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Comment count is 14
Old_Zircon - 2014-08-17

I was underemployed and underpaid when it was still underground, man.

Binro the Heretic - 2014-08-17

Should we ask EPICAC XIV what people are for?

duck&cover - 2014-08-17

So robots will provide all the products and services. So humans won't have jobs. If the humans don't have jobs, then they won't have any money to spend on products and services, which means the products and services will no longer need to be produced.

Binro the Heretic - 2014-08-17

I always thought the point of technology & automation was to make more things available to more people for less money and with less physical labor. Why are we still insisting everyone has to work all day, just about every day just to survive?

Why not just provide everyone with basic necessities; food, shelter & clothing, totally for free? Some people will be totally happy with the minimum. Those who want more can get jobs, earn money and buy luxuries.

Pillager - 2014-08-17

Yeah, and the disemployed won't be paying much in the way of taxes. The next ten years are going to suck.

craptacular - 2014-08-17

Highly informative. Initially it is worrying, but this automation is purely an economic force, and this process will contribute to lower prices across the board as human salaries are removed from the cost of production. If 35% of the cost of your average "thing" is human salary, then at most, prices should fall 35%. Competition between producers demands that prices will fall to capture market share and consumer dollars. So long as we keep our monopoly rules strong, we shouldn't have to worry about a handful of conglomerates driving up prices by reducing competition.
As for the rest of us, my first intuition for a solution would be a living salary. Government funding of our lives, enough to pay for a comfortable lifestyle. I imagine we will be encouraged to spend our time educating ourselves so we can eventually become employable somewhere, once we all have PHDs, or some future standard. In short, moving to a post-scarcity economy, or at least post-currency, will be necessary, lest 45% of the population live on welfare for their entire lives.

SteamPoweredKleenex - 2014-08-18

Except that whole "wow, it's cheaper for us to make stuff or provide a service" thing rarely ever equates to "let's make the price point for our stuff/service lower."

And competition only exists where there's a level playing field. The places that can afford actual fucking robots can now destroy any business that can't (as if they weren't already).

Albuquerque Halsey - 2014-08-17


fluffy - 2014-08-18

The machines will still need to be maintained.

Also, the self-programming thing is vastly overstated. Genetic programming is only useful for certain classes of problems, where there's known inputs and outputs. A hell of a lot of software still has very subjective and piecemeal criteria for whether something is good or bad.

Horses were never making economic decisions about what they as producers and consumers wanted. Sure, a lot more of our lives will become automated and so on, but most of the examples given in this video seem to conveniently forget that if humans are categorically unemployed there won't be any point to the companies that are being traded on the stock market, or the software that's intended to be used by people for whatever purposes. If nobody has money they don't be buying the goods and services etc. and everything would collapse pretty damn quickly. I'm not saying that won't happen, of course, but I think it would be pretty quickly self-correcting; it's not like the machines have any need for shitty algorithmic music to listen to, or corn to eat, or inflated stock prices.

Old_Zircon - 2014-08-18

The examples of machine music and art mostly prove that engineers (and CGPGrey) know fuckall about music and art.

gravelstudios - 2014-08-18

I was going to say. A 10 second clip of some beepy boopy music written by a computer doesn't mean that humans are on the verge of being removed from the creative process. I agree that we definitely need some better planning as we move into a post scarcity (possibly post currency) society, but I found this to be rather alarmist, especially for CGP Grey. I think he's putting more faith in the abilities of robots and computers than is warranted.

EvilHomer - 2014-08-18

I think he's just racist against robots. And so are the two of you, quite frankly.


Old_Zircon - 2014-08-18

A pastiche of Western diatonic/tonal music based on theory that was itself derived from practice that evolved out of a time when music was literally considered a branch of mathematics is a pretty low bar to set for machine composition, too. People have been doing that with comparable success since the vacuum tube era.

Old_Zircon - 2014-08-18

At any rate, as long as out robot overlords keep us well fed and don't outlaw art, music or fuckin, I say bring them on.

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