Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Fully automated luxury communism

A mouthful or could the title of fully automated luxury communism be a possible aim for the working class to achieve. The guys over at Novara FM who do some fantastic work and some quality independent critical thinking from the left is where I heard this phrase first and I think it deserves some looking into. “We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living” Above are links to Novara pieces one is where the quotation above comes from and the one below is a video of Aaron Bastani talking about what a future way of living and work could be like. We all have heard about the idea of the future of robots doing a lot of our work and us having a lot more time of leisure. Well why can’t we actually try and put this into place from now on. We all work far too hard and for far too long to enjoy life as it was meant to be enjoyed. So why not fight for a future where we say do a form of work which could be different to keep us engaged job rotation in affect a maximum of 15 hours a week while keeping same rate of pay as before sounds almost too good to be true. That’s because it is at present under capitalism. But under communism you could put automation of jobs and keeping same rate of pay up and pose it as progress. Today when so many jobs are being lost to automation should we not try and make use of it if it is going to happen anyway. A recent study looking at which jobs may be at risk of automation in the coming years and decades has been carried out of late. This link between lower paid jobs and automation suggests technology risks fueling growing wealth inequalities — unless education and training can be successfully reconfigured to upskill populations with the digital, management and creative skills that are at reduced risk of automation. The study found that lower paid jobs are almost eight times as likely to be replaced than higher paid jobs when looking specifically at London. Overall, though, the rate of tech-fueled destruction drops to 30 per cent of jobs specifically in London — likely owing to higher rates of pay in the capital vs the rest of the U.K. Some 40 per cent of U.K. jobs are rated as low or no risk. In London this figure rises to 51 per cent of jobs. In the high risk corner, the research lists jobs like office and admin support; sales and services; transportation; construction and extraction; and production. While jobs identified as low or no risk jobs include skilled management; financial services; computing, engineering and science; education; legal services; community services; the arts and media; and healthcare. “A new report from Pew Research brings together almost 2,000 experts to comprehensively assess the effect of robots on the workplace Experts are divided over the role of robots over the next decade, with some arguing that they will create more jobs than they displace, and others worrying that they could lead to income inequality and a breakdown in social order. The findings come from a report by Pew Research, which surveyed almost two thousand individuals with expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and economics, to find out their predictions for the role of automation between today and 2025. The experts were almost perfectly split, with 52% predicting an optimistic path, and 48% worrying about the future. The optimists envisioned “a future in which robots and digital agents do not displace more jobs than they create,” according to Aaron Smith, the report’s co-author. But the pessimistic view was that automation “will displace significant numbers of both blue- and white-collar workers. “A number of the respondents warned that this aspect of technical evolution will lead to vast increases in income inequality, masses of people who are effectively unemployable and the possibility of breakdowns in the social order.” Almost all of the respondents are united on one thing: the displacement of work by robots and AI is going to continue, and accelerate, over the coming decade. Where they split is in the societal response to that displacement. The optimists predict that the economic boom that would result from vastly reduced costs to businesses would lead to the creation of new jobs in huge numbers, and a newfound premium being placed on the value of work that requires “uniquely human capabilities”. In the end, as Lee Rainie, another co-author of the report, puts it, it could result in a “freedom from day-to-day drudger that allows people to define work in a more positive and socially beneficial way”. Microsoft’s Jonathan Grudin told researchers that “Technology will continue to disrupt jobs, but more jobs seem likely to be created. When the world population was a few hundred million people there were hundreds of millions of jobs. Although there have always been unemployed people, when we reached a few billion people there were billions of jobs. There is no shortage of things that need to be done and that will not change.” But the pessimists worry that the benefits of the labor replacement will accrue to those already wealthy enough to own the automatons, be that in the form of patents for algorithmic workers or the physical form of robots. The ranks of the unemployed could swell, as people are laid off from work they are qualified in without the ability to retrain for careers where their humanity is a positive. And since this will happen in every economic sector simultaneously, civil unrest could be the result. “Unlike previous disruptions such as when farming machinery displaced farm workers but created factory jobs making the machines, robotics and AI are different,” says Nasa’s Mark Nall. “Due to their versatility and growing capabilities, not just a few economic sectors will be affected, but whole swaths will be. This is already being seen now in areas from robocalls to lights-out manufacturing. Economic efficiency will be the driver. The social consequence is that good-paying jobs will be increasingly scarce.” One thing many experts agreed on was the need for education to prepare for a post-automation world. ““Only the best-educated humans will compete with machines,” said internet sociologist Howard Rheingold. “And education systems in the US and much of the rest of the world are still sitting students in rows and columns, teaching them to keep quiet and memorise what is told them, preparing them for life in a 20th century factory.” The report is the fourth in a series from Pew Research logging at digital life in 2025. As well as a broad series opener, the reports have examined the internet of things and threats to the open internet.” Instead seeing this as a threat why can’t we not turn this into a benefit to us as human beings. Instead of putting people out of work how about making the need for work void by ending the need for profit and continuous production of needless things jut for profit. Fully automated luxury communism is a vision a dream but one which can be achieved if we so wished. Just imagine how you could spend the newly made free time you’d have in your life. Maybe you can finally learn a new language you always wanted to learn or you could explore our vast planet and see all there is to see. The possibilities are endless but we do need rid of brutal exploitative capitalism first.

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