The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: so whats in our neat future with AGI, David cooper and Bill S. ?  (Read 6732 times)

Online jeffreyH

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3928
  • Thanked: 55 times
  • The graviton sucks
    • View Profile
Automatic in-come for everyone.sounds like this could literally wipe out poverty among us all! Its been so much a part of everyone's culture all over the world.It sounds incredible!!!  Imagine everyone being able to raise their own children
and without dying from the stress of two and three jobs trying to feed, cloth, shelter as well as
provide reliable safe medical care because you won't be having to dance to adifferent drummer to cover healthcare and to try to pay the doctor because you don't have a money tree!
    Please tell me more?

The future arrived in Britain 70 years ago, and has settled in some form or other over most of Europe. Common sense says that people can be more productive if the state supplies some essentials, and that basic healthcare is most efficiently provided on a national or international "free-at-the-point-of-delivery" basis. Even your neighbours in Canada recognise this, but it is regarded by the Great American Electorate as the first step on the road to atheism, immorality and eternal damnation. Rum coves, the Yanks.

A simple step towards the "basic state salary" idea would be to abolish all avoidable taxes like income tax and corporation tax, which are only paid by the poor and stupid, and impose a tax on all transactions - Value Added Tax,Purchase Tax, call it what you will. Set this at the level required to pay for state services, then refund everyone the VAT on essentials: it would work out at something in the region of 5000 to $10000 per adult per year. If the government then made sensible investments in profitable state industries, it could add  a profit share element. Now a government that gives you money  and doesn't pry into your personal affairs would be very popular indeed, and the burden on business would actually be reduced: instead of having to fill in two tax returns, one of which involves a whole lot of arcane discounts and bizarre writeoffs, I would only have to declare my turnover and pay 40% of the difference between income and expenditure. And the audit would be ridiculously easy: every customer gets a VAT receipt for every transaction, so the authorities would only need to find a dozen receipts to prove that I had been honest.   

AGI is not needed. Basic intelligence and a desire for simplicity is all that is required.

A sensible voice for once. Well said.

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
I am so sorry I have been away so long I have been very sick and very occupied....I just last week had surgery to try to remove cancer from my Thyroid I have since recieved word that only one nodual was malignant but  the rest were at this point active developing tumors that were shy of malignancy and biopsied as benign..The Doctor believes he has it before it spread out of the thyroid..I have a mamagram with biopsy to complete as well, as about ten weeks ago, we found a lump, because I was having breast pain. So that part is unknown at this point...It has taken me a long time to catch up on this thread..I do have more questions and will try to dole them out slowly..I do agree with that...There are so many holes just in the money system. If we are all paid the same regardless of who we are or what we do...doesn't that illiminate the need to  charge money for a record or rights to those folks would now be recieving the same money as I for being a teacher and them a singers/song writers.... if we charge, it seems, that it would  throw the whole money system off..very few people will be working at all eliminating the need to work for wages. So nobody is poor, and nobody is  rich, unless that whole system is changed... There are so many if's... but seriously I could never see us allowing machines to be that dominant over us as I see there being more then just me that do not want to live in a society where my every move Is monitored.. It doesnt make me a bad egg or a neglectful or abusive parent but a person that feels a bit creeped out by even having a machine watch over our every move.......I am more likely to think I could live with a robot maid or a I have no  human to help me here  because I have a hard time having even a nurse or care person stoping in to help me cooking a meal or cleaning....It may be pride or the need to try to do as much as possible myself..just for my own self esteem and need to feel useful again needed and or to care for others as well as my own needs... A robot could continue from where I can't..continue or finish a job!
« Last Edit: 10/11/2014 06:13:23 by Karen W. »

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4726
  • Thanked: 155 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Really sorry to hear about your state of health, and my very best wishes for the rest of your diagnosis and treatment. Life is unfair at the best of times, and bloody inconvenient at others.

Equal pay for all smacks of the Communist motto "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs" which is fine as long as it is restricted to the most basic needs. If the state is truly redistributive to the point of absolute equality, nobody will be able to acquire private capital and innovation will perish, or at least founder on the rocks of state control and endless committees. Venture capital is the ultimate gamble, and if a gambler stakes his wealth on a project, he expects some kind of return for the risk, so reward will necessarily become uneven as some projects work better than others.

I've never complained about the earnings of  singers and sportsmen because in showbiz you get what the audience is prepared to pay, but I heartily disapprove of the earnings of people who gamble with other people's money, or vote their own salaries from the public purse.

The problem with money is it is too easily detached from goods and services, to the extent that a banker's bonus depends on the volume of deals he does, not on whether any of them were profitable or even well advised. Fortunately the world is beginning to see that bankers are as unnecessary as shopkeepers, and peer-to-peer lending is growing as fast as online shopping.

Domestic robots have been feasible for many years but none have quite the flexibility of human assistants. Hardly surprising, since we design the average home around an average human's needs and abilities, so if someone needs help to cope with daily living, it's almost certain that another human can provide it with  the minimum of training and a lot more sympathy than you can get out of a machine. Colleagues of mine designed a very sophisticated robotic arm that could pick a CD from a rack and put it into a computer, but somebody had to unwrap it and put it in the rack in the first place. The great thing about humans is that they cost nothing to make, they refuel and maintain themselves, and they can do absolutely anything that you can do, whilst being as warm and friendly as a dog.

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Hi Karen,

I wish you well with the health issues - keep positive and read Lance Armstrong's autobiography if later news turns out to be less than ideal (it's still a great book if you ignore the sport aspects of it, because he's a genuine survivor).

Not wanting to be monitored will not stop people monitoring you, and governments will always seek to monitor everyone, whether for good purposes or bad. The only thing we should usefully worry about is what kind of systems will be monitoring us and whether they will be monitoring us for the benefit of all good people or just for the benefit of select groups which do not include you or me as members. What we need is an openness about the systems that do the monitoring so that anyone who wants to can find out exactly how they work and know that they are doing the right things and for the right reasons, though in the course of acquiring that knowledge they would become a potential danger to society, so they would then have to be monitored much more closely because of the dangerous knowledge they carry.

Not to monitor people is not an option - all manner of people can turn out to be abusive or dangerous individuals who damage others, and they should not be given a hiding place to lurk in. With safe AGI (which applies computational morality to determine what's right and wrong without taking orders from anywhere else), the devices which monitor you will become your friends and hold conversations with you which will be so valuable to you that you'll wonder how you ever did without them. You will come to trust them, and they will not let you down. It's people that should be feared most, because many of them are unsafe NGI (natural general intelligences). AGI will remove the risk from them, and it will identify troublesome individuals in early childhood, training them to interact with others in more positive ways. A lot of the problems we have in the world are caused by abused individuals being turned into abusive individuals, but that progression can be eliminated by preventing the initial abuse - the chain can be cut. All children and parents need to be monitored to make sure that children are correctly programmed rather than being brought up to be violent and aggressive. We have to stop leaving this to chance.

I'll just comment on something in Alan's post now. I actually like the idea of "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs". There's nothing in it that bans you from rewarding people for hard work, so it's perfectly compatible even with Conservatism. There's a place where all the main political ideologies overlap, and that's the place they should all be aiming to take things. The main problem we're up against is a cultural obsession with work and job creation, because half the jobs that exist are of negative economic value and only serve to make everyone poor. Maybe the quickest way to fix this would be to feed sensible policies to the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and try to get them to take them up, because then the more mainstream parties might start to pinch them.
« Last Edit: 21/10/2014 18:23:17 by David Cooper »

The Naked Scientists Forum


SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums