Kurzweilian Futurism, AI and
آینده نگری کرزوایلی، هوش مصنوعی و مشاغل
Preface: Before beginning the discussion, let me note why this topic has important political ramifications for the current Iran 21c Revolution! I am a nonpartisan in US politics and even decided not to vote in the last US Presidential Election although in previous elections I had voted Democrat! The reason was because I saw there were two groups of futurists in the US politics, one Republican and the other Democrat! Many among the former chose the Tea Party politics which is basically a return to old-style Capitalism and many in the latter, i.e. Progressives such as AOC, basically are returning to old Socialism and some even support the failed state of Cuba! As a futurist, I have long discussed that we need to go beyond both Capitalism and Socialism although we can use historical achievements of both as discussed in my article 'Modified Capitalism, Modified Socialism, and Kurzweilian Futurism,' the same way we use achievements of all the past civilizations, i.e. achievements such as *democracy* itself! In 1979, when Iran was at another juncture of decision-making, there were those leaders who chose various capitalist paths and some who chose various socialist aspirations! In reality, the Islamists won, not because they had any plans better than either one of those, but because there was a rise of an Islamic world-wide movement at that time which tried to fill the gap created by beginning of the fall of Soviet Union and the Western support of Islamism during Cold War in face of the fear of Communism, all added up to strengthen the Islamist drive in Iran of 1979 to succeed and we all know the rest of the story! Today we are at a similar juncture in Iran! I do not want to enter into details of Iran's current situation in this article and this article is rather about Kurzweilian Futurism, which I have discussed in my book 'Futurist: Humanity's Nowruz in 21st Century: New Variant to Meet Human Needs," and in an interview in Persian in 2007, and also discussed during the last US Presidential Election to be the best model to use by the futurists!
Since the announcement of ChatGPT, a lot of worries have been shown by strikes of skilled professionals such as writers of The Writers Guild of America in Hollywood and these strikes are very different from strikes of the labor unions of industrial workers of 50 years ago, nonetheless, are showing similar reaction to the advancements of post-industrial economy! Loss of jobs has been coming up in interviews of Ray Kurzweil when he has been asked about his upcoming book entitled 'Singularity is Nearer,' due to be released in September 2024! About 40 years ago when I published my paper 'Intelligent Tools: The Cornerstone of a New Civilization,' I basically focused on creative activity of humans versus the tool-like work and I thought the latter was due to disappear and soon the end of income based on work to usher in the post-industrial economy and actually at that time the prominent economist Wassily Leontief in reviewing 4-day work weeks forming in Austria at that time, saw such a trend to be imminent in all post-industrial economies but now forty years later, it is just starting to seriously being discussed by a few companies in a few states in the USA! It seems like a society based on work for income may be with us longer than we thought although it has basically only existed since the beginning of the Industrial Society, whereas in economies of slavery or feudalism income based on work was never dominant in human society. We talk about plans like UBI a lot but seriously we have not done much and is basically just talk! Welfare State in Europe and similar welfare benefits during Roosevelt era in the USA basically happened in middle of 20th Century as a retreat in competition with Communism just as Democratic Monarchies formed in Europe in a retreat in face of newly formed republics in Europe and USA, to avoid revolutions. Nonetheless, social benefits basically stopped expanding and cases like ObamaCare in USA are hardly comparable to what Europe did about a century before that! So basically work and income based on work is still a strong reality as we have passed a quarter of the 21st Century! Now the question is how labor is rewarded when AI is seriously finding a place in this economy. I would say that the impact on labor would be checking human talents and AI talents by more sophisticated equipment for evaluation of every individual AI or human, not only to define employment but also rewards to humans or payments to makers of the AI tools accordingly! Still I believe to achieve social justice in the upcoming civilizations is to continue on the path of creating **abundance** as advocated by Ray Kurzweil, not just by a Walmart model of availability of goods and services at increasing lower cost and higher quality and new features but also at a more fundamental level by future offerings of nanotechnology! Addressing social justice in post-industrial economies may still be as difficult as knowing what the universe is and how it really works!
Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist
republic in Iran,
September 12, 2023
For a Secular Democratic & Futurist Republican Party in Iran