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Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 463

No matter the subject, as AI grows, its capabilities will become exponential.

Except it can't, really; the universe is bound by physics and can't support exponential growth that way.

You can't exceed Carnot efficiency.

You can't defeat the square-cubed law (for things that involve getting resources/waste into/out of a particular volume (including heat - where do you think this AI is going to get all the energy it needs to do all this stuff?).

So while AI might be able to do certain things efficiently, it can't grow without bounds - the universe just doesn't allow it.

Now, that said, AI will probably indeed handle most of the deterministic things in the world - it will probably equalize a lot of sub-optimal things.

But we aren't going to have AI playing sports, we aren't going to have AI taking all creative jobs, we aren't going to have AI "replacing" tourism - you can't "AI" a trip to the grand canyon for instance. You can't "AI" having a family.

So if we let the AI figure out how to distribute all the resources it creates, rather than letting people do it, we'll all be fine. But that is going to be the trick - actually letting the AI do it.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 463

And what happens when one no longer needs humans to do the work since they provide so little value?

Why doesn't someone just use one of these astonishing AI programs to figure it out for us?

Seriously, if the AI is going to do all the work for us, why don't we also let an AI figure out how to transition people to post-scarcity society without massive bloodshed?

Comment Re:Surprised (Score 1) 516

The conference produced data showing that there are approximately 100,000 jobs available in Minnesota that can't be filled because of lack of skills or lack of interest.

That sentence is missing one clause: "At the salaries/wages/benefits being offered for those positions."

A "skills gap" makes no logical sense - if there is sufficient demand for products that you could hire that many people, then there is sufficient demand that you could train people on the job and still afford it. The other possibility is that it's not a skills gap, but a certification/licensing gap, which means you need to work with your certification boards to start allowing more people through the certification process by opening more schools and/or funding more people to get those certifications. Or in some cases, reducing certification requirements. I'm not even talking about medical or emergency services or anything: beauticians for instance - have you ever seen how many hours they have to put in to be allowed to cut hair and apply makeup (granted, sharp objects and potentially nasty chemicals, but sill...)?

Either way, ultimately there is no "gap" - it's a mismatch in labor supply and demand at some price level.

Comment Two Million Man-Years? (Score 1) 300

I don't understand how the costs of this can approach that magnitude (using $100k / man-year as a generous number). The linked article was very sparse on numbers, so it's unclear how many people are being compensated, but even if you compensated ten thousand people 100 years worth of income each, that would only be half the cost, and I don't understand how any huge civil engineering project could cost 1 million man-years of effort. The Hoover Dam apparently only cost $700M in today's dollars - what is involved in the cleanup of things that has the equivalent cost of about 100 Hoover Dams? $200B is also roughly equivalent to the entire Apollo space program.

Mind boggling... that's just how big $200 billion is.

Comment Re:Energy storage and HVDC transmission (Score 1) 275

Right, I understand why people say that a real-time spot market for energy makes sense from a physics standpoint - but I didn't ask if it made sense. I am honestly interested in which is better from a society standpoint - although I guess 'better' is subjective, so the more precise question would be, which system ("overproduction and/or excess storage" vs "real-time spot pricing") is better for society in terms of ability to plan (from a consumption standpoint), deal with disruptions, and have lowest pricing impact (without subsidies or other redistribution mechanisms) for the least-advantaged population.

Comment Re:Energy storage and HVDC transmission (Score 1) 275

Please tell my why extremely variable prices are better than stable prices?

Trying to manage "instant" pricing also requires massive communication infrastructure and generally puts poorer consumers at a disadvantage. (Not necessarily poor monetarily - poor in ability to respond to the price variation.)

I'd much rather have a system where prices are essentially fixed and stable where we have enough system storage capacity to address any supply/demand variability and not require every point-of-use to have to adjust behavior due to spot prices.

Comment Re:Beating by only 15% is not a breakthrough (Score 1) 29

Capacity is great, and so is total life, but where's all the breakthroughs (potential or real) to improve recharge time? I want a battery that can charge fully in 5 minutes. You could have vehicle-battery ranges no better than today (250-ish miles) but with 5 minute recharge times, you eliminate 95% of the complaints about electric vehicles.

Realistically I just don't see this happening - trying to charge even just a 50kW-hr battery in 5 minutes requires at least 600kW electrical power; a nice 100kW-hr battery would require at least 1.2MW. Mechanical battery swap systems seem like a non-starter, although I suppose they could be more feasible if maybe cars took more, smaller battery packs?

My hopes are still on liquid-air batteries for transportation, because you get the benefit of high-efficiency electric motors, the higher energy density of only having to carry the fuel (not the oxidizer, at least initially), and the benefit of fast recharge because liquids can be pumped quickly without high voltages and currents.

Comment Re:Cost? (Score 1) 191

But you likely don't have that $12M cash in hand, so you're going to finance. Can you finance at a rate low enough to have less than $2M in interest over 30 years? If not, that $14M is probably less expensive than the $12M "sticker price" for the solar system.

You could probably include cost of extra health issues due to diesel particulates in there, but it's unclear exactly how much that would be in a population as small as discussed here, and it's also unclear if those costs would be taken out of the system or just funneled somewhere else. To be fair you'd also have to include the cost of the lost use of the extra land area required by the solar versus the diesel.

The hard part is most of that is guessing: rate of fuel cost increase, amount of benefit due to reduced pollution, opportunity cost of land, etc.

Comment Perhaps Ownership a Mandatory Portion of Wages (Score 2) 426

So the fundamental issue we're having is that wages are not tied to ownership of productive resources. Programs like UBI presume to deal with this by taxing production.

What if, instead, wages must be part cash and part ownership? Something like a "minimum ownership wage".

Comment Re:My Theory (Score 1) 163

Kind of reckless if they did not have plausibility checking in there. Standard practice is to put checks in that won't even start looking for the ground until an appropriate amount of time has passed - to avoid exactly that sort of thing.

I can't imagine why you wouldn't put that sort of check in. Well no, I guess I can imagine it, and it makes me sad.

Comment Re:Isn't this like an ancience technology (Score 1) 156

I tried to see if there was any more information on the xprize.org site about their requirements - but it really does seem pretty sparse. They don't say how that $0.02/liter is to be amortized over time if it's to include capital costs, or if it's only variable cost. They don't say over what kind of area the device can be deployed (e.g. what is its footprint?), doesn't have relative humidity requirements, or anything like that.

Maybe it's locked behind the registration page?

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 3, Insightful) 917

The problem is UBI is money not goods and services.

Unless UBI is essentially the government saying "X% of all production is to be distributed equally to all the population" then it's pointless - so essentially, UBI must be fractional (and a significant fraction at that) nationalization of all productive resources.

If it's not implemented that way, then the inevitable result of UBI is simply inflation.

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