• @[email protected]
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    57 months ago

    We seem to always come up with more stuff to do than we get with productivity improvements

    That’s because in the past, obsolete jobs have tended to be replaced. From wagon makers and coachmen to auto workers and cab drivers. From ice block deliverymen to refrigerator repairmen. From literal shit shovelers to plumbers. You get the idea.

    This time is different though, for a few key reasons:

    1. The key selling point of the new way, other than convenience, is not having to pay people or indeed involve any of them unless absolutely necessary. NOT replacing lost jobs is part of the POINT.

    2. While the world has been on a trajectory of fewer and fewer people owning more and more of the world’s resources AND DECISION POWER for centuries, the last few decades of technological advances (which are of course a good thing when used well) coupled with regulatory capture have seen this trend explode like never before.

    The robber barons and feudal nobility of old that we tend to look at as the personification of uneven and unjust societies would be absolutely aghast at the excesses and callousness if today’s business leaders and the politicians that enable them.

    In other words, the people with the power to replace the lost income are incentivised not to like never before and many of them got where they are because they didn’t need any incentives to act callous and selfishly while forever striving for more more more and not giving a fuck about anyone who might get in the way of that.

    1. As others have pointed out, the only potential replacement jobs are basically just correcting errors the AI made, for which nobody’s paying anyone anywhere near as much as for actually creating things.

    2. Thanks to the previously mentioned regulatory capture as well as international treaties on which workers rarely have a say, it’s increasingly becoming illegal, even for sovereign countries, to hinder the profiteering of corporations for any reason, even the preservation of human lives.

    So good luck securing dignity for the people economically displaced by the hot new thing that few of the elite understand, but almost all of them prefer over paying workers.

    The time where everybody needs to work in order to survive but almost nobody is able to GET any work is approaching, and replacing writers and visual artists with lines of code will be a huge leap towards that dystopia if we don’t somehow band together and stop it.

    • @[email protected]
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      07 months ago

      I just think I have heard this before, that this time is different. I am sure if you look back each major disruption had “this time is different”. And from what I’ve read, at no time did the robber barons of the age want to replace jobs, new jobs just happened.

      • @[email protected]
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        27 months ago

        at no time did the robber barons of the age want to replace jobs

        That’s actually not true. As greedy and callous as they were, their fortunes were absolutely dependent on human labor and their wealth was limited by how much gold and money existed/could be minted and printed.

        Today, though, the vast majority of wealth doesn’t exist physically and human labor being replaced with AI makes billionaire wealth independent of labor, which is what they love about it.

        With it rendering human input unnecessary and most wealth already being intangible and increasingly independent on actually working for a living, AI replacing human workers doesn’t create any necessity or other incentive for employers to hire people for something new.

        Only new opportunities would be for cleaning up code and correcting language errors, neither of which fits the proclivities and abilities of the creative people AI replaces. Any “new” jobs would be for programmers already doing similar tasks and already in short supply.

        • @[email protected]
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          17 months ago

          Wait. You think the industrial revolution fit the ex farmers proclivities and existing abilities? Factory shift work is pretty different from self owned farms.

          You think the mass produced furniture factories owners worried about the local craftsmen they were replacing or that those craftsmen loved the idea of going to work in a factory?

          You think that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were wringing their hands in the early 90s as they basically replaced secretaries?

          I have only ever heard of one famous industrialist care about the money his workers made in relationship to paying them, and that was Henry Ford. I’m pretty sure he was an outlier and hence why he was remembered. Atlas Shrugged was written what? 70 years ago with the idea that rich people could go off and not need anyone else… This isn’t a new idea or desire, but yet we do keep coming up with different stuff to do.

          I think you’re underestimating how large the productivity gains over the last 150 or so years have been, mixed with how much the costs to get access to the tools have fallen. Doing laundry used to cost a person hours of hand work near a river, now you can go rent time in a laundrymat for like $6 a wash and dry load. Having this discussion would have cost days of either travel to meet up, or several letters back and forth and time. It’s basically free and instant now. Most people were farmers because paying for food was incredibly expensive when most farming was substinance productivity. Now we have an epidemic of too much food availability.

          I think it’s as likely that more people having access to cheap AI tools will just let them do more and different things, and “controlling it with pricing” forgets international competition.

          I am thinking of things like the laser cutters. For Idk, 7 years or so the main consumer one was the glowforge, for like 3500 dollars. Now you can get one from a bunch of Chinese vendors for 1000. Lesser ones are 250. It’s more and more accessible, and I just think this will happen with AI tools too, as long as you’re not hung up one one brand.