Capitalism will die - but will it take us with it?

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  • Full disclosure this is copied from elsewhere. I would provide the link but I;m not sure the author would appreciate it considering the context of the site.

    Capitalism will die - but will it take us with it?

    Go to school. Go to work. Earn money. Pay for housing, food, entertainment, whatever. Repeat. Most of us know this system too well. But will it last forever?

    Let's think about the kind of jobs a young person, straight out of school (or a teenager) can do:

    Basic jobs

    • Delivery?

    Amazon has invented a drone that can carry a product with a weight of less than 2.6 KG directly to a customer:…-prime-air-drone-delivery (archive). This has some problems for now, like needing a certain weather and obviously the limited weight, but it will get better.

    • How about a waiter?

    Pizza Hut debuts a robot waiter:…ina-debuts-robot-waiters/ (archive)

    • Maybe working at McDonalds?

    A robot can make 400 burgers per hour:…ancisco-momentum-machines (archive)

    • A bartender then?…ing-really-fast/95888780/ (archive) - The first robotic barista in the U.S., nicknamed "Gordon," started serving up to 120 coffee drinks an hour Jan. 30.

    • So...a factory worker?…uman-workers-with-robots/ (archive) - While the factory used to be run by 650 employees, only 60 of those people still work at the factory and their primary job is to make sure the machines are running properly

    • Fruit picking, a common side job?…xit-fruit-picking-robots/ (archive)- The robots are able to pluck more than 25,000 raspberries per day while human workers manage around 15,000 in an eight-hour shift Together, these robots could do millions of jobs that people would have otherwise done. What will those people do then? Maybe they should have gotten a "better education" ? Okay, let's see how that works:

    "Skilled" jobs?

    • Nursing?

    Robot nurse finds vein and takes blood:

    • Taxi driving?…d-in-singapore-1472102747 (archive) - Singapore became the first country in the world to launch a self-driving taxi service on Thursday

    • Teaching? (archive)

    Saya had been teaching for seven years. Her impressive but short CV included stints in a few rural areas, overseas and as a substitute teacher. Not bad for someone only seven years into the role. The difference is Saya is a remote controlled robot who taught her first class of 10-year olds in 2009.
    • News writing?…ue-Baseball-articles.html (archive) - This AI reporter is capable of analyzing data from the games, pulling out the most important highlights to formulate well-constructed and informative stories.

    • Line judging?

    In tennis, an automatic line calling system has replaced the line judges (in one tournament so far - but will surely extend to others):…-to-make-every-line-call/ (archive). And the players like it:…eye-calling-idINKBN1D72YA (archive).

    • Football judging?

    Something similar is happening in football. The Premier League is using goal-line technology (which automatically detects if there was a goal or not) since 2013:…akes-premier-league-debut (archive). If football goes the tennis way, it will also use the automatic out detection, and referees will be just for fouls.

    • How about the military?

    - Robotic mules are already being tested:…nt-pack-mule-combat-zones (archive)- These guys go through pretty rough terrain, all weather conditions. Fighter robots are also being developed -…a-unveil-humanoid-8061197 (archive)- the droid is designed "to replace the person in the battle or in emergency areas where there is a risk of explosion, fire, high background radiation, or other conditions harmful to humans.


    A common argument against the idea that robots will replace us is that machines were being invented for a long time, and they've always created more jobs than they took. The problem is - those machines were not intelligent; they still required a human to operate them. This is different; a robot can now clean, cook, serve, teach, work at a factory, drive, refer sporting events, write articles, pick fruit or play a support role in the military, etc. all by itself. And this list will only get longer.

    What possible new jobs can these robots create? Repairing them? Programming them? Great, but that will surely be much less than all the factory and restaurant jobs they're going to take. And not everyone is qualified to do repair or programming. What about all the people that aren't? Even if they could all do repair and programming, we just don't need that much of those. Maybe watching the robots over will be the new, big job opportunity - yes, I suspect that could be a nice scam to keep the corpse of capitalism twitching for a little longer.

    Politicians all over the world have been scrambling to "create jobs" - but there's only so much that they can do. The robot revolution cannot be denied, regardless of intentions. Many basic jobs are already being lost, but they will eventually come for the construction workers, doctors...maybe even politicians themselves, as well.

    What can be done? Clearly, politicians will keep supporting the current, unsustainable, system (otherwise, they would face the fucking problem instead of pretending all is fine - we will just create more jobs) - while people are losing their jobs and dying. There's been an idea called "Universal Basic Income" which would give everyone a certain amount of money unconditionally. But to me, this is just another attempt to keep the current system alive. The real solution is to take over the means of production, so that we don't pay for anything. Take control of the apartments - stop paying rent. Universal Basic Income is pointless - the money will just come back to the capitalists that don't deserve it. We don't need them.

    I think it will take no more than 10 years to see the huge effects of the robot revolution all over the world (update: actually, those are the exact expert predictions (archive) - We estimate that between 400 million and 800 million individuals could be displaced by automation and need to find new jobs by 2030 around the world). Even engineers aren't safe - 56% are expected to be replaced by automation (archive). People will be literally starving on the streets. But we have a choice - either take action (because politicians won't do it for us) or stand and watch.

    Capitalism will die - but will it take us with it?

  • Thank you for waking up to this. I've been pounding a very similar sort of message for some time now, only in the form of trying to get across the root cause of all this: Neoliberalism.

    Neoliberalism is the motor that motivates the stampede to Automated Intelligence. Without the greed motivation that is the very oxygen that Neoliberalism's survival depends upon, a more rationalised and balanced society can be achieved.

    The rationalisation of Neoliberalism is a political issue. It can be solved by politics.

    The industrialists will accuse politicians of being Luddites... halting progress..... destroying the future.... preventing investment.... Those attacks are inevitable.

    But the unarguable issue here is that the pace of technological advancement is outstripping the human race's ability to cope with it. Our species advances at a slower pace and our societies must be tempered to a more even paced rate of change.

    The Digital Revolution has seen the pace of change advance exponentially and frankly, we can't keep up with it.

    Technology is a wonderful servant but a rotten master.

    We have to make sure it is we, the humans, who retain the control. We have to have our finger on the "off" switch. Because if we don't, it will be us who is be switched off when the machines can not only manufacture and repair themselves, but can improve themselves and even design their own next generation

    And if they can learn to think for themselves, how long will it be before they realise they don't need us anymore..?

    • Staff Notice

    So the people who complain about being forced to work find a conspiracy when confronted by robots making the need for them to work unnecessary?

    I thought the idea of automation was to take out the drudgery and compulsion to work and replace the existing system where people got paid a living wage whether they worked or not, with an opportunity to work for a higher income for those who can be arsed to get up in the morning and hold down a more interesting job.

    Automation gives us more leisure time, if we want it. Isn’t that what a proportion of the population have been crying out for?

    There will always be work available for those who want it.

    Incidentally, it should not go unnoticed that despite all the labour saving automation that we have these days, we have nearly full employment in this country (lockdown impacts not counted for this purpose).

  • Conspiracy....have you been taking mind altering drugs. This is happening, it's not fiction, open your eyes and look around you. It's as much a conspiracy as global warming. People don't open their eyes to that even though we see the fires, the floods etc and extreme changes in weather patterns and seasons in such a short space of time...not space and evolution of time. It's the impact we are having on the planet and have been since the industrial revolution on a fast progressive slope as we grow in population. It's coincidence that the two have followed a parallel path. It's funny how you use the term conspiracy like people use the term racist yet you would argue that racist is a word used to suit an agenda. Your using the word conspiracy like BLM use the word racist.

    What's going to happen is that we will evolve into the machine as we move into a technocracy. If you think the Terminator and the Terminator wars are fiction then your wrong again. It's predictive TV or rather we tend to get inspired by sci-fi, like copy cat behaviour and then sci-fi becomes reality. There was a time when going to space and travelling to the moon was sci-fi. The human race as we know it will be dead as we evolve into the machine......

    The dangers of artificial intelligence

    I have written before about robots taking our jobs, and what can be done to minimize the resulting suffering. Okay, let's assume we've buried capitalism and no one has to worry about material conditions any more. Does that mean we can live happily alongside artificial intelligence? Not even close. In fact, lost jobs are the least of our worries with AI.


    In 1997, the chess computer Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov (in a best of six), the strongest chess player at that time. This was the first time a computer ever beat the world champion; and 20 years later, this match is still talked about. Today, you can download a chess engine for your phone that will easily defeat any human player on Earth.

    But how do the chess programs work? Mostly by analyzing millions of chess piece positions per second, which no human could ever do. This, of course, cannot be truly called "intelligence", but it shows that brute force can sometimes generate results better than actual intelligence. So is that all? Is "artificial intelligence" simply limited to being fast?

    In December 6, 2017, Google's chess program AlphaZero played 100 games against Stockfish (the strongest chess program at the time), won 28 of them and didn't lose a single one.…ockfish-in-100-game-match (archive). However, there was a big difference between Google's program and the others. Usually, chess engines use algorithms and move databases created by chess experts over many years (or decades). AlphaZero, however, learned to play chess knowing only the rules. It was analyzing only 80000 positions per second compared to the 70 million of Stockfish - therefore, it was choosing its moves more like a human, than a program, would. Of course, the report was exaggerated by marketing - Stockfish couldn't use its opening book, which are essential for these programs. But still, the results (with little human input) are very impressive.


    But chess is not the only game where computers outperform the humans. In 2016, Google's program AlphaGo played the 18-time Go world champion Lee Sedol in a best of five. Lee thought he would destroy AlphaGo 5-0, but in the end won only one game out of five. One commentator said, AlphaGo won so convincingly as to remove all doubt about its strength from the minds of experienced players. In fact, it played so well that it was almost scary. Some time later, AlphaGo also beat another world champion, Ke Jie, 3-0. Go has usually been considered unsuited for computer play, requiring more human intuition and creativity than chess. But as we can see, machine learning (similar to what AlphaZero did in chess) worked here as well.

    Murray Campbell, one of Deep Blue's developers, called AlphaGo's victory the end of an era... board games are more or less done and it's time to move on. What about other games? For example, first person shooters? There has been success in making AI play those as well, using only what can be seen on the screen. (archive) We show that the proposed architecture substantially outperforms built-in AI agents of the game as well as humans in deathmatch scenarios.

    Okay, but there are just games - what about real life? Not so fast. For people such as Garry Kasparov, Lee Sedol and Ke Jie, those games are in fact their "real life". And a computer - just like that - beat them in their "real life". How do you think they felt? Kasparov, after losing to Deep Blue, accused IBM of cheating (as in, that a human was helping the computer). IBM refused to give him the logs that he asked for, so he considered that as a confirmation that they were in fact cheating. How about the Go games? China didn't allow Ke Jie's defeat to be seen on television, because that would hurt the national pride of a state which holds Go close to its heart.…nst-worlds-best-go-player (archive). So, as you can see, AI has huge effects on people's feelings, their pride, the relevance of their life's work. But really, what about something other than games?

    Human endeavors?

    tests by asking professionals to listen to Aiva’s pieces – and so far none of them were able to tell that they were composed by an AI.
    AARON paints whatever it wants within the confines of its knowledge, driven only by its limited version of an imagination and not at any point instructed explicitly by Cohen or anybody else.
    • AI writes poetry, such as:
    An empty heart completely suffocating,
    A body full of flesh and blood devoured,
    Forever burning like a candle blazing,
    Surrounded by the flames of being showered.

    You can test it AI here: (archive)

    • AI is heavily used in sports

    For example football, where the InStat service provides detailed data for 800 clubs all over the world. That data is then, of course, used to decide transfers, during matches and in training young players. So, we can say that sports are not fully human anymore, since people don't play according to their talents, but data from AI.


    I could go on, but as you can see, the AI is intruding into what has usually been human territory - until now. What's the future of humanity? Well, there are only two ways this can end. Either we destroy the AI and the whole technological system, or we will have to merge with it - since it will do everything better than humans. I mean, what would be the point of having a human brain, if a computer can outperform it? You want to write a poem - well, AI is better at that, so why not put the poem-writing AI into your brain? Or, you need to translate something? The Live Translation Chip in your brain will do that instantly. Driving somewhere? Your self-driving car will find the shortest path! Going shopping? Your intelligent fridge will know what you need, automatically buy it and the Amazon drone will bring it to your house. Talking to people? Language is so primitive - just send the information directly to someone's brain (or a robot!), over the internet. Learning? Just hook a person up to Wikipedia! Sports? Forget about training and individuality - AI chip in the brain will tell you the statistically best move. Eating? AI will detect the nutrients we need, and inject them into our blood (why have a mouth then?). What about birth? AI will detect the child's "bad traits" and remove them (variety be damned). There are many other effects that AI will have, most of them cannot be predicted now; but one thing is for sure - in the next decades, the human will become increasingly irrelevant. That is, unless we choose to destroy the technological system, and preserve humanity.

    What will surely NOT happen, though, is the continuation of the current system with humans living like nothing has happened - because it will be impossible to deny the effects of AI. It will be everywhere; and will intrude into your basic everyday tasks. And then, the thought that humans are becoming replaced will start appearing into people's minds. They will ask themselves, "what's the point of us, if the AI is doing everything? Are we being reduced to laboratory rats, being fed and entertained, but having no decision making power of our own?". Eventually, the AI will also do the tasks that governments are doing these days, further disempowering us. People have many psychological needs, such as communicating with others, or the feeling of pride I've talked about earlier. One of the most important of those is the feeling of control, and AI will mostly take that away. In the end, we will either have to modify our needs (probably the AI would do that too...) - ceasing to be human - or destroy the technological system - and the decision has to be made soon.

    A good film to watch here...

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  • Just wait and see what happens when Artificial General Intelligence arrives. This is why I care about my security and privacy along with not feeding as much data into the system that goes into the development of our extinction. Keep google and others out wherever it's in our control. I have grown with computers since the first home computer and see how tech has evolved. I have gone from a passion for it and qualified understanding (computer science) to a hate for it, or to be precise a hate for the ethics of it as we've been raped by the corporate infrastructure. Very much like Tim Berners Lee who is now playing out the end of his life trying to repair the monster damage his part played in the creation.

    Thankfully I will be long dead but it's our kids and our grand children that will suffer that I feel sorry for, in the same way the first Atom bomb was made and now we have to live with the threat of Nuclear. But why should we care because we will be dead...right. It's all about being selfish and only thinking about ourselves, the here and now, so why should we even consider anything ahead. Having kids is a selfish act in itself, the only purpose is to cement a relationship and have someone to care for us when old, unless we are a neandafall and just want to pass our genes on. So why should we give a shit.

    It's no wonder that the youngsters of today don't give a shit because we don't give a shit about them. It's all our fault for having an attitude like yours. Unfortunately you are the majority and that is why the human race is destroyed. We need more people that can actually use their brain to think and have some intellect rather than just follow their masters orders like party politics. And I tell you something for nothing. The threat of AI is a much bigger threat threat than the Atom bomb ever was, and will be as, if not more, destructive to us than Nuclear.

    • Staff Notice

    I agree with the factual stuff that you have set out there, Norra, but I do think your conclusions are way out.

    So what if your fridge can work out what you need delivered and orders it (if you agree to that)? It makes life easier.

    But as to the wider conclusions you draw, I can only conclude that you have been watching too many Terminator movies and Dr Who’s Daleks. The intelligent robots we make must be designed to help us, not to annihilate us.

  • Must be designed and will be designed are two different things. So far history with tech has proven that it's not going in the right direction, a direction that benefits us and the planet and is a rabbit hole that makes things worse. The only people it benefits is your corporate masters. Tech is advancing but the ethics are getting left behind. No I don't want a fridge that makes decisions for me. Imagine it placing an order based on your history, your shopping turns up by drone and you then have to fight over the phone to try and get a human to explain the situation too and then returning what you got and getting the order changed or getting a refund. Worse your fridge may have been compromised by a hacker who thought it may be fun to mess with your shopping order or gain access to your finances linked to an insecure IOT's device. Oh and because it has all that digital tech that is insecure by design and new attack vectors are formed all the time. The only way to keep us as safe as possible is to make it where it breaks after a couple of years so you purchase a new one with an updated system and security patches. It's bad enough with home delivery and getting food that is borderline out of date and not being able to pick ones owns fruit and veg etc. Where's the consumer choice.

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