Google employee Ray Kurzweil isn't concerned about technological unemployment

in #politics7 years ago

An article appeared in Fortune which features an interview with Ray Kurzweil. Ray Kurzweil is the thought leader promoting the concept of technological singularity and AI. Ray Kurzweil in the interview seems to believe that new jobs will replace old jobs for people such as truck drivers etc. At the same time Ray Kurzweil predicts a technological singularity and superintelligence which if built would be able to do any of the jobs a human can do.

The car said to the horse: "don't worry, Ford Motor co has a new job waiting for you".

Unfortunately I have to disagree with Ray Kurzweil on this. Technological unemployment caused by AI is unlike any other technological shift before it. While the horse was replaced by the car and "horse power" is now just a figure of speech for how much pull a car has, the truth is the worker is also not a lasting thing. This isn't to say humans won't be necessary to train the AI but currently because humans are doing these jobs basically for free, along with many others, it is hard to believe that the employer employee setup can continue much longer.

Will there be stuff for humans to do? Absolutely. Will humans get paid to do it? Perhaps. Will human labor be required in the future for society to continue running? Probably not. The point is human labor might no longer be required but that isn't the same as whether or not it will be desired or in demand. The fact that it's not required could mean a lot less humans actually have what we now call jobs and the farming culture may make a comeback only with machines instead of cattle.



Frankly, the question in the long term is: what can a human do what a machiene can never do? Sience? Creating any kind of entertainment? Diagnostics? Politics? Maybe art? The sad answer to many will be nothing of this. Any kind of material creation can be don by machienes in a better way than humans are capable. Machienes do never exhaust, they are faster make less to no mistakes they are just doind alsmost everything better then a human being can. But if you know me you will also know that I rarely leave without a proper answer or solution. So what can a human be capable of what a machiene never can do? We are consioss, in a way machienes will never be. We are connected in a way machienes are not. MAchienes are limited to logics, but we are also mental beings. I think when machienes do all the work for us, our work will be to find our way back to spitituality (do not confuse this with religion) We are caplable of evolving beyond a place where machienes can ever go, because we are not only mind but also do we interact with the all of mind in a way that we have to find out a a whole yet. There will be time for us to progress in a way we have almost forgot about and when machienes will be about to make mankind obsolete, we will remember. I am not concerned as well and neither should you be.

I agree with you @dana-edwards and disagree with Kurzweil on this one.

Ray makes the mistake of believing that the skills required for the new jobs created over the next 5-10 years will be acquired by the average person. This simply is not the case. In the past, the timeline to move from one "economy" to another took decades. Now we are seeing things moving so fast that entire industries spring up and mature in under 10 years.

I believe in technological unemployment as something we are quickly encountering. People who doubt this seem to overlook the fact that there was already a "lost" generation of workers who couldnt find full time employment after the economic collapse a decade ago.

In addition, Ray doesnt address the issue that technology keeps wages down since those who are left with a job do not have the leverage they did decades ago. The last 20 years witnessed massive technological explosions in the US yet wages are basically flat. Anyone who is making too much money simply gets eliminated.

What do people expect?
Is it just getting lazy like this?
What will happen to those who lost any labor?
Can you spend your whole life in entertainment?
I think that something is alive in search of suffering.

There will be plenty of things to do. Social media is a job. Being a reality tv star is a job. Being famous is a job. There will always be things to do but the point is most people won't be doing the sort of stuff which is critical for society to function.

In order to pay for the resources that they consume, AI machines need customers. If they run out of customers, they run out of resources, and they shut down, which makes room for human labor. As long as humans are the only property owners, the customers must be humans (or agents for humans), and there's a symbiosis there. In that case, I think that the economy will regulate the speed of AI adoption so that people will not be displaced.

Where things get thorny is when the AI is sufficiently evolved to be considered sentient and demand property rights. If human property owners have to compete against AI property owners, I think the humans may be threatened.

Of course, Kurzweil's vision has always been of the dominant human-machine hybrid, which I still think is plausible. Maybe a machine can out-think one person, or ten or twenty, but can a machine out-think an entire society with brains linked together via high speed interconnects?

I imagine a future global supercomputer which is a conglomeration of human and machine intelligence supplemented by mostly mechanical labor. Maybe "going to work" means plugging in a head-set and renting our intellects to the Matrix for the day.

They'll just steal your eyeballs and cpu cycles.

Mechanization has made things easier and even worsen for the skilled humans , Its an era where the brain is the most powerful tool, machines need to be operated at least by the human brains as far as the commands are concerned :) A good information!