[ExI] Economics of singularity

samantha sjatkins at mac.com
Thu Jun 19 09:00:56 UTC 2008

The Avantguardian wrote:
> --- Aleksei Riikonen <aleksei at iki.fi> wrote:
>> Anyway, I wouldn't think too much about the economics of a situation
>> where the workforce consists of immortal humans. I doubt that will
>> happen sooner, or last for long before we have AIs that do all jobs
>> better than baseline-humans.
> But if the AIs do the jobs better than base-line humans, they will be in higher
> demand. If the AIs are in higher demand, they will cost more than base-line
> humans.
Hmm.  Are you making some assumptions about the supply of such AIs?  
Once I produce my first competent AI programmer it is conceivable I can 
crank out as many as desired needed for about as much effort as burning 
another copy of some software today.  The cost will drop to nearly 
nothing more than the electricity to run the machines.  This for a 
tireless 24-7 worker.   There is no way any human is going to compete on 
quality and amount of work or cost in that scenario.   Game over.

>  This will lead to a market where humans will still be able to do many
> jobs more cheaply than an AI. This is similar to why it is more economical in
> some situations to pay humans to wave signs around on street corners than to
> buy a mechanical or electric sign. 
That is already silly and only works because it is silly.  :-)

> This will in turn lead to a situation where
> you have relatively poor humans serving one another and relatively wealthy AIs
> serving one another and the increasingly rare wealthy humans until such wealthy
> humans get edged out in the competition. 
So you need to upgrade humans very quickly to keep up and/or produce a 
society of such abundance that most don't care much whether something 
they produce is unique enough, good enough, desired enough to support 
them monetarily.   When nano-Santa produces everything you want in your 
kitchen how much do you care about "making a living" by earning a paycheck?

- samantha

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