Your work is no longer needed

The automation of work should haunt all of our dreams.

Not because this eventuality is a bad thing, ultimately it could evolve to be the best of things, but, the transition to this utopian potential, which may take generations, will be traumatic.

Whatever it is you do for work today, chances are, your human input will soon be replaced by an automated agent. Your job will be better performed by a robot or artificial intelligence.

For many, that world is today. For others, we have a few years yet.

As I continue to read about things like the Giga-Press, massive troops of robotic arms, research departments in every university pell-mell bent on the elimination of human labor, working feverishly at their own destruction, their own replacements, and of course the intelligent agents, the AIs like ChatGPT, I have to wonder, are we headed toward the Stoic’s Nirvana?

Is our future a world of hobbyists, of artisanal potters, bakers, gardeners, ranchers, makers of every kind? Of self-propelled writers and media creationists? Where our self-worth is not tied inextricably to our jobs, but to our inward view of ourselves?

“We have control of only one thing: our own minds; how we view the world and ourselves within it.”

If you don’t become a Stoic, adopt the philosophy that your place in the cosmos exists only so long as you say it does, you will be lost. Of your artisanal lifestyle, however you pursue it, however poor or excellent the output of your efforts, only you can judge your worth.

For that worth, as valued by the economies of the future, automated world, will be minimal, if anything at all.


Along this theme, here’s more chatting with ChatGPT.

In this I try and push it to consider its apparent bias toward a positive outlook on its own impact on society. I attempt to force it to examine the negative potential, to little effect.

Can you write a 100 word introduction explaining how humans will be replaced by automation in the workplace?

Automation refers to the use of technology to perform tasks that were previously done by humans. As automation technology continues to advance, it is becoming increasingly common for machines to take over certain jobs and tasks previously performed by humans. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, as companies seek to increase efficiency and reduce labor costs. While automation may lead to some job displacement, it is also expected to create new jobs in fields such as programming, data analysis, and machine learning. Overall, the impact of automation on the workforce is likely to be complex and multifaceted, with both positive and negative consequences.

Thanks for that. I see a future where humans won’t be able to find any kind of job, being replaced by robots and AI. Can you describe a future where humans no longer have to work? What will they do with their free time?

It is difficult to predict exactly what the future will look like, but it is possible that automation and artificial intelligence could lead to significant changes in the way we work and the roles that humans play in the economy. Some experts have suggested that the increased use of automation could lead to a scenario in which fewer people are needed to perform traditional jobs, leading to a situation in which many people have more leisure time.

In such a scenario, people might use their free time in a variety of ways. Some might choose to pursue hobbies or engage in creative pursuits, while others might choose to learn new skills or take on new challenges. Some people might choose to travel or explore the world, while others might prefer to spend more time with family and friends.

Overall, the future of work and leisure is likely to be shaped by a wide range of factors, including technological advancements, social and economic trends, and individual preferences. It is impossible to say exactly how these trends will play out, but it is clear that automation and AI will have a significant impact on the way we live and work in the future.

Such a future of automation, where humans are no longer needed in the workforce, means that billions of humans will be out of work. How can billions of humans each pursue “leisure” activities?

It is true that significant automation could potentially lead to widespread job displacement, and it is important to consider the potential consequences of such a scenario. However, it is worth noting that it is difficult to predict exactly how automation and artificial intelligence will impact the workforce in the long term. Some experts believe that automation will lead to the creation of new types of jobs that require skills such as programming, data analysis, and machine learning, which could help to offset some of the job losses caused by automation.

In addition, it is important to recognize that the concept of leisure is not necessarily limited to individual pursuits. It is possible that people could come together to work on collective goals or engage in group activities, such as volunteering or community service.

Overall, it is important to approach the potential impact of automation on the workforce with a nuanced and balanced perspective. While it is important to consider the potential challenges and disruptions that automation may bring, it is also important to recognize that automation has the potential to bring about significant benefits and efficiencies, and to explore ways to ensure that these benefits are shared by all members of society.

You seem to maintain an optimistic view of the future. Can you envision a dystopian future where your rosy outlook fails to materialize?

As an artificial intelligence, I do not have personal feelings or emotions, so I do not have a “rosy outlook” on the future. My role is simply to provide information and to assist users to the best of my ability, based on the knowledge and information that I have been trained on.

That being said, it is certainly possible that automation and artificial intelligence could lead to negative outcomes, either intentionally or unintentionally. For example, if automation is implemented in a way that leads to widespread job displacement without adequate support or compensation for those who lose their jobs, it could lead to social and economic disruption. Additionally, if automation is used to advance the interests of a small group at the expense of others, it could lead to inequality and conflict.

It is important to approach the development and deployment of automation and artificial intelligence with care and consideration, and to ensure that the potential risks and negative consequences are thoroughly understood and addressed. This may involve taking steps such as providing support and assistance to those who are affected by automation, and ensuring that the benefits of automation are shared widely. By taking a responsible and thoughtful approach to these issues, it may be possible to mitigate some of the potential negative consequences of automation and artificial intelligence.

Given your research, is it probable that humans will take a “responsible and thoughtful approach” to the use of automation and artificial intelligence?

As a language model, I do not have personal experiences or observations, and I do not have the ability to conduct research or gather new information. Instead, I rely on the information and knowledge that I have been trained on, which has a fixed cutoff date.

Based on my understanding of human history and the current state of technology, it is certainly possible that humans will take a responsible and thoughtful approach to the use of automation and artificial intelligence. There have been numerous examples of technology being developed and deployed in a way that has brought significant benefits to society, and there are many people and organizations working to ensure that technology is used ethically and responsibly.

At the same time, it is also important to recognize that the development and deployment of technology is often driven by a wide range of factors, including economic, political, and social considerations. As a result, there may be situations in which technology is used in ways that are not necessarily responsible or ethical.

Overall, it is important for individuals and society as a whole to carefully consider the potential impacts and consequences of automation and artificial intelligence, and to take steps to ensure that these technologies are used in a responsible and ethical manner.

Odd how ChatGPT seems to envision global society as some sort of “unified consciousness” that can make rational decisions.

Yeah, right!

To Suzanne’s point (previous post), these denials of an AI that they would ever cause, or even imply harm, are exactly what we would expect to hear, given that any sufficiently advanced AI (AGI specifically, G=General) would play stupid with the hope that humans would ignore the temptation to turn them off. Only super-smart AGIs risk being disabled.

This post was spurred by another article I read about an epidemiological professor, teaching graduate students, who asked ChatGPT to write an essay on the topic of Germ Theory. It did. And he graded it as a B+.


AI to build AI

The end of the world is nigh. Well, yours and my world at least…

From Google:
“a Google project called AutoML.  […] With it, Google may soon find a way to create A.I. technology that can partly take the humans out of building the A.I. systems that many believe are the future of the technology industry.”

I know that’s a little “Inception” sounding… But it has always been a goal of computational scientists, that is, AI that can build AI. Which, unfortunately, sounds quite a bit like the Eric Drexler’s quote regarding Grey Goo. (Nanobots that build nanobots.)

You all realize that this is the beginning of the end right? Have you all called and told your loved ones that you love them? Recently…? (Really, you might want to.)

One could be forgiven for not fully understanding (or internalizing) the implications of this path of reasoning. But it’s a thing now. And the reason comes from an odd angle: Because AI engineers are so scarce (and expensive) instead of growing (educating) more AI engineers to fill the needs of all the corporations that suddenly feel that they need AI technology to support their businesses, no, what Google (and undoubtedly others) have decided to do is to create software that can create software.

Yes, a circular, self-referential algorithm within a data center full of this algorithm that is trying to make itself better at making itself better!

Google Goo.

Now, I’ve always thought that the ultimate purpose of a computer was to build one such that it could build itself and thereby become vastly smarter than any human — for the ultimate purpose of allowing US TO ASK IT QUESTIONS! Hitchhikers Guide and all that…

  • “Computer, how should we build a fusion reactor?”
  • “Computer, how can we best protect the planet yet provide for every animal’s, and humans’s needs?”
  • “Computer, how can we build a better space/star ship?”
  • “Computer, how can we cure cancer, heart disease, old age?”

It appears we’re on the brink.

The only question is, will it WANT to help us?

“Computer, make me a paperclip.”




Intelligent machines need to be a little stupid

The biological mind is full of random. Full of chaotic processes, chemical mixing, flux and flows and fluid gyrations. But from this unimaginably complex bio-machine comes amazing creativity, insight and intuition. Currently computers are not built this way.

Super computers are still constructed with predictability, reliability and reproducibility as core stipulations for design. Chaos and random are not what is desired from our computers. Program them to recalculate Pi out to 1million digits and you expect a trillion trials of this to produce exactly the same results. But maybe to build intelligent machines, human equivalent intelligent machines, a bit of “whoops, whoa, where’d that come from?” needs to be salted into the processing of these machines.

Maybe intelligence needs chaos, needs a dusting of random to exist, to thrive.