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The right to equality 2.0

In a quite interesting and thoughtful commentary, Sam Altman talks about some results of technology induced inequality in wealth:
This is not hard to prove mathematically, even. The machine-to-labor scaling ratio has been increasing year on year. At some point, the compounded difference becomes so large that any differential productivity gains from getting the work done by humans will completely disappear for most functions for which humanity was being trained for millenia.

One of my friends pointed out a political view by Orwell, an equally interesting read. 

If we think about life and evolution, it is obvious that the history of the world has been a series of gradual accretion of features, interspersed by large scale asymmetrical compounding of differences in a short period of time that results in explosion of living forms in waves.

If we believe the current data, society is starting to look more like the ant colony/bee colony -- where a 1% "queen" is accumulating significant power to move the colony into next generation, while the workers are serving the function of maintaining the colony.

I think this can only happen in a free medium, because every free medium tends to suffer from the intersection of a geometrically exploding appetite chasing a relatively linear supply. Be it raw materials, food, money, or power.

I have no problems with this, except that the opportunity to become 1% needs to be available to as many people as feasible. Absent this right, there is no use for humans in growing a sense of morality over the long arc of evolutionary struggle to get here.

Sam Altman makes a case for teaching people more about technology, sooner. But this solution is also as hard to visualize as giving "basic income" (which he also proposes, but shows to be not all that good).

Here's the challenge: through technology, we have not only created an asymmetrical advantage for people, but also created machines which can increase their asymmetrical advantage, asymmetrically over time!

When a machine can soon overtake us in major essential "job" functions, how will we teach our children?

Humans take 12-13 years to boot up into production function. An OS boots up in 10 seconds and technology moves in 2-3 year cycles.

In the time a newborn in 2014 becomes an adult, technology would have obsoleted everything the child learned about basic "job" functions...

We don't have many good answers to this issue, except that we should teach our children to be even more "free to do whatever they want", because, at some point, most of their essential survival skills inside the "home/cubicle zoo" will be provided by machines.

The inalienable right of tomorrow is not just life, liberty and the pursuit of (property|happiness), but the right to be essentially human. Our humanity - morals, ethics, art, freedom, idle reflection, introspection and all the ineffable qualities we hold dear - should be prevented from becoming a vestigeal skill.

If ever there was a time to treat each other with morality, humanity and unique respect, it is now.

If there ever was a time to realize that humanity as a whole will need equality with the machines, it is this decade. Or are we already past the cusp?


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