Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them. - Laurence J. Peter

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Singularity Summit - Marshall Brain

Marshall Brain is talking about the effect of widespread AI and robotics, even if the AI is not strong AI but merely has decent vision and natural language understanding (which we are very close to or have already achieved depending on your standard). The fields of transportation (robot cars and robot FedEx delivery guys), education (robot teachers - particularly at lower levels like kindergarden), construction (a robot with decent vision can lay bricks and use a nailgun), and retail (e.g. McDonalds) will be transformed.

This will be disruptive as robots take over a lot of jobs. He confidently predicts that tens of millions of people will lose their jobs and predicts this being an enormous problem. (He didn't address it, but presumably he doesn't expect people to able to retrain for other jobs, at least not in a reasonable timeframe. This seems plausible; not everyone is smart enough to do the smart jobs.)

Will we send 50 million people on perpetual vacation?


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