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hpr4118 :: Toil versus Livelihood

A contribution to the discussions about AI as a threat to our livelihoods

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Hosted by dnt on 2024-05-15 is flagged as Clean and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
work, "generative AI". 7.

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Duration: 00:24:11


This is sort of a response to hpr4097 :: Will they take our jobs? Of course they will. by dodddummy, and also the latest community news show, and other shows about the topic.



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Comment #1 posted on 2024-05-15 11:10:46 by Bob

We want free time but what we get is more less paid toil

Yes it should lead to more free time and a universal basic income. However what actually happens is that the person is required to do other work involving more toil for less money. To earn the same they need to do multiple of these jobs.
Comment #2 posted on 2024-05-16 19:52:39 by kdmurray

Deep Thought

This one is going to need a second listen. :) Lots of good points made highlighting the massive grey zones about how and where we apply new technology to solve existing "problems", or develop new ways of doing things. Maybe we can find a way for people to leverage some tools to help them make more HPRs! (or at least give themselves more time to do so)
Comment #3 posted on 2024-05-18 16:31:21 by Kevin O'Brien


I think this show is exactly right. Ther objective of all economic policy should be minimizing the amount of toil people do. 100% unemployment for the win!
Comment #4 posted on 2024-05-20 15:14:11 by Laindir

Half the problem

I think this episode highlights a very real problem--generative "AI" tools are already depriving people of their "livelihood" (literally "means of staying alive"). I've been thinking a lot lately about the exploitation of workers and what kind of economic systems could provide everyone with a dignified standard of living (as a layperson, my very loose understanding is that Universal Basic Income is a frontrunner in that space). Thanks so much for giving examples of other writings on this topic. I'd love to hear more. I do think there is a second problem with generative "AI" that, while less urgent than the first, still matters--burying good work in a flood of bad harms both artists and audiences. At least for some artists, the hope that the work finds an audience is an important motivator. For audiences, encountering a work you love and knowing it was made by a person with a perspective affords the opportunity to find more works from that person and better appreciate that perspective. The ability to create low quality works coupled with systems that prioritize clicks (search engines, engagement-based social media algorithms, etc.) are a recipe for dramatically increasing the difficulty of finding good art. As a small aside, I discovered one of my favorite visual artists only because they were commissioned to create a logo--something that might never have happened if generative "AI" had been pervasive ten years ago.
Comment #5 posted on 2024-05-21 02:57:01 by dnt

Re: Laindir

You are right about the problem of saturating the universe with AI-generated things. However, I would say that good art has long been buried under a mountain of low quality works created by humans for pay, sitting in for the eventual AI, just as was done to factory workers in decades past. Perhaps AI will expand the volume of low quality work to the point that it will destroy the system of which it is the ultimate evolution.
Comment #6 posted on 2024-05-21 03:00:19 by dnt

Re: kdmurray

HPR only has to survive a couple more decades before we win the 20-hour work week, and we can permanently retire the reserve queue. I believe!
Comment #7 posted on 2024-06-01 12:10:14 by dodddummy

I agree but am concerned about the transition

I agree that the toil isn't the point and a lot of people aren't doing what they want to do. My concern is how we'll make the transition from what we have to the toilless future. Seems not at all clear to me we'll make that transition without 'insert favorite post apocalyptic movie title'.

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