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Hawking warns of the dangers of AI
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm biting my tongue and stamping my feet, cuz on a fair number of issues in the recent posts in this thread and the other one I have what I think are tons of good commentary and some near-answers/paths...but I can't put them here cuz:
A) too fucking long and
B) important...in one case CENTRAL...lines in the triad I'm writing [not trilogy...same universe, but separated by huge swaths of time and completely different main POV's...only one of which is human] and don't want to give shit away.
[Z, p, and W have each posited at least one thing, or asked a question that is precisely on point/topic]
[[the first of the triad is the one of the ones I told z recently I'm hoping to start getting beta-readers for early in the new year.]].

PS...oh, SURE, peter...W says you should read it and you're all in...totally ignored MY recommend. Smile

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
I'm hoping to start getting beta-readers for early in the new year.
Dude, I'd love to read what you got! I promise not to be too hard on it. Laughing With that said, I'd totally understand any reluctance due to our works apparently being similar in nature.

Vraith wrote:
PS...oh, SURE, peter...W says you should read it and you're all in...totally ignored MY recommend. Smile
I noticed that too! LOL.

WF wrote:
A good reason to consider the danger of AI is this: when 1% of the people in the world control all the resources, all the money, and all the armed forces, and when both production and services are automated, and when both innovation and problem resolution are provided by AI, then the other 99% of the people in the world will be unnecessary, expensive, and (from one perspective) unsightly.

Should this be a concern? It depends on the compassion you expect from the 1%. So you might ask: How are they treating unemployed people looking for food, clothing, and shelter so far? Have they been very gentle and caring when they put people out of work with automation and AI?
I suppose this is another thing that bugs me about AI fears, that they largely seem yet another reason for people to be suspicious of things they are already suspicious about. Confirmation bias.

What if AI allows people to compete against the 1%? What if it's an empowerment tool? The Internet has certainly been a tool for the empowerment of less powerful people, whether it's spreading (virtually) free education, or amplifying niche voices, or amateur journalism. It has given ordinary people a global voice. AI could do something similar.

I have repeatedly stressed how automation of jobs that are easily automated will free mankind from "shit work." It will drop prices of necessary goods to negligible amounts, making it easier to purchase a subsistence level of living, which in turn will increase demand for more personalized, customized, luxury services. People will be employed more and more in jobs that no computer can do, even with AI. More fulfilling employment.

What possible use will it serve for the rich to automate the production of everything if no one is employed to buy these things? They'll have warehouses full of stuff they can't sell. Either they'll give it away--like free stuff is given away on the Internet today (maybe with the hope that you'll make a purchase)--or there won't be mass automation. Neither case is a disaster. The former case is the Star Trek economy.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
What possible use will it serve for the rich to automate the production of everything if no one is employed to buy these things? They'll have warehouses full of stuff they can't sell.

Why?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
What possible use will it serve for the rich to automate the production of everything if no one is employed to buy these things? They'll have warehouses full of stuff they can't sell.

Why?
If 99% of people don't have a job due to automation, don't earn any money to buy stuff, then the 1% won't have any way to make money. No one will be able to buy anything if they don't have jobs. You can't make 99% of the population irrelevant and still hope to have a thriving business. So either it won't happen, or the rich will screw themselves along with the rest of us. I don't see the latter as a likely scenario.

By the way, if you make $32,000 or more per year, you're part of the richest 1% of the world. So that means this "sinister" cabal of people who control all the wealth and resources includes Taco Bell managers. Laughing
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
What possible use will it serve for the rich to automate the production of everything if no one is employed to buy these things? They'll have warehouses full of stuff they can't sell.

Why?
If 99% of people don't have a job due to automation, don't earn any money to buy stuff, then the 1% won't have any way to make money.

I don't know whether the obtusity is intentional or not.

Why would the 1% need to make money from anyone other than themselves? Why would they even need to make money when everything is automated and AIed? It seems to me that no one would want for anything, and the only question is whether the people who OWN it will share with the people who DON'T. At the expense of needing to OWN a hundred or more times the amount of production than they otherwise would. And purely out of generosity.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
I don't know whether the obtusity is intentional or not.
WF, let me say that I'm having fun debating with you again. I assure you I'm not one to play dumb. If I've missed something, it's because I'm human, not an ass. Very Happy

wayfriend wrote:
Why would the 1% need to make money from anyone other than themselves?
One could ask that now, right? The issue of AI automation doesn't make that a new question, AFAICT. Why do they buy things from people who make much less than they do? Well, because they don't want to change their oil themselves.

But maybe a robot could change their oil. Which leads us to ....

wayfriend wrote:
Why would they even need to make money when everything is automated and AIed?
Why would anyone need to make money when everything is automated? This is the Star Trek economy I was talking about. I really do think it's coming.

wayfriend wrote:
It seems to me that no one would want for anything, and the only question is whether the people who OWN it will share with the people who DON'T. At the expense of needing to OWN a hundred or more times the amount of production than they otherwise would. And purely out of generosity.
I think it's inherently difficult to predict how people will behave in the absence of financial limits. If it doesn't cost a rich person anything to give to the poor, in terms of either money or labor, then why wouldn't they allow the robots to make stuff for us? They already give more in charity than you and I make in income. Sure, maybe they do it to get a tax break. But we won't even need taxes anymore if everything can be produced without human effort.

But maybe I'm missing something.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmm... it would take an idealogical revolution to end up in an envisaged automated utopia!

I get that automation is the way of the future - but to imagine a world where money is no longer relevant would have to defeat the current capitalist imperative.

A future of automation and AIs kinda rings truer for me as depicted in Blade Runner, or other sci-fi movies where the elements of society who basically have resourced and funded that future - enjoy it and the many advantages that it has to offer .. but those elements that cannot afford those advantages do not enjoy them.

Resulting in a perpetuation of a similar class structure as exists today. I imagine the elements that are unable to enjoy the benefits of technology will inhabit slums, sit outside warming themselves around fires in 20L/50L drums .. and beg for scraps.

Not sure I can see a brave new world where no one has to pay - either momentarily (whatever counts for legal tender in the future/bartering system, maybe even human organs RM lol etc )
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, why look at history when we have movies? Rolling Eyes

We have been automating for more than half a century. The labor participation rate has remained steady regardless. Somehow people find work.

But if they can't find work, then the "capitalist imperative" will also dissolve. You cannot sell to people who have no money.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Yeah, why look at history when we have movies? Rolling Eyes

We have been automating for more than half a century. The labor participation rate has remained steady regardless. Somehow people find work.

But if they can't find work, then the "capitalist imperative" will also dissolve. You cannot sell to people who have no money.


Yeah cheers! Laughing

Im not providing my comments as an academic in this field - obviously Wink

But I don't see a seamless transition from the capitalist system we live under today to a automated Utopian society that you seem to be describing. Its wishful thinking.

I think we'd need to see a dramatic shift to get from one system to the AI / automation future you see.

I have no issue with the fact that we have been on this path since the industrial revolution .. but its historicity does not bare out its "fluid" continuation that will result in a future where those with the means resource this AI/automated future for all earth's inhabitants. There will be practical differences in an application on the scale alluded to.

Will there no longer be variance between nation states - as we have now - developed states, developing states - undeveloped states?

How will economic deficits be resolved in a future of automation?

Maybe in a millennia from now we may see humankind progressing towards a different way of living ..

and yes .. "movies" and other similar science fiction examples as parallels in a world that currently does not reflect the widespread system you are alluding to .. sure .. if Im not mistaken you yourself cited the "Star Trek Economy" in example .. so yeah .. pretty sure that also is not "history" (looking for a roll eye emoji but .. a wink is as good as a nod to a blind man)

Wink Wink Wink Wink Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Star Trek economy is just a cute name for an optimistic view of the economy, like Star Wars was a name for Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. Reagan didn't literally think that we'll be battling the Death Star. However, Dems/Libs made fun of his optimistic idea for decades, and yet now we're counting on it to stop North Korea's missiles.

I think the pessimism that the Left holds for the future is more about their personalities/mindsets than facts. Sure, bad things can happen, but if you look at the trajectory of history, humans have been getting richer, healthier, freer, etc. I'm not relying on movies, I'm just plotting out the course we're already on.

Every time we automate something, we increase human productivity. Sometimes we eliminate a field of work, but most of the time we just make that job more productive. We've had robots in factories for decades, but still need factory workers. We've had self-scanning grocery lines in stores for decades, but still employ cashiers. We've had autopilot for decades, but still employ pilots.

Sure, we might be able to build self-driving cars that work (one day), but that's never going to replace a pizza delivery guy who can jump on the phones or the make line when he returns to the store, or run the pizza up a flight of stairs at an apartment building. We're not going to replace people who make minimum wage with a fleet of $100,000 dollar machines. The economics of this idea just doesn't make sense.

Thus, the transition to AI automation will happen a lot slower than people imagine. We'll get more and more productive, but still have jobs for everyone. Prices will continue to fall, increasing our buying power. Eventually--and I'm talking a century or two from now--money may not be an issue for most of the things we buy. However, I don't think we'll eliminate it completely, because there will always be a market for things that are purely human that no machine will be able to produce. So I shouldn't have said that the Star Trek economy is coming. What I mean is that the future is something we should look forward to, not dread. I do believe that poverty will be eliminated. We've already gone a long way toward eliminating extreme poverty in the last few decades. Give it another 20 years, and there will be no extreme poverty in the world. That's not a fantasy, that's looking at the numbers of people who have been lifted out of extreme poverty in the last 20 years, and plotting that forward.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regardless of anything else, there will always be people who want to have power over others. If they can't do it financially, they'll find other ways.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Star Trek economy is just a cute name for an optimistic view of the economy, like Star Wars was a name for Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. .


yeah .. no.

It might be akin to post scarcity economics but its a trekkie term and a trekkie analogy that you have drawn on - no matter how you may try to weasel out of it.

Its not a "cute name for optimistic view of economy" though I will add that some see STE as part socialist model.

So odd that you, who are so very anti-left, would cite a model that is viewed by you in terms of "pessimistic left" positioning.

*eye roll*
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did concede that I probably shouldn't have said a Star Trek economy is coming. I don't believe we'll get rid of money altogether. I mean that I think technology will be freeing, empowering, enriching rather than oppressive or leading to poverty. And again, that's not based on a TV show, but based on reality, because that's what technology is already doing.

I've never thought of the economy of ST to be socialist. The Federation doesn't own/control everything. Getting rid of money isn't the same as the government running the economy or the end of private ownership.

However, I am not opposed to mass entitlements if there is no longer any money, because there would also no longer be any taxes. If the government isn't taking something away from me to give to someone else, why would I care? If you want to call that 'socialism,' fine. I don't think that's accurate, but I'd not oppose it. I do think that we'll one day be free of having to work for our basic needs, because the cost will be negligible. We'll work for luxuries, not necessities.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Yeah, why look at history when we have movies? Rolling Eyes

My point precisely. Based on historical evidence, I am not inspired to believe that masses of people who have no means to contribute to the economy will be well cared for, or even tolerated, by those who have acquired the ownership of almost everything that matters.

This should be considered one of the dangers of AI. This does not mean we are presuming it would happen.

If the future 100 years from now involved the "Star Trek economy", and if the people steering towards that future planned to eliminate most of the [now unnecessary] population of the planet, we can extrapolate back and wonder what the world would look like leading up to that time. Which would be the world NOW.

- there would be major pushes to perfect automation and artificial intelligence.

- wealth and resources would concentrate into fewer people, and barriers to achieving this would be torn down.

- the major powers of the world would trend toward oligarchy - the wealthy would desire to be in charge and control the significant military resources for protection. There would be a commensurate increase in political misdirection so that such changes are not scrutinized.

- there'd be little concern about exhausting world resources or climate change.

- there would be a huge push in genetic research - a smaller world population would take careful genetic management.

- there would be little concern about "the masses" killing themselves off with gun violence or drugs - but oddly curing diseases would still be important.

etc. etc.

I am curious what Vraith's ideas are about this, and how they compare.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
Yeah, why look at history when we have movies? Rolling Eyes

My point precisely. Based on historical evidence, I am not inspired to believe that masses of people who have no means to contribute to the economy will be well cared for, or even tolerated, by those who have acquired the ownership of almost everything that matters.
But that historical view should include the fact that rich countries have massive safety nets already in place, not to mention all the billions of foreign aid that is sent to poor countries. We already have evidence of the rich and powerful taking care of those who aren't. The richest, most powerful civilization in history is also the most benevolent and generous.

Also, that historical view must take into account that automation has been happening for more than half a century with zero impact on the labor participation rates. The labor participation rate has averaged about 63% for 70 years, despite entire industries being automated.

wayfriend wrote:
If the future 100 years from now involved the "Star Trek economy", and if the people steering towards that future planned to eliminate most of the [now unnecessary] population of the planet, we can extrapolate back and wonder what the world would look like leading up to that time. Which would be the world NOW.
Even if people were unnecessary--which I doubt will ever happen--why would that mean the rich would try to eliminate them? Why bother? You think the only thing that keeps billions of people alive is that they have some use to the rich? If that's true, why do we spend so much on safety nets, charity, and aid? None of that money goes to very useful people.

wayfriend wrote:
- there would be major pushes to perfect automation and artificial intelligence.

- wealth and resources would concentrate into fewer people, and barriers to achieving this would be torn down.

- the major powers of the world would trend toward oligarchy - the wealthy would desire to be in charge and control the significant military resources for protection. There would be a commensurate increase in political misdirection so that such changes are not scrutinized.

- there'd be little concern about exhausting world resources or climate change.

- there would be a huge push in genetic research - a smaller world population would take careful genetic management.

- there would be little concern about "the masses" killing themselves off with gun violence or drugs - but oddly curing diseases would still be important.

etc. etc.
[/quote]Most of these things would still be happening even if the rich weren't secretly plotting to kill us all in 100 years. That's one heck of a dark scenario you're predicting. Is this what you actually believe?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
But that historical view should include the fact that rich countries have massive safety nets already in place, not to mention all the billions of foreign aid that is sent to poor countries. We already have evidence of the rich and powerful taking care of those who aren't. The richest, most powerful civilization in history is also the most benevolent and generous.

It does include that view. I am also noting that these are not people with no potential value to the economy. Africa, for example, is considered the market with the most expected growth in the near term. So is lifting those in poverty out of it somehow NOT also helping the people who own the global economy? No, I qualified my statement to people "with no means to contribute" rather than currently not contributing at present. Economic dead ends.

Also, I never made an assumption that those who own almost everything act uniformly.

Zarathustra wrote:
Also, that historical view must take into account that automation has been happening for more than half a century

It does take that into account. We're clearly not at the point we are considering yet. That's how we take it into account.

Zarathustra wrote:
Most of these things would still be happening even if the rich weren't secretly plotting to kill us all in 100 years.

Since I am not offering it as proof that this is occurring, I see no point to this comment except to create an illusion that I am.

What I am suggesting is that such concerns cannot easily be ruled out by existing facts.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
Also, that historical view must take into account that automation has been happening for more than half a century

It does take that into account. We're clearly not at the point we are considering yet. That's how we take it into account.
By predicting an effect of automation in the future that is exactly the opposite effect of automation in the past, I feel that the past has not been taken into account. People have continuously created new jobs as old jobs have been eliminated. Those predicting that AI will cause mass unemployment never explain how the possibility of creating new types of jobs will suddenly end. I've given example after example of situations where it will not be economically feasible to replace a human worker, as well as examples of it being impossible. We've discussed it quite a bit in the Tank.

wayfriend wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
Most of these things would still be happening even if the rich weren't secretly plotting to kill us all in 100 years.

Since I am not offering it as proof that this is occurring, I see no point to this comment except to create an illusion that I am.
I was responding to your scenario. That's the point of the comment. If I were trying to create an illusion that you offered it as proof, I wouldn't have followed it with, "Is this what you actually believe?" By expressing my uncertainty over whether you believe it, my question leaves open the possibility that you aren't taking the idea seriously. I thought that was clear. Sorry if it wasn't.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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