Thursday, November 02, 2006

The foundations of future economy

Based on our current scientific and technological understanding we can predict (with reasonable confidence) the development of virtual reality, robotics, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology.

Starting from the predictions of what is technologically possible (in a certain time-frame), we can deduce what is economically feasible and therefore likely.

In a number of stages the structure of the economy will be dramatically changed:

  1. Development of virtual reality means that "white-collar" work will be moved to virtual workplaces and much of service and operator work will be done using telepresence.
  2. Advanced robotics will gradually replace humans in physical labor (first using some telepresence, but later moving to mostly autonomous systems).
  3. Artificial intelligence will replace humans in service, operator, manual (through robotics) and creative jobs.
  4. As nanotechnology develops, it will replace robotics as a way to produce objects and do other work.
  5. Eventually AI and robots will replace ordinary humans in all work. Only transhumans (cyborgs with augmented intelligence) will be working.
  6. Improvement of artificial intelligence (as well as merging of human and AI and uploading) will make reproducing physical workplaces unnecessary, moving work from VR to "idea space"
  7. As we move into the information space (through uploading) and change the environment (rebuilding the planet), physical work will increasingly become obsolete (everything important will be happening in the computer space). Only "software" will matter.

Edit this entry at Future Wikia

5 comments:

Hanch said...

The two processes of AI development and Robotics development are independent and run in parallel. In certain fields AI might mature before robotics. Experience has shown us that human body (muscles, flexibility, etc.) is not less a genius 'production' than the human mind.
It is also possible that only after AI matures (singularity), will sufficiently sophisticated materials will be developed to replace human muscles\ sensory, etc. and consequently practical robots be made.
This possible future may predict us various economy evolution, for example, huge demand for blue collar workers and lagre unemployment among white collars scholars

Danila said...

Look at some of the recent developments such as this advanced hand http://www.pinktentacle.com/2006/10/aist-develops-dexterous-hand-for-working-class-droids/

or other things described here: http://future.wikia.com/wiki/robotics and in other places and the scenario you propose (AI without robotics) seems unlikely

Ian Parker said...

Hanch said that white collar work would be done remotely and that manual work would be done through telepresence.

This being the case work will go the cheapest countries. The wall between the US and Mexico is going to be completely irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

How the heck can you predict anything 100 years in advance with "reasonable" confidence!??

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