I’m reading at least 4 books right now, only one of which is fiction. My problem is I just don’t have time and there are so many interesting things to do. Anyway, I have mentioned Future Smart before in conjunction with the author’s envisioned future for money. But the author also talks about – surprise, surprise – automation. I’m on chapter 7 where he is touches upon it briefly, and it looks like the topic will be expanded more fully later on in the book. The little he touches upon is very depressing – frankly, he sees total annihilation of jobs.
The pages run from 111 through 112. In these pages, he is not offering any salvation for us humans. Is it because he doesn’t have any answers or is he saving some ideas for later on in the book?
Some selected passages in that section (all emphasis in boldface mine):
“…no less than the revolution in work is coming. You want to think about becoming part of this debate about the future.”
“Business will benefit. Humans will manage these Smart Machines for a time. That is the plan.”
“The ultimate endgame for the Autonomous Economy is autonomy – to run itself, to cure, to fix, program, innovate, invent, regulate, and function independently from humans. We build it and then it builds itself. Self-replication of computing clouds and elegant AIs growing and evolving their own network typologies, evoking neuro-chips and innovations in commerce and sustainability, will vindicate the nervous humans who will feel upstaged by Smart Machines…”
“The Autonomous Economy will run with few, and eventually no, humans, 24/7, completely automated, free of the problems human bring. The cost difference between fully autonomous factory lines and humans and machines is over a 60 to 80 percent difference in favor of the machines.”
“There are other social issues beyond the automation competing with humans for jobs issue that we shall have to deal with that are even more serious. For example, who will these Smart Machines listen to if they are replicating themselves? We will have to keep one eye open when we sleep. Perhaps being Future Smart in the far tomorrow will be to make sure we know where the off button is on our Smart Machines.”
These words about our dystopian future are in chapter 7. Chapters 10 and 11 will talk about robots/smart machines and jobs. Hopefully, he will have a more positive outlook on our future. He has been relentlessly upbeat about how wealth will grow and everyone will gain, but chapter 7 is unusually foreboding. I’m hoping in chapters 10 and 11 he will be enlightening us on the way forward.
Related to this topic of robots, I read elsewhere something about humans having sex with robots. Huh? That doesn’t sound very appealing. Ugh!
[divider]On that note, have sweet dreams about the future.[/divider]