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The Threat to People


As society dumbs itself downward (re: Idiocracy) and artificial intelligence (AI) asserts itself as an alternative to the inconsistency of humans, humans are understandably concerned.

Whether it's driving for us or manufacturing for us or making hamburgers for us, AI threatens the opportunity for humans to work and earn a living. The smarter among us can program these machines and maintain these machines, but those without keen design or engineering or programming skills will have to fight machines for work.

Like it or not, AI is a euphemism for human replacement. Employers will, of course, be tempted to choose machines to staff the jobs where possible.

So where do humans fit in?

The agricultural society gave way to the industrial society, which gave way to the service economy... and in each movement, it was hard to predict what would come next.

Humans are inventive and creative. Given the freedom to do so, we adapt.

Whatever the next phase of economy is for humans, the biggest threat to it is not AI. In fact, AI might even assist this next phase.

What would inhibit the freedom of people to nimbly adjust with innovation is government. Just as the Internet grew wildly in the 1990's and created so much of the business opportunity that exists today, what now constrains innovation is government regulation and interference.

Big players love government regulation because the costs of regulation are just passed on to their existing customers. Compliance with those same regulations, however, keep the small upstarts from successfully launching innovative products and services. Regulation limits competition, which favors business continuity for the big players - who also happen to write big campaign checks to the politicians who promote such regulation.

Sadly, many of those who love technology buy into the notion that government is their friend. Nothing could be further from the truth, and a little explanation about it can maybe foster some healthy skepticism. The last people we should ever trust are those in government - especially when it comes to new ideas and technology.


by Brett Rogers, 4/25/2018 2:00:19 PM


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