Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby BadgerJelly on July 27th, 2017, 11:59 am 

The human workforce replaced by robots? It will never happen ... wait! ...

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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on July 27th, 2017, 12:27 pm 

Serpent » July 28th, 2017, 12:55 am wrote:
Mossling » July 27th, 2017, 9:49 am wrote: Nature delivers fresh reources all the time. Just open up nets where you are and harvest it. You don't need to expand territory.
[This is plainly incorrect. ]
Why?

For a great many factual reasons we don't have time to go into here, including physics, biology and history.
I contend that capitalism as we have known it depends on expansion and growth, and that there is a definite limit to both; that Earth and nature are finite, while human greed has so far shown no similar constraint. People keep multiplying and wanting more stuff.
I do not see what will alter that trajectory.

I believe that it will be the same thing that has altered every other unsustainable trajectory humans have taken - the raw economics of staying alive. And we've already learnt from many many many delusion and ignorance-driven mistakes that we've made in the past. There's no reason why unsustainable expansion driven by greed (and maybe apocalypticism) will not be just another one.

Patriarchy, Divine Royalty, Slavery, Social Darwinism - all significantly out of favor now. Special interest and democracy high on the agenda - draining the swamp, 'post-truth' and so on. We do live and learn, my friend.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Athena on July 27th, 2017, 12:35 pm 

Mossling » July 24th, 2017, 9:42 pm wrote:LOL, nothing to see here, folks?

This is NOW, wake up:



And people are thinking about in 20 years time maybe robots or maybe not. Haha.

Just think about what you see in the above video being extrapolated over 5 years of progress in automation and AI application, let alone 10 years.

And those few humans that do appear in that vast warehouse look pathetic - like the people who had to do the nightshift while everyone else was enjoying a good night's sleep.

Hard demoralizing labour is going to be a thing of the past.

Just wow. Science rocks.

But maybe the next big Infowars and Breitbart headline will be: 'Science and robots is a Liberal Agenda!' - I would not be surprised.

EDIT: And this was 2014:



Now things are probably even more sophisticated.

Image



The first video was many humans working, and the second one looked very much like a pear packing plant I worked in, full of conveyor belts. The little moving boxes that moved shelves are more robotic than a human driving a fork lift, but I am not seeing a frightening change. The decision making was still done by humans and does not take a college degree, and for the system to work efficiently, the humans using the system, that is the customers, need to understand how the system works to avoid delays as humans have to process mistakes that taken out of line for special processing.

However, I just communicated with a country commissioner by email, and the discussion we are having here bled into my reaction to his request for my address so he can be sure I am in his district before we have further communication. I replied with a comment about how efficient his request is and my zip code. How different is this from the robotics in your video? We are no longer a community talking with each other about our shared concerns and problem resolving. We are divided into districts, and divided by political party, and divided by income, and if we can afford it we build high towers for the purpose of dropping things on people we have a disagreement with like they did in a town of Italy. Now don't talk to me unless we have the right zip codes and I will do my best to be sure those boxes stay on their path and go where they are supposed to go. IA is superior and we should all aspire to be so efficient. Never mind that the county commissioners and I live in the same county and the decisions they make are ones I have to live with, if I live in their politically regulated sub-district or not. Remember those boxes and think efficient.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Athena on July 27th, 2017, 12:51 pm 

Mossling » July 27th, 2017, 10:27 am wrote:
Serpent » July 28th, 2017, 12:55 am wrote:
Mossling » July 27th, 2017, 9:49 am wrote: Nature delivers fresh reources all the time. Just open up nets where you are and harvest it. You don't need to expand territory.
[This is plainly incorrect. ]
Why?

For a great many factual reasons we don't have time to go into here, including physics, biology and history.
I contend that capitalism as we have known it depends on expansion and growth, and that there is a definite limit to both; that Earth and nature are finite, while human greed has so far shown no similar constraint. People keep multiplying and wanting more stuff.
I do not see what will alter that trajectory.

I believe that it will be the same thing that has altered every other unsustainable trajectory humans have taken - the raw economics of staying alive. And we've already learnt from many many many delusion and ignorance-driven mistakes that we've made in the past. There's no reason why unsustainable expansion driven by greed (and maybe apocalypticism) will not be just another one.

Patriarchy, Divine Royalty, Slavery, Social Darwinism - all significantly out of favor now. Special interest and democracy high on the agenda - draining the swamp, 'post-truth' and so on. We do live and learn, my friend.


At first I thought I was on Serpent's side of the argument, and then I find agreement with Mossling. Modern nations have greatly reduced the number of children they have. The problem of over population is coming from less advanced countries. However, we can improve on our knowledge of a finite planet and the cost of taking from others to meet our needs. Paying for something doesn't mean harm is not done when we take want we pay for. Hum, perhaps we should add to the warnings on our products, the harm done to our planet by the consumption of resources and processing methods? Maybe not everyone will decide to make better choices but as we raise awareness of environmental problems, it appears to me some of our decision making has improved.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on July 27th, 2017, 1:14 pm 

Seems it will all turn out fine. Corporations will happily fork over an ever-increasing portion of their income to finance welfare; venture capitalists will peacefully morph into hunter-gatherers; The fracking, deep ocean drilling and tar-sands extraction will cease, when it's pointed out that these things harm the environment; the arms manufacturers will convert to ploughshare-making as soon as they realize that getting blown up is bad for little children and other animals.

How soon can my pet lion come over for a play-date with your lamb?
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Sivad on July 27th, 2017, 4:47 pm 

Mossling » July 27th, 2017, 6:24 am wrote:
Sivad wrote:‘fixing markets’ rather than co-creating and shaping them, has justified risks to be socialised while profits are privatised. It is this, not the “robots", that are leading to the problematic relationship between innovation and inequality.

Right. So it will be interesting to see how and when things are going to change. It seems that the governments should already begin taxing robots, but maybe this should have started a long, long time ago - before even ATMs replaced bank tellers, and so forth, when technology was bypassing 'middle men', for example. Perhaps Duggie and Uggie should have been taxed by their tribe as soon as they had invented a new more efficient flint blade/point?


Definitely. The 'great man theory of history' has largely been abandoned but for some reason the similar 'heroic theory of invention and discovery' is still alive and well in modern capitalism. Duggie and Uggie couldn't have invented a more efficient blade without considerable social support as well as all the previous trial and error down through the centuries that guided their R&D.

Two brilliant quotes to sum it up -

“In civilized society [man] stands at all times in need of the co-operation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons.”

“It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a photograph, or a telephone or any other important thing—and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite — that is all he did. These object lessons should teach us that ninety-nine parts of all things that proceed from the intellect are plagiarisms, pure and simple; and the lesson ought to make us modest. But nothing can do that."
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Sivad on July 27th, 2017, 4:58 pm 

Athena » July 27th, 2017, 9:35 am wrote:
The first video was many humans working, and the second one looked very much like a pear packing plant I worked in, full of conveyor belts. The little moving boxes that moved shelves are more robotic than a human driving a fork lift, but I am not seeing a frightening change. The decision making was still done by humans and does not take a college degree, and for the system to work efficiently, the humans using the system, that is the customers, need to understand how the system works to avoid delays as humans have to process mistakes that taken out of line for special processing.


Exactly. Most automation doesn't replace human workers, it augments their work. That's why productivity is way up, people + automation = twice the work in half the time. Margins are wider and goods are cheaper. 40 years from now there will still be tens of millions of manufacturing jobs globally.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Sivad on July 27th, 2017, 5:08 pm 

You could go back to promo videos from the 50's showing fully automated kitchens and restaurants, and that future was just around the corner. I've worked in factories with automated systems, they constantly break down, they always have to be repaired/re-calibrated, you have to watch them constantly for any jamming or malfunction, and most of them still need at least one human operator for some stage of their routine.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Sivad on July 27th, 2017, 6:29 pm 

Serpent » July 27th, 2017, 10:14 am wrote:Seems it will all turn out fine. Corporations will happily fork over an ever-increasing portion of their income to finance welfare; venture capitalists will peacefully morph into hunter-gatherers; The fracking, deep ocean drilling and tar-sands extraction will cease, when it's pointed out that these things harm the environment; the arms manufacturers will convert to ploughshare-making as soon as they realize that getting blown up is bad for little children and other animals.

How soon can my pet lion come over for a play-date with your lamb?


It's clearly going to get very bad before it gets any better, but intelligent life is so adaptable that there's a fair chance it will survive into a new age. Human existence has always been generally awful, but we keep moving forward because what else is there? Pessimism is pointless.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on July 27th, 2017, 7:37 pm 

Sivad » July 28th, 2017, 6:08 am wrote:You could go back to promo videos from the 50's showing fully automated kitchens and restaurants, and that future was just around the corner. I've worked in factories with automated systems, they constantly break down, they always have to be repaired/re-calibrated, you have to watch them constantly for any jamming or malfunction, and most of them still need at least one human operator for some stage of their routine.

Apparently AI is the big game changer - it's a new kind of resource, not a machine, but a brain of sorts.

It learns and plays computer games, and beats the the human champions of the most complex human games.

Thus, self-driving cars are pretty much road-worthy, and IBM's Watson can be consulted on health issues more reliably than a human doctor.

As the technology gets to grips with more random 3D environments, then one is dealing with more human-like physical solutions, not mere machines.

The tech innovators have spoken - just like they did when touch screen and augmented reality was on the way. Some are saying it's bs, but history has shown that they deliver.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Sivad on July 27th, 2017, 8:54 pm 

Mossling » July 27th, 2017, 4:37 pm wrote:
Sivad » July 28th, 2017, 6:08 am wrote:You could go back to promo videos from the 50's showing fully automated kitchens and restaurants, and that future was just around the corner. I've worked in factories with automated systems, they constantly break down, they always have to be repaired/re-calibrated, you have to watch them constantly for any jamming or malfunction, and most of them still need at least one human operator for some stage of their routine.

Apparently AI is the big game changer - it's a new kind of resource, not a machine, but a brain of sorts.


I get that, but it's not here yet. It's still a ways off.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on July 27th, 2017, 10:05 pm 

Sivad » July 28th, 2017, 9:54 am wrote:
Mossling » July 27th, 2017, 4:37 pm wrote:
Sivad » July 28th, 2017, 6:08 am wrote:You could go back to promo videos from the 50's showing fully automated kitchens and restaurants, and that future was just around the corner. I've worked in factories with automated systems, they constantly break down, they always have to be repaired/re-calibrated, you have to watch them constantly for any jamming or malfunction, and most of them still need at least one human operator for some stage of their routine.

Apparently AI is the big game changer - it's a new kind of resource, not a machine, but a brain of sorts.


I get that, but it's not here yet. It's still a ways off.

I do sympathise with your sentiment.
All the AI singularity-obsessives littering AI discussions indicate there is huge market for scifi fantasy on this topic. It is healthy, as always, to take a wait and see stance.

It is also healthy to recognize that there are already self-driving vehicles on our roads at times, and banks are using IBM's Watson AI to "democratize wealth management":


"Cognitive assistance" is now available in any field, meaning that data analysts and 'fountains of knowledge' (conceptual knowledge) are being replaced:
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on July 27th, 2017, 10:13 pm 

Sivad » July 27th, 2017, 5:29 pm wrote:It's clearly going to get very bad before it gets any better, but intelligent life is so adaptable that there's a fair chance it will survive into a new age. Human existence has always been generally awful, but we keep moving forward because what else is there? Pessimism is pointless.

Pessimism forces you to face decisions. Optimism allows you to defer them.
Something has to change - I mean, really change - before it gets better. Trusting that it will all work out; that bau/sop is just fine, will keep putting off the decision until it's too late.
Intelligent life is resilient, and I'm sure the rats will be very successful - because they have no faith to hinder their rational decision-making.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Sivad on July 28th, 2017, 12:07 am 

Serpent » July 27th, 2017, 7:13 pm wrote:
Sivad » July 27th, 2017, 5:29 pm wrote:It's clearly going to get very bad before it gets any better, but intelligent life is so adaptable that there's a fair chance it will survive into a new age. Human existence has always been generally awful, but we keep moving forward because what else is there? Pessimism is pointless.

Pessimism forces you to face decisions. Optimism allows you to defer them.


That's not true, optimism is expansive, it looks for the best possible option, pessimism is enervating and self-defeating. Pessimism quits before the optimal way forward is discovered.


Something has to change - I mean, really change - before it gets better. Trusting that it will all work out; that bau/sop is just fine, will keep putting off the decision until it's too late.
Intelligent life is resilient, and I'm sure the rats will be very successful - because they have no faith to hinder their rational decision-making.


We're highly adaptable, we'll learn as we go and change with the circumstances. Like we've always done. I don't think you're really grasping what we've already survived. We made it through the Toba eruption bottleneck, the pleistocene-holocene transition which saw a mass extinction, the Black Death, the Cold War. We're better equipped than ever to survive. We've made a long bloody slog through endless shit, I have to believe we're gonna make it.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Athena on July 28th, 2017, 10:54 am 

Sivad » July 27th, 2017, 4:29 pm wrote:
Serpent » July 27th, 2017, 10:14 am wrote:Seems it will all turn out fine. Corporations will happily fork over an ever-increasing portion of their income to finance welfare; venture capitalists will peacefully morph into hunter-gatherers; The fracking, deep ocean drilling and tar-sands extraction will cease, when it's pointed out that these things harm the environment; the arms manufacturers will convert to ploughshare-making as soon as they realize that getting blown up is bad for little children and other animals.

How soon can my pet lion come over for a play-date with your lamb?


It's clearly going to get very bad before it gets any better, but intelligent life is so adaptable that there's a fair chance it will survive into a new age. Human existence has always been generally awful, but we keep moving forward because what else is there? Pessimism is pointless.




I don't think discussing change and how a change can set into motion other changes is being pessimistic. I do think we need to pay careful attention to who is in control and the economic ramifications of change. We have some human and economic concerns to discuss and dismissing them as pessimistic is in the same line as denial, and that can lead to big problems.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Athena on July 28th, 2017, 11:14 am 

Sivad » July 27th, 2017, 10:07 pm wrote:
Serpent » July 27th, 2017, 7:13 pm wrote:
Sivad » July 27th, 2017, 5:29 pm wrote:It's clearly going to get very bad before it gets any better, but intelligent life is so adaptable that there's a fair chance it will survive into a new age. Human existence has always been generally awful, but we keep moving forward because what else is there? Pessimism is pointless.

Pessimism forces you to face decisions. Optimism allows you to defer them.


That's not true, optimism is expansive, it looks for the best possible option, pessimism is enervating and self-defeating. Pessimism quits before the optimal way forward is discovered.


Something has to change - I mean, really change - before it gets better. Trusting that it will all work out; that bau/sop is just fine, will keep putting off the decision until it's too late.
Intelligent life is resilient, and I'm sure the rats will be very successful - because they have no faith to hinder their rational decision-making.


We're highly adaptable, we'll learn as we go and change with the circumstances. Like we've always done. I don't think you're really grasping what we've already survived. We made it through the Toba eruption bottleneck, the pleistocene-holocene transition which saw a mass extinction, the Black Death, the Cold War. We're better equipped than ever to survive. We've made a long bloody slog through endless shit, I have to believe we're gonna make it.


I think the phrase "I disagree" is better than "That's not true". The pessimists is the person who puts the life boat on a boat and parachutes in the plane. This is moving forward with safety. Whereas the optimist is apt to move ahead without caution and when things go wrong, there is no choice but to go down with the boat or plane.

Have you studied history? I think there are some bad moments in history that we want to avoid. We the people have not always had authority and power, and we do not seem to be on a path of citizens authority and liberty. We are living in a despot as Tocqueville warned in 1830. It seems reasonable to recognize this power and authority concern and question what happens if authority and power are transferred to AI. Personally, I think we should be taking steps to increase the notion that power and authority is best when in it rests with everyone and we have liberty, not when it is held by government over the people and is as controlling as what we have today.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on July 28th, 2017, 11:50 am 

My definition of pessimism isn't just standard health and safety measures - it is something more negative than that - "a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen; a lack of hope or confidence in the future", for example. Pessimism would maybe be not packing life vests in the boat because I'm pretty sure that we'd just get eaten by sharks anyway, so why bother? <-- This kind of thing.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Braininvat on July 28th, 2017, 12:19 pm 

I'm optimistic regarding what Sivad has characterized as human adaptability. The point where my optimism falters a little is in regard to experiments gone awry. I knew the LHC at CERN wasn't going to make a tiny black hole and swallow the Earth, at least I was pretty sure. But I am not as sure that nanotechnology research couldn't accidentally craft a rogue nanomachine that gets out of the lab, reproduces wildly and turns the biosphere into "gray goo." Whenever research goes in a direction of something that can self-replicate, extreme caution is needed. The optimist in me says that the worst scenarios of proliferating nanos or artificial bugs are yet another good reason to further our efforts at a viable colony on another planet. IIRC, around 650 is the number of persons needed to survive a population crash (if they aren't all part of one extended family) and emerge from the bottleneck with sufficient genetic diversity to keep going as a species.

If there were a "gray goo" catastrophe, I would be glad of the Seed Banks that have been established at various locations around the globe in the past few decades. Survivors (if there were underground havens with enough food stocks) might have some hope of deactivating the nanoculture and reestablishing native flora. (especially if there were robots to help out with the planting....) Now that's the optimist talking.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on July 28th, 2017, 1:22 pm 

Life vests, vaccines, old age security and seed banks were invented by pessimists.
In general, political leaders are not very good at looking beyond the next election (or news cycle); capital investors are not very good at looking beyond the next year's profit margin. They tend to keep making the same mistakes, century after century, war after war, famine after plague, depression after recession after 'economic downturn'. That's why we have so much garbage and so much strife.
I think it's time to consult a few pessimists.
(psst - iceberg ahead)
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on July 28th, 2017, 9:31 pm 

Braininvat » July 29th, 2017, 1:19 am wrote:I'm optimistic regarding what Sivad has characterized as human adaptability. The point where my optimism falters a little is in regard to experiments gone awry. I knew the LHC at CERN wasn't going to make a tiny black hole and swallow the Earth, at least I was pretty sure. But I am not as sure that nanotechnology research couldn't accidentally craft a rogue nanomachine that gets out of the lab, reproduces wildly and turns the biosphere into "gray goo." Whenever research goes in a direction of something that can self-replicate, extreme caution is needed. The optimist in me says that the worst scenarios of proliferating nanos or artificial bugs are yet another good reason to further our efforts at a viable colony on another planet. IIRC, around 650 is the number of persons needed to survive a population crash (if they aren't all part of one extended family) and emerge from the bottleneck with sufficient genetic diversity to keep going as a species.

If there were a "gray goo" catastrophe, I would be glad of the Seed Banks that have been established at various locations around the globe in the past few decades. Survivors (if there were underground havens with enough food stocks) might have some hope of deactivating the nanoculture and reestablishing native flora. (especially if there were robots to help out with the planting....) Now that's the optimist talking.

INdeed, and what about hacking as a phenomenon - nanohackers could implant nanoviruses that cause the 'goo-mageddon' you are speaking of....
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on September 2nd, 2017, 9:42 pm 

Dominoes testing self-driving pizza delivery
myfox8.cm, September 2, 2017
Someday soon your Domino’s Pizza could be delivered to you — without an actual delivery person.

Ford and Domino’s are testing out a specially-equipped Ford Fusion that comes not only with self-driving technology but also an oven. It sounds cool but there is a catch — there’s no one to walk the pizza to your front door and ring the bell. That’s what Ford and Domino’s say they’re really testing.
[...]
Ford has been using Fusion sedans for some time to test self-driving technology. Experts have said that delivery services will likely be among the first industries to widely adopt self-driving vehicles.

Ford and Domino’s did preliminary testing for the human-free delivery process at Mcity, a simulated city environment on the campus of the University of Michigan. During testing on the college campus, the cars were allowed to drive themselves although humans were still in the driver’s seat.

Is this just a publicity gimmick or are these job-cancelling vehicles really right around the corner now? If so, this is apparently the first big step into the black hole of a post-work world...
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Braininvat on September 5th, 2017, 10:27 am 

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/04/technology/culture/elon-musk-ai-world-war/index.html

"So long, Mom, I'm off to drop dot-com..."

Musk believes AI will lead to WW3.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on September 7th, 2017, 9:47 pm 


From that article:
The dire prediction was in response to a recent comment from Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Artificial intelligence is the future not only of Russia but of all of mankind," Putin said. "Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world."

At the moment, the United States, China and India are the three countries leading the AI race, according to one top tech industry executive.

Hmm, and which country out of those three is the worst at math?

Haha, I can see why Musk is so pessimistic....
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on November 25th, 2017, 10:20 pm 

Interesting article here:

Meet your new cobot: is a machine coming for your job?
The Guardian, 25 November 2017
plenty of tasks in fulfilment centres, they say, are still too complex for robots: checks on quality, the quick assembly of cardboard boxes, the careful packing of items.

But for how long? For the past three years, the company has organised a competition, the Amazon Robotics Challenge, in which entrants have to come up with a robot that “identifies objects, grasps them, and then safely packs them in boxes”. This year, £60,000 in prize money was won by a team from the Australian Centre For Robotic Vision in Brisbane, who invented Cartman, which uses “suction cups and a two-fingered claw to grasp and manipulate items”; one of the team was swiftly hired. Meanwhile, Amazon’s experiments with drones are well known (it officially launched a drone-based delivery method called Prime Air in 2013, though it is unlikely to become a reality until 2020 at the earliest). The company is also said to be researching the use of driverless vehicles.

“We’re taking the kinds of techniques and processes that have been long established in manufacturing and applying them to a service industry,” says Roy Perticucci, Amazon’s European vice-president for customer fulfilment. “That causes a reallocation of resources, and it’s really a third or fourth wave of industrialisation: it started in manufacturing, and it continued through to everything else.”
[...]
Like Harari, Perticucci uses the example of the Industrial Revolution, but with a positive spin: “In the end, almost everyone involved was far better off, and the quality of whatever was being provided was better than what had been there before.”
[...]
Swedish academic Carl Benedikt Frey. Working at Oxford University’s Martin School, which describes itself as “a world-leading centre of pioneering research that addresses global challenges”, Frey has been intensively researching the relationship between automation and human employment since 2011. He now spends 90% of his professional life working on the subject, and his findings do not make for comforting reading.
[...]
Although the technology is only just starting to be implemented, the same effect is set to tear through unskilled or semi-skilled work in services.

This, Frey insists, may not entail mass unemployment. “There will always be jobs if people are prepared to work for sufficiently low wages,” he says, matter-of-factly. “But the big question is whether people are going to be better off as a result of automation in the future.” He pauses. “Some will. Some won’t.”

His research points to widening inequality. “A lot of people who are highly skilled will gain from automation. Lower-skilled workers are likely to lose out.” In time, he says, generations with more tech skills and an adaptable attitude to work may ease the birth pangs of this new world; but if you’re a 55-year-old who has lost their job to a robot, things are likely to be bleak. There may be work in fields that require “complex social interactions” – he mentions fitness trainers, beauticians and carers – but it may well be poorly paid and not suited to everybody.

When is the kind of disruption he predicts?

“I think when we have autonomous vehicles on the road, then we will know,” Frey says. This may not be as far off as it sounds: transport minister Chris Grayling said recently that the first autonomous cars will be commercially available in 2021.
[...]
Looking around, I get the same feeling of future-shock I experienced at Amazon and Ocado: a sense of hardware and software whirring away, and all those people clutching phones and coffee cups planning more of the innovations that are disrupting the world of work as never before.

Some of Quotemehappy’s operations are dealt with by Aviva staff in Perth and Norwich, but to all intents and purposes, it is run from here. It has one million customers, and is growing fast. Its workforce totals 25.

So our current major date with the AI 'revolution' seems to be 2021.... and the wait goes on....
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Braininvat on November 26th, 2017, 10:50 am 

I found Max Tegmark's new book rather thought-provoking.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/ ... ark-review

Tegmark thoroughly covers the bases, in terms of possible AI futures, both benign and dark.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on November 27th, 2017, 8:32 am 

Braininvat » November 26th, 2017, 11:50 pm wrote:I found Max Tegmark's new book rather thought-provoking.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/ ... ark-review

Tegmark thoroughly covers the bases, in terms of possible AI futures, both benign and dark.

Thanks - does the book have anything profound regarding the actual likelihood of the 'AI revolution' being anywhere near as life-changing and 'yuge' as these tech wizards have been prophecizing?
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Braininvat on November 27th, 2017, 1:12 pm 

Well, I think he gets into some deep territory as regards the advent of actual consciousness in AI, and where that might lead. One of the problems he pinpoints there, and references various thinkers in the field, is of how to ensure that the goals of superintelligent AI aligns with human goals. What if, say, the AIs conclude that the best way to advance conscious existence is to convert all the matter in the universe into processors? Where would we humans fit in? Or, as one theorist jokes, what if an AI decided that the best goal was to make paper clips....and turn all matter into paper clips? The AI wouldn't be "anti-human," it just would not see us as relevant or of the slightest importance to its goal.

We need to start figuring out now, if we want AIs to be our assistants....or our descendants. Or other scenarios, which are detailed in the book.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Serpent on November 27th, 2017, 3:34 pm 

Once a hugely profitable change is undertaken by an industry leader, such as amazon, any other businesses that want to stay in the field have no choice but to follow suit - very fast, or else be absorbed by the big one. It would be no new thing for amazon to gobble up some competitors. So, as soon as drones or packing bots or autonomous delivery cars become available on a large scale, those jobs will evaporate in a matter of one or two years, just as printers became universally obsolete overnight when photocopying became commercially practical.

The first driverless cars are already on the road, sought-after and successful - deliberately misleading headlines notwithstanding. Their use for goods, as well as human, transport will be generally accepted far more quickly than one would predict from all the old guys who declare "I'd never want one!" (That sentiment has a way of reversing on itself the day you fail an eye or hearing test.) just as the use of personal computers and cell phones became wide-spread far more quickly that was predicted when they first appeared as a novelty.
Each transition is faster than the previous one, if only because the spread of information speeds up. But also because of the speed of change in investment options and the brokers who direct them. Most of all because there is no power to impede any change - technological, legal or social - that benefits very big money.

So... there will be care-taking jobs for those willing to work cheaply enough...?
There will always be repair and maintenance jobs to look after the robot work-force...?
Maybe. In what numbers? Show me the proportion of new jobs created to old jobs eradicated.

I'm no Luddite. I think it's never been a good idea for people to do onerous, dangerous and humiliating work, if there were a better alternative (No, I don't mean make a dog, dolphin or pony do it!) I don't think employment has ever been a good idea.
Nor do I think it's a good idea to say : Let's just wait and see. We'll adapt, we'll figure it out, like we always have. Because, you know, we have never adapted very well to big changes; we've never figured out how to avoid casualties in large numbers, or to prevent human misery, social and economic upheaval. I don't think bare survival is the gold standard of success.

I do think that it would be a good idea to consider, and plan, the transition from human to mechanical labour seriously, intelligently and in a timely..... Never mind - here it comes!
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on November 29th, 2017, 6:02 am 

Braininvat » November 28th, 2017, 2:12 am wrote:
We need to start figuring out now, if we want AIs to be our assistants....or our descendants. Or other scenarios, which are detailed in the book.

And I don't underestimate the likelihood of some emo teenage programmer creating 'paperclipocalypse' because his parents told him to stop using his computer so much ... ;P

But then I suppose it could just become a game of paper, scissors, stone. When the paper clips begin arriving, just make a cruncherbot to recycle them.
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Re: Living in a soon-to-be AI-driven Society (within 15 yrs)

Postby Mossling on December 4th, 2017, 11:32 pm 

Singapore to use driverless buses 'from 2022'
BBC News, 23 November 2017
Densely-populated Singapore hopes driverless technology will help the country manage its land constraints and manpower shortages.

"The autonomous vehicles will greatly enhance the accessibility and connectivity of our public transport system, particularly for the elderly, families with young children and the less mobile," the Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said.
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The autonomous buses are expected to complement existing manned bus services, and will initially operate during off-peak hours.

Additionally, the government plans to let commuters hail on-demand shuttles using their mobile phones.
[...]
Singapore has less traffic congestion compared to many other cities in Southeast Asia, due to road tolls and policies that promote public transport.

The country also hopes to become a leader in driverless technologies.
[...]
At least 10 companies are currently testing driverless car technology in Singapore, Mr Khaw added.
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