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"presence" over IP

democratize the job market
  (+5, -4)
(+5, -4)
  [vote for,

There are many tasks in manufacturing/business that require the dexterity and intelligence of a human operator. In some affluent areas, these jobs are hard to fill even though the wages on offer are good. (Rich people don't do "manual" work.) I say open the market for these jobs by using high-speed internet connections. The world of telecommunication is being revolutionized by "Voice Over Internet Protocol" (VOIP). I propose "Presence Over IP". It's being done by surgeons, but I think it could have a larger role as a tool for economically poor people to gain access to paying jobs.

Example: High-tech assembly. A workstation has robotic hands and is connected to the 'net. A simple program allows an authorized user anywhere in the world to operate the hands via mouse/joystick. It's like a video game, but you get paid for every properly assembled unit. The economic value paid by the company receiving the value add of assembly is universal, whether it was performed by someone across the hall or on the far side of the earth. The process is incremental, so neither side is risking a great deal. In this way persons in disparate corners of the planet (perhaps where famine or war have destroyed the economies), could have access to an earning job. I know you need the box and the connection, but those would seem a lot easier to provide than full-on industrial economic infrastructures, etc. Also, it might avoid the ecological impact/political graft of industrialization in "underdeveloped" countries.

crater, Mar 16 2005

Outsourcing http://www.cfr.org/...ound/trade_jobs.php
"the kinds of jobs that are vulnerable to offshore outsourcing—also known as offshoring—have increased dramatically over the past five years. Advances in technology and low-cost telecommunications now mean that a computer programmer, data entry specialist, or help-desk operator answering calls for a U.S. company can work as easily from India or the Philippines as from Iowa." [robinism, Mar 16 2005]


       If a company builds a factory in a poor region, then the workers in that region know that the company plans to employ them for a long time. But if the company hires telepresence workers in a poor area, then the workers have much less job security. The company's only investment in the region is the training of the workers. The company could fire everyone 2 months later and move all the workstations to some other poor area where the workers will work for even less money. And do it again two months after that. Who really benefits?
robinism, Mar 16 2005

       This is sad. [-]
froglet, Mar 16 2005

       I agree, that could be one outcome. I guess I was picturing some of the many regions of the world where building factories is not even a remote likelihood due to lack of infrastructure or geography, etc. Also, I think this notion extends to more than just assembly labor. I think this notion supplies the essential component of the economic transaction: The intelligent human interaction. It goes right to the endpoint of the system: A job on offer. I think this might have a "pull" effect in areas that otherwise have no realistic chance of economic activity.
crater, Mar 16 2005

       hey froglet, you might be right...but what if the people can do this via laptop, while drinking a tall latte!!??
crater, Mar 16 2005

       Maybe a chance for women essentially imprisoned in their homes to build up a bank account for their escape?
Ford, Sep 25 2009

       High tech assembly? Sorry, no. Trained assembly workers in the developing world are cheaper than robots. And if you have the robots, you don't need an operator, just an algorithm.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 27 2009


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