How many rich people can exist?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by kuwanger, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. kuwanger
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    kuwanger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    One of the frequently asked questions is can anyone become rich. This, I think, is a definitely know. The logic goes that to be rich one must have sufficient assets or earn sufficient assets substantially greater (being as little as 10%, as an example) than the average person. If anyone can become rich then everyone can become rich. But if everyone is rich, then everyone earns at least 10% more than the average. That obviously can't be true.

    So, this leads to the question of how many people can be rich? If it's as simple as substantially more than the average, one might at first think that by definition some value close to but less than 50% could fit the bill. The problem is the question of inflation. If enough people earn a similar amount of income or have similar amounts of valued assets, then when it comes time to buy things they will invariably compete against each other to acquire various limited things. Ergo, prices will rise, so they will only have a buying power advantage over the average person but not the group of "rich" people around them. So, it's insufficient to merely set a percentage rate above the average because many people could pool together without much difference in actually buying power, and that's more akin to being middle class, not rich.

    This is about as far as I've gotten in my thinking on the subject. What are your thoughts? Is there a clear limit on the number of rich people? At what point does someone qualify as middle class vs rich? Is the idea of becoming rich part of what inevitably causes investment bubbles that cause a lot of economic harm? Or can a substantial amount (say 30%+) of people diverse in their enterprises to be rich? What aspect of a potential future of near ubiquitous automation, if anything, play into this?

    I'm very curious if anyone knows of any substantial discussion, simulation, etc that tries to cover this.
     
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  2. Reiten

    Reiten Advanced Member

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    Interesting question. Well, by the definition you provided, it would be impossible for everyone to be rich, since that would mean that everyone is earning about the same amount.

    Now the problem about finding the number of rich people that can exist is, that we need some kind of way to find out what the total number of wealth/money that exists. From there we can try to calculate the max number of people that can exist by satisfying your condition. Though if you want to factor in things like inflation and the likes you'll probably need to build a fairly complex mathematical model.

    Now I could rant on about the rich vs poor thing, but I don't really feel like doing that, but some of my general thoughts on the current economics:
    1. We have taken capitalism to the extreme(well exaggerating a bit here), and as with a lot of things, when taken to the extreme they become bad for you;
    2. Given the way automation is progressing capitalism isn't sustainable in its current form, we'll either need to hand out money to people for free(Universal basic income or something like that) or find a new form of economics. I have seen a few promising ideas, sadly none of those work with the world in its current state.
     
  3. alexander1970

    alexander1970 GBA Fan

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    Without them the actual society would no longer "work".
    That means: MORE AND MORE of them according to your Question.:sad:

    But one day......:)
     
  4. FGFlann

    FGFlann GBAtemp Regular

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    It's a question without an answer. By your definition there can never be a definitive number of rich people as the factors involved with the distribution of resources are constantly in flux. You can report how many rich people exist at a certain time but you can't put a cap on that number because the factors involved in its determination are not static.
     
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The things mentioned above are also before we consider the various types of values? If I have a trust fund valued in the billions but it only coughs up 20 grand a year until I am 65 or fulfil some fairly onerous (to me at least) conditions am I rich?
    Going another way I would be tempted to ponder the touchy-feely things but before that we have that ever fun one of money and happiness are correlated but the drop off of when it starts making a difference is usually around 80 grand which is enough for all the things I am told humans like doing (it is enough to have a house, holidays, clothes, food and kids). Though 80 grand is not nearly enough to start doing some of the really silly things -- you are going to go broke if you are doing the whole eating gold leaf bit, much less funding certain medical procedures/research out of pocket. As was pondered in the opening post then things might also be relative and people compare to their friends -- see also why some people embezzle and cheat on taxes despite the amount they earn being way above that line but their peers have different.
    That relative thing might speak to a measure of inflation as well which is probably where this was heading -- I will probably pay 20 grand to not have to go sit on a beach in the Caribbean for a couple of weeks, so if I skip that and buy a better house/car/workshop instead have I just created a runaway effect?

    Back to relative things is it just my immediate neighbours, which is probably something of a biologically enforced limit (people tend not to know more than about 200 people, and know far fewer than that well, or think beyond the horizon) or do I get to compare myself to some unfortunate bastard in sub Saharan Africa -- I have as much water as I want, if I eat dirty food it is because I am an idiot, there are no infectious diseases running around (and any that might be I am likely immune to, for free no less), should I manage to get one of those diseases then it will be treated for free, my education was basically free and top tier, the only gunshots I hear are people shooting pheasants for fun, if I choose not to do anything I am unlikely to starve, if I get wiped out by a car then should said top tier medicine mean I survive I am also unlikely to starve, all the previous combined means I also don't have to work my body hard if I don't want to... so while I am probably one of the poorest in the UK if we don't subtract debt as a negative (or disregard personal debt) I am still probably enjoying a life that only the top tier in Angola could have at present, and most of that by virtue of being able to jump on a plane.
    Time relative is also a thing -- my free healthcare is better than anything anybody in the world could have afforded even as little as 30 years ago, and back to today then until we start having robot replacement parts probably still tops the charts regardless other than some rich person getting silk sheets and a private room, or maybe some black market organs, or maybe some optional stuff done quicker.
     
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  6. kuwanger
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    kuwanger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Perhaps not, but I don't think I've ever read any attempt to even approximate an answer.

    Yet it would seem there'd have to be an upper bound (and probably a lower bound as well) even if one considers the actual people in any given society may be in flux in their standing.

    I get what you're coming from, but water in a measuring cup is constantly in motion. Yet we can reasonably say with a certain amount of error how much is in a cup. What has been reported at least gives us an idea of the possible lower/upper bounds, but it seems clear to me that there would have to inherently be a cap. You don't have to go by my strict definition of rich--as I don't think there is a perfect one, and I somewhat dismiss my naive definition. It's enough that you can define what rich is, for it to be relate-able to the general English usage, and to have that as a starting point on why some value is unobtainable. I imagine the real-life value may be substantially lower than that value for a host of reasons.

    That's a point. I think that comes down to three questions: how many rich people can exist on earth, how many rich people can exist in a given extant country, and how many rich people could exist in an idealized country? For the last one, I'd argue gerrymandering the country borders defeats the purpose of the question--ie, it's not sufficient to create a Vatican City or similar while ignoring that the idealized country isn't meaningfully self-sufficient (as much as any country can really be said to be that in a global economy).

    You can have the finest healthcare, the finest food, and the finest things yet still be a slave. It's one reason why I brought up the potential future of automation. Perhaps in such a future "rich" will be meaningless, but it's definitely not clear as nothing about the industrial revolution fundamentally changed the wealth disparage that existed as much as many peoples lives drastically improved in many ways.

    The point of the question is, fundamentally, one not of overall societal quality of life, but I guess in a round about way the amount of "masters" of a sort that a society can support. I guess in that way, it may be more appropriate to say that being rich is tantamount to a statement of being able to buy into politics and be part of "the ruling class" since it was the capitalists who replaced the nobility in that regard in many ways.

    Having said all that, if you want to figure out how many rich people the world can support, that's also a very pertinent question especially into questions about environmental sustainability. As much as people worry about climate change, there's also the very big worries of topsoil, fresh water, and the insatiable human appetite for meat.
     
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  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Extant countries is also going to be hard -- 1 missed wage packet from homelessness in San Francisco is probably going to get you something swish in rural Alabama. That said the US is rather large so I would probably go look at something like Hong Kong, Singapore or similar (you mentioned fiddling country borders and I would agree there, however it is still a big-small thing), and then probably account for geography (if all the crops are designed for/evolved for nice temperate climates...).


    As far as "masters" then among the rich there is the life of leisure (be it being blasted on a beach or saving aids suffering orphan whales choking on plastic), busywork at a family company and out and out making the company/family more money by making the big decisions/doing the work split. I don't know entirely what to do about that in contemplating this, especially if said busywork still means C level roles and some measure of effect on the fates of lots. It should also be said that the current thing for tech companies and their relative amount of employees makes the industrial revolution look like serfdom in comparison if you do some kind of employees-revenue/profit ratio, even more so if you go pure tech (Apple still employs a few oxygen thieves in their real world shops).

    The following also seems fitting at this point


    As for automation I am not sure that will lead immediately to post scarcity, and it is probably going to be somewhat ugly during that transition. Similarly part of the reason I can live as cheaply as I do is because I, more than many I meet, can make technology dance to my own tune (I don't have a car but if I did and it broke I have the tools, time and talent to fix it, and would pick cars that I can do that for) and even if money becomes less meaningful I can't imagine those in similar positions won't be able to achieve a better existence than their peers content to sit back and enjoy the ride.

    I could probably calculate how many people can afford to live at current levels but science has time and time again given us better methods -- be it means to turn atmospheric nitrogen into biologically usable stuff outside of the slow as sin nitrogen cycle, engineered crops, hydroponics and so forth and I don't see progress halted any time soon (we might not make it to some kind of biological mastery wherein even pair in the DNA sequence is known and predictable but there is still a gulf between here and there with lots of stuff in it). Similarly as you allude to a lot of richness can come at the cost of taking a loan out against the environment as it were that your children (or maybe great grand children) get to pay so I would probably have to account for that as well, though I would usually say the answer there is more science.
     
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  8. FGFlann

    FGFlann GBAtemp Regular

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    Your water in a cup analogy is deeply flawed, in fact it only serves to reinforce my point. Counting water molecules is simply that. An individual water molecule does not gain or lose resources depending on its position within the cup.

    Barring outside influences such as consumption and evaporation, all things within the cup are constant. We can safely measure the amount of water and state definitively how much is there at any time. Without the factor of resource distribution the analogy does not work.

    When it comes to counting the number of rich people the lower bound is obviously zero. Total parity and equal distribution of resources would mean zero rich people and zero poor people. The number cannot go negative in this circumstance. There is no upper bound because there is not a set number of people in the world and the amount of resources is finite and its distribution changes constantly.

    Also, by your definition, depending on the average resource distribution what constitutes a rich person can also change. If any one person suffers a catastrophic loss to their resources they upset the balance of the measurement, shifting the average and changing the number of people who can be considered rich.

    All factors are in motion, nothing is set in stone, thus there cannot be an upper bound.
     
  9. kuwanger
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    kuwanger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I didn't say a closed jar. Evaporation is in play. In fact, measuring water molecules would start violating quantum mechanics at some point. In any case, I was speaking about the volume, not the mass/count of molecules which relates to temperature which is constantly in flux because like society, a measuring cup isn't a closed system.

    Has that ever happened? Could that ever happen? Communism has so far failed because there are people in power who in greed hold onto resources making them richer than others. The only real example I can imagine that could qualify perhaps is a very small village where everything is defined as communally owned, but I wonder how true that statement would really be. Even in units as small as extended families, jealous tends to result in power imbalances where some are richer than others.

    Actually, if the world is finite then by definition the number of possible people is finite. Even extended to the universe, there is a limit on the number of people. My point, though, was more a ratio/percentage, not an absolute number. No doubt that percentage could vary on just how big/small a society is, so the answer is probably not as simple as a single percentage. It doesn't stand to reason that there couldn't be an upperbound though overall or given based on the population size.

    Feel free to use a different definition. To argue a point again by analogy, I can look in a glass of water and know it's not 50% or more sand even if I can't count every water molecule. One can draw upper bounds, estimates, and approximations on many things where you can never get a definite value on. The point of the question is to have some frame of consideration on what a society could have as far as a rich population. It's not an attempt to ask for reducto ad absurdium to prove that a society of zero people have meaningfully useless properties to the real world.

    I believe you know that this is an oversimplification. Is it possible that it's unknowable what the upper bound is? Sure. Is it possible that even are best guesses may be horribly off? Yes, they usually are--look at weather forecasts. If you don't want to seriously consider as a thought experiment the question and discuss possible ways to answer it or at least at best estimate an answer, that's fine. I definitely don't have a good answer because there are a lot of properties that seem interconnected and it's too easy to point at any single definition or aspect as if it answers the question while totally misses the point.

    Just because a question doesn't have a simple, clear answer doesn't mean there aren't answers to the question.
     
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  10. FGFlann

    FGFlann GBAtemp Regular

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    You are straying from the fundamental question, which is "how many rich people can exist"? Most of your reply there is unrelated to tangential at best. Mostly nonsense to be frank. In order to answer the question you need to be able to quantify all the factors. The number of people is not finite, we reproduce ourselves. The amount of resources is finite but fluctuates. In order to reach a satisfactory conclusion you must be able to quantify both these things and test their distribution. Any answer you come to will be invalidated the next time one of these factors shifts. Setting an upper bound ratio is an exercise in futility when there are no constant variables.
     
  11. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    This maths stuff has me a bit more curious now.

    Going to have to think of some constraints.

    If we ensure everybody has enough money to do the house + food + medicine thing and call it 80 grand then we can start multiplying. Previous attempts at such things do also

    The obvious worries are the lottery winner issue -- how many lottery winners/massive inheritors end up bankrupt? Secondary to that is the emptiness issue -- how many suburban types are medicated with serious stuff, or choose to self medicate, despite from the outside enjoying a life that many would jump at the chance to have for just a couple of years? More abstractly but probably more worryingly then what happens when gamblers, savers and smarter people create a new disparity?
    Secondary to that is how much of the economic system is built on disparity? If I choose to live in a one bedroom flat (give or take what I might discuss on "something is worth what someone else is willing to pay") for £6000 a year, mainly as I am perfectly content to already, then I now have 74 grand to gamble on making it bigger, con other people out of theirs (and if they did not "earn" it or consider it essentially infinite if they wait it out or have friends they can crash with and avoid starving until next injection then easy come, easy go) or simply save for a while until I have more than those that spend it all (even if they spend it "well"). Inflation is secondary to this -- gold rushes, economic bubbles, societal fads and more can all "unduly" influence prices of things and one has to wonder if demand will outstrip supply in various places (already we see it in housing, jobs and education). If I can skip eating something fancy for a few weeks and stump up some more cash for something desirable then we have the classic case of inflation, wind that in with my new widget allowing me to make things for people and them maybe paying me for priority of some form...
    What causes this disparity? The consumer economy, or at least the US "debt, debt and more debt" approach*, is an invention more or less within living memory but the biology goes a lot deeper -- how many animals exhibit envy or jealousy, how many very old stories cover it too?

    *itself a fun one. How much of the economy is based on the concept? I would probably not care much as it is so very cold and predatory most of the time but that still does not mean they would not cause a bit of a shock to the system if it all went away tomorrow. Back to the earlier thing. So we all get 80 grand a year. I will give you 75 now if you give me your 80 over the year. Said 75 also means you can get that item at this point when it is up for sale because you know it will not be there by the time it is all saved up. Large pools of money would spring up almost immediately, larger still if people figured out some enforcement method.

    You mentioned political power and while I am not so naive as to think money does not matter there then there is still merit that underpins it. The economics of crime (often a very pure form of the concept without rules getting in the way) is a fascinating example of this, whether we are looking at dynastic marriage in modern cartels or 80s inner city street gangs -- while some of it was right place, right time then it was also noted that a great many kingpins would have otherwise been the politicos and business leaders from it but were smart, ruthless or careful enough to work it there. Back to automation I already mentioned some things but how useful is a 3d printer to most normal people? How long have we had printers and word processors be something anybody doing a vaguely normal life could afford and how many books have we seen?

    So while I doubt everybody can be rich I dare say the percentages could be different.

    At the same time economics adapts, often very rapidly (one might even say instantaneously, even if the instant is some unknowable equation rather than a simplified model that will probably resemble reality in a month or in a year) -- I already mentioned the shift to debt based consumerism, and the industrial revolution was also covered, but I reckon this shift to tech based is even more profound.

    I am going to return to psychology as well. I already mentioned lottery winners, at points like this it is also popular to mention the mouse utopia experiment. You mentioned slavery but I would ask what even is a slave? Ancient Chinese, US chattel (which itself varied a bit), modern Arabic, Ancient Greek (itself a massively variable concept if you want to compare Sparta to Athens) and more having massively variable restrictions* compared to each other.

    *whatever the definition might end up being I imagine it would revolve around restrictions imposed. However as an anecdote the other day someone mentioned that a friend could not run in a Michigan marathon due to being on a work permit/visa and said marathon went into Canada for a bit which means out of the country (even if only for a few minutes). I am not counting that as slavery but to my ear that sounds incredibly harsh to prevent someone in good standing (possibly better than the average citizen) from leaving for a very short duration. On the flip side I saw a video the other day wherein someone purportedly had a business in China, sold it in good standing as far as it claimed, got conned because China and ended up with debt such that they now can't leave China.
     
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  12. kuwanger
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    kuwanger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Someone you can force to work and be killed at will. Although under that definition one could argue nobles were slave because they could be forced into wars and wars were quite common. That tends to illustrate the problem with slaves--beyond the obvious moral ones. Slavery begets a dependence on slaves which drives the enslaving of yet more people. The upper limit on the percentage of people who can be enslaved is incredibly high--Italy was estimated to having up to 40% of the population enslaved during the time of Rome. In between the slaves and the wealthy were almost always multiple classes of people, so slavery tends to reduce the number of rich and concentrate power/wealth in a feedback loop.

    If we have robot slaves, we may live in a post-scarcity environment--although I question the sustainability of that. Yet, won't many people be disposable? Won't there still be some work that robots can't do that people will be forced to do? Will the people at the bottom be slaves or merely jobless? I don't know, but I can't imagine the scenario increasing the number of wealthy/rich. I should say part of my question was meant to include a presumption of a certain amount of stability. Everyone become rich for a few months as automation takes over doesn't really qualify in my opinion if right after there's massive inflation or other economic catastrophe.
     
  13. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    By that definition then the ancient Romans did not have slaves (or at least for notable periods they did not) -- you could do pretty much whatever you wanted but kill them, though if you did then it was less murder and more destruction of property (albeit such that you could be charged with destruction of your own property). https://facultystaff.richmond.edu/~wstevens/history331texts/slavery.html (53) for one of the lines covering it.
    I also agree slavery has a stifling effect on an economy.

    Some work that robots can't do? Such as?

    Also would you be slaves or some, hopefully benevolent, AI's pet?
     
  14. kuwanger
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    kuwanger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    People can kill their own pets, but if you do so without good cause you're likely to be punished. The same if you treat them cruelly. Rarely has there been any system where you have an absolute right in something--you can't shout fire in a theater or engage in fraud, you can't engage in public sex virtually anywhere, and you can't turn your property into a nuclear waste dump (at least, not without a lot of special permission first).

    Having said all that, it's hard to totally encapsulate all the various forms of slavery that existed in the past in a simple definition. For example, certain periods of indentured servitude were de facto slavery in many ways because those indentured could have their service terms arbitrarily changed under bogus claims of destruction of property or similar with the backing of a government perfectly okay with the practice. Yet you couldn't outright kill an indentured servant. I'm not sure how strongly the government really looked into murder charges in such circumstances, though, much like how "Wanted Dead or Alive" likely resulted in a good many unprosecuted murders. It's part of the reason I spoke about an underclass of people who may not be legally anyone's property nor legally can be killed, but they may be seen as just as disposable as some viewed slaves in the past. :(

    For example, I don't think the AI we are going to develop any time soon will be sufficiently advanced to train other AIs in how they do their function. Nor am I certain AIs will have the ability to create wholly new things or development lines; it seems likely someone will have to be there to tune the nobs, so to speak. Of course, I could be wrong and maybe there will be no work that robots can't do.

    Yea, that's also a point. We may not be slaves to people but slaves to machines. Like I said above, though, it's possible we won't be owned but without benevolence nothing will be owed towards us. That's its own sort of hell.
     
  15. Psionic Roshambo

    Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Addict

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    I feel like everyone could be rich, and it's the only way for everyone to get wealthy. The economics of scale and all that. The flow of capital works best in a torrent, not a trickle, lakes of cash make no fish.
     
  16. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    On slavery then yeah there were some serious fuzzy edges as these things go (if you needed the permission of the lord to leave the village... and there was a reason I mentioned the Chinese https://mediadiversified.org/2016/0...heng-he-the-greatest-sea-explorer-in-history/ ) but the actively killing thing was probably a line in the sand too far.

    AIs training other AIs? Is that not "basic" machine learning/testing*? Unless by "in how they do their function" you mean they actually "comprehend" their own neural networks which I don't see as any more relevant than my not being able to name/assemble all the bones in my hand but still being able to use it.

    *for others playing along at home I quite like CGP Grey's overview if you are not already familiar with such concepts


    Wholly new things? Pharmacology these days is usually so much figure out functional group, twiddle everything else to see what happens. Robots are already doing this. Going further supercomputers can model atomic level interactions between medicines and that which they are supposed to interact with, and also do pretty well at predicting side effects at higher levels. It seems fairly obvious to smoosh those together in some way, especially once computing power rises, and if that is not going to lead to something best described as wholly new I am not sure what will.

    I agree being some AI's pet is not something I would care for, though at the same time there might be a knowledge gulf between us such that I am not sure... about all I can hope for there is I seed some AI or get uplifted such that I can play at the AI's level. However as we are now doing transhumanism I will probably stop there, even if it is probably where things will head before some kind of everybody is wealthy, or as near as does not matter, thing.
     
  17. CallmeBerto

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    Not sure, but a lot more then we have now. There are people out there that have more money then most small countries.
     
  18. pasc

    pasc GBATemps GBA Freak

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    How many sandcorns are tin the sahara ?

    Actual answer:
    As many as the poor can shoulder...
     
  19. kuwanger
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    kuwanger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Yea, I've watched CGP Grey's video before. You'll notice you have to start off with an already classified threes/bees collection to train on. If you already had an AI that could differentiate threes from bees, you wouldn't need* that AI to train other AIs to differentiate threes from bees. Yes, you could have AIs which try to get humans to do the sorting for them to use as data sets, but then you'd still have to have someone telling the AI in the first place that there's a need to collect said data, how much is enough to train on, if it's doing a good job and filtering out bad examples, etc.

    If you know anything about the Mega Man universe for comparison, then discussing in terms of it is probably good way to compare about the strength of AI. At the bottom are common robots, like Metools. They have sufficient AI to do tasks but have no free will or anything remotely resembling consciousness. Above them are Robot Masters which have the ability to order other lesser AIs around, have consciousness, and in limited circumstances have free will; it's unclear if those with free will can break the three laws of robotics, but the rest can't (at least intentionally or without specific malicious construction). Finally, there are Reploids which are basically equivalent to humans.

    We're currently on track to, probably at best, build something akin to Metools. Nothing about the structure of how we build AI is remotely close to building anything that has anything remotely resembling a conscience. Now it's of course possible someone will succeed but at that level we'll likely have something akin to Robot Master intelligence. It's unclear if the jump from Robot Master to Reploid level is big or small, but the nature of current AI training would indicate it's pretty monumenal. I'm sure you've heard about the computer vision that when an elephant was introduced it started misidentifying/missing lots of things. Trying to have a system that can self-learn without someone external teacher constantly grading is a core part of awareness that we're not remotely close to building into AI, at least yet.

    Like many things, though, I have no idea what the future holds. It does seem, though, that humans would have to continue to be in the loop. Otherwise, AI would invariably optimize towards some supposed objective without understanding the intent and fail horribly. At that point, it'd be more close to Artificial Stupidity and might well kill itself as much as it'd start killing humans, animals, etc. I mean, consider just how badly humans have fucked up things trying to do the logical, right thing.

    * I can imagine some use cases if turns out that said AI was sufficiently slow and a simpler, specialized AI was desired but odds are good in most cases an AI that smart could just make their own processing units faster to compensate first.
     
  20. Taleweaver

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    (note : to plying to the OP here)

    An interesting question. But I have to stress that this is framed from the capitalist viewpoint. If the total money in the world is a fixed number, then there is by definition a limited amount of rich people in the world, as the only way to gain money would be if someone else would lose some. With growing inequality, that amount reduced (in theory, it could become that there's only one rich person in the world : the guy who has nearly all the money). Lower inequality means more rich people, though it'll lower again at a certain treshold (if everyone has equal money, no one is rich).

    ... But 'rich' is a relative term. People usually compare themselves with more wealthy people, meaning that millionaires envy billionaires rather than be happy with what they've got. In terms of wealth, however, the situation is different. Daily hot water and meat on the table was a sign of being rich a few centuries ago. By those standards, a steadily rising percentage of people in the world is rich (with the western world at about 100%). Arts also why the inequality gap isn't so shocking. The top 100 richest people may own half the world, but there is a decent level of comfort for these people. I won't say that it is justified, but there is less of an urgency than there otherwise would have been.
     
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