• Valentina Poletti

Will robots save us or doom us?

The news are talking about it, the scientific community, and in particular the artificial intelligence community, are warning us. Economists are thinking about and proposing various solutions. Robots and computers taking over our jobs is a very plausible and very near reality. As I explained in my previous post, this only creates an unemployment problem if capitalistic tendencies to keep a highly unequal income distribution prevail. However some are discussing smarter solutions, such as basic income and changing the education system towards a more creative drive, which would finally solve the problem. Or would it? As we learned and re-learned in the past, technology per-se is not a problem or a solution, but rather how we apply it. Nuclear physics could equally be used to create cheap abundant energy, or to destroy nations, depending on whether it ends up in the hands of environmentalists or of the army. What about artificial intelligence? What if indeed intelligent robots start to take our jobs and even become more intelligent than us? Part of the outcome will depend on whose hands the technology will end up in and how it will be used. There is a very deep issue in our current global economic, social and political system. It is currently highly influenced by a kind of dynamic that is destructive both for our well being and our environment. I call it the narcissist-codependent dynamic. These psychologically coined terms indicate a kind of relationship between usually two people, where one is a taker, the other a giver. One is ruthless, devoid of empathy, egocentric, manipulative, the other is self-sacrificing, corruptible, pleaser, devoid of character. These two types of personality end up in a perfect, destructive dance together, where the first is fed with more power, entitlement, self-image, whereas the other is squeezed, pushed and emptied like a lemon. You can probably see the problem with this dynamic and where it leads to. Whereas the first personality has no sense of morality, and will do whatever to climb his/her goals, the second gives up his/her sense of morality to satisfy the first. And so we have a vampire with his helper, a devil with his enabler, a wolf and his sheep. The story does not end in private homes, where this dynamic is commonly seen in romantic relationships and in parent-child relationships. It spills over to employer-employee relationships, company-consumer relationships, politician-citizen relationship, to name a few. Evidence of company leaders, politicians, religious leaders, media leaders, celebrities becoming more and more narcissistic, and supported by an expanding following of sheep-like up-looking passive 'suckers' is becoming stunningly evident. One only needs to look at the support Donald Trump is obtaining in America, for an obvious example, but it doesn't end there. Pharmaceutical companies exploit the need and gullibility of its sick costumers, the food industry exploits media misinformation and food addiction in theirs, religious leaders exploit the weakness of vulnerable people, politicians, leaders, utilize fear and ignorance of their citizens to climb up the ladder, and fulfill their goals, which essentially sum up into boosting their ego at any cost - environmental, social, economical. So where is all this going? It's going here: "Corporate Crime Runs Rampant Thanks to 'Rigged' System: Elizabeth Warren" http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/01/29/corporate-crime-runs-rampant-thanks-rigged-system-elizabeth-warren "Shkreli pleaded the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination on Thursday and refused to answer questions on why he bought the rights to a drug used to treat HIV before increasing its price by 5,000 per cent." http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3434637/The-thing-regret-Congressional-testimony-forgetting-bring-Nintendo-DS-Smug-pharma-bro-Martin-Shkreli-unrepentant-ridiculous-appearance.html "The USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee has been made of up individuals funded by McDonald's, Coca Cola, the Sugar Association, the American Meat Institute, candy bar companies, and the egg and dairy boards." http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dietary-guidelines-advisory-committee-conflicts-of-interest/ "Junk Foods Are Manipulated by Chemical Engineers to Make us Overeat" https://authoritynutrition.com/junk-foods-chemical-engineers/ "Food cravings engineered by industry" http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/food-cravings-engineered-by-industry-1.1395225 "The Algorithm That Food Companies Use To Create Food Addiction" http://news.bitofnews.com/the-algorithm-that-food-companies-use-to-create-food-addiction/ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?_r=0 "4 Ways Meat Industry Is Destroying The Environment" http://www.united-academics.org/earth-environment/cowspiracy-table/ https://woods.stanford.edu/environmental-venture-projects/consequences-increased-global-meat-consumption-global-environment "The high level of meat and saturated fat consumption in the USA and other high-income countries exceeds nutritional needs and contributes to high rates of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and some cancers." http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=582720 "Nearly 80 percent of antibiotics consumed in the United States go to livestock farms. Meanwhile, antibiotic-resistant pathogens affecting people are on the rise." http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/09/cdc-meat-industry-yes-you-contribute-antibiotic-resistance "The Secrets of Food Marketing" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKTORFmMycQ "Leading German Journalist Admits CIA 'Bribed' Him and Other Leaders of the Western 'Press'" http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/10/leading-german-journalist-admits-cia-bribed-leaders-western-press.html "Congratulations! You've Been Fired" http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/10/opinion/sunday/congratulations-youve-been-fired.html?_r=1 "Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?" https://hbr.org/2013/08/why-do-so-many-incompetent-men I'm only scratching the surface here. I could write books on the corruption on each different field. This is just to give an idea of how this dynamic happens.

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