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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:25 pm 
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This thread is inspired by this one in the Thread Graveyard:

Death of Capitalism
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=119590

This is not intended to be a political thread so please stay on topic.

With advancements in robotics (have you seen the wild stuff coming out of Boston Dynamics recently) and self-driving vehicles, not to mention AI expert systems (IBM's super systems) you have to wonder how long it's going to be before there is anything a human can do that a machine can't.

People cannot be owned and are not disposable. Machines can be owned, and either fixed, upgraded, or disposed of when they malfunction or become obsolete.

To me, this says that maybe not today, nor tomorrow, but someday in the forseeable future, most if not all actual "jobs" will be staffed by machines rather than by humans.

This leaves us with the question "Who needs a human and why should we keep them around". Of course that potentially leads to all sorts of disturbing questions which are beyond the scope of this post. So let's let that sleeping dog lie for the moment and ask instead "As human-preferred jobs become more and more scarce, what would be your strategy to prosper and maintain a feasible way of life, in the face of mechanical replacement of human workers". Relating back to the referenced thread above, at some point, the Capitalists (from simple investors up to entrepreneurs and tycoons) will realize that the consumer economy model relies on the purchasing power of the consumer... which in turn, relies on the ability of the consumer to purchase goods and/or services. Without jobs, where are the consumers? At that point, it becomes obvious the old model is outdated... the question is, how is a transition to a new model managed, whatever that new model might be? Robotic replacement of human workers may be cost-effective but at the same time, undercuts the ability of former-workers to participate in the consumer model.

Is this a catch-22 or is there an actual workable replacement model?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:15 pm 
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Please see the works of Asimov, particularly those that address Aurora.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:22 pm 
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Jack Spirko with The Survival Podcast has been hammering on this one for awhile.
For starters, meet Ollie the self driving bus: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/meet-olli-self ... ou-1565900
Then we have up and coming self driving semis: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news ... /92695580/
These are huge industries in the US, there are a lot of bus and semi drivers, imagine the effect on the nation if just these industries started dropping people left and right as staff becomes not needed. It extends to more and more industries everyday.

Now, scariness aside, this could present a huge opportunity for people to seek out jobs that they've always wanted to do. Maybe as machines start to fill more and more jobs, we have more and more people joining more "creative" fields: writing books, painting, photography, Youtubing, making movies, inventing new things/systems, ect.
There's also a push for a "universal income", but there's politics involved with that so I won't comment in this forum about that.
This is assuming though that people adapt to the change and don't go kicking and screaming into what could be the future, and also that a bunch of idiots around the world don't decide to start lighting off firecrackers that sends us into the ZPAW fiction section....
As for what I'd do? I have no idea, my job is pretty safe for now and the wheels of bureaucracy move slowly. But if that day does come, I'd like to try my hand at small scale farming or maybe start an orchard...

Sit in the shade as my drones handle the heat work :awesome:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:29 pm 
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Technological singularity

The technological singularity is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization. According to this hypothesis, an upgradable intelligent agent would enter a 'runaway reaction' of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that would, qualitatively, far surpass all human intelligence. John von Neumann first uses the term "singularity", in the context of technological progress causing accelerating change: "The accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, give the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, can not continue". Subsequent authors have echoed this viewpoint. I. J. Good's "intelligence explosion", predicted that a future superintelligence would trigger a singularity. Science fiction author Vernor Vinge said in his 1993 essay The Coming Technological Singularity that this would signal the end of the human era, as the new superintelligence would continue to upgrade itself and would advance technologically at an incomprehensible rate.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:26 pm 
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I"m fully on board with the whole "money needs to make it's way to the bottom or else the top stops going anywhere" thing. If I understand correctly, that is where Marxism came from, though communism took some turns from that path.

In short, I think people will have two main occupations if AI and robotics ever reaches some sort of "replace the humans" level of efficiency. Those are:

1) Decision Making.

2) Quality Control.

I have not yet met a machine which makes good decisions. I have met some well programmed machines, but none that can assess the nuances the human brain can pick up on and assess. Plus, I have seen machines make stupid decisions (and yes, so do some humans). So far I see the limit on machines being the programmer. Better and more complicated programming could maybe reduce the humans required for some tasks, but that programming will be time consuming and expensive. I don't see programming capable of doing what humans do as ever being "cheap." Humans will sell such technology at a high cost because of the potential utility such programming can have.

I also have not met a machine I trust to turn out a good product 100% of the time. They always need people to watch over them. Better machines need fewer people.

Also, people don't turn out good products 100% of the time. That is why quality control exists.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:51 pm 
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I have seen this topic more and more on Reddit recently, the culture on that forum seems to accept the inevitability of both nearly full automation and UBI, which both seem like a huge jump to me.

If consumers rejected robot made goods, it would stop automation in its tracks. A simple "made by humans!" logo on applicable goods would be adequate to differentiate, it always confounds me when free market people assume that they have no free will to choose anything but the lowest cost option. I'll admit this path is unlikely, as Walmart adequately illustrates that people's professed principles rarely intrude into their purchasing decisions.

Second option is the Butlerian Jihad, and I will be the first to line up with a torch and pitchfork. I have been warning my boss for years that her Roomba will kill her in her sleep as soon as it learns to climb stairs.

I wouldn't mind seeing robots supersede zombies as the default fictional example antagonist in prepper culture, and a "best caliber for fighting robots" thread has been on my too-do list for some time.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:03 pm 
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I dunno about "robots" specifically... but technology is definitely changing the social/political/economical landscape of our world.

Looking at a small local level, when I went grocery shopping today, there were no regular checkout lines open... Only self check out. Many local fast food places have touch screens now. You can order almost anything from apps now, from ride sharing, house sharing, ordering a pizza. You can talk to a box to play songs or order off Amazon now.

Not really robots... but just shows how technology is superseding human interaction and employees.



If anyone likes comedy, Bill Burr does some great satirical bits on how technology is going to rule the world. NSFW


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:11 pm 
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Rage against the machine

Lud·dite
ˈlədˌīt/
noun
noun: Luddite; plural noun: Luddites

a member of any of the bands of English workers who destroyed machinery, especially in cotton and woolen mills, that they believed was threatening their jobs (1811–16).
a person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology.
"a small-minded Luddite resisting progress"

Didn't work then, doubt it would work now.

Better brush up on the the "How To"s for the repair and maintenance of your new Robot Overlords.

:ohdear:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:30 pm 
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woodsghost wrote:
I"m fully on board with the whole "money needs to make it's way to the bottom or else the top stops going anywhere" thing. If I understand correctly, that is where Marxism came from, though communism took some turns from that path.

In short, I think people will have two main occupations if AI and robotics ever reaches some sort of "replace the humans" level of efficiency. Those are:

1) Decision Making.

2) Quality Control.

I have not yet met a machine which makes good decisions. I have met some well programmed machines, but none that can assess the nuances the human brain can pick up on and assess. Plus, I have seen machines make stupid decisions (and yes, so do some humans). So far I see the limit on machines being the programmer. Better and more complicated programming could maybe reduce the humans required for some tasks, but that programming will be time consuming and expensive. I don't see programming capable of doing what humans do as ever being "cheap." Humans will sell such technology at a high cost because of the potential utility such programming can have.

I also have not met a machine I trust to turn out a good product 100% of the time. They always need people to watch over them. Better machines need fewer people.

Also, people don't turn out good products 100% of the time. That is why quality control exists.



I agree so much with this. I think there is a shift in manufacturing and industry... not necessarily an all out replacement.

I think the true issue, at least in our lifetimes, is the dependency on technology as opposed to being replaced by technology.

Might be why the idea of the Zombie Apocalypse is so thrilling... rewinding technology and unplugging from the rigors of this new and different world.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:07 pm 
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I wrote a paper on this in grad school. Not the taking over, but really the beginning of humanity beginning to 'think' more like machines while we're trying to get machines to 'think' more like humans.

And this topic always makes me think of Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive. :crazy:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:32 pm 
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Although I work in IT, I graduated college with a degree in Electronic Engineering and was a member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.
In other words I have the skills so that when the robots take over I will be qualified to change their bed pans.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:00 pm 
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Never forget Manion Butler. www .don't drop a baby.com

I"d love a "what caliber will stop a robot" thread. I suspect we would discuss a lot of armor piercing ammunition. That might attract the attention of a three letter acronym.

Also, it is hard to pin down what a robot overlord would look like. Zombies at least have some basic physical limits and similarities.

I supposed I'd go with the E-11 rifle.




My wife just suggested we make sure robots use cell phone screens for robot eye lenses. That way they will always have a fatal weakness.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:03 am 
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woodsghost wrote:
Never forget Manion Butler. www .don't drop a baby.com

I"d love a "what caliber will stop a robot" thread. I suspect we would discuss a lot of armor piercing ammunition. That might attract the attention of a three letter acronym.

Also, it is hard to pin down what a robot overlord would look like. Zombies at least have some basic physical limits and similarities.

I supposed I'd go with the E-11 rifle.




My wife just suggested we make sure robots use cell phone screens for robot eye lenses. That way they will always have a fatal weakness.


Image

Yeah but what if they end up building the soldier robots like Nokia's? :ohdear:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:41 pm 
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Awesome thread. It was for this discussion that I started the End of Capitalism thread. This topic fascinates and frightens me. We've all seen the Terminator franchise and know how that goes. Maybe you read the novel called Robopocalypse (Good news: most of the fighter robots were pretty small. Bad news: the fighter robots were fast and explosive). Another vaguely related book is "Beggars in Spain" by Nancy Kress. There are no killer robots but it talks about the effects on the general population from genetic engineering and cold fusion (Tl/Dr: mostly nothing nice).

Where does this go? Was the 20th century the height of humanity? Is is a downward spiral into peasantry for us? By us, I don't mean our generation -I am referring to our grandchildren.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:23 pm 
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[quote="TacAir"}
Better brush up on the the "How To"s for the repair and maintenance of your new Robot Overlords.

:ohdear:[/quote]

Well, yes. The more robots, and the more complex the robots, the greater the need for someone who can keep them running.

Until something achieves sentience. Then we're honked.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:10 pm 
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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.


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Which is why we should, as humans, place some limits on artificial intelligence.
While In love th concept of AI solving all our problems, I think it quite reasonable to fear AI deciding all of our future.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:58 pm 
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Neville wrote:
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.


There is logic to this statement. That said there are also human variables such as acceptance/understanding/efficient application of the technology.

The technology will advance quickly but the acceptance of it and use by people businesses will drive the speed at which the technology is deployed.

An example of what I am talking about.
A touch pad for placing and order in a restaurant is a simple and logical extension of an ATM machine or a mobile phone app. IMO such touch pads will be the norm and not the exception very quickly.

Same for airlines, rental cars and other similar type check in activity.

On the other hand a touch screen for an Emergency Room check in, is a simple extension of this technology. In fact some hospitals have apps for this very thing. Still I suspect that for ER check in that humans will want human assistance.


Lets then look at drones.
People are more than ready to accept cargo type deliveries from drones.

They already have no problem using people movers at airports, elevators and other types of automated conveyances on closed predictable courses.

Ok how many of you are ready to ride in a driverless car on an interstate? How about on a busy urban street?

Now who is willing to get in an autonomous flying drone. Not one controlled from the ground but one that uses AI? BTW a CAT III approach to landing toady is essentially using AI to land the jetliner all the way to applying the brakes after touchdown. Still there are 2 guys up front watching and they will die with me if they fuck up.

Eventually all of the above will be common place but what will drive the adoption will the acceptance by the users. Technology will always outpace general acceptance.

Personally I would not fly in a pilotless vehicle, at least not now and not today.


Neville wrote:
.
To me, this says that maybe not today, nor tomorrow, but someday in the forseeable future, most if not all actual "jobs" will be staffed by machines rather than by humans.


I have to agree that many of the jobs we have today will not exist. Off the top of my head in my lifetime I have seen the following jobs either disappear or are about to disappear.

1) Elevator operator
2) Receptionist
3) TV repairman
4) Navigator (airlines)
5) Flight Engineer (airlines)

In a decade I expect the following to disappear to automation

1) taxi cab driver
2) long haul truck driver
3) warehouse worker
4) Order taker in restaurants, hotels, airlines, car rentals, etc.

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raptor wrote:
Neville wrote:
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.


There is logic to this statement. That said there are also human variables such as acceptance/understanding/efficient application of the technology.

The technology will advance quickly but the acceptance of it and use by people businesses will drive the speed at which the technology is deployed.

An example of what I am talking about.
A touch pad for placing and order in a restaurant is a simple and logical extension of an ATM machine or a mobile phone app. IMO such touch pads will be the norm and not the exception very quickly.

Same for airlines, rental cars and other similar type check in activity.

On the other hand a touch screen for an Emergency Room check in, is a simple extension of this technology. In fact some hospitals have apps for this very thing. Still I suspect that for ER check in that humans will want human assistance.


Lets then look at drones.
People are more than ready to accept cargo type deliveries from drones.

They already have no problem using people movers at airports, elevators and other types of automated conveyances on closed predictable courses.

Ok how many of you are ready to ride in a driverless car on an interstate? How about on a busy urban street?

Now who is willing to get in an autonomous flying drone. Not one controlled from the ground but one that uses AI? BTW a CAT III approach to landing toady is essentially using AI to land the jetliner all the way to applying the brakes after touchdown. Still there are 2 guys up front watching and they will die with me if they fuck up.

Eventually all of the above will be common place but what will drive the adoption will the acceptance by the users. Technology will always outpace general acceptance.

Personally I would not fly in a pilotless vehicle, at least not now and not today.


Neville wrote:
.
To me, this says that maybe not today, nor tomorrow, but someday in the forseeable future, most if not all actual "jobs" will be staffed by machines rather than by humans.


I have to agree that many of the jobs we have today will not exist. Off the top of my head in my lifetime I have seen the following jobs either disappear or are about to disappear.

1) Elevator operator
2) Receptionist
3) TV repairman
4) Navigator (airlines)
5) Flight Engineer (airlines)

In a decade I expect the following to disappear to automation

1) taxi cab driver
2) long haul truck driver
3) warehouse worker
4) Order taker in restaurants, hotels, airlines, car rentals, etc.

Once a machine becomes self aware, human acceptance will be come irrelevant.
I remember reading a article several years ago that stated that from the minute a artificial intelligence became smarter than human, in four days it's abilities would become Godlike to us. Even if you programed it to obey us it could destroy us just by following our commands. The example they used was humans asking for a faster than light drive for space travel and the machine answering by moving the earth next to Juipiter because that might be required and it's thought process was to please us by answering the question, even though it killed us.
Image

at 05:47 pm Thursday 02/16/2017 Skynet became self aware

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:54 pm 
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This is fascinating. Someone factor in the Three Laws of Robotics:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

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

This is an excellent thread & the last few posts are fascinating!

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Sentience is the capacity to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively. This subtends the ability to suffer.

Eighteenth-century philosophers used the concept to distinguish the ability to think (reason) from the ability to feel (sentience).

Sentience also implies the ability to tell the truth or to lie.

I'm not too worried, if a super-intelligent AI were to suddenly appear - it would disappear just as quickly. It's the "dumb" robots that will put folks out of work - my recent story posting of Roscoe (My new best friend) speaks to this in a round about way. Autonomous tractors are for sale now....

I routinely visit several net-toon sites that deal with routinely.
http://www.questionablecontent.net/ Here AI's are the norm. And some are pretty funny.

I've also posted a couple link in the fiction section that go to SciFi type net-toon sites that look at this subject in an off-hand way.

Will Sky-Net be the future? Was Colossus (The Corbin Project)? No to both. Ghost in the Shell? Maybe.

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Last edited by TacAir on Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:11 pm 
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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.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:01 pm 
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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?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:19 pm 
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