Skip to comments.The New Technocracy is Nearly Upon us...We Need to Chat
Posted on 01/03/2016 1:42:36 AM PST by BRK
Well 2016 has rolled around and one of the first articles I saw was about George Hotz and his home-brew self driving car. He is claiming that his car is not programmed by rules to drive, but rather was taught to drive by watching him drive. If this is true, then we need to chat.
First, every Freeper should read this article in it's entirety.
Second, we really need to think about what this will mean to us in a future that is coming a lot faster than any of you all might think. What will it mean when big rigs start rolling down the road without drivers. How about when Amazon, USPS, UPS, And Fed Ex can deliver packages and mail without drivers and taxis can zip around the city with no need to even stop for a pee break.
Oh, there will be laws passed at first to stem the tide, but sooner rather than later, the occupation of "driver" is going away. Along with many other occupations, like cashier, these good paying blue collar jobs may disappear at a rate like we have never seen before. My elementary aged children may never drive a car in their lives.
In fact, George Hotz comments on this directly and states that he wants to eliminate all employment and the last employed people will be AI programmers. Now he is just one guy, but the kind of disruption he is brewing, and I admire and applaud his efforts BTW, could be revolutionary in scope.
If this kind of technology takes off, and I do not see how it can be stopped at this point, the political pressure will be enormous, and the Democrats will pounce with more dependency based programs as the only solution and I am afraid the usual GOP talk of retraining might not cut it this time around. How many taxi drivers do you know who will be able to retrain as AI programmers? What if AI takes over the programming?
In this environment, which I really believe is coming fast, how can we preserve liberty, while at the same time recognizing that not everyone will be employable in the future? If you don't have a job, will you even need to go anywhere? Or will new jobs and careers come in such an environment?
Is this just the continuation of the age old struggle with jobs and technology or are we truly looking at a situation where we are elevating participation in the economy up and out of reach of a unprecedentedly huge segment of the population?
Not really that much of an age old problem.
It has quite Dramatically taken off this past generation or two.
this guy wants to eliminate all jobs. He will wish he didn’t.
Not to fear. Many countries on the rise will not be able to afford all of these gadgets right away (some don’t even have good roads, no less driverless cars).
as America continues it’s decay into the moral abyss, other rising economies will do just fine.
I remember being told while I was learning Office and Typing 23 years ago by some beat up has been who had given up on life, that learning to type was a “waste of time because there is voice typing technology now”.
Still plenty of presentations centers in NYC that desperately need presentations makers and typists, 23 years after this prophet of doom warned me.
Let’s Hope Machines Take Our Jobs: We Want Wealth, Not Jobs
Let’s Hope Machines Take Our Jobs: We Want Wealth, Not Jobs
interesting article. And responses.
If technology were going to put people out of work, wouldn’t it have done so in the last couple hundred years since the industrial revolution? I mean we’ve seen the introduction of technologies that are far more disruptive than self driving vehicles, yet the persistent pattern is that at least 90 percent of people are able to find work. I think it’s easy to fail to imagine the new ways that dislocated people can be employed. The whole creative destruction thing is real, but its workings are hard to visualize before they’ve materialized.
Its the fact that in the near future insurance companies will start pressuring for self driving vehicles claiming that they are "safer" so that will become a liberal chant. Liberals will claim that these are better on fuel and take less resources to build, this will be added to the dogma and doctrine of the religion of Ecowackoism. Uber/Lift like sites will pop up so people can share a cheap ride and not have the monthly overhead of a vehicle, government will possibly even subsidize it to "save Gaia".
Freedom to move as one sees fit without government tracking will have disappeared and the people will have demanded it. They will applaud as the last private human piloted vehicle not already in the collection of some well connected stooge is crushed.
They wont realize how dependent they have become. When its pointed out they wont care...
...until its too late.
The number of PRODUCTIVE jobs has been declining for decades. The number of PARASITIC jobs has been rising for decades.
The number of government parasites will rise to fill the vacuum created by the falling need for productive workers.
Over time, in theory, the parasites will be feasting off the labors of robots and other automation, all powered by extremely cheap energy, such as nuclear fusion.
So far, the theory is a failure and the world economy is a mess.
Nuclear fusion would go a long way to fixing it all.
However, fixing the economics will not fix the problem of declining liberty. Armies of government parasite workers also feast on what remains of individual liberty.
In theory: utopia.
In practice: dystopia.
The article is too optimistic because it assumes technological benefits will go to infinity, which it won’t. That is God’s realm and we needn’t waste time thinking that it will. This is the problem with Ayn Rand in some cases. The once forgotten free energy machine, and to a lesser extent Reardon metal, are both examples of fantasy, not technology. Would it be possible to write those novels and paint those scenarios with incremental or even disruptive technology? What would the linked article look like if the technology mentioned only eliminated the need for drivers, and not magically provide for every human need? The actual impact on our lives and the economy of fantastical technology, like magic and alchemy, is zero. Technology is incremental and fraught with issues and problems.
Ah, but alchemy led to chemistry, metallurgy, physics, invention and many other unforeseen things, did it not?
As long as the government needs tax revenue there will always be jobs.
This could be the subject of fascinating research. I am not sure that we’d want to turn it loose until it had logged something like many millions of well-assorted research miles.
For vehicles that are particularly hard to drive like semi trucks, this could be a boon. A truck that behaved itself well in all kinds of traffic without losing its patience, so to speak, could be a wonder. Dealing with endpoints should probably still be done by a live driver.
The parasite problem is independent of technology. Ancient Rome got overrun with parasites. A low-parasite economy is perfectly compatible with high-technology, as long as people treats this as tools and not as magic.
I don’t think alchemy directly led to those technologies, but was a dead end. Alchemy’s contribution might have served to inspire, but others decided to abandon the approach and began making measurable observations and drawing conclusions from provable facts. A slow incremental process.
On that basis, I therefore propose that the fantastical may inspire technological advances, but the incremental, or even disruptive, advance of technology does not automatically lead to infinity.
Trucksong by Andrew Macrae
Dystopian post-apocalyptic Aussie cyberpunk written in a future patois. The trucks are cyborgs, the *drivers* (the ones left) are addicts. There’s an entertainment/religion based on an intermittently-operating satellite that can control the trucks. Not for everyone, but it addresses some of the AI issues. How many humans really _want_ to drive through the Nullabor Plain on a regular basis? What happens when intelligent trucks ditch the human component?
Here ya go...
I think the same thing will be true with self-driving cars, but the effect on society and the economy will be much greater. OTOH, we had "driverless cars" when we had a passenger train system.
Just a side note - I know a late 30s computer science grad, employed by one of the top technology companies on the planet (household name), who is doing meaningful AI / machine learning research with a homebrew supercomputer costing in the mid 4 figures. 30 TFLOPS.
It really is amazing what you can do these days. Hardware giving you ludicrous capability is cheap.
“He is claiming that his car is not programmed by rules to drive, but rather was taught to drive by watching him drive.”
That reminds me of a line from a science fiction movie years ago. An alien crash lands on earth and takes the form of the dead husband of a grieving widow. He learns by imitation and learned to drive by watching her. She is amazed when he tells her he can now drive, so she asks him what a red stoplight means. He replies “Red means Stop, Green means Go, Amber means go faster”.
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