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The AI Threat Isn’t Skynet. It’s the End of the Middle Class

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posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 05:45 PM
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...In January, the world’s top artificial intelligence researchers ...discussed their rapidly accelerating field and the role it will play in the fate of humanity. It was a private conference ...but in recent days, organizers released several videos from the conference talks, and some participants have been willing to discuss their experience, shedding some light on the way AI researchers view the threat of their own field.

...the researchers at Asilomar were also concerned with more immediate matters: the effect of AI on the economy.

...they looked at the real US economy ...The problem isn’t immigration—far from it. The problem isn’t offshoring or taxes or regulation. It’s technology.

The AI Threat Isn’t Skynet. It’s the End of the Middle Class



The economy. What could be more boring, right? And so what if US manufacturing jobs peaked in 1979, but the US still makes more products than any other country but China - without people, without AI.



In the US, the number of manufacturing jobs peaked in 1979 and has steadily decreased ever since. At the same time, manufacturing has steadily increased, with the US now producing more goods than any other country but China. Machines aren’t just taking the place of humans on the assembly line. They’re doing a better job. And all this before the coming wave of AI upends so many other sectors of the economy.




“I am less concerned with Terminator scenarios - if current trends continue, people are going to rise up well before the machines do,” said MIT economist Andrew McAfee on the first day at Asilomar. Many here have voiced the same concern.



...after his (McAfee's) talk, in the hallways at Asilomar, so many of the researchers warned him that the coming revolution in AI would eliminate far more jobs far more quickly than he expected.

Indeed, the rise of driverless cars and trucks is just a start. New AI techniques are poised to reinvent everything from manufacturing to healthcare to Wall Street. In other words, it’s not just blue-collar jobs that AI endangers. “Several of the rock stars in this field came up to me and said: ‘I think you’re low-balling this one. I think you are underestimating the rate of change,'” McAfee says.




What happens to people when most are made obsolete and put out of work? Possible solutions include universal basic income (UBI), retraining and reselling, incentives for entrepreneurship, regulating and so on.



Some fear that after squeezing immigration—which would put a brake on the kind of entrepreneurship McAfee calls for—the White House will move to bottle up automation and artificial intelligence. That would be bad news for AI researchers, but also for the economy. If the AI transformation slows in the US, many suspect, it will only accelerate in other parts of the world, putting American jobs at even greater risk due to global competition.

In the end, no one left Asilomar with a sure way of preventing economic upheaval.





posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 05:48 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

American middle- class and the rest of the World middle class is very different..



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 05:49 PM
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consumers are the goose that lays the golden eggs so companies will make sure that there is always a way for consumers to make and spend enough money to keep their corporate profits up.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 05:50 PM
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Capitalism will be the end of conservatism.

Kind of ironic.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 05:52 PM
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The more I hear about this Oren Etzioni character the less I like him.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 05:54 PM
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Oh, it's Skynet too. There's so much I've been needing to say about all of this. On Skynet, looks at what a few solid years of social media has turned everyone into. And that's the impression of "humanity" it's to be given (possibly already).

But yeah, on topic, there's all that too.

This piece with Jill Stein I played last night, where she goes on about the entire youth being preyed upon (for the first time ever quite like what played out), this topic all came to mind.


edit on 10-2-2017 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 05:54 PM
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originally posted by: soficrow
What happens to people when most are made obsolete and put out of work?

*Language Warning*
17 seconds of irony. LOL



edit on 1022017 by Snarl because: Language



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 05:55 PM
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posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 05:58 PM
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originally posted by: tikbalang
a reply to: soficrow

American middle- class and the rest of the World middle class is very different..



Quite true. For now.

And important to recognize and remember. 'Cuz technology just may be the global equalizer, not necessarily in an upwardly mobile direction.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 06:05 PM
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a reply to: Tardacus


consumers are the goose that lays the golden eggs so companies will make sure that there is always a way for consumers to make and spend enough money to keep their corporate profits up.



Erm, no. An economy does not have to work that way. It's true that the US government has promoted the US as a consumer market for the last 50-odd years, but that ain't the only way to go. And it's all about to go elsewhere, maybe South.

Think of the "consumer markets" of the developed world as just a transitional phase. And now we're in another transition.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 06:06 PM
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“I am less concerned with Terminator scenarios - if current trends continue, people are going to rise up well before the machines do,” said MIT economist Andrew McAfee on the first day at Asilomar. Many here have voiced the same concern.


Well I for one welcome the coming human-machine war. Gonna build me a jet-powered motorbike made out of drone and assault bot parts



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 06:08 PM
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The following is a picture of a customer service counter in a working McDonalds.











I find it interesting that the manager has scheduled the screens like regular employees.
Only one register is open in this picture.
It is the slow period of the day.
edit on 10-2-2017 by mikegrouchy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 06:09 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

Hi Soficrow!


“I am less concerned with Terminator scenarios - if current trends continue, people are going to rise up well before the machines do,” said MIT economist Andrew McAfee on the first day at Asilomar.

My counter is this.

Since machines are programmed to fulfill the tasks programmed into them by the overlords, they will make them more lethal and more numerous. Imagine swarms of micro drones unleashed on "riots" and or revolts, each a micro attack drone armed with a mall smart brain that seeks out and attaches to people in the crowd, detonating a small warhead, lethal injection, gas cloud, electric shock.

The options are pretty much endless, the clouds of swarming micro drones don't require airstrikes, tanks, helicopter gun ships, mines or boots on ground to be anywhere near the area targeted. In the future sic fi of Terminator, the "machines " are portrayed as huge tracked vehicles grinding thru the rubble like bulldozers, "John taught us ways to dust them".

Thats not possible with clouds of little screaming attack drones descending from 20000 feet, each programmed to seek out and kill one individual person in a crowd.

Most certainly a "sky net" approach and completely undeveloped as yet.

Or are they?



edit on 10-2-2017 by intrptr because: bb code



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 06:09 PM
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originally posted by: mikegrouchy

The following is a picture of a customer service counter in a working McDonalds.











I find it interesting that the manager has scheduled the screens like regular employees.
Only one register is open in this picture, because it is the slow period of the day.


I always go to the till. I can't get those bloody things to work properly. All I want is fries and coke


Self-service checkout things at supermarkets give a great deal of grief as well.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 06:11 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
Most certainly a "sky net" approach and completely undeveloped as yet.


Oh?



I made that in Feb. 2007 (using all .gov/.mil quotes, photos, video clips).



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 06:13 PM
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a reply to: mikegrouchy

Used one of those the other day. It was good to see that they had about 20 people still working in the kitchen.

It's also the self-checkouts at IKEA, some of the bigger hardware stores, coming likely within a decade to most retail checkouts...
That's a lot of jobs gone



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 06:14 PM
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In the future you will see products labelled not by country but by if it was made by a human.

The middle class just have to boycott automated products, there also will be a legislation stating a minimum number of employees have to work there. There will be a market for man made products.
edit on 10-2-2017 by muSSang because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: Ohanka

Human element in the food service industry I think will survive in the long run.

I think I'll open a restaurant soon.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 06:18 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

I was referring to the potential in the autonomous, armed, micro drone dispersal over a battlefield, not an overall intelligence network.

Did you watch the first video I embedded? Changing the face of combat environments on the ground forever.

ETA: your video looks cool, I'll have to review it later, an get back to you.

edit on 10-2-2017 by intrptr because: ETA:



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 06:20 PM
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A real "draining of the swamp" would run out the crony capitalists and the lobbyist that support it. Throw them in the dumpster and jails as Iceland did to the bankers.
edit on 10-2-2017 by dreamingawake because: (no reason given)



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