AI Powered SCADA

I was thinking about what NEXT in SCADA?. I think, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will be retrofitted with SCADA and Ignition is very well designed for that transformation. Robots will create millions of jobs for robots which can never be performed by humans and eventually manpower will become obsolete. Great leaders like Elon Musk, Geordie Rose (D-WAVE founder) etc say that massive decimation of jobs will begin around 2025 and by 2030 singularity will take over the world governance. What do you think?. Please share your opinion.

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Such questions tend to be more philosophical, but here goes!

  • If singularity hits at 2030, then we may as well retire now, as we’ll no longer be useful. This leads to my next point…

  • I think that’s an aggressive timeline. Musk and Rose are visionary leaders, but they’re also hype men. They also have an unfortunate tendency to overpromise and underdeliver.
    Example: D-Wave needs error checking to be productive. The result curves trend to mostly right or mostly wrong. Not mostly productive.

  • Millions of robot jobs that can never be performed by humans? We already have millions of jobs that humans won’t do, because of the misconception that some jobs are beneath them. Another topic for another time. Robots are also not job killers. Great article here about that.

  • AI and ML can add complexity, but not meaning or experience. While pattern matching is getting better (we already approximate this in vision systems), they can’t put meaning behind it. This is where humans excel. In the why, as well as the what.

All right, I’m getting off my soapbox. I’ve got work to do. At least until 2025…


My turn to get on the soap box.

I can see computers becoming powerful enough to simulate “brainlike” activity by 2030, but neuroscience has a long way to go before a true “singularity” can be achieved. We have no idea how the brain really functions; we only approximate what regions of the brain carry on certain types of functions. So the processes behind human creativity are still relatively lost on us. Because of this, I think that all our attempts at artificial intelligence are eventually reducible to predictable algorithms. The processes which generate those algorithms (machine learning, etc) might be so complex that it becomes overwhelming to think about, which might tempt us to praise our handiwork too highly, but ultimately we’re still dealing with relatively primitive processes (when compared with organic networks, at least). Maybe sometime in the 2100s or 2200s a singularity will be more realistic.

I don’t see the decimation of jobs happening anytime soon. I’d be much more optimistic about it if we weren’t regularly innovating new technologies (not just in computing, but also in cooking, farming, and pretty much everything else). New technologies and processes require an initial investment of humanoid labor to produce and popularize the product before funds can support automation. Automation requires a heavy investment in metals and delicate electronic components which will be expensive as long as they are new, and will be subject to EOL when they are old. Widespread democratization of home robotics could offset that, but humans will be the primary innovators at least until the singularity. Greed still seems to be one of the primary motivators for innovation in humans, so such products will continue to be expensive.

Who knows what will motivate a singularity-type machine entity. If we designed and programmed that motivation ourselves, then we have created a predictable entity, which means that it is simply performing its function; so far sub-human that it can hardly be called intelligent in the same sense that people are intelligent. It wouldn’t be a real singularity.


Human intelligence comes from learning, which is known as experience. By extrapolating the experience, humans try to invent better solutions. This is called thinking process aka intelligence. Today 5000 years of human experience from every walk of life is available in cloud and computers can interpolate and extrapolate this experience several million times faster and better than the combined efforts of all the humans living on this planet. This has already been proved beyond any doubt by AI machines like IBM’s Watson, Google’s deep learning algorithm and so on.

Every repetitive task can be automated. The objective of automation is to reduce manpower which is slow, cumbersome and unpredictable apart from demands like food. shelter, cloth, salary, health care, ageing, death etc. Impossible for manpower to beat machine power any time. Today, automation is moving very fast from manpower reduction to manpower replacement. More than 80% of jobs are laborious and repetitive in nature which needs zero AI. Already Udemy is wiping off thousands of teaching jobs every month which was ironically glorified as the domain of intellectual Gurus once. Machine teaching!!!

In short, 80% of humanity will become jobless before 2030 and around 20% intellectuals may have some sort of jobs until they unleash singularity. This will force the governments to guarantee Universal Basic Income(UBI) for their citizens very soon to avoid an apocalypse.

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Human intelligence has much more involved in it than just experience. Experience plays a role in determining the way that we use our intelligence, but it’s been demonstrated that people are born with an instinctive intelligence which operates prior to most of our experiential life. For example, the ability that a newborn has to root for the mother’s milk; or a child’s ability to process complex geometric relationships without ever having learned calculus.

Finally, every repetitive task can be automated, but that doesn’t mean that every repetitive task can be automated in a cost efficient way within the next 13 years. I mean, Wikipedia says the Gigafactory alone is a 4 year project lasting until 2020, and we expect to have 80% of human work automated only 10 years later?

I sense a fun math problem involved here, though. Maybe you guys can improve upon my thinking here with better data or a better formula:

Let’s assume infinite budgets are given to spherical engineers in frictionless vacuums with the goal of automating 80% of America’s jobs. Suppose that a team of 5 of these engineers can automate the work done by 200 people in 6 months on average. That gives us 20 time periods to work with in our 10 year timeframe. Google says there are 323100000 people in the U.S… So I’ll assume that they are all employed with jobs that can be automated.

(323100000 jobs * 80%) * (5 engineers / 200 jobs) / 20 time periods
= 323100 engineers required.

Google says there are 820000 registered PEs in the states, and this article gives a distribution of engineering degrees earned in 2014-2015. Based on the top chart on page 2, electrical and mechanical engineers combined make up about 35% of all engineering majors.

So, assuming that all electrical and mechanical graduates become automation specialists, and assuming the above numbers are representative of the actual intellectual population of the U.S. we have (820000 * 35% = ) 287000 engineers to put into our frictionless vacuum. It’s just barely not enough.

Lots and lots of electrical and mechanical engineers in the U.S. are not licensed professional engineers, including myself. I would venture to say a majority are not. It’s simply not necessary for general industrial work.

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Agreed for sure. I don’t have a PE either. I just figured it would be an easy statistic to use.

Are there any statistics out there for the number of engineer/integrators in automation?

Every human has the right to practice his/her profession for survival. We are not willing to accept the fact that automation creates massive unemployment. Very soon driver less cars, trucks and staff less supermarkets (like Amazon Go) will eat away millions of jobs worldwide. China’s automation has brought India’s manufacturing capability to a halt. India produces around 20 million qualified job seekers every year and less than 3% get some sort of jobs. Automation of agriculture sector and supply chain industry has crushed the livelihood of more than 30% of 1.3 billion people of India.

Today, the election promise of every political leader is jobs, jobs, jobs… and nothing happens. Abolish H1B visas and cheap labour immigration which kills the livelihood of millions of Americans. I hope Trump will deliver his promise “America First”. The only solution to eliminate unemployment is, “eliminate employment”. Let Robots rule the world and deliver food, cloth and shelter for humanity. This is the reason, i love super intelligent automation.

You keep looking at one side of the equation, per the article I quoted. If productivity outpaces output, then yes, there is job loss. But long term data doesn’t support the apocalyptic job loss you suggest. [quote=“R.Alamsha, post:8, topic:16439”]
China’s automation has brought India’s manufacturing capability to a halt.
Which is the real reason for the unemployment. Yet we blame automation instead of bad trade policy.

This one I’ll give you. If productivity outpaces output, there is job loss. We’ve had this most recently with the auto industry, but we had the same thing with agriculture.

Sorry, I jumped back a bit here. Is this because there are no jobs available or are we training people for the wrong job market?

As Mike Rowe put it: “We´re lending money we don´t have to kids who can´t pay it back to train them for jobs that no longer exist, that´s nuts.”

Unemployment rate is at 17 year low. The drop in the labor participation rate has leveled out (admittedly there is only a few months of data to go by on this)

The only solution to eliminate employment is to eliminate the impediments that keep us from employing people. Over-regulation. Offshoring. Bad trade deals. Telling kids that the only way to prosperity is to get a college degree, instead of following where the opportunities lie.


I regret that I have only one like to give for this statement. So I quoted it so it can be liked some more. However, we are drifting over into political waters, and there be dragons.


Already warned y’all it was coming! :grin: Heh.

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