From: Ben Houston (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jul 24 2001 - 10:03:18 MDT
>Note that infinite labor productivity is quite
>possible given a robotic/automated manufacturing
>economy. It just means the human labor divisor
>in the formula ouptut/labor-hour = productivity
>has gone to zero.
I'll give you that.
But productivity measures are usually more broadly defined as the amount of
outputs as compared to the amount of inputs (and I guess I had
misinterpreted your earlier statement in this definition). Commonly
accounted inputs are both labor and goods. If one is using automation in
the manufacturing process one usually must factor in the cost of the
automation both in terms of purchase, maintenance and depreciation.
>One definition of the Singularity is that time
>horizon beyond which you can't make any useful
>predictions because too many things will have
>changed. Some folks think that will be shortly
>after the first superintelligent AI is developed.
I sort of agree with that. Sometimes though I feel that our ability to
predict the future may be staying constant as respect to time because at the
same time the world becomes more unpredictable we become more capable of
managing that uncertainty - although that is a totally unsupportable
statement I am sure that it is marginally true.
>The definition I go by is a bit different: that
>singular time in history when technology is
>changing the fastest, just before physical
>limits of the universe put a brake on further
Sounds like Vernor Vinge's "the era of failed dreams" (or something like
that) from his most two books. :-)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2001 11:24 AM
Subject: RE: Other signposts towards the Singularity
Note that infinite labor productivity is quite
possible given a robotic/automated manufacturing
economy. It just means the human labor divisor
in the formula ouptut/labor-hour = productivity
has gone to zero.
Okay, I don't really expect it to go completely
to zero, if only because there are people who
like making things for fun(I'm one of them).
So there will still be some labor input in the
economy as a whole. But the productivity of
the automated part of the economy can be arbitrarily
high given self-replicating robots and factories.
Neither nanotech nor transhuman AI are needed
to make this happen, just an extension of current
In response to the S-curve vs exponential growth
issue, while any given technology has an s-curve
in adoption (really a bell curve when you include
the de-adoption as it gets superceded), civilization
as a whole is following one huge s-curve where
the levelling off is caused by reaching the
fundamental limits of the universe (Planck's
constant, speed of light, etc.).
One definition of the Singularity is that time
horizon beyond which you can't make any useful
predictions because too many things will have
changed. Some folks think that will be shortly
after the first superintelligent AI is developed.
The definition I go by is a bit different: that
singular time in history when technology is
changing the fastest, just before physical
limits of the universe put a brake on further
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