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A.I. and the fear of Middle America


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I am a big fan of technological advancement and welcome it to better my job however there will be a major change in society as Artificial Intelligence will take more and more jobs.

I watched a very good documentary is called In the Age of AI on PBS, I highly recommended it.

At the end I understood how Trump realized that the biggest fear of Middle America is job loss and people are afraid. He knew what to say and towards who to say to win, even though the idea of bringing jobs back is such an unknown, the main issue here is not really outsourcing, is AI. Even if you hate Trump, I mean if you were living in Middle America and you are out of a job with a family to provide for would you not vote for someone that assures you that will be ok ? 

Anyone that had generations and generations of people working in factories, truck drivers will be replaced by machines and so on. Millions of people will be left uncertain to provide for their family. Is basic income a solution ? 

What are your predictions regarding the impact that AI will have in our society, from politics to our every day life ?

I will start by answering by saying: I don't agree at all with the basic income idea, it was the same idea in communism it breaks the desire of the human being to succeed, the individual should be encouraged to change, government should focus on training programs and you know sometimes a little fear and insecurity can push you to succeed. I am on the positive side with this one, in the long run technology will benefit us however we should definitely brace for some social disruption. and more populism from both sides.

 

Edited by Independent1986
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42 minutes ago, Independent1986 said:

What are your predictions regarding the impact that AI will have in our society, from politics to our every day life ?

I will start by answering by saying: I don't agree at all with the basic income idea, it was the same idea in communism it breaks the desire of the human being to succeed, the individual should be encouraged to change, government should focus on training programs and you know sometimes a little fear and insecurity can push you to succeed. I am on the positive side with this one, in the long run technology will benefit us however we should definitely brace for some social disruption. and more populism from both sides.

 

Well, given what you disagree with I expect AI will be programmed to be utterly disgusted at the thought of people getting free stuff so we should brace for something like an attack from Skynet being turned into copper-tops or simply being rendered down into lube for the AI's moving parts. It'll probably be something like the scoops from Soylent Green that are used to harvest slackers or maybe something like the tripods from War of the Worlds.

Edited by eyeball
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8 hours ago, eyeball said:

Well, given what you disagree with I expect AI will be programmed to be utterly disgusted at the thought of people getting free stuff so we should brace for something like an attack from Skynet being turned into copper-tops or simply being rendered down into lube for the AI's moving parts. It'll probably be something like the scoops from Soylent Green that are used to harvest slackers or maybe something like the tripods from War of the Worlds.

Morning,

It works better when you disagree with someone, if you consider yourself rational maybe engage with facts rather than highschool sarcasm. I am not like yourself, I am open to opposing ideas, that's the root of progress.

Politics is like we are blind in a room and is a big table there. Some people touch different sides of the table. If we don't talk to each other how can we get the full picture ? Some people touch only one side and think they got the full picture, right.

Edited by Independent1986
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AI is already being developed, and used, as a weapon. It is used to aid marketing and to suggest strategies for manipulating or "swaying" public opinion on issues the State wants to keep in their control. I don't even have to google that. Technological advancement always stems from a political will to wage war using new and progressive methods. New is unprepared for. New gives you an advantage... first to kill. It's afterward, after it was invented for those reasons we think about how to make good things from it.

Because we are the most fearful and cowardly of all animals ever in creation.
 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Independent1986 said:

At the end I understood how Trump realized that the biggest fear of Middle America is job loss and people are afraid. He knew what to say and towards who to say to win, even though the idea of bringing jobs back is such an unknown, the main issue here is not really outsourcing, is AI. Even if you hate Trump, I mean if you were living in Middle America and you are out of a job with a family to provide for would you not vote for someone that assures you that will be ok ? 

I've long thought that perhaps his greatest moral crime has been to take advantage of the fear, misery and hopelessness of middle America, to give them hope, then laugh at them for suckers. I agree that automation has been the primary destroyer of jobs and lives in middle America - though Trump told them it was foreigners. The simple fact is those big factories which once had thousands of employees now only need perhaps a hundred. Trump claimed America didn't make anything anymore. That was a flat out lie. The US manufacturing sector set all time records that year. But because of automation it needs far fewer workers.

And just as importantly, the jobs in those factories are now knowledge jobs. They can't be easily accessed by walking through the door with a high school diploma and a union card. You need to go to college to know how to work the machines that do the job your dad once did. And because of this, companies prefer to locate such sites near major cities, near major educational institutions. That's why even with a historically low unemployment rate the people in the smaller urban centers were still shortchanged, and getting only minimum wage jobs.

There are some things which can be done about that, such as preferential tax rates to persuade companies to move to smaller centres, and sponsoring apprentice jobs so people can access those jobs, but Trump hasn't shown any indication he's interested in actually DOING anything about it.

13 hours ago, Independent1986 said:

Anyone that had generations and generations of people working in factories, truck drivers will be replaced by machines and so on. Millions of people will be left uncertain to provide for their family. Is basic income a solution ? 

What are your predictions regarding the impact that AI will have in our society, from politics to our every day life ?

I predict government will do nothing about it for as long as possible. Here's the thing. I recall watching a talk by someone, possibly Peterson, about US Army hiring requirements. They had determined that if someone had an IQ below 83 there was nothing useful they could be taught to do in the army. I'm not talking about the intellectually disabled, but those of below average intelligence. That's about 10% of the population. Those people can do routine, fairly unskilled labour - which is exactly the labour which is disappearing and going to be replaced by automated systems. What's to be done with them? They're not going to transition into the 'knowledge economy'. There's nothing they can actually do. And there's going to be a significant number of those who are not that level, but still lack the emotional intelligence and skillset to do anything complicated. We could easily be looking at something like 20-25% of the population as a permanent unemployed underclass. That includes, btw, almost all the refugees we're taking in, few of whom have any skills that match the knowledge economy.

BTW, some very bright people have said that AI is the greatest threat to human existence, including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and, before he died, Stephen Hawking.

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5 hours ago, Independent1986 said:

I am not like yourself, I am open to opposing ideas,

I doubt it. Your core ideas about technology causing everyone to get laid off but sorry no free stuff is as old and tired as this forum.

Quote

Politics is like we are blind in a room and is a big table there. Some people touch different sides of the table. If we don't talk to each other how can we get the full picture ? Some people touch only one side and think they got the full picture, right.

Discussing what politics is like is a mostly useless exercise that goes in endless circles.  What that does is blind us to the more fundamental issue of governance. I've been involved in politics for years and have learned its harder to stab someone in the back when they're sitting across a table from you. That's what smoke-filled back rooms are for.

I'm a big fan of a better life thru technology and getting the full picture too.  I would have started using technology years ago that's been on the shelf for decades to wire up the government in such a manner it could be monitored to an extent it would make Orwell himself blush.

I expect people like you to continue dragging their olde fashioned morality from the darker ages of our species industrial revolution into the future as far as possible and I want to know and hear if politicians and latter day robber barons are discussing things in similar terms behind some closed door.

I'll conclude by saying most people who don't like free stuff think I'm a commie for wanting to outlaw in-camera lobbying. Politics is way more funny than serious.

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14 hours ago, Independent1986 said:

...At the end I understood how Trump realized that the biggest fear of Middle America is job loss and people are afraid. He knew what to say and towards who to say to win, even though the idea of bringing jobs back is such an unknown, the main issue here is not really outsourcing, is AI. Even if you hate Trump, I mean if you were living in Middle America and you are out of a job with a family to provide for would you not vote for someone that assures you that will be ok ?

 

Not necessarily....even with more automation and AI, U.S. unemployment rates plummeted to post WW2 lows across all demographics with Obama and Trump.  The U.S. worker is far more productive and competitive than Canadian workers because of such investment.   Truck driving labour is only part of total supply chain logistics and supporting jobs.   Generational change and displacement are not new to America...quite the opposite.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Argus said:

The simple fact is those big factories which once had thousands of employees now only need perhaps a hundred. Trump claimed America didn't make anything anymore. That was a flat out lie. The US manufacturing sector set all time records that year. But because of automation it needs far fewer workers.

And that is one of the biggest lies of his campaign, but people in their fear believed him, he identified the market which is the middle American, he did a PR Job on his product and people bought it. Can't blame them. I mean if you are doing something for generations and generations and someone mentions change you get afraid and frozen but the key is to embrace this change and take advantage of it. My grandma she is 82 years old and she knows how to use a computer, she learnt it in a few weeks. Of course it will be hard, but embracing change is the key to survival.

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12 minutes ago, Independent1986 said:

And that is one of the biggest lies of his campaign, but people in their fear believed him, he identified the market which is the middle American, he did a PR Job on his product and people bought it. Can't blame them. I mean if you are doing something for generations and generations and someone mentions change you get afraid and frozen but the key is to embrace this change and take advantage of it. My grandma she is 82 years old and she knows how to use a computer, she learnt it in a few weeks. Of course it will be hard, but embracing change is the key to survival.

 

Trump did not lie about the conditions and incentives that drove American jobs and capital offshore, and he took steps to repatriate jobs by removing or changing those incentives.  Capital is flowing back into the United States   (and leaving Canada).

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18 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Trump did not lie about the conditions and incentives that drove American jobs and capital offshore, and he took steps to repatriate jobs by removing or changing those incentives.  Capital is flowing back into the United States   (and leaving Canada).

Trump lied about the reasons for those jobs leaving middle America and has done nothing to help them. Most of the jobs leaving China because of his pressure are going to Vietnam or Thailand or India or Mexico. The knowledge economy is leaving the smaller urban areas in its dust, and no one in government has bothered to do anything about it.

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1 minute ago, Argus said:

Trump lied about the reasons for those jobs leaving middle America and has done nothing to help them. Most of the jobs leaving China because of his pressure are going to Vietnam or Thailand or India or Mexico. The knowledge economy is leaving the smaller urban areas in its dust, and no one in government has bothered to do anything about it.

 

Trump had no control over U.S. tax code or trade agreements before January 2017.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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44 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Not necessarily....even with more automation and AI, U.S. unemployment rates plummeted to post WW2 lows across all demographics with Obama and Trump.  The U.S. worker is far more productive and competitive than Canadian workers because of such investment.   Truck driving labour is only part of total supply chain logistics and supporting jobs.   Generational change and displacement are not new to America...quite the opposite.

 

 

The reason the unemployment number is so low because people are working 2-3 jobs PART TIME jobs. Quantity yes, Quality no. I am willing to compromise that big companies that are laying off workers to assist with the change in career but at the end the individual has to want to adapt to something else, a different career. There is also unemployment to assist.

This idea for everyone to share the benefits from AI forever. Why ? those investors and those companies are paying big money as an investment towards the technology, they are taking a risk and they can also loose.

This communistic idea to share the profit across the board never understood. Let's say we all share when we make profit, sure. But what happens when is the other way around. If the investors and the companies loose, I guess then is their fault only they should deal with it right ?

Edited by Independent1986
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37 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

Not necessarily....even with more automation and AI, U.S. unemployment rates plummeted to post WW2 lows across all demographics with Obama and Trump.

But the good jobs, the jobs with decent pay and benefits have fled the smaller urban centers. What's left behind are minimum wage, low skilled jobs with few or no benefits.

37 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

Truck driving labour is only part of total supply chain logistics and supporting jobs.   Generational change and displacement are not new to America...quite the opposite.

What is new, and has been growing, is the lack of jobs for those who have lower intelligence. AI is exacerbating that. In a few decades there will be few or no retail jobs, no truck driving jobs, no taxis or ubers that aren't self driving. The new jobs require intelligence that a substantial number of people simply will not have.

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5 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Trump had no control over U.S. tax code or trade agreements before January 2017.

He never did anything. He still hasn't. The only changes his government has made to the tax code was to remove the obligation of his estate to pay taxes on his death, lower taxes for corporations, and include real estate developers in a special tax provision which will save his company money. I don't know why you feel this obligation to constantly defend him. You don't see me defending Trudeau, do you? Or Scheer either.

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Just now, Independent1986 said:

The reason the unemployment number is so low because people are working 2-3 jobs PART TIME jobs. Quantity yes, Quality no. I am willing to compromise that big companies that are laying off workers to assist with the change in career but at the end the individual has to want to adapt to something else, a different career. There is also unemployment to assist.

 

The data say otherwise...jobs and wages have grown after years of stagnation.   Trump has also put pressure on cheap immigrant labour that depressed wages for years.

 

ED-AZ014_Moore_16U_20190926102706.jpg

 

 

Quote

This communistic idea to share the profit across the board never understood. Let's say we all share when we make profit, sure. But what happens when is the other way around. If the investors and the companies loose, I guess then is their fault only they should deal with it right ??

 

They already deal with...fortunes are made and bankruptcies are filed.    There is nothing magic about AI along the historical continuum in American history.

American workers are some of the most productive in the world.

 

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16 minutes ago, Argus said:

He never did anything. He still hasn't. The only changes his government has made to the tax code was to remove the obligation of his estate to pay taxes on his death, lower taxes for corporations, and include real estate developers in a special tax provision which will save his company money. I don't know why you feel this obligation to constantly defend him. You don't see me defending Trudeau, do you? Or Scheer either.

 

Trudeau and Scheer are your problem, and are insignificant gnats compared to Trump.

That's why you obsess over him....even hate him (Trump).

Because Trump matters, capable and willing to do the things you say he hasn't done.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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Quantity yes, Quality no. More productivity, hourly compensation is going down because people are working 2-3 part time and that explains for the great unemployment numbers.

The title of this chart: "Workers shut out of productivity", the chart fails to mention that the reason productivity is high is because companies invested a lot of money in the AI technology and it worked out.

 

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Edited by Independent1986
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8 minutes ago, Independent1986 said:

Quantity yes, Quality no. More productivity, hourly compensation is going down because people are working 2-3 part time and that explains for the great unemployment numbers.

 

American workers are far more productive than Canadian workers....long before Trump.

Your graph only goes to 2010.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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3 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

American workers are far more productive than Canadian workers....long before Trump.

I was talking about the quality of the numbers, not the quality of the American workers. I am saying that the unemployment numbers have quantity, are high, however the quality of the part time jobs are not good in terms of pay.

Edited by Independent1986
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Just now, Independent1986 said:

I was talking about the quality of the numbers, not the quality of the American workers. I am saying that the unemployment numbers are good, are high however the quality of the part time jobs are not good.

 

That's a value judgement that people have made for themselves in the new gig economy.   Before the pandemic, there was fierce competition for skilled and unskilled labour positions, with employers cannibalizing each other to find workers.   Foreign nationals (including Canadians) also try to flood the U.S. labour market, which can depress wages....so Trump capped that in several sectors.

 

 

 

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I am not even going to search for another graph. From 2016 to 2020 let's suppose Trump did something to change the situation it will not make a difference because from 2010 to 2020 the advance in AI increased the productivity as well by way more. 

Edited by Independent1986
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11 minutes ago, Argus said:

What is new, and has been growing, is the lack of jobs for those who have lower intelligence. 

Intellectuals concerned over people with lower intelligence and what to do about them is nothing new.  

What happens when AI keeps getting smarter and eventually leaves intellectuals behind?  Will it obsess over the apparent immorality of people living off its tit for free? Will it wax eloquently in forums like this about the need for billions of unemployed humans to continue sharpening their pencils and rolling up their sleeves if they ever expect to get ahead?

I guess I'm wondering what sort of qualities and values AI will use to judge our justification for existing? Will our betters program these in or will AI just be left to figure this out on its own?  I often think I'd rather take a chance on the latter to tell you the truth. 

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1 minute ago, Independent1986 said:

I am not even going to search for another graph. From 2016 to 2020 let's suppose Trump did something to change the situation it will not make a difference because from 2010 to 2020 the advance in deep learning and AI increased the productivity as well by way more. 

 

That's a good thing, because workers are still more productive, which matters for global competitiveness.     Canada has lacked similar investment levels for automation and AI and has fallen behind.    I have never needed to seek employment in Canada, but I have worked with many Canadians who could not find work back home (Information Technology).

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1 hour ago, Argus said:

But the good jobs, the jobs with decent pay and benefits have fled the smaller urban centers. What's left behind are minimum wage, low skilled jobs with few or no benefits.

What is new, and has been growing, is the lack of jobs for those who have lower intelligence. AI is exacerbating that. In a few decades there will be few or no retail jobs, no truck driving jobs, no taxis or ubers that aren't self driving. The new jobs require intelligence that a substantial number of people simply will not have.

You discounted the huge role which Entrepreneurs/Proprietors play, in the unemployment rate and jobs' frontiers?

The Internet as a business tool/platform has allowed for an unprecedented amount of workers to leave the workforce as, employees, in order to become business owners.  I don't see where your analysis accounted for that.

Edited by Tdot
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