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29 March 2017


Scott Obermuller

re the item about Gates wanting to tax 'robots'. He wants to tax automation that replaces humans, actually.
Unfortunately, he really hasn't given it any more thought than a 2 year old wanting candy.
Even Einstein wouldn't, couldn't accept Heisenberg's theories.
Did Gates want the govt to put a tax on Windows? Should there be a tax on personal computers? Exactly how much automation are we talking about? A drive-through car washing establishment? I wish to God the people doing the interviews had some kind of intelligence and could put these uncomfortable questions to the geniuses that spout this sort of nonsense.
"Gates argues that these taxes, paid by a robot's owners or makers, would be used to help fund labor force retraining. Former factory workers, drivers, and cashiers would be transitioned to health services, education, or other fields where human workers will remain vital."
Uh, Bill - hey you - idiot - these are fields that will also be taken over by automation.
How about we start a fund to 'transition' Bill Gates into some one who can think clearly?
I'm sure Bill will be open to being 'transitioned'.

George Rebane

ScottO 307pm - Exactly. Those sentiments I also tried to cover, perhaps too succinctly, in my "...since there exists no way to either circumscribe technologies qualifying for such treatment, or to ascribe human labor equivalents to what machines have done for years and the new tasks they are doing today and will do tomorrow."

Scott Obermuller

Well, yes - And I added the part about the interviewers. I know, if they asked awkward questions, they wouldn't be given the interview. And I guess I get really peeved at billionaires wanting to 'transition' other humans. What about they and theirs being 'transitioned'? Ah, yes - quite another thing, entirely. Don't you know.
I should have also mentioned my take on your first topic of this post. Just finishing 'Coming Apart' by Charles Murray. It's been out a while, but it was put somewhere at the bottom of the stack and somewhat forgotten. Mostly as I thought. Common sense backed up by science. Sad.
Really sad. The very first question to put to humans as to which side of the divide they fall on is: "At a basic level, do humans really all want the same things"?
Most will say, "oh, of course we do". Wrong. And there's your first huge divide. Grand Canyon divide. Yeah, I know - food, water and oxygen.
But that's not the really first big thing. We assume we are all talking about something more than just existence. Beyond the very basics of the necessities of life itself, folks really do want some very, very different things.
Bill Gates wants other folks to be 'transitioned'. So - do you want to be 'transitioned'?

Bill Tozer

America is politically divided? This is too cute. Simply adorable.


Here are 10 emerging devices and technologies that could soon enhance you in body and mind in the next decade. Are you ready? Below are just teasers for a more detailed description at the link below.

1. RFID Chips

Microchips are not new, but the practice of routinely implanting them in humans is. Already, biohackers are enthusiastically getting chipped, many of them undergoing the DIY surgery in tattoo parlors. With small radio frequency identification (RFID) chips implanted in their hands or wrists these citizen cyborgs can already eliminate many tedious rituals from their daily lives, like carrying a wallet or keys. . . .

2. Exoskeletons

The Terminator was “a cybernetic organism. Living tissue over a metal endoskeleton.” But that was in 1984 and the concept was fictional. Jump ahead to the 2020s and you could be a different kind of cyborg—one that wears a metal exoskeleton over your biological meat sack. . . .

3. Real-time Language Translation

Real time language translation applications have been around for a few years though they've had their share of quirks and imperfections. However, recent advances in machine learning have done a lot to improve machine translation of late—so much so that we are now on the cusp of achieving seamless translation in real time. In late 2016 The New York Times reported that Google's translation "A.I. system had demonstrated overnight improvements roughly equal to the total gains the old one had accrued over its entire lifetime." . . .

4. Augmented Vision

Bionic eyes are a thing! They are currently used to treat hereditary and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and rely on a camera mounted on glasses feeding inputs to electrodes attached to the retina. This technique is a remarkable, though still imperfect, means of reversing a form of blindness. . . .

Another kind of intraocular bionic lens is being developed by the Ocumetics Technology Corp and is currently being tested in clinical trials. The aim of the product is to restore “clear vision at all distances, without glasses or contact lenses” regardless of the age of the patient. Ideally, “three times better than 20/20 vision” could be achieved and laser eye surgery could eventually be rendered obsolete. . . .

5. Smart Contact Lenses

Both Sony and Samsung have patented smart contact lens technology that can record video by blinking. The augmented reality company Magic Leap is also working on a smart contact lens, in tandem with its much anticipated new augmented reality headset. Both products will be able to overlay computer generated images onto the real world. . . .

But augmented reality tech isn't just for fun. Another application of smart contact lenses being developed at the X lab (formerly Google X) is the capability to detect blood glucose levels in tears and alert diabetics when their blood sugar is too low. . . .

6. 3D Printed Body Parts

Lab-grown bladders and functional vaginas have already been successfully implanted in patients. But even more exciting is the promise of 3D printing and implanting vital organs like hearts, lungs and kidneys. . . .

7. Smarter Drugs

The good news is that soon we could have a new generation of better, smarter drugs. Already, artificial intelligence and cheap genomic sequencing are accelerating the drug discovery process and facilitating an increase in effective personalized medicine. Unsurprisingly, pharmaceutical companies, governments and tech corporations are eagerly getting in on this medical big data game. . . .

8. Brain-computer Interfaces

Humans can already control wheelchairs, advanced neuroprosthetic limbs and drones with their minds. Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) have also been used to communicate with patients suffering from the rare affliction of locked-in syndrome. Soon we could be using technology like this all the time, not just to correct for disabilities, but to enhance communication and sensory connection. Perhaps we could even connect telepathically? . . .

9. Designer Babies

With gene editing becoming a more precise science, thanks to new techniques like CRISPR-Cas9, it will not be long before they are utilized en masse to prevent most heritable diseases. Why would you roll the genetic dice when you could actively intervene to ensure that your child will be healthy? Especially if you’ve had your genome sequenced and know you are a carrier of deleterious genes, like the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, which strongly predispose those with the mutations to breast and ovarian cancer. . . .

10. Enhanced Sexual Organs

Almost 300,000 Americans underwent breast augmentation surgery in 2016, a 4% increase on the previous year and a 37% increase since 2000. But it's not just boobs, almost all cosmetic procedures are on the rise. Clearly Americans have embraced this mode of human enhancement with gusto.

Transgender transhumanist Valkyrie Ice McGill predicted in 2014 that by 2024 a total functional gender transformation will be possible. The same technology that could enable a complete gender reassignment could also allow patients to achieve breast, buttock, and penis enlargements with more natural results. . . .

Full Details at Big Think:

These are the tools humans can use to craft beings capable of long space flights and more adaptable to life on Mars for a starter and beyond as humanity fulfills it exploratory destiny.

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