• A robot cannot harm a person or, through inaction, allow a person to be harmed.
• The robot must obey all orders given by a person, except when these orders are contrary to the first law.
• The robot must take care of its safety to the extent that it does not contradict the first or second laws.
Isaac Asimov, 1942
Was the writer and professor of biochemistry right? Every day from day to dat all we begin to doubt it more and more….
Two scenarios, which are just well reflected in popular culture, are the uprising of people against robots due to a lack of jobs and the uprising of robotic “slaves” against people-“masters”. Which of these scenarios can be less incredible?
Robots occupy all jobs, leave us without work – the plot is quite plausible. You can be optimistic about it, like Karl Marx in the famous “Fragment about cars”, you can be afraid, but no more than the usual new technologies or the influx of migrants. The second option, regardless of its probability, is emotionally worse.
Let’s see what can happen.
Everything is not so clear…
Technological progress has given us something that our parents could not even dream of. The boom in electronics and information technology made computers, smartphones, the Internet and satellite navigation accessible to the masses. On the way – self-driving electric cars and “smart” things. Someone has more expensive, someone – cheaper. Some do not have yet, but probably will get. And next in turn is a revolution in biotechnology and medicine.
But the benefits of the upcoming biotechnological revolution will be different. These are health, longevity, beauty and physical capabilities of the body.
But it’s one thing when you have an inexpensive, but quite functional smartphone from an unknown Asian manufacturer in your pocket, and someone has a well-developed and elite one with a 10 times higher price than yours, and another thing -when someone lives a hundred years longer than you. Without diseases and other problems.
Yuval Noah Harari, author of ‘Sapiens’ and a professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, believes that by the end of this century, humanity will split into biological castes. Harari is a historian. And he thinks that inequality between people has only intensified. But all this time, the achievement of human thought – humanism, liberalism, socialism – were correcting the unfair distribution of goods in society. At the same time, the human masses have been the main productive force. The elite was forced to take care of people, their education, health and well-being. But this comes to its end.
Automation and robots drive a human out of the productive sphere, and therefore deprive him of a constant financial income. Moreover, the income is sufficient to enjoy all the benefits of modern technology. In the next century, inequality in society will reach a historic high, says Harari. At the same time, the rich will only increase their capital.
Economic inequality will give rise to biological inequality. Some will be able to improve the capabilities of their body: to develop physical and cognitive abilities, while others will not get it available. Thus, one part of humanity with the help of accessible biotechnology and bioengineering will be able to improve their bodies. These people will be able to improve themselves by becoming smarter, healthier and, accordingly, will live longer. The other part of humanity will only have to watch this.
Industrialization once spawned the working class. Now «Industrialization 2.0» threatens to destroy it. The fears of mass unemployment caused by the development of technology (“technological unemployment”, as it is often called), have never been justified. One profession has always been replaced by others – new ones. Who knows…
Each time, new technological turn brings higher and higher requirements for occupying new professions. And at one
moment, most people simply cannot take a step forward, cannot retrain, understand the updated requirements – new vacancies that appear will not be available to them.
Will a taxi driver with 20 years experience or an insurance agent be able to take this new vacancy?
Usually young promising professions are being mastered by young people. And this is a gradual process. The elderly work on retirement at their previous jobs, while the young ones take on new ones. This time, everything can happen within one generation. Significant masses of workers will find themselves outside the walls of their enterprises and offices, by historical standards, simultaneously.
Probably by the middle of the century a new class of people will be formed – the “useless class.” It will not be just unemployed, it will be people who, in principle, are not able to take the few remaining vacancies and those that will appear in new industries.
Technological progress will not make them poor – they will be able to live on their unconditional basic income. But the problem can be different – people are starting to lose their minds without specific tasks and goals. A person needs to experience emotions, needs to have sense of satisfaction, to achieve goals. The output may be in virtual reality☝️
According to Harari, people who have not found application in the economy – in the real world, will find their life goals in virtual world. Its being told about profession of a designer of virtual worlds, as about one of the most popular professions of our future. Video games will become the meaning of a “worthless class” life. The very creation of virtual reality is an expensive exercise that requires significant financial investment. For those who play in a casino or King Billy Casino, this will also require certain expenses, since they will need to purchase the appropriate equipment that will be able to work with the corresponding site.
Man is an appendage of machines
Almost everyone is confident that robots and automation will lead to technological unemployment. It would seem that the trend is obvious – progress in robotics leads to the appearance of machines that work better and faster than humans. If the use of human labor will be more profitable than the use of robots, then, most likely, it will be given preference to the person.
But if a person used to be smarter than a robot, now in the system of division of labor he will have another advantage. Albert Wenger, Managing Partner of Union Square Ventures, believes that people will retain a competitive advantage over robots, but only because they will cost for employer less than cars.
Wegner cites a London taxi as an example. To drive the famous black cab through the streets of the British capital, you had to study for four years and remember the location of all 25,000 London streets. At the exam, it was necessary to get a route from memory and at the same time name all the streets that meet on the way. 7/10 students dropped out. Now there is no need to keep all this information in mind. This is what the program does. Even the endpoint of the route is entered by the user when it comes to an application like Uber. Requirements for driver qualifications are reduced. He only needs to take the passenger to the point. There are more applicants for less difficult work. So, the level of wages will fall.
In general, if a machine takes over part of a person’s work, Wenger says, then the employee will be paid less. And this can be much more effective from an economic point of view than completely abandoning human labor.
The example of taxi drivers is not a single one. Robots are already trading on the exchange. IBM Watson prompts diagnoses and the most optimal courses of treatment, the doctor can only accept a computer or not. The world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates is under the control of artificial intelligence, and it is planned that in five years 3/4 management decisions in the company will be made by a supercomputer. In such a scenario, everything may end up with transferring of the whole world control to super-powerful artificial intelligence. And a person will only serve cars and carry out commands of machines. The power of artificial intelligence is a popular forecast of the world order. It is even possible that a supercomputer will be kind and fair to us. He doesn’t need to kill us. But who knows for sure…
Author: Serg Dum
Almost 3 years I am devoted to work as a Chief Content Editor at King Billy Casino