Bill Gates Is Not Scared of Artificial Intelligence. He Should Be.


I hear they're working on automatic knitting machines now. We're all doomed.
I'm not sad about the loss of coal industry jobs. Nobody should be touching the coal. Leave it there, in the ground. The level of technology and automation we have has no bearing on whether we choose to be selfish libertarian pricks or to help each other. Hunter gatherers can either leave an injured person to die or they can help them as best they can. Twenty first century technowiz-autofellators can either leave laid off coal miners to die, or we can help them as best we can. The technology doesn't change that. If anything, it makes helping others all the easier.

The whole "A.I. will kill us all" panic includes one important point: there is fuck all we can do about it.

Everyone who thinks a strong AI singularity will mean the extinction of our species as we know it also insists that it is absolutely inevitable. Aside from being an unfalsifiable prediction, it is, by its own admission, useless. Whether you believe the prediction or not, it will still happen. If the prediction is false, and you never believed it, then at least you never wasted any of your time on it. If anything, we're under threat from ignoring problems we can do something about while we jack ourselves off worrying about AI.
I'm always amazed that people think this massive revolution in our society won't come with some political realignments. We got the 40 hour work week, social security, et al from the industrial revolution, and the AI revolution will bring it's own set of changing human conditions. Take a chill pill.

We've had those. For decades.
Centuries, actually.
Bill Gates was never very good at prognosticating.

Katie, you should be cheering for the robots. Most of the lost jobs will be those traditionally occupied by men. And you're forgetting that robots will also take over traditionally male domestic roles: providing safety and security, opening jars, setting up the internet, and drinking too much.

And the robots will do these jobs far better than any man ever did, making men for all intents and purposes obsolete. When you consider that medical science will allow us to choose the genders of our children, within a few generations you'll have an all-female robot-enabled feminist utopia.
@6 nice prediction but why in the world do you think anyone would choose baby girls over boys?
And yet there are thousands of young people flooding into Seattle, and apparently getting paid to do something or other once they arrive. Curious!

Perhaps The Stranger should send a reporter or two out, and find out what all these youngsters are up to in all those new office buildings downtown?
If you can't be bothered to read End of Work, at least watch an episode of the Jetsons.

This is a social and economic problem, not some terrible end of society. Automation frees labor from doing menial tasks and gives them more free time to do other things - or if we choose to consume more stuff and work the same number of hours. The current problem is that all of that wealth from productivity goes to the top, and we should fix that. But automation is creating real wealth that benefits mankind.

Want a 4 hour work day? Or how about a 2 day work week? It's in our power to get there, if we have the political will to arrange our society that way.

PS. I might argue that compared to pre-industrial-revolution, we're already there. You surely could buy more with a 4-hr day at a median wage modern job than you ever could with a long hour pre-industrial median wage job. We just choose to work 8+ hours because we like goods and services.
@kherzog: why in the world do you think anyone would choose baby girls over boys

See the previous sentence. Why bring a boy into a world where robots make better men than men, and without all the awful baggage?
balls have zero to me to me to me…
Uninformed human beings think in such remedial, three-dimensional terms. If they didnt there would be no such thing as “Cyber Monday”, “Black Friday” or “Amazon Prime Day”. Human beings ARE the robots - for now.