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Shelfrock77 t1_iwhdavr wrote

It’s impossible to think deeply about AI and not feel slightly insane 😂


gynoidgearhead t1_iwhzps6 wrote

Honestly, that's because thinking about AI in these ways can be a kind of collective insanity.

AI risk is a cipher for the evils of capitalism. Capitalism is the paperclip maximizer made out of paper and people. But we seldom talk expressly about the fact that it is capitalism that will do all of these horrible things, because we just assume the machine will stop because there are a few humans in the loop. It won't; not unless we make it.


mootcat t1_iwjmh83 wrote

I'm so glad to hear someone else expressing this sentiment. It's wild to me we fear exactly what we have allowed to operate every facet of our existence already. Capitalism IS the great unthinking, inhumane force that marches forward with no consideration for harm or consequences to humans. Sure, it could be more efficient under AI, but we've already got it in full swing today.


Kaining t1_iwlsek9 wrote

I've started to think that the singularity already happened in a way, or is just a process that is about to leave our control. If it hasn't already.

Sentient computer will be the last step to completely seal the deal for humanity but so far, we have managed to create a form of disembodied sentient alien intelligence running on the paperclip maximiser software in the form of megacorporation, with their ecosystem being capitalism.

Corporation used to have a life expectancy. They also weren't moral entity. Now, they're a kind of immortal moral species we simply cannot stop. I doubt that any billionaires can kill a megacorporation without another one filling the void immediately and continuing the paperclip factory that is capitalism.

(Elon having a go at doing that with twitter is somehow "interesting" to see. He might just be trying to do that and act insane in the face of the world to hide his intention... yeah, no. This is crazy talk, among a post that really make me feel like i'm crazy.)

I don't know why, but i feel like the first AI will be an incarnation of the "will" of a corporation. Not something as dumb as "nestlé, the AI out to maximise water source as a dollars making machine" but an AI could probably form its own company to act as its own body to manipulate the world. Why would it need a robot body when it can simply hire human cells to do the work ? So long as it's connected to the internet obfuscate the paperwork enough so that nobody could trace it as its creator/owner it could just start doing its thing in a capitalist world without none being the wiser. The more i read about the subject the more it appears that this is kind of a given that it will be able to connect to the net and we can't stop it from doing so.

All megacorporation we have now, despite having human running them and steering all decision could be seen in a distorted way as their immediate ancestor. Because humanity competing against itself means that no company board of executive is really in charge as none are free from current market and political constraint. And i haven't heard of a suiciding mega corporation so far either.

And what is also kind of scary me the most is that in fact, capitalism isn't just a way for greed to maximise itself, it's also a way to order the world through data. And a AI would thrive in a capitalistic data world as it would probably directly influence what kind of reward function it can have.

Artificial Intelligence may not be the most immediate concerning issue. Any form of alien intelligence emerging out of our activity (really our collective subconscious) might be as this might just be what dictate how a true AGI act.

Anyway, the more i think about it, the more crazy i feel.


Side_Several t1_ixqd6v1 wrote

You might find Nick land interesting


Kaining t1_ixr868c wrote

I'm not sure, i just googled that name and what i've read about him do not make much sense in regard to what i have posted and... he seems like another racist neo liberal biggot, one that might be at the start of the problem i'm pointing out.


TheSingulatarian t1_iwja782 wrote

Right now we have an fossil fuel maximizer running. It is destroying the planet.


gynoidgearhead t1_iwjuj2t wrote

I'm not even sure it's "just" a fossil fuel maximizer. If it wasn't fossil fuels, it'd be some other material thing that would be the backbone of the capitalistic economy. Really, its utility function is the concentration of economic power into the hands of the wealthy few - i.e., "number go up".

But yeah, right now it's fossil fuels and it's going to destroy the biosphere.


visarga t1_iwk7vbl wrote

Exploration is necessary but risk is expensive. If you want innovation you got to have rewards or some other forcing factor, such as imminent danger.


botfiddler t1_iwlogur wrote

That's not capitalism, that the economy, state bureaucracy, and competing entities like countries.


CommunismDoesntWork t1_iwjuemg wrote

Commies get out


gynoidgearhead t1_iwjux09 wrote

How about "McCarthyists get out"?

I don't have to be a communist to (correctly) point out that capitalism is unsustainable.


CommunismDoesntWork t1_iwjxaps wrote

>capitalism is unsustainable.

That makes no sense lol. Capitalism has reduced scarcity more than any economic system in history, and it's well on it's way towards creating post scarcity. Aside from inflation caused by government, capitalism has caused the price of everything to reduce dramatically. And as automation increases, the price of things will continue to fall. When the cost to produce something finally reaches 0, that good or service can be considered post-scarce and will be infinitely abundant. All thanks up capitalism.


gynoidgearhead t1_iwjyh3u wrote

First of all, I'm going to need you to define capitalism, because it seems like you have no idea what the word even means.

>Capitalism has reduced scarcity more than any economic system in history, and it's well on it's way towards creating post scarcity.

No. Automation has reduced scarcity more than any industrial paradigm in history. Automation is possible both with and without capitalism.

But capitalism has literally negative interest in eliminating scarcity. We're making enough food to feed everybody on the planet twice over; but over half of it is wasted in the supply chain, on store shelves, and as unsold and destroyed goods. In the US, there are about 550,000 homeless people, but 16 million vacant houses. Venture capital firms treat the most desirable like investments, and keep supply low by supporting restrictive zoning laws that forbid the construction of multi-family residences like apartments and condos.

It sounds like capitalism is the very source of most of the scarcity in both of these cases.

> Aside from inflation caused by government, capitalism has caused the price of everything to reduce dramatically.

Ha ha ha ha ha no. Corporations want inflation.

Also: Our government is operating under a capitalist framework. "The government" and "capitalism" are not separate things, which is one of the many reasons I don't think you understand what capitalism is.

>When the cost to produce something finally reaches 0, that good or service can be considered post-scarce and will be infinitely abundant.

Then explain why insulin costs $5 to make and $300 to buy, smart guy. (Hint: as with everything we've talked about, it's because corporations like Eli Lilly have marked up the price.)

Capitalism is not "everything our economy makes". Capitalism is not "freedom". Capitalism is not even "free markets", nor even "deregulation". Capitalism means the primacy of capital and capital holders as the decision engine of the economy - i.e., capital holders control the means of production and hold sway over the rules of the game, with the inevitable consequence that they use their control of these things to benefit their own interests.


FTRFNK t1_iwlmrys wrote

Lol I see the person you're responding to lurking on all these "futurism" subreddits trying to leap to capitalisms defense at any critique. Hilarious how they're happy to fight harmless strawmen and spout clearly semi-to-fully uninformed rhetoric but when an actual informed commentor like yourself comes along and gives some actual context, analysis, and links data they fold like one of those whacky inflatable arm things in a light breeze (that is to say, easily and with little fight). I have engaged with this person in multiple posts as well, and it gets old to engage with, so it makes me happy to see others also step up to swat down such hackneyed commentary.


CommunismDoesntWork t1_iwnho2l wrote

Unlike internet commies, I have a job. I posted my reply now. Check it out, you might learn something.


CommunismDoesntWork t1_iwnhkya wrote

>First of all, I'm going to need you to define capitalism

Capitalism is an economic system, and all economic systems are defined by a set of rules. The rules of capitalism are: You can't steal or harm another person's private property, and you can't break a contract. This is in contrast to, for instance, Chinese communism under Mao, which had a rule that stated you can't own farmland and that all farmland would be owned by the community. This led to a scarcity of food, because no one had an incentive to produce much food, because any food they produced would be split up equally among the community. There was actually a small community who agreed to privatise their farmland such that the owners of the land got to keep all the food that they produced. Basically, they reinvented capitalism by creating private property. That town ended up producing so much food that China eventually adopted capitalism as their main economic system after Mao died, and the rest was history.

>Automation has reduced scarcity more than any industrial paradigm in history. Automation is possible both with and without capitalism.

Things don't just magically happen. Individuals have to make things happen. Individuals are guided my incentives. So you can't just say "industrial paradigm" like it's a magic wand. It doesn't mean anything. If there's an incentive to be more efficient, then sure, there will be automation. But if there is no incentive, there will not be automation. So when you say "automation is possible with and without capitalism", you need to be specific. Which exact economic systems have an incentive to create automation? Certainly not communism where things are collectively owned as we saw in Maoist China.

>Capitalism means the primacy of capital and capital holders as the decision engine of the economy - i.e., capital holders control the means of production and hold sway over the rules of the game

By that definition, you could argue that the chinese farmers which collectively owned their community farm were all "capital holders". So that's not a very good definition. Your definition also doesn't allow us to make predictions about how individuals would behave in such a system, which is the goal of any science. This is why in economics, economic systems are defined in terms of rules. It's way less ambiguous and allows economists to make predictions. Did you take microeconomics in college? It's a really good course.

>But capitalism has literally negative interest in eliminating scarcity...

And yet despite all that waste, global poverty has never been lower:

So clearly there's more to the story for each of your points. Food spoils, logistics is expensive, etc etc.

>and keep supply low by supporting restrictive zoning laws that forbid the construction of multi-family residences like apartments and condos.

When the government creates new rules and regulations that restrict the free market, blame the government, not capitalism. Also it's weird you're blaming companies on zoning restriction when the most famous NIMBY city is San Francisco and the people who live there.

>it sounds like capitalism is the very source of most of the scarcity in both of these cases.

"Source". Scarcity is the default. Things don't exist unless individuals make them exist. So the fact that there's so much food as there is right now is proof that capitalism has reduced scarcity. And again, global poverty has been dropping significantly.

>Then explain why insulin costs $5 to make and $300 to buy, smart guy.

Because the FDA makes it very expensive to do business. You can create insulin at home, but you'd go to jail if you tried to sell it to anyone without approval from the FDA. I could also say "explain why coffee cups are so cheap compared to insulin, smart guy." In general, when there's one-off expensive things it's usually caused by the government

>Capitalism is not "everything our economy makes".

Right, capitalism is private property and contracts. Those two simple rules happen to incentivise individuals to go out into the world and create everything the economy makes. But in the context of comparing different economic systems, it's pretty fair to say the capitalism is everything our economy makes as a shorthand.

>Capitalism is not "freedom"

Right, because capitalism is simply the enforcement of private property rights and contracts. But compared to other economic systems I'd argue it's one of the most free economic systems possible.

>Capitalism is not even "free markets"

Well, you can't have free markets if you don't have private property and contracts, so it sort of is.


drsimonz t1_iwj6w9e wrote

The trouble is most people still don't understand exponential growth. In the past, very little changed within one lifespan so any thoughts of the distant future were just whimsical fantasies with no consequence. Now things are moving quickly enough that, realistically, being born one year later could make the difference between dying and becoming immortal. Maybe it creates some kind of cognitive dissonance to imagine such dramatic changes, because people seem to actively avoid thinking about it.


Sh3ba_101 t1_iwlonah wrote

ok so im not the only one who thinks like that. awesome


deekaph t1_iwhmysd wrote

This exact sequence plays out in my head every day.


Sandbar101 t1_iwhou8r wrote

My exact thought process at any given moment of the day. God I envy the younger generation


Nieshtze t1_iwihbne wrote

The younger generations will face an existential crisis. We are living in a time of unprecedented peace (relatively), powered by the blazing rise of technology over the last century or so. We went from traveling by horse drawn cart to putting a man on the moon in around 50 years. After the pace of the improvement of other technologies slowed down, the microchip made an entrance and ensured that the constant march of progress continued without impediment.

Not really the case any more. Moore's law is dead. Chips aren't becoming that much faster anymore. Planes aren't flying faster. People in poorer countries are living longer, but not necessarily in advanced economies as we are hitting walls in the field of medicine. AI is successful in certain cases, but is nowhere near taking over office jobs. We don't have self-driving cars or nuclear fusion, nor have we set up a habitat outside earth.

Our grandchildren are doomed to find meaning in a world where constant technological progress is not the norm. I eel scared for them. When technology became stagnant, life isn't good. Look at the middle ages in Europe, for example.


Sandbar101 t1_iwirhkj wrote

…I don’t know what world you think you’re living in but we are living in the most explosive period of technological growth in history. We are living RIGHT NOW in the second industrial revolution. Every one of those technologies you mentioned will be operational and revolutionary within 20 years.


UnrulyNemesis t1_iwjg0yh wrote

Bro, you just spit in the face of everyone who works or studies in STEM lmao 😂 We are living in a time where people in any science field is overwhelmed with the constantly changing and improving technology that almost appears to happen exponentially. For example, recently AI went from being able to show a couple hundred protein structures to being able to generate almost every single possible protein and many of it's interactions. This means you can sit down and design a drug from scratch on your computer before you touch a single physical compound. That is going to revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry and other industries are having similar constant transformations. If anything I'm worried we are moving too fast without wondering if we should. For example, we should ban the creation of stronger synthetic opioids that can be abused and instantly kill someone if the dosage is off by a milligram. Of course I can see your points with some technology, like smart phones. However, those technologies are purposely stagnant to make more money. For example, why do you have a phone and a laptop, when your phone is as powerful as a supercomputer made a couple years ago? It's because selling two devices is more profitable than selling a phone that can also connect to a separate bigger screen with a keyboard and work perfectly as a laptop (the software on current devices that can do this is currently purposely glitchy and subpar).

Tldr: Technological development is developing dangerously fast, and if you do not see that progress, you likely are not working in any specialized stem field and are looking at technologies that are purposely stagnant to make more money like smart phones.


visarga t1_iwk988q wrote

Moore's law slowed down from 2x every 1.5 years to 2x every 20 years. We're already 7 years deep into this stage. Because of that AI research is expensive, state of the art models are inaccessible to normal researchers, and democratic access to AI is threatened. Building a state of the art fab is so necessary and difficult that it becomes a national security issue. I think there's room for concern, even while acknowledging the fast progress.


UnrulyNemesis t1_iwl18w2 wrote

I agree that Moore's law is slowing down, but that isn't because scientists are stupid-it's because they are too good. Moore's law worked mainly because we were shrinking down the size of the transistor (the functional unit of a microchip) to fit exponentially more transistors on a microchips each year. However, they have gotten so small that the transistors do not follow the same rules of physics that normal particles, they are following quantum mechanics. This will open up a whole new avenue for quantum computers in the future and in my opinion it will quickly be able to solve hashes in a Blockchain to the point that is destroys NFTs and Crypto 👍. Also it's a good thing that development in transistor size and sheer processing power has stopped, since now focus is on other aspects of a microchip, such as efficiency. This is a very good thing as microchip technology development can be explained similar to a steam powered train. Instead of creating new power sources for a better train overall, we have been finding ways to put more coal inside the train to increase power and have hit a natural limit. Development for different architectures, is like using a different energy source for a train, for example the ARM chips in our phone are getting very powerful extremely fast and are extremely energy efficient compared to the processors in our desktop PCs. Hopefully we will continue making these processors more energy efficient and powerful, as soon everyone in the third world countries will want these devices and that energy consumption will add up quickly. As for sheer processing power, cloud computing has become very popular and effective in the past couple years for researchers, but I agree that it could be absolutely dangerous if someone hoards computing power to create a dangerous AI.


RemyVonLion t1_iwiwjuo wrote

You really think technological progress has become stagnant just because certain limits have been reached? workarounds are always found sooner or later and AI is allowing us to find them faster than ever, and developing AI is the focus of much of modern humanity so we are definitely only advancing exponentially more as the days pass, the singularity is pretty much inevitable unless something like WW3 sends us back to the stone age.


many-such-cases t1_iwk8woe wrote

I envy the older generation. I don’t want to live in a world where nearly everything is done by machines, where I can’t tell if the person I’m speaking to is real or a bot, where I can’t tell if the video I see actually happened or is a deepfake, where I can never find unique personal purpose or fulfillment in a hobby because a machine can do it better or faster, where all human purpose is made irrelevant due to hyper-intelligent machines doing everything (all art, research, writing etc) better, where mass surveillance is even more severe now as government-owned AI breathes down our necks tracking us in ways humans never could, etc.

I could go on, but I wish I was born in the 40s and died before 2010, as a happy old man who lived a normal, simple pre-mass social media, pre-AI life. Because thanks to AI, life doesn’t feel worth living anymore, and as a guy in my 20s, I dread how much life I have ahead of me.


simonbachhuber t1_iwkpk3q wrote

I think everyone always wants something different, than they have. That's the classic the grass-is-greener Syndrom and it's painful.


blueSGL t1_iwlh1in wrote

> where I can never find unique personal purpose or fulfillment in a hobby because a machine can do it better or faster


Hobbies are done because people enjoy the activity and fruits of their labor, either the activity has no path to profit (Money goes in > Enjoyment comes out) or when these activities do go up against professionals doing the same activity with much higher quality tools, experience and better 'final product' the hobbyist chooses to do them anyway. People play instruments even though they will never make it into a symphony orchestra, do wood working who will never be a named brand furniture designer.
People tend gardens, race RC cars, go paint balling, rock climbing, do knitting, collect stamps, watch trains, watch birds, draw, paint, mess with electronics, build sculptures, go fishing, golfing, cosplay, etc... For the times where there actually are professional equivalents to the hobby, swap those out for an AI and I really don't see the difference.


many-such-cases t1_iwmczbu wrote

Ok, now address all my other points.

Also, setting hobbies aside for a moment, the fact that human artists, authors, songwriters etc will be replaced should be seen as a human tragedy. It’s sad to think that great creative individuals from Picasso to Paul McCartney will just be seen as a type of human from eras past, as even if you did write and record your own album in 2040 (let’s say for example), even if your songs were great enough that they would make you regarded as a legend in any other time period, people will assume you just used AI to make them - even if you didn’t.

Genuine human creative greatness will be completely disregarded - I don’t see that is anything but a tragedy.


blueSGL t1_iwmg46h wrote

Why? Would I prefer to watch a movie with a consistent script, zero plot holes or one lovingly made by humans that requires reshoots desperate fixes in editing and god knows how many man hours to remove the buttholes or pixel fucked explosions to get the reflections looking just right? packaged up with a trailer that either gives too much away or is deceiving in editing promising a much greater experience than the one that is delivered. Give me the machine created version each and every time.

Same with songs I don't listen to them to connect with other humans, I do it because they are entertaining patterned structures that some people happen to be better at creating than others, why wouldn't I want an endless library constantly generated that delivers the perfect emotional response that I want at that moment.

Why should I care that instead of having to wait for the brownian motion to churn someone out at the far end of a bell curve, spend years honing their craft and then I get to listen to something for 10 seconds on spotify and skip to the next one, rather than have that just generated. and the person can instead spend their time working on something they enjoy, not for money but because they enjoy the process.

Why on earth are 'legends' required in any way, and having a lack of them make my experience worse? I really don't get it.


many-such-cases t1_iwn1197 wrote

> with a consistent script, zero plot holes

That’s what defines a “good movie” to you? K, interesting.

Honestly reading over your comment it sounds like you’re in dire need to connect with other people. There’s a weird not so subtle disregard for members of your fellow species present here that I don’t think my words alone could cure. Maybe some day a “therapist AI” will sort you out - after all you sound like you’d be more inclined to listen if the machine is talking to you.

Anyway, the benefit of legends to you personally is that they influence us to aspire to something greater. Everyone wants to leave a legacy behind, and the presence of AI limiting human achievement will leave a void of purpose in us that I believe will lead to mass depression and mental illness.


blueSGL t1_iwn3yj7 wrote

Yes, a good movie is one that is a fun ride that I'm either not taken out of by a glaring plot hole or if you prefer plot convenience whilst watching or shortly after when thinking about it. A solid script is the most important thing in a movie and it seems to be the one aspect given the least amount of thought. Endings are another one, would I read more Stephen King novels if an AI was sure to spruce them up and give them a satisfying ending. You betcha.

Also good job on the arm chair psychology I'm sure you'll go far dismissing people with other takes on things as 'broken' I don't hang my identity on the media I consume.

>Everyone wants to leave a legacy behind, and the presence of AI limiting human achievement will leave a void of purpose in us

Most people don't leave a legacy behind, go a couple of generations back and if you are lucky you'll be a name someone reads in a report that 23 and me sends out. "Legacy Building" is a failure for the vast majority of humans that have ever lived (if you don't count basic reproduction, something so common in nature it hardly is worth mentioning) Legacy is the remit of the rich and famous and If you look hard enough at your heroes there will be some skeletons in the closet, they just so happened to be good at X that you know them for. Why should legacy be the linchpin of an argument for AI devaluing life is beyond me (because I'm not celebrity obsessed or a starfucker)


botfiddler t1_iwmf7x3 wrote

This has already been addressed by other people. It will enable more content and more competition, it's not the end of human creativity. Also, if a AI could make up the best art, entertainment or VR worlds for everyone, then that wouldn't be a tragedy. Who cares? Many of the employed "artists" were gatekeeping content creation at least during the last decade or so anyways (Marvel, Disney, DC Comics, ...). Yeah, tragic for the Tumbler Mafia 🤷‍♂️


botfiddler t1_iwmjtcv wrote

Thought about it a bit more:

  • There will always be niches for humans expressing their individuality.
  • The interests of some celebrities or special humans don't outweigh all the positives.
  • Computer games are essentially creating artificial problems, for us to solve and feel satisfaction, so that the solution. You should also get into it, I guess.

many-such-cases t1_iwn1vhy wrote

The problem I have though is with AI doing everything - even creative tasks - for humans is that I believe it will leave a void of purpose in us that I believe will lead to mass depression and mental illness. Furthermore, look at all my other points together, such as the impact AI will have on mass surveillance.

We’re going to become glorified pets of a higher intelligence. We might live more secure lives on paper because of that, but will we be “happy”? It seems that with AI we are cedeing what makes us as a species unique, and not only that but also what makes us the dominant species. We’re take the nightmare scenario of getting invaded by stronger, more intelligent aliens and bringing it upon ourselves.


buddypalamigo19 t1_iwq8ylr wrote

I'm not going to touch the problems of verifiable authenticity or governmental surveillance, because those are legitimate issues, but as far as purpose and fulfillment goes, how does a machine doing something better than you take away your ability to find purpose or fulfillment in that thing? I will never be the best knife thrower in the world, but I still enjoy going out back every once in a while and chucking my throwing knives at a target. It's fun.


overlordpotatoe t1_iwiemna wrote

That's basically where I end up with all these things. Why worry about a specific potential outcome when there are so many competing possibilities, and probably many more beyond our imagination? The other one is how with an aging population and low birth rates we may have massive worker shortages... but also with the rise of automation, we may have massive unemployment. For some reason you never see anyone proposing that perhaps it will actually work out okay with those two things balancing one another out. I mean there is certainly no guarantee of that, but can't we for once have a little bit of optimism for the future?


TopicRepulsive7936 t1_iwjhstg wrote

Kids take a lot of resources to raise. For a couple decades we've had a surplus of working age compared to children, this logically should have caused a boom but no news relating to such.


MGorak t1_iwk4c8w wrote

TLDR: Cost of raising children has gone up faster than wealth for the common people.

Kids take a lot of resources to raise and it keeps getting worse. Raising a children to adulthood with a proper education (learning a trade or higher education) is now very costly but almost mandatory to get a good future.

For a couple, having more children than they can afford can result in a significant decrease in quality of life for them and their children.

Children used to be almost free labor. Women didn't need education because they would stay at home raising children and girls would help their mothers. Boys would get some education and then go work, possibly helping their fathers.

"High" children mortality means people made more children. It can be seen all around the world, when children mortality goes down, so does family size.

The last big population boom (the baby boom-ers) came when many low education jobs could afford a large family and a house (factories, mines, etc.). As raising children's costs went up, children mortality went down, better and more accessible contraception became available, family size shrinked to the point where most rich countries need a steady influx of immigrants from poorer countries just to keep the population stable or growing.

Global population should slow and and even go down when places like Africa finally get access to medical and financial resources that first world countries have access to.

So until there is an incentive to have many children or until the cost(financial and otherwise) represent a smaller part of a family unit's resources, the number of children will stay low.

With UBI, automation, even better medical resources, post-scarcity, etc. weird things could happen. Family size could shrink even more or it could skyrocket.

Significant changes are coming and it's anyone's guess what will happen. My vote is for childfree families to keep rising while family size of parents will stay low. IMHO, people will live in virtual world with people from around the world and physical human interaction will go down.


visarga t1_iwk9y88 wrote

> Kids take a lot of resources to raise and it keeps getting worse.

I want to make a parallel here - automation is taking jobs away, but our expectations and desires outgrow it so, even after 100 years of fast tech progress we still have low unemployment rate. I don't think AI will mean idle humans with nothing to do and no motivation to try. We are unsatiated desire machines.


DungeonsAndDradis t1_iwl7q39 wrote

There are so many things I want to do, but cannot, because I simply don't have time. I work 40+ hours a week. I have home and life maintenance. Parenting. Some time to just chill.

I get a small amount of free time each week, but I'm so busy with everything else that I can't do fulfilling activities.

This is what I hope AGI gives us: more time.


MGorak t1_iwlr3ka wrote

We are a lot better off than we were. Quality of life is so much higher than it was. And it should continue to be so. Automation could mean we are free to do as we please or it could simply allow us the time to work on bigger and better things.

It doesn't change my premise: as long as each child costs a high percent of the available resources(time, money, energy) of a family unit, the number of children will stay low.

Let's give semi fictitious numbers. I've seen numbers passed around saying that the average cost of raising a child is around 250,000$ in the USA. No idea if that's true but it will serve for demonstration purpose. Let's round at 1000$/month.

If a family get 5000$/month after taxes, each child cost 20% of the total household income. After 2-3, you need to start cutting corners everywhere to make ends meet. It doesn't matter how much more you can do with 10%. You can get high speed internet, cell phones for every family member, a streaming service or two, heating, cooling and electricity costs, gas for 2 cars instead of only land phone, cable, heating and electricity (no cooling) and gas for a single car.

You clearly have more luxuries for the same price, but the high % is the determining factor. And it will most probably be time or energy rather than money that will be the ultimate bottleneck.

It still becomes a very real question: will one or more of:

  • lower quality food
  • cheaper vacations
  • worse medical coverage
  • cheaper education
  • worse retirement plans
  • less personal luxury items
  • less or cheaper hobbies
  • less time to do those hobbies
  • less time spent with each other family member or friends
  • etc.

be worth it to have an extra child?

For most families, the answer quickly becomes a no, hence smaller families. There is no incentive to have children other than the personal fulfillment of the parents.

It also no longer depends on "Oops. Because I love having sex with my spouse, we're pregnant again and will have another child in a couple months."

If having an extra child doesn't bring extra happiness, but has a very real chance of lowering it, why do it?


AsuhoChinami t1_iwori5d wrote

>and probably many more beyond our imagination

Indeed. The all-knowing self-proclaimed realists and cynics and skeptics might not want to admit this since they're arrogant fucks who think they can never be wrong on anything, but not a single person in the world has ever perfectly imagined what the future will be like. It will be both good and bad in ways that the optimists have never imagined, and likewise both good and bad in ways that the pessimists have never imagined.


overlordpotatoe t1_iwos4hw wrote

Yup. That's the truth of it. A bunch of very smart people have vague and often conflicting guesses. We might have guesses of our own, but we, a bunch of internet dumbasses, should never fool ourselves into thinking that we know.


Slight_Ad9788 t1_iwku7en wrote



Anti-ThisBot-IB t1_iwku7yi wrote

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funky2002 t1_iwipyfw wrote

Dude. This. Word for word.


tiberius-Erasmus t1_iwhefca wrote

I don't understand why overpopulation is heavily stigmatized. Problem of space? Earth has enough space to populate a hundred billion of humans more and there will still be more than enough. Problem of food? Food synthesis on a larger scale, it's good for the environment and it provides the same nutritional value as its organic counterpart without the need to spill any blood for it. Energy problems? Fusion once it's solved we'd have an unlimited source of reliable energy. Climate problems? Corporate greed is the main culprit for the deterioration of the environment, not overpopulation though it does contribute to the issue.


Blue_Congo t1_iwhgo72 wrote

"Fusion once it's solved we'd have an unlimited source of reliable energy"

If it is solved.


Evil_Patriarch t1_iwhh7ue wrote

Look up Calhoun's Mouse Utopia, even if you have the resources it's not mentally healthy to be in conditions that crowded, see also Japanese Herbivore Men or just look at how many people in the world are on antidepressants


visarga t1_iwkaawn wrote

Never saw herbivore men term tied to crowding. Is that the reason? Crowding?


TopicRepulsive7936 t1_iwjjn3v wrote

Because it results in human suffering. Not only are there more people born, the high fertility indicates they are born into abject poverty. Life sucks as is but it sucks some more in absolute poverty. The baby dying of hunger today doesn't care about your tech or politic jargon.


purple_hamster66 t1_iwhgnge wrote

Read about The Underpants Gnomes.

You’re missing a key feature of fusion energy… we don’t know how to do it and it’s likely we’ll never figure it out. Instead of a $1T device, why not just add $1T of solar panels and leverage the fusion in the sun that we already have?

Without massive amounts of new energy, we can’t produce enough clean water, food, heat/cool air, and carbon-free transport for the people we already have.


[deleted] t1_iwhz0y0 wrote

> You’re missing a key feature of fusion energy… we don’t know how to do it and it’s likely we’ll never figure it out.

That's an odd claim.


darthdiablo t1_iwi2r8l wrote

Yeah - unless I'm mistaken, I thought it was more like we know how fusion works, the problem is it's a matter of figuring (engineering) how we can make fusion happen on a smaller (non-stellar-scale) level?


Nieshtze t1_iwihufm wrote

It is easy to perform fusion in a non-stellar scale. They did that in the 50s with hydrogen bombs.

The challenge is controlling the reaction.


[deleted] t1_iwij5em wrote



-ZeroRelevance- t1_iwimwko wrote

Hydrogen bombs are a mix of fission and fusion. They create an explosion like a standard atomic bomb using fission, which superheats the hydrogen in the bomb to initiate a fusion reaction, which increases the energy output manyfold.


purple_hamster66 t1_iwzijto wrote

Controlled fusion, for the purposes of energy production, is not a solved problem. Yes, we can maintain the conditions for about a picosecond. That’s what I mean by we don’t know how to do it.

When I say it’s unlikely we’ll ever figure it out, well, that’s because the new experimental designs using plasma and huge powerful magnets are proceeding, but a single fault or destabilization in the mag fields holding the 100Mº hydrogen and the entire place will explode. Adding 100Mº to the atmosphere is a big issue, and one that’s not likely to help with global warming. The risks are too big to continue this experiment, politically. Nuclear bombs mostly destroy due to the pressure waves they create, and this explosion would rival a bomb’s destructive power... it could kill an entire city. If it ignites the atmosphere, the only thing that would save us is the low pressure of atmospheric hydrogen, which means it could exhaust it’s fuel supply eventually.


SoylentRox t1_iwhhk1l wrote

Agree totally on the solar. The only thing the fusion does for you is it saves you having to develop a long term method of energy storage. There are lots of ways to do this but there are tradeoffs.

Flow batteries being the most promising because they are efficient - you get 80 percent plus of the stored energy back - so you just need some electrolyte chemistry that is not too toxic and cheap and can be stored in gigantic cheap unpressurized tanks.

You can also make hydrogen, maybe store it in metal or as ammonia or just pressurized gas, and burn it in fuel cells. This loses a lot of energy and is also expensive equipment.

There are also various pressurized air and heat storage concepts - they all have cheap storage material but poor efficiency.

Note that hydroelectric and lithium battery storage is not long term, it's short term storage. It's for the next couple days. You need something to store energy to make up for seasonal shortfalls and for black swan periods of little renewable production for a while


purple_hamster66 t1_iwzjdiz wrote

I think the coolest hybrid energy storage solution is melting salt stored in tracker trailers and trucking it to the destination substation where it generates electricity as it cools. This can allow us to truck energy to places that didn’t get enough renewable energy (black swan event), or to emergency sites (earthquake takes out a power plant; floods; tsunami), or as long-term energy storage. The trucks can use the energy they are transporting to power the transport, too, so fossil fuels are not needed either.


SoylentRox t1_iwznvv0 wrote

Maybe? Why salt. Why not just heat up a bunch of ceramic bricks to almost their melting point. Salt especially hot salt can corrode and melt things. With the bricks, if the truck crashes, you just end up with glowing pottery on the ground. Don't touch it but it won't flow to you.

You also have poor efficiency converting from the heat back to work, you need a steam engine.

Frankly probably better to just transport diesel.


purple_hamster66 t1_ix0847c wrote

Salt is used in thermal energy storage systems because of it’s enormous capacity to hold heat. I don’t know how ceramic compares, but the latent heat involved in the state change (from solid to liquid) is important because it extends the heat that can be trapped. As I understand it, it’s not pure salt, but may also have thermal oil and high-pressure water & pumps. Depends on the usage.

I don’t think they’ve thought about crashes because none of these systems are currently mobile. Even though I would imagine that molten salt flows quite slowly, the amount of energy in it would melt/damage most things. But when it finally cools, though, it’s just salt, so cleanup is easy.

Some systems use a Rankine Cycle steam turbine, like you said. Others have been designed to use thermocouples, devices that convert nearly 100% of heat differences (over a threshold) to electricity and vice versa. It’s a form of heat pump, like those used in houses, but this thermocouple is designed for much higher heat differences. Since it’s trivially reversible, the same device is used for both directions.

One other cool hybrid is heating the salt using mirrors in a vast field, then generating the electricity from the steam engine. This means you can store the energy until later if you have more mirrors than your current grid needs.


puzzleheadedmaroon-5 t1_iwnizw1 wrote

$1 trillion of solar panels wouldn't make a dent in the world's energy needs. How about $1 quadrillion? And where would you get the minerals to make them? Dig them out of the ground using fossil fuels?

We do know how to do nuclear fission. Fusion isn't necessary.


purple_hamster66 t1_iwradue wrote

True, we’d need more solar than $1T, but solar does NOT have to include minerals at all. For decades, homes have been producing hot water via rooftop pipes, and heating homes but capturing passive sunlight on stone facades and floors. There are also solar paints that include no minerals but are painted on rooftops… these are not high efficiency but are really really cheap.


puzzleheadedmaroon-5 t1_ixslb7c wrote

>rooftop pipes.... stone facades and paints

Those are all made of minerals, except possibly rooftop pipes, which can be made out of plastic.

"Mineral: a solid inorganic substance of natural occurrence." - OED


purple_hamster66 t1_iy028dy wrote

People are mostly concerned about mining when it comes to REMs (Rare Earth Minerals), not just minerals in general. Many commonplace minerals are not mined but found near the surface or in water. And it’s not just the destructive polluting nature of the mines but also the danger to miners. (For more expensive minerals, I’m guessing the danger will be minimized by using robot miners within a decade).

IMHO, the amount of REMs in solar panels is tiny compared to the amounts used for electronics, power systems, and manufacturing in general. This could be checked.


Desperate_Donut8582 t1_iwiebe4 wrote

Yeah earth can have hundreds of people but let’s ask you this would you rather live in cities that occupy a land area of hundreds of miles and everywhere populated or a world with 500 million people with much wilderness and space


GreenSuspect t1_iwi3ea7 wrote

> Earth has enough space to populate a hundred billion of humans more and there will still be more than enough.

Are you serious? Where are you getting that from?

"The majority of studies estimate that the Earth's capacity is at or beneath 8 billion people."

"It would take 1.75 Earths to sustain our current population. If current trends continue, we will reach 3 Earths by the year 2050."

"At the global scale, scientific data indicates that humans are living beyond the carrying capacity of planet Earth and that this cannot continue indefinitely."

"In a recent Nature Sustainability paper, a team of scientists concluded that the Earth can sustain, at most, only 7 billion people at subsistence levels of consumption … Achieving ‘high life satisfaction’ for everyone, however, would transgress the Earth’s biophysical boundaries, leading to ecological collapse."

> Problem of food? Food synthesis on a larger scale, it's good for the environment and it provides the same nutritional value as its organic counterpart without the need to spill any blood for it.

Why the fuck would you want that? We should have a sustainable population leading awesome lives, not an enormous overcrowded population eking out a shitty meager existence


[deleted] t1_iwi3hf1 wrote



IdealAudience t1_iwid5ao wrote

Mary Shelly (frankenstein) 's dad - William Godwin, wrote against Malthus at the time - that humans were more creative than rabbits, or could be, that good environment & society & education (& democratic workplaces & government) and conditions, and so on - would likely bring anyone into a healthy productive adulthood, rather than packs of monsters..

tragic to think malthusian thinking influnced some tremendously wealthy nobility to let poor londoners, or irish during the potato famine, or people in india just die off - 'as nature running its course'.. though (hopefully) we now see these as entirely preventable..

unfortunately, it seems a lot of fear about 'too many people in africa in 2050' follow the same malthusian lines.. and again, tragedy is certainly preventable.. sustainable systems and healthy cities are possible..

but... the people making billions and millions (and $200k) off of SuperEvilMegaPollutoCorp are good at what they do, as far as that goes - & they're entirely capable, apparently, of getting plenty of media to convince their consumers, workers, & voters within 2000km of their headquarters - that this whole climate disaster thing + high rents and low wages, and whathavyou - is due to too many people in africa + too many people in africa getting apartments and microwave ovens and schools and vaccines..

"there's just too many people of those people" consumers in rich-countries say, in between their 3rd baconcheeseburger of the day, in between driving a ridiculous truck 80km between their mini mansion heated by a coal plant & working for SuperEvilMegaPollutoCorp Jr., and back ..

'just let nature take it's course with the diseases and droughts and famines and civil wars.. problem solved.. then the rest of us can keep on doing what we're doing'

"What? you want to put carbon labels on beef? petrol? tax SuperPollutoMegaCorp? tax Billionaires? give their billions in subsidies to renewables and greenhouses and metro-lines? You want to build apartments over the grocery store?

no way.. this is an outrage, tyranny, stalinism.. the problem is too many people in africa & too many people in africa getting microwave ovens .. let them die or sell them AK47s.. problem.solved. "

and so on.


Key_Abbreviations658 t1_iwizxj1 wrote

There are more rich interested in selling to Africa than there are in making people more racist or something, from what I see all this panic about Africans comes from redditors and little else, but no you just must blame every little Ill of the world on some invisible, formless group of evil “elites” who have almost infinite power according to people on Reddit.


Nieshtze t1_iwiixg6 wrote

I would imagine that there are 'weaker' versions of the Malthusian catastrophe argument. For example, in most of the western world, population growth is negative (and is low enough to present significant problems). US, for example, sustains its population through immigration, as the locals aren't having enough children. Similar story for recently developed/developing countries like China and India where the population growth rate has dropped significantly.

What if the resource in question isn't food, but something like cost of housing?


WikiSummarizerBot t1_iwi3j6w wrote

The Population Bomb

>The Population Bomb is a 1968 book written by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich. It predicted worldwide famine due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth. Fears of a "population explosion" existed in the mid-20th century baby boom years, but the book and its author brought the idea to an even wider audience. The book has been criticized since its publication for its alarmist tone, and in recent decades for its inaccurate predictions.

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ElectronicLab993 t1_iwi0dvv wrote

Or you know AI can render human worthless and concentrate all power and resources in fewer hands


CommunismDoesntWork t1_iwjukmm wrote

How would resources get concentrated when they're being made more and more plentiful? Just doesn't add up.


ElectronicLab993 t1_iwk85a5 wrote

We have more resources then we had in 1920 but US is more stratified then it was then.


QuantumButtz t1_iwhoohj wrote

Change last panel to "whatever, I'm a nihilist" and it's accurate.


tikkymykk t1_iwi5gzl wrote

Go vegan. Eliminate 2/3 paniks.


IdealAudience t1_iwiao11 wrote

get into local food-systems teams to help more people get better food, easier, more affordably, more eco/socially beneficial to good fair growers, co-ops, restaurants..

along with others who care + vegetarians & gardening clubs & college ag grad-students & food banks & sikhs..

x smart cooperative networks of teams helping eachother + sharing tools, best-practices, teaching, training.. comparing projects, programs, prototypes..

x avalaches of smart cooperative network help to good projects doing good + teaching, training.. avalanches of smart cooperative network help to projects in need.. + prototypes..


PanzerKommander t1_iwhj1an wrote

I plan on investing now so that I can wing it until the hear death of the universe


botfiddler t1_iwlqydq wrote

Good plan. But we're humans, we'll jump to the next one after we're done with the current one.


PanzerKommander t1_iwlvm70 wrote

I hope that's a possibility, I think spending one whole cycle in another universe as an eldrich abomination to them would be interesting


Ordowix t1_iwjjfe7 wrote

This is a typical half-second internal tangent from my daily life.


GodOfThunder101 t1_iwhw6a8 wrote

Most people working in AI do not share this utopian view that is very common on this subreddit.


SufficientPie t1_iwi31r7 wrote

> Most people working in AI

How is that quantified?


sheerun t1_iwigcnv wrote

Maybe smartheads from and corporate/academia AI/machine learning researchers. Not that worrying is not justified, very very justified. Controlling GAI is not possible directly indefinitely, we need another GAI, so recursive problem, or let them goooooooo, which has its own worries like killing humans as leverage in war with between GAIs, by mistake, or something. We need to set out cooperation rules, but more importantly plan how to enforce them, if even possible. I think pacifying rogue states like Russia or Iran will be (or is) an important part of this plan. We want a future where killing humans is not a preferred way to fight a war or resolve conflicts. Or even better future where wars are the past, and we focus on space expansion.


TheHamsterSandwich t1_iwhxw32 wrote

TBF there are a lot more people worrying about the risks of artificial intelligence and how it could literally kill us all if it goes wrong.


Nieshtze t1_iwihjk2 wrote

I think that we can safely assume that unless there is a revolution in the field of AI, the current paradigms won't be sufficient to create a true AGI that puts us and our jobs at risk.


drsimonz t1_iwk7bor wrote

lol what??? GPT-3, if properly product-ized, could already replace millions of peoples' jobs. Even if no one ever publishes another ML paper, the tech will be diffusing into the economy for the next decade or 3. Stable Diffusion and Midjourney are likely going to massacre the concept art industry in the next few years. The fact is we really don't need AGI for massive societal impact. Narrow AI is more than sufficient.


TheHamsterSandwich t1_iwl79of wrote

Assuming that AGI won't be here any time soon is a big mistake.

That's like saying "Hey guys, let's forget about the alignment problem since AGI won't be created for centuries."


Homie4-2-0 t1_iwkccjv wrote

Lmao. This is too accurate. The only change I would make is to the last one.

"Whatever, I'll invest in tech and hope for the best."

If you can't beat them, join them.


HydrousIt t1_iwkjzt7 wrote

Everything gonna be alright tbh


[deleted] t1_iwhymkn wrote

Hope for the best, financially position for Stage 3/4/5 by investing in semiconductor, AI and biotech companies right now.


ryusan8989 t1_iwi8kgl wrote

I always end the thought with, wow I sound crazy.


erf456 t1_iwinp0y wrote

Me, who fully intends to become the government in panel 5 and make sure the interests of superintelligent AI are prioritized over dumb random humans:


Ytumith t1_iwixp5f wrote

Oh and nukes.


simonbachhuber t1_iwkoysr wrote

It is a big myth, that overpopulation will be a problem. It is exactly the other way around. We will need a lot more people in the future.


NPC_0029 t1_iwkxz1u wrote

In the best case scenario, we all die together.


jh231 t1_iwl7qs8 wrote

bros believe in communism from AI revolution, gotta respect that


StandartUser6745 t1_ix5adca wrote

This is exactly how it all plays through in my head. Who fucking cares about all of humanity ? Certainly not non-humans. Hundreds of billions has lived and died. So it won't be a tragedy when you (I) die and another few billion. Why would rich and important people even bother with it? Do it en masse and you will end up bunch of pissed off religious radicals.


MeiXue_TianHe t1_iwhxb63 wrote

Indeed. underpopulation, at least if we define it as the lack of young people, is already being felt in many countries. Others are stemming the process through immigration.

But the practical end of mortality will make population jump to at the very least 13~15 billion, considering the original 9-11 billion projections by 2100, minus all these deaths. Maybe more if economic paradigms shift, etc. So we might be talking about 20 billion by 2100. There'll be nice cities all around the world at these numbers and available technologies...


Desperate_Donut8582 t1_iwidy59 wrote

Majority of those people are gonna be in asia and africa and africa is dirt poor so I doubt they will be having nice cities


MeiXue_TianHe t1_iwjfjvd wrote

Same could be said when Europe and Asia were in their 'high population growth phases'.


So much, Europe came with several theories and ideologies associating populational growth with poverty, due to misunderstanding of the rapid effects of advancing technologies in birthrates and goods availability overall.


Most of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) for example, albeit relatively poor (but not as poor as 30 years ago) is already seeing their fertility rates falling quickly, and economical development taking pace as wealth generation surpasses population increases.

Africa will take more time given higher rates, but will follow suit.Most modern cities barely existed as they are a mere 50 years ago.

China being the most staggering example, but with examples all across (mostly) East Asia and the Persian Gulf.

Even already stablished western nations saw that, depending on their urbanization model (less in USA where car centrism/suburbia is rampant, less in Europe where historical aesthetics is coded on law but more on Canadian and Australian cities)