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AI Arrives in Canada: Will Prosperity Follow?

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spike_johan
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[AI] "Create high paying jobs..?"
spike_johan   7/20/2017 12:44:52 PM
I had to stop reading your post at the "create high paying jobs" bit. AI will be a job destroyer not a job creator; at least as viewed across the broad spectrum of the economy.

In the very short term future the job market will further collapse into the following: 1) those who own the means of production 2) those who create the tools to enable the means of production 3) and lastly, the service industries which is the sector where most of the workers will be.

AI is one of those technologies that will benefit the minority of the first two categories: the owners and high value workers; those workers who have the highly specialized skills to write the code and build the machines.

There has not been any real new job creation since the personal computer/internet boom in the '90s and those new jobs created in what is now called IT have since collapsed into themselves as better code and further automation has been developed and deployed.

AI will only create high paying jobs for the few.

 

perl_geek
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Musk and other people's money
perl_geek   7/20/2017 12:26:24 PM
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Elon Musk is clearly very good at building technical organisations, but he has other skills that should be used as filters when reading his comments. He's also very good at exploiting political opportunities to spend other people's money.

Look at Tesla's profits; almost exactly what assorted governments have flung at electric vehicles as incentives to increase their sales from the 0.03% (or whatever it actually is, I could be off a couple of orders of magnitude) of the market that they occupy.

Space-X undoubtedly launch satellites well, and for less than the ULA, so it is spending less of the taxpayers' money, but it's still some.

The Hyperloop concept is entirely dependent on politicians willing to create lavish benefits for contractors during their terms of office, in the hope that the invoices won't arrive until they've left the building. It merely extends the willingness to indulge in mad railway boondoggles like Britain's HS-2,

Anything Musk says should be considered in the light of this. Who is he trying to get to foot the bill?

realjjj
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Re: ...
realjjj   7/19/2017 9:35:34 PM
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We could add more context to the future as context is always very important.

We need to deal with the basics, food, energy, shelter, health and cut those costs in a drastic way. Energy harvesting solves the energy part and all else will come, hopefully.

Full presence VR (virtual worlds that feel 100% real) will have an incredible impact. If you want to own a yacht you can do it there at almost 0 cost. If you want to eat a metric ton of caviar, why not. If you want to have drinks with friends , you won't go to a bar with friends that live in the same city, you'll go to a virtual bar with friends that live on Mars, or anywhere else. It's like the printing press but for almost everything. it brings the cost of goods close to zero while removing many limitations and opening up many more possibilities. Outside VR we still need the basics and a few more things but overall the impact will be unreal.

realjjj
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Re: ...
realjjj   7/19/2017 9:00:43 PM
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That was my view not his. He used to mention killing robots and more recently network AIs.

It's easy to manipulate people, even the brightest ones and if politicians or corporations need to sway the public opinion, not that much is needed as pretty much any crazy measure has at least 30-40% support. Long term robots will be our teachers, shrinks,  friends, lovers and it would be very very easy for them (or the entity controlling them) to manipulate humans. Maybe today , AI can decide an election but further down the road it can get much much worse. Losing free will would be worse than any war, we are just farm animals without it.

 

"The solutions you offer are only feasible for people who are content to work part time because they need/want to have that much more leisure time and so are content to give up the income that comes with a full time job. But that is not the case for the majoirty of people."

That wouldn't be part time just like working 8 hours today is not part time vs the farmer that worked 16h per day a century ago. And i was not suggesting that income would decline, the income per hour increases proportionally. Again it's supply vs demand and the bottom is lifted by min wage. Fewer hours do increase productivity, in many cases and that has to also be factored in. And ofc the entire transition is over few decades.

Edit: Think of DRAM prices today, there are shortages and prices are projected to be up some 60% on year. Same thing can be done with the cost of a work hour. It's less than comfortable for corporations but we got no alternatives and at the end of the day, the humans are what matters while corporations are just here to meet our needs. What matters most is the social impact of a measure not the economic impact, the economic impact is just part of the social impact.

Or from a different angle, you can't decrease income per capita ,that would kill consumption so the cost of a work hour has to increase, just to keep everything in balance.

Ariella
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Re: ...
Ariella   7/19/2017 8:45:12 PM
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In the presentation I heard, Musk did not express concern about losing free will. His primary concern was that unchecked AI may cause serious harm, as in starting wars. The scenario he describes does sound rather like a film plot, though it is theoretically possible. He also acknowledges that AI can lead to job displacement, 

The solutions you offer are only feasible for people who are content to work part time because they need/want to have that much more leisure time and so are content to give up the income that comes with a full time job. But that is not the case for the majoirty of people.

In fact, what you describe, fewer hours of work per week, has become the reality for many people in the UK. It can boast a few low unemployment rate now. However, those numbers can be misleading because many of those who make up the employed are under employed, See http://www.bbc.com/news/business-39147135 Aside from the lowered earnings that affects the individual workers' own economic health, there is a also a loss to the tax rolls. You simply cannot tax workers earning, say $20K a year because that's all the hours of work they bring in, as much as you can those earning $40K or more.

realjjj
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Re: ...
realjjj   7/19/2017 7:28:11 PM
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""we don't want an escape," that all depends on who is speaking."

I'm talking about the socio-economic impact not Musk's concerns about AI, assuming you are talking about Musk. From that perspective ,in my view , the biggest risk would be humans losing free will, second biggest an AI on the network, then nanorobots. It's easy to annihilate a threat we can see, gets a bit more difficult with those we can't see or even spot the threat before its too late.

At the end of the road the economy becomes not a necessity, our values shift as we escape materialism and much much more so we don't want to escape this future. Ofc AI is the last thing humanity does, afterwards even what we do will be more AI than human as humans are enhanced by AI. The human race ends and hybrids replace it.


"<Social security and taxation will simply need to adapt and that's not hard at all.> I'd love to hear your ideas on that. How would you be taxing people who are not earning income if they have lost their jobs?"


To keep it simple, we need  supply-demand balance for human workers. Historically that has been achieved with growth, shorter work hours, earlier retirement and the likes. Right now this went a bit wrong as our politicians are too corrupt but it can't last as pushing the people too far creates social unrest., Newton's Third Law, you get the idea. AI makes growth impossible (in terms of human work hours needed),  we reach a global peak soon and that's what many folks miss, there is no way to avoid that., this is the big difference between the past and the future. So shorter work hours, 6h per day, then 4 per day, fewer days per week, nothing special. Early retirement is something many will argue against with flawed arguments. Early retirement is better than unemployment or the introduction of a basic income earlier than needed - from both an economic point of view and social point of view. Best to look at pensions as basic income for older folks instead of a classical definition.

Then at some point we need basic income , just some at first and more and more over time. Best case scenario we don't have an economy at the end of the road as the concept becomes irrelevant - politicians and corporations will ofc try to fight that. Basic income would be taxed as consumption is taxed, or should be , it's not taxed everywhere just yet. Corporate tax should likely move to a tax on revenue not income.

Tried to keep it short and maybe some points are not clear enough. The goal is to keep the supply and demand in a relative balance, there are only so many things that can be done and all of those are obvious and well understood. What makes it difficult is the competition between nations and the gap in economic development but we got no realistic options.

rgoebel
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Pending Review
rgoebel   7/19/2017 10:31:55 AM
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This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.

Ariella
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Re: ...
Ariella   7/19/2017 8:43:24 AM
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@realjjj As for "there is no escape," if you mean in terms of the technology that will arrive, yes. As for "we don't want an escape," that all depends on who is speaking. It's not that the peole who raise concerns are ignorant about tech at all. You mention electric cars, for example, and one of the names that is very prominent in that field took a very defined position about concerns about AI, a topic I plan to look at in my next blog. 

<Social security and taxation will simply need to adapt and that's not hard at all.> I'd love to hear your ideas on that. How would you be taxing people who are not earning income if they have lost their jobs?

realjjj
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...
realjjj   7/19/2017 2:04:37 AM
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The people complaining about jobs and AI are yet to begin to understand the issue.

We are where we are and we are heading towards no human working at all, there is no escape and we really don't want an escape. The best we can do is to get there as soon as possible. Social security and taxation will simply need to adapt and that's not hard at all. To be very clear, I am not suggesting "taxing robots", a crazy idea pushed by some folks that should know better. Robots are just tools, like a pencil or a hammer and folks that want to tax AI need to realize that the link between payroll and social security is artificial and doesn't have to exist, we simply need to tax corporations in a better way. All of them, AI or not.

As for this investment, Alberta depends too much on oil and because of it, its economy will collapse in the next decade. They really need to invest in everything that's not oil to try to mitigate the impact. Electric vehicles will reach cost parity with ICE soon and EVs also have an efficiency advantage (cheaper fuel), will be very very hard to sell gas powered vehicles and Alberta will be in real trouble.

 

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