We have noticed it a couple of years back, when the Nintendo Wii was introduced, that it is now a matter of time before algorithms will control much of our industry. The fact you can sense the posture of a person means you can record how long and when a person is in a specific posture. This means you can see if someone is stacking boxes or not, if someone is next to someone else talking or not etc. Build a simple feedback loop with some audio commands “Get back to work!” and you have an autonomous slavedriver.
The trap our economy creates is that we lack empathy for other people because we don’t see their suffering or effort. We see products, and the product just appears in our reality out of nowhere (or we like to think it does). Anything that happened before the product arrived we don’t know about, we can’t care about and we are not invited to care much about. On the other side a person looks at our wallet, thinks “ah, there’s money in there I could have” and tries to take it as if we have no other plans with it. From that side too there is blindness created by the economic risk taken (running a business). This means in terms of protection of humanity our society is infested with a dangerous visitor : economics. Economics itself is an AI that mesmerizes us and uses our brains and senses as its substrate.
Economics and the mental islands it creates inspires blind exploitation of the opportunity to make profit, even if it means using AI and robots. Of course we all know we use methods to measure and optimize performance in every part of industry. Even we ourselves constantly look for ways to make it easier to do chores. This can be an improvement, because humans are easily distracted and skills vary, but it can also create risks if we hand our lives over to algorithms.
“The big caveat here is we need ethical oversight of this,” she says. “If you have AI being the boss, a piece of software with decision-making ability, that for me is extremely worrying, and I think it could lead to quite a dystopian future (Shivvy Jervis).
The question is not what would happen if we do this, its happening. Your purchasing is guided by marketing, Netflix programs your imagination, banks restrict your movements and you throw all your social info (your motivators) online for everyone to mine and analyse. The question is how do we get out of this? Because there is no real reason to be super efficient robots or worker drones in offices other than to support cashflow in an economy that exists only for banks and fossil fuel companies (you should read our stuff about carboncredit).
Our economy is so damaging to the planet because it’s a bonfire of fossil fuel facilitated by banks getting rich of making it happen. Economics is the philosophy that has been tweaked for maximum fossil credit cashflow and Roboeconomics is nothing like it! In short, if we automate our every day existence including what we focus on at work and how we go about doing our job, then we will do that forced by banks and the fossil industry. All the while we could take an easier route towards offloading tedious tasks if our economy was based on renewables, because then there would be no forcing factor from first owners (of fossil fuels) to sell their product (oil).
In the fossil credit economy people compete with machines for the same resource : fossil energy. People are waay less productive, so the economy does not desire too much of them.
It is clear from almost every big country’s energy policy that the energy sources are what controls states. With renewables this control will shift more locally, and this means the need for optimization of use of humans is no longer there. Only if you have to manage with dwindling fossil resources and want to cling on to power you promote AI control of people, this is because people are useless compared to industrial machines, yet they consume an exorbitant amount of fossil energy you’d rather put in making more stuff. In short the economy doesn’t like people, it likes consumers and it will optimize the nr of consumers to maximize profit.
The answer is not to hate the rich or automation, but to start detaching from the fossil credit economy. They way to do that is to start by generating energy on your own, with your own home, city, region. This will mean production of goods and services will become cheaper for local producers, take for instance a pizza place that generates its own energy to bake pizza’s, that will cut the cost.
The secret weapon of companies like Starbucks and Uber is endless credit. They can lose money for decades because the banks financing them are big enough and their control over investors large enough. They in fact create a little ecosystem for desired consumers to exist in, checking iphone messages in Starbucks with your branded clothes etc. etc. Its not that its bad, its just an island of comfort specially created as if the rest of the world doesn’t exist. By doing stuff more locally you drain cashflow from the economic system and gain experience and control over your life and local society.
The mistake often made, or forced upon independent initatives is to make it cumbersome, ugly, disgusting. Who does that? Those that like the system and will infiltrate your organization to sabotage it. So make things beautifull and attractive, promote it with beauty and style, make it cool and easy to use. There is no monopoly of Silicon Valley on anything, not even Silicon. There is no reason why industry should be the only ones automating to fortify their dominant position over humanity. You and the people in your region can band together and grow the local economy, with local energy and locally developed robots and automation (of you can’t source them elsewhere or banks don’t help out). That future is better than the one designed for you by Wall Street and fossil credit banks.