Can basic income and good karma/credit system provide a way to cope with AI’s automation?

In 2017, a lot people and various parts of different countries are talking and experimenting with basic income.  Automation — comes naturally and intelligently through artificial intelligence — is the new thing that has gotten people worried.  Some people argue that AI’s automation will replace human beings with robots/programs in all sorts of jobs.  Dumb automation probably has already replaced humans in many cumbersome, repetitive jobs/functions.  Intelligent machines/programs through AI can probably replace many white collar jobs already.  When too many people are out of work, this could become a huge bother for many powerful people who carry important positions in our society.  Displaced people would want to be able to survive and strive in a society in which they’re no longer productive, but this could mean standing up against the factory owners, corporations, and even the governments.  If not careful, a world of full automation could mean a bloody revolution.  Thus, basic income becomes an urgent question for many leaders in any country in our time.

Nonetheless, in the West, we have a thing that was being taught since the fall of Soviet Union is that communism has failed utterly.  We look at China as if Chinese communistic society is the new capitalist society.  How can basic income fit into a Western society in which communism has been taught to be disgusted upon?  After all, basic income is about rationing, splitting equal income for everyone in a single society.  Isn’t communism is also about rationing and splitting equal things for a community, a society, and in biggest case a country?  I guess, we could argue a mix of basic income with capitalistic values won’t lead to new communism, but it could morph into an entirely different beast.  I guess we should ask, can a strong supportive basic income be an uplifting element for the despondent citizens?  I guess we should consider the humming capitalistic tunes of the middle class in this situation.  Can basic income give the despondent ones a chance to reach the middle and eventually the upper classes within this beastly creation?

Perhaps, basic income may not be the only solution.  Perhaps, we require many more parts of a larger, more creative solution in order for us to tackle the AI’s automation revolution.  Imagine in a society in which doing good things promotes good karma, and this karma translates into real monetary credits.  Can this route take us to a Nirvana?  Basic income to support a crumpling foundation, and on the top of this reparable foundation we decorate it with good karma.  The double edge sword of a good karma/credit system is that the implementation of punishments, punishing the good people who have bad karma/credits.  Then the question should be asked such as what could be the punishments for the people who have bad karma/credits?  This won’t be a good thing if new harsh punishments are there to wreck havoc in lives of good citizens.  It could literally lead to a society in which looks very much like a Nazi one.  Perhaps, karma/credit system should be used for the implementation of a positive, credit/monetary system only and not much more, and no punishment should come along with this very system.  This way, good folks won’t be affected by stupid punishments.  Just imagine good karma/credit system provides even more basic income on the top of the basic income?

I couldn’t let this go. Imagine a society in which isn’t too different from a fantastical Star Trek’s one, because a replicator alone could conjure any item out of the thin air.  Perhaps, a replicator could replace basic income and money and credits altogether?  If such a society and technology exist, this could mean the end of being desperate in a more intelligent universe.  Perhaps, if this to occur, people won’t have the need for ancient money/credit system, because a replicator alone could conjure up anything.  It’s magical.  Anyhow, the summation of all is that an interesting time is upon us, and AI’s automation may be replacing us humans in all sorts of jobs.  The old system isn’t providing an answer to how to create new jobs in an AI universe.  A jobless society would be very different in nature, because people need money to survive.  Without providing jobs to a hungry population, a society could face an upheaval of all sorts.  Can basic income and good karma/credit system provide a way to cope with AI’s automation?

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Automation Will Speed Up For Greater Efficiency, People Will Lose Even More Jobs

In the past, the rise of industrialization produced new jobs and discarded the old ones.  With industrialization came new technologies and so forth, thus new civilizations evolved and destroyed the old ones.  People became more urbanized eventually, and the old ways were mostly discarded.  Factories sprang into the existence and assembly lines produced things en masse.  Jobs were abundant for the industrialization was young and healthy.  Industrialization was one of the main catalysts in which out-of-date jobs disappeared en masse.

We don’t really have to know the details of how industrialization of the past could build a civilization of today, because what we’re seeing are real.  Furthermore, China has reinforced the notion of industrialization miracle by using this phenomenon so effectively in which industrialization plus urbanization has brought at least 600 million Chinese people out of poverty.  China is now harboring the largest middle class that the world has ever known.

For India, she is looking at China with bewilderment, because she too has a huge population which will surpass China’s 1.3 billion head count, and yet her industrialization isn’t yet fully developed.  The problem is that something is lurking in time in which even industrialization will soon become the thing of the past.  By then even industrialization will not be able to help India to catch up with China.

What is lurking in time which will eclipse industrialization?  In my opinion, it’s automation.  It’s so simple to see why automation will turn industrialization into nothing more but a tale of history.  As of now, we know industrialization as the catalyst for the rise of modern humans, because it has produced untold amount of jobs and products and in turn pushing human population into new height.  Very soon though, automation will put so many people out of menial and even creative jobs, because so many things will be able to be automated with great efficiency.

Efficiency is the key to a future, because automation will be so efficient in which even more products will be able to be produced.  Unfortunately, people will not be a part of this new enlightenment, because the production will become automation.  Automation does not need human inputs.  I surmise in the early stage of automation, some human inputs will be needed.  When the efficiency of automation becomes fully transpired, human inputs will merely be needed.

Imagine how this future will unfold.  Let’s be simple and take a look at things that are closer to home.  Automation will put truck drivers, taxi drivers, pilots, construction workers, manufacturing workers, programmers, engineers, and even musicians out of job.  It’s simple to see self-driving car technology will be able to replace jobs that require human drivers.  It’s simple to see self-flying plane technology will be able to replace jobs that require pilots.  It’s simple to see the construction process of any building in the future will become evermore automated such as 3D printing machine technology for construction process, thus less construction workers will be needed.  It’s simple to see manufacturing workers will be replaced by machines, because machines don’t demand wages.  Artificial intelligence will be able to replace programmers, engineers, and musician, because the smarter artificial intelligence gets the less human inputs are needed in these jobs.

I bet China and elsewhere in the world are looking toward this automation trend, because these places are already being industrialized.  The next logical step for them is to go automation for even more efficient future.  Unfortunate for India, if she isn’t industrialized fast enough, she may have to face a future in which the world is going full speed ahead for automation.  In the automation world, companies don’t need cheap labor jobs, but these companies can purchase cheap machines to build products.  India will find herself to be vulnerable in such a future for sure.  Besides India, I think anywhere in the world will see automation as a challenge, because automation means less jobs for everybody.

You can argue automation will also create new jobs, but we have to remember that the number of jobs that automation needs won’t be able to replace untold amount of jobs the world needs.  For an example, a manufacturer plant’s automation may require one or two skill engineers to reprogram the automation process, but thousands of employees will be fired for machines are the only answer for automation.  This whole automation thing reminds me of “The Matrix” very much.  The movie “The Matrix” first came out for entertainment, but we may never know it might just be so prophetic in the future.

In summary, automation will give India and China so much pain, because the population sizes of these two countries are so huge.  Huge population means more jobs are needed, but automation will replace so many jobs that huge population may have to cry for mercy.  China will fare better than India if automation is to speed up, because China has the surplus of money, infrastructure, and so on to help her population cope with automation.  India will not fare very well in the automation world, because she is still trying to industrialize her way out of poverty.  In a world where machines replace humans, I think India won’t be able to fully industrialize.  Check out the video right after the break to find more on why India could be in so much pain when automation comes knocking.

When Robots Are The Real Employees, What Will Be Of Humankind?

Recently, I came across an article with the headline Building work starts on first all-robot manufacturing plant in China’s Dongguan by scmp.com (South China Morning Post), and since then I have been thinking to myself the implication of this development for a future in which I’m going to be around, still.  To speak the truth, I don’t want to pretend that I’m a somebody and having a stake in this development at all, because I’m a puny human being with insignificant footprint on this earth.  Nonetheless, I’m a curious human being at the same time, and so I like to scratch an itch which contributes to me being noisy (not nosy, but maybe…).

I can’t help but wonder the state of a future in which human beings are going to delegate most jobs to robots.  To tell the truth, this would be a heavenly condition for some people, but this implication for most people would be rather scary.  The implication of losing jobs to robots will be scary since you can only get angry at the company/corporate that employs robots only, because robots have no emotion, whatsoever, to care for your well being at all (i.e., humanity’s well being).  If you throw in the smart robots that have stellar artificial intelligence, even these guys are not made of blood and sweat and probably taking commands from the company/corporate to the letter unless the robots decide to dominate us humankind.

When robots get to the level that they can feel, think, and empathize even though in reality they are manufactured by us humans, I bet humans will have laws that prevent robots from being destroyed by a human being.  To destroy such a smart, near humanlike being is like murdering a sentient being.  If this scenario becomes real at a point in the future, what will humans do when protesting against robots for taking humankind jobs?  Perhaps, by then, the humankind will have to face two dilemmas, one of the dilemmas is the human traitors who only think of profits and the other dilemma is the robots who consider to have sentient rights.

Perhaps, I have overly fantasized the scenario in which robots rule over humans, but in near term it’s no less scary to see stupid robots take away human jobs.  Will humans be able to cope with massive layoffs around the world?  Will humans be able to cope with poverty when losing jobs to stupid robots?  What will be the future political system for a country if robots get to work and humans get to live in poverty?  Will there be a system in place to ensure humans stay above the poverty line when robots become more productive than human beings?

Imagine in a zoo where bananas keep popping out of thin air, the monkeys don’t really have to go pick bananas off the banana trees themselves.  If this scenario is real for the monkeys, these monkeys have few choices in this zoo.  One of the choices may be that the monkeys would become really fat and lazy, because the monkeys don’t need to get sweaty for picking the bananas.  Another choice may be that the monkeys become more productive in other areas since they don’t have to worry about gathering bananas anymore.  Perhaps, the monkeys would get sweaty for picking other foods other than bananas for spicing up their meals since bananas could be obtained from thin air?  The question is if the robots produce everything humans need, is it necessary for the humans to slave away like robots?  The fear is that humans might get lazy and fat, and one day robots or whatever will discard the stupid, fat, lazy humans.  If the humans get smarter and be more productive since making a living is no longer a requirement for there are robots that fill this role, then I guess this is a positive thing to have going.

If companies all over China decide to install robots and fire off human employees, I think companies in China will be able to generate bigger profits and outcompete non-Chinese companies.  Robots might not need to be maintained that often, but these robots can slave away without asking for higher wages.  Chinese companies can attain gigantic saving by cutting away the costly, sentient wages.  By investing the savings into cutting edge research and development programs, Chinese companies can outcompete not only in pure manufacturing process but also in innovation arena.  Since China is known as a manufacturing hub for the world, other countries may as well install robots-only-factories to compete against China.  This will lead the whole world into a vicious cycle of laying off the less productive, high cost human employees.  Even though it’s only one company in China is doing this right now, how do we know this won’t be the prefer solution for our near future when it comes down to hiring (i.e., hiring robots and firing human employees)?

Besides other scary calamities that may occur in our near future, us humans may have to face a future in which robots will slave away for some human masters.  Not all humans can master over robots since it will take money to produce and configure an army of robots to slave on whatever.  If that isn’t enough, artificial intelligence might get smart enough to become the master of the humans.  Of course, robots as master over humans scenario is still in the realm of science fiction.  The question is will such a scenario be possible?  In my opinion, you can never say never to anything!  Nonetheless, since this topic has gotten catapulted into an out of this world stratosphere, I think it’s also possible to imagine that humans may utilize technology to implant hardware that can improve human software (e.g., human brain, strength, sight, hearing, etc…).  Perhaps, this will be the alternative path for humans to compete against highly intelligent, sentient robots.

In summary, we are witnessing a near future in which robotics can become the main workforce and the human employees might not be able to find jobs in this sort of workforce.  As human populations around the world continue to grow in leaps and bounds, what will happen to us all when the robots take jobs away from us human beings?  I have a feeling this scenario will come true in a near future, but I just don’t know which path the humans will take in such a future.  A path to destruction or a path to salvation?  Personally, I sure hope us humans will be more productive in an environment in which robots become the main workforce.  Assuming, us humans are smarter than the monkeys in a zoo with magical bananas that I had described earlier in this blog post.