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  • Writer's pictureletstalkracenow

Just So Dern Smart

Man, you and your progress ideas are just so dern “smart”. What then No Racism?

My call was answered by a voice recording that informed me that it understood complete sentences, it vetted my information and connected me to an outsourced human who politely helped solve my issue.

Later, I thought of my friends and relations who years ago earned a living working at Call Centers in America. They supported their families, educated their children and built middle class lifestyles including leisure and activities to realize their American Dream. Until, the smart tech engineers had a better plan for humankind. Create technology that replaces paid help with unpaid robots. Look at the profit line jump!

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to give up my microwave oven, but it doesn’t put anybody out of work. What’s next as smart engineers pursue the next level of employment displacement? Consider the work you do regardless of the profession? How can part or all of these techniques, services and consulting be automated? Can we bypass the doctor’s office with robotic medical teams to analyze medical reports, report diagnosis and issue the prescription? We already have robotic surgeons. No Need for Medical Schools?

On a lighter note, consider the cutest little life like cats and puppies you've ever seen now available that require no feeding, walking or clean up. These cuties interact with you as substitute live pets. They're good for small children who can take care of the pet themselves and particularly useful for seniors with medical issues like Alzheimer’s. No more Fido?

Many have seen science fiction presentations like The Matrix that argued artificial intelligence as a threat. I saw a popular television show about evil IT engineers who were thwarted by the very computer system they created that destroyed the creators. Unlikely? How did we come to this?

Robotics is not new. The goal of robotics was to design intelligent machines to assist humans in their day-to-day lives. Ok, that has been the goal of all inventors. A better mouse trap. Hold on, robotics was first documented in the Third century B.C. in China when Lie Zi describes automata and an encounter between King Muof Zhou (1023–957 BC) and mechanical engineer Yan Shi, an 'artificer'. He allegedly presented the king with a life-size, human-shaped figure of his mechanical handiwork. Since then, IT Robotic applications include military, industrial, Cobots, agricultural, medical, gaming, drones and so much more. Progress.

Some may read this and dismiss my concerns as hyper-reactionary and misplaced romantics. The good ole days thinking. Understanding progress and change as inevitable is a truth we accept. Curiosity, searching for truths and expanding education opens doors to higher thinking. The goal is to create a better world. Until, it eliminates people in the way.

That is why we must take time to consider the costs of progress to minorities, the poor, the marginalized and the disenfranchised. What does race have to do with it? What jobs and area are the focus of displacement? Who profits and who falls into the wealth gap abyss? We read so much about “disproportionate” outcomes for minority groups. Why not in robotics when we consider anticipated and unanticipated outcome reports? The same operatives who make decisions about social structure maintenance are the operatives here as well. I’m in good company with concerns about “AI” takeover.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Takeover

What about automation of jobs? The traditional consensus among economists has been that technological progress does not cause long-term unemployment. However, recent innovation in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence has raised worries that human labor will become obsolete, leaving people in various sectors without jobs to earn a living, leading to an economic crisis. A paper by Michael Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey found that 47 per cent of US jobs are at risk to automation "over some unspecified number of years". In a 2016 article in The Guardian, Stephen Hawking stated "The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining".

Ethics must rule alongside technology. Physicist Stephen Hawking, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and SpaceX founder Elon Musk have expressed concerns about the possibility that AI could develop to the point that humans could not control it, with Hawking theorizing that this could "spell the end of the human race". Hawking said in 2014, that "Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks." He believed that in the coming decades, AI could offer "incalculable benefits and risks" such as "technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand." In January 2015, Nick Bostrom joined Stephen Hawking, Max Tegmark, Elon Musk, Lord Martin Rees, Jaan Tallinn, and numerous AI researchers, in signing the Future of Life Institute’s open letter speaking to the potential risks and benefits associated with artificial intelligence.

There is another school of thinking. AI will eliminate racism in two ways. First, elimination of all jobs and widespread dependence upon robots is the ultimate equalizer. Socialism with no need for competition for jobs will eliminate status positioning and discrimination against others. Citizens will have no motivation to immigrate from their homelands as there is no advantage in doing so. Human energy will then be focused on relationships over seeking status and money. No boss, no workers. The robots are doing it now.

Secondly, we consider a notion of government by algorithm as an alternative form of governance for social ordering, where the usage of computer algorithms with artificial intelligence and blockchain, would be applied to administration, enforcement and other aspect of everyday life. Human competitiveness stems from the evolutionary background including intelligence, survival and reproduction in the face of human and non-human competitors to that central goal. By eliminating human historic foundations of governing rife with incidents of enslavement and genocide, a purer system would replace human bias.

These concerns were shared by AI researcher Steve Omohundro. "An arbitrary intelligence could have arbitrary goals: there is no particular reason that an artificially intelligent machine (not sharing humanity's evolutionary context) would be hostile—or friendly—unless its creator programs it to be such and it is not inclined or capable of modifying its programming". Is this the new evolution of dependence on Artificial Intelligence?

End Game. We recognize that growth is active, not stagnant. Growth is good. But, the word of God informs and directs us. We read that the fruit is the end game. We learn that branches from vines nourish and do not displace. If branches grow in ways that are disruptive and cause hurtful outcomes, they must be pruned so that mankind can survive in love to become more fruitful.

Survival not Elimination.

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