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Old 02-23-2015, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
752 posts, read 594,887 times
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I think people are missing out on a point about automation: It isn't that there are always going to be jobs that need people. It is whether or not there will be enough such jobs for the remaining numbers of humans, if we remain dependent on the current economic system.

Sure we'll always need plumbers and electricians. But just how many do we really need? They make a comfortable living today, but what if there were double the number of plumbers and electricians? On top of that, what happens if fewer people can afford these people to do work for them (since more people are learning plumbing and electrical work for themselves and to do business)? What happens when engineers design home plumbing that's easy enough to access, install and maintain by laymen?
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:03 PM
 
12,405 posts, read 9,195,957 times
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Originally Posted by rruff View Post


Doesn't matter. Parallel processing will work just fine, and the transistor count keeps rising.

No, you are limited due to the serial computing needs of your algorithms in accordance with Amdahl's Law. Transistor count is irrelevant because it is not a performance measure. The limiting factor now is heat dissipation, not transistor areal density. Even if technology surpasses all these limits we will run into quantum noise limits. I explain this in more detail on the following blog post:


Radiation, Quantum Electrodynamics And Information Technology
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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I think they will be able to *behave* like humans. That is only if that is a priority goal.

We won't lose our rights because the AI is unfriendly. We will lose our rights because it is no longer in the interest of the wealthy and powerful for us to have them. I'd expect a slow erosion at first... slow enough that few are alarmed, and it will be easily justifiable.

The sad thing is that the dangers of sophisticated technology, not just in computers and robotics but also in biology, seem to make an excellent argument for why totalitarian control is *necessary*. Small groups are capable devastating destruction if they have the will, so we *need* invasive surveillance. It will be easy to sell, especially if we have couple of these disasters to get the public primed. It amazes me the amount of mileage they've gotten from 9/11 and the perpetual war on terror.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:21 PM
 
8,161 posts, read 9,361,414 times
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Originally Posted by DriveNotCommute View Post
I think people are missing out on a point about automation: It isn't that there are always going to be jobs that need people. It is whether or not there will be enough such jobs for the remaining numbers of humans, if we remain dependent on the current economic system.

Sure we'll always need plumbers and electricians. But just how many do we really need? They make a comfortable living today, but what if there were double the number of plumbers and electricians? On top of that, what happens if fewer people can afford these people to do work for them (since more people are learning plumbing and electrical work for themselves and to do business)? What happens when engineers design home plumbing that's easy enough to access, install and maintain by laymen?
In addition, those fields that do remain viable will be flooded with qualified people. As occupations/industries become automated, those 'viable' fields will be what people flood into. This is only going to drive the wages of those 'viable' fields down the crapper.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
Even if technology surpasses all these limits we will run into quantum noise limits.
Certainly there are limits. At least given our current technology and understanding.

The question is whether these limits will put the brakes on computing capabilities so soon that sophisticated robotics will not be possible. I think we would need to hit that wall very soon, and that doesn't appear to be happening. We don't need human level brainpower. There will be massive changes and technological unemployment long before then.

Even if we were stalled at our current level, a lot of computing progress can be made with parallel processing. Plus a lot of the automation progress is limited by implementation... software, R&D, capital investment, and the limitations of working in the consumer capitalist system.

So what do you think? How "clever" will computers get in the next few decades?
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Certainly there are limits. At least given our current technology and understanding.

The question is whether these limits will put the brakes on computing capabilities so soon that sophisticated robotics will not be possible. I think we would need to hit that wall very soon, and that doesn't appear to be happening. We don't need human level brainpower. There will be massive changes and technological unemployment long before then.

Even if we were stalled at our current level, a lot of computing progress can be made with parallel processing. Plus a lot of the automation progress is limited by implementation... software, R&D, capital investment, and the limitations of working in the consumer capitalist system.

So what do you think? How "clever" will computers get in the next few decades?
This depends on algorithms and Amdahl's Law. I don't know how parallelizable things will be, but as I said earlier, I think that by the time robots can do everything we can, they will also be sentient, and that this point is 100 years away, probably more.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
5,170 posts, read 4,730,147 times
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Originally Posted by DriveNotCommute View Post
Sure we'll always need plumbers and electricians. But just how many do we really need?
Those don't seem like safe havens to me. The bots wouldn't need to be that clever to diagnose your plumbing and electrical problems and fix them.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
5,170 posts, read 4,730,147 times
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Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
I think that by the time robots can do everything we can, they will also be sentient, and that this point is 100 years away, probably more.
For one, they don't need to be capable of everything that we are. There will be a major shift when they are sophisticated enough to make *some* people unemployable at a decent wage in our current system. And this will be a growing %. I think this is already underway or soon will be. What I mean is that the computing hardware capability is already sufficient, and progress is limited by the rate implementation.

I don't understand why you think they would be sentient. Even if they had computing capabilities greater than a human's that wouldn't be sufficient IMO. Not by a long shot. I don't know what consciousness is exactly, but I don't believe it would magically appear.
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:01 PM
 
12,405 posts, read 9,195,957 times
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Originally Posted by rruff View Post
For one, they don't need to be capable of everything that we are. There will be a major shift when they are sophisticated enough to make *some* people unemployable at a decent wage in our current system. And this will be a growing %. I think this is already underway or soon will be. What I mean is that the computing hardware capability is already sufficient, and progress is limited by the rate implementation.

I don't understand why you think they would be sentient. Even if they had computing capabilities greater than a human's that wouldn't be sufficient IMO. Not by a long shot. I don't know what consciousness is exactly, but I don't believe it would magically appear.
Again, the problem is that you are positing that the robots will be philosophical zombies.

Otherwise, without the full range of human behaviors, they will be limited in their range of jobs, and humans will create more jobs that the robots cannot do, to replace the ones that robots are taking in the mean time. This is to say, just a continuation of what has been happening where machines take over some but not all tasks, and new tasks are created that machines cannot do. The only way to end this process is to make machines that can do *everything* humans can, not just some of it. And at this point, they will be sentient (I say this , again, because I think it is more reasonable than the zombie hypothesis).
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:05 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,724 posts, read 2,863,400 times
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Originally Posted by rruff View Post
The idle masses will be mollified until they are unable to protest. But even if they did revolt and cause destruction, that won't help or self correct because a very small human population is the optimal economic solution. Unless of course you are thinking that the infrastructure of the entire world would be decimated... and then we'd start over from scratch?
It doesn't really matter what causes the inequality whether it's machines taking all the jobs or entrenched elites who take all the wealth. The depth of the inequality is what causes the instability. The higher the ratio of haves to have nots, the greater the instability. See: history.
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