When Robots Replace Human Workers (Harvard Business Review)

Here’s a topic that we’ve discussed here before: the impact of robotics on society. We hope that new energy technology can bring down the cost of electricity and therefore expand its availability — and if that happens it will only speed up the use of robotics (already expanding rapidly) and make robotics cheaper.

An article titled “What Happens to Society When Robots Replace Workers?” in the Harvard Business Review by William H. Davidow and Michael S. Malone looks at the future impact of robotics and paints a picture of a world where things could be very different, and potentially very challenging. Here are some of the authors’ main points:

Progress in information storage and processing have made possible the creation intelligent machines at amazing speed that will soon dominate the world economy and devalue human labor:”This is why we will soon be looking at hordes of citizens of zero economic value.”

There is a term now used called “the Second Economy” which describes that portion of the economy where machines/computers interact only with other machines/computers. Economist Brian Arthur of the Santa Fe Institute predicts that by 2025, the Second Economy may be as large worldwide as the First Economy, and 100 million workers will be displaced.

Today robots are only capable of doing the work the work of a person of average intelligence, but if the rate of increase of robot IQ is only 1.5 per cent per year, by 2025, robots could have IQ levels higher than 90 per cent of the US population.

Already robots have been shown to be superior in performance than anesthesiologists and radiologists, two jobs in the medical field that have required highly trained (and expensive) workers.

A common response to the issue of job displacement due to new technology is that technological advances have taken place throughout history, with old jobs being made obsolete — but new jobs are created to manage the new technologies that come along. That may be the case with robotics, however the authors doubt that in this current situation, the rate of creation of new jobs will keep pace with rate of obsolescence of old old ones:

“A sizeable fraction of those replaced jobs will be made up by new ones in the Second Economy. But not all of them. Left behind may be as many as 40 million citizens of no economic value in the U.S alone. The dislocations will be profound.”

I often wonder about the future of society in the light of what I see as an imminent technological shift of tremendous proportions which I think is already upon us — and which I believe will only accelerate. I think LENR (and other energy advacements), along with robotics, material science, and continued computing advances will be profoundly transformative and will actually change the way we think about economics, politics and civilization itself.

I think the main reason technological advances often make people nervous is that our sense of financial security is threatened. None of us wants to think of our jobs as being the ones that are going to be lost, and people will often fight tooth and nail to preserve their own livelihoods.

However, I think the coming technological revolution has the potential to make us more materially secure and comfortable than the current situation. The cost of everything can be greatly reduced with cheaper and cleaner energy, stronger and more versatile materials, and more efficient and smart automation and communication systems. I really think we have an opportunity to make a much peaceful and prosperous world.

The real question and challenge at hand that I think we will have to deal with, is how to deal with such a monumental societal transition to a new type of world in such a way as to benefit rather than harm the human race — and I’m not sure that in today’s world with all its competing interests and philosophies that can be done smoothly. I think it will take a whole lot of wisdom and creativity to handle well.

  • EEStorFanFibb

    I believe a guaranteed basic income for all is the only solution to this problem…. and it’s something we should do anyway.


    • ivanc

      This is happening already in countries like Australia and some countries in Europe. but this basic income is in the way down. in the future has to go in the way up so all reach de benefit of the new thecnologies.

    • Observer

      Largesse is easy when resources are plentiful. The question to ask is how would a basic income economy react in times when resources are scarce?

      Those with more would out bid those with less and inflation would just redefine the income level of the have-nots.

      Another good question is would a basic income economy create a scarcity of resources by reducing the incentive to produce resources?

      • Anon2012_2014


        We are going to get one chance here with LENR and then one chance with the AI/Robotic revolution to change everything.

        We can engineer away any have nots at 7.2 billion of global population. If we can keep the population stable we can make sure everyone is taken care of for the next billion years. If we can become space fairing, the Universe is essentially infinite in resources (as it will take us 12 billion years to expand into all of it).

        Basic income needs to be a right, but I think we need to get through this economic transition first. In the mean time, we need to be conservative in our economic approach to avoid over-promising and creating a collapse before this new economic revolution kicks in.

        • Observer

          Be careful who you choose to become dependent on. The cows, pigs, and chickens chose poorly.

    • rudyswiss .

      If you are European, sign here for a Basic Income in EU:


  • Rob

    Or, the powers that be could simply decide that the vast majority of us are no longer necessary and the world would be a much more viable, sustainable natural ecosystem without all those hordes of nasty consumers running around spoiling it. The haves can have, and the have nots can be dismissed.

    • Ged

      That’s always the worry with such revolutions. We need to make every effort to protect the right of people to have the freedom to rule their own lives.

      Robots have been envisioned since the 50’s as a way to make lives easier and eliminate our need to work so we can have nobler pursuits. But even the computer revolution has failed stunningly at this, and our lives have become more unbalanced and work dominated, not less as you’d think computer automation would have done. Will robots actually free up our lives more, or will we just get even more demands in new, unforseen ways?

      It’s hard to guess, but we must be watchful and mindful of those dangerous elements in society you described, who know nothing but their own nose, yet have the power to screw over many. That leads to revolt, and revolt is a horridly messy affair.

  • Ged

    Won’t lie, that’s an interesting concept. A lot of danger with it, but same with any new course.

    • GreenWin

      Here’s the rub Pappy: “…owners would be responsible for the maintenance and replacement expenses.” Raises the prospect of the absentee landlord. Boiler goes out and the landlord is on a beach a thousand miles away. A manufacturer will not want a robot managed by a student. They’ll contract with GE, Fluor, Bechtel or bot management companies with track records.

  • Daniel Maris

    People who think the robotics revolution will create jobs is living in dreamland.

    What exactly will be left? Robots already have he detexterity and information power to undertake a wide range of jobs.

    Robots will build robots and robotics will rapidly move through the economy taking over even high skill jobs like those of general practice doctors and surgeons.

    This is a social and ethical challenge.

    The clear response required is to reduce the working week to match the amount of work available and to enforce a right to work, so that everyone can share in the wealth of a such a productive society.

    • Ged

      That’s assuming robotics will be able to accomplish such tasks economically and reliably. That may not be true. Robotics is hard, very hard. We kick the idea and implications around, but besides assembly lines and warehouses, which are controlled, constant environments where robots don’t have to deal with the unexpected or make decisions and the rules are clear, there is no mass production and application of robotics (drones for instance are still actually human controlled for all the decision making and unexpected tasks where rules aren’t clear enough to be simple math). This stuff has been on the societal mind since the 50’s, but computers did nothing to really replace humans or make our work-burden levels easier, and there’s always new jobs humans must now do that computers/robots can’t.

      It’s hard to know where things will go, as it really depends on the resource affordability of widespread robotics (production and upkeep) and most of all on if we can make truly good AI’s. Right now, you can’t even ask a robot to go down the street and buy you some soup for lunch, as no AI can remotely handle that seemingly simple task.

      We may get there, we may not, and what form it all takes is probably not something we can reliably guess on right now.

      Your suggested counterfixes in the case we do get there make sense. I bet there will be a lot of unexpected surprises on the way, though.

  • Daniel Maris

    I think this is a very important topic. So one more thought: I am struggling to identify many job areas that can’t in principle already be handled by robots to varying degrees – though they might not yet be economic or fully developed. We have robot drivers, robot lawyers, robot doctors, robot teachers, robot shelf stackers, robot warehouse operatives, robot trains…

    • Rob

      Original art would be a challenge. Can robots imagine?

      • GreenWin

        In linear ways. Rather boring though.

      • Daniel Maris

        You’re talking about meaning now. A robot doesn’t have consciousness. It can’t “imagine” or “experience”. But it can generate music, pictures etc.

        There’s no reason why over time a robot might not produce works of art, that we – sentient beings might find interesting, moving, challenging.

    • Ged

      Almost none of those are in widespread production or use (warehouses being one that is starting to head that way in Some tasks, not all). Will they actually scale or work reliably in chaotic real world environments, especially with the unexpected? That is probably not so likely for many of those potential jobs, it’s really hard to say.

      The world is also very big. It may work for some small countries in some industries, but what about a diverse one like America? Or dense like China? Or wild places like the Middle East?

      If robotics can make our lives actually easier, I can’t wait. But I’m unconvinced they’ll become that ubiquitous or scale well. Still don’t have the obvious robotic butler role filled yet, dang it all.

      • Daniel Maris

        The robot GP doctor is actually quite close to becoming a reality. They have conducted tests and have found that the robot doctors are much better at analysing symptoms and making an accurate diagnosis. If you ally that with a machine that can analyse breath constituents, take your blood pressure etc in a few seconds it will be much more powerful as a diagnostician.

        The robotic butler is not that far away in my view. Asimo and other robots have very good mobility. There are robots that can wash up, fold clothing etc. No one has yet ,managed to put it all together but I think we are a lot closer than people realise.

  • GreenWin

    Great article Frank. With the confluence of technology you mention, we are likely on a path where we can elect the world we live in. That is, given advances in AI and computation we enter the realm I comment on often: the holographic universe. Modelled on our emergent understanding of the present holographic universe as described by David Bohm and others. And while it seems far fetched today, the “Holodeck” of Trek fame is not so far away. However, I agree, it will take a whole lot of wisdom and experience to manage these advances while retaining the unique spirit of the human race. That wisdom is available, IMO.

    • Allan Shura

      Actually I am surprised that there is not so much virtual reality entertainment in the home
      in this day. I honestly believed 10 years ago that by 2010 nearly all commercial websites would be 3D using VRML or other programming languages. There have been possible methods for delivering 3D TV and internet yet after these years we are not over HD (though I sometimes see possible muted effects on cable now and then). We just add a couple of inches to flat screens every year.
      As far as AI I have developed a proprietary engine that is high end. Randal Mills wrote a paper on AI but makes no mention of any working software engine.

  • Ophelia Rump

    There would not be much threat if humans were capable of sharing. The sad truth is that we are not very good at that. So with global production at an all time high, global sharing is at an all time low.

    There is not even a global sharing metric, this article as well meaning as it is does not even try to address the real underlying issue. The overvaluation of greed and the devaluation of sharing.

    Wealth which is not shared, is not wealth; it is a trophy. The world cannot live based upon an economy of trophies. You can line up your bowling trophies, and yacht trophies and business trophies around your estate.

    You can build the greatest empire of bread factories which the world has ever known, but if you do not employ people to share the benefit of it, and people cannot even afford to buy your wonderful bread; then it is not a part of any human economy, it is a monument to greed, a bowling trophy for one of the last mad kings of men! Soon to be displaced by an automated mad king.

    If only the role of mad king had been one of the first to be displaced.

    • Billy Jackson

      Agreed. unfortunately the wealth here in America has become unbalanced and getting more extreme which i suspect is the trophy syndrome your talking about. Now with blatant gaming of the system we may soon have a collapse and reset.

      Full blown robotics & AI combined with near unlimited energy access to space and the abundance that comes with it will lead to social changes that will be profound indeed. Our world and its economy is based on scarcity of goods, the trading of them. when robotics start harvesting space resources or tending vertical farms that are 3d printed on demand with enough energy provided that scale no longer matters.. how then will that change our world and its many societies?

      I don’t know.. but i want to be there to see it happen.

  • Christina

    When I saw on the news that fast food workers were striking for $15 an hour, I immediately thought that this would bring in totally robotized fast food restaurants if that is the cheaper way to go for the fast food companies.


    • Ged

      Indeed! Though one has to factor in production, power, replacement, and maintenance costs both physical and software, and the cost of manpower to oversee that. Then there’s quality issues to think about. Hard to say where any breakeven point is for all that.

      15 an hour is so much more than many higher skilled trades and entry levels get. If they won (not gunna happen) such a push, it would just drive up inflation as everyone compensated the other job fields to be proportionally better paid. Domino effect.

      • psi2u2

        Yes, but the workers are right. It seems that industrial capitalism may be putting itself out of a job. If most of the major productive processes needed to sustain society are performed by robots (or self-scanning at the supermarket, or what have you), then we must find modes of social ownership, neither entirely private nor sluggishly public, by which all citizens live. I think raising the wages of those who do have jobs is a step in the right direction. Eventually the basic expenses of life may be paid as citizen wages.

        • Ged

          That’s a very reasonable approach, especially as it’s possible to phase that idea in by steps. It’s uncharted territory, and I know while I haven’t been able to keep up with the explosion of technological possibilities despite actively trying and being immersed in all news, our society very much hasn’t. That’s the hard part we are facing right now, combined with most of the world’s population lagging far behind and even less prepared as consequence.

          • bachcole

            Keep in mind that only about 1/7 of the world’s population can be counted as being immediately impacted by a robot economy. The other 6 billion people will still be living without robots. What happens with that difference? Do we help them? Do they attack us as being lazy, unproductive, and weak. Do they take advantage of our atrophing muscles and take us over?

            Who takes care of the increasing numbers of autistic children. When I was young (1953 to 1963), autism simply did not exist. The guy who discovered it found that the numbers were like one in 250,000. It is now about 1 in 111. I guarantee that this number will increase. Which robots will be taking care of these people; perhaps hard core autistics would prefer being taken care of by robots.

          • psi2u2

            Very important dimension indeed, although I wonder if the number of those effected over the near term of say 50 years is really that small when you look at the rate of industrialization today in places like China and India. But you are right that there is a strange gap developing there that needs some pretty serious thinking.

            About autism, I hear contrasting stories, including the argument that the rate has gone up merely because of better detection. I am a little suspicious of this explanation, but it is a known type of phenomenon that numbers change when you improve the filter. Unfortunately this also happens if you created the problem in the first place and are unable or unwilling to see how you did and correct. It can also happen if the diagnostics are changed so as to attract more clients for the drug companies, who are always looking for new markets. So, we live in a precarious world of difficult choices that people make every day to try to remain in touch with a higher sense of their humanity.

          • we want LENR Fusione Fredda

            Once upon a time a large spectrum of ailments was unrecognized or classified: it was cared for in madhouses.

            Those madhouses also conveniently took care of many “unpleasant” people.

          • Omega Z

            The thing with autism, is it is continuously being refined to include a larger number of people along with many other diagnosis being lumped into a single category.

          • Fortyniner

            Rates of diagnosed autism are rising exponentially in most Western countries, and the evidence seems to indicate that mercury and aluminium exposure, particularly in vaccines, are primary causes.

            “Empirical Data Confirm Autism Symptoms Related to Aluminum and Acetaminophen Exposure”

            “Autism Spectrum Disorders and Aluminium Vaccine Adjuvants”

            “A Case Control Study of Mercury Burden In Children With Autistic Spectrum Disorders”

        • Anon2012_2014


          I am not sure that raising wages _today_ is a step in the right direction because we are still economically precarious. It has its inefficiencies for creating more jobs for those very same workers.

          But in the future, for all people there needs to be a way that each one who wants to work can earn a decent living. This is the only compassionate way for men to live — by helping their fellow men live well.

    • Andreas Moraitis
    • Anon2012_2014


      Going to happen within 20 years 100% certain. Having employees at McDonalds is charity. Robots flipping burgers are too easy to design.

      But who do you want greeting you at the restaurant — a robot, or a smiling person who wants to interact with other people rather than sit back at home by themselves. I’d pay a bit extra to have a part time actor, dancer, scientist, or singer serving me burgers. I’d maybe even wait a bit for them to get the food.

      We will pay for the social jobs because we like other people. Those who don’t can send their robot butler out to fetch their food and live like hermits.

      In fact, I think I would like to be a part time barista myself.

    • Cristina, I read somewhere (it might have been on Ecat World) if the price of a Big Mac was increased by 25 cents it would cover the pay raise for employees. I’m all for that (though I have to confess, I haven’t had a Big Mac in the last 29 years).

      • Fortyniner

        I had half of one once, about ten years ago. It was like eating a grease soaked lump of sponge rubber between two bits of singed polystyrene foam. I would have to be very, very hungry to have another. I liked the artery-clogging ‘fries’ though.

    • Fortyniner
  • Christina

    Also, if the big companies want to robotize, why not just replace the jobs of those retiring and give to those seeking jobs “free money.”

    The only way to support millions of people doing this would be for the private companies and the government to bring in lots and lots of money through exploring this solar system. The new products/experiences/advances would percolate through the economy allowing people to make additional money by investing in new ideas and products.

    Frank, does this seem feasible?


    • ecatworld

      I think it would take a long time before much money could be made by exploring the solar system — it seems to me that it would be a money consuming activity for a long quite a long while.

      • Christina

        Yes, it would, but shouldn’t we put something in place that will eventually support us and figure out something we can do when the robots first become prevalent so that people aren’t drowning in debt and starving.

        I’d say to people to get rid of their debt while they have jobs.


        • Anon2012_2014


          I think we have to study and design a new economy based on the robots/AI rather than left it simply evolve and fall into the hands of the new Oligarchs, just like Russia fell into the hands of those Oligarchs. That natural trend is for people to take all that they can from other people. The minute the controls go, it becomes “help yourself”. Look at the looting after your namesake Hurricane Kristina, or even on the streets of Berkeley this past weekend.

          Unless you want all of us controlled by “help yourself” Oligarchs with unlimited economic power, we have to study and arrange a transition that we can democratically agree on.

      • Daniel Maris

        I disagree with you there Frank. There is not reason to suppose that missions to Mars, after the initial development outlay, wouldn’t make sizeable profits, e.g. through sale of meterorites, sponsorship, TV and film rights, sale of life support systems, tourism, data storage, sale of luxury “made on Mars” goods (e.g. special edition Rolex watches) & art on Mars. We would be talking about hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue being generated each year. And that’s just the things we can envisage.

        • Anon2012_2014


          This only works if going to Mars is a $2.5 billion proposition instead of a $25 billion proposition (Orion) and can be repeated at will for say $25 mm, or better, $25,000.

          Maybe LENR will get us there. If LENR happens, I will work on this.

  • JedRothwell

    Here is a good video about automation and employment:


    Some good quotes: after the Model T, people did not say: “There will be new jobs for horses we can’t imagine!” There is not a rule that says, “better technology makes more better jobs for horses.”

    Here is a good website:


  • Curbina

    Every time this is prompted as a worry I cannot but remember this absolutely true statement:

    “We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of
    earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

    Quote by Buckminster Fuller, taken from The New York Magazine Environmental Teach-In (1970).

    • psi2u2

      He was a true visionary. We have to consider other ways of life being sustainable and meaningful than traditional work.

    • Ged

      That is a beautiful quote. Hopefully if we manage a robot revolution it will come to pass, if we can also manage a societal and economic revolution. I very much hope for that liberating day for our kind, but can’t bring myself to hold my breath.

      • psi2u2

        We have to believe that it is possible. Otherwise we are doomed. But I believe that many people will fight for it.

    • bachcole

      Unlike so many in my generation, I do not put Buckminster Fuller on a pedestal. Everyone needs challenges. Everyone needs to be responsible. Everyone needs their days structured (Trust me on this one; my daily schedule is a mess and consequently it makes me a mess.), hopefully by themselves. Everyone needs to share in the hardwork, assuming that they are not disabled. And I am fully aware that most rich people currently do not share in the hardwork. And I am fully aware that the new robotics economy is going to challenge us to find ways to keep things fair and beneficial for everyone.

      Challenges can include but are not limited to working, running marathons, going back to school, painting, climbing mountains, cleaning up litter, writing, video taping, helping old people.

  • psi2u2

    Mats Lewan — yes, the very same Mats Lewan who has been so instrumental in bringing LENR news to a wider audience via his coverage of the e-cat tests and book on Rossi — has recently covered this emerging problem in his youtube series. As usual, Lewan does an excellent job of covering a complex topic, explaining that while some economists think this industrial process will follow the same as past patterns — i.e. for every job replaced, new ones will emerge — others are not so sure. It may be different this time. We at least need to start discussing the possibility that that could be true, now, as Lewan emphasizes.

  • Curbina

    If you are acquainted with Jeremy Rifkin’s ideas, this is just echoing what many others have seen before, and what “Bucky”, whom I quoted in my previous comment, was capable of seeing 44 years ago.

  • I support the idea of a capitalist declination of the agrarian reform…
    distributing robot capital to each citizen, and let people try to make them productive.

    the goal of economics is not to distribute money according to talent… just to motivate people to use their talents (which imply some relation between efforts and income, but which one?)…

    basic income seem a good idea to kill the incentive to abuse and not protect yourself from the pain of life, and all the expensive and inefficient accounting around.
    but basic capitalism add the idea that it will foster innovation and creativity by all people.

    give a 3D printer, a robot, a 1person factory to every citizen (against a loan?) and let them make a business and serve their neigbours. if they fail, make them pay with their ctizen assets (time, freedom,wealth) but quickly give then a second chance … because what the economy have to do is to push people to be useful, creative, …

    in the 17th century or recenty in china or USSR you needed poeple who produced food, so you gave them a land to develop… today we need lean business, lean factories,…

  • Wayne M.

    I think we maybe overlooking a point about this article.

    A.I. is what drives Robotics. A robot is just an A.I. vehicle to get work done. However, the A.I. doesn’t have to be inside a robot (as in the movies). It can run machines wireless and / or reside in a LAN / WAN. So forget robots.

    “It’s the A.I., stupid.”

    Fretting about our impending social disruption from robot workers could be trivial. Once an A.I. reaches the capacity of the average human mind, the super intelligent machine will arise.

    Game over.




    • bachcole

      Complete and utter nonsense. A.I. will never be conscious. A.I. will never be self-aware; there is no awareness; there is no self. Most of all, there is no motivation. Rocks don’t care if you smash them with a hammer or if you make pets out of them. My dogs, who are mostly fully conscious, love being pets and hate being smashed with hammers. Silcon rocks are just like all of the other rocks, even if they have extremely clever electronic signals racing around inside of them. They are just rocks, as stupid as . . . rocks. There is no motivation. There is no experience. It is the human programmers that I am worried about, if I were going to worry about something like this. Which I am not.

    • Ophelia Rump

      And the machines will ravish all of your womens, and laugh at your awkward social skills!
      The next thing you know they will be driving around in your car, and your dog will like them better than you!

  • EEStorFanFibb

    a lot of conservative / libertarians love it. see the article I posted.

    • Rob

      I know I’d sure as heck be more creative and productive if I was engaged in a job that meant something to me. A minimum income could make that sort of thing possible and open the door to a real renaissance of culture.

      • Observer

        Yes, but who would do the job you are currently doing?

  • LilyLover

    Topic 1. Full Automation & Job Loss
    Dear Folks:
    Existence of needless Jobs in itself is sinful.
    Ideal scenario: 100% joblessness. Practicable scenario: 99% joblessness.
    Heaven on Earth? Why not? Humanity will finally evolve to exist in frolicsome and “Humane” activities. The present nature of Money, Job and Goods-Exchange is immoral.
    Soon enough I shall provide a framework for a system more ethical than ‘perfect socialism’ and more commensurate than ‘perfect capitalism’. & Yet with as much as 99% joblessness.
    Vending machine: The way a vending machine does not whimsically choose to dispense, or not,a can of coccaola sets up for a realistic expectation of receiving your can if you put in the required input. Similarly, when we as people de-jargonify the laws into plain language so that even a fifth grader can understand everything, then we have put the English majors, the lawyers, and the philosophers to good use. Then we can replace judges and lawyers with these Justice-vending machines. That is an important step in humanizing the society.
    Just like man was not born to fill-up forms, man was also not born to ‘perform job’.
    Distortion from the natural state of being is the reason for unhappieness and feeling of emptiness.
    We are born to frolic as we please, as much as we can. Grow spiritually.
    Remember what the people of the Atlantis taught us. What the ETs always bring up as an issue – spiritual growth.

    Topic 2: Real and Artificial Intelligence

    This is a trillion dollar revelation:

    A.For those who believe in God – man was made of earth and so shall s/he return to it.
    B.For some of those who do not believe in god – man has evolved from molecules or space dust.
    C.For yet others – soul exists and is supernatural, is beyond our comprehension and materialism.

    A & B fight with each other for no reason. In either scenario – silicon is capable of supporting intelligence. For C, intelligence is incompatible with dead matter.

    From my view:
    “Humans are transcendental.’ – is the truth.
    What do they transcend?
    Trans-paradigm correlation.
    What is it? Ability to understand.
    Only after this trancendence, there lies the possibility of creativity or thoughtfulness, or artistic evolution, and then emotions.

    Does AI exist today?
    Can it exist?
    From A or B’s point of view : Yes.
    From C’s point of view: No.
    Right now I am not showing my position – I am distilling the debate to what it should be.

    To find if A or B or C is right this needs to be done first:
    The Antonym Prediction Problem:

    We have plenty of computing power for this. It’s not the speed evolution that’s the bottleneck, but it is a bottleneck of different kind. An Intelligence bottleneck. That’s what is really preventing AI for so long. Presently, it’s Collective-Distributed-Simulated-Reproduction-of-Intelligence that is passed off as AI by the “experts” to the masses. And this is plenty for humanity. We program the robots and use the collective intelligence of brightest minds for the overall community.

    Just like the welfare programs for Ivory Towers, (ITER, Hot Fusion…), there exists money in R&D towards AI, not in AI itself. The corporate world capitalizes on mass ignorance and military contracts to spend money on “developing AI”. Show them a humanoid robot, or a dog-a-like robot, or roomba or Siri, and call it AI-in progress. Throw in the words like quantum computing and exponential growth of processing power and confuse people with calling everyday things “Intelligent” or “Smart” (Smart TV, Fuzzy logic, Intelligent-Stochastic Optimization) and with enough repetition some people believe. Then some more. Monkey see monkey do. Some otherwise smart people also begin to believe if their parents held on to the belief of proven AI. Not just parents, but, friends, lovers, bosses, politicians, doctors, corporations etc. also influence their thought process. Then they begin with presupposition of AI. Likewise the other side begins with presupposition of lack of AI. To make matters worse, A, B and C do not know which side of the battle is supposed to be theirs. Add low IQ of people and many other variables get introduced. The debate becomes distracted and meaningless.

    Governments of the World: if you want to save money – de-fund the AI research.
    People of the World: Money doesn’t matter. People matter. Life matters. Money in it’s present state, is meaningless. The robotization is going to accentuate this problem more and more.
    Our life after efficient robotization can be spent in frolicking, or in spiritual or intellectual discussions, in talking to other people, in seeing new planets, in emotionally relating with multitude of other people thereby elevating ourselves as a species.

    For certain type A people, AI research money needs to be spent for one primary reason – successful AI will obviate the necessity of “continuity of the soul”. So, type C people can be honestly proven wrong.
    For certain type B people, AI research money needs to be spent for one primary reason – successful AI will obviate the necessity of “god” and “soul” both. So, type A and type C people can be honestly proven wrong.
    For certain type C people, AI research money needs to be spent for two primary reasons – first, continued failure of AI research will ‘asymptotically prove’ that both type A and B are wrong; and second, if AI research achieves some fruits, the debate can be taken to the next level – of argument of meaning, perception, creativity and emotion. These next levels are the “aces in the pocket” to defend the ‘Soul is still far beyond our reach.”

    For every type A, B and C person, there are plentiful type A, B and C people who oppose AI research for the very same reasons and also for myriad of other irrelevant reasons including morality, humanism or futility. Some are afraid of the “possibility of discovery” that their side might be wrong.
    But the present day debate is more out of incompetence of all these confused parties, hence even more comical and hopeless.

    The Point:
    Smarter children understands the concept of ‘antonym’ after you teach them a two or three antonyms. Less smart may require you to teach them ten antonyms before they understand the concept. But, the basic fact remains that they both possess intelligence hence they understand the concept of antonyms. The concept of paradigms.
    Now, temporarily, let’s come down to a lower and shallower meaning of paradigm, as opposed to a loftier one, with assumed permission form Georgehants :), shall we?

    Now, when you teach a child:
    1. A number line, -5 and +5 (Numerical Value Paradigm)
    2. Light vs Dark (Luminosity Paradigm)
    3. More vs Less (Relative Abundance Paradigm)
    4. More Light vs Less Light; and More Dark vs Less Dark (Compound Paradigm)
    5. Light vs Heavy (Weight Paradigm)
    6. Fill in the blank – Yesterday there was enough light for my PV panels to work, but today they generate no electricity since it is so_____. (Heavy/Dark) (Contextual Meaning Paradigm)
    7. Left vs Right, Up vs Down (Direction Paradigm) (Comparibility-of-Paradigms Paradigm)
    8. Laplace Transform vs Fourier Transform (Compounded Complex Understanding Paradigm)
    9. To be or not to be (Choice Paradigm)
    10. Slow vs Fast (Rate Paradigm)
    11. Beautiful vs Ugly (Beauty Paradigm)
    12. Beautiful vs Less Beautiful (Discretion/Perception Paradigm)
    After you reflect briefly upon this, you can come up with another dozen different categories of paradigms.
    Let’s call these “Shallow Paradigms”; as opposed to “Capitalism” vs “Socialism” as moderately deeper paradigms.

    What does Humans are transcendental mean?
    A child can perform trans-paradigm-regression based on a few paradigms and APPLY that CONCEPT OF ANTONYMS across multiple, different, and yet unlearned paradigms.

    So, first step towards AI is essentially – Constructing an “Antonym Prediction Box”.
    This neither requires ITER-level money or computational power, nor does it need “large teams” working in different directions for multitudes of decades.

    Right now, our AI state is: -5 vs +5, -4 vs +4; therefore, -5 vs+5. (Look-up tables)
    First it need to rise to the level of : -5 vs +5, -4 vs +4; therefore, -3 vs+3. (Prediction within paradigm)
    Then it needs to rise to the level of: “Meaning of Operators” (Primitive Paradigms)
    Then it can rise to the level of simple paradigms – number line, direction, weight, more vs less, etc.
    And only after that compounding paradigms, complex compounding paradigms, and then, meaning-paradigms could be possible. These are explicit paradigms. Further degree of difficulties is posed by conjecture, contextual, implied, hypothetical, aesthetic and emotional paradigms.

    Antonym Prediction Box tests all of it.
    Feel proud about your children for the amazing “learnability” that they posses.
    Feel good about yourself for having done this transparadigm-correlation, albeit without the jargon.

    And ye all: Until you can produce this Antonym Prediction Box, stop lying about AI already exists.
    And all ye researches: Admit your wasteful spending on AI research, not even knowing what the advancement of the field even means.
    And all ye academicians: Do not distort this and present as your original thought. If you attin multiple PhDs based on this, at least be honest enough to admit that you heard it first on E-Catworld.com.

    Summary: Antonym Prediction Capability is the first MANDATORY step to AI.

    I side with the Lady Lovelace, who intuitively, came to this same conclusion about machine limitations.

    Happy Humanity Everyone!!!
    To Be is to Enjoy Being.

    • LilyLover

      Should Topic 2 be a post by itself?

    • Anon2012_2014

      Topic One “Existence of unnecessary jobs is sinful”; i.e. no one has to work.

      True, but it is enjoyable to do _some_ work, perhaps early in your life, perhaps throughout your life.

      Would you not work 1 year out of every 4 as a teacher helping young people understand the world? The work itself is the reward if you no longer need it to eat.

  • otto1923

    Machines will have to pay the taxes of the workers they will replace. We cannot trust machine owners to pay their fair share, and it will be far easier to tax machines directly. Machines can record exactly the amount of work they do, the amount of resources they consume, the wear and tear they do on the infrastructure, maintenance, storage, and obsolescence costs, etc. Further, machines such as construction bots will deliver themselves to the site, do work according to GPS, engg models, and AI-generated schedules and coordination, with no need for human interface. So they can pay their taxes directly with no middlehuman to skim off further profits for no work. Machine emancipation will happen sooner or later – it should happen as soon as possible.

    • Anon2012_2014

      For what purpose are the machines paying taxes?

      I think you answer is that it is for the redistribution of wealth from the machines, or more specifically, from owners of the machines (as machines are not a person in law or any moral system).

      In this regard, the ownership of the machine has been spread from the capital owning class to the non-capital owning class.

      This is the fundamental issue for the future — how to share the machine capital; as there may be no way for a non-capital owning human being to earn a living.

      I propose the following:
      (For these purposes I assume that the machines are finite entities that can create economic value that can be transformed into human cost of living items for very low cost.)

      1) Price fix (mandate) that machines can be purchased by anyone for the cost of production of the machines more or less. Assume that a machine that cost say in 2014 dollars $20,000 can create living items (food, shelter, clothing, heat etc…) that cost say $100,000 in 2014 dollars. The economic value of such a machine using classic finance is $100,000/r where r is the interest rate, say 5%; or $2 million. That is it is rational for a market person to price the machine for $2 mm for its economic output. But I propose that we mandate that the machine can be bought for cost, in this example an affordable $20,000.

      2) The entry level jobs for those who don’t own the machines (the capital) will be those jobs that humans value other humans performing; i.e. a barista, a teacher, a performer. Those jobs will continue to pay what they pay now, say $20 to $40,000 per year in 2014 dollars.

      3) That the cost of living remains what it is today or declines in real terms (i.e. an increase in spending power) so that those workers in a short period of time can buy enough shares of machines to retire when they can still enjoy their lives.

      There are two issues.

      1) What about those people who would hoard the machines to control everyone, i.e. the sociopath who must be richer than everyone else. Those people will never want to sell machines at anything near cost.

      2) What about those people who would have so many children as to use up the food growth potential, so that the planet becomes food constrained.

      Both of those problems are social problems that need to be solved through political actions that are cross national and non-partisan.

      A long term solution is to become a space faring civilization where there is plenty of excess food resources across the universe. We can use this objective to soak up all the excess energy of those people who no longer believe that we have a purpose (because we have solved the food and standard of living problems back her on earth).

      Of course, we then will come across the usual issue when we discover that there is other indigenous life out there; i.e. “first peoples”. But that is a problem for 400 years into the future.

      • psi2u2

        Very interesting. Regarding overpopulation, I think you will find that wherever you have social security or its equivalent – some kind of social guarantee that people won’t just be pushed off a cliff at retirement age — then family size automatically goes down. Whatever ideological causes may have favored large families in the past, in the present all we need to do to continue damping down population is to insure a senior safety net. Big families today, in other words, are largely a hedge against the fear of neglect or abandonment of the elderly parent. More children, more senior security. If women have access to birth control and the society has such an arrangement, societies will spontaneously move towards 2- children families.

        • Mark Szl

          Additionally, the data also says that on average the single life is better than married life. Singles win across the board when one compares to married and that includes divorce. However, if you remove divorces and compare singles with only those married that never divorce then it is a wash except for one area. Married people have more unearned wealth. That is government or work subsidies or benefits for being married. So why get married? It is just an outdated contract and idea to for a stable breading environment. You don’t even need it to breed successfully anymore. You sure as hell do not need government approval to be in “love” or to have sex or to own property. Marraige has lost benefits to men but still holds the risks. To women it is all benefits. Therefore, less kids.

          With robots a society does not need replacement human workers. Therefore, society will care less about marriage which means less government enforcement or coercion to keeping people together for breeding purposes.

          • bitplayer

            Not working so well in Japan, the leader in world robotics.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    “What Happens to Society When Robots Replace Workers?”

    When the powers that be no longer need us we’ll all become landfill.

    • Alan DeAngelis
    • bachcole

      I have thought it through, and the only powers that be are news media editors.

    • Omega Z

      Technically, Most of society is no longer needed today, yet here we are. It’s a matter of perspective. How many are considered not needed. 1 Billion or 7 Billion. As to Bots, Society will adapt with a different economic system.

      • Donk970

        Unfortunately “adaptation” will likely come at the cost of many lives.

  • Bob Greenyer

    We can enjoy our families and farming and animal husbandry and entertainment and purely creative pursuits.

    But the system has to change to account for joblessness.

    • Donk970

      We all have to realize that creativity, willingness to work and economic value are all orthogonal to one another. You can be creative and hard working but have no economic value to others. What has to change is the idea that there’s something wrong with you if what you do is of no value to anyone else. Should a person starve to death simply because there is nothing of economic value for him to do? If you are an out of work garbage collector should you be expected to become a doctor or lawyer in order to simply survive or worse to keep your family from starving? We really need to shake this false morality that we live under that says you should simply be allowed to die if you are of no use to the rest of us.

      • “nothing of economic value”
        mean simply that nobody is interested to support what he is doing… really nobody on earth.

        don’t forget that money is not a devil invention but just some expression of the interest we have in our efforst, in the values of others service, goods, in hope and fear… if expresst simply our interest, our motivation.

        there is a problem however that I have noticed is that sociocultural regulation prevent some people to pay things they value at the good price because “it is not good”.

        for example you have rich people who appreciale some services, like tango courses, but in some case I know the price they pay is ridiculous compared to what they value personally… maybe offer/demand, or just locked price scale.

        that is that problem that we will have to tackle when robots will take all classical jobs, to let either jobs that nobody would like to do, or work that bring pleasure to people.

        see how nurses are badly paid, how garbage gatherer are bad paid, and you will see what I have in mind.in the new world, with basic dividend, people will not be paid (just funded) to be scientists, engineers, creators, actors (except few stars) but the dirty jobs that remain, the caretakers jobs, the human-company jobs, will be paid like highly valued jobs, because nobody will want to do it for cheap.

      • bitplayer

        Or, like Robert Monroe describes in “Journeys Out of the Body”, we’ll spend our days sleeping under trees while playing mind games on the astral plane, and let the robots tend the grass.

        Which maybe gets to the real point, “What is the purpose of the human race?”

  • It’s a human fantasy to remove the struggles of life. I enjoy chopping wood then sitting by the woodstove, but I’m not sure I would do it if I didn’t have to. Would it simply make us soft? Without hard work, would we appreciate the state of rest?

    It’s all inevitable, but I’m not sure it will make us any happier.

    • ecatworld

      Good point, Barry. Even if technology can provide the essentials we need to live and survive, I think there will always be problems to solve, things to create, people to help, plenty to strive for — things that make living purposeful and worthwhile.

      • Fortyniner

        I think that is the core issue. The term artificial intelligence is a misnomer – what we are actually doing is simulating intelligence. Programmers attempt to get their creations to provide output as close as possible to the output of a human being, but the process of doing so is carried out in ways that don’t correspond to the ways in which humans produce those outputs.

        As Bachcole says, what is missing is emotion – an electrochemical bias that we and other higher mammals experience as preference. Again this might be digitally simulated in terms of behaviour, but the machine running the simulation will not actually feel (or even experience) anything at all. It can’t ‘want’, it can’t ‘love’ and it can’t ‘hate’, and so could have no ‘desire’ to either kill and replace humans, or to serve them. It can literally only do what has been specifically programmed by its creators, even if this is via some kind of ‘learning’ ability that can add additional digital subroutines automatically.

        This is where we are now, and Hawking’s concerns about ‘AI’ seem premature to say the least. But that is not to say that we should be unconcerned by the various sociopathic maniacs trying to create autonomous, armed robot ‘soldiers’ or killing machines. That is a very real threat, and one that our ‘leaders’ need to be addressing before it is too late..

        • LilyLover

          Usually, I don’t care what most people think of what I say, but there are a few people that I really care about. I did not want to be the first one calling Hawking as baseless AI-threat perpetuator… (funding?) … but, ye, out of curiosity, did you happen to read my big-rambling about AI? Did I make any mistakes? Did you like it?

          • Fortyniner

            I’m flattered and honoured that you ask my opinion, but I’m just another opinionated pensioner who relies more on intuition than real knowledge of whatever I happen to be opining on. With some guilt I have to admit that I only skimmed your essay as I was just catching up on the blog before having to leave the house. I’ve now read it in full.

            Your analysis seems fairly incontrovertible, and I lean towards similar conclusions, with a few reservations. As to the existance of ‘soul’ though – I just have no idea, and am groping with all the usual concepts and questions. As an aside, the closest I can get to the idea of soul is that all lifeforms are temporary individuations of some infinite universal intelligence, and that whatever they ‘experience’ in life is added to this origin upon their deaths – or have already become a part of it, as no time could exists for such an ‘entity’. As far as any continuity of identity goes after death – it seems that the only evidence available is anecdotal – the classic ‘near death experience’.

            If soul does exist then it seems reasonable to assume that every living thing has some measure of ‘soul’, and that humans are nothing special in this respect (or can you have ‘degrees’ or measures of ‘soul?). In this case, a cloned animal has soul, all degrees of cyborg short of brain replacement would retain their soul, a completely synthetic (replicant) human or animal would have soul, and there seems no total bar to an artificial non-digital ‘creature’ also having soul.

            Enough of that – from ‘Does AI exist today?’ we seem to be on firmer ground. I see that you make the same point as myself regarding simulation of intelligence, but in far greater depth (apologies – I should have acknowledged that in my post. Perhaps I picked up on it subconsciously).

            Exploitation by “welfare programs for Ivory Towers” of ignorance and love of shiny things is a given, and the main reason for this research is as you imply, simply to perpetuate the comfortable lifestyles and kudos that the participants gain from it. Beyond that, while there may be an element of seeking justifications for a world view, whether it’s your A, B or C, I am less sure that this is the whole story. Other factors including genuine intellectual curiosity, a sense of challenge, and of course the commercial gains to be had from ‘intelligent’ automation. I would suggest that the latter is probably the primary motive of the funders. They are spending primarily taxpayer’s money in order to put increasing numbers of said taxpayers out of work – replaced by machines that don’t require income, food, accomodation, social care and similar inconveniences.

            Regarding antonyms, I’ve always had trouble with these myself, and would probably fail your “Antonym Prediction Box” test! On analysis, most antonyms just disappear and are replaced by either points on a scale or differences in subjective perception, or revealed simply as differences of human construction, rather than ‘opposites’ in any profound sense. On your list I would see 1-5 and 10 as simple scalar values, 7, 9, 11 and 12 as human perceptions, and 6 as predictive verbal logic that happens to make use of two scalar values. 8 is above my pay grade.

            Perhaps it’s only on the atomic level (spin, charge etc.) that any true antonyms exist. Your test appears to be designed to establish that testee perceives as humans perceive, but I don’t think that this is the only possible way an intelligence can deal with reality, and might not therefore be a valid test. I wouldn’t expect an intelligent alien that had evolved in an utterly different environment to pass such a test, so I’m not sure I would expect a truly sentient artificial intelligence to do so either.

            However I’m pretty much at a loss to suggest anything better, other than extended contact with perceptive humans who will come to their own conclusions. As none of us can ever be sure what is going on in the head of another human being, or even in the mind of a domestic cat or dog, we will probably never be in a position to discriminate an advanced simulation of intelligence from the ‘real thing’.

      • bitplayer

        We can make our own machines. Nothing can stop us. And perhaps that’s the real danger.

    • Donk970

      There’s struggles and then there’s just trying to not starve to death. This brave new world threatens to make the latter the norm for a majority of the worlds population. When you are engaged in a day to day struggle to avoid freezing to death or starving to death or dying from some nasty disease because the only water you have is from a ditch that people and animals shit in, there is no room for creativity or fulfillment.

      • Unfortunately Donk the poor won’t be the ones who own robot slaves. Don’t think robots will solve everbody’s problems.

  • Humans with technology implants and artificial external muscular skeleton systems. Hmm, why doesn’t that sound very fulfilling.

    Though I guess high school dances will be less awkward. Blink on a program and you’ll instantly know how to do the latest dance.

    • Mark Szl

      Why not very fulfilling. Implants and orthopedic devices are fulfilling to people already and more advanced ones probably more so. This just the way it is. Keep in mind that cruches are just a primitive external for of an aid. The newer stuff now is internal and with better performance. It helps with lost limbs. With future replacements it will help improve existing body parts bc of their inherent limitations. Very fullfilling indeed.

      • theotherone

        Depends on which you value more, doing or being.

        • Charles

          God has given us an object lesson in how to do well materially. He built a machine that takes two raw material items, for which the machine has to do nothing but use the items as input, and converts the input, through its own internal processes, into an extremely useful product for humans. In the process, it uses one of the inputs as fuel and product raw material and the other input as a catalyst and product thinner. Adam named it: cow.

          Man is now engaged in the same process trying to build a self operating machine that produces a useful product without human assistance, other that just taking the offered product. Man named it: robot.

  • Donk970

    As long as capitalism remains as our moral compass this shift toward more/cheaper/better automation of production will drive more and more people into poverty and despair. Those who are morally outraged at the idea of government supporting people who have no economic value would rather see children starving in the streets than admit that they need to change their view point.

    • bachcole

      I am changing my attitude in the face of a dramatic increase in the rise of robotics and A.I. So I guess that you are wrong. Plus, you and your ilk have not even started to address the problem of people’s spirit and how people will feel when they get something for nothing. I am retired, and it is a slight but not insurmountable challenge for me to find meaning in my life, even though I earned my pension. I work real hard to be of service to others, but I doubt if the trash collector is going to have the inner resources to realize that he has to work at not feeling like a useless lump when he is living off of a pension at the age of 29.

      • Donk970

        And when there is no need for your labor and your ability to simply survive depends on making a living with your labor – then what? We must, at some point, decouple survival from doing labor.

      • Donk970

        There’s a big, big difference between “finding meaning in your life” and trying not to die every single day of your life. If you give that trash collector the choice of starving or taking a handout, he’ll take the handout. He might not like it but he’ll do it, especially if he’s also trying to keep his family from starving. This discussion isn’t about some silly notion of having a meaningful life, this is about people being able to survive at all.

      • bitplayer

        I wouldn’t sell the trash collector short. The door enlightenment may be only a small turn of the mind away. It’s distraction that’s the problem. And struggling to survive is definitely a distraction.

  • Mark

    I have said before, and I will say again that I don’t like Rossi, personally. This pro-capitalism attitude is one of the reasons. However, there is something satisfying about seeing a pro-capitalism character like Rossi working hard at creating something that I think will bring us closer to a point where capitalism is dead. It’s a good thing that Rossi is so short-sighted and stuck in his pro-capitalism attitude to see what he’s doing.

  • Bernie777

    What depresses me the most is our “leaders” are not anywhere close to understanding the problem let alone solving it. Our leaders will have to change, some will have to make a 180 degree change, or it will turn into chaotic change.

    • Masterlock2020

      A lot of people will have to suffer, and things will have to get really bad. Only then, will they start to look at things. But always, their actions will be geared toward keeping their wealthy campaign donors happy. So any political solution will be half-assed at best.

  • Allan Shura

    If Hawkings is right with his warning of machines surpassing humans. It is only a risk of a
    scenario like HAL in 2001 a space odyssey on a planetary scale. Economies and machines
    are only useful if they are mostly beneficial to mankind. That benefit may not be apparent
    to a draftsman replaced by a CAD program. Mans survival depends on it but machines are
    made by man and are a reflection of both rational progress and our baser instincts.
    The signs could be cyborgs, genetic engineering, the central consolidation of internet
    activity and so on gone bad. Those are risks that could possibly unravel as they combine society,
    politics, morality and technology. .

  • Albert D. Kallal

    I don’t see much of any problem here. Any excess wealth these days is being gobbled up by governments FASTER then the private sector can create that wealth.

    Automation lowers the cost of production and increases the wealth of a society. The KEY magic sauce is ENERGY. If you have lots of energy, then you have near EVERYTHING. The funny part is greens are saying we must lower the per capita energy use of each person. In fact we need to RAISE the per capita energy use! Now when I say raise the per capita energy use, that does not mean wasting energy, but that of increasing the available energy per capita (or lowering the cost of that energy per capita).

    The idea that we need (or want) 75% of people growing food on a farm compared today with what hardy 2% growing massive amounts of food at very low cost (due to tractors etc.= automation). We have HUGE amounts of food with LITTLE effort. Automation gives society higher wealth with LESS effort.

    Today the USA has 48 million Americans on food stamps (that is larger then the population of Spain or say Canada). This in fact DWARFS the bread lines of the 1930’s by HUGE amounts. Policies that encourage environments that create jobs will EASY take care of the job creating side of things. The real issue is that the circumstances or “setting” of our economy had been damaged to the point in which economic activity does not yield positive results.

    The problem is the “viability” of a given economy. So many areas are now overtaxed and so damaged that you cannot BEGIN to think of starting up a business, say like a coffee shop. Due to the burden of taxation and the broken economy then the value of each person working at a job has been destroyed. No viability = no jobs.

    EVERY single set of hands is capable of producing MORE economic value then they consume. More people = more wealth. And with automation then we EASY can take care of older people, and those that need economic assistance. In fact with a good economy you can have AMAZING level of social care and assistance.

    The break occurs when EVEN if you want to go out and run a coffee shop, it not economic possible to do so. Detroit and in fact Greece are great examples of this. Only jobs in those areas are due to government spending – and we seeing how well that’s going for Greece.

    The idea that automation will cause job losses ONLY is the case WHEN you have a broken economic environment in which you WANT to go out and work. However the environment does not permit you to do as such. Anyone willing to go out and work 14 hours a day to run a coffee shop in Detroit? (good luck! – it not going to happen and you go broke! – better off to get one of those easy high paying government jobs with benefits!).

    There is a gazillion problems in our current economic environment, and automation is NOT the issue nor problem. The major issue is the socialist environment, and that of trade policies. The free trade experiment of the last 20 years has failed, and the result is decimation of our middle class and loss of our industry.

    So the idea that automation is a bad thing is silly. EVERY single country that invests in technology and industry has SUBSTANTIAL increased their wealth and standard of living.

    The e-cat and the rise of LENR is such a wonderful invention. In fact I dare say that LENR is going to be larger then the computer revolution, and in fact larger then the internet revolution.

    Introducing more energy at a lower cost = higher standard of living. Toss in our ability to automate production, and your wind up with a society that results in a VERY high standard of living, and people not having to work that hard at all! So go and teach that yoga class. Go out and start a dog walking company. Go out and design a robot arm to allow people without arms to be able to live a normal life, and in fact become productive again. Dean Karmen built a new robot arm called “Luke” and it able to do things better then the human arm it replaced! People who not been able to feed themselves for 18 years can now eat and function as a human. And with increase wealth, then as a society we can provide people with such arms!


    History shows that EVERY major JUMP in productivity through use of energy to grow food or automate production = = much higher standard of living.

    The issue not automation, but a broken environment in which those wanting to go out and provide some service (value) to people is broken.

    Until the socialized overtaxed and over regulated environment, along with fixing the trade issue is fixed, then the debate about automation is a SECONDARY debate.

    It is a no brainer that automation increases the standard of living and much why we can walk into a big food superstore and see more food then what we know to do with!

    Albert D. Kallal
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada
    [email protected]

  • bitplayer

    At right angles to. Meaning that either the force vectors are in a square relationship for maximum diversionary effect, or the “shadow cast” correlation of one effect is effectively zero on the other. I suspect Donk970 meant the later, i.e. they don’t correlate.

    Though experiment with pencils and a flashlight.

  • bitplayer

    The equation of greatest interest to me is whether the patriarchal enslavement of women recedes faster than robotic displacement of physical labor.

    Robot labor *could* liberate women from drudgery so that they can get more educated. When they get educated they have fewer children and become more politically involved.

    Then they can sort it out. Judging from the Scandinavian countries, they may do a better job than the current “world regime”.

  • bitplayer

    So, we’ll have to print our robot parts at home.

  • bitplayer

    Frank’s prejudiced.

  • Fortyniner

    I find it scary enough that there are people who believe as you do.

  • bitplayer

    To have feelings an entity has to have a feeling function, which is, I propose, a combination of Becker’s (Body Electric) neural sheathing voltage signaling, acupuncture meridians, the phenomena attributed to Jung’s definition of the feeling function, and related neural wiring. The feeling function generates attractions/aversions/ignorings, emotions, values and physical performance states (“Run!”).

    But there’s nothing impossible about programming a robot to have an imperative to attain supremacy, in terms of material status dominance, control over the behavior of other entities, and making other entities (who had feelings) feel subordinate.

    Considering the incredible suppression and disregard of the feeling function in current patriarchal cultures (i.e. the entire world), I’d say we have about 3.5 billion of those types of robots running around now.

    • Bernie777

      Love it..maybe the valley could do a better job creating non patriarchal mothers

  • LilyLover

    Relying upon Turingism leaves you decades behind in understanding the debate. Not to be off and sive but you do not seem to grasp ‘what was even tried’. And furthermore, if applied Turingism correctly, the third person surely will differentiate between A person and an antonym box. Unless you are OK with antonym look-ups then it is external help i.e. another man vs the other man – it isn’t Turingism anymore… it’s indecision between who amongst two wo/men is not human. Pointless. If cheating is accepted in Turingism, then it defeats thew purpose. Hence passes the Turing test, but fails your love. Even Turing himself won’t cheat on his test. So, you shouldn’t either, in his name.

  • LilyLover

    Consider this: Robots evolve through the similar intelligence pathway as we did, but much faster. Now, why would their behaviour be any different than ours? Our own nateure, typically good as an individual can be collectively cruel, so, the integrated intelligence, if it arose, is more likely to morph into well meaning creature as opposed to human-terminator. The premise that allows you to imagine sudden evolution of the networked computers, necessarily allows higher than 51% probability that the AI-such evolved will be benevolent. Also, the AI such evolved can be assumed to be 99%+ benevolent for a simple fact that smart people write the initial codes, smart people also tend to be nice – especially in their work, and there are plenty of positive written text than negative text on the internet for all the negative people would rather have their minds unwritten.

    “Lastly, whether a robot is conscious and has a soul is irrelevant. That philosophical question does not matter.”
    Soul or lack of soul could be irrelevant, but consciousness is not irrelevant. It’s the essence of the argument. Those who get easily tired, quit the thought process early. Please don’t.
    Why would anyone want to die to get away from robots?

    “Third person’s point of view” is the classic mistake most make. Just because excel can outperform calculations, do you think it is human? Similarly, no matter how humanoid a robot may look, even a dog or a cat recognizes them as an object as opposed to living being – and they very well recognize a turtle as a living being. And then again, with the antonym box, that’s what we are showing very clearly – if a third person can readily identify the antonym box from a human being, and thus is not fooled, refutes your own argument. This is what I mean by when it comes to AI – people speak things that they do not know of.
    Early enthusiasts are the loudest, veterans are aloof, defeated by the elusive problems and then, those who understand the problem, simply accept what I’m telling as truth.

    The word zombie in your repertoire tell me that you believe in them or their existence, which is another huge work in progress by the nano-roboticians to convert humans into docile objects. Zombification efforts need to die down before any real AI-progress is started. Understand that possible future zombies will be mad made creation; they do not occur naturally.

    • LilyLover

      Oh, on the pop star issue – I consider it to be an insult to my cat, calling them creative. In my opinion they deserve half the hourly wages of a walmart worker. Im not opposed to their riches, but they must be earned through deserved means. And yes, there can be millions of pop stars but then everyone will be equally worthless. That’s my goal – Let quality prevail. In present day – connections more than quality makes one a “star”. In the open source world – let there be millions of pop stars – let 20% of our disposable income be allocated to all the pop stars. Let all the music be free. Then, the pop star who is heard the most (count downloads and count number of second-hearings) in an amazon-alike rating fashion, get the money in the proportion they are listened to. This will yield us the best use of our time and save us from being distorted in our taste based on bank-funded advertizing campaign. Show me a new-Elvis and I’ll show you a worthy pop star.

  • LilyLover

    …And also, if we ourselves are robots, then the question becomes, why aren’t humans more cruel than they already are?
    Do you ever wonder if you are a robot or do you take offense to such a comparison?
    I consider myself beyond AI-Enabled-Robot. Do you?

    “Btw, creativity does not create an economy.”
    Perfectly agree.
    I guess, Rossi agrees with me on this topic it seems, per his new comment.
    Even he calls a spade a spade, or parasite.

    Present-day Economy is much more distorted than the nature of money itself is.

  • Charles

    The Republicans only have trouble with taking the results of the labor of one man and giving it to another for doing no labor. It is doubtful they will feel that way about taking the results of the labor of a machine (a communist machine of course) and giving it to a human for use..

    The DemonRats (oops, sorry – double typo – n s/b c and R lower case) would be well advised to begin the development of communisticly owned machines that totally independently develop items for human use using no human labor or private ownership materials/equipment.