Monday, August 20, 2012

Automatons Again

A brilliant update on one of the most consequential of themes (in the New York Times) - the replacement of human labour by advanced (and simple) automatons.  The question will have to be answered at some point - who ultimately has property rights over the automaton spoils?  Should it be that you invent some new and magic means of assembly, patent that, and then live off the economic rent until your last breath?

As Nicolas Taleb said, some activities are scalable, and others are not.  Some result in more extravagant income without any further effort on your part, others need an extra ounce of sweat each time.  For a few automaton armies will be a source of endless wealth, and this will have consequences.  Automatons are the ultimate scalable good.

Two quoted scholars state that the disruption will be on a par with the herd of machines that removed for once and all the bulk of Christendom from the fields.  The cost curve is bending, and soon they will be within reach of ordinary manufacturers, and the service industry will not be immune.

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