Author Topic: Robots and their impact on the future  (Read 216521 times)

Pooplips

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1050 on: December 16, 2016, 01:44:01 PM »
Many salary workers put in over 40 hours a weeks without overtime. So to say labor rules eliminated 80-100 hr work weeks is false.

Sounds like an argument for more regulation, not less...

Only if you think it's right to be able to tell some how much they can work and for what pay.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1051 on: December 16, 2016, 01:55:35 PM »
Quote
What is the appropriate amount of hours to work?
It would make sense to tie the point of overtime requirements to increases in productivity.  If productivity per worker has increased 40 fold since 1940, we might be at 1 hour a week today.


Why should we tie overtime to an arbitrary number of hours at an arbitrary point of time? I could see many arguments for incetivizing more working hours, but why this one?
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1052 on: December 16, 2016, 05:44:49 PM »
Quote
What is the appropriate amount of hours to work?
It would make sense to tie the point of overtime requirements to increases in productivity.  If productivity per worker has increased 40 fold since 1940, we might be at 1 hour a week today.


Why should we tie overtime to an arbitrary number of hours at an arbitrary point of time? I could see many arguments for incetivizing more working hours, but why this one?


Now you're not even reading what I write before you respond!  I didn't say "arbitrary".  I gave a very specific, relevant metric: average productivity per worker.
This is measurable.  It has grown, dramatically, beginning with the industrial revolution, with another dramatic spike with the invention of automation and computers










http://www.harpercollege.edu/mhealy/eco212i/lectures/ch8-18.htm








As should be expected given our current economic / political system, this growth has not been significantly beneficial to wage earners

http://www.correntewire.com/only_chart_you_need_productivity_and_wages




While is may seem on the surface that the middle class has at least partially shared in this wealth creation due to technology, even if not equitably...







https://hbr.org/2015/06/the-great-decoupling




It turns out nearly all the increase in "household" income is due to women entering the workforce:



http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2015/01/postwar-vs-new-gilded-age-how-did.html








The industrial revolution started way back before 1800, and lasted around 100 years, but in the beginning it was applied mostly to agriculture and was what allowed other forms of employment.  Factories were powered primarily by people.  Over the next century steam power, electricity,  engines, and different machines increasingly were applied to the new factories, arguably reaching a peak of efficiency with Henry Ford's invention assembly line concept in the early 1900s. 


Not by coincidence, this is the exact same time frame that the infamous "robber barons" came to wealth and political power.  Funny that the very same people that term is used to describe are also often known as philanthropists.  They weren't bad people, as individuals.  They were just taking advantage of a system of capitalism whereby investors get the vast majority of the benefit of increases in productivity due to technological advances.

Increased mechanization cost jobs, which suppresses wages for everyone else, the masses have less money to spend as consumers, less is produced, and it becomes a cycle that culminates in the Great Depression in 1929, and lasted almost a decade.


Meanwhile, the movement for shorter working hours - originally started way back towards the end of the official Industrial Revolution (1830) and fought for over the next 100 years, finally starts being taken seriously across America.  In 1914 Ford voluntarily doubles pay and cuts hours, which increases overall productivity.  1937 the 40 hour week finally becomes standard nationwide - and, what a coincidence, the depression ends!


This time its computers, the internet, globalization, robots, and soon AI, instead of steam and gas engines and mechanical factories, but the same general trends in increased productivity and the distribution of jobs, income, wealth, etc are all pretty much the same.


You can come up with any argument you want as to why making overtime pay required after 20 or 10 or 5 hour work weeks wouldn't work and would backfire and hurt business and therefor everyone that you want, but realize that literally anything you can think of was already said during the fight over 40 hours, and none of it happened.  It raised the standard of living for everyone, from top to bottom.  It helped business AND workers.  It worked.





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Pooplips

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1053 on: December 16, 2016, 08:33:44 PM »
Your chart showing productivity and real income is false. Look into the data. They use a different deflator for one thing. A paper was written debunking that entire chart. If I can find it later I'll post it.

Ford didn't increase wages for productivity, he had high turnover and was spending too much money on training. So he cut his costs.

To say instituting labor hour rules help stop the Great Depression is lunacy! A combination of fed loosening monetary policy, the reduction in new deal policies because of the war and the removal of millions of Americans from the labor force to fight the war stopped the Great Depression. It was the government and fed that made the Great Depression last as long as it did. When the stock market crashed in '29 unemployment peaked two months later at a little over 9%. For the next 6 months unemployment declined and in June reached a low of around 6%. In that month the government intervened in the market and the unemployment rate shot up to over 10% and remained there for the entirety of the thirties.

"Bye bye Mr. New Deal, Hello Mr. Win The War." - FDR

Why do you choose the 1800's to start your productivity discounting of labor hours? Let's use the cave man as the start. Maybe we will be down to everyone working :15 minutes a week.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 06:18:12 AM by Pooplips »

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1054 on: December 17, 2016, 08:36:49 AM »
Quote
What is the appropriate amount of hours to work?
It would make sense to tie the point of overtime requirements to increases in productivity.  If productivity per worker has increased 40 fold since 1940, we might be at 1 hour a week today.


Why should we tie overtime to an arbitrary number of hours at an arbitrary point of time? I could see many arguments for incetivizing more working hours, but why this one?


Now you're not even reading what I write before you respond!  I didn't say "arbitrary".  I gave a very specific, relevant metric: average productivity per worker.
This is measurable.  It has grown, dramatically, beginning with the industrial revolution, with another dramatic spike with the invention of automation and computers

I did not intend to be unclear. You began with "Productivity since 1940" - this was the arbitrary number I was referring to. Why should society be held to 1940's level of productivity (e.g. X widgets a week, which would take 40 hours at that time, and 1 hour at this time)? Why shouldn't society embrace that now thanks to productivity increases, food costs have been falling and more luxury goods and services are available for almost every subset of the population, for the same amount of work! Why should we decide 1940, or 1800 or whatever, rather than enjoying the fruits of that increased productivity?
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1055 on: December 17, 2016, 08:51:19 AM »
Your chart showing productivity and real income is false. Look into the data. They use a different deflator for one thing. A paper was written debunking that entire chart. If I can find it later I'll post it.

Ford didn't increase wages for productivity, he had high turnover and was spending too much money on training. So he cut his costs.

To say instituting labor hour rules help stop the Great Depression is lunacy! A combination of fed loosening monetary policy, the reduction in new deal policies because of the war and the removal of millions of Americans from the labor force to fight the war stopped the Great Depression. It was the government and fed that made the Great Depression last as long as it did. When the stock market crashed in '29 unemployment peaked two months later at a little over 9%. For the next 6 months unemployment declined and in June reached a low of around 6%. In that month the government intervened in the market and the unemployment rate shot up to over 10% and remained there for the entirety of the thirties.

"Bye bye Mr. New Deal, Hello Mr. Win The War." - FDR

Why do you choose the 1800's to start your productivity discounting of labor hours? Let's use the cave man as the start. Maybe we will be down to everyone working :15 minutes a week.


Whether or not the exact numbers on the chart are perfectly accurate, the general trends come out the same from multiple sources.


I didn't say Ford's intent was to increase productivity, but that was the result.  And he didn't just increase wages, he doubled them, and reduced working hours at the same time.  Those changes had the exact opposite effect than " Those changes would cause a huge hit to efficiency and productivity which I believe would leave everyone worse off."


One of the things you credit with ending the depression is the (temporary!) removal of American's from the labor force.  Reduced work hours permanently removes labor from the labor force.


But the depression ended 1939. America didn't enter the war until 1941.
Also, your numbers are way off. There is no spike and dip at the beginning, once it hit 9% it just kept going straight up




Fair Labor Act wasn't until 1938, (not 1929) after the second peak, which was when minimum wage and overtime after 44 hours were first instituted, after which unemployment goes down consistently until after the war.


I start the 1800s to start productivity discounting of hours because that's when the industrial revolution happened.  There was no other point before then that had an exponential increase in human productivity.  It was the first time in history that a majority of humans were in anything other than agriculture.



http://themisescircle.org/features/from-the-malthusian-trap-to-the-industrial-revolution/



http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/the-economic-history-of-the-last-2000-years-part-ii/258762/
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1056 on: December 17, 2016, 08:58:49 AM »
I did not intend to be unclear. You began with "Productivity since 1940" - this was the arbitrary number I was referring to. Why should society be held to 1940's level of productivity (e.g. X widgets a week, which would take 40 hours at that time, and 1 hour at this time)? Why shouldn't society embrace that now thanks to productivity increases, food costs have been falling and more luxury goods and services are available for almost every subset of the population, for the same amount of work! Why should we decide 1940, or 1800 or whatever, rather than enjoying the fruits of that increased productivity?


I addressed why 1800 isn't arbitrary just above.  I use 1938 as a benchmark for work hours because that's when the 40 hour first became universal.


Of course we absolutely should enjoy the fruit of increased productivity!  Part of that enjoyment is that now the majority of people only have to work 40-50 hours a week, instead of the majority of us working 80-100 hours a week.


I mean, we are still on the Mr Money Mustache boards, aren't we?  Do you not agree that having time to spend doing something other than work can be as valuable as luxury goods, if not more so?
If we lower working hours we can still produce the same amount of stuff, we just have lower unemployment, and consequently higher wages (which helps make up for the lower hours).  Despite the theory, history suggests this will not even raise prices - besides, there is a lot of room for that wealth to come out of profits, even if it didn't further increase productivity (as in the Ford example)
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Pooplips

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1057 on: December 18, 2016, 06:54:26 AM »
Your charts are yearly smoothed averages. The one I think it quarterly? I'm not sure but those charts aren't showing the whole picture.

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 was the first government intervention instituted to stop the Great Depression.

Ford didn't take a huge hit to efficiency by by increasing wages. He was getting virtually no efficiency because he had high turnover and was losing money training. Also, I read this somewhere but I have no source, ford noticed that people of that time period tended to only work until they had enough money to take large amounts of time off. I think this came from there agricultural backgrounds. Work hard planting seeds, rest, work hard harvesting, rest some more. The reduction in hours and increase in pay incentivized more work and more productivity.

Just because we weren't officially in the war didn't mean we weren't  using government resources to pay attention to the war. The unemployment rate stayed above 10% for the entirety of the 1930's. the war pulled men out of the workforce lowering unemployment.

Yes we are on the MMM boards and I agree spending more time with family and not working is amazing but we should not be forcing other people to do what we think is amazing. The government should not be allowed to tell someone "You cannot work that many hours for the amount of money you mutually agreed apon."


Pooplips

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1058 on: December 19, 2016, 06:57:47 AM »
Productivity/Wage Source:
http://report.heritage.org/bg2825

Depression Statistics:
Thomas Sowell, The Housing Boom and Bust, pg. in the 200's somewhere.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1059 on: December 22, 2016, 12:03:21 PM »
The White House recently released a report titled Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy (PDF).  Lots of information on productivity, the impact of AI over the short/long term, what policies should be put in place (which of course will change next month with the new administration), etc.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1060 on: December 23, 2016, 11:12:32 AM »

Great link, and great report, thanks!!

Fantastic, that the people most able to do something about it are so aware - even of the direct connection between tech and working hours, and also tech and inequality, and even that the bias is toward the upper 0.01%, all three points which I've heard relatively few raise as a major part of this whole issue!


"One of the main ways that technology increases productivity is by decreasing the number of labor hours needed to create a unit of output. Labor productivity increases generally translate into increases in average wages, giving workers the opportunity to cut back on work hours and to afford more goods and services. Living standards and leisure hours could both increase, although to the degree that inequality increases—as it has in recent decades—it offsets some of those gains. The expectation that productivity increases would be accompanied by wage growth is what led John Maynard Keynes to predict in his 1930 essay on “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren” that, given the rates of technical progress, we might have achieved a 15-hour workweek by now.13 While that prediction remains far off, over the last 65 years, most developed economies saw annual hours worked decline substantially (Figure 1). In the United States uniquely, however, this decline stopped in the late 1970s, and hours per worker has remained flat since then."


"AI-driven technological change could lead to even larger disparities in income between capital owners and labor. For example, Brynjolfsson and McAfee argue that current trends in the labor market, such as declining wages in the face of rising productivity, are indicative of a more drastic change in the distribution of economic benefits to come. Rather than everyone receiving at least some of the benefit, the vast majority of that value will go to a very small portion of the population...  the benefits of technology accrue to an even smaller portion of society than just the highly-skilled workers. The winner-take-most and winner-take-all nature of the information technology market means that the fortunate few are likely to emerge as victors of the market. This would exacerbate the current trend in the rising fraction of total income going to the top 0.01 percent "


"A key determinant of how AI-induced technological change will affect people in the future is the ability of workers to extract the benefits of their increased productivity. For decades after World War II, the share of income going to the bottom 90 percent of workers was roughly unchanged. But since the late 1970s, the bottom 90 percent of households have seen their income fall from two-thirds of the total to about one half of the total share of U.S. income. For much of this period, moreover, productivity growth did not translate to higher real wages for low-income and even middle-income American workers. This reduced share of income is partly the result of the fact that labor compensation is being increasingly unevenly distributed. But since 2000, it is also because the distribution of benefits going to capital and labor have also been diverging. Starting in about 2000, corporate profits as a share of GDP (a measure of the capital share of GDP) started to increase and labor share of GDP began decreasing (Figure 6). The labor share of GDP reached a historical low"

Your charts are yearly smoothed averages. The one I think it quarterly? I'm not sure but those charts aren't showing the whole picture.
National economy sized changes don't take effect in a month.  Looking at the stock markets daily ups and downs does not give you more meaningful data than long term averages, and unemployment is no different.
Quote
The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 was the first government intervention instituted to stop the Great Depression.

And it had nothing at all to do with labor hours, which is what we were talking about.  You seem to think of "government" as some sort of giant that lives in the hills and lumbers around, and every "government intervention" is completely interchangeable.

Quote
Ford didn't take a huge hit to efficiency by by increasing wages...The reduction in hours and increase in pay incentivized more work and more productivity.
Yes, that's what I said.  I don't know what point you are trying to argue.

Quote

Yes we are on the MMM boards and I agree spending more time with family and not working is amazing but we should not be forcing other people to do what we think is amazing. The government should not be allowed to tell someone "You cannot work that many hours for the amount of money you mutually agreed apon."
As I said before, overtime laws do not mandate a maximum number of hours a person can work.  People can, and do, choose to take overtime all the time. There is also no law that says you can't take 2,or 3, or 4 jobs if you want.  If you want to work 110 hours a week, government won't stop you.


It's silly to talk about an contract between a multinational corporation who provides 80% of the jobs in a given town, and an individual who has to buy groceries for their family and pay rent next week as a "mutual agreement".  Thats like claiming following the law is a mutual agreement between you and the government (you could leave the country!), or that pulling you car over when a cop turns on the red and blues behind you is mutual.  There is a massive power imbalance.  That's why we created labor laws.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 11:24:16 AM by Bakari »
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tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1061 on: December 29, 2016, 07:00:53 AM »
Now the robots and technology will be controlling the borders.

http://m.phys.org/news/2016-12-lie-detecting-kiosk-future.html

« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 08:37:39 AM by tomsang »

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1062 on: December 29, 2016, 07:23:07 AM »
Now the robots and technology will be controlling the boarders.

http://m.phys.org/news/2016-12-lie-detecting-kiosk-future.html

Awesome!  I like the idea of more controlled safer boarders
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tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1063 on: December 29, 2016, 09:18:13 AM »
The White House recently released a report titled Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy (PDF).  Lots of information on productivity, the impact of AI over the short/long term, what policies should be put in place (which of course will change next month with the new administration), etc.

Very interesting link. It will be interesting to see how the next administration addresses the issues of automation.  From his cabinet and his comments it appears as if he will be doing the opposite of what is recommended as he wants to give corporations a competitive advantage.

Decreasing taxes and regulations on corporations while diminishing or eliminating safety nets in the coming years will increase inequality. That as well as stacking the Supreme Court, federal judges and other long term policies could cause significant struggles between the haves and the have nots over the next decade or two. The displacement and elimation of jobs will be faster than anything we have seen in the past. Telling those displaced that have no mental abilities to retool, that they are lazy and worthless is not going to be a fun time for the majority of our citizens.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1064 on: December 29, 2016, 10:09:23 AM »

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1065 on: December 29, 2016, 10:49:18 AM »

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1066 on: December 29, 2016, 07:05:36 PM »
Surprisingly enough, no one has mentioned this:  http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/robot-brothels-could-soon-become-8684685

Thanks for the link, we did discuss this a bit back in September. Harmless link, but some may have chosen not click on it. 

Well now it is getting interesting!

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/549361/Sex-robot-cyborg-cafe-oral-sex-fellatio-espresso-humans-doll-luxury-erotic-toy-naked-women
I'm too scared to click the link!


Yeah, no matter how good the tech gets, that's probably one of the few professions where real humans will always have a job
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1067 on: December 29, 2016, 08:29:56 PM »
Another article on a much less titillating subject which discussed previously upthread: robotic trucks for mining, already going on as we speak.

A lot of the same old same old, but it's fascinating to watch this technology continue to roll out over the last year or so. The point about how robotic drivers tend to produce a lot less wear and tear on equipment, resulting in reduced maintenance downtime (and costs) was also new to me. Presumably the same will be true for semis as companies like Otto start automating trucks driving on highways instead of only at mine sites.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603170/mining-24-hours-a-day-with-robots/
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tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1068 on: December 29, 2016, 09:43:47 PM »
Another article on a much less titillating subject which discussed previously upthread: robotic trucks for mining, already going on as we speak.

A lot of the same old same old, but it's fascinating to watch this technology continue to roll out over the last year or so. The point about how robotic drivers tend to produce a lot less wear and tear on equipment, resulting in reduced maintenance downtime (and costs) was also new to me. Presumably the same will be true for semis as companies like Otto start automating trucks driving on highways instead of only at mine sites.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603170/mining-24-hours-a-day-with-robots/

Interesting article.  Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1069 on: December 30, 2016, 05:23:42 AM »
Surprisingly enough, no one has mentioned this:  http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/robot-brothels-could-soon-become-8684685

Thanks for the link, we did discuss this a bit back in September. Harmless link, but some may have chosen not click on it. 

Well now it is getting interesting!

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/549361/Sex-robot-cyborg-cafe-oral-sex-fellatio-espresso-humans-doll-luxury-erotic-toy-naked-women
I'm too scared to click the link!


Yeah, no matter how good the tech gets, that's probably one of the few professions where real humans will always have a job

I no longer believe there is a limit on "how good" tech can get that I can comprehend.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1070 on: December 30, 2016, 06:05:37 AM »
Another article on a much less titillating subject which discussed previously upthread: robotic trucks for mining, already going on as we speak.

A lot of the same old same old, but it's fascinating to watch this technology continue to roll out over the last year or so. The point about how robotic drivers tend to produce a lot less wear and tear on equipment, resulting in reduced maintenance downtime (and costs) was also new to me. Presumably the same will be true for semis as companies like Otto start automating trucks driving on highways instead of only at mine sites.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603170/mining-24-hours-a-day-with-robots/

Interesting article.  Thanks for sharing.

"They also increase safety" No shit - removing all humans from a work site reduces human injuries? Astonishing.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1071 on: December 30, 2016, 08:56:27 AM »
Surprisingly enough, no one has mentioned this:  http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/robot-brothels-could-soon-become-8684685

Thanks for the link, we did discuss this a bit back in September. Harmless link, but some may have chosen not click on it. 

Well now it is getting interesting!

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/549361/Sex-robot-cyborg-cafe-oral-sex-fellatio-espresso-humans-doll-luxury-erotic-toy-naked-women
I'm too scared to click the link!


Yeah, no matter how good the tech gets, that's probably one of the few professions where real humans will always have a job

I no longer believe there is a limit on "how good" tech can get that I can comprehend.
Aye, but in this case it isn't just about the sensation or realism, its also just the principal.  There have been sex toys that can do what no human man can ever possibly come close to for well over a century, yet a great number of women seem to prefer living human men anyway.  Even if you aren't trying for a baby, in a way in't just sexier if she's fertile, and even if you can't feel the difference, its sexier without a condom. Even if the robot was 100% indistinguishable from a real person, simply knowing intellectually that one's partner was human would add something to the experience, something potentially worth paying extra for.


Which, incidentally, is what makes the whole concept of "objectification" kind of ridiculous; people don't generally want to have sex with objects, they are attracted to humans.  Objects would be a lot easier, with no thoughts or feelings or desires of their own, but the fact of consciousness and sentience is a part of what is sexy.  Objects can't even really have sex, they have no sex cells.  So really, sexualizing someone is, in a most fundamental way, humanizing them.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1072 on: December 30, 2016, 10:01:46 AM »
Even if the robot was 100% indistinguishable from a real person, simply knowing intellectually that one's partner was human

I think there's an inherent contradiction in the above statement.  If and when robots truly become indistinguishable from real humans, their existence, like counterfeit money, will cause a loss of confidence in, and thereby a devaluation of, the genuine article.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1073 on: December 30, 2016, 10:51:35 AM »
Yeah, no matter how good the tech gets, that's probably one of the few professions where real humans will always have a job

You are probably right. The real question is what will they receive for their services.  If there is a robot or other technology that is as good or is willing to do things that a human refuses or does not want to do, but the robot will do it for free or close to free, how much will the real thing command in compensation?

I believe that they will be impacted as much if not more than any other worker.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1074 on: December 30, 2016, 02:03:49 PM »
So how do we solve this robot problem exactly? Or what do you do with all the people?

And what should I invest in that cannot be done by a robot? Housing? Rental properties?

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1075 on: December 30, 2016, 02:27:37 PM »
And what should I invest in that cannot be done by a robot? Housing? Rental properties?

My plan is to invest in stuff that robots CAN do by buying the stock of the companies that are buying the robots (well not directly, but as part of broad index funds). The faster the shift towards automation and fewer employees the better for corporate profits. So saving for FIRE acts, in some ways, a hedge against being automated out of a job.

....I currently have no plans to personally invest in robot brothels but who knows....
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1076 on: December 30, 2016, 03:26:15 PM »
So how do we solve this robot problem exactly? Or what do you do with all the people?

And what should I invest in that cannot be done by a robot? Housing? Rental properties?

There is no robot problem per se.  There is going to be massive change.  How you and we structure our lives, laws, governments, etc. is going to determine what society is going to be like in the future.  The laws, taxation, and social welfare of today will not work in the near future. 

As you are structuring your retirement life the question becomes; "Do you have or are you going to have kids?"  If yes, what would their future look like if they have no means to earn a living and build a Stache as robots and technology are doing everything productive.  If the laws, government and social welfare is changed and everyone gets to partake in this amazing technological windfall, then all is good.  If the laws, social welfare and government stay similar to today or is even worse for the 99%; then are you earning enough and saving enough today to basically build a stache for your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as well? As the owners of the companies will potentially control who gets food, medicine, shelter, etc.  Under today's laws if you don't work, you don't have much but you can survive.  The GOP is currently trying to weaken social security, Medicare, healthcare, Welfare, to lower taxes on corporations to make a more competitive environment for businesses even though corporate profits are at an all time high.

What I have read on some of these boards and it made more sense looking at historical society, is the mindset that I will take care of myself and my children can take care of themselves.   "I am focused on Retiring Early and I don't believe in leaving a legacy to my children."  "That my children can earn their own money and build their own Stache."  For those just having children or contemplating children, what if you knew that your children would have a very hard time finding any type of employment in 20 years and that society is structured with the haves and have nots.  Those that own the equity in companies have an amazing life and those that have no equity and no valuable skills have no use to society.  That the laws, welfare rules, and safety nets were gutted and that people justified not providing the benefits of their equity to those that do not deserve those benefits.  If you retired early and have enough money to have a reasonable lifestyle, what about your children and grandchildren if your Equity is just enough to make your life good but not to support others.  That in the future you also have no skills that are valuable as your job was automated and you have been out of the workforce of a decade or more.  Would you continue to work after FI another year, five year, until that time comes?  You may end up with a huge Stache for this insurance.  Is that bad?

I am in the 1% in income and wealth.  The question as SOL has written in the past is, "Is your Stache Evil"  Your quest for early retirement may work out for you, but without progressive/socialistic changes to the tax structure and Social Welfare, the future looks like it could be a question of those owning the Equity of the Companies and the worthless leaches of society who have no equity and no ability to work cheaper than AI/Robots/Technology.  Where do you want your children, grand children to fall?  What are you willing to do today to ratify this? 

I actually thought that the US was becoming more progressive and that we would continue to adapt to reduce income inequality.  This past election has shown me that those with money have the ability to sway those without to vote against their best interests.  That people are not fact checking statements and using logic  to determine if something does not seem correct.  As taxes are changed, Social Security and other programs are gutted, the Supreme Court and federal judges are stacked to favor corporations and those owning the Equity, I am worried that the huge windfall of technology may not go to Society in total, but controlled by the top 1%.  Hopefully at some point before it is too late, Society wakes up and says, "This is not Fair" and we rebalance the benefits.

With that being said at this point I will be adding more to the Stache than what the financial models show that I will need to live very comfortably. Hopefully, I can give this extra Stache back to society through charitable giving if we as society figure a way to share the technological windfall with all vs. strictly those that own the Equity.    Until then I will be owning the Equity!

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1077 on: December 30, 2016, 03:54:51 PM »
Even if the robot was 100% indistinguishable from a real person, simply knowing intellectually that one's partner was human

I think there's an inherent contradiction in the above statement.


I was making the, admittedly flawed, assumption that there was no deceit involved.
Same with counterfeit anything, antiques, collectibles, currency, as long as people know which is which, the real thing is more valuable, no matter how good the counterfeit is.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1078 on: December 30, 2016, 03:58:42 PM »
So how do we solve this robot problem exactly? Or what do you do with all the people?

And what should I invest in that cannot be done by a robot? Housing? Rental properties?

There is no robot problem per se.  There is going to be massive change.  How you and we structure our lives, laws, governments, etc. is going to determine what society is going to be like in the future.  The laws, taxation, and social welfare of today will not work in the near future. 

As you are structuring your retirement life the question becomes; "Do you have or are you going to have kids?"


I'm willing to make the bet that if things really do go the way we are all expecting, that the change will happen within a single generation.


In any event, if the root issue is about wealth distribution and people focusing on "me and mine", then I feel like a big windfall handout to my own offspring means I am just perpetuating the problem.  If I have an excess accumulation at the end of life, I'd like to see it go to helping make that change in society happen, thereby helping everyone, instead of just the two people who happen to share my DNA.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1079 on: December 31, 2016, 04:07:15 AM »
Even if the robot was 100% indistinguishable from a real person, simply knowing intellectually that one's partner was human

I think there's an inherent contradiction in the above statement.


I was making the, admittedly flawed, assumption that there was no deceit involved.
Same with counterfeit anything, antiques, collectibles, currency, as long as people know which is which, the real thing is more valuable, no matter how good the counterfeit is.

Unless as you say there is no difference at all then no one can tell. If it's 100% the same how exactly can you tell what the real more valuable thing is. You can't.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1080 on: December 31, 2016, 05:30:08 AM »
Unless as you say there is no difference at all then no one can tell. If it's 100% the same how exactly can you tell what the real more valuable thing is. You can't.

If there is no difference at all it would not matter. All would be priced the same, as they would all be exactly the same.

However, if there are differences, even slight, subjective ones, then pricing could be affected. Like most things, I would imagine the more valuable form would be priced out of reach for average people; if something is 99% as good, but 1/10000th the price, I think the vast majority of people would settle for the lower priced version. Wealthy people would have the resources to pay the higher price for the small gain of the more valuable form, but the vast majority of the population would be satisfied with the more accessible one.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1081 on: December 31, 2016, 08:11:21 AM »
A good analogy might be the current market in diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are, at this point, functionally equivalent to or better than diamonds pulled out of the ground. However, it is still possible to distinguish the two with expensive pieces of equipment because diamonds that come from mines have minor imperfections that cannot be observed by the end user.

Some people will pay a lot more for a mined diamond and call it a "real" diamond. Some people will pay more for a lab grown diamond arguing their purchases it doesn't contribute to human suffering in the way supporting diamond mines in the less savory parts of Africa does.

Similarly, if robot brothels were functionally indistinguishable from the human variety, I'm sure some people would be willing to pay a premium for the "real" human experience, and other people would be willing to pay a premium so they didn't have to feel like any real humans were being exploited.*

The point is that even when two things are indistinguishable to the end user, as long as someone, somewhere can still certify that item 1 is in category A and item 2 is in category B, people still find mental ways to justify differences in price.

*Or feel like any real humans were judging them for their decision to visit a robot brothel.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1082 on: December 31, 2016, 01:50:03 PM »
Unless as you say there is no difference at all then no one can tell. If it's 100% the same how exactly can you tell what the real more valuable thing is. You can't.

In the world of luxury goods, provenance counts.  Two identical end tables are not worth the same amount if one of them was owned by a king and one of them wasn't.  Their history and background is what determines the price, not the condition of the item itself.  I can see the same argument being applied to robotic prostitutes, in both directions.  Some people will pay more for a flawless performance, and some will pay more for inexperience.  Virginity can only be legitimately sold once.

people would be willing to pay a premium so they didn't have to feel like any real humans were being exploited.

Some people, unfortunately, would be willing to pay because they desire the exploitation.  To some folks, peeing on a robot just isn't as fun because the robot doesn't feel bad about itself afterwards.  Humans are weird.

But this is all a matter of perception, of course.  A replicant-style robot that successfully fools you (and itself) into believing it is human bypasses all of these rules.  Just like with selling provenance, there is a credibility issue to be addressed.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1083 on: December 31, 2016, 02:15:42 PM »
Now the robots and technology will be controlling the boarders.

http://m.phys.org/news/2016-12-lie-detecting-kiosk-future.html

Awesome!  I like the idea of more controlled safer boarders

Boarders don't follow rules, dude.


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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1084 on: December 31, 2016, 02:47:30 PM »
A replicant-style robot that successfully fools you (and itself) into believing it is human bypasses all of these rules.

This.

Another the thing: you all are assuming meatspace.

In a virtual reality that's indistinguishable from real reality, no one can tell the difference.

And you can't say you'd be able to tell, because then it's not sufficiently advanced.  If it can hit all the same nerves, stimulate the same areas, etc (including the touch, sounds, everything) to where you're immersed and don't know, there's (tautologically) no way to tell.

I think there's a good chance we're already in such a world, and the "real" sex you think you're having is simulated.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1085 on: December 31, 2016, 04:16:26 PM »
Well I think there is a distinction to be made between A) physical interactions (or virtual ones) where a robot and real person would be indistinguishable if no one told you which was which (a sort of sexual turing test), but where people are still able to choose one or the other as a result of some sort of truth in labelling law or equivalent, and B) a world where anyone you interact with (sexually or otherwise) could be a robot and you have no way of telling.

In scenario A, I agree with sol that people will find reasons to prefer one or the other, even if the experiences themselves are indistinguishable. In scenario B basically everything goes out the window, but I suspect at that point society would be confronting far more serious issues than whether robotic or biological brothels could charge higher rates.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1086 on: December 31, 2016, 04:17:08 PM »
Now the robots and technology will be controlling the boarders.

http://m.phys.org/news/2016-12-lie-detecting-kiosk-future.html

Awesome!  I like the idea of more controlled safer boarders

Boarders don't follow rules, dude.



Real boarders are always in control.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1087 on: December 31, 2016, 04:25:52 PM »
A replicant-style robot that successfully fools you (and itself) into believing it is human bypasses all of these rules.

This.

Another the thing: you all are assuming meatspace.

In a virtual reality that's indistinguishable from real reality, no one can tell the difference.

And you can't say you'd be able to tell, because then it's not sufficiently advanced.  If it can hit all the same nerves, stimulate the same areas, etc (including the touch, sounds, everything) to where you're immersed and don't know, there's (tautologically) no way to tell.

I think there's a good chance we're already in such a world, and the "real" sex you think you're having is simulated.

and I think we have just about arrived at the plot to Total Recall.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1088 on: January 01, 2017, 03:27:14 AM »
A replicant-style robot that successfully fools you (and itself) into believing it is human bypasses all of these rules.

This.

Another the thing: you all are assuming meatspace.

In a virtual reality that's indistinguishable from real reality, no one can tell the difference.

And you can't say you'd be able to tell, because then it's not sufficiently advanced.  If it can hit all the same nerves, stimulate the same areas, etc (including the touch, sounds, everything) to where you're immersed and don't know, there's (tautologically) no way to tell.

I think there's a good chance we're already in such a world, and the "real" sex you think you're having is simulated.

and I think we have just about arrived at the plot to Total Recall.

Or something by the Wachowski sisters.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1089 on: January 01, 2017, 09:18:12 AM »
A replicant-style robot that successfully fools you (and itself) into believing it is human bypasses all of these rules.

This.

Another the thing: you all are assuming meatspace.

In a virtual reality that's indistinguishable from real reality, no one can tell the difference.

And you can't say you'd be able to tell, because then it's not sufficiently advanced.  If it can hit all the same nerves, stimulate the same areas, etc (including the touch, sounds, everything) to where you're immersed and don't know, there's (tautologically) no way to tell.

I think there's a good chance we're already in such a world, and the "real" sex you think you're having is simulated.


I'm sorry, did you just suggest that maybe we are in the Matrix?


The thing about that theory, while philosophically conceivable, there is no motivation to carry it out.  No one benefits from that arrangement that couldn't get the same or better results more simply. 


-


Well I think there is a distinction to be made between A) physical interactions (or virtual ones) where a robot and real person would be indistinguishable if no one told you which was which (a sort of sexual turing test), but where people are still able to choose one or the other as a result of some sort of truth in labeling law or equivalent, and B) a world where anyone you interact with (sexually or otherwise) could be a robot and you have no way of telling.


If all the internal systems, all the way down to the molecular level and even patterns of DNA, were indistinguishable then we wouldn't be calling them "robots", they would be genetically engineered human beings.   Even the Cylons could be distinguished with a test.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1090 on: January 01, 2017, 02:15:07 PM »
I'm sorry, did you just suggest that maybe we are in the Matrix?


The thing about that theory, while philosophically conceivable, there is no motivation to carry it out.  No one benefits from that arrangement that couldn't get the same or better results more simply.

No, the Matrix motivation is obviously silly.

Again, you are presuming meat space. Like you are a real body attached to a battery. Obviously dumb.

Tell me how you get the same or better benefits of a simulation that requires the simulants to think they're real than running one?

I.e. if I want to model the real world, in its FULL complexity, wouldn't I need the beings in it to be the same as us, and thus conscious?

Pretend I have enough computing power to model every atom and interaction, from the big bang on, within this world (impossible, but pretend). Wouldn't the beings within that simulation think they're real?  How can I correctly model it if they don't?

Explain to me how you can do that more simply.

I see no reason you exist as a body (or I) necessarily.

Look up Nick Bostrom.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1091 on: January 01, 2017, 02:28:38 PM »
I'm sorry, did you just suggest that maybe we are in the Matrix?


The thing about that theory, while philosophically conceivable, there is no motivation to carry it out.  No one benefits from that arrangement that couldn't get the same or better results more simply.

No, the Matrix motivation is obviously silly.

Again, you are presuming meat space. Like you are a real body attached to a battery. Obviously dumb.

Tell me how you get the same or better benefits of a simulation that requires the simulants to think they're real than running one?

I.e. if I want to model the real world, in its FULL complexity, wouldn't I need the beings in it to be the same as us, and thus conscious?

Pretend I have enough computing power to model every atom and interaction, from the big bang on, within this world (impossible, but pretend). Wouldn't the beings within that simulation think they're real?  How can I correctly model it if they don't?

Explain to me how you can do that more simply.

I see no reason you exist as a body (or I) necessarily.

Look up Nick Bostrom.

What if the beings running the simulation where just part of someone else's simulation? I mean think about that. It'd be really trippy.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1092 on: January 01, 2017, 02:49:23 PM »
Of course that's likely as well.

But it's very unlikely we're in the top level, in my opinion (and many other people's, including Elon Musk).

Are the simulation arguments new to you guys?

It got really popular over the last few years.

I can provide some links if needed, I just assumed it was common knowledge by now around a crowd like this.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1093 on: January 01, 2017, 09:56:41 PM »
My question is what purpose would it serve to create such a simulation in the first place. 
We have self-replicating DNA that ultimately creates motivation for doing all the things we do.
In this hypothetical scenario, there is no (apparent) ultimate underlying biochemical, ultimately physics, principal driving the counter-entropy force of excess energy used to increase order.
Say some brilliant computer scientist was able to simulate every atom from the big bang on.  It would take a universe worth of energy to run, just like the actual universe does.  To what end, other than perhaps entertainment? 



If you just want to posit trippy what-ifs for the sake of mind blowingness, why not stop at pointing out that there is no way to ever know for sure that this isn't all your own hallucination and that you live in an insane asylum.  Just as possible as the "this is all a simulation, and you only think your real" scenario, and ofcorse also just as much a dead end
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1094 on: January 01, 2017, 10:22:28 PM »
Say some brilliant computer scientist was able to simulate every atom from the big bang on.  It would take a universe worth of energy to run, just like the actual universe does.  To what end, other than perhaps entertainment? 

Isn't this question equally valid when asked of our current real universe?  To what end?  Does it have a purpose?  Does it need one? 

Why is this question interesting when asked about a simulation but not when asked about a physical universe?  Do we need a hypothesized external intelligence to give this existence meaning?

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1095 on: January 01, 2017, 10:30:30 PM »
My question is what purpose would it serve to create such a simulation in the first place. 
We have self-replicating DNA that ultimately creates motivation for doing all the things we do.
In this hypothetical scenario, there is no (apparent) ultimate underlying biochemical, ultimately physics, principal driving the counter-entropy force of excess energy used to increase order.
Say some brilliant computer scientist was able to simulate every atom from the big bang on.  It would take a universe worth of energy to run, just like the actual universe does.

Of course.  In a larger universe with more energy, this would be feasible.  In ours, obviously, it wouldn't.  Like I said:
"Pretend I have enough computing power to model every atom and interaction, from the big bang on, within this world (impossible, but pretend)."

Quote
To what end, other than perhaps entertainment?


Many reasons.  Entertainment is one, but simulations let you test scenarios.  We use models ALL THE TIME to try to solve problems.  If we could make a simple model of the universe, we could tweak variables, and run it to see.  We could run it a million times and see what the best outcomes are.  Etc.

Quote
If you just want to posit trippy what-ifs for the sake of mind blowingness



I don't know why you feel the need to be condescending.  That had nothing to do with discussing it, and makes me really disinclined to engage with you.  Accusing me of posting a "trippy what if just for the sake of mind blowingness" is rude.

Earlier this year, at Code Conference, Elon Musk said there's "one in billions" chance we're not living in a computer simulation.

https://games.slashdot.org/story/16/06/03/0049258/elon-musk-one-in-billions-chance-were-not-living-in-a-computer-simulation

Was he just trolling them for shock value?

Neal DeGrasse Tyson said it's "very likely" the universe is a simulation. https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/04/23/0051211/neil-degrasse-tyson-says-its-very-likely-the-universe-is-a-simulation

Is he just saying it for shock value?

Earlier this year, a Bank of America analysis said there's a 50% chance we're living in a simulation.  Merrill Lynch, Bank of America's wealth management company, sent out a briefing to investors outlining their Matrix theory.
https://science.slashdot.org/story/14/02/16/197236/mathematician-is-our-universe-a-simulation

(Matrix was used as lazy shorthand to explain it, but no one thinks we're actually bodies plugged in as batteries.)

Did all of Merrill Lynch troll their investors just for funsies?

Give me a tiny bit of credit and pause and realize that this is something some intelligent people are taking seriously.  I can see how you might intuitively dismiss some stoned philosophy undergrads eating pizza and going "What if the Matrix is real?  whoahhhhhhh.....," but that's not what we're talking about.

As I said, look up Nick Bostrom.  Some of the math in his arguments is pretty fun.

Maybe you didn't realize that, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you think it's really just a silly premise no one legitimately believes, but just funny to giggle about.  I would tell you you are incorrect, and that you should do some research around the actual academic papers written in this area over the last few years.

:)

Is it real?  Who knows.  Like you said, likely impossible to "prove." (Though maybe not--there might be certain things within a simulation that would show up in a simulation only.) But it's not a troll, or joke, it's something of interest.

Some amusing comments from different Slashdot articles discussing the possibility:

Quote
Some possible ways to determine if we're living in a simulation:

Look for signs of optimizations/short cuts in the simulation:
Is there a maximum speed?
Is there a minimum size?
Is there a limit as to determining an object's position and momentum?
etc...

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[In response to someone saying it'd be impossible to simulate something so complex without tons of bugs]

Whose to say there aren't bugs? As a physics major in college I could certainly be convinced many aspects of general relativity and quantum mechanics could be considered bugs. Nothing can move faster than the speed of light? Oops. Quantum entanglement and superposition? We'll fix those in version 2.5. Hopefully by version 4 we can finally get the world to run by what you call Newtonian physics with no exceptions.

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And not a very good simulation at that. Whoever wrote it couldn't even synchronize time, even at a local level. And that hard coded top speed limit? Because "No one in there is ever going to need to go that fast anyway" I bet. And the way it shits itself when you put too much mass in one place? Very sloppy! It's probably just the N-Dimensional equivalent of a potato battery, proudly displayed at "Take your Kindred-Daughter to work day", for a very inefficient method of converting hydrogen into plutonium.

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It would explain quantum effects. Kinda like looking at the resolution limit of the simulation. Like looking reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally close at your monitor and noticing that all the colors are just reeeeeeeeeally tiny LEDs in RG and B and that none of those other colors really existed.

Note: I used all slashdot links, and quotes, above simply because I enjoy their site and discussions.  They also link to the original sources in the topline summary, so you can easily jump straight there.  It was quicker for me to search "universe simulation slashdot.org" and click the first few links than search without the slashdot qualifier and wade through a bunch of links.  If you don't like slashdot, feel free to do your own googling.  :)
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Bakari

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1096 on: January 02, 2017, 09:24:20 AM »
Well, OK, I'll grant that generally intelligent people seem to be serious.


Of course, the same can be said of every religion as well, and I find them even more silly then this idea.


My point about being a pointless trippy exercise is that even if it were correct, it would make absolutely no difference to our day to day lives, and it would be impossible to ever know either way. 


The whole point of a model is that it is simpler to work with.  If you wanted the most realistic possible environment in which to test predictions, you just do an experiment, in the actual world.


Just because the technology for something is available doesn't mean people are going to actually to implement it.  We have flying cars and jetpacks and Google Glasses, but no one actually cares to use them. 


In order to actually model all of reality, you also have to model the computer programs.  So what happens when you try to model computer programs that model the universe?  They would have to also have accurate models of the universe - including of themselves... endlessly recursive (reminds me of the full video game within Day of the Tentacle).  It would require infinitely complex processing.


Moreover, this entire idea is a bit like the homunculus assumption of how the mind works.  There is no tiny mind at the controls, and when you see something, there is no image of it anywhere in your brain.  The simulation doesn't look anything like the experience and (this part is key) the elements of brain goo that process the information we experience don't themselves have any consciousness.
There is no reason to think that the products of such a simulation would have any consciousness.  In our case - the only one that we know of that experiences consciousness - it is only the overall "simulation" as a whole, the total mind, that is more than just a stimulus-response network.  Contrary to what "Inside Out" is teaching kids, each separate subroutine of the model of the world that is our minds does not have its own separate sentience.
The idea that we are "probably" in a model suggests that it is inevitable that all complex simulations would have to have individually and independently sentient  subroutines in order to make an accurate model, but we know that isn't true.


If the point of the simulation involves tweaking variables, and perhaps has "bugs" of convenience, then all bets are off the table in terms of what the "real" world could be like.  We are no longer talking about an atom by atom mock-up of the universe, we are talking about an entirely arbitrary "universe" created by something, with rules we can't possibly ever know for reasons we can never really speculate on.  Maybe outside the simulation there is no such thing as atoms.  Maybe there aren't 4 fundamental forces.  There could be 25, or just 1.  Maybe the entire concept of energy was invented by the programmer. 


Then again, maybe our entire universe is itself a particle within a much larger universe.  That is equally probable. 
Or, like in my first post, this could just as easily be a hallucination or a dream.  We know dreams exist, we know they are sometimes realistic, so why isn't it a one in billions chances (or at least 50% chance) that "we" (except really, "I") are living in a dream?


People today happen to be obsessed with computers and the internet and where it could hypothetically go, but that doesn't make it any more actually "likely" that we are in one than it was a hundred years ago, or a thousand years ago, or a million years ago. 


Are all the stars fake?  Or did the programmer actually build entire galaxies which would have zero affect on us, just to be more through?  Or, conversely, did they take the time to program something as complex as evolving life with sentience in one random tiny corner of the universe when the real interest was the physics of the universe. 


Say some brilliant computer scientist was able to simulate every atom from the big bang on.  It would take a universe worth of energy to run, just like the actual universe does.  To what end, other than perhaps entertainment? 

Isn't this question equally valid when asked of our current real universe?  To what end?  Does it have a purpose?  Does it need one? 

Why is this question interesting when asked about a simulation but not when asked about a physical universe?  Do we need a hypothesized external intelligence to give this existence meaning?


Difference is, someone would have had to made a conscious deliberate effort to make a simulation.  In order to do that, they would need a specific motivation.  If the universe is just the product of random physics, then there need not be any purpose.





Anything I've said here useful or interesting?  Find a lot more of my thoughts here: http://randomthoughts.fyi

sol

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1097 on: January 02, 2017, 03:32:41 PM »
Difference is, someone would have had to made a conscious deliberate effort to make a simulation.  In order to do that, they would need a specific motivation.  If the universe is just the product of random physics, then there need not be any purpose.

I think I wasn't clear enough.  If our universe only has meaning because an alien programmer designed, it why does the alien's universe have any meaning? 

This is the same argument that befalls all supernatural causation stories.  "What made the universe?  God.  What made God?  Nothing, God just is."  Why can't the universe just be, and we can cut out the middle man?  Why the need to superimpose the intermediary step?  You haven't really answered anything if your answer still defaults to "just because" upon closer inspection.

In this case, why the need to superimpose the alien programmer to give our universe hypothetical purpose, if his universe is equally meaningless?

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1098 on: January 02, 2017, 06:24:40 PM »
Bakari:
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In order to actually model all of reality, you also have to model the computer programs.  So what happens when you try to model computer programs that model the universe?  They would have to also have accurate models of the universe - including of themselves... endlessly recursive (reminds me of the full video game within Day of the Tentacle).  It would require infinitely complex processing.

No, the alien programmer (AP) would "only" need to model our universes base physical laws and let the complexity build up from there - same as if it were not a simulation.  AP would define gravitational laws, quantum mechanics and electromagnetic laws etc as well as the initial conditions of all the stuff in the simulation then let it run and eventually the AP could observe cave men in faded blue jeans using the internet.  When I build simulations I identify the most low level widgets in the system, build those then let them interact.  You can get crazy complex behavior from very simple systems interacting.  basic idea: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flocking_(behavior)
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maizeman

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1099 on: January 02, 2017, 08:08:05 PM »
Grabbed shamelessly from slashdot: Replacing insurance claims adjusters with AI in Japan.

"Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance, is reportedly replacing 34 human insurance claim workers with “IBM Watson Explorer,” starting by January 2017. The AI will scan hospital records and other documents to determine insurance payouts, according to a company press release, factoring injuries, patient medical histories, and procedures administered. ... Fukoku Mutual will spend $1.7 million (200 million yen) to install the AI system, and $128,000 per year for maintenance, according to Japan’s The Mainichi. The company saves roughly $1.1 million per year on employee salaries by using the IBM software, meaning it hopes to see a return on the investment in less than two years."

http://qz.com/875491/japanese-white-collar-workers-are-already-being-replaced-by-artificial-intelligence/

The thing that surprised me was how few workers they could replace and still have it make economic sense. Maybe IBM is just eating a lot of the development cost in the hopes of selling similar systems to other insurance companies? Otherwise, I'd always figured that doing a job fewer other people also did was reasonable protection against automation since the economies of scale just aren't there to develop a computational replacement yet.
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