Author Topic: Making AI automation work for humanity  (Read 75 times)

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Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Making AI automation work for humanity
« on: February 12, 2019, 07:38:36 pm »
As AI & robotics advance, many predict automation is quickly approaching and will inevitably mean the loss of countless human jobs. 

This is what they said about the industrial revolution, but we found more jobs to do.  But consider that in the coming decades AI will have algorithms so sophisticated that AI will be able to write a best-selling novel or screenplay, or write hit songs,so  it causes alarm & will be a different beast.  They say we'll work in the service industry, but they could make robots that pass the Turing Test and be nicer & better looking than most of us...where do we have a role?

So if there's a wave of unemployment, how do we make it work for us?  One option is universal basic income.  Imagine a society where robots/AI are doing most of the work for us, and many of us will finally have the increased leisure time that Marx predicted.  Since AI is doing all the work, & corporations will own most of them, profits will concentrate evermore into the hands of the wealthy as many unskilled folk remain unemployable.  This could mean taxing the wealthy so that regular folk have an income to live & purchase goods.  Or will we just find some kind of jobs to do? Like managing all of these AI? (Can't they mostly manage themselves?)

We have to be careful not to be too optimistic here, because we've seen what has already happened to low-skilled manufacturing workers. Middle-aged white male Americans are dying at alarming rates due to suicide & "deaths of despair": https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/it-s-not-just-chris-cornell-suicide-rates-highest-among-n762221

Joe Rogan has a guest who talks about it at the very beginning of this video here:

https://twitter.com/joerogan/status/1095483963970342912
I can tell how good of a person you are by how you treat the people you disagree with.

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Offline TimG

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 08:19:34 pm »
In the past we had a constantly increasing population which required a constantly increasing number of jobs.

In many rich countries populations are declining or only being kept stable with immigration.

This means the number of jobs needed in the future will decline and those who do work will need to be much more productive to support a society with a lot of retirees.

AIs and expert systems will be needed to increase productivity.

Keep in mind that unemployment is at record lows in many countries yet the proliferation of job killing tech has never been higher.
This data needs to be explained before we jump on the doomsday wagon.

Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 08:57:44 pm »
Keep in mind that unemployment is at record lows in many countries yet the proliferation of job killing tech has never been higher.
This data needs to be explained before we jump on the doomsday wagon.

We're also in a peak where the global economy has soared to heights never before seen in a very long bull market run.  That mainly explains the low unemployment.  What will happen during the next recession when businesses are forced to cut costs and desperately start looking for savings?
I can tell how good of a person you are by how you treat the people you disagree with.

Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 09:00:12 pm »
Andf what about these people who purposely skip the automated checkouts at grocery stores etc. and go for a real cashier in order to support their employment?  Are they just Luddites resisting the inevitable?
I can tell how good of a person you are by how you treat the people you disagree with.

Offline TimG

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 09:08:34 pm »
We're also in a peak where the global economy has soared to heights never before seen in a very long bull market run.  That mainly explains the low unemployment.  What will happen during the next recession when businesses are forced to cut costs and desperately start looking for savings?
We have had bull markets before and unemployment rate was higher the recession and then recovery. Why would this bull market be different? You also need to consider that the % of the working age population with a job is higher than it was in the past. I don't think it is reasonable to extrapolate the past into the future. Demographics are changing radically and it will have a huge impact on the nature of work.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 01:11:51 am by TimG »

Offline TimG

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 09:16:51 pm »
Andf what about these people who purposely skip the automated checkouts at grocery stores etc. and go for a real cashier in order to support their employment?  Are they just Luddites resisting the inevitable?
Some stores are getting rid of automated checkouts because they feel they can keep customers happier with humans. These kinds of business decisions will continue to be made.

Offline ?Impact

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2019, 03:47:57 pm »
Keep in mind that unemployment is at record lows in many countries yet the proliferation of job killing tech has never been higher.

Keep in mind that salary is a record lows in those same countries as well. We are no longer the generation of a single salary being able to sustain a family, and save for the future.

Offline TimG

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 06:50:04 pm »
Keep in mind that salary is a record lows in those same countries as well. We are no longer the generation of a single salary being able to sustain a family, and save for the future.
Record lows? Try record highs. Plus even the poorest have access to things that used to be considered luxuries. I doubt anyone feeling pinched today would give up what they have to go back in time to the "golden age" of the past because people struggled then too. I know people who were wiped out by 25%+ interest rates in the late 70s.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 06:52:05 pm by TimG »

Offline ?Impact

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2019, 11:08:51 am »
Record lows? Try record highs. Plus even the poorest have access to things that used to be considered luxuries. I doubt anyone feeling pinched today would give up what they have to go back in time to the "golden age" of the past because people struggled then too. I know people who were wiped out by 25%+ interest rates in the late 70s.

One man could easily support a family, including 3-4 children, and the wife didn't have to work in the 50's & 60's. That was any man, regardless of profession. Today, you need two highly paid people to support 1-2 kids. The money may be more, but the cost of living has increased at 3-5 times the rate of salaries.

Offline TimG

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 11:46:17 am »
One man could easily support a family, including 3-4 children, and the wife didn't have to work in the 50's & 60's. That was any man, regardless of profession. Today, you need two highly paid people to support 1-2 kids. The money may be more, but the cost of living has increased at 3-5 times the rate of salaries.
What you are seeing is the end result of 70 years of social competition. In the past, spouses did not work because they did not have a choice and the real estate prices were set at a level a single income could afford. As soon as women could work couples realized they could get an advantage in the real estate market with a dual income. This caused housing prices to rise, which pushed more families to dual income, which caused more price increase. The end result was a housing market with prices set at a level that only dual incomes can afford. Outside of housing the real prices of most goods has declined and the real incomes of workers has increased. 

On top of that you have educational competition. In the past kids rarely went to college but the universal desire to give one's kids an advantage created competition where now college is required - not because it is necessary - but because everyone else has a college degree and not having one severely limits job prospects. This imposes additional cost burdens on families.

IOW: it is rising expectations and competition that created the dual income household. It is not a sign of declining economic opportunities.

Offline ?Impact

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2019, 12:11:20 pm »
Outside of housing the real prices of most goods has declined and the real incomes of workers has increased. 

For the most part, food prices have increased above incomes. Yes, some imported foods have declined and processed foods may have kept pace, but most fresh produce takes a far bigger bite of the family budget today than before.

Offline TimG

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2019, 12:56:28 pm »
For the most part, food prices have increased above incomes. Yes, some imported foods have declined and processed foods may have kept pace, but most fresh produce takes a far bigger bite of the family budget today than before.
Huh? Out of season fresh produce was not even an option in the past. People ate canned goods or root vegetables with a long shelf life. The fact that we can get fresh produce at any time of the year is one of those examples where quality of life has improved significantly and it is naive to see the 50-60s as some sort of golden age.



Offline ?Impact

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2019, 01:28:07 pm »
Out of season fresh produce was not even an option in the past.

Not sure where out of season came into this discussion, I am talking about all produce. If you want to limit to root vegetables in February then when I grew up we got potatoes from the local store for 2/lb, today you might find them on sale for 60/lb.

Offline TimG

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Re: Making AI automation work for humanity
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2019, 02:51:19 pm »
Not sure where out of season came into this discussion, I am talking about all produce.
You said that fresh produce takes a larger percentage of the family budget but this larger percentage will include a lot of out of season and imported produce that were simply not an option in the past. So simply looking at this statistic is misleading because it includes personal choices to spend more on premium goods. The stat that matters is the total proportion of the family income that goes to food. And that has clearly declined:

Your Grandparents Spent More Of Their Money On Food Than You Do
Quote
But our spending on food proportional to our income has actually declined dramatically since 1960, according to a chart recently published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As the chart shows, the average share of per capita income spent on food fell from 17.5 percent in 1960 to 9.6 percent in 2007. (It has since risen slightly, reaching 9.9 percent in 2013.)



« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 02:59:33 pm by TimG »