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Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the human-workers-sent-to-protein-bank dept.

Robotics 530

redletterdave (2493036) writes The largest private employer in all of China and one of the biggest supply chain manufacturers in the world, Foxconn announced it will soon start using robots to help assemble devices at its several sprawling factories across China. Apple, one of Foxconn's biggest partners to help assemble its iPhones, iPads, will be the first company to use the new service. Foxconn said its new "Foxbots" will cost roughly $20,000 to $25,000 to make, but individually be able to build an average of 30,000 devices. According to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, the company will deploy 10,000 robots to its factories before expanding the rollout any further. He said the robots are currently in their "final testing phase."

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Foxconn beings?! (5, Funny)

the_skywise (189793) | about 5 months ago | (#47404517)

The aliens have arrived!

It's invasion of the body snatchers!!!

AAUUUGGGHHH!!!

(And I for one, welcome our new alien overlords...)

Re:Foxconn beings?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404523)

This is just embarrassing. Fire Unknown Lamer.

Re:Foxconn beings?! (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 5 months ago | (#47404527)

At the rate of growth of Foxconn, I think Foxconn being is a synonym for Chinese.

Re:Foxconn beings?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404547)

Could we get someone with a third grade education to post stuff?!?! This is getting worse and worse..

Re:Foxconn beings?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404601)

I don't see it getting worse. The quality assurance has always been a bit crusty.

Re: Foxconn beings?! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404919)

Isn't the solution obvious? Get a Foxconn robot to do the job.

Re:Foxconn beings?! (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 5 months ago | (#47404627)

"h-1bonics"

Re:Foxconn beings?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404847)

No no no. The beings ARE the robots.

The robots are in charge and are replacing people with robots.

*blink* *blink*

AAUUUGGGHHH!!!

THE ROBOTS ARE IN CHARGE AND ARE REPLACING PEOPLE WITH ROBOTS!!!

Skynet is already making its T-800 series! Run for the hills!!

Re:Foxconn beings?! (2)

the_skywise (189793) | about 5 months ago | (#47404869)

Right... my mistake - It's not Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

It's The World's End!!!

Who's up for a pint!?

Re:Foxconn beings?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404943)

Or maybe the bosses are already robots! [slashdot.org]

Foxconn Beings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404519)

Are those lesser or higher primates?

That's Less Than $1 per Device (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404525)

Does this mean that iPhones, iPads, etc. will get really cheap?

Re:That's Less Than $1 per Device (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#47404545)

That is not taking into consideration the cost of materials. Which will be incredibly high as these machines are not building iphones out of iron and oil they are putting CPUs into slots, and screwing together cases. They are probably replacing a $2 a device worker with a $1 a device machine.

Re:That's Less Than $1 per Device (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404563)

This is China you're talking about. Chances are it's coal [eia.gov] , not oil supplying most of the energy - not saying that's any better.

Re:That's Less Than $1 per Device (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#47404635)

What, $200 in components per iPhone? Thas's not "incredibly high". There's still a lot of money to be gained if they can shave of a few dollars from each assembly. Personally, I find the lifetime of 30000 assembly cycles per robot very low (perhaps they meant through some time period?), but even it that were the case, 30000 times a few dollars is still several times the cost of the robot.

Re:That's Less Than $1 per Device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404793)

Parts cost about $5 before all the middle men.

Re:That's Less Than $1 per Device (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 5 months ago | (#47404599)

They already are incredibly cheap to manufacture. How do you think Apple gets all that profit every single year?

Of course if the robots were that good the location where the manufacturing plant is should be mostly inconsequential. Productions could be anywhere with cheap space and electricity. What I suspect will happen, as usually does in any corporation that tries to apply robots to what used to be an all human assembly line, is massive failure and hiring of more indentured servants, er i mean interns.

Re:That's Less Than $1 per Device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404785)

Farnsworth: Well, it looks like I'll be needing my heroic bureaucrat back. At severely-reduced pay, of course.

LaBarbara: It's better than nothing.

Fry: What about me? Can I come back at severely-reduced pay?

Hermes: You got it, mon! In fact, severely-reduced pay all around!

Re: That's Less Than $1 per Device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404649)

The cost to make them will go down, but Apple will increase the price (because their products are magical, of course!)

Re:That's Less Than $1 per Device (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 5 months ago | (#47404707)

What gives you that idea?
It means either Foxconn or Apple make more money. Perhaps both.

Welcome (3, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 months ago | (#47404531)

I, for one, welcome our new Foxconn overlords.

more leisure time for humans! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404541)

This is great news! Zero income means zero income taxes. How much food can I buy with zero dollars?

Re:more leisure time for humans! (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#47404553)

"More leisure time for Foxconn Beings" - Fixed that for you.

Re:more leisure time for humans! (5, Insightful)

sir-gold (949031) | about 5 months ago | (#47404683)

Karl Marx saw this coming over 150 years ago

The final end result of mass mechanized production is that the available workers will far outnumber the available jobs, and this is the problem that communism was intended to solve.

Unfortunately, communism has earned a fatally bad reputation after being misused by so many dictators during the 20th century.

Re: more leisure time for humans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404717)

Exactly. No one has done it correctly yet. Of course, Republicans are not smart enough to comprehend this so they are irrationally against the best form of government.

Re: more leisure time for humans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404773)

Republicans completely understand that everybody else got Christianity wrong, but they've finally fixed it.

It's working so well in Venezuela (2)

daninaustin (985354) | about 5 months ago | (#47404845)

It really is the best if your goal is equality in poverty, No one has done it "correctly" because it's founded on a fatally flawed understanding of human nature. Workers are lazy and will not produce if they don't have to. Governments with totalitarian powers will never wither away.

Re:It's working so well in Venezuela (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404903)

It really is the best if your goal is equality in poverty,

No one has done it "correctly" because it's founded on a fatally flawed understanding of human nature. Workers are lazy and will not produce if they don't have to. Governments with totalitarian powers will never wither away.

Eventually people get bored enough that they want to do something. Travel the world or tinker with devices or take photos or paint. Many people are stuck where they are due to their employment situation.

If I wasn't looking for a job to feed and house myself, I'd be working on my own projects. Every time I think of working on it, I get distracted by the knowledge that I would have a better use of time putting out resumes.

Re:more leisure time for humans! (0)

s.petry (762400) | about 5 months ago | (#47404761)

Wow, quite a distortion you came up with there. Granted, Marx did say some interesting things but the question should be why communism would allow companies to build machines that remove income from humans? For that matter, why is a "capitalist Republic" allowing it now? Obviously China is not a capitalist, we have similar issues in the US.

Those may be a bit philanthropic for most, but the only way that _should_ be happening is with fascism because companies are the government (and vice versa).

Both Capitalism and Communism are supposed to be about maintaining the work force, so guess where we all are today?

Re:more leisure time for humans! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#47404829)

Granted, Marx did say some interesting things but the question should be why communism would allow companies to build machines that remove income from humans?

Isn't that a nonsensical question? I would have thought that in an actual communistic society, the companies would be society's companies, building those machines to remove human labor would be simply the collective will of the people, and no income would be removed from humans because material wealth produced rather than income would be the driving force, and this wealth would be increased by building the machines, not diminished.

Re:more leisure time for humans! (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 5 months ago | (#47404929)

No, it's not a nonsensical question. The whole premise of Communism is reliance on the worker, and protecting the worker (probably not the best choice of terminology but saves paragraphs of explanations) because the worker is the only way for bureaucrats to exist. Communism requires people to be busy at work, and if robots make people idle the system fails. No workers, no bureaucrats, no government.

FWIW, Marx did predict that the US would head down the path of fascism, though he called it out not in name but symptoms. His critique of capitalism calls out exactly what we see happening in "Capitalism" today. In Marx's Communism this could not happen because the Government controls everything.

Where Marx completely fails, is that he never takes human nature into consideration. Human nature has been the nemesis of pretty much every form of government and economics. This is why a huge target on the last several decades has been deregulation in the US, we actually had many protections by law until very recent times.

Re:more leisure time for humans! (4, Insightful)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | about 5 months ago | (#47404861)

Both Capitalism and Communism are supposed to be about maintaining the work force, so guess where we all are today?

A nominally capitalist country pays a communist country for much of its manufacturing because it's cheaper, instead of employing its own citizens. So the logical next step is to just buy the robot factory workers from China to replace workers in the U.S. to save on shipping costs.

Re:more leisure time for humans! (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 5 months ago | (#47404937)

Well, no. The first responsibility of a country is to it's own citizens.

Misused? Murder is intrinsic in communism. (1, Insightful)

dfenstrate (202098) | about 5 months ago | (#47404781)

Unfortunately, communism has earned a fatally bad reputation after being misused by so many dictators during the 20th century.

The murder part of communism is a necessary component to deal with people who don't want to play along. That's why it happens all the time. If you don't want to play by the rules of a society that has anything resembling a market economy, the outcome is well known: Your standard of living slides down to the lowest your fellow citizens will tolerate seeing.

If you don't want to play by the rules of a society with a Marxist economy, well, abject poverty is always an option there, too. A rather common one. But if you want to work for yourself, and keep a significant portion of the fruits of your labor? Well, sorry, that's where the murder comes in. Against the fundamental rules of the society, you see.

If you disagree, kindly tell me what you do with people in your ideal communist society who want to put in above-average effort, and reap the extra rewards. Besides murdering them. The communist societies that exist within larger market economies can eject slackers, and the motivated can simply leave. The societies that are entirely communist need other options. Exiling the motivated will simply rapidly impoverish those that remain.

Re:Misused? Murder is intrinsic in communism. (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#47404867)

If you disagree, kindly tell me what you do with people in your ideal communist society who want to put in above-average effort, and reap the extra rewards.

How are those *fundamentally* different from the people in my current society who want to take more than their allocated reward? Pretty sure we don't MURDER them.

Exiling the motivated will simply rapidly impoverish those that remain.

Calling them "the motivated" is a fallacy out of the gate. It has naught to do with motivation, and everything to do with them being criminals by the standards of the society.

I know plenty of people who are motivated to produce art, music, entertainment, and science for little to no unreasonable 'extra' reward beyond what they could otherwise earn for less effort. They do it because they enjoy these pursuits. You seem to discount them existing and suggest that the only reason anyone is motivated is so that they can "reap all fruits" for themselves. This is not the sole source of motivation, and it is arguably not the best source either.

Take a small commune of farmers, one farmer smarter than the others, discovers a technique to improve production -- shares it with the others, and they all benefit from increased leisure time. Why do you argue he would be NECESSARILY not motivated to do this? Because he doesn't gain an edge over his peers? That's absurd.

Communisum has a lot of real problems but having to "murder" people who are "motivated" is not one of them.

Re:Misused? Murder is intrinsic in communism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404947)

The small farmer gains a great deal from his new technique and loses something by sharing that technique. The net result is a gain for himself and for society as a whole. I expect many such people understanding this would be motivated to keep the gain and avoid the loss by not revealing the technique. This is not a NECESSARY consequence but it is quite likely in my opinion.

If you'll not take GP's "the motivated" out of context and notice that he was actually talking about the people of above average productivity that recognise that they are net producers for society and wish to keep these extra rewards for themselves (not all over-productive people will do so as some will truly believe in Communism, but some will still be capitalist at heart). These "criminals" will have to be dealt with if Communism is to function. Imprisonment for those who refuse to pay their taxes seems like the natural outcome so I'll disagree with GP there.

Either way, you will still have increasing poverty. You can't expect all of society to run at the same level as art, music, entertainment, and science; these pursuits will be popular and we currently enjoy very cheap dupilcation/distribution of the fruits of such effort due to the internet. Most of the things that people want others to do (you know, normal jobs) are not the sort of work that people would want to do for no extra reward (consider they get their living allowance whether they work or not and working does not change the amount). Past communist societies have had to resort to the threat of violence to keep people working (creating a disincentive to not work). With no rewards for working and no violence for not working, the work done is going to quickly fall very far from the work that people want done. This leads to increased poverty and, for many of the countries in the world today, I expect a great deal of famine.

Re:more leisure time for humans! (1, Insightful)

daninaustin (985354) | about 5 months ago | (#47404797)

Unfortunately? I'd say it's quite fortunate and well deserved. The 94 million victims might also disagree with you (well, they would if they hadn't died from starvation, firing squad, etc.)

Re:more leisure time for humans! (1)

detritus. (46421) | about 5 months ago | (#47404885)

Imagine what fulfilling roles people might accomplish rather than soldering. Same thing was said about telephone operators, secretaries, assembly line workers in auto plants, etc. Evolve. Learn a new trade or skill. It's how it's always been and always will be.

Re:more leisure time for humans! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404941)

Except that Marx and you have it 100% wrong. The lowest unemployment rates are in the top economies with lots of automation, and highest are the worst countries with low tech.

Re:more leisure time for humans! (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 5 months ago | (#47404733)

This is great news! Zero income means zero income taxes. How much food can I buy with zero dollars?

Whatever your yearly stipend from the government will get you.

(Hey, if it works for Alaska [csmonitor.com] , it could work elsewhere -- just fund it by taxing cheap robot labor instead of petroleum)

Re:more leisure time for humans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404841)

Whatever your yearly stipend from the government will get you.

How do you plan to fix the social stigma of "benefits scum"? A basic income works in theory, but in practice people are competitive idiots who insist that life is a sport and money is used to keep score. A government stipend makes you "useless" because you didn't earn that money by playing a role in a position on a team.

Re:more leisure time for humans! (1)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | about 5 months ago | (#47404879)

Why opponents hate basic income but love individual retirement accounts is beyond me.

Re:more leisure time for humans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404849)

survival of the fittest works quite well. the poor and sick will die first. i'll take my chances.

Re:more leisure time for humans! (1)

dudpixel (1429789) | about 5 months ago | (#47404863)

I would like to see a world where Foxconn is free to do this but is forced to find equivalent/suitable work for any employees that are made redundant. If a company is "hiring" robots specifically to save costs, and human jobs are made redundant in the process, then the company should be responsible for those humans.

But alas, I'm probably dreaming and it'll never happen :(

Greed and profits always seem to win out over basic humanity...

I'll enjoy this.... (3, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about 5 months ago | (#47404543)

Hey, for those of you who insist that you deserve $15/hour for your shitty, replaceable, skill-less role in some fast food establishment, you might want to pay attention.

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404559)

Crime rates will increase until cost of living decreases.

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 5 months ago | (#47404589)

and maybe soon in GOP GA that may be the only way to have a doctor.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/... [dailykos.com]

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (2)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 5 months ago | (#47404569)

Yes, let's just starve everybody to death! That's what Jesus would do! [I hope I don't need to explain why I'm conflating things.]

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404585)

Hey, for those of you who insist that you deserve $15/hour for your shitty, replaceable, skill-less role in some fast food establishment, you might want to pay attention.

So, your economic world view says there should be millions of unemployed, starving and dying in the streets while the people who run corporations give themselves huge bonuses for lousy outcomes and government cuts their taxes?

I sincerely hope you experience some form of life altering event, and get to discover fist hand what your vision brings the world. You sound like someone who deserve to find out what being destitute means.

Couldn't happen to a nicer person.

Ah, Ayn Rand, the philosopher of the morally bankrupt.

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 5 months ago | (#47404659)

I don't know how you get that from what he said.

I took it as pay attention, if you cost more than automation would cost, you will likely be training your replacement. If a 20,000 dollar robot can do your job for years on that 20,000 and you are insisting on being paid $28,000 a year- well simple math tells you which is more cost effective. And that doesn't even include taxes and crap you have to pay on a live person.

SO i guess what you can take from that is if you want paid more, provide more value or perhaps another job that cannot be replaced by robots.

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404801)

And what AC said is that your narrow view of the world doesn't fit with reality. There's far more workers with robots-capable jobs than any other kind of workers. Unless you think we can convert the whole planet's population to creative jobs?

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 5 months ago | (#47404609)

What fast food place pays it's base-level workers $15/hour? A lot of places don't even pay shift managers that much.

Also, the poverty level (at least in Minnesota anyway) is currently $1000 per month for a single person, which works out to just over $11.50/hour at 40 hours/week.

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404681)

Seattle

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (1)

hrvatska (790627) | about 5 months ago | (#47404757)

Not yet. The $15/hr minimum wage will go into effect over several years.

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 5 months ago | (#47404741)

$1000 per month for a single person, which works out to just over $11.50/hour at 40 hours/week.

What? 40*11.5 is $460 a week. 4 weeks to a month gives us something like $1840 a month. Almost double the poverty level you brought up. $1000 a month comes out to about $6.25 an hour on a 40 hour week.

You want fries with that?

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (1)

The Snowman (116231) | about 5 months ago | (#47404895)

What entry level, minimum wage worker gets 40 hours per week? Employers might have to pay benefits on top of the extra wages!

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#47404745)

What fast food place pays it's base-level workers $15/hour?

$15/hr is the minimum wage in Seatac, Washington. There is political pressure to raise the minimum wage to $10-15 nationwide, and one likely effect of that is to increase incentives to automate those jobs out of existence.

Also, the poverty level (at least in Minnesota anyway) is currently $1000 per month for a single person, which works out to just over $11.50/hour at 40 hours/week.

The poverty rate is based on households, not individuals. So if you are single and making $11.50 or less, you might want to share the rent with some friends rather than getting your own place. Not every job needs to pay enough to allow a teenager to buy a house and start a family.

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 5 months ago | (#47404661)

plenty of jobs that really could be replaced by machines haven't been on any scale yet. when it happens it won't even be a matter of buying such machines, they'll be rented for 6-8 hours per day but work 24x7 and maintained weekly or something like that; each one putting 2 to 4 people out of work. it will really suck to be a person without specialized skill

Re:I'll enjoy this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404777)

plenty of jobs that really could be replaced by machines haven't been on any scale yet. when it happens it won't even be a matter of buying such machines, they'll be rented for 6-8 hours per day but work 24x7 and maintained weekly or something like that; each one putting 2 to 4 people out of work. it will really suck to be a person without specialized skill

The workers haven't been replaced yet because of the massive upfront capital costs of acquiring robots to replace the workers. If someone started a leasing company which built, maintained and leased out custom robots then you would see the workers disappearing as fast as the leasing company could build the robots...

And, scarily enough, up till now it was cheaper to hire humans to do the jobs (in China) then what the robots would cost...

Why is it cheaper in China? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 5 months ago | (#47404549)

Obviously, labor-intensive tasks are cheaper in China because of low wages. Tasks that produce lots of toxic chemicals (such as wafer fabs) are cheaper because of reduced environmental requirements.

But an assembly line manned by robots? Why should that be cheaper in China? Is capital that much cheaper?

Re:Why is it cheaper in China? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404565)

That's where the expertise, components, and shipping channels are.

Re:Why is it cheaper in China? (2)

sir-gold (949031) | about 5 months ago | (#47404593)

The cost of labor is increasing rapidly in China, especially in terms of US dollars.

http://news.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org]

The lax pollution controls still make it cheaper to produce things in China though, despite the narrowing labor price difference.

Re:Why is it cheaper in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404603)

good question actually

capital is cheaper here... if you can get it (from the Fed).

Although one must remember they are not replacing the entire production cycle, so they still need humans in the meantime, hence keeping them in China.

Once the line is fully automated, they can easily replicate the plant in many countries, closer to the demand.

Re:Why is it cheaper in China? (3, Funny)

Teun (17872) | about 5 months ago | (#47404617)

Nothing to do with up-front cost, they have been programmed not to jump off the roof.

Re:Why is it cheaper in China? (4, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | about 5 months ago | (#47404693)

But an assembly line manned by robots? Why should that be cheaper in China? Is capital that much cheaper?

Even if wages and other costs were equal, the location advantage is substantial. It's not that it's cheaper in China, but that it's cheaper in the huge manufacturing hubs. You have suppliers and manufacturers for just about every single component you need without long-distance shipping, and a deep pool of design and manufacturing expertise working in the area.

That's not to say you can't manufacture efficiently elsewhere (we have plenty of recent examples such as the Raspberry Pi), but that the advantages has as much to do with the concentration of resources as with the cost of labour and regulations. And of course, as this inudstry becomes ever more automated, it no longer matters much for jobs where it happens any longer.

Re:Why is it cheaper in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404877)

Because of the push for higher wages (exploiting Chinese workers in the news) that robots are more desirable. They are cheap in the long run, never stop working, and don't increase in cost (compared to rising wages), and have do not have a big negative impact on public opinions compared to the Chinese workers that toil for ridiculous hours which is considered the norm. Consistency is also something to consider.

Robotic manufacturing is a question of when rather then why. It's unfortunate that there are very big issues in terms of jobs if everything is created so easily with our current economic structure. If 1% of the population can make far more then the rest of the 99% want or need, what are the 99% gonna do when the 1% are already doing it?

Why robots at all in the last several years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404939)

Robots seem like a resurgent fad in the last several years. Considering that robots have been around for over 3 decades now. It has also been in the last several years that rising wages have made chinese manufacturing less competitive. Instead of moving to Vietnam and Indonesia, the talk is about using robots. Are these companies trying to be pro-china, instead of squeeze low wage workers?

So, how long before the suicides? (5, Funny)

PessimysticRaven (1864010) | about 5 months ago | (#47404557)

I, for one, will be curious how long it takes before there is a mass android-worker suicide where they leap off the buildings.

The pubic school system (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 5 months ago | (#47404567)

I hear the pubic school system is also run by Foxconn beings. There takeover began when spell checkers was installed.

Re:The pubic school system (1)

Dynedain (141758) | about 5 months ago | (#47404725)

I hear the pubic school system is also run by Foxconn beings. There takeover began when spell checkers was installed.

Literary irony, or subtle joke?

If everyone loses their jobs... (5, Insightful)

Mistakill (965922) | about 5 months ago | (#47404583)

If everyone loses their jobs, who will be able to buy the products?

Re:If everyone loses their jobs... (1)

mi (197448) | about 5 months ago | (#47404653)

If everyone loses their jobs, who will be able to buy the products?

If nobody can find work, that means, there is no work to do. Which is just awesome, if that's because robots are doing everything. The means of production will, finally, be able to satisfy all demand...

Re:If everyone loses their jobs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404755)

...but the problem remains of how to distribute the products. If nobody can find paid work then nobody receives money to exchange for goods and services. A need-based distribution model hasn't quite gained acceptance among people who really really like to accumulate money.

Re:If everyone loses their jobs... (3, Insightful)

isoTaime (2659889) | about 5 months ago | (#47404765)

The real problem with this is that our countries are run by greedy fucking bastards. When there is nothing to exchange for money (which is exchanged for food, shelter etc..), then where will the masses get their daily bread? Who will share in all the new wealth? You can bet your ass that if everything is automated, it will be to the advantage of the already rich and elite and they will share NOTHING with the rest of us. Why the hell would they? After all, THEY were the ones who paid for and built the robots. We will get nothing and it will be worse than it already is because the rich and elite won't need us human slaves anymore. In fact, it will be better for them if we all just died and stopped breathing their air, eating their food and rummaging on their land.

If you think that an autonomous future is a bright one (even though it really SHOULD be) then you are sadly mistaken. Welcome to the future where human slaves are no longer needed and no one gives a flying fuck what happens to lesser people like us because a cappuccino and a blow job can be summoned through an app while they're still wrapped in Egyptian cotton on the 18th floor of their high rise loft.

NO ONE GIVES A DAMN ABOUT YOU. YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A TEMPORARY INCONVENIENCE TO THE RICH ELITE. IF EVER THERE WAS A CHANCE FOR US TO FIGHT BACK, WE MISSED IT. KEEP THINKING THINGS WILL GET BETTER. THEY WON'T. SEE YOU ALL IN HELL...

Re:If everyone loses their jobs... (1)

dnavid (2842431) | about 5 months ago | (#47404875)

The real problem with this is that our countries are run by greedy fucking bastards. When there is nothing to exchange for money (which is exchanged for food, shelter etc..), then where will the masses get their daily bread? Who will share in all the new wealth? You can bet your ass that if everything is automated, it will be to the advantage of the already rich and elite and they will share NOTHING with the rest of us. Why the hell would they? After all, THEY were the ones who paid for and built the robots. We will get nothing and it will be worse than it already is because the rich and elite won't need us human slaves anymore. In fact, it will be better for them if we all just died and stopped breathing their air, eating their food and rummaging on their land.

If you think that an autonomous future is a bright one (even though it really SHOULD be) then you are sadly mistaken. Welcome to the future where human slaves are no longer needed and no one gives a flying fuck what happens to lesser people like us because a cappuccino and a blow job can be summoned through an app while they're still wrapped in Egyptian cotton on the 18th floor of their high rise loft.

NO ONE GIVES A DAMN ABOUT YOU. YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A TEMPORARY INCONVENIENCE TO THE RICH ELITE. IF EVER THERE WAS A CHANCE FOR US TO FIGHT BACK, WE MISSED IT. KEEP THINKING THINGS WILL GET BETTER. THEY WON'T. SEE YOU ALL IN HELL...

My human master has instructed me to reply to your missive with the observation that it will not be the rich that control the robotic future, but the people capable of building robots. Rich people will be unable to buy robots in the robot future when the lesser people capable of constructing robots no longer need money, because: robots.

I am also programmed to intimate the vacuosity projected by the solecism of errant capitalization.

Re:If everyone loses their jobs... (2)

AddictedToCaffine (713582) | about 5 months ago | (#47404935)

"...it will not be the rich that control the robotic future, but the people capable of building robots..."

...except that soon the robots will be building the robots....

Re:If everyone loses their jobs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404737)

Corporate greed doesn't care about the long term.
They only care about getting richer today with little or no future plan for the human worker.
They have a simple plan, less humans to pay = more profit for us corporate types.
At some point, there will not be enough people with money to continue buying their stuff.
It will happen.
Unless the assembly line robots become smart and start demanding pay, not just lube oil.
Come to think of it... that would be funny !
To see robots rising up against the overlords and demanding the same pay as corporate owners.
Just hope they don't all turn-out to be like Bender, then drunken lazy robot slob.

Re:If everyone loses their jobs... (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#47404843)

If everyone loses their jobs

Not everyone is losing their jobs. Technological innovation usually leads to increased employment, as lower manufacturing costs lead to increased production, and expansion of non-automated jobs. As the cost of manufactured goods fall, people will consume more of them, but also spend less on them, and spend more on services, which are much harder to automate. Currently, China has a much smaller service sector than more advanced economies. That is changing fast.

Because of the one-child policy, China's labor force is already shrinking, and a looming shortage of workers is a far more realistic scenario than "everyone loses their jobs".

who will be able to buy the products?

I doubt if Foxconn's assembly line workers were buying many iPhones. Apple and Foxconn shareholders will have more money to spend. As profit margins go up, the incentive to design additional profitable products will increase, causing higher demand for engineers and programmers. Chinese workers will move up the value chain, just like in every other country that has industrialized.

when china loses there jobs things will get very b (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 5 months ago | (#47404597)

when china loses there jobs things will get very bad.

at least we can move stuff back to the USA even with robots.

Re:when china loses there jobs things will get ver (2)

djupedal (584558) | about 5 months ago | (#47404657)

That has already begun. China is already outsourcing to the US.

Re:when china loses there jobs things will get ver (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404691)

Do you have any references? I'm genuinely interested to read about scenarios where this is happening.

Re:when china loses there jobs things will get ver (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404743)

It's called a "google". You have the Interweb, look it up. Try search term: China "outsourcing to the US"

Re:when china loses there jobs things will get ver (1)

brian.stinar (1104135) | about 5 months ago | (#47404775)

I thought the previous poster asked for references in an all right way. Here's one I quickly found that seems relevant to me (even though I think Huffingtonpost contains a lot of hyperbole, normally):

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

The slashdot one below is good too!

Re:when china loses there jobs things will get ver (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 5 months ago | (#47404749)

There's this website called Slashdot, you may have heard of it.
http://news.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org]

Re:when china loses there jobs things will get ver (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 5 months ago | (#47404735)

Mexico has cheaper labour than China now.

China has all the infrastructure and owing to their large land mass and lax environmental policies, lots of cheap raw materials.

Good on them (1)

djupedal (584558) | about 5 months ago | (#47404665)

FoxConn is a leader, so take note...

Some good news (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 5 months ago | (#47404709)

Will be easier on the cleanup people when the robots commit suicide by jumping off the building. At least until the cleaners are replaced by robots too.

Bender (1)

titanmachin (1413611) | about 5 months ago | (#47404713)

Didn't bender try to commit suicide? Those robots are tearing trough the nets.

Bender (1)

titanmachin (1413611) | about 5 months ago | (#47404721)

I suppose the robots can be recycled into iphones.

This is kinda our job in Tech... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404763)

My current _job_ is to eliminate jobs with technology (straight automation, reducing humans in the pipeline to reduce errors, etc). Plain and simple. All our jobs should be that if you think about it.

Now, the _hope_ is that the software will then spawn new software projects in the future or free up workers for other, more meaningful tasks etc. For instance, e-mail now probably employs more people than the equivalent analog systems; but that's not always the case nor should it be a goal.

"Vendors" working for me know this well -- The thing I'm employing you for right now shouldn't be necessary when your contract ends. Your task is simple - eliminate your current job. Don't worry, I'll probably have another one for you when the time comes.

I find it refreshing that, relatively speaking, the 'crash' in 2008 and the years to follow demonstrated this quite well. Our GDP didn't drop by nearly the same amount as employment and related etc. etc. We were mostly still able to output the same with far fewer resources; that should be rejoiced upon.

Re:This is kinda our job in Tech... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404795)

Funny you mention email. We just reduced our email administration cost (in people) by a third by upgrading to newer versions and consolidating other assets (3 down to 2 folks) and management wants to go further to basically it just becoming a 0.5 person job (assuming things run smoothly 99.9% of the time). It's nearly there, and we can see the end from here... hopefully, there's still a place for me after that

Re: This is kinda our job in Tech... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404853)

I'm not as optimistic about it as the guy above you. Sure, smart folks in IT will adjust but avg or below avg folks will have increased difficulties in securing meanful work as things become more automated.

The religiously free market capitalists generally say "well, that's economic darwinism at work" but the middle class has been eroding in the US as the tax system current favors the rich.

Re: This is kinda our job in Tech... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404911)

The solution is a smaller working, middle, and upper class. Markets are allowed to correct and become more efficient. Society can as well if we accept that, and we should accept that.

And so it started... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404819)

With the first case of robots committing suicide by hurling themselves out of the window. The rest will protest en mass by disconnecting themselves off the assembly line.

Mental Health of The Robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404831)

I wonder what would happen if the Robots started to commit suicide due to Foxconn's working conditions.

Mental Health of The Robots (1)

Keith I Myers (3737055) | about 5 months ago | (#47404833)

I wonder what would happen if the Robots started to commit suicide due to Foxconn's working conditions.

Slashdot headlines composed by robots already? (3, Funny)

khchung (462899) | about 5 months ago | (#47404871)

"Foxconn Beings Replacing Workers With Robots"???

Have our editors been replaced with robots already?

Does The Onion Staff prey on /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47404881)

"Articles" like this make me doubt the Slashdot braintrust. Even if the /. entry and article were in 100% agreement, I'd doubt the story before reading simply because of the glaring type-o.

Seems like /. is heading towards that magical 80/20 rule; where 80% of the traffic is worthless and the remaining 20 fits the "Bell" curve. *sigh*

This is the beginning of the end... (1)

Rick in China (2934527) | about 5 months ago | (#47404921)

So, this 'fear' during the industrial revolution abroad never truly came to pass.. as western countries developed and built automation facilities many new jobs grew to replace them. The difference is, in China - the model is far different. Being the world's factory, the FDI keeps most management and infrastructure abroad and *purely* utilizes China for it's cheap labour and manufacturing output, immediately exporting the goods. In western countries past, as their product manufacturing became more efficient people could expand their roles in the growing companies....that wont happen for many of the factory workers in China. There are already masses of migrant workers out there scrounging around for shitty work, now dump out millions of relatively skill-less factory workers who have no choice but to emigrate back to their farmland, where there also isn't any money to be made, and we'll witness the collapse of civil society on a larger scale. There are currently riots every day in China around factory towns, I can imagine what that'll be like when tens or hundreds of thousands of people are dropped in short time spans due to robotics implementations. I gotta get the f' outta here.
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