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Comment Re:On regulation of AI development (Score 1) 72

This is a sane position, but the problem isn't quite so simple as that. AI development is competitive: whoever builds the first super-intelligent AGI is probably going to win big time. Any team that bothers to spend time considering safety is likely to lose to teams that don't.

I'm not entirely sure how we can avoid that. Even if you managed to pass global laws, how do you deal with people secretly breaking the law?

(Of course there's a big difference between AGI and driverless cars; the latter is pretty easy to manage the risk of. But when people start throwing around phrases like "existential risk", they're not talking about the cars.)

Comment Re:You pay people to do fuck-all... (Score 1) 722

I think we can be fairly sure there's nothing non-physical going on in our brains. Nothing else the universe does works like that, our brains are constructed out of perfectly normal matter and thus appear to run on normal physics, and it would make human brains magically special which is crazy. None of that means we're not conscious, it just means that consciousness is something boring and repeatable once you know how to do it.

Prove otherwise and I won't refuse to believe you, but I'm not going to expect that to happen.

There are some scientific indicators though that there may be more to the human mind than physics as known, for example the constant long-term failure to create general ("strong") AI even on the level of an utter moron. It seems this is either excessively hard or impossible.

I have mostly the opposite impression. We know the brain uses neural networks, and we've only really figured neural networks out in the past few years. And in the past few years we've made massive advances in AI everything. Since neural networks are our only real avenue of attack on AGI (our only example is the human brain, and that uses them), I see the current situation as demonstrating less that AGI is hard and more that neural networks were hard. And our ability to do with software many of the things that were previously human-only definitely demonstrates that those parts of the human brain are reproducible.

AGI might still be hard, but it might also simply turn out to be a matter of combining existing neural networks in the right way. Certainly every other AI problem has had people going "oh, but that's just X" or "that's just Y" (exactly like you did). Why not this one?

Note that "we have no idea how the brain works" doesn't mean we can't reproduce it. The neural networks involved in AlphaGo, for instance, are completely inscrutable; we have no idea how they work or why they evaluate any given move they way they do. Yet they demonstrably work just fine for playing Go.

[...] but having jobs for 10-15% of the population is not going to keep the current society-models going.

Yeah. None of these attempts to predict exactly where the limits of AI are will change anything when the limits are clearly high enough that we've got a problem.

Comment Re:The problem (Score 1) 722

It's "universal" so by definition receiving it doesn't depend on how much money you earn or how much tax you pay (although there's probably a "for working age adults" proviso in there...). Stopping tax evasion is orthogonal to that.

No, it's not done as a trick to take from the middle and reward the wealthy. It's done as a trick to make sure that everybody can feed, clothe and house themselves. I personally don't think that's a bad thing to do.

Comment Re:The problem (Score 1) 722

Good point, but it should be a lot easier to verify someone's identity than to verify their identity and do means-testing for the zillions of separate welfare-related programs we have at the moment. (Not to mention that we're ploughing full speed ahead into a future where humans can't really compete for jobs at all, so the difference between "number of people without a job" and "number of people" is going to start getting smaller and smaller anyway.)

Comment Re:You pay people to do fuck-all... (Score 1) 722

By that argument, there's likely no human creativity either. "Filter things from random searches" is probably a pretty good description of how creativity works in human brains too. We're aren't special; I don't buy that our brain does something that computers can't.

...but that ultimately doesn't even matter. If an AI can emulate the output of a human brain, and it can do so cheaper than a human can, then it doesn't matter if the AI works in the same way a brain does or not. It can still act as a replacement.

Comment Re:Here's a good reason for you (Score 1) 722


However, in current understanding, Parkinson's law is a reference to the self-satisfying uncontrolled growth of the bureaucratic apparatus in an organization.

You're missing the point. The point isn't that there won't be anything that needs doing. The point is that AIs will be able to do all of it. It doesn't matter how much bureaucracy you create; if it can all be handled by AIs then there won't be anything for humans to do.

Comment Re:The problem (Score 1) 722

Hardly "force". If you want to live somewhere that's more expensive than your UBI can cover, then get a job for the extra money, or move in with some friends.

(Note that a big reason that people live in big cities is because that's where all the jobs are. With a UBI, living where all the jobs are becomes less critical, and you'd probably find quite a few people who'd be more than happy to move out to more rural areas. If that happens, it would lower the cost of living in cities.)

I don't think a UBI should be set high enough to cover, by itself, living alone in one of the most expensive cities in the US (but likewise, it shouldn't be set so low that the only place you can afford with it is in the middle of nowhere with eight housemates).

You may consider it appropriate, but that's not how welfare programs work. If you don't have a job, but you're married to a spouse with a nice income, you don't get welfare benefits. So, getting rid of all the management and bureaucracies and giving everybody the same independent of circumstances means throwing away more money.

And yet doing so independent of circumstances is one of the key points of a UBI, for reasons which have been explained many times over by people who are much better at doing so than I.

Comment Re:You pay people to do fuck-all... (Score 1) 722

I wouldn't be so sure about creativity and insight either. Check out this sketch, colored by an AI neural network based on just a few squiggled hints. You can hardly argue that coloring isn't creative, and that's an AI that exists right now -- the tech is only improving as time goes on.

Comment Re:The problem (Score 1) 722

And it costs a bunch of money to handle all that.

I think a lot of your examples aren't really cases that would justify getting more or less money though. For example, living in an expensive neighborhood? The UBI is a universal basic income, it's supposed to cover basic needs. Not "I want to live in a big house in a posh neighborhood". If you want the extra money for that, then work.

Similarly, two people living together in the same house saves resources, and it's only appropriate that they can spend the saved money elsewhere (perhaps on the children that often accompany living together).

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