Bots

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Almost two years ago AP, the Associated Press, started using robots to write business stories, distributed over the news wire to a myriad of publications. The Los Angeles Times now uses robots to write up the crime beat. Forbes mag is doing the same, getting bots to do reporting. And did you know about one in 10 Wiki entries was not created by a human? Then, of course, there’s Mark.

As you might have surmised, this questionable blog is authentic. There actually is a gnary old nob (albeit with a washboard stomach and rocky pecs) typing this, trying to make a difference by sprinkling financial faery dust over the masses. It’s not working, but that’s irrelevant. The cloud guys report that last year this site was accessed over a hundred million times. But since people are still house-horny, financially illiterate debt-snorflers, the posts will continue. Robots don’t care. I do.

In fact, these days you have to be more careful than ever. Robot cars are coming. Robot financial advisors are already here.

The latest is BeeMo’s SmartFolio, which marks the entry of the big banks into this robo space. There are almost a dozen other companies in the business of providing investors with low-fee, no-advice, auto-rebalancing investing on a discretionary basis. That means clients fill out a simplistic risk-assessment questionnaire and their money’s then invested without consulting them about what securities are purchased, or when.

The thinking is that moist Millennials, who actually don’t trust anybody and think TFSAs are for saving for hardwood, will feel more comfortable handing their money over to an algorithm rather than a person. This logic has been proven in the US, where giants like Schwab and Fidelity have jumped into robo with a vengeance. Odds are all of the Big Five banks here will soon be in the same space, either annihilating or absorbing the existing guys, like WealthSimple, NestWealth or Wealthbar.

Of course, bank-owned robos are there for a reason. To make money. BMO’s putting all of the new moister clients into its own family of ETFs, for example. It’s also hoping when their lives become more complex, they’ll graduate into working with (bank-owned) Nesbitt Burns advisors, who charge far more for the kind of sophisticated, brilliant advice you read here daily, for free.

No doubt, the strategy will work. Lots of kids with small sums to invest and a hate-on for fees (and old humans) have no idea where to start, and are suckers for a clean site with cool charts and blue graphics. A robot is probably a superior choice to [email protected], since at least you won’t end up with a clutch of blood-sucking bank mutual funds. But because every person reading this is different from every other person, a standardized portfolio and no individual tax or strategic advice has limits. So, be careful.

Now, how about robo mortgages? Also on the way. Check out the ad below which surprised a lot of people when they saw it for the first time last week, during that Super Bowl thingy:

Yep, it’s Rocket Mortgage – the creation of Quicken Loans, promising a 10-minute start-to-finish mortgage experience that you can complete on your iPhone. The system is fully automatic, provides a ‘locked-in’ approval of a rate and amount, and can automatically validate your income, job specs, down payment and credit rating. This, of course, is the future of lending. And it scares the crap out of many people.

In fact, following the SB airing, critics were aghast that unfiltered mortgage approvals secured in the same time most guys have a romantic interlude (including the shower) would lead to a new housing bubble. After all, let’s face it. Americans are like us. No discipline when it comes to borrowing. Without some condescending banker dude sitting across the desk asking probing questions and playing money cop, what’s to stop people from dialing up massive debt?

Well, the technology is impressive. Quicken employed more than five hundred software engineers and designers to invent Rocket Mortgage. It completely automates the underwriting and risk analysis function of lending, prices mortgages in real time, validates external documents mined from various databases, assesses the creditworthiness of the guy holding the smart phone, provides a guaranteed rate and allows for e-signatures.

And guess who has the resources in Canada to ape this? You bet. Our banks.

The big bot world is upon us and, like Adele, will be a mixed blessing. Algos never falter or fail. So whenever you get sick of perfection, just come here.

168 comments ↓

#1 balrog on 02.14.16 at 3:52 pm

First!!!

Removed my money few months ago from the market. is it time to go back now? or wait a bit longer.

#2 LH on 02.14.16 at 3:55 pm

This Luddite will smash back any advance of the robots in his little corner of the derivatives market, all to protect his seven figure (USD) pay package.

Robots can be clever but they’re not good for a beer and conversation. Nor JD. Smoking Man would concur.

#3 Pat on 02.14.16 at 3:58 pm

Sometimes I wonder about the human race as a species

#4 H on 02.14.16 at 4:00 pm

Algos are running trading today too Garth. Especially in commodities like oil.

Bots are competing against other bots.

If you don’t believe me, look at Thursday at around 3 pm on the S&P 500.

Just when the S&P was about to break the bottom and collapse, a “tweet” came from WSJ that a cut in oil was coming. From UAE

Instantly the s and p snapped up in a nano second. Tweet has STILL not been confirmed, which means you guessed it, those who chased the “bottom” are about to be creamed in 3 hours. When Asia opens.

All bots, but if you look at the big pictures, like the planet being in recession, earning from people who make cell phones will soon be in question.

And if you dont think there is a global recession coming, then you cant read MAERSK earnings. By the way, the terms “worse than 2008” was used.

#5 Bobs ur uncle on 02.14.16 at 4:01 pm

The mortgage bots will do what they are programmed to do. EG. they would not approve a NINJA loan, unless some jackass at the top tells it to. But at leat with the bot, the jackass can no longer point the finger of blame at his lowly employees for supposedly screwing up by approving the risky loans. Maybe not all bad. Not so hot for the employees tho.

Just waiting for the bots to catch up to my job. Eventually…

#6 daniel of sarnia on 02.14.16 at 4:01 pm

“five hundred software engineers…” I’m a software engineer. Where did you heard that number, Garth? A Web Application like that could easily be done by four senior engineers and one designer in two months. That’s being generous. Or maybe it was contracted out, and that’s what the client was told. It wouldn’t be the first time shenanigans like that were pulled to justify a giant bill.

#7 TurnerNation on 02.14.16 at 4:03 pm

I see this blog is getting some action today.

#8 Russ on 02.14.16 at 4:11 pm

Disclaimer: this comment was too late yesterday due to West Coast time. Appropriate nonetheless.
———————————————

Say What?

“Trudeau is a jerk. A total loser. A pathetic moron. A third-rate talent.”

Donald Trump
==================

Update from Doonesbury.

At last, we made American MSM.

M57BC

#9 Ronaldo on 02.14.16 at 4:14 pm

It’s crossed my mind a couple of times as to whether Mark may be a robot. How can one person be so knowledgeable about everything? Not that I have anything against robots or Mark. I actually enjoy reading his/its posts.

#10 Deb on 02.14.16 at 4:15 pm

The future has found us. And the wonders that technology has provided us, in so many ways, is so powerful that the innate human-to-human relationship has now taken the back seat, in so many ways.

#11 Dylan Althouse on 02.14.16 at 4:19 pm

As a licensed mortgage agent, this has confirmed my new business will be focused on commercial and private lending, not the 5 year fixed crowd.

#12 Barry Elfman on 02.14.16 at 4:19 pm

First!

#13 salmon rear end arm on 02.14.16 at 4:22 pm

ya the bot guy could be like max headroom. but instead of max’s
have the Chief. it would work

#14 Bobby13 on 02.14.16 at 4:22 pm

This is fantastic, A wise immigrant thats been in Canada for a few years is maxing out all he can borrow, then he’s saying if things go bad he’s taking all he can back to Iran, lol awsome, he’s a high income earner so it’ll be a good chunk. How many of these dual citizens are planning this could get interesting.

#15 Russ on 02.14.16 at 4:23 pm

Wierd.
Was the Superbowl video aired as a “flipped negative”?

When I watched the Rocket Mortgage vid the words viewed backwards.

Cheers, R

#16 Herb on 02.14.16 at 4:25 pm

Ah yes, “the power of America” – to implode!

Happy Valentine’s.

#17 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.14.16 at 4:25 pm

Poor Mark.
Just dont get no respect.

#18 Penny Henny on 02.14.16 at 4:26 pm

Mark is a bot.

#19 Rick on 02.14.16 at 4:27 pm

Oh, yeah!!! I’m no. 1.

#20 AdamYVR on 02.14.16 at 4:29 pm

First.

#21 Rick on 02.14.16 at 4:29 pm

Very scary Garth. Very scary. People are worried about a real estate bubble. AI bankers?? Be very afraid:)

#22 meslippery on 02.14.16 at 4:30 pm

So from Fridays post (immigrants willing to do jobs Americans won’t) .
Now robots will do everything else.

#23 Rickeekee on 02.14.16 at 4:30 pm

It’s a little frightening out here Garth. My wife and I have cashed in our GTA principle Rez, purchased 18 yrs ago. Tidy not taxed profit coming, but …. It’s been a while since we’ve invested large in stocks and obtaining objective advice is, well, hard since everyone wants fees. I do not mind paying for good advice. But how do you know your getting it ? I’m devouring financial articles, this blog etc .. Still seems I’m alone in the woods. Any advice where to find proper guidance?
Thx

#24 Dano on 02.14.16 at 4:30 pm

First!? :) …Thank you Garth (Mr. Turner) for years of perspective and helpful foresight – Lethbridge, Ab.

#25 Sammer on 02.14.16 at 4:32 pm

First!

#26 takla on 02.14.16 at 4:32 pm

Algo’s never faulter or fail…and can be preprogrammed like those that dominate the financial tradeing markets…Good thing or we’d be broke.
Ps…can we expect more job elimination for bank employees??

#27 Retired Boomer WI on 02.14.16 at 4:34 pm

Are Robot lenders necessarily bad? We use automated algos to prepare or taxes, some use them to make their budgets.

I prefer low cost broad based INDEX funs for a lot of my investing, like the Total market index, or the S&P. I will also conceded using some ETF’s. I also like dividend paying blue chip stocks, too. Call me old fashioned.

As for borrowing, no don’t need to be there anymore, but never say never either.

I am getting irritated seeing the value to money depreciated by low, and no rates. Hey, what is the sense of saving, and investing? When the Bankers who ostensibly know more than we peons charge us next to nothing to borrow, should we be concerned?

I say dam straight, you should be. But then I am rattled geezer with dun laps disease in the front, no hair in the back, and a prickly attitude.

Despite the lousy current returns, un-straight answers from Bankers the world over, still inflation will one day return. Unlike Duran Duran…

I am in a mood…

#28 just a dude on 02.14.16 at 4:34 pm

I don’t know why but that ad makes me want to hurl.

The technology is awesome but many will no doubt abuse it or let themselves be abused by it by over-extending themselves as so many already have.

Shaking my head in bewilderment. I can’t believe how many people don’t bat an eye at the thought of assuming massive mortgages these days.

#29 AB Boxster on 02.14.16 at 4:38 pm

It seems everyone and everything is at risk of being outsourced or replaced by technology.
The best future jobs will only be the ones that can’t be replaced by bits and bytes. Perhaps sanitation engineer (garbageman) careers won’t be so bad.

Wonder when we are going to rightsource politicians and bureaucracy.
We could outsource the entire Liberal caucus to Germany and the whole civil service to Russia. I expect the Russian civil service does not demand much.

#30 Retired Boomer WI on 02.14.16 at 4:42 pm

Markets are closed tomorrow in the US de to the president’s days holiday.

Tuesday should be a really interesting day on Wall Street.

The bots doing so much of the trading might overheat somewhere during that day. HA!!

#31 Babe Sutherland on 02.14.16 at 4:46 pm

Let’s think of all the funny things we could automate..surprised voting isn’t automated based on our twitter and facebook accounts.

Automate your personal self, hire a robot to live your life for you? Coming in 2025!!

#32 Keith in Calgary on 02.14.16 at 5:02 pm

Given that the last 2 decades of our liberal education system has turned out a nation of 20 somethings incapable of rational thinking and simple skills like basic analysis……..why am I not surprised.

#33 Shawn on 02.14.16 at 5:06 pm

Robots and Jobs

Robots that increase productivity clearly increase total wealth. More stuff and more services per capita are good things.

The issue is going to be how to distribute the wealth.

Will the old model of employment still work? What are the jobs that are NOT capable of being further automated and done by robots of one form or another.

Finding and keeping a well-paying job is not going to be easy.

One thing seems sure. Corporations will earn lots of money.

If labour is going to get less of the spoils then the owners of corporations are likely to get more.

I believe it is absolutely essential to be an owner of corporations. To invest in equities.

If you have equity investments now, that is good keep it up. Don’t sell.

If you are young with no investments it is absolutely essential that you save and put some money into equities year after year. Spread the investments around and keep some in cash and shorter term fixed income by all means.

But do not even think about neglecting to be an owner of equities.

It is still a capitalist market and capitalists will continue to do well.

Be prepared also though for high taxes and income redistribution. The masses who do not own equities are certainly not going to be allowed to starve.

The Republicans are certainly not going to win the white house this year.

Owners of equities will always be richer than non-owners. But they WILL have to share some wealth.

Be not afraid of taxes. They are the price of avoiding a revolution. If the masses are not given a reasonable share of the pie they will revolt.

Long live the Robots, they will ultimately make life better and will make some of us rich as well.

#34 Keith in Calgary on 02.14.16 at 5:09 pm

Forgot to mention this rocket mortgage thing is a joke. Must be a slow news day in the GF HQ.

Every auto dealer has software like Route 1 and Dealer Trsck that has auto approval functiona. You can get your $100K Audi lease approved in 1 minute if your data passes muster.

#35 hope & ruin on 02.14.16 at 5:13 pm

The entertainment based Mark-bot is clearly some 14 year old kid screwing around with open source code in his basement.

But its a good first attempt. I would say Mark-bot is trying to use some machine learning algorithms. Not sure its working for him though.

#36 balrog on 02.14.16 at 5:13 pm

#29 AB Boxster:
It seems everyone and everything is at risk of being outsourced or replaced by technology.
The best future jobs will only be the ones that can’t be replaced by bits and bytes. Perhaps sanitation engineer (garbageman) careers won’t be so bad.

====

It’s even worse. Worked in the IT Industry as a consultant. Everybody knows about outsourcing. Well guess what, “insourcing” is now here and for a couple of years, specially with the big banks here.

Literally, people from other countries are sent over here to work for less. Companies here are discrete. They don’t let people go, they just don’t hire “Native” canadians and get someone else from other countries.

Consequently, hallowing out the middle and upper middle class. In the long term. It’s a blur. IT usually change jobs every a couple of decades. Witness main frame in the 70’s, UNIX in the 80’s to 90’s and Linux and cloud now. Looking at what the job market would be in a couple of years! everything changes so fast.

#37 Rick on 02.14.16 at 5:15 pm

Shawn, I agree with what you said; except for the election of the Dems. However, I didn’t think Canadians were stupid enough to elect T2 (Canadian version of Osama, er Obama):)

#38 Nemesis on 02.14.16 at 5:17 pm

“Algos never falter or fail.” – HonGT

#WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong… #GoWrong… #GoWrong… #GoWrong…

http://youtu.be/EjyOfTEeNHA

#39 For those about to flop... on 02.14.16 at 5:24 pm

We here in B.C had our long weekend last weekend which my co workers used to take the sting out of their Super Bowl hangover.
You guys in the east enjoy your day tomorrow,we could be all on the same day next year as there is a Raymond James advisor petitioning to have it aligned because he had to work last Monday.
Another reason the boss of this blog is the only Raymond James advisor I listen to.

#manup

M41BC

#40 Darryl on 02.14.16 at 5:25 pm

It’s like a Terminator movie . Just a little different. Weapons of financial mass destruction taking away jobs
But don’t worry if this seems boring . The real Terminators cant be far behind.

Join the resistance . Hug your nice bank lady today.

#41 conan on 02.14.16 at 5:28 pm

I wonder how long til they develop an app that will customize insurance solutions? My gig is over then.

Robo- mortgages are here. Robo- banking will be here quicker then you can say “wow we are all f’d”.
No reason why Apple or Facebook can not enter the commercial banking industry and take it over just like Uber did to the taxi industry.

#42 Mark on 02.14.16 at 5:29 pm

“Then, of course, there’s Mark.”

Lol. Hilarious!

But on a more serious note, you do make a good point about these ‘robo-advisors’ or even robotic mortgage approvals exposing a ‘common mode’ flaw in capital allocation. They’re all backwards-looking, meaning that they will generally only seek to replicate strategies and valuations that have occurred in the past, but probably won’t, on account of mean reversion, work very well in the future.

This is the sort of logical framework which has most investors these days only investing in the stuff which has worked so well in the near past. But historically the fortunes of the richest people in the world don’t last forever — the rich get so ensconced in their own personal bubbles of success and previous creation of value that they fail to realize that the fundamentals for their investments have deteriorated dramatically.

The ‘balanced portfolio’ is one of the few defenses available against this. But very few of the mega-rich or highly successful of contemporary times are balanced at all.

#43 learningfromyou on 02.14.16 at 5:29 pm

Thank Garth for your daily blog.

Days ago some people on this blog did not believe the mentioned level of automation, how many mortgage writers will end on the streets after these 500 tuned their algorithms.

While visiting the banks I already noticed than in most cases they do not have any decision power, they just followed the screens putting data on them. So the way was already half asphalted for this new step.It’s a matter of time.

Every repetitive task will be removed from our hands.

It’s not about future, it’s about numbers, I’m personally uncertain about the future.

#44 BC_Doc on 02.14.16 at 5:32 pm

If Vanguard Canada had a bot, I would recommend it to my colleagues who are too uninformed (lazy) to do it themselves.

#45 lee on 02.14.16 at 5:37 pm

How exactly does a robot write a news story? Doesn’t someone have to input the details like who hit the Home Run or who bombed whom?

#46 Capt. Obvious on 02.14.16 at 5:45 pm

If Vanguard Canada had a bot, I would recommend it to my colleagues who are too uninformed (lazy) to do it themselves.

Seconded.

And ha-ha quicken loans. At the root of some of the bad nasty sure-to-default mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis Quicken was right there. Ominous.

#47 Chris in Nanaimo on 02.14.16 at 5:48 pm

Public (Mens) service announcment.

There’s Valentines Day, and then there’s March 14th (Google it).

Spread the word men especially to your ladies.

You’re welcome. (Not that some if us need a special date….)

#48 For those about to flop... on 02.14.16 at 5:50 pm

Professional golfers live charmed lives but even robots are after their jobs…

M41BC

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=14718604

#49 V Man on 02.14.16 at 5:54 pm

V day “should I stay or should I go” algorithm:

http://s.mlive.com/mVRVXqD

#50 BS on 02.14.16 at 5:57 pm

In fact, following the SB airing, critics were aghast that unfiltered mortgage approvals secured in the same time most guys have a romantic interlude (including the shower) would lead to a new housing bubble. After all, let’s face it. Americans are like us. No discipline when it comes to borrowing. Without some condescending banker dude sitting across the desk asking probing questions and playing money cop, what’s to stop people from dialing up massive debt?

Lets face this system is safer for lenders than the current one. Right now a mortgage broker just inputs the data into a computer which gives a “yes” or “no”. If it is a “no” the commissioned mortgage broker tries to figure out what to manipulate in order to get a “yes”.

Broker: Sorry sir I just need a letter stating your income is $20,000 higher.

Customer: But that is not my income.

Broker: I understand, but can you get a letter? I just need to check the box I saw a letter with that income.

Computers don’t get paid commission nor do they have sales targets to meet. If was the lender holding the bag I would rather have the computer do the screening.

#51 BS on 02.14.16 at 6:16 pm

Shawn on 02.14.16 at 5:06 pm

Robots and Jobs

Robots that increase productivity clearly increase total wealth. More stuff and more services per capita are good things.

The issue is going to be how to distribute the wealth.

Will the old model of employment still work? What are the jobs that are NOT capable of being further automated and done by robots of one form or another.

Finding and keeping a well-paying job is not going to be easy.

One thing seems sure. Corporations will earn lots of money.

100% correct. Technology is quickly changing efficiencies in everything. You want to be someone who can take advantage of those efficiencies, not oppose them. That can be done by owning equities, but also by owning your own company that can have a huge competitive advantage if you utilize technology.

So many Millennials come on here whining about the disadvantage they have. In fact they have a huge advantage. They should understand technology much better than Boomers and even Gen Xers. They should be able to create new companies that are more efficient using technology. Boomers right now are running businesses that have brick and mortar offices, use the yellow pages and print advertising to gain customers and don’t understand technology. They have massive overhead and inefficiencies which are easy to take market share from if you are someone who understands how to use technology.

#52 juno on 02.14.16 at 6:25 pm

Outsourcing and automation. I love it…

This is the new future. Autoready happening in the IT industry. Accountants too (with quick tax etc)

Next on the list is investment advisor, mortgage brokers and eventually Real Estate agent, only if they gave up the books. But this will happen, especially with all the crap they been doing recently.

It not hard to replace, you already can walk through a house virtually. Only one last piece is a complete data bank of house for sale. But most of that is already in place so the finally step is having an agency to finalize the transaction.

At the end of the day the only jobs left is walmart greeters

#53 Mocha on 02.14.16 at 6:27 pm

#8 Russ

I wouldn’t be surprised if some lefties in the MSM take that fictional quote and treat it like it was actually said. There is no depth to which they will not sink in their hatred of the man.

#54 Doug t on 02.14.16 at 6:29 pm

Get use to it peeps. It won’t be long till its a cashless society as well – control is what it’s all about. I don’t like it but that’s whats coming. I’ve been doing a little exercise for four weeks now – every pay I take a set amount of cash to live on for that week – I have actually stopped a few times when grocery shopping and said to myself ” hmmm no don’t need it and I only have this amount of cash” – haven’t used any cards in four weeks. Haven’t made useless purchases as I feel more connected to my money – it’s quite a feeling actually. I feel more accountable – less consumer driven and aware.

#55 Smartalox on 02.14.16 at 6:38 pm

I’m not a robot without emotions. I’m not what you see
I’ve come to help you with your problems, so we can be free
I’m not a hero, I’m not the saviour, forget what you know
I’m just a man whose circumstances went beyond his control

Beyond his control.

Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
For doing the jobs that nobody wants to
And thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
For helping me escape just when I needed to
Thank you, thank you, thank you
I want to thank you, please, thank you

The problem’s plain to see:
Too much technology
Machines to save our lives.
Machines dehumanize.

Domo Arigato, Mister Roboto!

#56 SunShowers on 02.14.16 at 6:41 pm

There’s a saying in the programming world.

“Computers don’t make mistakes, but they execute yours perfectly.”

Bots are only as good as the dude who wrote their code, and while there are plenty of damn good coders, nobody’s perfect, and there are just as many damn good black hats out there.

I look forward to the inevitable wave of new and innovative exploits that this will bring.

#57 Rick on 02.14.16 at 6:42 pm

I was talking to a small business owner this weekend. He told me if he could affordably replace his staff with AI; he would do it. How much do you tip a Bot??

#58 Visitor Number 9 on 02.14.16 at 6:48 pm

Today’s Stock Market Report:

Helium was up, feathers were down.
Paper was stationery.
Fluorescent tubing was dimmed in light trading.
Knives were up sharply.
Cows steered into a bull market.
Pencils lost a few points.
Hiking equipment was trailing.
Elevators rose, while escalators continued their slow decline.
Weights were up in heavy trading.
Light switches were off.
Mining equipment hit rock bottom.
Diapers remained unchanged.
Shipping lines stayed at an even keel.
The market for raisins dried up.
Coca Cola fizzled.
Caterpillar stock inched up a bit.
The Sun peaked at midday.
Balloon prices were inflated.
Scott Tissue touched a new bottom.
And batteries exploded in an attempt to recharge the market.

#59 meslippery on 02.14.16 at 6:51 pm

Robots do not get paid or spend money.

#60 For those about to flop... on 02.14.16 at 6:54 pm

I would not be surprised to find out one day that Stephen Harper was a robot.Cold ,emotionless and robots can play musical instruments too…
I am politically equidistant, so everyone is fair game.
In other words Mamabot Daisy Mae no need to respond I did your job for you.
Now wheel over and give Markbot a clip around ears for me.

M41BC

#61 NoName on 02.14.16 at 7:01 pm

Ultimate showdown litlle cizers sign spinners Robot vs Human.

#62 meslippery on 02.14.16 at 7:04 pm

#36 bolrog
Perhaps sanitation engineer (garbageman) careers won’t be so bad.
————-
Thing is in the 1970s a sanitation engineer made $200.00
per week (what did a house in Toronto cost then).
Now what do sanitation engineers make? and what do
homes cost?

#63 Bobs ur uncle on 02.14.16 at 7:04 pm

#45 lee on 02.14.16 at 5:37 pm
How exactly does a robot write a news story? Doesn’t someone have to input the details like who hit the Home Run or who bombed whom?

****

See here for an example.

http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/05/20/406484294/an-npr-reporter-raced-a-machine-to-write-a-news-story-who-won

Humans can do it better, but computers are cheaper. And they don’t ask for holidays or overtime. Race to the bottom.

I agree with 33 Shawn about being an owner. Worker bees are going to get the shaft (even more).

#64 Metaxa on 02.14.16 at 7:24 pm

Mocha on 02.14.16 at 6:27 pm
#53 Mocha writes:

#8 Russ

I wouldn’t be surprised if some lefties in the MSM take that fictional quote and treat it like it was actually said. There is no depth to which they will not sink in their hatred of the man.

I’m not certain why the original post but Trump, in fact, did say that.
Its just that he said it about Gary Trudeau, a cartoonist in the US.

Very curious righty logic fart there to be able to use it to take a shot at lefties.

#65 hope & ruin on 02.14.16 at 7:38 pm

So I can get robots to drive my car, balance my portfolio, give me a mortgage, replace me at my job but I still have to get out of my car in minus 30C weather to put gas in my tank? Something isnt adding up.

#66 Chester Frankenvestor on 02.14.16 at 7:44 pm

Further proof that the Obama Attack on Oil-Canada and Fiscal responsibility, the phony climate change idiocy, will end the second he’s out the door. Our Baby PM will look like a fool, but people do elect fools in Canada, eh Wynnie Ontarions?

http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/lawrence-solomon-its-game-over-for-global-warming-activists

If you think anything is written in stone, including Obama’s manipulation of the energy space, is going to last, yer nutz. It is only Americans respect of the office of president, not the president himself, that has kept Obama in power. Anywhere else he would have been lynched by now.

All the wars and strife that Obama has created, like the dead Syrian baby on the beach, are all Obama. Celebrate the fact the this bozo is gone soon. The global economy will return to normal. The global markets are already gearing up for the event.

#67 NoName on 02.14.16 at 7:45 pm

WTФ

“Rising house prices across much of England mean a government scheme to help buyers of newbuild property may have made more than £200m for the Treasury in its first two-and-a-half years.
The help-to-buy equity loan scheme gives buyers an interest-free loan for five years in return for a percentage stake in their property. When the home is sold, the buyer returns the same percentage of the sale price, meaning that any fall or rise in house prices affects the return.”

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/feb/15/help-to-buy-loan-scheme-nets-treasury-213m-in-paper-profit

#68 james on 02.14.16 at 7:46 pm

“Well, the technology is impressive. Quicken employed more than five hundred software engineers and designers to invent Rocket Mortgage”

What?

It doesn’t follow from the size of the workforce that the end result is ‘impressive’.

CGI used hundreds of people and 50 different subcontractors to ‘build’ the Obamacare health insurance website. (I say ‘build’ because they mucked it up and had to get a team of Silicon Valley volunteers to bail them out).

Our teams for Maps, TensorFlow, APIs for researchers to do genomics on the cloud are tiny compared to what Quicken was deploying. Yet they are far more complex products. 500 people is probably on the order of the Windows NT team. Yikes. What on earth did they require so many people for?

And no, I don’t believe Canadian banks are capable of executing large software projects. They have been coddled for far too long, insulated from true competitive pressures in the marketplace.

PS: Stop ripping off names of US offerings. WealthSimple? really? That’s a tiny distance from WealthFront.

#69 Chester Frankenvestor on 02.14.16 at 7:47 pm

Oh, and G, the guy who builds the robots profits. In my trade, the people I replaced with technological innovations fought like mad to keep their giant stacks of paper and physical presence in the workplace. With a few lines of code I showed them all a brave new world of unemployment.

#70 james on 02.14.16 at 7:52 pm

#41

“I wonder how long til they develop an app that will customize insurance solutions? My gig is over then.”

I’d bet there are such things. My favorite example of a truly cool company doing interesting work is The Climate Corporation, which is used by a variety of companies (including cooperatives) to estimate risk on various insurance products. Too bad they were purchased by Monsanto.

One would expect that a lot of actuarial work can be automated. Even worse, automated contract negotiation is increasingly popular. Exchanges for bespoke (but automated) insurance contracts are probably in the near future.

#71 Smoking Man on 02.14.16 at 7:55 pm

Talk about robot.

Went sking @ holidayvally today. Deside to warm up on the biggener hill.

After two runs I was done. Hurt everywhere .

The bar was good.

Fk getting older sucks. Altho I’m only in my mid 50s so really it’s not my body’s fault.

The rebellious brain which keeps chosing self-destruction over preserve life to the last old breath.

I have issues.

I’m walking like a robot now.

#72 Daisy Mae on 02.14.16 at 7:58 pm

#54: “I’ve been doing a little exercise for four weeks now – every pay I take a set amount of cash to live on for that week – I have actually stopped a few times when grocery shopping and said to myself ” hmmm no don’t need it and I only have this amount of cash” – haven’t used any cards in four weeks. Haven’t made useless purchases as I feel more connected to my money – it’s quite a feeling actually. I feel more accountable – less consumer driven and aware.”

*****************

Is it possible…and wouldn’t it be wonderful taking back control?

#73 Daisy Mae on 02.14.16 at 8:02 pm

#59: “Robots do not get paid or spend money.”

******************

LOL Good point. If everyone is unemployed, losing their jobs to robots…how does the economy function?

#74 Smoking Man on 02.14.16 at 8:05 pm

100 million views on GF I believe it. My shit blog which I only use as an extension of my creativity hit 100k all time this month. I post lie 3 times a month.

90% of the traffic redirect from GF

Garths pathetic blog has reach no doubt about that.

#75 Chester Frankenvestor on 02.14.16 at 8:12 pm

You have to wonder why the ‘moral suasion’ and lip service to a lower loon ‘by any means’ has been so pervasive out of the BOC?

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/danes-show-negative-rates-good-to-weaken-currency-but-bad-to-stimulate-economy

Poloz’ mumbling about a negative rate environment has been proven to be nothing but a currency killer while doing nothing to generate any economic reaction. For the Trudeau Liberals to support this is treason. Do you think an economy of sheet changers and toilet scubbers is what you’ll want to leave for your children?

#76 Smoking Man on 02.14.16 at 8:14 pm

Dogs meet Blythe Barrington

http://clapway.com/2016/02/12/nasa-lying-meteorite-india-cover-aliens/

#77 Yuus bin Haad on 02.14.16 at 8:14 pm

Everybody seems OK with the robo PM.

#78 Bram on 02.14.16 at 8:23 pm

For a second I thought “What?? Mark is a robot!”

But no, not buying that at all.
If chat bots got that advanced, I would have read about a robot passing the turing test, and winning big prize money at competitions.

It would explain his blind spot causing him not to see that market mix is not faking higher prices.

I do have another theory though:
Mark account was created for a sociology/psychology experiment: keep repeating invalid statements until ‘the group’ accepts it as true.

#79 45north on 02.14.16 at 8:24 pm

Yep, it’s Rocket Mortgage – the creation of Quicken Loans, promising a 10-minute start-to-finish mortgage experience that you can complete on your iPhone.

we’re on the eve of the biggest housing bubble bust. Vancouver house prices are up 30% July 2014 to July 2015. This year it looks like 50%. fifty percent!

if you’re a bank what could go wrong with bot lending? Let’s see:

In the fall of 2010, major U.S. lenders such as JP Morgan Chase,[10] Ally Financial (formerly known as GMAC), and Bank of America[11] suspended judicial and non-judicial foreclosures across the United States over the potentially fraudulent practice of robo-signing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_foreclosure_crisis

legal proceedings sometimes end up in court. At which point your $10,000 a day lawyers have to explain bot lending in front of a real judge who could well rule against you. Creating a precedent and endangering your mortgage portfolio.

the bank registers a mortgage against the title. bot lending endangers this process.

Garth please don’t forward my email on to the big Canadian banks. they’re just going to pester me for consulting contracts.

#80 Mark on 02.14.16 at 8:26 pm

“Poloz’ mumbling about a negative rate environment has been proven to be nothing but a currency killer while doing nothing to generate any economic reaction.”

Correlation isn’t causality. If rates go negative in Canada, the currency should go up, as lending will come to a significant crawl as people will hoard cash instead of lending it at an interest rate of less than zero percent (adjusted for risk). The absence of lending is profoundly deflationary, and deflation pushes up the value of the Canadian dollar.

The major correlation that has been driving down the CAD$ (and driving it up as of late) has been that of crude oil. Not monetary policy.

As for claiming that lowering rates would be treason, nothing could be further from the truth. Lower policy rates are needed on account of the deflation that is unfolding on account of falling housing prices across Canada. Higher policy rates at this point would truncate economic output, and enflame an already expensive cost of capital situation for Canadian businesses. Inflation is not only completely under control, but on account of the deflationary forces in the Canadian economy, is actually beneath targets. With the Canadian dollar only losing 1.6% of its value in the past year against a targeted loss of 2%.

#81 Bots - Realties.ca on 02.14.16 at 8:32 pm

[…] Source: http://www.greaterfool.ca/2016/02/14/bots/ […]

#82 Smoking Man on 02.14.16 at 8:39 pm

#73 Daisy Mae on 02.14.16 at 8:02 pm
#59: “Robots do not get paid or spend money.”

******************

LOL Good point. If everyone is unemployed, losing their jobs to robots…how does the economy function?
..

You got to ask your self this question. 60 family’s own 1/2 the world’s wealth.

Now robots are going to make even more people usless eaters..

So you got billions of pissed off people connected via the web.

How do you think that going turn out for you and your kids.

Attention my CSIS handlers. That includes your familys too.

In fact my FBI NSA CIA mossad watchers that’s your kids too.

You too MF all the shit you where fed at summer camp is bullshit.

You ain’t high enough on the food chain for protection.

#83 Chris in Nanaimo on 02.14.16 at 8:41 pm

#71 Smoking Man

Weight lifting….best exercise you can do….lift heavy shit off the floor.

Increases lean muscle mass and bone density….the two things you lose as you age….

Not abusing your body with JD’s helps as well…..

#84 Setting the Record Straight on 02.14.16 at 8:53 pm

@69

Oh, and G, the guy who builds the robots profits. In my trade, the people I replaced with technological innovations fought like mad to keep their giant stacks of paper and physical presence in the workplace. With a few lines of code I showed them all a brave new world of unemployment.

&&&&&&
I looking forward to the Bots that write the code and show the code writers a brave new world.

#85 Smoking Man on 02.14.16 at 8:53 pm

The fabulous 4 nectonites sent her 50 years ago to destroy humanity can’t let this cancer spread to the stars.

We integrated picked up a few bad habits along the way.

We ain’t going to kill you..

It would be like killing your dog.

4 of us committed to saving you bastards from yourselves. Do you have any idea how much shit we are in back home for not following orders.

Ucc saying get off your ass and finish the book for all that you love about this world..

It’s humanitys last chance.

So the entire human race depens on my work ethic.

It’s not looking good for humanity at this moment. See how shit turns out in Syria.

#86 Bram on 02.14.16 at 8:54 pm

Smoking Man:
I post lie 3 times a month.

Freudian slip?
I thought those wild forex tales were a bit tall.

#87 zentao on 02.14.16 at 8:55 pm

But that is artisan loans, Garth…

https://vimeo.com/57162151

#88 Entrepreneur on 02.14.16 at 8:59 pm

Robot conversation on Valentines, must mean something. Will robots celebrate valentines, Christmas, etc.; will they vote and pay taxes; will they get married, have babies, maybe eventually buy a house. If not then we are being replaced, and since we are being replace, can we get a percentage of the robots wages? After all we are the voters.

Trump might get in after all.

#89 For those about to flop... on 02.14.16 at 9:06 pm

Mark# 80
With the Canadian dollar only losing 1.6% of its value in the past year against a targeted loss of 2%.
//////////////////////////////

Yeah great, thanks for proving Brams point on cue.
Also your credibility went down 81% last year from a targeted loss of 2%
Daisy Mae….slap harder…

M41BC

#90 tundra pete on 02.14.16 at 9:13 pm

At least a bot may be worth consideration. Unlike many humans. Some humans may become psychotic as there is no one to argue and fight with. They would just have to watch another dancing with the stars.

Most corporations would become 100% efficient. Imagine wally world. You would cruise through the shelves stocked by automation, cruise through the gender neutral cashless associate then through another gender neutral wally world greeter that would scan everything and off to the parking lot to get into your driverless car.

Imagine how pissed off you would be by not being able to bitch at all that automation that didn’t piss you off. You would feel like just screaming at that stupid driver in your car but there wouldn’t be one. Then you would get home to check for a job but there aren’t any. The future is so bright.

#91 blogdog# 8547 on 02.14.16 at 9:13 pm

“a clutch of blood-sucking bank mutual funds”

aka, the financial Zika virus!

#92 TRON on 02.14.16 at 9:20 pm

There is an upside to automation and robotics if you are willing to change how you view your ‘work’.

Automation drives down costs of goods and in the end the consumer wins. However, automation also makes many jobs obsolete.

Now is the time to consider other options for income and not when you get replaced by R2D2.

The gig economy is a great place to start. What can you do for somebody else in the world that they will pay you for? Can you write well? Can you design or consult for people in emerging economies where the expertise is limited?

The job future is bleak unless you have a trade that can’t be automated. Homes will be built in factories by robots and ordered online. Electricians, carpenters, drywallers and plumbers may be sitting at home wondering what happened.

Time to start thinking because ‘we’re not in Kansas anymore’

#93 acdel on 02.14.16 at 9:21 pm

I would suspect that your washboard stomach and rocky pecs is part of the scotch/whiskey illusion that comes to most of us at a certain part of the evening, looking in the mirror, wishing that it was true,ha,ha!

Hey Garth, I think it is fair to say that we are thankful that you are not a bot and appreciative of these helpful blogs that you provide.

#94 the Jaguar on 02.14.16 at 9:25 pm

‘How Sweet it is”, as Marvin used to sing. I would agree with #56 Sunshowers wholeheartedly.

Computers don’t make mistakes, but humans not only make them, they often make them on purpose, hoping they can get away with it. Get that mortgage ‘APP’! Do it today. Giddy Up! Instant approval – WOW! Sure hope you didn’t lie about or overstate your income. Hope you can prove it and all the other details of your instant approval exactly the way the computer wants you to or…”WHOOOPS!” Did you make a mistake? And waived your conditions on the sale? Recognize that properties in Woodbridge, Ontario are hot, hot hot, but……Unfortunate. Sorry, but the computer only gave you that approval based on the information you gave it. If you screwed up not the computers problem. Your mistake is your problem. Computer has an electronic record of your lies and mistakes, so there can be no ‘he said, she said bullshit’. If there is any problem pretty sure you will need to rectify with a distant customer service agent after being on hold for two hours who won’t have the authority or understanding to solve your problem because it isn’t in the script she/he has been given that morning. . Oh…and those silly cell phone problems on your credit bureau? Or the ones related to your messy divorce? Computer doesn’t care about your busy or sordid personal life. It doesn’t just know how to say ‘yes’, it knows how to say ‘no’. Brace for landing if you have a touchy ego. Don’t get mad or feel hurt. It was only a machine that said “F.O”, not a real person. Just a computer. Don’t be offended that there was no opportunity to take your very real personal circumstances into account or see you as an ‘individual’. A person. A human being. Not necessary. That’s why you chose the computer, right?
A quick glance at the landscape of [email protected] (all of them) will confirm most are under the age of 30. If they get put out of a job Boomers might want to start fluffing the pillows in their musty basements. Baby needs to move home again. Out of a job.
One wonders where it all will end? First the manufacturing jobs were tossed. (Goodbye Ford, GM, etc). Retail is in a death spiral thanks to Amazon, etc.
Oil & gas is on its knees after keeping the entire country going for years. With little thanks, only schadenfreude. Tech jobs that might have naturally grativated to the lower mainland of BC have kept their distance due to the sky high housing costs. And now the service and financial sector will be hollowed out. ( Guess where all those jobs are headquartered you Toronto blog dogs)? If you need to discuss any issues about your insurance or banking your representative in the call centre in another country is waiting by the phone for your call. Labour is cheaper there, or didn’t you know that? Happy Valentine’s Day.

#95 NoName on 02.14.16 at 9:27 pm

#45

its easy spred sheet is back bone, https://automatedinsights.com/

watch this
We live in a world run by algorithms, computer programs that make decisions or solve problems for us. In this riveting, funny talk, Kevin Slavin shows how modern algorithms determine stock prices, espionage tactics, even the movies you watch. But, he asks: If we depend on complex algorithms to manage our daily decisions — when do we start to lose control?

https://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_slavin_how_algorithms_shape_our_world?language=en

#96 prairie person on 02.14.16 at 9:37 pm

House prices in Victoria keep rising. Houses now are selling within days of putting out a sign. And there may not be any great influx of HAM but friends of mine followed Garth’s advice and put their house up for sale. The first and immediate offer was from someone from Mainland China. A leak does not a flood create and that incident is the only one I can confirm. But my neighbour tells me that six houses on one street have been bought by people from Mainland China. Not Chinese Canadians. I haven’t had a chance to confirm that. It has made me start to think about selling but selling isn’t so simple when you have four decades in a city. And rentals are just about non-existent. Do I really want to move to Calgary? Wear a cowboy hat and boots? BBQ with big Steve? Live in a neighbourhood where my house is the only one without a for sale sign on it? I dunno.

#97 Smoking Man on 02.14.16 at 9:52 pm

Message to my hybrid kids.
https://youtu.be/wJVpihgwE18

#98 Fzzzz on 02.14.16 at 10:06 pm

Sounds like Dan Gilbert will be buying the rest of downtown Detroit now.

#99 Leo Trollstoy on 02.14.16 at 10:09 pm

And did you know about one in 10 Wiki entries was not created by a human? Then, of course, there’s Mark.

lol poor walmark

#100 Leo Trollstoy on 02.14.16 at 10:11 pm

WalMark can’t get a job with human hr forget about robot hr. unemployed forever. lol

#101 Keith in Calgary on 02.14.16 at 10:11 pm

Filled up the wife’s Kia today with regular gas………65.8 cents a litre……….in 2008 I don’t think gas wasn’t that cheap here in Calgary.

Didn’t buy any red or white meat in the grocery store today…….just tuna and chicken.

Bought smaller quantities of everything we normally use. Going to a system of if we run out, we have run out until next week’s grocery run, TP being the one exception.

Reduced out food budget by 30% thru running the numbers every week for a month. Have stopped eating out like we used to. Sending our cash out of the country every two weeks instead of every six month now.

#102 Leo Trollstoy on 02.14.16 at 10:15 pm

poloz had no choice. oil going into the gutter and taking the economy with it. ndp and liberals inheriting the reputation of crap economies. cpc enjoying the show. bumbardier a crap run business. inflation completely under control. vancouver and toronto RE prices still on course for the moon. CAD at 72c USD as I predicted 2 yrs ago. life is good.

#103 Love my Kia on 02.14.16 at 10:17 pm

Yes you do care!

Its why I keep coming back for your sage advice on financial responsibility and affordable housing.

Where the stock market is headed though, hmmph.

Congrats on the hits!

#104 Ronaldo on 02.14.16 at 10:20 pm

#52 Juno

”At the end of the day the only jobs left is walmart greeters”

Not really. They have that already. Check this out.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/robot-starts-work-as-greeter-at-japanese-department-store-1.3040753

#105 cyclist on 02.14.16 at 10:24 pm

Robots and now this!

http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/02/news/motorized-cheating-case-moves-forward_395125

#106 Larry Laffer on 02.14.16 at 10:39 pm

@Mark #42
[…] exposing a ‘common mode’ flaw in capital allocation. They’re all backwards-looking, meaning that they will generally only seek to replicate strategies and valuations that have occurred in the past, but probably won’t, on account of mean reversion, work very well in the future.

Isn’t that exactly what a passive index fund is doing as well?

#107 Ronaldo on 02.14.16 at 10:47 pm

#56 Sun Showers

”Bots are only as good as the dude who wrote their code, and while there are plenty of damn good coders, nobody’s perfect, and there are just as many damn good black hats out there.”

A coder that I worked with once told me that you never create a perfect program. Otherwise, you work yourself out of a job. I guess they need you to come back to them to fix the problems. $$$$$$

#108 Ronaldo on 02.14.16 at 10:51 pm

#58 Visitor Number 9 on 02.14.16 at 6:48 pm

”And gold went into a slow melt”

#109 Joe2.0 on 02.14.16 at 10:57 pm

Cut to.
Negative interest rates.
And then more QE.
It’s a sheeple trap.
Devaluing everything and raising taxes.

#110 gladiator on 02.14.16 at 10:58 pm

Then, I guess we made a good choice by sending our 9 year-old daughter to robotics classes… I guess the future jobs are in developing/building/programming robots that will replace humans in many parts of the job market.
She already came up with an idea for a library robot that will put the returned books back on shelves. Too bad there is already a robot for that, but she keeps coming up with more ideas of how robots would make our life easier. Of course, that means more lost jobs for someone else, but I am happy she is on the tech side of the fence. Job security for my girl, I guess.

#111 Bram on 02.14.16 at 11:04 pm

January, month over month housing price changes:

Vancouver +0.85%
Calgary -0.72%
Toronto -0.17%
Canada -0.09%

I guess no longer a tale of YVR+YYZ versus rest of Canada, but now YVR and the rest of Canada.

http://www.housepriceindex.ca/default.aspx

#112 Julie K. on 02.14.16 at 11:07 pm

Bot husbands/wives coming to a dating site near you.

#113 Mark on 02.14.16 at 11:12 pm

“Isn’t that exactly what a passive index fund is doing as well?”

To some extent, yes. If everyone were to index, and blindly chase the same stocks, then there would be significant parts of the economy that are not contained within the indices that would be starved for capital. These sectors are those that would likely outperform. So ironically, indexing probably only works if a relatively limited subset of investors are using it, essentially free-riding on the price-discovery and capital allocation mechanism of the broader market.

Troll, please get checked for mental illness ASAP.

#114 Ronaldo on 02.14.16 at 11:36 pm

Remember when they used to tell us that computers would be the end of paper. Maybe not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPsaBuBGH3E

#115 Ab on 02.14.16 at 11:37 pm

hey and thank you fir reading my add .
i am a single male i work and i make fairly good money, i would like to buy a house and for sure i can affored the mortgage payment,.
the issue is i fo have a bad credit and i dont inow what i can do in this case so any help will be appriciated
thank you again ,

#116 steerage steward on 02.14.16 at 11:58 pm

More HAM on the way.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/business/dealbook/chinese-start-to-lose-confidence-in-their-currency.html

#117 drydock on 02.14.16 at 11:58 pm

#73 Daisy Mae on 02.14.16 at 8:02 pm
#59: “Robots do not get paid or spend money.”

******************

LOL Good point. If everyone is unemployed, losing their jobs to robots…how does the economy function?
..

You got to ask your self this question. 60 family’s own 1/2 the world’s wealth.

Now robots are going to make even more people usless eaters..

So you got billions of pissed off people connected via the web.

How do you think that going turn out for you and your kids.

Attention my CSIS handlers. That includes your familys too.

In fact my FBI NSA CIA mossad watchers that’s your kids too.

You too MF all the shit you where fed at summer camp is bullshit.

You ain’t high enough on the food chain for protection.

0101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101

I’m going to buy a yzr 250cc 2 stroke and seek out trout in the bush.
Especially brookies.

#118 Joe2.0 on 02.15.16 at 12:02 am

Transhumanism, check it out.

#119 kommykim on 02.15.16 at 12:49 am

What an ironic joke! Robo mortgages are going to create jobs for woodworkers? Jobs that have already been taken over by automation a long time ago.
The people on the exercise bikes reminded me of the Black Mirror episode “Fifteen Million Merits”.

#120 kommykim on 02.15.16 at 1:06 am

RE:

#29 AB Boxster on 02.14.16 at 4:38 pm
We could outsource the entire Liberal caucus to Germany and the whole civil service to Russia

Yea, outsource the personal information about all Canadians to Russia. What could go wrong?

#121 Ponzius Pilatus on 02.15.16 at 1:22 am

Woody Allen had robots working for him 40 years ago.
So what’s the news?

#122 Ponzius Pilatus on 02.15.16 at 1:38 am

#110 gladiator on 02.14.16 at 10:58 pm
Then, I guess we made a good choice by sending our 9 year-old daughter to robotics classes… I guess the future jobs are in developing/building/programming robots that will replace humans in many parts of the job market.
She already came up with an idea for a library robot that will put the returned books back on shelves. Too bad there is already a robot for that, but she keeps coming up with more ideas of how robots would make our life easier. Of course, that means more lost jobs for someone else, but I am happy she is on the tech side of the fence. Job security for my girl, I guess.
—————-
Sorry buddy, but there’s already a bot waiting to take her job.
Best for her to become a binner or a bum.
No bot will steep that low.
Can’t stop progress.

#123 Future Expatriate on 02.15.16 at 1:50 am

And the upside to Adele is….. !?!?!?!?

#124 Brazil ex-pat on 02.15.16 at 1:50 am

What a great day for “told ya so’s”

-30 in the east – no global warming

15 countries now with negative interest rates

And Coast to Coast AM doing a show about how the Canadian Government is being sued for not issuing interest free money and making the bankers rich rich rich.

What a year this is going to be.

#125 Brazil ex-pat on 02.15.16 at 2:14 am

Oh yes….and they are discussing the SCAM of the Zika Virus. I am in Brazil. And it is a SCAM.

Told ya so…..

#126 Bytor the Snow Dog on 02.15.16 at 8:54 am

@112 Julia- Wife bots will be easy as men are really simple creatures. All men really need is a wife to keep them fed and fu*ked.

To create a husband bot will be nearly impossible as no one has yet to figure out what women want and the formula for fried ice hasn’t been invented yet.

#127 Doug in Bangaluru (Bangalore), India, not London on 02.15.16 at 8:55 am

As I read this blog, written by a person and not a robot, and while enjoying the warm weather here I often wonder. If more and more jobs are being lost to automation, who’s going to have the income to continue to pay outrageous prices for houses, especially in markets like Toronto and Vancouver? Yes, I assure you this post was written with the aid of a computer, but not by one.

#128 Hope & Change (Canada) on 02.15.16 at 8:58 am

The future is about owning the robots, not fixing or even programming them.

#129 Herb on 02.15.16 at 8:58 am

#74 SM

“90% of the traffic redirect from GF”

Which is why you keep polluting his blog with your gong show, as I told you years ago.

#130 Rick on 02.15.16 at 9:01 am

With no jobs, and robots doing what work humans once did; can “wagefloor” or “mincome” be far behind? Those unprepared, be ready to live on the scraps your government gives you:)

#131 Herb on 02.15.16 at 9:06 am

#66 Chester Frankenvestor,

which Conservative robowriter are you?

Used to be able to identify the normal Neandercon trolls by the repetition of their moderate comments. Now it’s even easier because of the outrageous handles under which their outrageous nonsense is posted.

#132 Kuti Janani on 02.15.16 at 9:11 am

https://youtu.be/7Pq-S557XQU

#133 Evangeline on 02.15.16 at 9:31 am

#68 “CGI used hundreds of people and 50 different subcontractors to ‘build’ the Obamacare health insurance website. (I say ‘build’ because they mucked it up and had to get a team of Silicon Valley volunteers to bail them out). ”

Obamacare Website Costs Exceed $2 Billion, Study Finds
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-09-24/obamacare-website-costs-exceed-2-billion-study-finds

Two billion is 2000 million. The USA population is ~323 million. Obama could have given every American over a million dollars to pay for their health care and that would have cost less than what it cost to build the still-malfunctioning web site.

#134 braziiiila bride on 02.15.16 at 9:32 am

ya Brazil is the bees knees
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-15/brazil-s-5-500-bankruptcies-in-2015-signal-deeper-credit-crisis

at least our fiberal govt is smart enough to buy votes as it flushes $

#135 MF on 02.15.16 at 9:46 am

Smoking Man,

Id like to think most of us realize that after being out of college for a few years and working? It was all bs. Maybe I’m wrong though since I don’t have much faith in my generation.

So I wake up and read that European stocks “soar” 2% because this guy Draghi is going to talk about “stimulus”. Lol what a joke this market and Europe is. Totally dependent on “stimulus” to lurch forward.

Europe. Anyone remember the Greek crisis? PIGS? The Rapeugees? Negative rates? This guy speaks and all is well.

That continent is dead. Probably has been since world war 2 ended 70 years ago.

MF

#136 maxx on 02.15.16 at 9:57 am

#22 meslippery on 02.14.16 at 4:30 pm

“So from Fridays post (immigrants willing to do jobs Americans won’t) .
Now robots will do everything else.”

Yikes. Doesn’t look too good for humans going forward. Your birth date is such an unbelievable lottery.

Look back – look ahead – save like there’s no tomorrow and listen to Garth.

#137 Shawn on 02.15.16 at 10:39 am

Nice Try on Obamacare Math…

Evangeline said:

Two billion is 2000 million. The USA population is ~323 million. Obama could have given every American over a million dollars to pay for their health care and that would have cost less than what it cost to build the still-malfunctioning web site.

************************************

Well, not quite. 2000 / 323 is $6.19 per person. A bit short of a million per person.

#138 broader mind on 02.15.16 at 10:41 am

Looking forward to lawyer bots that can litigate in minutes instead of years. These parasites can go the way of newspapers.

#139 ww1 on 02.15.16 at 10:41 am

#132 Evangeline
Obama could have given every American over a million dollars to pay for their health care and that would have cost less than what it cost to build the still-malfunctioning web site.

==============================

$3 billion divided by 323 million tax payers works out to a little over $9 each.

#140 Freeman on 02.15.16 at 10:43 am

On Saturday I went through the charts and while it does appear at first that the stock markets have bottomed, my analysis has not found any signals to buy stocks yet. My feeling is that Tuesday will be an up-day, and then the markets will continue to fall on Wednesday.

Forget about stocks for now, just look at what’s happening to Gold prices? They are rocketing up. What on Earth is going on with Gold?

#141 Rational Optimist on 02.15.16 at 10:53 am

136 MF on 02.15.16 at 9:46 am

“Europe. ..That continent is dead. Probably has been since world war 2 ended 70 years ago.”

You ever been there?

#142 Bram on 02.15.16 at 11:08 am

#136 MF on 02.15.16 at 9:46 am
Anyone remember the Greek crisis?

Greece was overblown.

Take a look at Greece’s population, and its GDP.
Now compare it to the EU’s.

It’s not that much different from city of Detroit going bankrupt, with very little effect on the US of A.

A small backwater place going down shouldn’t affect the whole union very much.

#143 PillboyKirk on 02.15.16 at 11:12 am

@ #134 Evangeline

Two billion is 2000 million. The USA population is ~323 million. Obama could have given every American over a million dollars to pay for their health care and that would have cost less than what it cost to build the still-malfunctioning web site.

————-

Your numbers are way off. Remember that time in math class when your teacher told you that you’ll probably need to know this stuff well for the future? This is one of those times.

#144 StandardDeviation on 02.15.16 at 11:21 am

Algos are idiots and have no critical thinking, reading or writing skills.
Was intrigued by an article a few weeks back, where the author deliberately wrote negative comments about a penny stock to prove that Algos search for negative words, and based on their frequency will sell accordingly. In this case the stock in question dropped 52% during the day and recovered slightly near the end. For no factual reason!
It would tend to explain why companies with Net Values well above their current Stock market prices are suffering because of this nascent lunacy. It might also explain how the Financial sector can so easily manipulate the market for their Shorts etc…
Logic has abandoned us, Corruption and Duplicity are becoming endemic and we are bombarded by Neuro-forming media half truths, that promotes the ongoing Entropy in our World.

#145 saul on 02.15.16 at 11:23 am

Great blog Garth, I am one of many fans.
thank you, the world needs more people like you who shed light on a complex topic.

#146 Bottoms_Up on 02.15.16 at 11:43 am

#144 PillboyKirk on 02.15.16 at 11:12 am
—————————————————-
Or they made a very poor assumption that $6 pays a person’s lifelong healthcare bill.

#147 MF on 02.15.16 at 11:46 am

#142 Rational Optimist on 02.15.16 at

No sir. Not interested either. More into Asia. I think that’s where the future is. Europe doesn’t have much going for it moving forward sorry.

#143 Bram

Yes but it’s what Greece represents. Such a small country that can’t get its Finances in order can potentially cause the EU to break up. There are other countries with similar situations as you know. More and more people are pessimistic about the EU. Greece is just a symptom.

MF

#148 Bottoms_Up on 02.15.16 at 11:59 am

#125 Brazil ex-pat on 02.15.16 at 1:50 am
——————————
A day or week (or even a month or year) doesn’t make a long-term trend in temperature patterns. You must look on the scale of decades to observe the warming, which is quite apparent and has been proven to those of us that care to look:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/

(and keep in mind China really came on-line with carbon pollution beginning ~1960’s and they now represent 1/3rd of global pollution):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

#149 Apocalypse2016 on 02.15.16 at 12:13 pm

Things are looking uglier than Kevin O’Leary.

http://www.timescolonist.com/business/investor-sentiment-worst-in-years-manulife-report-1.2172679

It proves only that most people have zero long-term perspective. Thus, like you, they fail. — Garth

#150 Retired Boomer WI on 02.15.16 at 12:49 pm

#126 Bytor the snow dog

Women Bots might be the simpler of to make… Attempts have been made, thus far highly unsuccessful on wife bots.

The BIG money will be made in the leasing of these Bots, not in the owning of same. leasing allows for periodic upgrades in model as well as programming. Wife Bots are notoriously infected by viruses like mother-in-law scat, emotionalism 3.2 both can and have caused voltage spikes, doing hardwire damage to boards therein.

Primary directives are corrupted, and they become lethargic, babbling, reactive units.

Leasing allows you to get prompt service, or exchange of defective, infected units. Newer models usually have better finishes, internals, and longer warranties.

Shop VERY carefully, most leases are non-cancellable except with stiff early termination penalties!!

#151 Danforth on 02.15.16 at 1:10 pm

Adele a mixed blessing?

What is the downside to Adele?
Seriously..I only see a positive force in the world there.

#152 Newbie on 02.15.16 at 1:41 pm

I’ve just read an article this morning saying that Canadians from other provinces should be more grateful and compassionate while the turmoil progresses in Alberta and now this http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/casualties-collapse-bankruptcy-1.3441695

#153 Godth on 02.15.16 at 1:49 pm

#148 Bottoms_Up on 02.15.16 at 11:59 am

Yeah, yeah, yeah but what can we actually do? We’ve built an industrial civilization over last couple hundred years, and a ridiculous version of it (suburbia, consumerism, and obscene obsolescence) since WWII, that won’t be transformed by selling false hope or pixie dust. Do I really need to quote Popeye here?

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.ca/2016/02/renewables-next-fracking.html

#154 Godth on 02.15.16 at 1:54 pm

#148 Bottoms_Up on 02.15.16 at 11:59 am

btw, look at the microbes in the petri dish…
http://www.vox.com/2016/1/30/10872878/world-population-map

Eventually we’re going to get over our self importance.

#155 Bill on 02.15.16 at 2:01 pm

#82 Smoking Man on 02.14.16 at 8:39 pm
EXACTLY
My step kids working in Van on construction. $24ish an hr. 2 million dollar tear downs..
I contract a Telus and their dumping people like theres no tomorrow.
Tech is killing ALOT of jobs….
Peoples wages have gone in the toilet against the cost of living….Good thing we live in a policed state…
I can’t SEE ANYTHING good out front….

#156 bill on 02.15.16 at 2:19 pm

#117 drydock on 02.14.16 at 11:58 pm
”I’m going to buy a yzr 250cc 2 stroke and seek out trout in the bush.
Especially brookies.”

not sure the bike you listed exists however if you are going into the bush for trout may I suggest these two Yamahas?
lights street legal
http://www.yamaha-motor.ca/products/details.php?model=4637&group=MC&catId=13#ts

no lights /not street legal
http://www.yamaha-motor.ca/products/details.php?model=4645&group=MC&catId=81
much friendlier on slow twisty trails….
but if you have the need for speed and you like a two stroke…
http://www.yamaha-motor.ca/products/details.php?group=MC&catId=80&model=4503
this bike only understands full throttle or full braking…doesnt really like to putt around.
this just in: Suter 580cc two-stroke to race Senior TT….

#157 Fakeologist on 02.15.16 at 2:35 pm

You’re my favorite bot, Garth.

AP not only uses bots to write stories, it uses leading authors to write fake stories as well. They’re called psyOps, including one of the biggest, 9/11.

Sorry to bring that up again.

#158 Comic Sans on 02.15.16 at 2:36 pm

Seriously, Garth, I come here only for the pictures.

#159 Mark on 02.15.16 at 2:43 pm

“I guess no longer a tale of YVR+YYZ versus rest of Canada, but now YVR and the rest of Canada.”

Referencing the Teranet index, of course, which is notorious for lagging years behind what is happening in real life.

#160 Bram on 02.15.16 at 3:04 pm

#159 Mark on 02.15.16 at 2:43 pm
Referencing the Teranet index, of course, which is notorious for lagging years behind what is happening in real life.

Nope, they averaged nov/dec/jan values for their last report, so it lags less than 3 months.

Their methodologies are specified in extreme detail:
http://www.housepriceindex.ca/documents/MethodologyEN.pdf
See page 2 of 11:

In order to maintain accurate estimates of the market trends, the index of the current month
is estimated simultaneously with the two previous monthly indices. Usually, but not exclusively, a simple average
of the three monthly indices may be used as an estimate of the index of the current month

So yeah… there you have it: two months ago, prices were still climbing in YVR, regardless of the ‘sales mix.’ Quite different from the story that you have been flogging for at least half a yr now?

For jan, they had over 3000 data-points. Those ‘years of lag’ are a figment of your imagination. There is hard data, on real houses, with re-sale values known, that you somehow choose to ignore. Let me see your 11 page document where you describe your market research methodologies.

Bram

#161 Software Developer on 02.15.16 at 3:22 pm

I’ve worked in finance/investing companies. I am a developer who have coded such an algorithm.

Do you think the big kahunas at investment firms pull out a calcuator for each portfolio they manage to calculate how many shares to buy of stock/bond xyz in order to meet your magical 40/60 asset mix? And then, do you think they manually enter this information into the order entry system? Heck no, my program did all of that, figuring out how much to sell, buy, transfer, etc…

Someone had to program the robot… and someone had to come up with the algorithms, and someone has to review them too.

much.ado.about.nothing.

Actually, a good fee-based advisor does build each portfolio individually, manages it actively and rebalances it to contain risk and maximize returns. Isn’t that what you pay for? — Garth

#162 Smartalox on 02.15.16 at 3:33 pm

The thing about algorithms is that they are repeatable, and therefore finite and predictable. It won’t take long for people to figure out how to short-circuit the checks, and game the system.

Kind of like how people used to deal with automated choices when they called for customer service (for service in English, press 1…) and eventually learned to press 0 to get to a live operator.

If you want to stay ahead of the ‘bot’ curve, consider a career in the trades, where each job’s unique requirements and conditions require the kind of recognition and adaptation that humans provide for free, but are cost prohibitive to consider for robots.

#163 Arfmooocat on 02.15.16 at 3:40 pm

That’s why they get paid…

https://www.facebook.com/TopOilServices/videos/937024456372381/?fref=nf

Nobody, even soldiers, should be paid to die. — Garth

#164 NoName on 02.15.16 at 4:05 pm

#162 Smartalox
Don’t press 0 long waiting time, press 2 for French live person with in seconds!

#165 JamesA on 02.15.16 at 4:52 pm

Ah, computers, what fun.

This bug caused a company to go bankrupt in 45 minutes:

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/08/02/knight-capital-says-trading-mishap-cost-it-440-million/?_r=0

Oops.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/84-of-all-stock-trades-are-by-high-frequency-computers-only-16-are-done-by-humans.html

Its a different from the bug described above, but, those flash crashes are probably negative feedback loops between the algos.

If you are the human and you think some stock should go up (or whatever) and you know you are dealing with a NN algo that reacts when it sees certain patterns. Maybe you could send those patterns intentionally causing it to do what you want. Probably too simplistic but might make a good movie plot:

http://news.discovery.com/animals/assassin-bugs-spiders.htm

but for algos.

#166 Bank of millennial on 02.15.16 at 6:32 pm

Seems like people need to re-acquaint themselves with the Long Term capital management story..

#167 Evangeline on 02.15.16 at 8:44 pm

Oooops, that was a major blunder … (blushing)

Thank you everyone for the corrections.

Giving 323,000,000 people each a million dollars works out to $323 trillion, so $2 billion for the website was cheap by comparison.

#168 Hoser on 02.16.16 at 9:44 am

#81 Bots – Realties.ca

Ironic. A bot commenting about the bots.