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douglas macrae smith

Father & dreamer, Humanity

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Can AI help in solving the problem it's creating?

Watson, Asimo and their robot pals are creating a society with new problems in terms of labour, income, inequality etc - can't their computing qualities be programmed to help find some novel solutions?

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  • Jun 18 2013: When I went through Engineering school, as an undergraduate, our mech design professor told us that Engineers were meant to do the following algorithm- (1) innovate your job away (2) repeat step 1. That is, increases in efficiency are usually equivalent to the removal of jobs. A little thought will reveal the underlying truth of the situation. Objectively, we all benefit from the boost to the economy, but subjectively, as a father with a family, we want secure employment to carry on as long as possible.
    I think this is a really interesting problem in system dynamics. There will be new workers entering the workforce, as people graduate from secondary and tertiary education. But these workers are not just conservative influences who want the nipple to yield milk as long as possible- they are also young people whose tastes as a consumer change, and who apply change pressures by virtue of their mass effect on markets.
    There are significant infrastructural 'leaks' which add significant loads to this basic churn dynamic, the largest of which is international tax evasion systems. The large banks are the prime vectors of this loss.
    As always, what matters is not what is, but what can be changed. Public opinion en masse can be affected by government advertising, such as the recent non-smoking drives. Public 'background' behaviours are highly resistant to deliberate influence, yet regularly exhibit cascades, ie rapid changes in equilibrium state. This problem is chaotic. Economists sure have their work cut out. I'm an AI researcher who has made considerable inroads into the 'rusted on' problems in my field. I need my counterparts in the field of neo-economics to perform similar magic. Good luck!
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      Jun 21 2013: Yes. The eternal question in research: "Where is the money coming from?".
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      Jun 21 2013: Very interesting website Miro. I see your stuck on the "me" question also.

      Too many AI researchers are stuck with the demands of industry to have eyes, ears, touch, smell (all the sensory inputs of a healthy human being). They would also like to have enhancements to these inputs like encompass more of the light spectrum, etc. It's like they are working from the want list instead of from the bottom up, so to speak.

      I work the problem from the perspective that you can be blind, dumb, deaf, paralyzed and still be a conscious human being or singularity. It greatly reduces complexity in the search and focuses on the real goal of declaring a conscious function, activating it, and pursuing a self-actuated goal, or suggested goal from a list of suggestions.

      I've had no success so far.

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