Why Artificial Intelligence Could Alter Our Society & How We Can Prep For It

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  • Even Elon Musk, who is a leader in the technology industry, is worried about the ramifications that AI developments could have on our country and on the world. As with any potential crisis, it's always best to be prepared just in case. The domino effect of chaos that AI could release on society is one of the newest SHTF events we need to learn to prep for.

    What Does this Mean to You and I?

    While these breakthroughs in technology might be exciting to watch, they tell a potentially grim story for humanity. This story is especially evident in Uber’s order for the 100,000 self-driving cars.

    Part of what has made Uber so popular is that it has given 160,000 people in the United States and somewhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000 drivers worldwide an opportunity to make extra money, using their personal vehicle to provide rides to others. Creating that many jobs in an unconventional way attracts a lot of attention, both by job seekers and the public in general.

    But what’s going to happen to those people when Uber gets serious about using self-driving cars? Or what about the 3.5 million truck drivers in the US? Where will they work?

    Advances in technology tend to displace workers, and the advances in AI might be the biggest job displacer of all time. The tech jobs that these advances create don’t come close to the numbers of jobs lost; if they did, the advance wouldn’t go forward.

    The loss of manufacturing jobs here in the US has received a lot of attention. China is more or less universally hated for taking those jobs away from us. But the loss of manufacturing jobs to automation actually outstrips those lost to China. We are losing our jobs to robotics.

    This is simple business economics. While automating requires a huge investment in equipment, it’s a one-time investment. That means that the lifetime cost of that robot is much less than the equivalent human operator.

    Skilled welders, for example, earn about $25 per hour in manufacturing plants, while the costs of a robot work about to about $8 per hour. With increased competition and consumer demands for lower prices, companies are forced to automate.

    Is this a real threat? Yes, most definitely. According to one tech insider, a former employee of Facebook, within 30 years, half of humanity could be unemployed, due to artificial intelligence and automation. This is the danger we face from AI, robots taking our jobs, not turning against us to annihilate us.

    To put that in perspective, unemployment during the height of the Great Depression reached a high of 25%. Yet this technologist is talking about double that number. We just lived through a recession which peaked out at 10.1% unemployment, yet 10 million households were displaced. How could we even begin to handle a 50% unemployment rate.

    Society is not ready for this. We don’t have the systems in place to take care of that many unemployed people. Our country’s safety net would be torn asunder, simply because there would be as many people needing assistance, as there would be working.

    With only a 30 year timeframe before such an apocalypse were to occur, it is doubtful that we will be able to develop the means of taking care of all these people.

    Rather, we would need to reinvent society as a whole, coming up with a totally new way of meeting people’s needs.

    Perhaps this is behind Silicone Valley’s push for a universal basic income. These people, who are shaping the future even now, are the only ones who understand what is coming. They have a vision for a new world, but it’s one that we are truly unprepared for.

    Surviving the Technology Apocalypse

    Is this risk real? I honestly don’t know. All I know is that the rate of technological advancement that is happening in the world today makes it possible.

    Over and over again, I see scenarios proposed which would cause hungry gangs of people to roam the streets, attacking whoever they could in order to get food. Ultimately, this is the reason why so many preppers have guns and ammunition.

    So how do we prepare for such a potential? I think there are two possible ways, both of which would probably work.

    Bug In Option

    The trick is to make sure that you are part of that 50%. How? By having a job that can’t be fulfilled by a machine; one that requires a living, thinking human being.

    Machines can’t design the products, program the robots and sell the products. Machines can’t write the code that makes computers run; nor can they provide medical services to the people who are fulfilling those more technical jobs.

    There are and will always be jobs that require thought and imagination. So the key to job security in this scenario is to get the necessary education and training for those sorts of jobs.

    It’s the people who don’t have marketable skills, whether educated or not, who will lose their jobs.

    Basically what this means is that the people in the lower end of the socioeconomic scale are the ones who are most likely to lose their jobs to automation. That makes sense, because it is easier to design machines and develop the software to replace those jobs.

    Just look at what’s happening to the fast food industry in cities and states that are pushing for the $15 per hour minimum wage. Self-service kiosks, where customers order their food off of a touch screen are replacing cashiers. Kitchens are becoming more automated, with machines doing the cooking and only a skeleton crew of workers managing the machines. Low wage earners are losing their jobs.

    In addition, we can probably expect to see an increase in crime as more and more people lose their jobs.

    Should that happen, we will need to be ready to protect ourselves. Our homes will need to be fortified and we will need to be armed. You know what to do, I’ve written about it before and so have others. There’s no reason to repeat it here.

    Bug Out Option

    Our second option is to quite literally head for the hills, find a remote location and homestead there. Just as the technology gurus of Silicon Valley, we need a survival retreat where we can go, when those hungry gangs start roaming the street.

    This will require time and investment. You’re going to need to buy a piece of land, build some sort of home and prepare to become totally self-sufficient in every way. That’s why I used the word homestead.

    Such a place will need to be in a remote location, so as to avoid the risk of being attacked by the aforementioned gangs. There is safety in numbers and one of the risks associated with living outside of town, on your own, is that there would be nobody around to help you, should you come under attack.

    So you really want to make sure that your survival homestead is in a place where those gangs aren’t going to find you.

    Even so, you’ll want to prepare extensive defenses to use, just in case. If you can find a place to bug out to, you have to assume that others can find it too.

    Do you have the same concerns about AI as Elon Musk does? How do you think we should prepare for a society in which AI dominates?

    Article Source: Survivopedia