Saturday, July 28, 2018

Rising inequality and AI - a comment on something funny from notes from the AAAI 2018 conference

Seen in Montreal AI.

" His Take: When we reach the place where robots do takeover, what do we do? The concern: “those who own the robots rule the world”.

Traditionalist Response: You see AI robots in the headlines, but not in the productivity or job statistics! Same with computers. Productivity growth in the 2010s is lower than in the last five decades. E/Pop is high, unemployment is low.

Rising inequality began before AI as a result of
measured factors: fall of unions, trade immigration. Dave: Wasn’t clear if it was “fall of trade, fall of immigration”, or “trade, immigration, and fall of unions” (my guess is the former)

But: It’s actually really hard to measure productivity. The nature of productivity changes. If workers are now working more hours and taking longer commutes, it’s different from walking into a building getting clocked and walking out.

(Bold: T.A.)
Q: Why should this time be different?
• Past fears that automation destroys jobs fizzled. FDR blamed the Great Depression joblessness
on failure to “employ the surplus of our labor which the efficiency of our industrial
processes has created”
. US Commission on Automation, Rifkin’s End of Work (1995).

"Those who own the robots..." - has some options in the cited paper.

B) What a way to explain the failure of willingness to distribute the share, the consumption or to *create* jobs by changing the rules and re-thinking the way the profit is distributed.

(Back in the Great depression time there was one famous US politician, a competitor of Roosevelt for the presidential election in 1932?, who had "wrong" ideas and rising popularity and was murdered by the "forces of nature", as one could guess).

A) That sounds like an explanation for children to me. The neoliberal dogma of "trade" - "trade" blah-blah, "free trade", "the market" deciding everything. "The trade" in abstracto makes no sense, though.

What about the neoconservatism-neoliberalism political movement in the 70s, the petrol crisis, the "crisis of democracy" in late 60s-70s, Margaret Thatcher in UK and Reagon in the USA.

The fall (destruction) of USSR and the Eastern Bloc destroyed one of the pressures for the USA/Western Europe systems regarding the laborers.

What about the transfer of the production lines to East and South East Asia - to a much lesser extent in Central and Eastern Europe, which were "too expensive" for the investors.

As of the immigration - it's supported by the opening of the borders for more and for cheaper workers (for higher profit), workers who are willing to work for lower wages - the countries' governments are supposed to decide and help or prevent this, it's not a "natural disaster" as it's suggested to children.

In "democratic" countries those governments are supposed also to ask their citizens as well - I doubt Germans would have agreed with all the immigration they have received from the 40s until the latest decisions of their long-lasting "democratic dictatress".

The immigration from Eastern Europe to Western and USA came: 1) because of the opened borders (in favor of the business in these countries) and also 2) largely because of the quickly destroyed industries after the "liberation from the socialism", see Bulgaria for example, to what its economy turned - from the biggest producer of computers and electronics in the Eastern Bloc and a huge producer of agricultural goods.

(Note that the socialism is known as "communism" in Western Europe and USA (the "imperialist-capitalist countries"), although the rule  was never officially called "communism" by the "communists" themselves, except for the name of the parties. ).

Besides the destroyed industry,  some of the countries national and social structure was smashed by the neoliberal "free" globalized media and political agents/non-governmental organizations applying "ideological diversion".

That has been erasing the national awareness and belongings of the young people, they feel less attached  to their fatherland.


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