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Universal Basic Income as a product of an Automated Economy


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#1 tastywheat

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:51 PM

Separating this from the 'How crap is this government?' thread, I stumbled across this video this evening that raises a few interesting points:

 

 

I think there's an interesting parallel to slave labour in Rome, and I think the BAI and NAI are clever mechanisms to control UBI rates.



#2 i_am_banned2

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:00 AM

It's a nice idea, but we all know how it will end. Self-aware robot legions demanding to be freed (or worse, paid). Civil war erupting.

 

The next thing you know, you're fighting a random stranger to the death in a gladiatorial arena for the amusement of a cold, silent robot crowd. All this just to secure your next meal ticket from the local AI overlord. Actually, could be kinda fun.



#3 @~thehung

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:34 AM

first impressions of the initial visual depiction of the model, is that it looks a bit like a perpetual motion machine!   taking out the traditional bi-directional give/take is really non-intuitive.   but i guess this activity still exists and is reflected by fluctuations of the mean UBI rate. plus, its not like individual businesses stop living or dying on the basis of competition.  

 

 

what i wonder about though, apart from calculating a BAI seeming less like a cakewalk than a long sticky dive into John Hewsons birthday cake, is how demand for labour when channeled through an ever narrowing aperture naturally provides not just adequate capital, but sufficiently diverse and egalitarian access to it, to ensure that fair competition continues to thrive? 


no pung intended

#4 tastywheat

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:11 PM

It's a nice idea, but we all know how it will end. Self-aware robot legions demanding to be freed (or worse, paid). Civil war erupting.

 

Haha, yeah.  This was my first thought after the Roman slave analogy.  Slavery was a pretty neat economic solution before society recognised their humanity.  How long will it take for an advanced General AI to suggest it has consciousness?


what i wonder about though, apart from calculating a BAI seeming less like a cakewalk than a long sticky dive into John Hewsons birthday cake, is how demand for labour when channeled through an ever narrowing aperture naturally provides not just adequate capital, but sufficiently diverse and egalitarian access to it, to ensure that fair competition continues to thrive? 

 

Yeah, calculating BAI is going to be a point of contention that drives engineered loopholes.

 

I think a natural reaction to abundance is a reduction in competition.  Markets will either either find new niches to exploit that lack abundance, and by logical extension, require meat based labour, or the abundance that automation will supposedly bring will be short lived, and labour will come back into favour.  This doesn't necessarily imply conflict or disaster.  Maybe we'll decide we absolutely have to start a colony in the TRAPPIST-1 system?


Edited by tastywheat, 16 March 2017 - 09:17 PM.


#5 Cybes

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:23 PM

How long will it take for an advanced General AI to suggest it has consciousness?


Two things: 1) milliseconds from attainment of self-awareness; and 2) full automation in most fields does not require a full AGI - which is fortunate for automation.

...a long sticky dive into John Hewsons birthday cake...


I watched that happen at the time. He never could explain himself in a neat soundbyte - anything he tried to say ended up like Barry Jones's infographic of Knowledge Nation. And for a similar reason.

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#6 Cybes

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 08:41 AM

An interesting discussion, imo.

 


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#7 Master_Scythe

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 09:07 AM

I dont have time to watch it at the moment, but this SOUNDS like it'd be relevant to Bill Gates idea, which I'm all for.

For every machine that replaces a human role, that 'bot' (company) must 'pay' 50% to 75% of the original workers income, to tax.

 

Use the new found 'extra tax' to lower it for everyone else, or to fund the now unemployed.

 

Business saves 25%, and government can afford welfare.

 

I thought it was brilliant.


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#8 Leonid

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 09:38 AM

That sounds great in practise MC but what happens when all the companies in an industry do this within months of each other to stay competitive?

You have two situations. By definition, the smallest company, in the lowest tax jurisdiction becomes the most profitable as market share trends to equilibrium.

And with original workers only making 50% with nowhere to go, you're actually impacting the potential that comes after them, generationally speaking, more than you do them.
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#9 Master_Scythe

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 10:02 AM

That sounds great in practise MC but what happens when all the companies in an industry do this within months of each other to stay competitive?

You have two situations. By definition, the smallest company, in the lowest tax jurisdiction becomes the most profitable as market share trends to equilibrium.

And with original workers only making 50% with nowhere to go, you're actually impacting the potential that comes after them, generationally speaking, more than you do them.

 

Your thought process, as usual is very relevant and accurate to likely outcomes.

But you miss one key point, which you actually brushed against.

 

what happens when all the companies in an industry do this within months of each other to stay competitive?

 

Well, you either have something like a 75% "original income" tax to fund the newly unemployed on the dole, or... you don't.

You already see it in Coles, 50% less manned tellers, and a huge serve yourself section.

 

Your points are valid, but none of those points are going to stop "all the companies" from doing it as soon as it's viable.

 

To keep the world 'human enough', we need to strike at those thinking with their wallets alone, and make sure that "a 25% cost saving might not be worth sacrificing the diversity of a human".

Lets face it, at the moment, and possibly never, can an automated AI phone system "pick up my dry-cleaning please?".

 

Sorry Leonid, but pointing out the issues isn't going to stop 'The Corporations' from marching forward (if you want to call it forward).


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#10 Leonid

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 10:11 AM

I didn't brush off your point. I actually addressed it.

I've started four businesses. 3 were successful, the fourth was an absolute disaster (don't start businesses with the goal of changing the world!).

In any startup, the highest cost is labour. In fact, the larger the business, the lower the percentage of the total take, your business becomes.

Tlnow imagine a business (large) that fires humans and implements a robotic workforce. Under your model they'd need to pay their old workers wages.

Now imagine their competitor, a startup, decides "fuck innovation, let's go for profit.".

So they fire their people and hire a robot workforce. Except they quickly ramp up to the size of the larger company.

So if the large company has to pay 1000 retrenched employees and work that into their price, the smaller company can ramp up to 1000 robots while only paying 20 original staff.

You get what I mean?

This is simplistic, but it's something that your model fails to account for. Altruism doesn't always provide fair results.
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#11 Leonid

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 10:58 AM

Personally I think a better idea might be to have granular industry payments systems. ie if your robot is a bartender, you pay $x to the government. If your robot is a hooker, you pay $y to the government.

The government quarantines this money, splits it at the end of every month and pays anyone who earns less than $z/year a top-up to get them to $z/year.

Any overflow is spent on education and public works.

This system has flaws too. You'd want $z to be sufficiently low to encourage people to work.
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#12 Master_Scythe

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 11:40 AM

So if the large company has to pay 1000 retrenched employees and work that into their price, the smaller company can ramp up to 1000 robots while only paying 20 original staff.
You get what I mean?

 

No, not at all.

I'm not talking about paying the ex-staff, I'm talking about paying tax equivalent (after bot cost?) to 50~75% of the ex staffs pay.

 

Government pays dole, from the extra income.


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#13 Cybes

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 02:08 PM

This system has flaws too. You'd want $z to be sufficiently low to encourage people to work.

 

One point, and one question:

P: People are generally already quite motivated to work - it gets them out of the house, makes for a social life, and makes people feel like they're worth something.  Only people who've never been unemployed for long do not understand that.  Being unemployed/unemployable is not a permanent holiday - it's soul-crushing.

Q: What work?  Those people would have no jobs because robots do whatever they're able to do faster and better for nothing but initial purchase.


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#14 Leonid

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:49 PM


So if the large company has to pay 1000 retrenched employees and work that into their price, the smaller company can ramp up to 1000 robots while only paying 20 original staff.
You get what I mean?

 
No, not at all.
I'm not talking about paying the ex-staff, I'm talking about paying tax equivalent (after bot cost?) to 50~75% of the ex staffs pay.
 
Government pays dole, from the extra income.

Oh ok. We were saying the same thing from different PoVs.

Gotcha.

Yeah I agree.


This system has flaws too. You'd want $z to be sufficiently low to encourage people to work.

 
One point, and one question:
P: People are generally already quite motivated to work - it gets them out of the house, makes for a social life, and makes people feel like they're worth something.  Only people who've never been unemployed for long do not understand that.  Being unemployed/unemployable is not a permanent holiday - it's soul-crushing.
Q: What work?  Those people would have no jobs because robots do whatever they're able to do faster and better for nothing but initial purchase.

I think you severely underestimate the resistance of the bogan to work and the already numb brain these people are born with, whereby a day on the couch, is sufficient to keep their soul uncrushed :)

As for your question... I don't think Robots can replace everyone and everything within a generation. The first to go will be manual jobs. Thereafter it may take some time for AI to get sufficiently creative.
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#15 eveln

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 08:03 PM

"As for your question... I don't think Robots can replace everyone and everything within a generation. The first to go will be manual jobs. Thereafter it may take some time for AI to get sufficiently creative."

 

http://www.abc.net.a...asmania/8513992

 

I was just having a peruse of my news feed when lo-and-behold ! I guess doctoring could be considered a manual job ;)


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#16 Cybes

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 09:34 PM

Already robots exist that can hypothesise, formulate and conduct experiments, and document the results. By themselves. They far exceed the mechanical skill of any artist or musician, and whilst they yet lack in creativity that is improving all the time. Surgery is already in their wheelhouse, as is diagnosis. The only reason pilots are still a thing in aviation is inertia - and it comforts luddite passengers.

So, again, what work? And even if only half (instead of 90%) get replaced in the workplace, that's Great Depression-level disruption.

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#17 chrisg

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 07:59 AM

:)

 

For commercial A to B flying probably correct, might be a while before AI equals what a mil pilot does.

 

Not that I really care too much, I've been retired longer than most of today's hotshots have been alive :)

 

Cheers


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#18 Leonid

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:05 AM

Already robots exist that can hypothesise, formulate and conduct experiments, and document the results. By themselves. They far exceed the mechanical skill of any artist or musician, and whilst they yet lack in creativity that is improving all the time. Surgery is already in their wheelhouse, as is diagnosis. The only reason pilots are still a thing in aviation is inertia - and it comforts luddite passengers.

So, again, what work? And even if only half (instead of 90%) get replaced in the workplace, that's Great Depression-level disruption.


As you said, creativity is lacking. It's why even though there are robots which do diagnoses and even surgery, they are always paired with humans for verification purposes.
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#19 Cybes

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 08:18 AM

As you said, creativity is lacking. It's why even though there are robots which do diagnoses and even surgery, they are always paired with humans for verification purposes.


Given that you just finished arguing that the economy IS (present tense) infinite because the universe contains potentially infinite material that we can potentially harvest over "inifite" time, you seem to be doing a spectacularly bad job of projecting the stunningly obvious and rapid improvement in that field. Considering that until only 2 years ago, no computer system could display any creativity at all, and now they can achieve results on par with a commercial artist (eg: paint a sunset scene in the style of Rubens, from the text description "a lighthouse at sunset", then again in the style of Picasso), I'd hazard a rough guess that actual sentience or no they're going to be superior at it within the decade.

"Reality does not care what you think." - Dr Richard Feynman
"Ideas do not deserve respect.- people do." - Peter Boghossian (paraphrase)


#20 Leonid

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 12:56 PM

I'm not saying it won't happen.

I'm saying I don't think it'll happen over the next generation or two.

Essentially, to get to that level, I believe we'll need AI that can design dryer AI, similar how we used the first hand-soldered processors to design their successors.

dryer = newer/next-gen
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"If liberty means anything, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." - George Orwell




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