End of Humanity?

AI/Robotics – Is the End of Humanity Coming ?

A continued discussion

Exactly who is the “we” in this that as any money to spend in these stores???

[followed by]

That wasn’t what I meant FOS.

I was more asking, in an age when all jobs are automated – who is it that actually has the money to spend in stores?
How do “we” get money, when all the work “we” get paid to do now is done automatically?
Who is the group of people that will be able to shop in such a world?

What does money mean in such a world?
How useful an idea is money – really?

[followed by]

Hi OM and FOS,

@OM – I might be looking a little further ahead than you OM.
And I am confident, beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, that in the sense yu most probably mean you are wrong on your assertion “There will always be scarce things, and money will always be a desire as a universal medium of exchange”.

Robin Hanson and I disagree about many things, but not about the fundamental trends he has (and many others have) identified. On current double exponential trends, machines that can everything (and I mean every thing) a human can do will (in current market terms) cost under $1,000 within 15 years.

Those trends have been stable for over 100 years, through world wars, recessions, influenza epidemics, the lot.

Yes – there will always remain a class of things that are genuinely scarce in a sense, in the sense of particulars.

There will only ever be the set of paintings that van Gogh actually painted. And there can be an indefinite set of copies accurate to the molecular level – that no human or mechanical sensor could distinguish.

Similarly, one individual can provide a certain service, and that is a limited thing, but as soon as that service is observed with a sufficient level of sensory systems, it can be replicated (and one can abstract that to any level of complexity one chooses).

Automated stores aren’t there yet, but in the double exponential trend line that has been detectable since the 1872 Census, through the 1890 USA census, and on to today. The rate of increase has increased.

This started to seem likely to me around 1974, by 1981 I was beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt.


I am actually relying on the self interest of those elites to use the best tools available to se that their best long term security interests lie in actually delivering abundance to everyone. It is a change from how they have done things in the past, and it is actually far more secure.

And right now I have lots of on the ground more mundane issues I need to deal with, resulting from a 7.8 earthquake.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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