Saturday, November 24, 2012

Weekend Links

  • 16% of the US soybean crop is going for biodiesel.
  • AI continues to make discomforting progress.  I am somewhat reassured by the fact that Siri on my iPhone continues to suck.


Stephen B. said...

If we thought automation posed a dilemma for society before, I simply cannot imagine how we are going to restructure things as whole new legions of industries and human workers are rendered obsolete as this brave, new, AI world comes to work its magic on the economy.

In all seriousness, I have to say I think the Luddites were on to something, even if they were a couple of centuries early.

Redistributing the benefits of all this new automation, I think, will be quite beyond the capabilities of our present economic and governmental system, if it's even attempted at all as efforts at keeping humans sufficiently educated to stay ahead of the machines will fail, even more than they already have.

I see three possibilities.

1.) We create some kind of new economic system that shares the wealth and free time created by all the automation among all humans.

2.) A new, worldwide Luddite movement takes hold in which humanity voluntarily forgoes most, if not all, automation/AI advances.

3.) Most, if not nearly all humans eventually lose out to AI and automation, living in destitute poverty as the few humans left in control of the all-encompassing automata take over the economic world.

Hopefully, the bright minds that frequent this blog see a better set of alternatives than I do.

mpg4 said...

Quick math suggests that this is about 16 million barrels of soy oil, or slightly less than one day's oil consumption. Is it really that bad, or did I slip a digit?

buck smith said...

Capitalism is the worst system for sharing the wealth and free time created by automation except for any other system devices by man. heh.

By the way Stuart you have the hardest captchas on the web.

sunbeam said...

Perhaps events will prove me wrong, but I think the next wave of job losses are going to come among white collar types that primarily do "mechanical" processing of information in their daily jobs.

That is a pretty broad class of people, and as our system works they have probably historically been greater rewarded for their efforts than is economically rational. It just seems to me that you get better returns by going after those jobs than even automated driving does in the short term.

Fixed Carbon said...

Buck: What's yer definition of "Capitalism" (was upper case irony intended?)