FROM RANPRIER.com 2007
November 16. Creepy news: Led by Robots, Roaches Abandon Instincts. From the abstract of the scientific paper:
“Even when in the minority, robots can modulate the collective decision-making process and produce a global pattern not observed in their absence. These results demonstrate the possibility of using intelligent autonomous devices to study and control self-organized behavioral patterns in group-living animals.”
I was about to say, in a few years they’ll be doing it with humans… but they’re already doing it with humans, and I don’t mean television — they’re doing exactly the same thing with human children, integrating mechanical robots into groups to study and control their behavior. Patricia sends this article from a week ago, Could robots become your toddler’s new best friend?
The scariest thing is that cockroaches, over tens of millions of years, have evolved an egalitarian cooperative society, and yet they can still be controlled by shadowy powers without their knowledge. Even if humans, say in a million years, catch up to cockroaches and learn deep resistance to hierarchy, we still have to learn resistance to subtle manipulation of collective decision-making. But Patricia is is oddly optimistic:
“As cool as cockroaches are, they are not very high on the individual consciousness scale. I think many humans are quite capable of out-evolving this type of control. If we were not, we’d all be sending large checks to anonymous Nigerian bankers, right? In short, cockroaches lack the ability to assume the worst, to withhold their trust or belief. They are innocents, pre-Fall, in the Edenic eternal now — until they get squished.”
“…I chose Lake Michigan because its size, in fluid ounces, is roughly the same as the computing power of the human brain measured in calculations per second.”
(see cool animation in the link below…)
Welcome, Robot Overlords. Please Don’t Fire Us?
Smart machines probably won’t kill us all—but they’ll definitely take our jobs, and sooner than you think.
“What are the signs of a computer-driven economy?
1) First and most obviously, if automation were displacing labor, we’d expect to see a steady decline in the share of the population that’s employed.
2) Second, we’d expect to see fewer job openings than in the past.
3) Third, as more people compete for fewer jobs, we’d expect to see middle-class incomes flatten in a race to the bottom.
4) Fourth, with consumption stagnant, we’d expect to see corporations stockpile more cash and, fearing weaker sales, invest less in new products and new factories.
5) Fifth, as a result of all this, we’d expect to see labor’s share of national income decline and capital’s share rise.
These trends are the five horsemen of the robotic apocalypse, and guess what? We’re already seeing them…”
Exciting times. Hard to say whether to be optimistic or pessimistic. Probably it will all work out and best to focus on 2013!
How Technology Is Destroying Jobs, MIT Technology Review
By David Rotman on June 12, 2013
“Then, beginning in 2000, the lines diverge; productivity continues to rise robustly, but employment suddenly wilts. By 2011, a significant gap appears between the two lines, showing economic growth with no parallel increase in job creation. Brynjolfsson and McAfee call it the “great decoupling.””
I think Dave Winer will be proven right on this. Apps will die. The web will live. Why? Because of linking. LINK
And perhaps the ease of making mobile-friendly web pages and “responsive web design”, even websites which act just like a native app on the iPhones or Androids of the world — have you seen nytimes.com/chrome/ in a Chrome browser?
Just about the only thing which will stay apps are video games since linking is not (or at least, less) important in a game since games are usually self-contained universes. And even there I might be a little wrong.