When discussing automation it’s easy to fall into one of two tropes, utopia or apocalypse. These tropes aren’t going away. Advocates need to learn how to work with the ways people already hope and worry about technology so they can conceptualize how automation is impacting their lives. Let’s experiment with fun, strange, attention-grabbing ways of explaining the automation revolution.
A generation of predominantly black and brown software and hardware engineers are coming up today. They will make a lot of, “miracles” by ordering artificial intelligence to do experiments and make products beyond current comprehension. More miraculous, thousands of them will dedicate their lives to producing goods and services to the public at-cost, through not-for-profit corporations. These Jesus-es are live today, making it through K-12:
Let’s look at some of the conditions making it possible for us to suggest, figuratively, that Christ has risen again. This, “soup” is made up of the basic ingredients of the automation revolution.
Jeremy Rifkin is an economic advisor to the European Union and People’s Republic of China. VICE recently taped Rifkin’s presentation about economic trends going into the next generation. The dialogue is interesting and should be watched.
Zero Marginal Cost (no profit)
Rifkin explains how the decentralized, increasingly automated economy is going to feature near-zero marginal costs. The prevalence of non-profit and not-for-profit business will continue to press down on marginal cost for almost all of our goods and services. When software and machines can do most of the work, it’s hard to profit off of products and services. So, who will do the work of creating the not-for-profit, sharing economy? Black and brown Jesus-es, of course. For a number of them, their motivation will be to develop the automated, not-for-profit sharing economy that Rifkin describes.
Imagine a future where neighborhood teenagers play video games designed to teach them how to build, program and manage automated greenhouses:
Internet of Things
The IoT (Internet of Things) is already transforming our economy. Instead of a marketplace where humans have to negotiate and sign contracts, goods and services will be transacted with increasing degrees of automation. When Jesus-es can connect their urban greenhouses to the IoT, neighbors can order food and have it delivered by land and air drones.
Consider research at Purdue University to train machines on whether a human is feeling trust or distrust towards a situation involving the machine. Tools like this will be used in malicious/manipulative AI, but these kinds of advances also help AI become progressively supportive of humans. This is just one way machine learning is being used to anticipate human behavior today:
Consider how people are already controlling these kinds of systems with the thoughts in their head, and feelings in their bodies! Researchers already practice meditation so their mind is focused enough to issue command prompts to robots:
So if a young, passionate, loving black child uses their talent to build machines that break bread, and make enough for everyone, couldn’t we call them Jesus? Moses, maybe? Let’s have fun with this automation revolution. If what I’m saying is true, maybe you can call Rifkin, John the Baptist! ;)
By understanding these basics, you can understand more about the possibilities of transparent living in the AI-centered future.
The future of automation doesn’t have to be in the hands of rich, white men. It can be in all of our hands. Together we can foster the radical sharing economy, the Third Industrial Revolution. It starts with leadership, community, and fearlessness:
Just in good spirit, here’s the iconic verse in King James:
14:18 He said, Bring them hither to me. 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. 21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.