A chronicle of the things I find interesting or deeply important. Exploring generally 4 pillars of intense research. Dynamic Cognition (what every one else calls AI), Self Healing Infrastructures (how to build technological Utopia), Autonomous work routing and Action Oriented Workflow (sending work to the worker) and Supermortality (how to live...to arbitrarily long life spans by ending the disease of aging to death.)
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Technology as cure for a world on a Demographic precipice
This is a deeply informative set of projections on the current trends in population but as is often the case it seems to leave out the development of technological solutions applied to the social space that could radically modify the projections.
For example, the rising dependency ratio in the America’s and Europe and Asia over the next 50 years assumes that the current requirements of economic support for human survival will be the same in 50 years. However, with the development of extremely efficient means of production comes the ability to vastly improve the production levels of necessary resources (including fresh water which can be made on demand using solar powered desalination technology) while radically reducing the cost of producing and delivering those resources to where they are needed.
50 years, with the development of advanced green technologies for harnessing energy (from the sun and wind primarily) will come a collapse of the traditional fossil fuel industries. This collapse will negatively affect economies that are dependent on fossil fuel production and export IF they are still relying on them to drive their economies but in 50 years that is very likely given that radical reduction of costs for green technology to points that beat fossil fuels of all kinds are already projected for 10 to 15 years away let alone 50. Nations that are not trying to diversify away from such fossil driven economies are asking for a fiscal nightmare today.
That said, production of efficient energy coupled with the pending rapid advances in the distribution of things produced as well as services rendered due to the shift from a fossil driven transportation infrastructure to an electric driven one that is autonomous will again crush costs dramatically.
So even as these population centers in Africa balloon, the ability to actually fuel and feed the growing masses will be radically improved from what we have in place today.
So Energy production and distribution and transportation will effect major reductions in price that will forstall much of the economic gloom that would other wise occur under a growing population scenario in these centers what else can slow down this trend?
The major reason for the massive growth in non western or Asian populations comes from the entrenched cultural and religious mores that see it as a gift of God to have many children, unfortunately it is a potential curse to the planet in actual fact and is something that we need to strongly retard.
The continued distribution of information via the information conduits of the internet and the mobile web stands as a potentially powerful mollifying force against these backward views that to have more children is an inherently good thing. Education enabled by a distributed system of teaching tools and virtual universities, coupled with the development of increasingly intelligent systems for educating people could significantly slow the rate of growth by inoculating these new populations against the ignorance that has their growth rates projected at what they are.
Efforts by major corporations to expand access to information like Google’sproject Loon provide more than just a moon shot view into means of allowing them to get their services into other hard to reach parts of the world where wired infrastructure does not exist….it stands as a powerful means of enabling the access to knowledge that rapidly erodes the ignorance that would keep populations growing at unsustainable rates.
Another pending innovation not factored into the equation is enabled by increasing access to information coupled with rapidly developing artificial intelligence. Technology designed for workforce emancipation and global autonomous work routing , like the Action Oriented Workflow paradigmwill allow an increasingly knowledge based workforce to maximize value landscapes enabling people to work across multiple areas of their interest for multiple employees even as the availability of manual labor jobs dwindles away. Such technology is a critical piece in slowing the rate of economic discord in the developed nations and also of enabling a faster transition to a knowledge economy in the developing ones.
In the meantime we can expect a lot of discord to happen if African nations are not quick to recognize these problems and effect solutions today which given the strength of belief in religion and other forms of superstition seems like a daunting task.
On the other side of the growth equation the European and Asian nations may not have population deflation to the levels shown in these charts. The rapid introduction of gene editing technology applied to the problem of aging will give rise to revigoration technology and an age of oscillating senescence that will artificially sustain many populations without the requirement of new births. When death rate itself starts going down, population growth will still happen…so the next 50 years will see a shift in growth rates as the current apparent plateau in many nations begins to rise after such technologies are widely available, in my past analysis of the effects of this technology I’ve estimated this to be the case by the mid 2030's.
So there is a lot of work to do, technological pieces need to be put into place in Africa to reduce ignorance and religiosity, expand access to contraception and reduce population growth rates while making access to information and resources more efficient. In the first world or developing first world, work needs to continue reducing ignorance (as every where else) building the first energy efficient networks for lowered costs of production and delivery and for those nations with negative population growth, revigoration technology will emerge to allow population rates to continue rising or even be made to stay constant.
I’ve written in my posts on the need for building a self healing infrastructure (SHI) utilizing technological tools that I’ve felt some what less optimistic at our making it out of this century without major discord, I still feel discord is likely as though much technology will be available it will not be distributed evenly which is a major problem that must be solved …especially if we are to avoid having pockets of economic instability or religious regression or both throw entire regions into turmoil (see Isis).
I think that the author misses truths that have been in place that show that collectivization is not a process that started with the internet but has been with us since we started inventing things.
It seems that Mr. Lanier is not properly defining the contexts under which different problems can benefit or suffer from collectivization. He speaks in general terms of the loss of the potential for creators to extract profit from their work but misses that this is and was true of human civilization since we first picked up a rock to use as a crude hammer. New things make old things obsolete and people MUST adapt to what is displaced (be it a former human performance of that task or use of an older product) so as to main…
I have found as more non formally trained people enter the coding space, the quality of code that results varies in an interesting way.
The formalities of learning to code in a structured course at University involve often strong focus on "correctness" and efficiency in the form of big O representations for the algorithms created.
Much less focus tends to be placed on what I'll call practical programming, which is the type of code that engineers (note I didn't use "programmers" on purpose) must learn to write.
Programmers are what Universities create, students that can take a defined development environment and within in write an algorithm for computing some sequence or traversing a tree or encoding and decoding a string. Efficiency and invariant rules are guiding development missions. Execution time for creating the solution is often a week or more depending on the professor and their style of teaching code and giving out problems. This type of coding is devo…
The zeitgeist of Science fiction is filled with stories that paint a dystopian tale of how human desires to build artificial intelligence can go wrong. From the programmed pathology of HAL in 2001 a space odyssey, to the immediately malevolent emergence of Skynet in The Terminator and later to the humans as energy stores for the advanced AI of the Matrix and today , to the rampage of "hosts" in the new HBO series Westworld.
These stories all have a common theme of probing what happens when our autonomous systems get a mind of their own to some degree and no longer obey their creators but how can we avoid these types of scenarios but still emerge generalized intelligence that will leverage their super intelligence with empathy and consideration the same that we expect from one another? This question is being answered in a way that is mostly hopeful that current methods used in machine learning and specifically deep learning will not emerge skynet or HAL.