Author Topic: I, Robot  (Read 1703 times)

rong

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I, Robot
« on: December 20, 2013, 07:09:07 am »
So, I finally saw the movie I, Robot

I thought it was a pretty good flick.  Not, that great, though because during the movie my mind began to wander.  That happens a lot during movies. 

Anyhow, I began to wonder about what would happen to the economy and how things would be different if there were an abundance of able bodied robots to perform all of our duties for us.  If every job could be done by robots (including the manufacturing of robots) - what would drive the economy?  do robots necessitate socialism?  government entitlements?  would it further separate the classes?  are we approaching something similar already due to the fact that so many processes are now automated?

Since there's no such thing as an original thought, it occurred to me that there must already exist some very good writing on this subject.

I figure some study of cultures where slavery was practiced would also be a fairly good indicator - early america, ancient egypt, etc.  It would be nice to think that robots mean we will all live like egyptian royalty. 

I suppose scarcity of resources will always come into play. . .

Can anyone point me to some good reading on this subject?  I'm not looking to to research a graduate thesis or anything - just some leisurely reading to feed my pondering. 

Thanks in advance.
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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 07:37:44 am »
That seems like pretty good thinking, and I don't have any resources but I would not be at all surprised if Cain did.
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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 08:50:09 am »
Technological Democracy would be the key. I can't think of any other system that would not breed any more batshit anarchists. The selling point for the robots to the public would be why work 5 days a week let the robots do the work!

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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 09:00:27 am »
I would suggest that if all possible tasks were automated the main thing left to drive an economy would be the creative arts. It's probably possible that AI would be effectively able to replicate creative thinking, but I'd say that's considerably more advanced.

Can't recall the film too well beyond the "I, Product Placement" stuff which I seem to remember happening a lot. I suppose that could be another avenue of the future economy - Humans as advertisers/promoters for goods totally removed from the creation side.
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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 09:06:21 am »
By the time we get to self replicating nano-machines the whole concept of economy will be as outdated as the barter system. Ubiquitous robots may or may not be a half way step.
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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2013, 12:30:40 pm »
Production already is a tiny fraction of human occupation. Yet still we work a lot more than we need to.
We could already get pretty close to such a workless society but for several reasons this isn't happening.
One reason is the cultural norm of excessive consumption. BUY MORE STUFF BUY MORE STUFF. This forces people to have an income way above what they actually need to survive. Another may be the governments that do not want us to work less because then they get less taxes, though i don't think the govt is aware enough for that.
I am sure there are other reasons.
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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2013, 01:28:47 pm »
Didn't RAW have something about this?  "The Revolution of Higher Expectations," and all that?

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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2013, 08:22:42 pm »
Didn't RAW have something about this?  "The Revolution of Higher Expectations," and all that?

"RI2CH Economy" where people get a living wage guaranteed, because if your job gets replaced by a robot, you get a kickback each month. If you're the one who designed the robot to replace yourself, you'd get a bigger kickback. Get another job, design yourself out of it again, etc, etc. The people you replace get guaranteed income, on top of the next job they get.
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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2013, 08:28:09 pm »
The way I handled this when I was writing a sci-fi thing the way I handled it was that there was a minimum stipend people got after doing some service, then if you want a not-shitty place to live and other niceties, you get a job in design, management, or quality assurance.

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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2013, 08:37:09 pm »
Didn't RAW have something about this?  "The Revolution of Higher Expectations," and all that?

"RI2CH Economy" where people get a living wage guaranteed, because if your job gets replaced by a robot, you get a kickback each month. If you're the one who designed the robot to replace yourself, you'd get a bigger kickback. Get another job, design yourself out of it again, etc, etc. The people you replace get guaranteed income, on top of the next job they get.

Yeah, that's the one.  It sounded a lot better when I was younger and more idealistic.

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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2013, 08:42:16 pm »
Ideachannel had some interesting thoughts about "post scarcity economy" here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klQ7bb8bBsQ

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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2013, 08:46:26 pm »
unrelated: my favorite moment in I, Robot was when Will Smith overrode the car's autopilot, grabbed the wheel, and the girl was like HOLY CRAP WHAT ARE YOU DOING, DONT YOU KNOW DRIVING A CAR IS REALLY FUCKING DANGEROUS??






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Re: I, Robot
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2013, 08:18:03 am »
Singularity Sky and Accelerando by Charlie Stross,  and the late great Iain Banks' Culture novels are great reading on this topic. A short story by Bruce Sterling called Maneki Neko (in a book called A Good Old Fashioned Future) is particularly great about the transition to a networked gift economy. In real life, there is the Guaranteed Basic Income initiative in the EU.
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