Friday, May 20, 2016

Artificial Intelligence to make humans obsolete?

Link:

It is hard to miss the warnings. In the race to make computers more intelligent than us, humanity will summon a demon, bring forth the end of days, and code itself into oblivion. Instead of silicon assistants we’ll build silicon assassins.

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Instead of morphing into omnipotent, all-knowing masters of the universe, the human mob might end up jobless and aimless, whiling away our days off our nuts on drugs, with VR headsets strapped to our faces. Welcome to the next revolution.

Harari calls it “the rise of the useless class” and ranks it as one of the most dire threats of the 21st century. In a nutshell, as artificial intelligence gets smarter, more humans are pushed out of the job market. No one knows what to study at college, because no one knows what skills learned at 20 will be relevant at 40. Before you know it, billions of people are useless, not through chance but by definition.

I have been writing about this since I brought the blog back. This is a trend that is in place and will accelerate. A perfect example is the argument by low skilled workers that they should be paid more for their labor than it is worth. Just about all quick service restaurants are working at replacing these people with self serve kiosks and or robots. That is the most obvious and timely example but it has happened in other examples and will continue to happen. 

In the past as jobs were automated out of existence, like telephone operators, they just moved into different jobs. What happens when all jobs are being automated. I suspect we will see a whole bunch of unanticipated social, political, and economic outcomes. Here is a link to a website where you can see how your job may be affected by technology and automation. 

How will all of this play out? I do not think it will be painless or without much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Will we have tens of millions of uneducated, shiftless, obese, tattooed, layabouts that demand the government give them a subsistence? Will the elites then mandate that people be sterilized to control the population of "useless" people? What happens when you unleash the most dangerous animal on earth, the unemployed unmarried 18-35 y.o. men on society and in the millions. 

Future coders?

No skills, no jobs, no future. Still gotta eat

Idle hands are the devils workshop

Quite a few people have a positive sunny outlook on the future and how technology will transform society. I am optimistic but there is a potential for a whole bunch of upheaval and the possibility for many negative outcomes. I am not encouraged when I see what type of leaders we have today and their inability to even manage the simplest of matters. The stresses on our systems as technology marches on will grow not subside and using the same rules and solutions from the past just will not work.

My personal view is that one must stay engaged and on top of what is going on. You cannot sit around and not be aware of what changes are taking place, it could actually mean the difference between success and failure. The change is coming constantly and at an accelerating rate. One must gather resources and create products and services others find value in and will pay you for. Sitting around waiting to be automated out of your job is not a plan.

Accepting and acting out the current paradigm of getting good grades, going to college, and getting a good job is not going to be an assurance of anything in the future. People are going to be forced into thinking and acting for themselves, a skill most do not have, and if you don't you will suffer.

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