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Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Future of Work: Automation and Labor: Inclusive AI: Technology and Policy for a Diverse Human Future

Brad DeLong:

The Future of Work: Automation and Labor: Inclusive AI: Technology and Policy for a Diverse Human Future: Thank you very much.
Let me follow the example of our Lord and Master Alpha-Go as it takes the high ground first.
Let me, therefore, take the hyper-Olympian and very long run historical point of view.
The human brain is a massively parallel supercomputer that fits inside half a shoebox. It draws 50 watts of power. It is an amazing innovation, analysis, assessment and creation machine. 600 million years of proto-mammalian and mammalian evolution coupled with the genetic algorithm means that almost every single human can solve AI problems far beyond our current engineering reach—so much so that much of what our machines find impossible our brains find so trivially easy that we call such capabilities "unskilled".
When combined with our brains, human fingers are amazingly fine manipulation devices.
Human back and leg muscles—especially when testosterone soaked—are quite good at moving heavy objects.
Thus back in the environment of evolutionary adaptation, we used our brains, our big muscles, and our fingers to lead cognitively interesting if stressful and short lives.
But history has rolled forward since the hunter-gatherer age. And as history has rolled forward, we have figured out other things to do to add economic and sociological value than their uses in the hunger-gathers paradigm. Over the long historical sweep, the ability to add value using our backs to move heavy objects and our fingers to perform fine manipulations in cognitively-interesting ways has, relatively, declined. We have, so far: ...[continue]...

    Posted by on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 02:52 PM in Economics, Technology | Permalink  Comments (102)


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