Saturday, March 10, 2012

What my writing about Future Tech and Economic Patterns for my upcomming game has made me realize

What will happen if we take advantage of automated educational tools, learning coaches and peer studying? There is this really annoying assumption that automation remove jobs and jobs are a Zero-Sum game, which is not true if you took economics (and the long winded proof is in the economic course). If it was a zero-sum game then why haven't we run out of jobs at 7 Billion? 

  • Educational automation works best with technical professions, so if the automation is very well implemented then you can train more with relatively low resource input.
  • Assumption: technical professions can self-improve 

If the cost of studying is cheaper, relative to cost-of-living, this affects barriers of learning. It's now easier to supply a particular skill-set, you can make more technicians (medical, computer, engineering, research, etc.). 
Who wouldn't want a lot of [Insert technican here] to bring down the cost of medical/computer/engineering... etc. services?   
Still competition and market forces make life difficult. Any time there is too many of a particular professional/technician, the finite world can only support so much of a particular technician, the rest become redundant. But if the cost of training is cheaper, then there is still a lot of hope for the unfortunate ones. 

People will always continue to improve and develop more sophisticated products to stay relevant and employed. Things get sophisticated because as we refine a technique/technology until these are simple, then we build over that technology to meet a greater level of productivity until we reach a point of diminishing returns to the complexity and the cost of building.  

As there is a larger pool of technicians, more strategies of pursued. More strategies pursued means more technology being applied and developed, and eventually market forces whittle down the competition to the most effective/productive. The cycle begins a new after the maturation of one technology and the beginning of something new, then we build over what we have improved and simplified. 

We will never run out of things to do, and jobs to fill. As productivity improves, things get to be more cost efficient. Opportunity costs change because there are a near infinite no. of needs and wants to satisfy and we have the finite limitation of being people (no matter how evolved, augmented and enhanced we are). The more productive we are, the more opportunities we can afford. Extra Productivity can allow people to afford greater amounts of Environmentalism (reducing/negating negative externalities), Advocate their Social Responsibility, and greater choice over their Lifestyles. 


No one loses when education and training gets cheaper. When you bring down the cost of gaining skills, you bring down the cost of surviving in this ever changing job landscape of a global and continually evolving world. When there is investment in the common good of education, particularly improvements that allows automation to stretch every cent to improve the lives of so many people, is a win-win situation.

Free education is great, when it is a society that has matured with liberties. Cultures matured with Liberties have less of a "free-rider" problem. Many developing countries and some cultures very bad free-rider problems. Especially when the culture has a long long history of great social injustice and the lack of liberties. When people have been treated inhumanely, human decency is a luxury.


aka John said...

"No one loses when education and training gets cheaper."

In a totally rational world, I would agree. However, those that are already educated/trained do not want the competition and will set barriers for those who have not yet been educated/trained.

Real world example: the accounting industry in the US. Billed as a way to insure competence (which is important), the AICPA instituted a new requirement of 150 credit hours to be eligible to sit for the CPA exam. At the time (late 90s) only one state, Florida, had this requirement. Florida's requirement stemmed from the influx of retiring CPAs from northern states that were competing with established CPAs. In order for a relocating CPA to practice in Florida, they would have to return to school to obtain the missing credits. Since most retirees were at the end of their careers, this effectively reduced the number of CPAs in Florida, therefore, fees for services were not diluted.

Does that make sense? I'm just a simple accountant myself, but I'm sure an economist could make the point much clearer than I did.

Yong Kyosunim said...

The only problem with the economics issue is that it assumes that human beings will be in charge of the inputs/controls of the processes toward job creation. As long as this is true, then the job creation will always exist.

Unfortunately, once we create a true AI, this will no longer be true and all jobs everywhere will eventually disappear because AI's can do all the work all the time far more efficiently than humans ever will. They will design more efficient systems of tackling environment, economic, and societal problems, build whatever robot is necessary for physical labor or reroute and create systems for "mental" labor. Maybe this will lead to a caretaker state in which the AI's will provide comfort for every human being, but more than likely because of things like resource scarcity, AI's will make the determination to exterminate swaths of populations by letting them starve to death in order to conserve resources or make efficient use of them. Even worse yet, AI's will recycle dead human beings into food or drugs for the other human beings and livestock.