E45: Futurist Martin Ford on: the 23 Leading Architects of AI

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Episode Summary:

Listen to the full episode on iTunes (and please leave a rating to help the podcast reach more people): E45: Futurist Martin Ford on: the 23 Leading Architects of AI

  • Development of strong AI could be humanity’s last invention.
  • A robot is a mechanical contraction. Something that can physically manipulate the world. It also involves some form of artificial intelligence.
  • Hardware jobs: Manual labor jobs will be replaced by robots.
  • Software jobs: Repeatable knowledge jobs such as bookkeeping are already becoming replaced by software.
  • In the long run all repetitive jobs will disappear.
  • Overall robots and AI will replace at least 50% of jobs.
  • It can result in a better world where people have more choice and don’t have to work as much, but we have to figure out how to adapt to this.
  • Since the average person is only suited for performing repetitive work, we will have a society where 50% of it is unemployed.
  • The problem is that one of our core societal values is about contributing to society through work.
  • Therefore, this value has to be changed to accommodate those who can’t work.
  • We will need an Universal Basic Income (UBI) policy to accommodate those who don’t work.
  • This ensures that everyone has food, shelter and basic necessities.
  • In addition to this, we will need to make incentives to increase UBI so unemployed people can find fulfillment in their lives.
  • For example, by studying in university or volunteering you increase your UBI.
  • Each country must have their own UBI which depends on the country’s resources.
  • UBI is not compatible with open borders because assuming that we have open borders people from poor nations will just move to the highest UBI countries.
  • Companies who lead AI: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple. In China: Tencent, Baidu, Ali baba.
  • These companies have enormous resources, control endless data (most valuable resource for making AI) and they can hire the best people.
  • The threat of AI: You could have an autonomous super intelligence that pursues a goal such as killing as many people as possible but doesn’t understand what it’s doing as an inner experience. This could be more scary than a conscious super intelligence.
  • Nuclear weapons vs. AI: To build nuclear weapons you need to be a nation state like North Korea because you need a huge amount of resources to manipulate uranium.
  • To build AI you need a relatively small amount of resources. Most AI technology is open source, therefore it relies more on intelligence than resources. A few people in a basement can do big things with AI. E.g. make thousands of drones that attack people.
  • You can see when people develop nuclear weapons but you can’t see when they develop AI therefore the least regulated will win the AI space in the end.
  • The value of AI will likely not be produced by the companies building the AI. Instead, it will be produced by companies that leverage that AI to create more valuable things. For example, the company that created electricity did not become extremely rich. But google who leveraged electricity to do big things became rich.
  • Google is at the forefront of AI because they own DeepMind.
  • Advice for 25 year olds who want a future proof career that doesn’t get automated: Focus on creativity, sophisticated relationship building with people (doctor, nurse, business world), dexterity and mobility (electricians, plumbers).
  • Avoid jobs where you sit in front of a computer where you repeat the same tasks.
  • Even if you work for someone else, think of it in an entrepreneurial way.

Oskar Faarkrog

We are right now creating the Future Skills Program which will be an online video course covering decision-making and risk management with weekly homework and evaluations.

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1 comment

  1. Robots/AI /could/ replace 100% of jobs, but why waste resources doing things only useless humans need?

    Already <50% of adults are doing anything useful.

    "AI" is not a binary "is or ain't" thing like The Bomb. It's anthropomorphic to conceive of information systems in terms of human abilities and desires. A human questioning whether an AI is conscious is like a jellyfish wondering if building a civilization would taste like plankton.

    People have talked about AI for generations but development has focused on immediately useful capabilities instead of some isolated system that can replace an unreliable general purpose unit of which there are already seven billion hanging around. "Strong AI" as a replacement for humans is like using an aircraft factory to produce socks.

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