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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:35 pm 
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flybynight wrote:
raptor wrote:
In many cases it will not even be a dumb robots puttinf people out of work, but rather an app on a smart phone that simply makes a system more efficient. For instance regardless of what happens with self driving vehicles, simple apps like Uber have disrupted the cab businesses. Twitter and Facebook have disrupted the news industry.


We live in a "good enough" world. By that I mean mediocrity is in many cases good enough for many people. Couple that with a smartphone and you get disruption to the entertainment industry. The sound quality of an MP3 is inferior to many other storage methods. Still the files are small and the sound quality is good enough for most people.

If you couple good enough with AI you will see customer service become fully automated. If you then extend that to other office tasks you quickly see other jobs that can be automated into oblivion.


So in essence you are saying the war between a super intelligent machine and humans is already in progress and the humans don't even know that the internet of things are the first fingers of their doom slowly closing around their neck?


Yes. How many people do you see everyday staring at a smartphone?

The next greatest advance in robotics/AI is to link human brains to smart phones. Why invent robotic technology when you can simply use existing organic life and that organic life will willingly pay for the robotic "upgrade" every two years.

Musk said something very similar the other day.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:51 pm 
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I feel like much of this conversation is losing sight of the bureaucracy factor.

Not so much in the regulation of new technologies, but the unthinkably slow progression of change within large organizations and especially government. For instance, I know for a fact that my state government is currently operating using not one, not two, or three, or four, but SEVEN computer databases designed in the 1980's. They have never been replaced because they function and it would be expensive to replace them, so it doesn't happen. I'm not saying that any of that cannot be replaced and the data imported, I'm simply arguing that bureaucratic acceptance (immediate cost AND change) will not advance at the same rate as technological advancement.

For God's sake, critical government systems are currently running on software that predates personal computers. How easy does anyone really think it will be to supplant all human work done in an office or driving a vehicle?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:07 am 
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For those with charm & charisma there will always be politics or religion. And for the morally flexible crime will be an option. Those are just the first three things that come to mind.
If there was a universal living wage being paid to every adult I could see some people turning hobbies into careers for extra income. However competition would be stiff. While a large portion of the population would be content to veg out, a lot of folks would be looking to get out & do things with their windfall of free time. And they would need guides and instructors. At least that's my optimistic thoughts, my pessimistic side is a real buzzkill.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:28 am 
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Neville wrote:
Close_enough wrote:
Until something achieves sentience. Then we're honked.


What you are referring to is "the singularity" a concept forwarded by futurist Ray Kurzweil. It is the point at which machine intelligence equals human intelligence.

We are not there. But the pace of the advance is quickening. The pace of the advance will continue to quicken.

Let's say it takes you 15 minutes to walk a mile. You have a journey of 100 miles ahead of you. So by standard reasoning it will take you 1500 minutes to walk that hundred miles. (25 hours). Not counting breaks for meals, water, sleeping or just catching your breath.

But let's say instead of on foot, you are in a car, and it's your buddy who is hoofing it. And let's also say, that every mile, you are allowed to double the speed of the car.

For the first mile, you're hardly creeping in the car, while your buddy walks. It takes you both 15 minutes.

But for the second mile, you leave him in the dust by doubling your speed to 8 mph. You travel two miles in the time it takes him to travel just one. So at the end of the second 15 minutes, he's traveled 2 miles, while you have traveled 3, and you are one mile ahead of him. A mile that will take him fifteen minutes to catch up, if you stop.

But you don't stop.

Instead, you double your speed again, sixteen miles per hour. Still pretty slow huh? At the end of the next 15 minutes you have traveled four more miles, on top of the first 3. Your buddy is now at mile marker 3. It's now going to take 45 minutes for him to catch up, if you stop. But you don't stop. You double up again, pedal down to a breathtaking speed of 32 mph.

So far this is barely out of "school zone" speed after 3 iterations but do you want to know how fast this builds up? From here it starts to look a little scary.

Iteration Minutes Vehicle Speed (mph) Vehicle Distance (miles)
1 15 4 1
2 30 8 3
3 45 16 7
4 60 32 15
5 75 64 31
6 90 128 63
7 105 256 127

Having only gone 15 miles in the first hour, you, in the car, are going to complete the journey of 100 miles in a little over an hour and a a half total. You're going to be doing the legal limit on the next cycle, maxing out the spedometer on the one after that, and apparently engaging the after-thrusters or rocket engine for that last sprint to the finish at 256 mph.

So when it seems like "Man, computers are a long way from being as smart as a human" keep in mind, this isn't a linear progression we are talking about. The better the tools get, the better the hardware gets, the more we learn about AI, the faster the advances come. And if you think that's scary, then just imagine what it will be like when AI matches our best AI designers and starts to design it's own Model 2.0. After that, there's going to be no stopping the snowball.

People are still thinking it's going to take 25 hours to walk that hundred miles, because they are gauging by past experience. If they looked at the real pattern, and saw that the same journey would actually only take less than two hours wouldn't they be surprised? Get ready folks, it'll likely be here before you know it.


Mmmm.... reminds me of exponents and calculus... I love sensual math...

Speaking of math, every TV show I ever watched about robots taught me a valuable lesson: To defeat our robot overlords, ask them to solve Pi... 3.14159 bzzzzzzzzzzz zapppppppp sizzle
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:26 am 
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phalanx wrote:
I feel like much of this conversation is losing sight of the bureaucracy factor.

Not so much in the regulation of new technologies, but the unthinkably slow progression of change within large organizations and especially government. For instance, I know for a fact that my state government is currently operating using not one, not two, or three, or four, but SEVEN computer databases designed in the 1980's. They have never been replaced because they function and it would be expensive to replace them, so it doesn't happen. I'm not saying that any of that cannot be replaced and the data imported, I'm simply arguing that bureaucratic acceptance (immediate cost AND change) will not advance at the same rate as technological advancement.

For God's sake, critical government systems are currently running on software that predates personal computers. How easy does anyone really think it will be to supplant all human work done in an office or driving a vehicle?


Pre-dates PCs...?

Want to make good money right out of college?

Study and get solid with COBOL - $80K/year to start.

Sounds dumb, right? I mean COBOL, that went out with Big Iron. Except at Banks, the FAA, and a large number of other FedGov joints. COBOL is here to stay, for at least another generation....

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:08 am 
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TacAir wrote:
phalanx wrote:
I feel like much of this conversation is losing sight of the bureaucracy factor.

Not so much in the regulation of new technologies, but the unthinkably slow progression of change within large organizations and especially government. For instance, I know for a fact that my state government is currently operating using not one, not two, or three, or four, but SEVEN computer databases designed in the 1980's. They have never been replaced because they function and it would be expensive to replace them, so it doesn't happen. I'm not saying that any of that cannot be replaced and the data imported, I'm simply arguing that bureaucratic acceptance (immediate cost AND change) will not advance at the same rate as technological advancement.

For God's sake, critical government systems are currently running on software that predates personal computers. How easy does anyone really think it will be to supplant all human work done in an office or driving a vehicle?


Pre-dates PCs...?

Want to make good money right out of college?

Study and get solid with COBOL - $80K/year to start.

Sounds dumb, right? I mean COBOL, that went out with Big Iron. Except at Banks, the FAA, and a large number of other FedGov joints. COBOL is here to stay, for at least another generation....


Yup, COBOL, JCL, and I would probably throw in VSAM/DB2 just to be sure. I've been approached by recruiters since I had COBOL on my resume and they throw stupid numbers at you for salary, but I really didn't want to live where those jobs were located. Many of those groups you mentioned are doing modernization programs and being able to do COBOL and any other newer language will get you a job doing the conversions.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:28 am 
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raptor wrote:
Musk said something very similar the other day.


Yes I know it is The Sun but we are discussing "what if" in this topic.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2883522/t ... artphones/

Quote:
Musk also discussed how he saw human beings as already being ‘cyborgs’ as we become more and more dependent on technology.

To muted laughter from the crowd he explained: "To some degree we are already a cyborg - you think of all the digital tools that you have - your phone, your computer. "The applications that you have. The fact that you can ask a question and instantly get an answer from Google and other things.



To extrapolate on this logic. Technology makes humans redundant.
What do you do with a billion surplus units?

You turn them into worker drones. You control the emotions, logic and satisfy their basic physical needs. The interface for this control in effect a smartphone albeit one with some sort of physical interface. You could (not ethically) do it with today's technology.

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61% on Rotten Tomatos. Time to study on how the free yourself (fun trailer, BTW)
The adults lost the war and now the kids must save the world! Robots rule the streets and the people are locked in their homes. Stepping outside risks being vaporised by a hulking Sentry or picked off by a lethal Sniper. Through the ruins of Britain a group of kids set out to join the Resistance. Hot on their heels however is their old teacher turned robot collaborator Mr Smythe.
No shortage of ruins in Britain to film in... 1995 flick, so the CGI is OK.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:47 pm 
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Michael Crighton (Prey, The terminal man, Jurassic park, Sphere, and a host of others) , and to a lesser degree, Dean Kootz (The bad seed, Midnight) and James Patterson (Maximum Ride and the related When the Wind Blows), write a lot of stuff with a definite anti-technology bent.

For straight Robot Apocalypse stuff, It's hard to beat Daniel H Wilson (Robopocalypse, Robogenesis). Think Max Brooks with a PhD in robotics, and that's pretty much Daniel Wilson.

For AI overlords, there's a ton of great stuff out of the 1960's. The "Colossus" Trilogy by D. F. Jones, "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" By Harlan Ellison (seriously twisted literary genius), and the somewhat related "Cell" By Stephen King.


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TacAir wrote:
phalanx wrote:
I feel like much of this conversation is losing sight of the bureaucracy factor.

Not so much in the regulation of new technologies, but the unthinkably slow progression of change within large organizations and especially government. For instance, I know for a fact that my state government is currently operating using not one, not two, or three, or four, but SEVEN computer databases designed in the 1980's. They have never been replaced because they function and it would be expensive to replace them, so it doesn't happen. I'm not saying that any of that cannot be replaced and the data imported, I'm simply arguing that bureaucratic acceptance (immediate cost AND change) will not advance at the same rate as technological advancement.

For God's sake, critical government systems are currently running on software that predates personal computers. How easy does anyone really think it will be to supplant all human work done in an office or driving a vehicle?


Pre-dates PCs...?

<snip>


What, too much hyperbole? Or are you saying not enough hyperbole? My software HUMAN BRAIN can't decide.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:01 pm 
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Ah, so many good topics in this thread already. I'll add some of my thoughts, but I have to preface this post is not exactly structured as well as I would have liked.

I agree with the sentiment that technological progress seems to be generally exponential rather than linear, and I see no obvious limitations to why that shouldn't continue on. Humans might well be near the peak of general intelligence on the Earth right now, and I assume that "lesser" creatures, like earthworms, cannot even conceive of our level of thought. Similarly, we may yet just be another point on the continuous scale of intelligence, and there are likely many levels of "superintelligence" above ours that we simply can't even conceive of either. But we could possibly create a machine, that creates a machine, etc., that could reach said levels, and it could take less time than we think.

Electronic circuits and the software that runs on them aren't yet as complex as the human brain, but electronic circuits can operate thousands of times faster than neurons, which suggests that if they do reach that level of complexity, they will likely outpace our ability to think by many magnitudes. This is already readily apparent, by considering how fast a simple laptop (or even a mobile phone now) can compute the millions of calculations per second required to render a 3D game or other complex program, and nearly all without a single error. That is an example of specific intelligence, which is largely all that computers are capable of today. But the specific intelligences that computers already possess, such as driving cars autonomously, they do in vast superiority to any human, or even groups of many humans. Turning a powerful AI on a problem for a week might be the equivalent of 10,000 years of human research. It may well be some sort of evolution, from a machine possessing multiple specific intelligences, that is able to leap to general intelligence, much as brains likely evolved from specific intelligences in the past. There is a phrase I've heard somewhere: "When does a general AI become dangerous? The moment you switch it on."

Will a hyperintelligence be "friendly" to its creators? Maybe. It could take on a fond relationship of "preservation", sort of like we try with National Parks or something, but there's really no telling. A disquieting experiment by Google's Deep Mind team recently seems to indicate that when competition (rather than cooperation) with other individuals yields the best results in a game, more complex computer models develop more aggressive strategies (http://www.wired.co.uk/article/artificial-intelligence-social-impact-deepmind). Perhaps the best tactic is to make sure you are useful and non-competing to future robot overlords, but what qualities that will require of us is also hard to say. It has proven in the past to be a fairly "successful" genetic strategy to be useful to humans: we will make sure your kind are populous (cattle), because we like to eat beef. But it has been equally disastrous to be a nuisance to humans. :(

EDIT:
Another topic touched on is this thread already, was that of what to do with the people who are no longer strictly needed to do jobs. We see this already in some limited geographies and sectors, but it isn't necessarily just low-skill repetitive jobs that are at risk. Given the right kinds and amount of training data, computers are probably better at diagnosing skin cancer on sight than humans (http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/health/ai-system-detects-skin-cancer-study/ - and that's just visible-frequency images, computers could make use of hyper-spectral imaging as well). And other skills that humans need years of training to acquire are still possible to design a specific intelligence for (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/09/robots-taking-white-collar-jobs). It is quite easy to see a point at which machines are capable of growing all the food to support everyone, keeping the streets and sewers clean, and providing everything else that humans strictly "need" to survive. Perhaps artists will remain? Actually, computers have shown remarkable ability to create music, novels, and pictures that, while being somewhat formulaic, are generally quite pleasing still. So what do we do when we reach a post-job state, and humanity starts to just look like a burdensome thing to support? I don't know any of the answers to that, but I do worry that we are having to deal with aspects of it already, and it is only likely to gain magnitude over time.

I kind of think that a solution (we might call the "luddite" solution) might be to impose extreme limitations on the kinds of jobs and intelligence that computers are allowed to have, and restrict the development of higher levels of AI. It would require a realization by mankind that developing a powerful general AI would be "a grave and dangerous mistake", akin to how using nuclear weapons is viewed under MAD today. I don't see that solution as having must lasting power though, and the danger might be that you only ever get to test one "AI bomb". Another obvious problem with that approach would be that, while the expertise on developing general AI currently doesn't exist and will probably still be rare even in the future, the computing power necessary to make them a reality probably isn't that expensive, and self-centered humans will always want the upper hand somewhere.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:13 pm 
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Since it is already far too late to impose the Orange Catholic Bible's restrictions on AI, I propose a simpler version for the time being:

Robots may have arms, or they may have locomotion, they may not have both.


Without a large force of avatars that could effect change in the real world, most AI apocalypses seem far-fetched. Certainly the nearest and most tangible threat seems a disruption in supply if/when the majority of trucking becomes automated, but without H/Ks roaming the streets Skynet's human pogrom would probably be limited to running drivers off the interstates for the time being. If the military begins automating the war machine that is of course the time to start digging... I would assume a rouge AI could cause massive havoc on the power grid/infrastructure in general, which would of course lead to a certain amount of death and destruction, but I know in my corner of the world at least there is nothing with an internet connection that could go door to door hauling us meat sacks to the Gulag.


while I agree that the historical precedent for luddites does point toward the unstoppable weight of progress, I have heard many argue that the industrial revolution that brought about the luddites still accounted for a net job gain, meaning they could never gain the weight of public support. Many (most?) are forecasting the opposite for this industrial revolution, meaning either in the gap between job loss and UBI, or if UBI isn't as guaranteed as many suggest, there could well be a rowdy period of adjustment.

Military purposes certainly ensures that the 3 Laws would never be implemented on a broad scale, and even if they were I think there is enough fiction illuminating the possible paradoxes and logic traps inherent in them anyway. It also seems that we will have a good period of very advanced "dumb" robots that will be making life-and-death decisions before any sentience, and certainly before they could begin to grasp the 3 Laws.



I've been watching "Person of Interest" on netflix with the wifey. while I hesitate to call it a good show, it does propose some (more) plausible effects of an AI in our near future, and particularly its need for human agents to interact with the real world. While far fetched it does show how suitably advanced and subtle manipulations could probably both affect a large number of people and keeps its own identity hidden.
Between watching this now, Terminator II too young, re-reading the Dune Hexalogy, having a craftsmanish career path and a innately low risk tolerance my "shoot on site" policy is only partially in jest. I totally accept that some changes are looming and nearly unstoppable at this point (autonomous driving for one) but I really suspect at some point the public will pump the brakes pretty hard and re-evaluate.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:05 pm 
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Another vote for Wilson's Roboapocalypse to study up on robot uprising.

Hmm, didn't see the Matrix anthology mentioned here...as some mentioned with the heavy dependence on technology and addiction-like attachment to smart phones seems like society in general is already working on swallowing the 'blue pill'..

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:50 am 
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Close_enough wrote:
Michael Crighton (Prey, The terminal man, Jurassic park, Sphere, and a host of others) , and to a lesser degree, Dean Kootz (The bad seed, Midnight) and James Patterson (Maximum Ride and the related When the Wind Blows), write a lot of stuff with a definite anti-technology bent.

For straight Robot Apocalypse stuff, It's hard to beat Daniel H Wilson (Robopocalypse, Robogenesis). Think Max Brooks with a PhD in robotics, and that's pretty much Daniel Wilson.

For AI overlords, there's a ton of great stuff out of the 1960's. The "Colossus" Trilogy by D. F. Jones, "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" By Harlan Ellison (seriously twisted literary genius), and the somewhat related "Cell" By Stephen King.

[YouTube]https://youtu.be/zCZY9Z6WvSY[/YouTube]

This is how it starts... :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:53 pm 
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This just showed up on one of my professional news feeds. It's a bit dry (lawyers talking about the legal and ethical implications of AI), but ties nicely in with this thread.

https://www.cxotalk.com/episode/ai-lega ... challenges


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:30 pm 
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http://www.zdnet.com/article/bill-gates ... y-replace/

Bill Gates is calling for robots to be taxed, so how long until we have a robot revolution, picture the H/Ks chanting "no taxation without representation" :awesome:


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For some laughs (though they are often well thought out) in line with this subject, I like exurb1a's style:


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Ok I just watched both of those videos and thought they were hilarious.

What can I say when I hear the #27 it will bring a smile to my face.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:10 am 
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Another example of automation (supplementing for now, but eventually, replacing) human labor.

<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwired%2Fvideos%2F10154469564898721%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>

Delivery Drones. It's in the works, people. Sure, it may take a decade or so - but in a decade I'll still be working (or trying to)... will you still be in the job market by then? If so, will you have to compete for a shrinking job pool with unemployed delivery drivers looking to change their career to one that still exists?

ETA: sorry, link didn't work for some reason. It's a UPS truck with an onboard drone launch bay. While the driver makes deliveries the old fashioned way, the drone takes a package to a nearby address. You pay one worker... but get the work of two. Eventually, will the truck itself become a fully autonomous vehicle with a small fleet of onboard drones?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:22 pm 
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I don't know why, but I've been seeing tangents to this thread pop up all kinds of places lately. Today, Kurzgesagt released a new video discussing under what conditions conscious machines could deserve rights akin to those afforded humans.


So not only will you be unable to quell a robot uprising without ethical conflict, but the robots may in-fact have a somewhat defensible rationalization of why humans should be exterminated. Great. Maybe we should put some philosophers to work compiling our defense, in the hopes we'll be able to argue our point to salvation.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:11 pm 
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Masses of unemployed people with no hope of ever getting a job? That's how revolutions are born. It might not be a risk if money-based economies are done away with, but I don't see that happening at the same rate as automation. Technology development moves a hell of a lot faster than social change on that scale.

I am reminded of Agent Smith from the Matrix: "I say your civilization because as soon as we started thinking for you, it really became our civilization".

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:14 pm 
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Our family watched Ex Machina on Amazon the other night. What made it so chilling was how feasible the concept and plot seemed...

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:35 pm 
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DarkAxel wrote:
Masses of unemployed people with no hope of ever getting a job? That's how revolutions are born. It might not be a risk if money-based economies are done away with, but I don't see that happening at the same rate as automation. Technology development moves a hell of a lot faster than social change on that scale.

I am reminded of Agent Smith from the Matrix: "I say your civilization because as soon as we started thinking for you, it really became our civilization".


The PTB's are no doubt keenly aware of this and have commissioned numerous studies at RAND Corporation and other think-tanks to work out what to do about it. At some point those unemployed people lose their usefulness to the PTB's. The question then is what to do with/about them, before the masses start thinking likewise. There's no problem facing humanity today that isn't vastly improved by massive depopulation... that is, for those who aren't being depopulated. The reason it hasn't happened so far (aside from luck) is that the PTB's still need people around to work for them, and add to their prestige and power vs others of their kind. The robots and AI are not good enough - YET - to satisfactorily replace us all. Once serfs can be manufactured instead of born, programmed instead of educated, that whole equation changes. Yes I am talking about wealthy/powerful people who are sociopathic or psychopathic and are incapable of feeling empathy. They do not see themselves as "one of us" in very similar manner to Agent Smith of the Matrix. The only reason we are kept around is we are useful. They won't feel bad about snuffing us out to replace us with robots any more than they feel sorry for the 5000 they laid off at the manufacturing plant when they sent the factory overseas. It's a good business move, they tell themselves - the smart thing to do, and they will congratulate themselves. The ones who hesitate or resort to half-measures will be the ones finding themselves at a distinct disadvantage in the new order, and will be seen as "weak" by the others who didn't bat an eye when they pushed the button. In a world where "weak" equals "vulnerable" how long will it take the vultures to start circling? Not long... after the dust settles, it will be the strong (aka ruthless) who have survived.

They keep us around because for now at least, we are useful. That ceases to be the case - then where's the justification - from their point of view - of keeping us around consuming their resources? NONE! From their POV a global pandemic is probably the best tool, because once released, it will do a fairly good job of spreading itself around without any massive investment in a delivery device, and probably does the least environmental and infrastructure damage.

Is there any way for the serfs to get in front of this and change it for the better? I'm not sure. The serfs typically don't do a great job of resource management and they haven't shown a willingness to curb population growth and resource depletion on their own. At some point, there are simply too many of them to be supported by the available resources which are steadily consumed/eroded. From where I sit it's a bleak future either way.


Last edited by Neville on Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Neville wrote:
DarkAxel wrote:
Masses of unemployed people with no hope of ever getting a job? That's how revolutions are born. It might not be a risk if money-based economies are done away with, but I don't see that happening at the same rate as automation. Technology development moves a hell of a lot faster than social change on that scale.

I am reminded of Agent Smith from the Matrix: "I say your civilization because as soon as we started thinking for you, it really became our civilization".


The PTB's are no doubt keenly aware of this and have commissioned numerous studies at RAND Corporation and other think-tanks to work out what to do about it. At some point those unemployed people lose their usefulness to the PTB's. The question then is what to do with/about them, before the masses start thinking likewise. There's no problem facing humanity today that isn't vastly improved by massive depopulation... that is, for those who aren't being depopulated. The reason it hasn't happened so far (aside from luck) is that the PTB's still need people around to work for them, and add to their prestige and power vs others of their kind. The robots and AI are not good enough - YET - to satisfactorily replace us all. Once serfs can be manufactured instead of born, programmed instead of educated, that whole equation changes. Yes I am talking about wealthy/powerful people who are sociopathic or psychopathic and are incapable of feeling empathy. They do not see themselves as "one of us" in very similar manner to Agent Smith of the Matrix. The only reason we are kept around is we are useful. They won't feel bad about snuffing us out to replace us with robots any more than they feel sorry for the 5000 they laid off at the manufacturing plant when they sent the factory overseas. It's a good business move, they tell themselves - the smart thing to do, and they will congratulate themselves. The ones who hesitate or resort to half-measures will be the ones finding themselves at a distinct disadvantage in the new order, and will be seen as "weak" by the others who didn't bat an eye when they pushed the button. In a world where "weak" equals "vulnerable" how long will it take the vultures to start circling? Not long... after the dust settles, it will be the strong (aka ruthless) who have survived.

They keep us around because for now at least, we are useful. That ceases to be the case - then where's the justification - from their point of view - of keeping us around consuming their resources? NONE!

This is a dark view.

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