Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

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Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on June 4th, 2017, 6:36 am 

This is a new thread split off from the thread: Robots/China taking US jobs" = Biggest Issue of Our Times?

This video below has blown me away - one sentence remains poignant: "not every factory worker can be reskilled to become a sushi chef"... :/ , but he says that there are probably realistic potential solutions to the 50 percent AI-fuelled job replacement he predicts - and in 10-15 years no less!

He is a true expert in the field of AI development and application and predicts all kinds of incredible developments that sound logical enough. He has a considerable resume - working with the likes of Google, Microsoft, Apple, and so on.

At 49:00 he gives his opinion on the AI 'self-consciousness' question - that there is no engineering basis for that - that AI is just a tool, and that the talk of hypothetical self-conscious robots is just that - purely hypothetical and nowhere near realistic yet.



He lists, among other things, the following AI-related world-changing developments:

- Service 'heartful' jobs irreplaceable
- Automated transport (of course)
- No personal vehicles (because they are unused most of the time and therefore inefficient)
- Emptier roads
- Everything one needs delivered by courier
- No, or very small, hospital queues due to AI doctors
- Almost instant beaurocracy served over e-channels

In this way our societies will be remodelled in very significant ways.

Some of the dangers he highlights are as follows:

- Angry jobless protesters on the streets
- Neglect of the jobless
- Hacking
- Misuse of private data (photos, medical records, and so on)
- Non-benevolent programming

And some others.

What, do you think, the socio-political and economic global repercussions are going to be of all this?

I personally think that practical philosophy is going to be a key area of study once again - permeating all fields and activities. Epicureanism, Skepticism, Cynicism, etc.; all will become practically relevant to every person's life once more as they look for purpose beyond the traditional idea of work. Do you agree?
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on June 4th, 2017, 10:54 am 

Financial Industry???

Where is all that money they'll invest, insure, move around faster and faster supposed to come from?
Who will be hiring all the caring, serving and artsy people?
Okay, AI is just tools. Wholly owned and controlled by us.
When he says "we" and "us", I'm pretty sure he doesn't mean you and me - he means Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
Next questions:

Without a major political reorganization:
1. Everything in the world will be owned by two dozen people (we're already down to 82, is it?) -- who already have all the healers, carers, groomers, cooks, servers, entertainers, decorators and ass-kissers they can ever possibly need. Why would they pay any more people to do things for one another?
- Since those few super-rich, their engineers and their retinues are the only people with disposable income, they are the tax-base for the redistribution of helicopter money, as well as the payroll of government officials. They get to make the regulations and the allocations.
- Even if only half the population is unemployed, who will pay the insurance premiums to maintain all those AI doctors and human nurses and wonderful computerized medical devices?
- Why would they provide cheap transportation, food, shelter and medical care for people who don't work for them and can't buy their luxury products?
- What motivates the owner class to educate the unemployable classes?
On these issues, present-day America (government of/by/for the rich) is showing the opposite trend: withdrawing funds from public communication, health care, transport and education.

2. Who organizes and co-ordinates the interfaces and platforms for automated transport, hospitals, etc? On what kind of long-term plan?
- I don't see how it can be done ad hoc, on the present infrastructure.

3. The whole projection depends on uninterrupted energy supplies, undisrupted communication network.
- Given the volatility of international relations and climatic events, how likely is that?

I imagine Philosophy will have the same effect than it's always had in the past: after some brilliant person publishes some brilliant book
- 2-10 years on, academics will debate, argue and write essays about its implications;
- 20-25 years later, university students will organize clubs based on its contested aims
- 50-100 years later rabble in the street will riot over its misunderstood contents
- 200 years later, governments will claim to be fully in accord with its principles, while doing the opposite
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on June 6th, 2017, 2:11 am 

Serpent » June 4th, 2017, 11:54 pm wrote:Financial Industry???

Where is all that money they'll invest, insure, move around faster and faster supposed to come from?

There will still be capitalism, of course, but the UBI will keep people afloat.

Who will be hiring all the caring, serving and artsy people?

Companies or public sector offices.

Okay, AI is just tools. Wholly owned and controlled by us.
When he says "we" and "us", I'm pretty sure he doesn't mean you and me - he means Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

..and the government elected by "us".

Without a major political reorganization:
1. Everything in the world will be owned by two dozen people (we're already down to 82, is it?) -- who already have all the healers, carers, groomers, cooks, servers, entertainers, decorators and ass-kissers they can ever possibly need. Why would they pay any more people to do things for one another?

You could say that the UBI is major political reorganization, and the same administrators/visionaries behind UBI could also provide other socialist agendas. It seems such socialism is unavoidable.

Since those few super-rich, their engineers and their retinues are the only people with disposable income, they are the tax-base for the redistribution of helicopter money, as well as the payroll of government officials. They get to make the regulations and the allocations.

Tax is tax - it's not bribery.

Even if only half the population is unemployed, who will pay the insurance premiums to maintain all those AI doctors and human nurses and wonderful computerized medical devices?

Tax.

On these issues, present-day America (government of/by/for the rich) is showing the opposite trend: withdrawing funds from public communication, health care, transport and education.

Indeed, without a peep from them regarding this projection over the next 15 years. Are they just hedging their bets until the tech actually appears?

Who organizes and co-ordinates the interfaces and platforms for automated transport, hospitals, etc? On what kind of long-term plan?
- I don't see how it can be done ad hoc, on the present infrastructure.

So you adapt the infrastructure.

The whole projection depends on uninterrupted energy supplies, undisrupted communication network.
- Given the volatility of international relations and climatic events, how likely is that?

Renewable energy - China, for example, as well as apparently leading in AI research and development, are heavily investing in green renewable energy tech. It seems that the US is prefering to snooze - and most likely lose. Trump et al won't lose, of course, but his electorate will, but by then his family will have run with the swag.

I imagine Philosophy will have the same effect than it's always had in the past: after some brilliant person publishes some brilliant book
- 2-10 years on, academics will debate, argue and write essays about its implications;
- 20-25 years later, university students will organize clubs based on its contested aims
- 50-100 years later rabble in the street will riot over its misunderstood contents
- 200 years later, governments will claim to be fully in accord with its principles, while doing the opposite

Lol, no, the Romans and Stoicism, the Chinese and Confucianism, and there are still appetites for those respective philosophical outlooks and associated social visions in the modern world. The Stoics championed Socrates as their fundamental inspiration.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on June 6th, 2017, 3:07 am 

Mossling » June 6th, 2017, 1:11 am wrote:There will still be capitalism, of course, but the UBI will keep people afloat.

There is no 'of course' about the continuation of capitalism. Where is all the money to support capitalism supposedly coming from? The money-shuffling 'industry' produces nothing. Unemployed people produce nothing. Executives produce nothing. Service sectors produce nothing. Entertainment industries produce nothing. Robots produce something, but that something is for sale at a profit. Profit isn't self-generating; it has to come from somewhere.
Capitalism is based on growth. Money is invested to grow real wealth which is then turned into more money. But, once you've used up the natural resources and sucked the colonized continents dry, no more real wealth can be created. Capitalism has been coasting on make-believe assets (money-shuffling, bailouts, debt, market bubbles, internet fraud, intellectual capital) for at least 20 years already. It's been kept afloat this long only because some people are still plundering the rain forests and sea-beds to create real wealth, but the sources are running out; more people are starving every day.

That UBI is a bandaid, not a life-boat. An interim solution for a transient problem, not a cure. It's a little bit of tricke-back-down from tax revenues collected mostly from a dwindling middle class. At a casual guess, I expect the tipping-point at around 20% unemployment. Then what? Where are fresh revenues to be found? Tax the rich - okay, for another 5-10%. Then the rich start being not-so-rich --- How do they react? Do they allow themselves to be taxed to keep everyone else afloat? Given that they have no visible problem with the misery they've already caused, I can't see them meekly paying their dues.

[Who will be hiring all the caring, serving and artsy people?]
Companies or public sector offices.

And where is the income of companies derived? What public sector offices? The ones that are being gutted and filleted at this very moment?

..and the government elected by "us".

Have you looked in a newscast this decade?

You could say that the UBI is major political reorganization,

No, it isn't. It's a small adjustment to business and government as usual. It's an insurance policy that depends on enough subscribers to fiance the payouts. Once there are not enough people to pay premiums, the whole scheme goes dry. Same as pension plans, or UI, or health insurance.
and the same administrators/visionaries behind UBI could also provide other socialist agendas. It seems such socialism is unavoidable.

Visionaries have been making these same recommendations for a century. They don't have the administrative power to carry them out. At five minutes to "Oops, too late!" nothing has actually been done yet. And you think this kind of action will get a major socio-economic shift organized in a decade?

Tax is tax - it's not bribery.

Taxation depends on a duly constituted government, with legislative power to levy taxes -- on actual income and wealth -- and functional agencies with the power and ability to collect. Do you see a legislature capable of collecting from the super-rich? And even if they did, they're giving it right back to the arms manufacturers and banks.
----
Renewable energy - China, for example, as well as apparently leading in AI research and development, are heavily investing in green renewable energy tech.

Yes, there is a glimmer of hope there. American military might won't quietly sink below the horizon, though; they won't just hand over the running of their empire. There will be many, many casualties.

Lol, no, the Romans and Stoicism, the Chinese and Confucianism, and there are still appetites for those respective philosophical outlooks and associated social visions in the modern world. The Stoics championed Socrates as their fundamental inspiration.

Right. You can certainly see his influence in the rebel bodies crucified along the Appian Way.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on June 6th, 2017, 6:27 am 

Serpent » June 6th, 2017, 4:07 pm wrote:There is no 'of course' about the continuation of capitalism. Where is all the money to support capitalism supposedly coming from? The money-shuffling 'industry' produces nothing. Unemployed people produce nothing. Executives produce nothing. Service sectors produce nothing. Entertainment industries produce nothing. Robots produce something, but that something is for sale at a profit. Profit isn't self-generating; it has to come from somewhere.
Capitalism is based on growth. Money is invested to grow real wealth which is then turned into more money.

Growth and loss; wax and wane. Capitalism can just be considered competing in a market and gaining capital to invest. It doesn't have to involve permanent growth.

And with regards to customers and service workers beyond UBI, people will have incentives - to buy higher quality or scarce goods, and so work a bit more - to achieve their dreams. Others will be happy with UBI and just study, or dance, or whatever, for their whole life.

I think a lot of your concerns will be answered by the raw economics of AI applications - the out-competing that will occur through wise AI use will remodel the political landscape in favour of progressive liberals - the clever innovative open-minded engineers.

Once China begins taking even more from the West through progressive AI use, then the West will 'get wise' soon enough. The current problem in the West is resistance to socialism - the wealthy think that just because they inherited wealth (ill-gotten or otherwise) then somehow that wealth exists outside of social efforts of the poor. Without the working class soldiers, cleaners, factory workers, and so on, their wealth would be gone in a second. It's wakeup time.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on June 6th, 2017, 12:19 pm 

Captain, we're losing structural integrity!

Compensate by rerouting power from the warp drive.

Growth and loss; wax and wane. Capitalism can just be considered competing in a market and gaining capital to invest. It doesn't have to involve permanent growth.

You are describing the outer aspect of something undefined, whose functional mechanism is not understood.
What 'market'? Who is competing with whom? What does 'investment' mean?
And you're still not answering the basic questions:
How is wealth created in the first place? Where is the wealth coming from?

Not why and who, but where and how.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on June 6th, 2017, 9:10 pm 

Serpent » June 7th, 2017, 1:19 am wrote:You are describing the outer aspect of something undefined, whose functional mechanism is not understood.
What 'market'? Who is competing with whom? What does 'investment' mean?
And you're still not answering the basic questions:
How is wealth created in the first place? Where is the wealth coming from?

Not why and who, but where and how.

There is UBI to give the basics - resource distribution credits for state citizens - just like hunter-gatherers sharing meat with their frail kin left at the camp after they return. If there's excess that can be saved for later, it can be converted into currency and invested in various ways.

But in the AI society, let's say we are neighbors and we both want a luxury good - a Harley Davidson motorcycle. So we both use our open source VR world design package to create a VR entertainment module to sell for credits. Yours is designed better than mine so you out-compete me and gain the money you need for the Harley. So I lose out, and if your module continues to sell well, then you can even invest in further development.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on June 6th, 2017, 10:28 pm 

But we are nothing like hunter-gatherers. Not in ours economies and not in our social organizations. For one thing, they didn't have money. For another, they understood exactly where their raw materials, labour and energy were coming from and how these things were transformed into food, shelter, clothing and tools.
We have no such understanding.

I'm not getting my questions across.
You start at some unspecified level of organization, administered by an unspecified [benign] entity, while automation - controlled by an unspecified [benign?] entity - produces goods, owned by an unspecified entity or entities, which sell these goods for money; presumably at cost for necessities and at a profit for luxury items. These latter entities are still investing money in development and handing out money to citizens.
How the system is structured; who owns what; where money originates and who is in charge of regulating its flow, remain unspecified.

I know how UBI is supposed to work in a capitalist democracy: it's supposed to take the place of pension, welfare, unemployment insurance and disability benefits: an efficient, comprehensive social insurance scheme to provide subsistence income for all citizens.
Whenever it's been discussed before, it was in the context of a robust, productive industrial economy, where setbacks are temporary and recovery is expected. In the present situation, it cannot be anything more than a brief, superficial, solution to tide people over until a massive restructuring of the economy can take place.

I've pointed out that insurance of any kind can only work if enough people are earning above the subsistence level to contribute. Once that balance is upset - surplus income or number of earners declines below a critical level - there is no source of revenue to collect from; thus, nothing to pay out.

And I don't see any restructuring taking place: I don't see any authority capable of formulating, designing, implementing and regulating the necessary changes.

I guess that's where I'll have to leave it.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on June 6th, 2017, 11:39 pm 

I'd argue that we are still operating like hunter-gatherers even within a post-agricultural or post-factory economy, for the fishes we capture are sales deals - using a different kind of net; networks of like-minded citizens who share our respect for social contracts and their legal implications.

The territories that hunter gatherers often protected - the land that supported them - can be considered to be the national territory occupied by the US, for example, and those resources belong to the American people who are prepared to die defending them. The national parks are an example of this. A simple example of generating wealth from such resources is to maintain those parks so that paying tourists can enjoy them more safely and comfortably. If a robot replaces that job, then the money tourists pay for the services becomes national wealth. This is all pretty obvious and simple I would have thought.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on June 7th, 2017, 1:20 am 

What you have there is a metaphor - a rather strained one - rather than an accurate representation of how a complex mechanism operates.
But, never mind - as long as it seems obvious and simple, I'm sure it'll be fine.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on June 7th, 2017, 2:28 am 

Serpent » June 7th, 2017, 2:20 pm wrote:What you have there is a metaphor - a rather strained one - rather than an accurate representation of how a complex mechanism operates.
But, never mind - as long as it seems obvious and simple, I'm sure it'll be fine.

Read Axelrod's The Evolution of Cooperative Behaviour and you'll see how societies of any sort are built on rather obvious economic principles.

I think the key area that will hold an AI-driven society together, as I stated on the previous thread linked to in the OP, is the prosociality of the society members - if they are demonstrably ready to participate when needed (for whatever reason), then that is their 'free pass'. Just like a full-time standing army waiting within a nation just in case it is invaded (such as Alexander The Great had, for example), the citizens may want jobs or be ready for jobs, but the jobs are just not there - so they are, just like a standing army, waiting on standby just in case.

In this regard, a nation and its citizens become more of a standing potential - as much as family members of all ages and physical and mental ability represent the potential of future geniuses and heros - a social continuum. This, in my view, becomes a significant change - from would-be feudal lords viewing citizens as expendable peasants who are at their mercy, to one where the nation is one big family. For the former view still seems to be fashionable in many of the most developed countries on this planet, and the trajectory, since around 1000 years ago has apparently been for that perspective, where dominant and pervasive, to be replaced. It appears that these current AI developments are speeding that process up somewhat.

My comments are based on various videos on AI development and planned application that I have been watching. This video, for example - "Thomas Atwood, executive director of the National Robotics Education Foundation (NREF), presents a thoughtful review of robotics technologies in our society -- past, present and future", gives a good overview, and from the US perspective:



The thing that concerned me most was him saying that for some reason this tech development movement is not being given much consideration or the credibility that it is due by those who should in the US. Is it because of the social significance? And so it seems that the likes of Trump blame globalism for the decline of jobs, even when Carrier agreed to bring factories back to America under threat of increased taxation, so that more Americans can get jobs, and yet - alas - The CEO of United Technologies just let slip an unintended consequence of the Trump-Carrier jobs deal:
The result of keeping the plant in Indiana open is a $16 million investment to drive down the cost of production, so as to reduce the cost gap with operating in Mexico.

What does that mean? Automation. What does that mean? Fewer jobs, Hayes acknowledged.

From the transcript (emphasis added):

GREG HAYES: Right. Well, and again, if you think about what we talked about last week, we're going to make a $16 million investment in that factory in Indianapolis to automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive. Now is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost of labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we'll make the capital investments there.

Capitalism at its best ;) - and it's going to create more socialism in America.

So it's happening even right now - as Atwood says in the above video, it will not be an overnight switch - it will just be your standard capitalist-driven competition that will force companies to use AI solutions. It just depends how fast R&D and legislastion can adapt and keep up. Of course there are HUGE profits to be made for those who go all-out on AI application the first, so it could indeed happen rather quickly.

And some of the the more obvious projected outcomes are quite shocking - like human drivers being banned because they are less precise than AI, and so driving licenses and steering wheels being a thing of the past, of doctors no longer existing in society - I mean, just those two things seem to be HUGE changes to the way people see society at the moment. Absolutely incredulous to imagine, but also completely logical and seemingly just a bit of R&D away...
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on June 7th, 2017, 8:41 am 

And you envision a peaceful transformation to Futurama?
Okay, but that's not what I'm seeing in the world-as-it-is.
I have no quibble with the technological aspect of the thing - that's been foreseeable for a century or more. It's the political theory that doesn't fit. There is also a problem of sheer size, scope and numbers: all the elements that would need to be co-ordinated.

I fear you and I are not discussing the same subject matter - and nobody else is interested.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on June 7th, 2017, 10:33 am 

Of course there will be growth pains, but they will not apparently be seen as part of an imposition of an ideology - they will be recognised as just necessary normal steps that a more technologically-developed society takes. Myspace went, typewriters went, and VHS went. The companies involved just have to suck it up. Now we see e-commerce replacing traditional shopfronts, dirty fuel being replaced by renewables, skype being replaced by whatsapp, and so on and so forth. This is how societies evolve, it is just that the process seems like it will speed up somewhat. How are you seeing such significant upheaval on the horizon?

Selfish irresponsible wannabe-feudal lords are the only ones I can see having tantrums, but we've already seen situations like during the financial crisis - Lehman Bros collapsing; irresponsibility in the finance sector severely reprimanded, yet also bail-outs using public funds; welfare for banks that were "too big to fail". It's just logical economics - I don't think that those institutions thought they were being treated unfairly - what else were they expecting? To operate within a nation and be plugged into the very economic heart of it, without any responsibility to that nation?

I think everyone understands the basic social contract, it's just that the cheating is going to become more apparent because laziness and the protestant work ethic that frames it are not going to be what they were - the 'opium of the masses' is going to become diluted, and socialist agendas will increase. The social contract is going to return to being primarily between tangible human agents, rather than a covenant with God.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Braininvat on June 7th, 2017, 11:14 am 

Serpent » June 7th, 2017, 5:41 am wrote:And you envision a peaceful transformation to Futurama?
Okay, but that's not what I'm seeing in the world-as-it-is.
I have no quibble with the technological aspect of the thing - that's been foreseeable for a century or more. It's the political theory that doesn't fit. There is also a problem of sheer size, scope and numbers: all the elements that would need to be co-ordinated.

I fear you and I are not discussing the same subject matter - and nobody else is interested.


Go to the Political Theory main page and locate this thread on the list. Now look in the second column, called "Views." We're at 130 views, right now. Somebody else is interested. I've been busy elsewhere, but am definitely thinking about this and trying to figure out where I land on the spectrum of possible futures. As Yogi Berra said, "Prediction is difficult, especially the future."
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on June 7th, 2017, 2:03 pm 

I didn't realize there were people paying attention and not commenting.

Even so, I can't think of anything further to add, until the bases have been covered. Or at least some terms and functions defined.

I see why a change - a really big one! - must take place, but the futurists are looking at a very different facet of that change than the one that ideologues are contemplating, which is different from the one that venture capitalists are considering, which is not the side regarded by conservationists, who don't have much in common with the present US administration - but may be growing closer to political entities they had not previously counted as allies.
I can't see, just at the moment, how that change can take place in anything like an orderly manner.

Of course, I think it's time for a world government and general disarmament....
... but I've been thinking that for decades, and we keep taking two steps back for each step forward.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on June 7th, 2017, 7:25 pm 

I do understand your sentiment, Serpent - the Trumpist attacks on globalism, for example - as if it is treasonous to outsource to cheaper manufacturing options, is a strange one. It seems to point to any import of a cheaper good to be anti-American - it seems to demand the halting of all imports, just in case they upset some native company that is struggling to compete while manufacturing a similar product. And the visceral responses to the situation from the Trumpist makes one wonder what will happen when they realise that their 'protected' jobs are not even in existence anymore because robots have replaced them. Will they be anti-robot? For there is apparently little appetite for logical clear thinking on all of this. There is a pseudo-Christian white nationalism agenda, that's for sure, and it has a whiff of ultra conservatism that wants to take the US backwards. A kind of new age Amish vision?
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on June 7th, 2017, 9:52 pm 

Mossling » June 7th, 2017, 6:25 pm wrote:I do understand your sentiment, Serpent - the Trumpist attacks on globalism, for example - as if it is treasonous to outsource to cheaper manufacturing options, is a strange one.

Particularly given that it was American manufacturers who exported the jobs - along with the factories - in the first place, sometimes with government bail-out funds - to some country where the tax was lower and the regulations even more lax, so they could pollute the rivers, degrade the soil, dump piles of waste into the ocean, disrupt the life of villages, and abuse the adolescent labour-force, while adding nothing to the standard of living, either here or there, but rack up more profit - and left behind ghost-towns, derelict buildings, poisoned earth and polluted water for the local government - which had just lost most of its tax-base - to clean up, and laid-off workers with occupational ailments, no pensions or health insurance plans....
So, anyway, this isn't the administration that's going to lead the new socialism.
A kind of new age Amish vision?

Is that a condemnation or a wish? 'Coz, actually, you've struck pretty close to the kind of thinking we do need for the next phase. Simplicity, community, charity and self-sufficiency....
though I could do without the righteousness.

But, really, you know, nothing is going to work unless people stop blowing one another up.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby SciameriKen on June 8th, 2017, 12:27 am 

Mossling » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:25 pm wrote:I do understand your sentiment, Serpent - the Trumpist attacks on globalism, for example - as if it is treasonous to outsource to cheaper manufacturing options, is a strange one. It seems to point to any import of a cheaper good to be anti-American - it seems to demand the halting of all imports, just in case they upset some native company that is struggling to compete while manufacturing a similar product. And the visceral responses to the situation from the Trumpist makes one wonder what will happen when they realise that their 'protected' jobs are not even in existence anymore because robots have replaced them. Will they be anti-robot? For there is apparently little appetite for logical clear thinking on all of this. There is a pseudo-Christian white nationalism agenda, that's for sure, and it has a whiff of ultra conservatism that wants to take the US backwards. A kind of new age Amish vision?



I don't think its that far fetched. It was the outsourcing of these jobs that has eroded the American middle class. The import of cheaper goods only makes long term economic sense if you can educate your workforce to then produce exports that recoup the money sent overseas. Now I believe you are correct - if by some miracle Trump stops the imports and the jobs come back to the US - they will be going into the hands of the robots. There will of course be a backlash - and perhaps new age amish is not a bad idea - after all the benefits of technology usually benefit the affluent.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on June 8th, 2017, 1:36 am 

The new age Amish suggestion was a kind of joke, but some people here really think it's a viable option? Keep the robots out of the factories and hospitals? Keep society at a certain technological level that allows for Americans to work - just so that the puritans don't get anxious about whether they are going to heaven or not? ;P

And then what happens when the Iranian iron guard flying assault robots arrive in these communities? Hmm, I don't think the US is going to just let the rest of the world 'tech up' and surpass them in economy and thus military spending and R&D so easily....

And regarding blowing one another up - it seems that the 'valid reasons' are getting less and less abundant. The internet is uniting communities and philosophies all across the globe - psychology is psychology no matter the geographical location of the human nervous system. Socrates communicated that the absolute truth is that the conceptual truth is relative, in agreement with the Buddha, Confucius, and LaoTzu. So that's the West, India, and China in philosophical agreement. That's a humanist starting point that, coupled with scientific Enlightenment values, introduces a standardized globalist culture that transcends localized religions, race, political ideology, and so on. The Golden Rule, for example, is already being used by international ethicists to prevent wars.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on June 8th, 2017, 9:37 am 

Mossling » June 8th, 2017, 12:36 am wrote:The new age Amish suggestion was a kind of joke, but some people here really think it's a viable option?

Not really. It's more likely to be hunter-gatherers, nomadic herdsmen with mutant cattle, cannibals, bandits and whatever-else roamed about in the Mad Max movies. But peaceful, productive, non-greedy, non-destructive human communities would make a nice change.

Keep the robots out of the factories and hospitals? Keep society at a certain technological level that allows for Americans to work - just so that the puritans don't get anxious about whether they are going to heaven or not?

Not that, either. You don't have to "keep the robots out" of anywhere. You just have to erode the economy to such an extent that the population can't afford robotic services and the government can't provide a stable energy grid for them to work on. Then there will be no profit in robots, and the only people who can own robots won't provide their services free.

And then what happens when the Iranian iron guard flying assault robots arrive in these communities?

Eh? Last I recall, it was the American president threatening Iran, not the other way around. What would Iran have to gain by attacking agrarian communities?

Hmm, I don't think the US is going to just let the rest of the world 'tech up' and surpass them in economy

It already has. Ranking 15th in education and 24th in overall health, they're now cutting the budgets all agencies pertaining to those endeavours, and fighting against science on all fronts.
and thus military spending and R&D so easily....

That doesn't belong in the same sentence. Remember when I said how so much of the economy was make-believe? Military R$$D is part of that. Nothing is actually produced. I mean, they use up an unprecedented amount of resources and make an obscene amount of toxic waste, and spend an unconscionable amount of borrowed [imaginary] money and end up with ungodly hunks of hardware that require ridiculous amounts of fuel to lug around and lob at people - but as its only function is to explode into little charred bits of shrapnel, it's not exactly "something".

And regarding blowing one another up - it seems that the 'valid reasons' are getting less and less abundant.

Which are those?
The internet is uniting communities and philosophies all across the globe - psychology is psychology no matter the geographical location of the human nervous system. Socrates communicated that the absolute truth is that the conceptual truth is relative, in agreement with the Buddha, Confucius, and LaoTzu. So that's the West, India, and China in philosophical agreement. That's a humanist starting point that, coupled with scientific Enlightenment values, introduces a standardized globalist culture that transcends localized religions, race, political ideology, and so on. The Golden Rule, for example, is already being used by international ethicists to prevent wars.

Pass da cheeroot, mon - I ghot to get me some o dat optimism!
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on June 8th, 2017, 7:16 pm 

Serpent » June 8th, 2017, 10:37 pm wrote:Pass da cheeroot, mon - I ghot to get me some o dat optimism!

Haha, have no fear, it seems that it's on the way. As Diogenes of Sinope said - the most efficient route to Socratic philosophy is self-taught poverty.

If the anti-science and anti-truth efforts continue, most Americans are going to be ascetics whether they like it or not, and once their prayers are realised to be wishful thinking, they'll look to practical economic solutions - efficient tech; wisdom.

Either that or they'll just choose hell - self-flagellation for all the collective sins they've committed - the theft, the murder, the self-righteousness, and so on. For the heart is always listening... and yet I believe there's enough philosophy and science of the collective human heart present in the world for those who look for it, and no doubt more to come.

Optimism and pessimism, like yin and yang, are always available in equal measure, I think, it just depends which one you choose to pay attention to and make your primary reality. As optimism provides clear-minded confidence, positive results manifest faster than if one is pessimistic, and so cycles of optimism-to-positive-outcomes can snowball. The same is true for the opposite - pessimism-to-underperformance cycles. So one's choice is very important.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on July 18th, 2017, 3:13 am 

Brexit won’t help Britain survive the rise of the robots
The Guardian, 17 July 2017
In the past 12 months, Japan has started to produce a lot of robots. Its production index for industrial robots stood at 25 in 2009, achieved 175 last year and rocketed to 225 in June this year. Three-quarters of the units made were exported, helping Japan boost its total exports by 11% in the past year. In turn, the industrial surge of robots has stimulated a surge in semiconductor production in Japan and South Korea. This is big and real.

Japan is ahead in robotics not only because it has a decades-old semiconductor industry and an ageing population, but because it has an industrial strategy. Its government demanded a new industrial revolution in 2014. In 2015, its Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry issued a “New Robot Strategy”, stipulating sales targets for robotics in various sectors and urgent measures to train and retain technologists.

In robots for nursing care, for example, the strategy spells out a detailed five-year plan – from supporting manufacturers and changing International Organization for Standardization regulations to new health regulations and the creation of a marketplace between healthcare providers and robotics firms. The policy was not made in a vacuum. Japan’s industrial strategists were worried about big US spending commitments on robot research and development and a €2.8bn (£2.5bn) robotics project, funded by the European commission, called Sparc.


They're on their way!...

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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby zetreque on July 23rd, 2017, 4:20 pm 

Anyone pick up on the recent news of Facebook's bots creating their own language?

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/ ... ke/530934/
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Sivad on July 23rd, 2017, 6:23 pm 

SciameriKen » June 7th, 2017, 9:27 pm wrote:I don't think its that far fetched. It was the outsourcing of these jobs that has eroded the American middle class. The import of cheaper goods only makes long term economic sense if you can educate your workforce to then produce exports that recoup the money sent overseas. Now I believe you are correct - if by some miracle Trump stops the imports and the jobs come back to the US - they will be going into the hands of the robots.


I doubt that, it's mostly just propaganda by neoliberal con artists trying to convince people their screw job is irrevocable. If that miracle occurred a good chunk of those jobs would be automated but there would still be millions of high paying jobs that would be viable for decades.

If Manufacturing Employment is Dead Then Take a Look at China’s Zombie Apocalypse
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on July 23rd, 2017, 9:04 pm 

Sivad » July 24th, 2017, 7:23 am wrote: a good chunk of those jobs would be automated but there would still be millions of high paying jobs that would be viable for decades.

There could be other major factors - like wanting to be seen as traditional and responsible to one's employees - thus keeping a non-automated factory going for as long as possible, also a 'not fixing it til it's broke' mentality - not upgrading to automation until one is forced to economically.

The sociopolitical and industrial economic future of an AI and robot-driven world appears highly unpredictable at the moment, so why rush on into such unknown territory if the present world is good enough?

The key points the tech experts have been pointing out is that there will be an inevitable slow trickle - like IBM's 'Watson', for example, which could become a deluge at any point as the dam holding back the potential applications springs a leak as one significantly competitive firm decides to go all out and invest in a substantial tech-driven edge over their rivals.

Even in biological evolution terms, this is called an 'arms race'. And we already know what kind of progress the intensity of such competition can drive as rivals battle it out for survival.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby SciameriKen on July 23rd, 2017, 11:35 pm 

Sivad » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:23 pm wrote:
SciameriKen » June 7th, 2017, 9:27 pm wrote:I don't think its that far fetched. It was the outsourcing of these jobs that has eroded the American middle class. The import of cheaper goods only makes long term economic sense if you can educate your workforce to then produce exports that recoup the money sent overseas. Now I believe you are correct - if by some miracle Trump stops the imports and the jobs come back to the US - they will be going into the hands of the robots.


I doubt that, it's mostly just propaganda by neoliberal con artists trying to convince people their screw job is irrevocable. If that miracle occurred a good chunk of those jobs would be automated but there would still be millions of high paying jobs that would be viable for decades.

If Manufacturing Employment is Dead Then Take a Look at China’s Zombie Apocalypse



Thank you for your opinion - but your article has nothing to do with the upcoming shift to robotic/artificial intelligence workforce - it discusses changes in China's manufacturing base mostly between 2005-2013 -- the impacts of AI aren't really felt yet. In my opinion, we aren't going to wake up one day and then bam robots took all of our jobs. Its going to be an industry here - and industry there - meanwhile wages depress as humans clamor for any remaining jobs - and it will be this way for decades upon decades to come. Why do you think such a future is not possible? That there will always be some magical human only industry that opens up? That Robotics/AI is not really that great even though we already had a user tell us he came in and automated a slew of worker's jobs away? That revolts and social choas will destroy electric infrastructures thereby eliminating robots and giving us "off the grid" economies and jobs back? Well maybe that last one...
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Sivad on July 24th, 2017, 3:09 am 

SciameriKen » June 7th, 2017, 9:27 pm wrote:Thank you for your opinion - but your article has nothing to do with the upcoming shift to robotic/artificial intelligence workforce


You're missing the point. The article has everything to do with the myth of technological unemployment in the manufacturing sector -

This argument ends up as a morality tale with serious policy implications: if even China, manufacturing powerhouse with wages developed countries cannot hope to compete with, is losing manufacturing jobs, then surely manufacturing jobs are obsolete and the U.S. is foolish to try to maintain them—let alone get them back.

Unfortunately, this story is based on a gross misreading of inaccurate evidence.


The point is manufacturing jobs are not yet obsolete and won't be for decades. The jobs are there by the millions, they could come back, and the claim that robots could do most of them is bogus.

In my opinion, we aren't going to wake up one day and then bam robots took all of our jobs. Its going to be an industry here - and industry there - meanwhile wages depress as humans clamor for any remaining jobs - and it will be this way for decades upon decades to come. Why do you think such a future is not possible? That there will always be some magical human only industry that opens up? That Robotics/AI is not really that great even though we already had a user tell us he came in and automated a slew of worker's jobs away? That revolts and social choas will destroy electric infrastructures thereby eliminating robots and giving us "off the grid" economies and jobs back? Well maybe that last one...


All I'm saying is we aren't there yet and that right now and probably for the next 20 years at least most of the manufacturing jobs lost to outsourcing can't be cost-effectively automated.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Athena on July 24th, 2017, 11:00 am 

Mossling » June 4th, 2017, 4:36 am wrote:This is a new thread split off from the thread: Robots/China taking US jobs" = Biggest Issue of Our Times?

This video below has blown me away - one sentence remains poignant: "not every factory worker can be reskilled to become a sushi chef"... :/ , but he says that there are probably realistic potential solutions to the 50 percent AI-fuelled job replacement he predicts - and in 10-15 years no less!

He is a true expert in the field of AI development and application and predicts all kinds of incredible developments that sound logical enough. He has a considerable resume - working with the likes of Google, Microsoft, Apple, and so on.

At 49:00 he gives his opinion on the AI 'self-consciousness' question - that there is no engineering basis for that - that AI is just a tool, and that the talk of hypothetical self-conscious robots is just that - purely hypothetical and nowhere near realistic yet.



He lists, among other things, the following AI-related world-changing developments:

- Service 'heartful' jobs irreplaceable
- Automated transport (of course)
- No personal vehicles (because they are unused most of the time and therefore inefficient)
- Emptier roads
- Everything one needs delivered by courier
- No, or very small, hospital queues due to AI doctors
- Almost instant beaurocracy served over e-channels

In this way our societies will be remodelled in very significant ways.

Some of the dangers he highlights are as follows:

- Angry jobless protesters on the streets
- Neglect of the jobless
- Hacking
- Misuse of private data (photos, medical records, and so on)
- Non-benevolent programming

And some others.

What, do you think, the socio-political and economic global repercussions are going to be of all this?

I personally think that practical philosophy is going to be a key area of study once again - permeating all fields and activities. Epicureanism, Skepticism, Cynicism, etc.; all will become practically relevant to every person's life once more as they look for purpose beyond the traditional idea of work. Do you agree?


I do not see people struggling to survive turning to philosophy. Already we are suffering from over population with growing numbers of homeless people, and continuing to increase their numbers with AI could become a social threat. Also, who is going to pay taxes if AI continues to replace human workers? I think we have some serious questions to ask, and that we need to work on the political response to our changed reality.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Athena on July 24th, 2017, 1:48 pm 

SciameriKen » July 23rd, 2017, 9:35 pm wrote:

Thank you for your opinion - but your article has nothing to do with the upcoming shift to robotic/artificial intelligence workforce - it discusses changes in China's manufacturing base mostly between 2005-2013 -- the impacts of AI aren't really felt yet. In my opinion, we aren't going to wake up one day and then bam robots took all of our jobs. Its going to be an industry here - and industry there - meanwhile wages depress as humans clamor for any remaining jobs - and it will be this way for decades upon decades to come. Why do you think such a future is not possible? That there will always be some magical human only industry that opens up? That Robotics/AI is not really that great even though we already had a user tell us he came in and automated a slew of worker's jobs away? That revolts and social choas will destroy electric infrastructures thereby eliminating robots and giving us "off the grid" economies and jobs back? Well maybe that last one...


I hope to speak with a county commissioner today or make an appointment for a future meeting. The county commissioners are considering allowing campers to use county land. We can get an idea about what will happen in the future, by speaking with politicians about present problems such as homelessness and the fact that the Section 8 a housing assistance program, can not keep up with the number of people who qualify for assistance, nor the rising cost of living. I am wanting to present these problems mathematically, to get the past the barrier of personal judgments about "those people" and uninformed ideas about existing programs, that are not based on sufficient facts.

I believe we are dealing with overpopulation and are in denial of the imbalance between growing human needs and shrinking resources. Creating more and more jobs without concern about how ethical they are, is not the solution. On the other hand, by considering AI as a source of revenue and liberal education as the means to good lives we could create a very beneficial reality. It should be liberal education that drives society not a handful of capitalist. Does it really matter if it is stupid kings and a failure to resolve problems diplomatically that drives our lives, or a handful of capitalist, or AI? The Renaissance began in Italy as a determined effort to prepare citizens for self-government, and we are over do for another Renaissance.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby SciameriKen on July 24th, 2017, 1:59 pm 

Sivad » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:09 am wrote:
SciameriKen » June 7th, 2017, 9:27 pm wrote:Thank you for your opinion - but your article has nothing to do with the upcoming shift to robotic/artificial intelligence workforce


You're missing the point. The article has everything to do with the myth of technological unemployment in the manufacturing sector -

This argument ends up as a morality tale with serious policy implications: if even China, manufacturing powerhouse with wages developed countries cannot hope to compete with, is losing manufacturing jobs, then surely manufacturing jobs are obsolete and the U.S. is foolish to try to maintain them—let alone get them back.

Unfortunately, this story is based on a gross misreading of inaccurate evidence.


The point is manufacturing jobs are not yet obsolete and won't be for decades. The jobs are there by the millions, they could come back, and the claim that robots could do most of them is bogus.

In my opinion, we aren't going to wake up one day and then bam robots took all of our jobs. Its going to be an industry here - and industry there - meanwhile wages depress as humans clamor for any remaining jobs - and it will be this way for decades upon decades to come. Why do you think such a future is not possible? That there will always be some magical human only industry that opens up? That Robotics/AI is not really that great even though we already had a user tell us he came in and automated a slew of worker's jobs away? That revolts and social choas will destroy electric infrastructures thereby eliminating robots and giving us "off the grid" economies and jobs back? Well maybe that last one...


All I'm saying is we aren't there yet and that right now and probably for the next 20 years at least most of the manufacturing jobs lost to outsourcing can't be cost-effectively automated.



So you are saying that just because China's manufacturing sector upticked a little in the last decade we don't have to worry about AI/3-D printing/robotics job losses? These technologies are just now emerging - plus worldwide labor is ridiculously cheap slowing integration. Let's just assume you are right that human manufacturing can last 20 years - so are you suggesting we spend 5-10 years burning our trading partners to re-establish American manufacturer so we can enjoy the final 10 years before its decline? I'm not particularly opposed to that - globalization has destroyed the American middle class. All I am saying is the threat to manufacturing from technology is not some Liberal propaganda, and we should be taking the issue seriously.
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