Can Demonetization Help Boost Living Standard While Erasing Poverty At The Same Time?

Is it possible that in the near future almost everything will be demonetized?  Just recently I’d read a TheVerge headline “GM will make an autonomous car without steering wheel or pedals by 2019” which suggests automation in the auto industry is actually speeding up as we speak.  If this is “gonna” happen, it will be a fun ride for everyone in this industry to figure out how they will adjust to such a change.  Could demonetization come sooner for the auto industry?

Imagine, the cost of owning a car associated with the costs of related industries such as insurance may add up more than just owning a self-driving car.  If this is the case, then a self-driving car can actually help bring down the costs of having to own a car.  It seems if we can automate car driving, why not every other mode of transportation?  Such ambition may drive and demonetize the costs of almost every mode of transportation that will be available in the near future.

I was just recently pulled over by the police for crossing a green light when another car also was trying to cross the intersection.  It was a weird thing for me.  Near the highway, there is a small opening which divides the left turn section that leads out to the main highway.  The light is green, but the traffic got stuck ahead of me.  I stopped at the green light to leave an opening for the other car to drive through, but this car couldn’t or wouldn’t want to drive through.

The traffic ahead suddenly moved forward and so I’d decide to either hold up the rest of the traffic behind me while the light is green so this one car could go through eventually or just move forward so the traffic from behind me could flow forward.  Unfortunately, this car seemed to be doing nothing as the traffic behind me on the right kept on moving forward as the light is green.  So I decided to move forward onto the main highway in my left-turn lane so I wouldn’t hold back the traffic behind me.  Unfortunately, a police car behind me pulled me over for doing I thought what would be best.  In the end, I told him I didn’t know what to do in such a scenario, and so the police just gave me a verbal warning.

I was lucky to not get a huge traffic ticket bill for the incident.  While driving back home I revisited the GM self-driving car announcement for 2019 in my head, and from within I knew I couldn’t wait for this whole self-driving car to become a reality.  Basically, I think the self-driving car could help clear me in such situation immediately.  Imagine the reaction of the police when they pull you over because your self-driving car got no steering wheel.

If they write a ticket, would it be billed to GM or to the insurance company?  Will GM provide insurance for the self-driving car or you have to buy one even though you won’t be driving the car yourself?  One thing for sure though, when the self-driving car makes mistakes, you know for sure you aren’t responsible for the mistakes.  In my earlier scenario, I guess the police wouldn’t even care to give out a verbal warning if the self-driving car was making the decision right?  Or the police can just write a citation to GM so GM would tweak their self-driving car software better, right?

As the video above suggests that demonetization for almost everything might become the reality of the future as more things are going to be evermore abundant as long we know how to generate energy near zero cost and whatnot.  The efficiency of renewable energy is going to be a very important factor in helping a futuristic demonetization society.

Furthermore, if demonetization isn’t in a future deck of cards, then we may see a lot of troubles ahead.  How come?  Imagine more automation can only be sped up as we speak because of competition from China and other countries that got a lot of demands for keeping their industries stay competitive.  The chain reaction of speeding up automation from abroad may greatly speed up automation at home.  The widespread of automation will speed up in taking out the human element in the workforce as time rolls on.  As more humans lose jobs to AI robots and other AI machines, I think demonetization will help us somewhat solve the problem of poverty as joblessness may become a widespread problem in the future.

Advertisements

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.

Will There Be A Day That We Can Say POVERTY IS NO MORE?

Picture of siblings living in extreme poverty ...

Picture of siblings living in extreme poverty in El Salvador. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although the “Poor Us:  an animated history – Why Poverty?” video which I embedded in this post doesn’t have an answer which can address poverty of the world, it certainly does heighten the awareness of an interesting topic which seems to never be out of sight and out of mind of earthly citizens since the dawn of time.  The video cherry picked few well known historic events and myths to narrate the story of historic poverties.  It also touched on few near contemporary historic poverty events.  It does not actually providing enough insight into why we humans could not get rid of poverty, but it’s understandable since we humans could not find out how to get rid of poverty once and for all yet.  Nonetheless, it does raise a point in that it recognizes many people since the historic pasts have been knowingly acknowledged the idealism of — if everyone is rich, nobody would want to do the dirty works.  Is it an ideal to hold dear to heart by us?  I certainly hope not, because this ideal is so readily promoting that fews should rule and the rest should toil away as slaves.  I think, instead of holding this ideal dearly to heart, one must strive on to find a real solution to poverty even if there isn’t one, and only by doing this the world would be a much nicer home for us all.

As technology advances faster than I could dream, here come the ideal of having machines to do the humans’ dirty works.  Will this address poverty as the human timeline moves ahead?  Then there is a very real problem at hand, and this problem is not going to be easy to swallow.  Which?  I’m talking about the explosion of populations around the world.

China is implementing one child policy still, but the government there is having a second thought about this policy as its society is now facing the problem of having more men than women, in term of population wise in correlation with the stability of a society.  Everywhere else is living a higher standard than the historic pasts for healthcare had improved greatly, therefore peoples’ lifespan is now much much better.  In short, the world that we know today has a population that is much much larger than any population of the pasts.  The kick is that as we move ahead into the future, the world is striving to have even bigger population.  It is easy to understand why this is so!  It is so, because today living standard is not going to suddenly slip back into the medieval living standard (i.e., living standard of medieval period).  Of course, I did disregard about the possibility of having the world going insane, did I?  Such insanity would be another world war (i.e., nuclear war) and the likes.  Such insanity might destabilize the current growth rate of the world population, but it certainly will never be a solution to extreme poverty.  In fact, if such insanity and the likes to occur on our future timeline, only stricken griefs and poverty can be seen even more at large, around the world.  So don’t even bet on such insanity, OK?

My point is that, although living standard of today is higher, but poverty is still too real to ignore.  Perhaps, higher living standard might make life a lot harder for people who are living in extreme poverty?  You know, the saying goes that if you’re a millionaire, you might as well spend like a millionaire… I think higher living standard might put some strains on the people who are living in stricken poverty.

Another point I want to make is that as technology improves to the point that everything can be automated, machines might make humans become jobless bunches.  When there is a will there is a strength to deploy machines to do human works.  After all, efficiencies must be met and cost saving strategies must be carried out in order for any business to make bigger profits, right?  As the rate of growth of world population explodes, I think the advancing of technological automatons might become the double edge sword — it cuts to kill and it also slices to feed.

Please enjoy the “Poor Us:  an animated history – Why Poverty?” video right after the break.

Somewhere In The World: Greece Economic Crisis Worsening? How About Europe?

What about Europe as a whole?