Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Not The First Time

I was reading this piece in The Guardian about AI and robots and noticed a comment that needed addressing:
However, without rethinking the relationship between work and society, the result could be a growing disparity between economic winners and losers.

“We are in danger, for the first time in history, of creating a large number of people who are not needed,” he said. “The question should be, what sort of economy do you want, and to meet what human needs?”

Actually this is not the first time in history where a large number of people became "unnecessary" economically. When the United States ended slavery and picking cotton was mechanized, African slaves became unnecessary. Although many Africans filled a niche in the auto industry and other relatively low skilled labour areas, as industrial work disappeared African-Americans were hit extremely hard.

Yesterday I posted about the pimp trade in Milwaukee where it was stated that less than half of the adult black male population was "formally employed". Indeed if we want to know what is likely to happen as people are no longer needed or wanted in the "formal" work market, all you have to do is look at various "inner cities". Here's the second thing:

Beijia Ma, the report’s lead author, said that over the past 200 years and more, societies have eventually found ways of turning technological developments to their advantage.

She said the best advice for people fearing the rise of the robots is to polish up their skills. “It’s not meant to be a doom and gloom report: one of the ways we think people could help themselves here is through education.”

The people so motivated and intelligent enough to be [currently] out of reach of AI, will have already done so. John Derbyshire has a piece on "magic dirt". This idea that simply placing people in certain places will make them perform better. The same thing applies here. These people who keep saying that people can re-educate themselves into jobs that AI doesn't do, clearly do not understand how intelligence works or is distributed in any given population.