atoms and obeys the laws of physics so we know that it's feasible according to laws of physics are we able to figure it out well enough from I think that's going the new machine can be dated today fifteen years ago when Gary Kasper of the World Chess Champion play Deep Blue supercomputer the machine one that day and today a chess program running on a cell phone can be a human Grandmaster got so bad that when he was asked what strategy would use against a computer yon dawn or dusk when Master replied I bring him or the the but today a computer is no longer the World Chess Champion neither is a human because Casper of organized freestyle tournament with teams of humans and computers could work together and the winning team had no grand master and had no supercomputer what they had was better teamwork and they showed that a team of humans and computers working together could be any computer or any human working alone racing with the machine beats racing against machine tool technology is not destiny we shape sense that to be working in ways yeah I'm I think we'll be working very close with machines and a couple of different ways than one is a little like the way we doing it now where we interact with them were weak ass machines to do some data analysis and the beam or more of a division of labor where we ask the questions and the machines provide the answers and public Picasso once berated computer saying oh they're not very interesting all they do is provide answers and we had a point that that really that interesting important part of work is asking the right questions and it's for a long time that so going to be the domain of humans going little further into the future will start literally connecting to machines some of my colleagues at MIT hear some of them are working on an oral mesh that connects directly to your brain and have already done it with some disabled people and allow them to move objects just by thinking so right now the band with his pretty slow you can type maybe I think it's about ten words per minute with his brain ashes but you can see where the future is going with that as well I mean I hate to sound pessimistic because by nature I try to be optimistic but I ask myself this question a lot which is is this the future we want have we gotten to a place where the train has left the station where we don't really have much choice about where that teachers had let me try and chew up a little bit let's just step back and look at the fundamental deeply for you and I talking about we're talking about a world with vastly more wealth he vastly more power to solve all sorts of problems the vastly less need for us to work most routine Treasury can be eliminated shame on us shame on us if we messed that up and turn that into him that he would not be the weirdest are in the world we take more wealth than less work oh what a terrible thing the eliminate poverty planet earth we could cure most diseases the global Millennium goals were on track to beat them severe poverty so there are lots of positive trends the I think the world in twenty five years we could be a much better version the movie of humans would still be fundamentally Nelson pastor and director of the MIT Initiative on his fault I had show today id is the original industrial revolution moment by this is all very very good and very very bad guy right here listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR o Hey Everyone Just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors who helped make this podcast possible first up upside down com a new way to buy travel the design for business travelers side saves money on travel and gives you a free gift card worth hundreds of dollars every time you buy a trip up side is able to do this by bundling your flights and hotel together for one low price which saves you lots of money if you are save big on travel and get a big gift card every time is an upside at com and use code radio our thanks also to Merrill Lynch an affiliate of Bank of America who asks what your future hold learn works with you to create an investing strategy built around your life and priorities visiting M L dot com era Lynch makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch Pierce Turner and Smith Incorporated a registered broker dealer before we get back to the shell tell you about an event happening this April so you know that many of the amazing Ted taxi here on this show are delivered at the annual Ted Conference in Vancouver and beginning April twenty fourth you can also experience those powerful ideas from the Ted stage live in select cinemas that Ted cinema experience gives you a front row seat to inspiring Ted talks one screening will highlight the best moments from the conference including an interview with Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon musk along with other inspiring and insightful Ted talks and performances from the week to get tickets and be among the first to see that two thousand and seventeen Ted talks go to Ted cinema com THE it's the Ted Radio Hour from NPR and I rise and I should say ideas about the digital industrial revolution and whether we should be worried or excited I am definitely an optimist this is Marco and see other markers the chief economist at the general election a new with this is an economist mingle to Mystic is kind of out of the way for that too many from the people out there safe and happy to them a bit when Markos main jobs is to predict what our jobs will look like in the future and says Not surprisingly it in the next five to ten to twenty years almost everything about the workplace is going to change that will be a new n different form of interaction between humans and machines both physical machines like Robertson and The View Trail machines like to share intelligence so if you can take a site or of that future was a normal person's day going to kind of be like it were where they get to experience how experience that so he will experience in the following way cam onto a factory floor or on to the factory floor they will find any environment which is a lot more intelligent then today everything I own the water cooler way that it's the equipment of the war in talks with the different items on the factory floor will be equipped with the sensor so constantly sending the term two will be shown intelligence machines that will be analyzing that and everything that is going on there will be robots helping the war to perform whatever function so involved in the specific job description much more to sch and they're much safer way these applications that Mommy was like that this collaboration between humans and machines part of what Mark calls the industrial Internet so what does these industrial Internet he explained the idea from the Ted stage brings together intelligent machines advance the leaks in the creativity of people to work a muscle machines are being equipped with a growing number of electronic sensors that allow them to see hear or feel a lot more than ever before generating prodigious amounts of the to increasingly sophisticated than any tix then the sea for the to providing insights that allow us to read the machines in entirely new ways a lot more efficiently and not just illegal machines but it's all locomotives airplanes in file systems like power grids hospitals what's up with aviation today ten percent to four flights cancellations and delays due to unscheduled maintenance events resulting eight billion dollars in costs for dealing in this globally every year not to mention the impact all fuss status inconvenience missed meetings as we sit helplessly in an airport terminal so how can the in the still infant of help here we developed a preventive maintenance system which can be installed on any aircraft of its South Florida being unable to predict issues that a human operator would miss the aircraft while in flight we communicate with the conditions on the ground by the tiny lens of the We already know if anything needs to be serviced just think the US system like this can prevent over sixty thousand Gleeson cancellations every year helping seven million passengers get to the station some time so we're moving toward over where the machines we work with have not just the TV they out of brilliant jet engines locomotives and medical devices communicating seamlessly with each other and with us if the marriage of minds and machines and Elyse will never be the sea the if it's a complete break from the way humans have lived and functioned since the beginning of time absolutely yes I think we had at the beginning of a massive historical transition which will lead them to a new economic system in Ewing the source is the new way of life which will be really qualitatively different from what we are experiencing now is named the impact is going to be enormous and so I mean how would you describe where we are today we're right at the precipice of this massive change or are we already in it we had only the inning guy but we had the very beginning a fit so afforded me a plausible horizon for these new technologies to really spread and transform the industrial system in the economy as we know it that you're thinking of hotties off twenty to twenty five years but it's for the complete transformation within the next five to ten years and he really seemed to be any substantial changes of them saying these because some of these changes are already taking place on the the the the the people who argue that today's innovation is all about social media in silly games with no many of the transformational power of the solution they say that all the growth enhancing innovations out behind us and everytime I hear these I can't help thinking that that even back in the Stone Age there must've been a group of cavemen sitting around the fire when the looking very grumpy and looking these approvingly at another group of cave in the Rolling Stones up and down a hill and saying to each other yeah he's real thing cool toy sure but compared to Fiat will have no impact the big discoveries little behind this is the logical evolution is as inspiring and transformational is anything we have ever seen human creativity innovation has always propelled us forward the created jobs they raise living standards we've made our lives healthier and more rewarding and the new innovation which is beginning to sweep through in the city is not different than many of you will be concerned about the impact that innovation might have one jobs and innovation is disruptive but missed just two things here first that innovation is fundamentally about growth makes products more affordable he creates new demand new jobs second the second Sunday in the future that will only be room for engineers scientists and other highly specialized workers and believe me as an economist I'm oh so scary to think about it that just as a child can easily figure out how to play tonight and this one money we've invested applications will make life easier for workers a full scale levels is only to be easy but if he's going to be walked to the mean all of these technologies that are our command line and that will come online and that will make many parts of our lives more efficient and make our economy more productive they can be winners and losers Charlie Dooley said in the one thing to keep in mind that is sometimes technological innovations have unintended consequences that we need to watch for one key example there's been a lot all for attention and focus on now the problem off unemployment and the risks of coming from with a mission of the future intelligence to me that is something that needs to be taken very seriously now I don't buy into the abdomen few here that says that in the future are fifty percent of full jobs with disappeared and that is simply not true I think in the end have more jobs we will have better jobs but some job so we'll be able to make to the way that is the sure and we'll be difficult it will require people to require different skill set so how can we get to from when we sit today to these brilliant fuchsia time envisioning that we'll all have a bath or drops of more drops how do we get there in the way that creates the least of these option for the smallest number of people because there will be deception the probe idea that we manage these things he shouldn't the right way it will definitely be a better future because a I wore a coat with the scientists and in said in a see what innovation is doing and that makes me optimistic the the marker et-cetera is at GE you can find his entire top and add that come the show they ideas about the digital industrial revolution and how we as humans will fit into all of it so we're going to be Ironman plus I series of super heroes this is Marie's Conti yet so my name is Morris County I currently had up applied Research and Innovation at a software company called Autodesk and were just talking about how maybe someday we could all be these sort of super humans working together with machines and here he calls the augmented age I mean we you know we've had this partnership with our own technology that has been allowing us to achieve greater things which I guess by definition is augmentation I think the difference this time is the speed with which these technologies are coming online and the speed with which we're going to adopt them which I think will result in something that feels more like augmentation than improvement superpower in the What does it actually mean in practical terms because right now now we have access to infinite knowledge try to just pull out our phones and find out really pretty much whatever we want to find out yes sort of in fact I argue that we are already augmented because all of us probably listening have access to a smartphone which is in turn connected to the Internet which in turn holds vast amounts of information I wouldn't necessarily say it's knowledge in fact that's maybe the next step the part that's missing is yes I have access to a great body of information but I still need to turn that into knowledge with my own point of view my own ability to think synthetic lean connect dots and I think that's what advanced computation is going to come help us with this really processing that information gleaning insight from it making intuitive leaps and so forth and Maurice is that a lot of our machines along just answer questions will actually start thinking for themselves coming up with their own ideas and even healing the world around them here's how Morris explained it from the Ted stage the tools are making this leap from being passive to be in general General of design tools use a computer algorithms to synthesize geometry to come up with new designs all by themselves all it needs are your goals and your constraints given example the case of the aerial drone chassis all you would need to do is tell him something like it has four propellers you want to be as lightweight as possible and you need to be aerodynamic the fish and then with the computer does is it explores the entire solution space every single possibility that solves and meet your criteria millions of them but it comes back to us with designs that we by ourselves never could have imagined in the computers coming up with the stuff all by itself Noah never drew anything and started completely from scratch the the the future is going to be a future of artificial intelligence do you think that we're going to figure a way to work to get there or were the OR or NOT well a part of me says the house to be true the AI was built and is operating in service of some goal that I was trying to achieve if I'm achieving that goal then I think the definition of when I'm in partnership with at AI so I mean feel free to call book that just use and I was saying this to to Eric Nelson early in the show right that that I cannot imagine any single profession including professions and we think require a whole lot of brainpower like psychiatry okay I cannot think of a single profession that won't be that could be displaced by a machine learning that has become smarter and smarter and smarter yes certainly it's easy to imagine how just about every profession can be affected by these technologies nor gets interesting is if we start a debate will these professionals be displaced and certainly in some cases they will but I think in many cases they want a part of the reason is there's this graph that I like to draw in as two curves on the first curve is upward exponential curve that represents our capabilities as a species based on the development of technology so perhaps at some point when we reach very high point on that curve you will be done will be nothing else to do what I think a lot of people overlook is there's another curve right next to it that happens to be in lockstep and that is the curve of opportunity why when it's actually easy to see whenever some company comes out with the latest smartphone the next day people like rape what's next I want more and I think it's the fact that we have this other curve which is our capacity to imagine and desire to better things better lives their relationships that's you know will keep the demands on us increasing and if that's true then the A eyes that would displace us are actually just what we to keep up the wo so the augment our ability to imagine a design stuff robotic systems are going to help this bill
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The Digital Industrial Revolution