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Robots/AI future, we need a full blown welfare state but not state socialism

By Rin   2013 May 10, 1:22am   8 links   383,816 views   61 comments   watch (3)   quote      

Yes, it's true, in the future, robotic/expert systems will perform much of the work, which is paying our bills today.

http://www.marshallbrain.com/robotic-nation.htm

Thus, it's imperative that we plan for the collapse of functional society, as a *function* of Moore's Law. This planning, however, should not result in what the conservatives fear... the Nanny State of Sweden or some other nation with exorbitant "cradle-to-grave" taxes.

Instead, the govt will need to exert a type of CPU/bandwidth cost averaging type of surcharge/tax, on computing services. This will need to be paid by all users, corporate and individual. Then, as time goes by, we need to determine which group of workers will be structurally displaced and put 'em on social assistance. This money will then be put back into the economy, so that the money velocity of sorts is retained.

As Moore's Law keeps accelerating up its parabola, more and more people will be out of work and on welfare. In the end, it'll only be the owners and the top AI/expert system designers, who'll be employed. All other work will be done by machines. When that occurs, we'll have a stable welfare society with the elite dole bungers, producing literature, music, and the arts.

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1   zzyzzx   790/790 = 100% civil   2013 May 10, 1:51am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Just another liberal trying to justify more taxpayer funded giveaway programs. It's not like we haven't had major technological innovations that put people out of work in the past and we somehow managed to survive without welfare then.

2   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 10, 2:03am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote    

I work for a hedge fund and thus, by definition, I'm not a liberal. Believe me, I'm banking everything now, because I expect no tomorrow.

No, this time around, the 'bots will be creating 'bots and then, will service them. This is the beginning of the end.

3   Tenpoundbass   1150/1152 = 99% civil   2013 May 10, 2:05am  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Those bots will serve no purpose if there is no one to buy the fruits of their efforts.

4   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 10, 2:08am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

CaptainShuddup says

Those bots will serve no purpose if there is no one to buy the fruits of their efforts.

In the beginning, companies like mine, hedge funds will use 'em to scalp profits, maintain stop-loss parameters, etc. At the same time, we'll be able to do all the accounting, taxes, etc, without paying a professional for that work. As more and more companies adopt these strategies, employment will fall off the cliff, and then, we'll have a truly bifurcated society, followed by an economic collapse.

5   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 10, 3:57am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

6   futuresmc     2013 May 10, 4:16am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

zzyzzx says

Just another liberal trying to justify more taxpayer funded giveaway programs. It's not like we haven't had major technological innovations that put people out of work in the past and we somehow managed to survive without welfare then.

Many didn't survive without welfare in the past. They died, usually from disease that took advantage of their emaciated states and wiped them out. Many went to work houses where they were worked to death for nothing but rotten food and rat infested living conditions. Some died of exposure or starvation outright, but that was the exception. You may like to return to this Darwinian nightmare. I'd prefer a social safety net.

In addition, the OP is suggesting we PLAN for this outcome as it seems likely, not that we raise taxes immediately or capriciously like your imaginary 'liberal' boogie man. In the past we had displacement of workers, but there was ultimately work that needed people to do it. People just transitioned from one type of work to another. With robots, we're quickly reaching a point unheard of in human history where there are literally more people of working age than there is work to be done, or at least that can't be done better and more efficiently by robots.

However, a permanent welfare society would turn the majority of the human race into livestock. Humans didn't evolve to be livestock. We're a species of scavengers, opportunists, and tricksters, not herd animals. We could evolve to be more willing to be herded, but that would require dozens of generations, with our best tricksters and their private robots working against that system.

No, there are only two solutions. Firstly, mass extermination. With robots we need to get rid of all but a half billion humans. How we pick and choose who lives and who dies, how we kill off the excess, how we maintain the ones who live so that they don't over or under populate, etc. All these issues would have to be resolved and considering the majority would be threatened with death, this could lead to all out revolution, followed by a level of socialism that would make the most strident Commie blush.

The second option is to redefine meritocracy. The problem most of us see in socialism is its lack of concern with rewarding hard work and innovation, while punishing laziness. The solution would be to have high, Nanny State-like taxation on the unproductive rich (remember, most of them won't work either, their jobs being done more efficiently by robots as well), with an unequal redistribution based on some other criteria than productivity.

While I'm not the one to define that criteria, the best case scenario would be an algorithm that is democratically constructed online, that weights human virtue based on a person's actions. Someone who writes a well received novel every year or rushes into a burning building to save a life will become richer. Someone who does nothing special with their lives will be provided with the means to attain a comfortable standard of living and nothing more. Someone who is convicted of attempting to steal cars or abusing a child will live in miserable poverty in prison, receiving only enough to keep them alive unless they rehabilitate and start doing better. Again, this is just an idea for the metric, but the important part is that we human animals would retain our systems of reward and punishment based on effort and action, while at the same time, keeping out of the robot sphere of life where the work we used to do is done.

7   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 10, 4:45am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

futuresmc says

While I'm not the one to define that criteria, the best case scenario would be an algorithm that is democratically constructed online, that weights human virtue based on a person's actions. Someone who writes a well received novel every year or rushes into a burning building to save a life will become richer. Someone who does nothing special with their lives will be provided with the means to attain a comfortable standard of living and nothing more. Someone who is convicted of attempting to steal cars or abusing a child will live in miserable poverty in prison, receiving only enough to keep them alive unless they rehabilitate and start doing better.

I think something of this sort will happen organically in a post-AI society, if we're wise enough to not allow for the Killer Drone/Terminator future of mass exterminations.

BTW, Killer Drones, at least the 1st generation, are already here. In ten years, they'll be automated and able to extinguish civilian uprisings against the system without a human operator's moral questioning of the act. In effect, it's a level of desensitization like no other where ppl will die but those who're a part of the industry of death, will be oblivious to the victims. Today, we're used to Sci-Fi where the 'Minority Report', 'Total Recall', etc police states are susceptible to human follies like moral choice & conviction.

8   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 10, 5:22am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Rin says

Today, we're used to Sci-Fi where the 'Minority Report', 'Total Recall', etc police states are susceptible to human follies like moral choice & conviction.

Ah, think the new movie 'Oblivion' but w/o a susceptible Tom Cruise & w/o a sustainable Morgan Freeman resistance, since Machines can also drop chemical or bioagents and not only be limited to machine gun fire.

9   Reality     2013 May 10, 5:27am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

What are the odds that, out of hundreds of millions of years history of life on earth, we are born exactly at the cusp of when the fleshy kind is about to be replaced by machines?

It seems to me, the priority kill list for any killer drone would be other killer drones! The fleshy kind is harmless to them.

10   RealEstateIsBetterThanStocks   181/181 = 100% civil   2013 May 10, 5:53am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

an "AI society" won't happen anytime soon.

the most advanced brain we have right now is about as smart as a cockroach (Japanese robots). they can't make the CPU go any faster. Moorse's law stopped working half a decade ago.

we need a breakthrough in computing science to get there (i.e quantum computer).

11   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 10, 6:10am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Mark D says

the most advanced brain we have right now is about as smart as a cockroach (Japanese robots). they can't make the CPU go any faster. Moorse's law stopped working half a decade ago

Businesses don't require strong AI. What they require is Watson on a desktop and then, many six figure salaries, like actuaries, can be sacked with only a couple of certified fellows on board, for client interaction and verifying the work.

My firm's tax server, has already done this with an overpriced tax consultant. We only use periodic audit contractors, to validate the work. Eventually, the ideal company will only have salesmen and a few prop traders.

12   Dan8267   3162/3205 = 98% civil   2013 May 10, 7:47am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote    

Rin says

Thus, it's imperative that we plan for the collapse of functional society, as a *function* of Moore's Law.

Moore's Law is not a law. It was an observation that became a drumbeat that no longer applies. CPUs haven't gotten faster in years. Instead, we're just getting more of them and replacing the slower components, memory and persistent storage, with faster alternatives. Even when Moore's Law was followed, it was followed by throttling the expense of developing new technologies to the level that would meet Moore's Law.

As for the rest of the original post, I would suggest that an economy based on the principle that all rents are paid to the government and used to provide equal distribution of wealth to all citizens is the ultimate solution to a fully automated economy. In such an economy, there would be little to not wealth disparity as few if any persons are actually producing any wealth.

The social justice issue is that there is no justification for allowing a small group of privileged individuals to "own" the automations of production. All of mankind paid for such automations through blood, sweat, and tears. If anything, the capital class did far less than the working class and they certainly didn't sacrifice as much.

13   Dan8267   3162/3205 = 98% civil   2013 May 10, 7:48am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Mark D says

an "AI society" won't happen anytime soon.

the most advanced brain we have right now is about as smart as a cockroach

or about as smart as four senators

14   futuresmc     2013 May 10, 8:47am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Reality says

What are the odds that, out of hundreds of millions of years history of life on earth, we are born exactly at the cusp of when the fleshy kind is about to be replaced by machines?

It seems to me, the priority kill list for any killer drone would be other killer drones! The fleshy kind is harmless to them.

This assumes ambition and value judgment on behalf of the drones themselves. We fleshy folks (or if you read Asimov, the politically correct term is 'meat') have conflicting programming due to our coder, that being the processes of evolution, changing our function and design over time. That is why we are ambitious and greedy, but also bind ourselves to morals and ethical standards of a group. Don't even get me started on the number of bugs the last ice age inserted into our program. But the end result is a chaos of behavior that drones and AI's won't have. Look at how we are already attempting to use artificial reproductive technology to remove harmful or deadly illnesses from our fleshy offspring's genome. Do you really think we'll program drones and AI's with the same issues evolution left us with?

15   Bellingham Bill   91/91 = 100% civil   2013 May 10, 9:01am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Rin says

Nanny State of Sweden

the horror, LOL

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mef45jgim/3-sweden/

"The nation ranks 2nd in entrepreneurship opportunity"

16   Dan8267   3162/3205 = 98% civil   2013 May 10, 9:06am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

futuresmc says

We fleshy folks (or if you read Asimov, the politically correct term is 'meat') have conflicting programming due to our coder, that being the processes of evolution, changing our function and design over time.

Why do I get the feeling that this conversation is going to end with one of the following much to the disappointment of the audience?
- red explosions
- green explosions
- blue explosions

17   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 10, 10:49am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Dan8267 says

Instead, we're just getting more of them and replacing the slower components, memory and persistent storage, with faster alternatives. Even when Moore's Law was followed, it was followed by throttling the expense of developing new technologies to the level that would meet Moore's Law.

Yes, it's Moore's heuristics, but at the same time, there has been progress made in material sciences, applied chemistry, and so forth, which will emerge into higher speed computational tools, once stacking/concentrating 3-D structures reaches its endpoint. The key is that the driving force for miniaturization and faster processing is there.

Dan8267 says

The social justice issue is that there is no justification for allowing a small group of privileged individuals to "own" the automations of production.

Unfortunately, between now and obsolescence of 90% of work, the ownership class will continue to hold the purse strings and thus, will want to maintain a bifurcated state where their wealth allows 'em to do whatever they want whereas the dole bungers (then, 90% of the population), will only be there to circulate a smaller strata of money around, so that it maintains the appearance that actual money still has value, despite the sham of a pseudo-economy.

18   carrieon   15/15 = 100% civil   2013 May 10, 11:13am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Robots/AI future, we need a full blown welfare state but not state socialism.

The Federal Reserve system is already delivering your nightmare.

19   marcus   688/693 = 99% civil   2013 May 10, 2:02pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

A full blown welfare state won't work. People need to work, and if pay for that work is subsidized by the government, or by corporations (which one is an interesting question), then so be it.

I guess that is a welfare state in a sense. The question becomes, what do people do? How are they living useful beneficial lives.

PEople even need to be motivated to excel. That probably won't be lost in anycase. But I'm not for having people on the dole, without doing any work at all. Not for lonhg anyway.

20   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 10, 2:14pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

marcus says

A full blown welfare state won't work. People need to work, and if pay for that work is subsidized by the government

In this robotics future, ppl's work won't be of economic value, only cultural. So sure, we can have barflys at conferences, improv comedians/musicians, etc, but none of that will have anything to do with real work vis-a-vis money.

I don't know if you remember him but George Plimpton, a trust fund baby "Yankee" Philips Exeter/Harvard Univ/Cambridge Univ educated elitist, accomplished almost nothing in life except talking about sports, the classics, etc, and his whole life was about posturing as some Anglo-American storyteller of the 1800s/1900s except that it involved Boston sports and other non sequitors.

21   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 11, 12:57am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

John Bailo says

Hedge funds are run by computers whose owners could not match their speed. The web has eliminated the need for thousands of bureaucratic positions doing form filling and knowledge transfer.

Blue collar work is down to a sliver of its former self and white collar work is pro forma. Projects conceived like gameplay or scientific experiments...no need for a specific result. People work for two hours and spend 4 hours reporting on it. Then have lunch and go to the company gym.

More people working from home means less driving and less need for commuter transportation. A shift to fuel cells and solar generated hydrogen could spell a complete deindustrialization of society.

Ok, but the management/ownership don't want to pay ppl six figure salaries, if software/'bots can perform those same exact tasks.

Right now, at an insurance company, there are a couple of dozen actuaries who report to a couple of certified fellows. In the future, that 20+ headcount will be replaced by an IBM Watson server, while the two fellows verify the work and communicate with the clients. Right there, that's a severe collapse of a long lasting line of employment for educated workers, actuarial support. This will happen to every single line of work out there, rendering a large percentage of the population on the dole.

In my prior example... George Plimpton was living off his family's money, to be this roving, story telling, entertaining retro-Yankee gentleman of the 19th-to-20th century. In effect, that's all that there will be left for the general public, a type of non-paid for lifestyle coach. Since Deepak Copra's clients have jobs today, they pay his bills but in the future, his audience will be unemployed and thus, no speaking fees, it'll all have to be pro bono.

22   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 11, 2:34am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Rin says

Since Deepak Copra's clients have jobs today, they pay his bills but in the future, his audience will be unemployed and thus, no speaking fees, it'll all have to be pro bono.

BTW, the success coach, Dwayne Dyer, a type of an everyman American Deepak Chopra or Norman Pale/Earl Nightingale, has a daughter who's a so-called musician. Well, strangely enough, much of her outings were at her dad's seminars. That's kinda snarky, if you ask me, because in reality, her dad's followers are her captive audience.

You see, down the road, ppl won't be able to make money. Sure, they'll tout having artistic or creative endeavors, however, the audience will simply be broke and underemployed when software/'bots take over much of the work out there.

23   taxee     2013 May 12, 8:15am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

24   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 12, 10:38am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

John Bailo says

It would seem like a very volatile situation to have a second tier of the best and the brightest completely disenfranchised unless the people in the 1% are truly superior and are confident in their ability to control the masses up to and including those who do well in school.

During the transition era, misinformation campaigns will help in keeping the disenfranchised from rising up. The best students will do what they've always done... play the academic game, hope to get into some elite internship program, and then, support some sales force or govt operation. The top 1% (the ownership team) doesn't have to be all that smart, if/when expert system cameras analyze the day-to-day stream of activities and pretty much, model the life of ppl out there on the streets. Any deviation from the "script" will set off a red flag for the Drones. Since Drones are all the rage with the Air Force today, in tomorrow's world, civilian based Police Patrol Drones will be able to monitor much wider areas of land than what any Police dept can do today.

25   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 14, 3:52am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Data analytics, the current bastion of white collar hood is also being challenged ...

https://www.groksolutions.com/product.html

So how many direct marketing or business systems analysts, will corporate America need, when software can provide the perfect white collar support staff to the executives?

26   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 14, 11:32pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

27   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 16, 6:44am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Please add to this thread than the Robot overlord one. This has all the pre-existing discussions.

28   Dan8267   3162/3205 = 98% civil   2013 May 16, 7:21am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Rin says

Please add to this thread than the Robot overlord one. This has all the pre-existing discussions.

Just what are those robot overlords going to do to us?

29   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 16, 7:29am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

All it says is that the Mick Jaggers and Steve Tylers of the future will be androids.

30   zzyzzx   790/790 = 100% civil   2013 May 16, 11:21pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

futuresmc says

Many didn't survive without welfare in the past. They died, usually from disease that took advantage of their emaciated states and wiped them out. Many went to work houses where they were worked to death for nothing but rotten food and rat infested living conditions. Some died of exposure or starvation outright, but that was the exception. You may like to return to this Darwinian nightmare. I'd prefer a social safety net.

I need proof. In fact the only examples I can think of off hand in the modern, but pre-welfare society where a machine replaced people was when the cotton gin was invented. And that resulted in increased demand for labor! Presumably nobody starved to death because if the invention of the cotton gin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton_gin
Prior to the introduction of the mechanical cotton gin, cotton had required considerable labor to clean and separate the fibers from the seeds.[11] With Eli Whitney’s introduction of “teeth” in his cotton gin to comb out the cotton and separate the seeds, cotton became a tremendously profitable business, creating many fortunes in the Antebellum South. New Orleans, Mobile, Charleston and Galveston became major shipping ports, deriving substantial economic benefit from cotton raised throughout the South. Additionally, the greatly expanded supply of cotton created strong demand for textile machinery and improved machine designs that replaced wooden parts with metal. This led to the invention of many machine tools in the early 19th century.[12]

The invention of the cotton gin caused massive growth in the production of cotton in the United States, concentrated mostly in the South. Cotton production expanded from 750,000 bales in 1830 to 2.85 million bales in 1850. As a result, the South became even more dependent on plantations and slavery, with plantation agriculture becoming the largest sector of the Southern economy.[13] While it took a single slave about ten hours to separate a single pound of fiber from the seeds, a team of two or three slaves using a cotton gin could produce around fifty pounds of cotton in just one day.[14] The number of slaves rose in concert with the increase in cotton production, increasing from around 700,000 in 1790 to around 3.2 million in 1850.[15] By 1860, the Southern states were providing two-thirds of the world’s supply of cotton, and up to 80% of the crucial British market.[16] The cotton gin thus “transformed cotton as a crop and the American South into the globe's first agricultural powerhouse, and – according to many historians – was the start of the Industrial Revolution"

When the assembly line was, it also potentially put people out of work. But when I research that I see this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assembly_line
The gains in productivity allowed Ford to increase worker pay from $1.50 per day to $5.00 per day once employees reached three years of service on the assembly line. Ford continued on to reduce the hourly work week while continuously lowering the Model T price.

Doesn't seem to me that creating an assembly line there resulted in lower employment levels either, since he dramatically increased wages.

OK, so I picked probably the two most famous examples of machines putting people out of work in the pre-welfare society, and I have no evidence of it causing unemployment and starvation. But with an open mind, I research further, because, you know, it just had to happen someplace, right? So I go back to wikipedia and research the Industrial Revolution:

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

The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes that occurred in the period from about 1760 to some time between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, improved efficiency of water power, the increasing use of steam power and development of machine tools. The transition also included the change from wood and other bio-fuels to coal. The Industrial revolution began in Britain and within a few decades spread to Western Europe and the United States.

The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history; almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. Most notably, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth. In the words of Nobel Prize winner Robert E. Lucas, Jr., "For the first time in history, the living standards of the masses of ordinary people have begun to undergo sustained growth ... Nothing remotely like this economic behavior is mentioned by the classical economists, even as a theoretical possibility.

As I read further down:

Food and nutrition

Chronic hunger and malnutrition were the norm for the majority of the population of the world including Britain and France, until the latter part of the 19th century. Until about 1750, in large part due to malnutrition, life expectancy in France was about 35 years, and only slightly higher in Britain. The U.S. population of the time was adequately fed, were much taller and had life expectancy of 45–50 years.[67]

In Britain and the Netherlands food supply had been increasing and prices falling before the Industrial Revolution due to better agricultural practices; however, population was increasing as well, as noted by Thomas Malthus.[68][69][70][71] Prior to the Industrial Revolution, advances in agriculture or technology soon led to an increase in population, which again strained food and other resources, limiting increases in per capita income. This condition is called the Malthusian trap, and it was finally overcome by industrialization.[72]

Transportation improvements, such as canals and improved roads, also lowered food costs. Railroads were introduced near the end of the Industrial Revolution.

So far I am only finding examples where machines taking the place of people increases their standard of living.

31   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 17, 1:16am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

The industrial revolution only replaced manual labor with intellectual labor (hence, intellectual capital became the standard for success in modern times).

AI/machine learning/'bots will attempt to replace most knowledge workers. IBM Watson project below, is only the starting point ...

http://slashdot.org/topic/bi/will-ibms-watson-kill-your-career

32   gsr   15/15 = 100% civil   2013 May 17, 6:20am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

33   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 17, 7:44am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Sweden was one of the few countries, unaffected by both World Wars, and had the strongest economy by the early 70s. Then, it went into full blown stagnation, as its policies were not sustainable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Sweden

As for welfare, it was avoidable for much of the time period from 1950 to 2010, when most able persons had the capacity for some paying work. This is where the old expression, 'Pull oneself up by the bootstrap', had some meaning because it was basically true.

However, starting from 2020 till 2070, when the means of development & production, move from humans to machine labor, ppl simply won't be getting paid for any work. If I'm an owner of a company, I'll assign expert systems to manage development, QA, production, and delivery. I'll even have a secondary expert system, to help tune the 1st one. Nowadays, database tuners earn $120 per hour as consultants. These will then be made obsolete, by secondary expert 'bots. In reality, I'll only need human salesmen to talk to other 'live' potential clients. Thus, with a headcount of 5% of today's employees, I could run an entire enterprise.

34   JodyChunder     2013 May 17, 8:49am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Rin says

o, this time around, the 'bots will be creating 'bots and then, will service them. This is the beginning of the end.

You will never live to see it.

35   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 17, 11:13am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

JodyChunder says

Rin says

o, this time around, the 'bots will be creating 'bots and then, will service them. This is the beginning of the end.

You will never live to see it.

That is my hope but I have a feeling that I'll see it in old age.

36   curious2   894/894 = 100% civil   2013 May 17, 11:41am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (2)   quote    

Rin says

That is my hope but I have a feeling that I'll see it in old age.

Don't worry. For example, the government contains a huge number of jobs that can never be outsourced to machines. Obvious examples include POTUS and the Congress, whom the Constitution requires to be citizens over 25-35 (and POTUS must be born in the U.S.). Less obvious examples include the folks at the Pentagon who decide to pay $400 for a hammer - how on earth are you going to persuade a machine to pay $400 for a hammer? Even in the private sector, advertising, publicity, and promotion all require human creativity: how would a machine persuade you to fill your gullet with corn syrup? Even Max Headroom had human helpers. In a world where all the necessary work got done, and only the necessary work, then you could imagine robots doing all the work. But what kind of machine would paint a Klimt, and what kind of malfunction would cause another machine to pay $100 million for said Klimt? Machines can make things work, usually according to some sort of discernible logic, but the real money is in making things happen arbitrarily and capriciously, yet not randomly.

37   zzyzzx   790/790 = 100% civil   2013 May 17, 12:30pm  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

JodyChunder says

Rin says

o, this time around, the 'bots will be creating 'bots and then, will service them. This is the beginning of the end.

You will never live to see it.

I agree. Rin has been watching too many episodes of Battlestar Galactica.

38   futuresmc     2013 May 17, 1:07pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

zzyzzx says

I need proof. In fact the only examples I can think of off hand in the modern, but pre-welfare society where a machine replaced people was when the cotton gin was invented. And that resulted in increased demand for labor! Presumably nobody starved to death because if the invention of the cotton gin

Your useless segway into the cotton gin aside, a world without social welfare programs kills and impoverishes a lot of people. You don't need to starve to death to die from poverty. You can go hungry enough so that a night out in cold weather or a simple infection that a healthy, well fed person could easily fend off, takes your life. You can be so desperate that you take work that is hazardous to your health or work in unsafe conditions that get you killed. We have health and safety regulation and social welfare programs because of the misery that preceded them.

Industrialization did create new jobs and new opportunities for wealth, but many didn't survive to see it, not because they were lazy or otherwise undeserving, but because they didn't have the resources to make the transition without dying first.

Thankfully we don't have to live like that anymore. When we do live like that it's because our governments have been coopted by those who put economic gains above the survival of their fellow citizens, not because it's some inevitable force of nature.

39   Rin   234/237 = 98% civil   2013 May 19, 2:06am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

zzyzzx says

Rin has been watching too many episodes of Battlestar Galactica.

Don't forget the Terminators series.

And given the 5-6K of present-time flying drones, with some ~10% having some expert systems guidance, I'd say that we're not too far away from a Skynet future in that dept either.

This time around, however, neither John nor Sarah Conner is going to help anyone. So while the human spirit is never broken, the human body can easily be extinguished. The James Cameron movies were only 20-30 years off in their predictions.

Luckily for us, we control the kill switch on the flying killing machines. Hopefully, that switch stays in human hands.

40   gsr   15/15 = 100% civil   2013 May 19, 3:25am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Dan8267 says

I would suggest that an economy based on the principle that all rents are paid to the government and used to provide equal distribution of wealth to all citizens is the ultimate solution to a fully automated economy.

That was the ultimate wet dream of a communist. It went really well in East Germany. Did you ever look at their version of a German automobile?

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