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Old 01-31-2016, 02:59 PM   #61
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I recently became aware of the basic income concept. In some ways it's not unlike Milton Friedman's idea of throwing money from a helicopter. That is, it may be more efficient to simply distribute money to society in a bulk fashion rather than parse the same amount of funds via myriad programs which may have large degrees of inefficiency and fraud.

I haven't taken time to read all the reference articles mentioned in the posts above. I'm interested in knowing more about the pilot program in Canada. The story I heard on NPR recently referred to a similar pilot program in a small community on the continent of Africa (I think). It seemed to me the pilot program mentioned on NPR was short enough duration that it may be difficult to understand the long-term outcome.

There are people in my own family (cousins, nieces, nephews, etc.) that I suspect would love to receive a basic income even though the idea would be a foreign concept to their ancestors. For some reason many in the younger generations don't seem to be able to increase the size of their pie and the common belief is somebody else controls the size of the pie.

Anyone have other links/references they want to provide? Looks like I have quite a bit of reading to do.
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Here is a program Finland is thinking about. They think it will encourage more people to go back to work.

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Authorities in Finland are considering giving every citizen a tax-free payout of €800 (576) each month.
Under proposals being draw up by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution (Kela), this national basic income would replace all other benefit payments, and would be paid to all adults regardless of whether or not they receive any other income.
Finland is considering giving every citizen ‚800 a month - Telegraph
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:12 AM   #62
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Over the past year or so, I've read several books / articles suggesting some type of guaranteed income approach to remedy the job losses expected to occur from Artificial Intelligence. The general argument is that AI will wipe out most office jobs (who better to sit in front of a computer and peck away all day than, well, a computer). Retail jobs are also said to be on the chopping block, along with driving jobs (self driving cars/trucks), and on and on.

In past productivity revolutions (mechanized farming, factory automation, etc.) jobs were generated in other fields. Some say "it will be different this time" with the AI revolution. I'm thinking they may be right.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:37 AM   #63
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Over the past year or so, I've read several books / articles suggesting some type of guaranteed income approach to remedy the job losses expected to occur from Artificial Intelligence. The general argument is that AI will wipe out most office jobs (who better to sit in front of a computer and peck away all day than, well, a computer). Retail jobs are also said to be on the chopping block, along with driving jobs (self driving cars/trucks), and on and on.

In past productivity revolutions (mechanized farming, factory automation, etc.) jobs were generated in other fields. Some say "it will be different this time" with the AI revolution. I'm thinking they may be right.
I have yet to see a single job in my office replaced by anything resembling AI. Heck, if you put a simple macro in an excel sheet, everyone loses their mind.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:59 AM   #64
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On a related note, Japan has a robot farm in the news today - with an initial goal of producing 30,000 heads of lettuce a day and ramping up to half a million:

World's first robot run farm to open in Japan

Sooner or later there will not be enough jobs for everyone. Personally I think the minimum income is inevitable.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:06 AM   #65
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Is this like that story where a guy drops off a $50 deposit to see a hotel room, the hotel owner takes the $50 and pays off his bartender who takes the $50 to pay off his hardware store and the store guy takes it to pay off someone else and finally someone pays the hotel owner?

At the end, everyone gets their debt paid and the first guy takes his $50 back and leaves.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:12 AM   #66
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"Back in 1930, Keynes predicted that the working week would be drastically cut, to perhaps 15 hours a week, with people choosing to have far more leisure as their material needs were satisfied."
Keynes may have been prescient. We know of quite a few (my BIL and SIL for two) who'd lost their 40 hour a week job and were put on that magic "29" hour work week. Not really enjoying all that free time however.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:26 AM   #67
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Is this like that story where a guy drops off a $50 deposit to see a hotel room, the hotel owner takes the $50 and pays off his bartender who takes the $50 to pay off his hardware store and the store guy takes it to pay off someone else and finally someone pays the hotel owner?

At the end, everyone gets their debt paid and the first guy takes his $50 back and leaves.
Now it is a much shorter end. You buy a item on eBay from a guy in Hong Kong. Or buy it from Best Buy, who got it from Hong Kong. The money, or most of it, goes directly out of the US and it is never seen again.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:28 AM   #68
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I have yet to see a single job in my office replaced by anything resembling AI. Heck, if you put a simple macro in an excel sheet, everyone loses their mind.
The fact you are using Excel (or Word), means someone's job was lost. It is a lighter form of AI. Formulas predict future numbers.

There used to be more secretaries, statisticians, economists, etc.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:47 AM   #69
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The fact you are using Excel (or Word), means someone's job was lost. It is a lighter form of AI. Formulas predict future numbers.

There used to be more secretaries, statisticians, economists, etc.
I don't see economists or actuaries being taken over by AI, at least not in my lifetime. True, formulas predict future numbers but someone has to program the formulas and make certain assumptions about the future - inflation, risk premiums, mortality, SPENDING, various forms of risk/behaviors, etc.

Secretaries definitely got AId by MS Word and PPT.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:47 AM   #70
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The fact you are using Excel (or Word), means someone's job was lost. It is a lighter form of AI. Formulas predict future numbers.

There used to be more secretaries, statisticians, economists, etc.
Yep. Remember the days of the secretarial pool?
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:49 AM   #71
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Keynes may have been prescient. We know of quite a few (my BIL and SIL for two) who'd lost their 40 hour a week job and were put on that magic "29" hour work week. Not really enjoying all that free time however.
I remember when I was in first grade in Lafayette LA...my teacher said that after I got out of college I'd only be working 3 days a week....yeah right!
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:50 AM   #72
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Yep. Remember the days of the secretarial pool?
We used to have one admin for every 4 consultants. Now it's about one per 15.
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:04 PM   #73
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The fact you are using Excel (or Word), means someone's job was lost. It is a lighter form of AI. Formulas predict future numbers.

There used to be more secretaries, statisticians, economists, etc.
But the argument goes that those jobs were shifted to places like MSFT, Intel, Motorola, Google etc where the computers are made and the software is developed.

Semiconductors provided me and thousands others a great living while those jobs were shifted around. Takes time and geography though.

Where did the buggy whip makers and blacksmiths go?

Of course, THAT argument can go on for perhaps 14,000 posts on another thread here.
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:20 PM   #74
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I have a concrete example of office jobs disappearing in my office, by my own hand. We used to have round the clock computer operators (Shift supervisor and 2 or 3 operators), monitoring computer consoles, responding to error messages, calling people to fix problems, submitting jobs, etc. Part of my job over the years was to automate this work. Now, software monitors the computer consoles, responds to error messages, calls people to fix problems that can't be automatically fixed, submits jobs, etc. What little is left of the computer operator responsibilities is handled as a minor task by people with other primary responsibilities.
I would have felt horrible about putting the operators out of work (they were eliminated in one of our countless downsizings), but, they were all getting on in years, totally burned out from the corporate life, and just itching for a buy out. So it all worked out ok in the end.
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:36 PM   #75
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I have yet to see a single job in my office replaced by anything resembling AI. Heck, if you put a simple macro in an excel sheet, everyone loses their mind.
Oh my god, yes. I'm still waiting for broad-based non-artificial intelligence among my fellow humans.

I'm very skeptical that there will ever be a massive shift in the employment environment that makes low skill labor worthless. I think moderate to high skill workers will do better at a faster pace in the next century though. At least until we can build better robots that can develop build better robots that have more creativity than humans.

What are the odds that a robot would come up with the smartphone or cronuts?
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:38 PM   #76
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What about an AI to respond to message board threads for you?
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:38 PM   #77
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There is quite a bit of background and information on the Basic Income idea at this Reddit link - https://www.reddit.com/r/basicincome/wiki/index

Worth a look if you want to consider how it might look and what the supposed benefits would be.
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:45 PM   #78
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On a related note, Japan has a robot farm in the news today - with an initial goal of producing 30,000 heads of lettuce a day and ramping up to half a million:

World's first robot run farm to open in Japan

Sooner or later there will not be enough jobs for everyone. Personally I think the minimum income is inevitable.
There will be more than enough jobs designing, testing, and installing those robots and building the facility where the robots farm.

Will robots ever develop the next disease resistant variety of lettuce to plant in those robot farms? Will they develop a better tasting, higher yielding lettuce variety?

I bet some humans will still be required in the production process. They might not be stooping to pick lettuce but might be splicing DNA sequences or upgrading the operating software to implement better cultivation techniques.
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:50 PM   #79
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Yep. Remember the days of the secretarial pool?
Typing a letter myself instead of giving it to an admin is not an example of AI in the workplace.

Automatic monitoring of industrial equipment is a little closer to AI but still not really intelligence as I think of it, just following pre-programmed rules.
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:59 PM   #80
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On a related note, Japan has a robot farm in the news today - with an initial goal of producing 30,000 heads of lettuce a day and ramping up to half a million:

World's first robot run farm to open in Japan

Sooner or later there will not be enough jobs for everyone. Personally I think the minimum income is inevitable.
I'll bet THAT lettuce doesn't get contaminated with human e-coli. Chipotle may want to be their first customer

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