Turning coal miners into coders is not the answer to automation

Human value is tied to the job market. Will automation be a full-on crisis?

  • Andrew Yang is running for president in 2020 as a Democrat. In this video, he discusses the greatest challenge of our time: automation and human-centered capitalism.
  • Currently, a person's value is linked to the economic value of their job. So the soon-to-be-extinct coal miner should find new purpose by becoming a software coder, right?
  • That's shortsighted, says Yang. One day soon, even the best coders will be outpaced by AI. We need to prepare for the inevitable future by shifting how we fundamentally think about human value.
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The biggest A.I. risks: Superintelligence and the elite silos

When it comes to raising superintelligent A.I., kindness may be our best bet.

  • We have no guarantee that a superintelligent A.I. is going to do what we want. Once we create something many times more intelligent than we are, it may be "insane" to think we can control what it does.
  • What's the best bet to ensure superintelligent A.I. remains compliant with humans and does good works, such as advance medicine? To raise it in a way that's imbued with compassion and understanding, says Goertzel.
  • One way to limit "people doing bad things out of frustration," it may be advantageous for the entire world to be plugged into the A.I. economy so that developers, from whatever country, can monetize their codes.

You have doppelgängers. They’re quietly influencing your life.

Companies refer to like-minded strangers when recommending products to you.

  • One way companies recommend products to you is by referring the purchasing tendencies of individuals who have bought similar items in past. When these individuals have many similarities, they are referred to as doppelgangers.
  • This can also work in medicine. When someone gets sick, professionals may refer to the patient's health doppelganger, who's had similar symptoms, and prescribe treatments that previously worked.
  • It's a powerful methodology and it gets more powerful the more data you have. That is, the more data you have, the more likely you're going to find someone in that data set who's "really, really" similar to you.

Why the school-college-job pathway is about to go extinct

Here's how "human work" will supplant the traditional idea of jobs.

  • The automation age will render the traditional concept of "jobs" obsolete. Human work is about to undergo an historic shift. Is the education system ready?
  • Lumina Foundation is partnering with Big Think to unearth the next large-scale, rapid innovation in post-high school education.
  • If you have an idea that could empower learning beyond high school, enter the Lumina Prize. You could win flights and accommodation for two nights in New York City, media training from Big Think's producers and social venture advisors, and the opportunity to film a Big Think video that will be seen by a network of potential investors and an audience of 5.5 million people.
  • Enter the Lumina Prize below.

One-third of all slavery is visible from space

Advances in satellite imagery are shining a light.

Boyd et al., 2018
  • Today, there are 40.3 million slaves on the planet, more than the number of people living in Canada.
  • Slavery can be hard to find, but it commonly occurs in several key industries like fishing and mining.
  • Using satellite data, researchers and activists are using crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence to identify sites where slavery is taking place.
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