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Author Topic: Stephen Hawking: ‘technology is driving ever-increasing inequality"  (Read 2256 times)
johnyj
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October 08, 2015, 11:03:46 PM
 #1

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-questions-with-stephen-hawking-technology-is-driving-ever-increasing-inequality-2015-10-08

Question: Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment, where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them?

Hawking: If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality

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October 08, 2015, 11:14:18 PM
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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-questions-with-stephen-hawking-technology-is-driving-ever-increasing-inequality-2015-10-08

Question: Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment, where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them?

Hawking: If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality

TPTB read his archives
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October 09, 2015, 06:33:43 AM
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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-questions-with-stephen-hawking-technology-is-driving-ever-increasing-inequality-2015-10-08

Question: Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment, where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them?

Hawking: If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality

What would be the definition of a fair distribution? No human is equal and all their needs are different.

Just regarding food: A 50 kg woman would need much less than a 100 kg man.

Also, what will people do? I guess luxurious leisure gets boring very fast and people will start doing stuff (crime, etc.)
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October 09, 2015, 08:45:56 AM
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I presume he meant a basic standard of living a human beings should expect of course if AI get to the standard where an AI sees our intelligence like that of snails then I'm sure these issues would have been resolved.

You know regular equality no slavery besides debt slavery and food on the table, with a fairly secure knowledge you will be safe in the night and not hunted down in the wilderness.
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October 09, 2015, 10:05:43 PM
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So what's new? Technology and knowledge, or having specific skills have always created inequality. Doctors have always been more successful than peasants. The good thing is that you can't master technology in all fields. A guy can be a champion in computer science, but will he be able to fix his toilet without a plumber if there's something wrong with it?

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October 10, 2015, 02:49:45 AM
 #6

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-questions-with-stephen-hawking-technology-is-driving-ever-increasing-inequality-2015-10-08

Question: Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment, where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them?

Hawking: If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality

What would be the definition of a fair distribution? No human is equal and all their needs are different.

Just regarding food: A 50 kg woman would need much less than a 100 kg man.

Also, what will people do? I guess luxurious leisure gets boring very fast and people will start doing stuff (crime, etc.)


Well if I was able to enjoy 100% of free time why the hell would I involve myself in crime? Most crime is due lack of money anyway, so in a society where you don't need to work to have a good standard of life, crime would be reduced by like 99% and the people that still commit crime would be the severly fucked up at dna level.
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October 10, 2015, 04:27:30 AM
Last edit: October 10, 2015, 05:46:04 PM by bit1
 #7

This issue should not be taken in any way to the light and I'm glad that there are people concerned about this issue, The worst scenary can be that Someday the IA can enslave to humanity for a kind of vanity or stupidity  to think that we are on the right track when it may be just the opposite, The question could also be if:  are the natural evolution part the machines  of ?
Think on it:  God did to humans not did IA, God could have his rules If we let us against them as we are  finished, I'm not against technological advancement because many lives have been saved thanks to this,
We life is easy more than our ancestors. Etc.
But  as all must put certain limits, Pretending not always go further and further because at one point we will find something we will can not control how humanity, So maybe  some things are not the product of mere chance as someone might think, The time to participate in this thread on this topic can be a example.
So Stephen Hawking one of the most brilliant minds of all times say that technology is driving ever-increasing inequality and personally I think that is right, If oneself  wonders wich that causes all this?
We back to the same words: Vanity, Stupidity and we can add others like to ambition and so on.  

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October 10, 2015, 06:02:24 AM
 #8

So what's new? Technology and knowledge, or having specific skills have always created inequality. Doctors have always been more successful than peasants. The good thing is that you can't master technology in all fields. A guy can be a champion in computer science, but will he be able to fix his toilet without a plumber if there's something wrong with it?


What's new is the speed of growth of the inequality. He makes a great point (and obviously he's brilliantly smart). More automation in manufacturing results in fewer jobs, therefore more poor. Technology also allows those with access to it to benefit from its wealth building opportunities. Take the signature campaigns on this forum, someone without access to the internet or without a computer would have a much harder time gathering bitcoin as many of us do.

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October 10, 2015, 12:03:12 PM
Last edit: October 10, 2015, 12:22:19 PM by BobK71
 #9


What's really driving inequality is the state-bank alliance (anchored by the central bank) of the modern system, that's designed to take wealth from the rest of society.  Technology or any other pro-growth (or more correctly pro-hyper-growth) mechanism is only a middleman in this process.

A system of debt-money must have real economic growth, or the system will implode (like it's threatening to, right now.)  When lenders and investors decide there won't be enough profits from the economy to repay loans, they will liquidate, demand will collapse, and most people will lose their jobs.  So, under the leadership of the elites, everyone and everything is nudged to seek profit and growth at all cost.  If the environment, community, or happiness suffers, so be it.

A collapse might also be painful enough to make most people eventually realize the nature of our (not really market-based) system, which would erode the elites' power.

This system is happy to reward anyone handsomely who might have a chance of generating demand in the real economy.  Super concentration of capital naturally creates super-concentrated talent and progress.  If safety can be ignored (as with Uber,) what is a little bit of inequality and long-term unemployment?

A healthy system of money and finance would see much slower real ecoonomic growth (as savers would be allowed to be careful with their investments.)  But the entire society would gradually adjust to new technologies in a more even and sustainable fashion.  Technology would truly be the labor saving device for everyone that it's supposed to be.
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October 10, 2015, 12:26:47 PM
 #10


What's really driving inequality is the state-bank alliance (anchored by the central bank) of the modern system, that's designed to take wealth from the rest of society.  Technology or any other pro-growth (or more correctly pro-hyper-growth) mechanism is only a middleman in this process.

A system of debt-money must have real economic growth, or the system will implode (like it's threatening to, right now.)  When lenders and investors decide there won't be enough profits from the economy to repay loans, they will liquidate, demand will collapse, and most people will lose their jobs.  So, under the leadership of the elites, everyone and everything is nudged to seek profit and growth at all cost.  If the environment, community, or happiness suffers, so be it.

A collapse might also be painful enough to make most people eventually realize the nature of our (not really market-based) system, which would erode the elites' power.

This system is happy to reward anyone handsomely who might have a chance of generating demand in the real economy.  Super concentration of capital naturally creates super-concentrated talent and progress.  If safety can be ignored (as with Uber,) what is a little bit of inequality and long-term unemployment?

A healthy system of money and finance would see much slower real ecoonomic growth (as savers would be allowed to be careful with their investments.)  But the entire society would gradually adjust to new technologies in a more even and sustainable fashion.  Technology would truly be the labor saving device for everyone that it's supposed to be.

How the elites would prefer to "fix" this problem (and what Hawking is hinting at) is, of course, not to dismantle the core system, but to throw crumbs to the masses to keep them more or less content.  This would be somewhat analogous to Rome's bread and circus.  Rather than dismantle slavery, they much preferred to give charities to citizens who had lost their jobs to slavery.
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October 10, 2015, 02:44:42 PM
 #11


What's really driving inequality is the state-bank alliance (anchored by the central bank) of the modern system, that's designed to take wealth from the rest of society.  Technology or any other pro-growth (or more correctly pro-hyper-growth) mechanism is only a middleman in this process.


Exactly, the reason that technology improvement drives inequality is mainly because fiat money based economy, where you must pay some fiat money in exchange of something else, so the one who creates the fiat money will control all the productivity in the entire country

But even under a gold standard, the market based exchange would still give power to those who can mass produce useful things, eventually those producers will become the super power. Today, those producers are limited by the central bank and government regulators


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October 10, 2015, 04:16:49 PM
 #12

This outcome suits the purposes of the people steering the ship. I wonder whether they have to foresight to realise that there's a seething mass of people growing ever more resentful at the direction the world is taking. You can't really enjoy your wealth if the world beyond your walled garden has turned into Mad Maxville.

I wonder whether it'll ever reach a point where humans are capable of putting the brakes on 'progress' for the greater good. I seriously doubt it.

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October 10, 2015, 08:27:03 PM
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So, this time it is different?  Tech is gonna make much of the world poorer and more unequal despite the fact of, well, history.  You can find an individual who is worse off because they lost a job due to technology but you can't say that people of the industrialised West today aren't much better off because the buggy whip maker dies poor and broke.  The development and use of technology to better mankind is one of the hallmarks of modern civilization.  Technology wasn't always viewed this way and people like hawking should know better.

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October 12, 2015, 12:43:00 PM
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Exactly, the reason that technology improvement drives inequality is mainly because fiat money based economy, where you must pay some fiat money in exchange of something else, so the one who creates the fiat money will control all the productivity in the entire country

But even under a gold standard, the market based exchange would still give power to those who can mass produce useful things, eventually those producers will become the super power. Today, those producers are limited by the central bank and government regulators



Technology drives inequality because technological progress is on super-charge.  Because too much money is being issued, there are never enough good investments, so all that money is looking for anything that half-resembles a good future business.

The gold standard was only another (earlier) method by the bank-state alliance to prop up the value of paper money and debt with state power.

Only total disengagement of the state from money would represent truly free money.
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October 12, 2015, 12:50:23 PM
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So, this time it is different?  Tech is gonna make much of the world poorer and more unequal despite the fact of, well, history.  You can find an individual who is worse off because they lost a job due to technology but you can't say that people of the industrialised West today aren't much better off because the buggy whip maker dies poor and broke.  The development and use of technology to better mankind is one of the hallmarks of modern civilization.  Technology wasn't always viewed this way and people like hawking should know better.

Technological progress driven by the market would be beneficial as you mentioned.  However, we don't live in a free market, not really.  All markets are ultimately and strongly driven by money and finance, which are centrally planned.

The system strongly and unnaturally favors super-charged technological change (because the system must find real growth somewhere to justify the value of the financial assets issued, and propped up by the state, to benefit the elites.)  Resentment due to inequality, more than is natural for technological change, is only one of the many symptoms of social and economic sickness.
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October 12, 2015, 01:36:23 PM
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So, this time it is different?  Tech is gonna make much of the world poorer and more unequal despite the fact of, well, history.  You can find an individual who is worse off because they lost a job due to technology but you can't say that people of the industrialised West today aren't much better off because the buggy whip maker dies poor and broke.  The development and use of technology to better mankind is one of the hallmarks of modern civilization.  Technology wasn't always viewed this way and people like hawking should know better.

I agree.

The notion that all people should be provided with equal resources regardless of their productive contribution is simply socialist ideology that has nothing to do with the law of nature. Using technology to attain such an ill-founded goal will slow down societal progress as a whole, because it wrongly rewards maladaptive behavior and non-performance. As a result there will be no incentive to attain higher goals and evolve, ultimately leading to the decline of the whole society.

The only thing that needs to be guaranteed is that there is no power abuse by those who control certain parts of the industry. So free competition without cartels is essential, so everyone has the chance for achievement.

ya.ya.yo!
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October 12, 2015, 01:52:33 PM
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So, this time it is different?  Tech is gonna make much of the world poorer and more unequal despite the fact of, well, history.  You can find an individual who is worse off because they lost a job due to technology but you can't say that people of the industrialized West today aren't much better off because the buggy whip maker dies poor and broke.  The development and use of technology to better mankind is one of the hallmarks of modern civilization.  Technology wasn't always viewed this way and people like hawking should know better.

Conquer by violence or Conquer by technology or Conquer by intelligence, they are all the same, technology is just one of the tools

Hawking means that instead of everyone can have a luxurious leisure life, now 99% is working to death to serve the 1%, and when the day robot arrives, they will just become unemployed, maintain their living by social security check

Imagine that a group of multi-nation corporation that can produce almost everything that human needs, the question is that why do they need rest of the human?







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October 12, 2015, 02:26:53 PM
 #18

I think there will always be work for us humans, machines cannot do everything, not to mention that in many fields people is skeptic to AIs even if they outperform us (for example, the MYCIN case).

As of today, technology is doing the opposite, just see how many people here is getting paid for offering services/selling goods to people in the other side of the globe, how would it be possible without ITs? of course if you do not have any skill, nor care about developing one, you will be doomed to have nothing... what is wrong with that? Just see how the "equality" experiments have gone... Crimezuela, UnexistentRSS, etc.

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October 12, 2015, 08:46:24 PM
 #19

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-questions-with-stephen-hawking-technology-is-driving-ever-increasing-inequality-2015-10-08

Question: Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment, where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them?

Hawking: If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality

Not a surprise at all! Human greed is a champion of all the bad! This doesn't mean that we need to stop innovating. Innovation is deep in us humans as well, and until us humans are on this planet, we will have a need of innovation.

This means that we will have to keep looking for a balance and other solution on how to fight this greed. But this is definitely not by choking down on the innovation and technology.
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October 15, 2015, 10:05:30 AM
 #20

that's right,developing machines or robot to produce something will make worker poor, but if you developing thing that can make job or something easier (helping human) it'll be very usefull  Grin

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