Thought Experiment

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Reply Fri 2 Feb, 2007 02:44 pm
Now, lemme come to my challenging experiment that I hope you will find interesting.

Let's suppose that with the advancement of science and technology the time has come when it's possible to create really intelligenet and creative machines. Now with the general introduction of these new robots, computers and all kinds of other machines the working day is reduced to a minimum expression. In this new era these interactive machines have replaced humans in farms, factories, industries, government offices etc. and they can effectively and effeciently work as engineers, scientists, researchers, artists, politicians etc. independent of human guidance.

Furthermore, suppose that these intelligent-creative machines are obedient to humans and are serving them well. They have freed humans from most of the laborious and boring (repetitive) tasks. They have put an end to the horrific picture of billions of people struggling for food, shelter, and clothing by effectively planning the economy and producing abundant wealth within no time and distibuting it justly (something which humans have not beet able to do hitherto).

Do you the see the picture of the new world I'm trying to paint? Use your imagination (and reasoning too!)

Note that here we are not questioning the possibility of making truly intelligent and/or creative machines. Whether or not it is possible is irrelevant as far as this experiment is concerned.

Ok. Now with this qualitative advance and under these material conditions (i.e., when human are freed from the burden of the fight and struggle for survival and most of the present jobs being replaced by machines) what will humans do. Will humans sit idle? Will they become inactive? Jobless? Purposeless? Humanity destroyed!?

Nay, do humans have any higher goals in life?

Will humans start new activities? Will they reconstruct society on new foundations? Can human nature change? If yes, then what in your imagination will be the new culture? What (if any) will be the new goals?

So what do you think? Let's share our thoughts.
Reply Fri 2 Feb, 2007 03:04 pm
It is pointless to try to replace us since life will be equally meaningless.
Reply Sat 3 Feb, 2007 11:01 am
Very interesting indeed.

Actually there are some very good points made here with this experiment. Due to the fact that I've come from a mechanical background and then within the last 4-5 years started getting more into the web, this post has brought some additional light into the picture for myself.

I believe that if we all can work smarter rather than harder, we will have more time to do the things that are truly productive. So if we replace some of the work we as humans do with machines and robotic technology and the internet, it will give us more time to work on human relations.

In your scenario, if there were no more labor done by humans and the labor was actually done by machine, it would force mankind in it's entirety to be more creative. So those folks who perform menial tasks all day in factories and what not, will then have to think outside of the box and use their inherent genius within them to grow.

From going to work everyday without thought and slapping some parts on a product or putting some screws in a product on a production line, to actually having to be creative... Onto a little story...

I worked in a factory once. That factory was in Michigan and was called Frigidaire. When I originally was hired it, rumor had it around town that if you were able to get the job, you had it made. Frigidaire was United Auto Workers Union and once a person was in, many folks were under the impression that they would have it made for life. For some people and kids getting out of school, their main goal was to get into Frigidaire and once they achieved that, their future was set.

Working in this place, I realized that this kind of work done by humans over and over, never really encouraged any kind of creative thinking. We would just show up every day and file into place. My job was to put screws into a refrigerator as it passed us on the line... everyday. That was it. The fun part of the job was the people. However, many of the people that had been there for 20 years reminded me of zombies. They would come into work expressionless every day to do the same menial task they had done the day before and years before that. These weren't difficult jobs and not many of them didn't take much thought at all. This was the type of labor that could be replaced by machine.

Needless to say, I found this work very boring. I knew exactly what I'd be making in 5 years and since there was a scale wage approved by the Union, I knew what everyone else was making based on how long they had been a zombie. Smile So, against my wife's mothers best judgment, I ended up quiting to try another career path.

Anyway... to make a long story short, a couple years ago the factory closed. 2,300 factory workers left without a job. Partly replaced by machines and partly due to the price of the workers... As with any Union shop, this was a place where people were overpaid for the work they would perform. This coupled with the fact that only about 60% of them actually worked while the others were just being paid to sleep, play cards, ride around on bicycles and other recreational activities.

After the closing of this factory, many people were without a job and forced to be creative. For many, the closing of this factory turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. Having now to deal with this change, many found better and more rewarding work to do while a small handful just sit around and blame the President, the Union or whomever. But for most, it sparked an energy they never knew existed and may not have ever known had the place not closed.

I feel as if I'm rambling.... anyway to get to the point... I find it easy to see that people would continue on and people would be more creative and learn to think more rather than labor more. I don't believe that humans would sit idle and I don't believe that it would send everyone into a desolation stage.

If we didn't have to work and machines replaced our tasks, we would then have to think. Instead of working on a refrigerator one may be more inclined to work on themselves or the relationships around them.

As I see technology grow and the changes that are taking place, many of these jobs done by human are currently being replaced by computers and technology. In a sense, this is freeing us as humans to spend more time learning to communicate.

This is happening today. In the here and now, in the US, jobs are being replaced. At the same time, more and more people are able to work from home and discover the world via technology. Discover also the creativity inside of them that they never knew existed. In the US as jobs are sent to other countries and the baby boomer generation passes and makes way for the new generation of technology, our world will change. This is happening as we sit here and witness it.

Is it good? Well, sure it is. I have to believe that with the changes to come with technology and these barriers of communication that have been lifted, people are going to reach for more and reach within themselves... something they would have never done had they still been on the line in some factory.

This is what I see from walking this path myself. I think the technology is good and the future of technology is unavoidable at this point. It does however push us as humans to think more. It also pushes the human communication factor.

Technology and where this is all going amazes me. It's the speed of it that amazes me most. 10 years ago, we wouldn't have been able to communicate in a post such as this. Think about it!

Great thread! This is definitely something to think about because it's happing today.

... I have more thoughts on this but I need a break to think....
Reply Sun 5 Aug, 2007 02:41 am
evolutionary dynamics operate into our lives. if u r idle u may be eliminated by other humans.
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 06:46 pm
I think that if the situation were to ever occur, then we would find good reason to enter into a communist age.

Communist is not a dirty word, so don't explode on me please.

Communism is about equalitarianism and diversity within that structure.
For us to live in this era, we would have to live without greed or desire to rise above our fellow man. Only after the needs of the common man were met, would we find the resources to develop further. It's a hard call.
The situation you describe as having our wealths distributed evenly, would suggest this era.

But we would also have to eliminate the media, and the desire to emulate pop culture icons in order to achieve this.

I think that we would resort to sports, arts, and other luxuries for a time, before resorting to war once again...since it is inevitable that the powers that rule would find reason to go to war.

I'd elaborate more, and explain my thought process in greater detail, but my wife is grabbing my attention at the moment to watch tv with her.
madscientist phil
Reply Sat 15 Sep, 2007 02:20 pm
in my opinion, if this were to occur humans would do what they enjoy most. so they would do more leisure, travelling etc. Depens to what extent you're goinf. if too far then see below... Smile

Now suppose that even that wouldnt be needed. We'd be connected to a machine which gives us nutrition takes our waste etc. and we'd have machine of virtual reality in us. we wish something to happen. one day. then we make ourslves forget that we wished it. then we forget it and then the next day guess whta... it happens! and to our surprise we would think and be an illusion that it is what is really happening. we could travel to space, have sex with whom we want, do what we want, have dreams (no need but still...)we want, we would live in what we want. This is extreme but think. what would we do? In our virtual reality who knows, but in reality nothing. thre would be bunches of people connected to machines and living in their own wordls.
Imagine how would that look like... Wink

any thoughts?
Reply Thu 20 Sep, 2007 08:44 pm
i think it will happen
advancements in technology occur exponentially most of them occuring within the last 100 years
1945 being the year we convert mass to energy with a bomb ontop of japan =(
but fields like nano-technology and automation seem to be rising
its interesting to think that all mass exhibits different properties on a nanoscale
and nanotechnology is technology taking advantage of things at a really small scale
and we have already started down this road
silicon becomes an conductor
gold becomes a liquid
copper becomes transparent
its almost as if hidden qualities are all around us and we are basically unaware due to our size
with the advancement of technology comes a complete new universe
i think this is the point of creativity in my opinion to lead us to this new universe.. creativity being man released energy
and if it continues to move the direction it is moving you can only assume one day we will be able to literally move atoms one at a time and make anything we could imagine
and it only takes this invention to occur once and then it can replicate itself.. just like a cell does..
the point of our creativity is to help us build that reality i think and eventually move us somewhere
whatever and wherever that may be..
it will definitely happen if the curve continues to move up as it most likely will
and the curve moves upward exponentially and that means advancements will only begin to occur faster and faster until the point where like i said
that machine is invented
and anything can be constructed
its all a prediction ofcourse..
but the fact remains technology and automation are on the rise and fast who knows what will happen but i think its all very possible
unfortunately since the automation curve goes up
the number of jobs curve goes down
or is that unfortunate?
madscientist phil
Reply Fri 21 Sep, 2007 12:29 pm
But isnt there a limit to how far all of this can go?
yes technology is goin further and further.
but where is this limit? quarks? or something else? but the truth also may be that even if we wont be able to go into any smaller particles, we'd still be able to make some of the best invesntions including just what we'll have by then.
but there may be a limit... Razz
Reply Thu 27 Sep, 2007 05:42 am
xcite wrote:
Will humans sit idle? Will they become inactive? Jobless? Purposeless? Humanity destroyed!?

That is exactly how this sort of forum makes me feel,

sat idle, inactive, jobless, purposeless and desroyed.
Reply Thu 27 Sep, 2007 09:51 pm
That is exactly how this sort of forum makes me feel,

sat idle, inactive, jobless, purposeless and desroyed.

well im sorry you feel that way
u shouldnt.. i dont thinnk anyone wants you to feel that way after reading their posts
your here for a reason obviously
otherwise you wouldnt be here
we just tend to think outside the box here in this forum and make little posts about it, thats all it is
for instance:
Row, row, row your boat,Gently down the stream.Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,Life is but a dream.
Reply Fri 28 Sep, 2007 12:27 am
Everything will become that which we make it.
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 04:16 am
If I am here for a reason, obviously, tell me please what the obvious reason is.

Ask any one of them point blank what their purpose is to be here and then we'll see how obvious.
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 02:08 pm
If I am here for a reason, obviously, tell me please what the obvious reason is.

Ask any one of them point blank what their purpose is to be here and then we'll see how obvious.

there are all kinds of old wise mans sayings i could say right now
but basically i am just gonna say it my own way
and that is it takes patience to figure that out and i dont think any forum will really answer it for you in its entirety and i know i cant
but i do know
a philosopher thinks twice as much as he reads
have patience and live your life, the answers seem to be hidden there in day to day life and activities
look at everything twice and then again
and leave no mental stone uncovered
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 03:30 pm
l0ck wrote: takes patience to figure that out and i dont think any forum will really answer it for you in its entirety and i know i cant


I was thinking more in terms of not really answering it for me at all, thus already inclined to think ten times as much as I read.

With nothing thus to wait for, no hidden truth to look for patience is not so much a problem, fortunately, apart from the time already wasted looking twice at what was clear enough already, which is not to say that any of my business is any of your business anyway.

The subject was

the possibility of making truly intelligent and/or creative machines.

My point was intended to be that it already happened.

Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 08:51 pm
well perplexity
i do have to say
your remarks are well.. quite perplex =P
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2007 06:17 am
The question was

...when human are freed from the burden of the fight and struggle for survival and most of the present jobs being replaced by machines) what will humans do? sit idle? Will they become inactive? Jobless? Purposeless?....

Try it then this way:

When it happens will they know? Or will the inactivity fail to inspire a sufficient awarenes to realise, sat for hours on end at a keyboard with a computer screen to stare at, but no apparent purpose except to google about in search of an apparent purpose?

As a matter of fact, most of what were present jobs were long since replaced by machines.

Before Columbus the vast majority of the population of Europe dug soil in the open air to grow food to stay alive with a privileged few percent distinguished by their pale smooth skin.

Now it is all reversed. In the USA something like 3 percent of the population work in agriculture and 80 percent of those were born abroad.
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2007 09:10 pm
i don't think activity will ever decrease to the point of inactivity
as long as mass exists its qualities can/will be absorbed until all that energy eventually disperses and randomizes to the point where there are no more qualities to be absorbed
another words the state of our environment is optimal to our experience
where there are no eyes to sense light, there is no light to be sensed
survival is real, the genes want to survive for some reason
survival must be achieved and the genes must continue on even if its simply a single pair but can survival ever be removed?
survival theoretically will only lead us to more advancements in technology possibly to the point of prosthetic body parts and eventually complete replacement of the physical body in order to preserve the genes
is this the point where the struggle to survive is finally removed?
when we take this form of consciousness to the point where it never dies physically?
to the point where we can make our own genes?
to the point where we can make our own environment?
what is survival's ultimate goal?
maybe there is something survival is working towards
maybe survival has a means to an end
transcendence is the only answer that seems possible to me
where the environment, and the physical and spiritual parts of man become completely aware of each other
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2007 02:52 am
For want of an absolute truth what makes one feel has the day.

The most important decisions to make are those with the least to go on.
madscientist phil
Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 12:23 pm
interesting thoughts 10ck - what is the point of survival? all species are working towards it. whether you believe in evolution or not. it seems as it were the ultimate purpose... but logically it cant since... there should be some higher purpose. spirituality? afterlife? yeah and point of that? once we're in heaven and enjoy our lives? is the point just enjoyment and "having fun"?
and if all species are competing one over another and surviving - isnt there gonna be a supersurvivor who rules them all? or is this the human being? seems like the nature has worked its purpose for the human race. as if it all led here and this was its ultimate purpose.
but then? once everyone dies - what is the point of survival and trying to be better than everyone else from a biological point of view? Very Happy
Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 07:36 pm
@madscientist phil,
there is no doubt in my mind that mankind will see this day the OP has predicted. With it will come a period of intense leisure, then boredom, corruption and selfishness will destroy it all. If man can't change it's animalistic nature then those same tendencies will lead to chaos.

Of course I'm assuming mankind won't screw it up long before we get there.

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