A Robot Stole My Job: Automation in the Recession | Singularity Hub

Jobs that won’t be coming back.


The A.I. Revolution Is On | Wired Magazine

The near term impact of artificial intelligence is going to be in the narrow (or specialized) AI arena. As I’ve pointed out here, nearly all jobs are specialized and a large percentage will therefore be susceptible to automation without any need for true, human-like machine intelligence (strong AI or artificial general intelligence).


Teaching robots remote-controlled by low wage workers in the Philippines. See also my earlier post on Outsourcing jobs…that can’t be outsourced.


War Machines | New York Times

Military Robots and automated warfare.


Rise of the Robo Scientists | Scientific American

Automating scientific discovery. 


Rise of the machines | The Economist

An economist argues against the views I’ve  expressed here. Perhaps mainstream economic thought on this issue will begin to shift around the time that we start seeing articles entitled “Rise of the Robo Economists.”

5 thoughts on “Links

  1. I posted a comment on Andrea Rossi’s website with further reading in relation to the related declared (but not yet widely confirmed) cold fusion breakthrough:

    I’m not saying this might not still be a hoax; but I do feel we need to be thinking through the economic consequences of advanced technologies in general, and sooner or later, we will get better energy technologies, as well as continually better robots, better communications, better biotech, better nanotech, and better computing. So, that comment on socioeconomics applies in general to any form of technological change. It echoes and amplifies stuff I had previously posted in comments to your site related to a mix of a basic income, a gift economy, democratic resource-based planning, and local subsistence as ways forward.

    In the cast of something like cold fusion, or really any form of alternative energy, even thin film solar cells, more energy can often be substituted for human labor or thought. These innovations are going to build on each other more and more as we go forward. As a cycle, cheaper power means cheaper computing which means cheaper robots which means cheaper mining which means cheaper energy which means cheaper computing which means better design which means cheaper power which means cheaper materials which means cheaper robots and so on.

    The big problem is having an economic paradigm designed around the assumption of scarcity. Even within “The Lights in The Tunnel” there are some hints of continuing scarcity thinking (“… and I have argued strongly that these income streams should be unequal and based on incentives…”), like paying people to conserve resources, rather than just giving them a basic income as a right of citizenship like in Marshall Brain’s Manna novel, or alternatively having a widespread gift economy like in James P. Hogan’s “Voyage From Yesteryear” novel, or having resource-based planning like in the Venus Project, or in having advanced local subsistence production like was aspired to in Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age novel (the notion of “the seed”).

    You continued that line of incentive-based thinking with ‘These incentives — particularly a focus on continuing education — will offer at least a partial solution to the problem of a lack of purpose and an excess of free time that Keynes foresaw.”

    But as I suggest in the Rossi comment: “In reality, there are many non-paying activities most people would like to do more of, things that take a lot of time. These are essentially voluntary things, like to be a good friend, to be a good neighbor, to be a good parent, to be a good caretaker for sick relatives, or to be an informed citizen. I hope material abundance through cheaper energy and other innovations could make it more possible for people to have time to do those essential humane tasks as well as they want to do them and are otherwise prevented from by the need to work just to get a basic subsistence income (even as meaningful productive work itself can be a very good thing in our lives, see E.F. Schumacher’s essay on “Buddhist Economics”). So, I can hope that we see a better future than the picture painted in Frederik Pohl’s “Midas World” (or from other directions in “The Pleasure Trap” or “Supernormal Stimuli”). James P. Hogan’s “Voyage From Yesteryear” is more optimistic.”

    See also an RSA video for why mainstream economics is completely wrong about incentives as they relate to inspiring people to be creative; search on: “RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us”.

  2. There are two trends regarding how we define intelligence. There are the emotional decisions we make when we look at animal behavior and decide they are intelligent. The second is the study of emergent behavior where we see behavior emerging from simple models that we thought was based on some kind of decision-making process. People that examine schools of fish and human crowd behavior are crossing things off the list of intelligent behavior and adding them to the list of simple behaviors.

    Unfortunately, our study of this has just begun, so one has no clue when choosing a major since all disciplines try to persuade us their behavior is complex.

  3. I think Paul is talking about transaction cost falling to a marginal zero rate at the same time energy cost falls to a marginal zero cost. This might not do much if transmission belongs to AT&T, Comcast and power companies and they control gateways. BUT if power generation is light and clean, things could be different.

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