Friday, September 25, 2015

email to michael hudson "rise of machines", evolution, physics

There are a lot of books being written about what I call "rise of the machines"

"Smarter than Us"
"Zero Marginal Cost"
"Lights in The Tunnel"
"Our Final Invention"
"The A.I. Revolution"
"Rise of the Robots"
"The Second Machine Age"
"A Dangerous Master"
"The End of the Beginning"

If the depression began as a problem of "motors replacing muscle" on the farm and factory, how are we going to deal with "computers replacing brains"?    What will the economic machine do now that solar cells are 40 times more efficient than photosynthesis, even more cost-effective than burning coal?  How do we decide who gets to benefit and breed from technological advances if not simply let it fall the most succesful crooks, luckiest programers, and luckiest social engineers?  Google, Facebook, Youtube, and Snapchat required more luck and social engineering for their pairs of 20-something year old founders to become immiediate billionaires, far beyond their programming skills, which is a symptom of brains and even capital becoming obsolete. 

I view inadequate answers to these questions as a more fundamental reason the FIRE sector is rising.  Voter stupidity  (lack of control of government) and high-level crime and greed seem more like symptoms of a deeper problem. The problem seems to be evolution causing ever-increasing efficiency, making biology obsolete. Computers are 10 million times more efficient than brains at any programmable task. All tasks are programmable, even manipulation of other people through media, banks, and military. These industries probably employ the large majority of programmers, effectively controlling populations.  

I would like to see you write more on technological advancements, especially the effect of computers.  Core to classical economics is the belief that we can use our brains to more effectively utilize energy. What do we do as brains are made more and more economically obsolete? 

Even capital is being made obsolete, which could be a fundamental cause of it being mis-allocated. Could you write an article on that?

I am interested in the connections and similarities between A.I., economics, evolution, and basic physics.  For example, the weighting factors or probabilities between nodes in neural nets have a strong mathematical correlation with prices between economic agents. These  systems solve optimization problems.  Newton's laws can be expressed more fundamentally as "the principle of least action" which is an efficiency-seeking law, turning excess energy from the Sun into higher and higher potential energy chemical bonds, releasing excess entropy to the Universe, converting the mass on Earth into more and more order. Silicon, metals, and carbon are all getting the oxygen removed from their natural state in order to create stronger bonds. The mass of humans can remain stable or increase, but the ratio of the mass of machines to biology should continue to increase. People fighting each other and economics seem to be tools evolution (the least action principle in action) uses to advance this goal.

If we are "good" then the process of evolution that created us is "good". We struggle against each other to advance evolution, apparently even to the point of replacing ourselves with our "children".  Do we have a moral right to promote our happiness at the expense of the machines? 

No comments:

Post a Comment