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Thread: Is the modern education system completely at odds with the future of society?

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    Question Is the modern education system completely at odds with the future of society?



    You have all read it in the news. Most jobs will progressively disappear over the next 20 years. Actually most reports are greatly underestimating the exponential power of artificial intelligence and robotics and how fast they will suddenly replace practically any job if people will let them. Well that's the thing. Will people ever accept that their job is taken over by a machine? Most would rejoice at not having to contact an unreliable and potentially dishonest builder, lawyer, plumber, doctor, or whatever when they need one. Wouldn't it be so much easier if I had a domestic robot that could fix my house, tend my garden, cook, clean the house, advise me on my health and on legal issues, play with the kids, teach me foreign languages, and keep us up to date with the news we are interested in? That's the dream for many people. If that were to happen, most human doctors, lawyers, builders, cleaners, gardeners, etc. would lose their jobs - simply because demand would collapse. I am sure there would always be some traditionalists would prefer to hire a human instead of a robot. Just look at the dramatic rise (mostly through exceptional birth rates among these communities) of the Amish and the Haredi Jews, who both reject modern lifestyle and a lot of modern technologies. This is already creating a gaping digital divide in society, but this will get much worse in the coming decades as the connected majority will increasingly rely on technology for everything in their lives.

    The issue that I would like to address here is the usefulness of the traditional education system. Some experts have warned that it is a waste of time to teach all children mathematics, as virtually all calculations will be done by phones, computers, robots, you name it, in the future. We have already reached a point where new technologies cannot be developed without AI for the calculations. In 15 or 20 years, all progress will be led by machine thinking, and humans will just sit back and watch think unravel before their eyes. AI will be so powerful (billions of times the capacities of the most brilliant human brain) that it would be pointless to even try to follow. It would take a mathematician hours to understand a second of AI calculation at that point. So why bother? We aren't there yet, but babies born now will never have to become mathematicians or even scientists. Actually they will never have to become lawyers, doctors, engineers, accountants, translator, or practically any of the jobs that the current education system prepares for.

    I have given much thought to this in the last two years. At first, I expected that the only jobs left would be creative ones, like artists, as well as social ones, like care takers, sport teachers, party organisers, or even hairdressers (as many people, especially women, like to chat with their hairdresser and want someone who understands what haircut they like). But after some reflection it turns out that all these jobs could be performed much better by humanoid robots. So much is obvious when watching the Swedish TV series Real Humans, in which very real-looking humanoid robots (some indistinguishable from real humans, hence the title) are seen by a part of the population as more desirable sports coach, teachers, or even friends (if not lover) than actual human beings. This will happen gradually, as a lot of humans aren't very good at adapting to change, especially past a certain age. But as younger generations grow up in a world where ruled by robots, they will naturally choose the almost perfect humanoid robot, that can be customised at will to their liking and needs, to the never-perfect real humans.

    This may sound like a bleak prospect for the future of humanity, a world where people prefer to socialise with machines than with other people. When you think about it, it has already started. How many people play video games or fiddle with their smartphone instead of talking to people?

    That leads me to the future of education. Or rather how urgent it is becoming to reform education. The current Western education system has its roots in 18th-century Prussia, where schoolboys where taught discipline and made to sit on test and reproduce what they had learned in order to make good little soldiers. The United Kingdom copied the system, which eventually spread to all the Western world and beyond. The purpose is now to make law-abiding and docile workers who listen to authority, be it from their company's top managers or to politicians (although the latter is undergoing a collapse as the business world is overtaking the political world).

    But we don't need to create hard-working and efficient employees or civil servants. All these jobs will be performed better, more cheaply and with less complaint by robots and AI. Big companies can't wait to lay out their human workers for that reason. In fact, most of us also can't wait to ditch annoying, inefficient or expensive human lawyers, doctors or contractors if given the chance to get better results at lower costs and less worries. We already prefer to shop on Amazon because it saves us time, money and the trouble of dealing with inefficient shopkeepers. There is no reason that we won't do the same for any other activity. That's why most jobs will disappear. Even if some people want to continue working, they just won't have enough customers any more.

    That's why the modern education system should focus more on human skills, self-development, and how to lead happy lives, rather than trying to make us compete with machines. We should re-humanise education. Stop the old-fashioned Prussian system and teach humans how to be happy and live together. The irony is that we may need robots more intelligent than us to teach us all that.
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    I agree, Robots are coming soon, however soon is a bit elusive. In 10-15 years we should see rather conscious robots/prototypes suitable for doing multiple functions at home and interacting with people on many levels. However they will be expansive and not popular. They will be employed by big corporations in manufacturing and by rich who can afford them. It will be some time till they will trickle down to ordinary households or people will trust them as doctors or lawyers. I would say minimum 30 years, more like 50 to be ubiquitous in homes and employed everywhere.
    That's why the modern education system should focus more on human skills, self-development, and how to lead happy lives, rather than trying to make us compete with machines.
    Till we have "designer babies" who will be borne already happy, optimistic and very creative. ;)
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    I agree, Robots are coming soon, however soon is a bit elusive. In 10-15 years we should see rather conscious robots/prototypes suitable for doing multiple functions at home and interacting with people on many levels. However they will be expansive and not popular. They will be employed by big corporations in manufacturing and by rich who can afford them. It will be some time till they will trickle down to ordinary households or people will trust them as doctors or lawyers. I would say minimum 30 years, more like 50 to be ubiquitous in homes and employed everywhere.
    That's where I disagree. I really don't think that most robots will be owned by corporations and by the rich. Maybe only big manufacturing robots to make cars, but that's already the case. On the other hand, primitive domestic robots like the Roomba vacuum or some automated lawn-mowers already exist and the only reason they aren't vastly more popular is that they are still expensive. But as with all technologies price will drop after a few years.

    Our smartphones and computers are also "robots" of some kind, and will surely evolve to be the most useful and versatile of all machines. Smartphones can already conduct some basic medical diagnostics with the right app, such as heart rate with heart attack warning, but also more advanced tests like colorimetrix, which can monitor conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections. Some devices connected to a smartphone already allows to conduct basic DNA tests like for the chlamydia bacteria. In a few years we will be testing our genomes at home. In fact, home diagnostic labs will also allow anyone to run any kind of blood test and monitor their health, with apps connected to the cloud (imagine IBM's Watson) to provide free medical advice.

    New apps/devices with ever more powerful capabilities are coming out all the time. It won't be 10 years before people get personalised medicine on their smartphone that is far more accurate than anything a human doctor can tell you. When I say that robots or AI will take people's jobs, I do not necessarily mean humanoid robots, but just programmes and apps that can provide medical or legal advice, do your taxes, keep your accounts, manage your stock portfolio, and so on. In fact there are already many programmes for all this, but in 10-15 years they will be better than humans and will make human jobs in those sectors completely obsolete.

    Construction and maintenance robots will not need to look humans. We are fine with Roomba and lawnmowers not looking humans or even distantly humanoid. A robot plumber or electrician may need arms to work, but not necessarily arms like us, and they could have many arms and no head (just a camera to assess the situation and see what's it's doing). Mind you, an electrician robot could even be a mini flying bot, a sort of drone with small tool arms, depending on what job needs to be done.

    People might be more 'afraid' of humanoid robots (like a minority of traditionalists in the series Real Humans) because they could see them as rivals, or trigger our unconscious fears about a Star-War-like army of robots taking over the world on the command of an evil overlord. But that's only if they look menacing or have the cold metal and plastic look of stereotypical robots. If they look, feel and talk just like us and look like a cute, harmless girl, people won't fear them. I was thinking of humanoid robots as the last type of robots to take over all the jobs that cannot be done purely by AI softwares, but require a social contact, including baby sitter, nurse, hairdresser, sports teacher (intellectual teaching can already be replaced by online courses like MOOCs), etc.

    They will be the last because it will take longer to create robots that can move as smoothly as us. There are already reasonably realistic humanoid robots, but they don't move much. In terms of intelligence and emotions, the first AI simulation of a complete human brain should be ready this year with the Human Brain Project. Now it takes a huge network of interconnected computers to simulate a human brain, but in 15 years it might be small enough to fit in your pocket. As you know, companies like Boston Dynamics have made a lot or progress in making robots much more agile, for walking over obstacles, keep their balance, and manipulate objects. It is very possible that in 10-15 years humanoid robots that look almost like real humans will also be able to move and talk like humans. Once they become cheap (say a few thousands euros/dollars), there won't be any reason for humans to work anymore. The argument that people will resist change and keep working because they don't want their job taken over by robots won't hold. Even if you can find a job that doesn't need to be automated, if you own a humanoid robot that can do everything you do as well or better than you, why not ask it to do your job for you?

    The only jobs that will remain are those that people want to do in order not to be bored, or to keep active. In other words, these will be hobbies. Once humanoid robots are there, there won't be any capitalist economy left as people won't generate wealth - robots will, at a very low cost for everyone. There will need to be a universal income at first. But as society adapts to a world in which everyone owns a robot or team of robot that can do everything for them, there will be a point where your robots will grow food for you in vertical farms (even inside cities), harvest and cook it for you. We won't even need to buy our food. Owing the self-supporting set of robots might become a human right. Once we reach that point (in a few decades), humans will be ready to colonise other planets. If robots can build houses and grow food on shelves in an apartment, there is no reason they can't do the same on Mars. Of course we should first send enough robots to prepare the infrastructure for us, melt the ice, plant trees to transform the CO2 in O2 in the atmosphere, etc. Anyway life on Mars will probably have to be in sealed off and pressurised cities as the air pressure is far too low for us to get enough oxygen through breathing, even if the ratio of oxygen in the air is much higher than on Earth. But that's another debate.

    Till we have "designer babies" who will be borne already happy, optimistic and very creative. ;)
    No need of designer babies. Gene therapy will do the trick in adults too. On the other hand, being too easily satisfied and happy with your life cannot lead to a lot of self-improvement and probably isn't that good for creativity either. In a famous experiment by B. F. Skinner, rats who could push a button to stimulate their brain's pleasure centre at will forgot to eat and died.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    I agree, Robots are coming soon, however soon is a bit elusive. In 10-15 years we should see rather conscious robots/prototypes suitable for doing multiple functions at home and interacting with people on many levels. However they will be expansive and not popular. They will be employed by big corporations in manufacturing and by rich who can afford them. It will be some time till they will trickle down to ordinary households or people will trust them as doctors or lawyers. I would say minimum 30 years, more like 50 to be ubiquitous in homes and employed everywhere.
    It depends on the sophistication degree of the robots. I agree with Maciamo in that the trickling down is already happening and continuing, and I also see prices only going down. But also you are right, just in a slightly different way: the rich or powerful entities (Google, Amazon + government spending) will always own the most sophisticated, newest, and most powerful inventions (f.i. computation farms). They for sure will remain and increasingly be the ones who control our lower-level "volks" robots, regardles of the average robot sophistication level, because information is power/currency/commodity. It is happening already now: everybody aquires a fascinating smartphone almost for free, but he is constantly tracked because each smartphone robot communicates with it's big boss robot. Internet use is not only tracked, but already used to predict our behavior using AI and big data. At the same time we average people can not predict society's behavior with our smartphone or PC yet. So many "free" services available on the Internet appear to be not so free, we pay with our information. Almost all newly built cars are tracked by their vendors: where you drive, how fast, for how long, everything. Merkel recently stated: "Information is the commodity of the future".
    These are the things that will keep the wealth/power gap intact: transition from money to power, from material commodity to informational commodity, and as usual since millenia further from natural control to artificial control.
    Future is not only bright. With declining economy, high-tech feudalism is in sight, because social-mobility declines. I don't see communism because it requires wipe-and-replace. Most humans will become more dependent and infantile. On the other hand, someone sang a song "All power to the children" :) Our information overlords will be our nannies (or tyranns?).

    In short: despite trickle down effect, the wealthy or powerful will keep and extend their advantage by more advanced technology.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    It depends on the sophistication degree of the robots. I agree with Maciamo in that the trickling down is already happening and continuing, and I also see prices only going down. But also you are right, just in a slightly different way: the rich or powerful entities (Google, Amazon + government spending) will always own the most sophisticated, newest, and most powerful inventions (f.i. computation farms). They for sure will remain and increasingly be the ones who control our lower-level "volks" robots, regardles of the average robot sophistication level, because information is power/currency/commodity. It is happening already now: everybody aquires a fascinating smartphone almost for free, but he is constantly tracked because each smartphone robot communicates with it's big boss robot. Internet use is not only tracked, but already used to predict our behavior using AI and big data. At the same time we average people can not predict society's behavior with our smartphone or PC yet. So many "free" services available on the Internet appear to be not so free, we pay with our information. Almost all newly built cars are tracked by their vendors: where you drive, how fast, for how long, everything. Merkel recently stated: "Information is the commodity of the future".
    These are the things that will keep the wealth/power gap intact: transition from money to power, from material commodity to informational commodity, and as usual since millenia further from natural control to artificial control.
    Future is not only bright. With declining economy, high-tech feudalism is in sight, because social-mobility declines. I don't see communism because it requires wipe-and-replace. Most humans will become more dependent and infantile. On the other hand, someone sang a song "All power to the children" :) Our information overlords will be our nannies (or tyranns?).
    It's a good point. We don't know if the people who control the top AI will behave in petty overlords/tyrants or in benign or altruistic "parents". This issue is not limited to the humans in power behind Alphabet, Amazon, etc., but also to the the AI itself, once an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) will be thousands, then millions, then billions of times more intelligent than humans. Whenever humans weren't happy with their ruling class, they always had the possibility to topple them through a revolution. But how does it work when our rulers are machines that are so intelligent that they could fiddle with us the way we control a flock of sheep Actually sheep are just a little bit less intelligent than us. I am not even sure it's 10 times, so try to imagine some entity with intellectual abilities millions of times greater than ours. In fact it's impossible to imagine. Our pets will never be able to understand the complexity of our minds. Actually we can't always fathom even how other humans think, if their way of thinking is very different from our own (e.g. difference between men and women, especially between extremely masculine and feminine brains). If an AGI doesn't have our best interest "at heart" we won't even notice it until we are gone. As long as we are the ones writing the software, and we make apps and bots to improve our lives, we should be fine. Once an AGI starts thinking on its own, create its own software and lead its own "scientific research", that could be problematic. Unfortunately there is almost no way we can stop such an AGI from being designed by someone somewhere in the world, even if all governments make it illegal. The temptation to try is too great and there will always humans who act, well like humans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    That's where I disagree. I really don't think that most robots will be owned by corporations and by the rich. Maybe only big manufacturing robots to make cars, but that's already the case. On the other hand, primitive domestic robots like the Roomba vacuum or some automated lawn-mowers already exist and the only reason they aren't vastly more popular is that they are still expensive. But as with all technologies price will drop after a few years.

    Our smartphones and computers are also "robots" of some kind, and will surely evolve to be the most useful and versatile of all machines. Smartphones can already conduct some basic medical diagnostics with the right app, such as heart rate with heart attack warning, but also more advanced tests like colorimetrix, which can monitor conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections. Some devices connected to a smartphone already allows to conduct basic DNA tests like for the chlamydia bacteria. In a few years we will be testing our genomes at home. In fact, home diagnostic labs will also allow anyone to run any kind of blood test and monitor their health, with apps connected to the cloud (imagine IBM's Watson) to provide free medical advice.
    I agree, these robotic machines and smart bots are already in use. However they are still simple, not to say primitive. They don't need to be humanoid like but at least they should have human like abilities. Rumba is around for good few years, maybe 10, and still sucks. Pun intended, lol. Can't do stairs and constantly gets stuck, and still expensive for doing mediocre job. Watson is only one, and except few billionaires nobody can have it. Robots will only be cheap, even the humanlike ones, if robots make robots. Robots labour will be calculated in cents per hour, not in tens of dollars like human labour. This is when real robotic revolution for all people will happen, and this is when people will start losing all the jobs. I don't think 15 years is long enough. In 15 years it will start unfolding, but we have to add another 20 for full revolution.

    New apps/devices with ever more powerful capabilities are coming out all the time. It won't be 10 years before people get personalised medicine on their smartphone that is far more accurate than anything a human doctor can tell you. When I say that robots or AI will take people's jobs, I do not necessarily mean humanoid robots, but just programmes and apps that can provide medical or legal advice, do your taxes, keep your accounts, manage your stock portfolio, and so on. In fact there are already many programmes for all this, but in 10-15 years they will be better than humans and will make human jobs in those sectors completely obsolete.
    Yes, in many calculation intensive jobs (accounting and taxes), pattern finding jobs (portfolio manager), statistical jobs, diagnostic jobs (family doctors and some specializations), we could see the full swing of robotic automation much faster than in, let's say, construction. Though some construction could be easily automated. Building custom homes or fixing existing home problems is tricky though.
    Construction and maintenance robots will not need to look humans.
    Not really. All construction is based on human anatomy. Size of materials, tools, stairs, doors, height of rooms, and most chores are best accomplished with hands and feet. It takes hands and legs to do construction jobs. Actually we are evolutionary pinnacle for physical work, and mental too. Sometimes we need a third hand, but this should be peanuts for robots. We can build whatever we imagine small or big, we can traverse and climb most difficult terrain, we can swim and we are waterproof, we can communicate, organize, etc. No wonder robots want to be like us. ;)
    Overall it should be economically cheaper to build one type of robot like us for existing construction needs, at least in short future, than reinvent all the construction to suit many types of robots. We are talking about vast back-compatibility issue here. In this case I'm sure most construction robots and most domestic robots, and human assistent robots, will be humanoid looking.

    Mind you, an electrician robot could even be a mini flying bot, a sort of drone with small tool arms, depending on what job needs to be done.
    I would like to see it hammer jacking concrete walls and pulling long electrical cables through walls. ;)

    People might be more 'afraid' of humanoid robots (like a minority of traditionalists in the series Real Humans) because they could see them as rivals, or trigger our unconscious fears about a Star-War-like army of robots taking over the world on the command of an evil overlord. But that's only if they look menacing or have the cold metal and plastic look of stereotypical robots. If they look, feel and talk just like us and look like a cute, harmless girl, people won't fear them. I was thinking of humanoid robots as the last type of robots to take over all the jobs that cannot be done purely by AI softwares, but require a social contact, including baby sitter, nurse, hairdresser, sports teacher (intellectual teaching can already be replaced by online courses like MOOCs), etc.
    This is only a matter of getting used to. I'm sure people were afraid of first cars, trains and planes. Now they are things of beauty.

    They will be the last because it will take longer to create robots that can move as smoothly as us.

    In 30 years it will be thing of beauty. I promise.



    There are already reasonably realistic humanoid robots, but they don't move much. In terms of intelligence and emotions, the first AI simulation of a complete human brain should be ready this year with the Human Brain Project
    . Forget emotions. The last thing we need is for robot to feel unfair, feel used and rebel against the master. As long as they don't have emotions they will be perfect slaves.

    The only jobs that will remain are those that people want to do in order not to be bored, or to keep active. In other words, these will be hobbies. Once humanoid robots are there, there won't be any capitalist economy left as people won't generate wealth - robots will, at a very low cost for everyone. There will need to be a universal income at first. But as society adapts to a world in which everyone owns a robot or team of robot that can do everything for them, there will be a point where your robots will grow food for you in vertical farms (even inside cities), harvest and cook it for you. We won't even need to buy our food. Owing the self-supporting set of robots might become a human right.
    Should we call it a back-door communism?
    At some point we would need to put a limit on how many robots one human can own. I think it might be two. I don't know why but it feels kind of right, lol.
    I think everybody will live in a palace one day with all the goodies and amenities. All built cheaply by robots and with robot servants. At some point every human being will have whatever there is to have.
    Except the land. We could get all needed resources from moon and asteroids and recycle everything to use again and again. But the Earth is limited and never will grow bigger. I wonder what will we do with land rights. Will we leave it the way it is, with some people owning islands and square kilometers of land and some nothing? Will we delete old system and give people few hectares to build their own palace, rest being in public domain? Who will get the tropical beach, and who will end up with parcel on Siberia, lol. What is fair?


    No need of designer babies. Gene therapy will do the trick in adults too. On the other hand, being too easily satisfied and happy with your life cannot lead to a lot of self-improvement and probably isn't that good for creativity either.
    Sure, to fix old geezers. However it would be much easier for people to be "perfect" from scratch then undergo gene therapy all their life to constantly fix something.

    In a famous experiment by B. F. Skinner, rats who could push a button to stimulate their brain's pleasure centre at will forgot to eat and died.
    Because this drug is new to them. Same like alcohol for aborigines of Australia and Prairie Indians in America. They didn't have a chance to develop defensive mutations. On other hand South Europe, though drinking daily to meals, have the lowest percent of alcoholics, lowest binge drinking incidents, and digest alcohol quickly. All by genetic predispositions. Designer babies/generation could be born immune to all the drugs that kill people today. Well, they could enjoy the drugs at will, and stop at will without getting addicted. The best of two worlds. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    It depends on the sophistication degree of the robots. I agree with Maciamo in that the trickling down is already happening and continuing, and I also see prices only going down. But also you are right, just in a slightly different way: the rich or powerful entities (Google, Amazon + government spending) will always own the most sophisticated, newest, and most powerful inventions (f.i. computation farms). They for sure will remain and increasingly be the ones who control our lower-level "volks" robots, regardles of the average robot sophistication level, because information is power/currency/commodity. It is happening already now: everybody aquires a fascinating smartphone almost for free, but he is constantly tracked because each smartphone robot communicates with it's big boss robot. Internet use is not only tracked, but already used to predict our behavior using AI and big data. At the same time we average people can not predict society's behavior with our smartphone or PC yet. So many "free" services available on the Internet appear to be not so free, we pay with our information. Almost all newly built cars are tracked by their vendors: where you drive, how fast, for how long, everything. Merkel recently stated: "Information is the commodity of the future".
    These are the things that will keep the wealth/power gap intact: transition from money to power, from material commodity to informational commodity, and as usual since millenia further from natural control to artificial control.
    Future is not only bright. With declining economy, high-tech feudalism is in sight, because social-mobility declines. I don't see communism because it requires wipe-and-replace. Most humans will become more dependent and infantile. On the other hand, someone sang a song "All power to the children" :) Our information overlords will be our nannies (or tyranns?).

    In short: despite trickle down effect, the wealthy or powerful will keep and extend their advantage by more advanced technology.
    Sorry, I'm running out of time. I'll respond later.

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    We're impressively powerful/defensive there's no living thing that can beat us, we also have plenty of vulnerabilities, and the thing that attacks these vulnerabilities/control/dominate best are our minds. We've already done this with drugs and poison and alcohol and weapons. We must have limits to how much we'll let our inventions have power over us. At some point we'll have to put a stop to human technological progress. People doing that is difficult for us today to imagine, but I won't be surprised if one day people do this, and there won't be any progress for generations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    It depends on the sophistication degree of the robots. I agree with Maciamo in that the trickling down is already happening and continuing, and I also see prices only going down. But also you are right, just in a slightly different way: the rich or powerful entities (Google, Amazon + government spending) will always own the most sophisticated, newest, and most powerful inventions (f.i. computation farms). They for sure will remain and increasingly be the ones who control our lower-level "volks" robots, regardles of the average robot sophistication level, because information is power/currency/commodity.
    I wouldn't use world control. In free societies control is not needed. People live peacefully and it allows businesses to capitalize on people's wants and needs. Happy and well off society is the best for business.
    Control is necessary when economy sucks and people are unhappy and revolting, like it used to be in all socialist block, or in today's Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. Should we mention most of Middle East?

    It is happening already now: everybody aquires a fascinating smartphone almost for free, but he is constantly tracked because each smartphone robot communicates with it's big boss robot. Internet use is not only tracked, but already used to predict our behavior using AI and big data. At the same time we average people can not predict society's behavior with our smartphone or PC yet. So many "free" services available on the Internet appear to be not so free, we pay with our information. Almost all newly built cars are tracked by their vendors: where you drive, how fast, for how long, everything. Merkel recently stated: "Information is the commodity of the future".
    Believe me, nobody from government or bosses in big companies cares what you do every moment. There is barely enough, or not enough, people in secrete services to track bad guys. The big data is processed only automatically and only for your convenience. So you can use GPS maps, find favorite items for shopping, track your stolen car or phone, help with spell check and voice dictation, find needed information. Help you live easier and better. Did something bad happened to you from all that tracking?

    Future is not only bright. With declining economy, high-tech feudalism is in sight, because social-mobility declines.
    There is a weird phenomenon. So much investment went into communication and automation, like smartphones and automatization in cars for example. This didn't increase people's wages but increased productivity and comfort of life. It doesn't show in statistics as economic growth and GDP per capita increase, but it really did. For example, pessimistic economists can point to the fact that a worker worked 1,000 hours to buy a car in 1966 and worker of today needs to work same 1,000 hours to buy one. They conclude that worker today didn't progress economically and that we live in economic stagnation since. It is not true when we have a closer look. First of all, a worker of 1966 had to work these one thousand hours, worker of 2016 worked only 800, the rest is paid in vacation pay, maternity leave, sick leave, and the rest of social progress benefits since 1966. Secondly, in 1966 you bought only a car for this money. Today with a car you buy an entertainment center, communication center, safety cage (10 airbags, anti crash cage, incident avoidance and line holding, etc). Not mentioning 200 more HP, anti lock brakes, power steering and windows, etc, etc. In 5-10 years a worker will be able to buy fully automated car, which would be comparable with having a car and a private chauffeur in 1966. Now, this is a huge progress for the same 1,000 hours of work in 50-60 years!!! Sadly for these pessimistic and blind economists they think they compare apples to apples.
    This is the same story wherever we look. A fridge today is more efficient, bigger and gives water and ice and is self deicing. Soon it will talk to you and send shopping list to the store for automatic delivery of produce.
    Should we talk about phones and how smart they are, and how much they improve our lives?

    Most humans will become more dependent and infantile.
    This could be the case. We can already see such change. Sheltered kids, by helicopter parents, are aversed to risk taking. For example, entrepreneurship dropped down from 30% a generation ago to 20% for Millennials.

    In short: despite trickle down effect, the wealthy or powerful will keep and extend their advantage by more advanced technology.
    Remember one thing. Poor people are useless for businesses. They don't have money to buy anything. Rich society is best for business. Rich people just keep buying and buying, and traveling, and using all the services. Now, tell me, why would big business want to keep people poor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    We're impressively powerful/defensive there's no living thing that can beat us, we also have plenty of vulnerabilities, and the thing that attacks these vulnerabilities/control/dominate best are our minds. We've already done this with drugs and poison and alcohol and weapons. We must have limits to how much we'll let our inventions have power over us. At some point we'll have to put a stop to human technological progress. People doing that is difficult for us today to imagine, but I won't be surprised if one day people do this, and there won't be any progress for generations.
    It is a possibility, but knowing human creativity rather unlikely. However, we might get to such complexity of devices and robots that it will take years of testing new models to make sure they work properly. This might slow the crazy progress we see now. At least at consumer end.

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    Too many degenerate SJW new age liberal fools in American universities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    We're impressively powerful/defensive there's no living thing that can beat us, we also have plenty of vulnerabilities, and the thing that attacks these vulnerabilities/control/dominate best are our minds. We've already done this with drugs and poison and alcohol and weapons. We must have limits to how much we'll let our inventions have power over us. At some point we'll have to put a stop to human technological progress. People doing that is difficult for us today to imagine, but I won't be surprised if one day people do this, and there won't be any progress for generations.
    Impossible. There is no way humans will voluntarily get rid of what enables them to have a better life. Even if that technology is not being used to improve our lives. It can however happen that for whatever reason we have a few unexpected occurances which will for whatever reason limit out access to technology. If only temporarily.

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