Thursday, 15 June 2017


I think I've figured out the Covfefe thing. It's his Twitter account password.

As I mentioned last week, I've been reading a very interesting couple of books; Sapiens and Homo Deus, by Noah Yuval Harari.

Consider the following:

Artificial Intelligence is progressing at such a pace with billions being invested it it,, with that it could easily replace many areas of work within a decade or two - even areas we've always considered safe from computers, such as lawyers and doctors. Anything we can do, with only a few exceptions, probably around values, ethics and morals, can be performed by AI algorithms. Anything that involves pushing buttons, pulling levers, analysing vast amounts of data, can all be performed more efficiently by algorithms. This could lead to mass unemployment on a truly industrial scale. Costly training of professionals would disappear too, leading to huge savings. True, new jobs would appear, but nowhere near as many as those lost, and they would only be for the well educated in engineering and research.

Now, universal suffrage was itself a direct consequence of fears following on from the French Revolution, which showed that the proletariat could become a serious threat to the established order if they massed - and the Industrial Revolution itself massed them in towns. Agricultural workers on farms were not much of a threat, as they were usually fully occupied and dispersed, whereas poverty and unemployment in cities could politicise the new hives of industrial workers. Giving the new proletariat workers a say in the running of the country, on a gradually increasing basis, stopped the revolution spreading to the UK.

The voter is seen by the elite as a unit of production. The elite will therefore go some way to ensuring the unit of production remains productive through political bribes. If mass unemployment results from AI taking over from humans in various jobs, the human unit of production is no longer of value, and his or her vote is of no value either, leading to disenfranchisement.

The only way of stemming a potential revolution on the part of the disenfranchised is to give them free money - a universal wage - paid for out of the vast profits generated by the use of AI to replace humans. The mass unemployed have to have money in order to provide fees to the AI machine, or else the whole system collapses anyway, as there are fewer people with money to buy the newly developed and massively efficient AI services and products. However, it would be a minimum necessary to keep the system working.

A Doomsday scenario? Finland is already trialling it, and for the above reasons.

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