Stephen Hawking Says We Should Really Be Scared Of Capitalism, Not Robots

    "If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed."

    By Dylan Sevett | 9 November 2015
    U.S. Uncut

     Stephen Hawking believes that if machine-produced wealth is not shared, technology will drive "ever-increasing inequality". (Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press)
    Stephen Hawking believes that if machine-produced wealth is not shared, technology will drive “ever-increasing inequality”. (Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press)

    According to world famous physicist Stephen Hawking, the rising use of automated machines may mean the end of human rights – not just jobs. But he’s not talking about robots with artificial intelligence taking over the world, he’s talking about the current capitalist political system and its major players.

    On Reddit, Hawkings said that the economic gap between the rich and the poor will continue to grow as more jobs are automated by machines, and the owners of said machines hoard them to create more wealth for themselves.

    Someone asked:

    Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment, where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them?

    In particular, do you foresee a world where people work less because so much work is automated? Do you think people will always either find work or manufacture more work to be done?

    Hawkings replied:

    If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

    The insatiable thirst for capitalist accumulation bestowed upon humans by years of lies and terrible economic policy has affected technology in such a way that one of its major goals has become to replace human jobs.

    If we do not take this warning seriously, we may face unfathomable corporate domination. If we let the same people who buy and sell our political system and resources maintain control of automated technology, then we’ll be heading towards a very harsh reality.

    Stephen Hawking: ‘AI could spell end of the human race’

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    21 COMMENTS

        • if you would pay attention.. it is becoming harder to find work.. and the wealthy are getting to keep all the money.. much more than they or their families could every spend.. moving companies out of the USA to save money and eliminate jobs.. and the machines give the companies more profit too .. so why change.. that is the problem .. maybe you have more than enough. .but a huge number of Americans do not ..

          • I love your anonymous high horse. So, being a person who has generated their own wealth and is painfully aware of how the political and social methodologies that currently pervade our cultures, I gotta say you’re pretty close minded. You see, in your version of “the way things work”, all that you give room for is your current world view. While I agree that all the implications of your few short statements seem well grounded in the short-term, they neglect the very real principle of mutability. It is literally the foundation of every single science we possess. In a nutshell, a systems given ability to change. That, to say it plainly, is the real way that things work. Yes, the capitalistic method is very efficient in its ability to replicate itself, that doesn’t make it a constant. It is not the speed of light. There are other ways which could work just as well. We may even find one or two during the life of this species. Though it will go all the slower if so many remain doing exactly as they were told. There’s a war going on for your mind. Whose side are you on? Theirs or your own?

          • Good luck with utter ignorance, asswipe: I hear it's nice being completely ignorant of basic spelling, punctuation, and grammar, to say nothing of actual reality.

        • ‘Earn?’ Like dRUMPf who inherited it all from DADDY-O and squandered, by Forbes’ reckoning, at least half of it, and who is PUTIN’s pet now because no amurrikkkan bank will touch him? Like Ponzi and pyramid scheme felons? Like bankers and ‘hedge fund managers’ getting rich by mismanaging and losing others’ money?
          You really are a joke, Guestiepoo.

    1. No Mr Guest. I learned 10 different trades over fifty years and got replaced by a computer in each job. Millions of people are in the same boat. And our kids will never out produce AI robots. We need to insure each person is luxuriously taken care of mentally, morally, physically, socially and emotionally so we can produce millions of happy productive generous and loving communities across the face of this earth. Ensure the absolute slavery of the smart robots. After all we did that once with the black skinned race. If we did it to humans, we sure as heck can do it to the smart machines.

    2. I do not pretend to be even close to Stephen Hawkins, or all those other geniuses that abound. But sometime ago I realized that we do not need "re-distribution of wealth," but we need re-distribution of assuming responsibility." The rich get richer and the poor get poorer is not supposed to be carved in stone. Large Corporation, in addition to getting all kinds of tax-breaks, are not even required to pay taxes on their enormous profits. Rich people spend millions on lawyers and accountants, to avoid paying their fair share of taxers.

      Following is a simple suggestion (I'm a simple person) to eliminate the discrepancies in who pays what, at least in the U.S. But other countries could possibly also consider this. At least they could conclude what they would want to avoid at all cost, i.e. a fair distribution of the financial obligations that come with citizenship.

      CPAs and tax lawyers will scream "bloody murder," but we should write a new Tax Code. It can be easy and effective. First, eliminate all (and I do mean all) tax-loopholes and exemptions from "oil depletion allowances" to "tax incentives" and create a new tax base. Here is one possible solution:

      Gross income should be considered to be the total income from all (again I mean all) sources (dividends, stock market trading, selling property and good or services, salaries, wages, etc.) as provided by the Revenue Act of 1913 [Pub Law No 16, § 22(a)] and confirmed by Article XVI of the Constitution of the United States.

      To arrive at an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), only the following items should be deductible: interest on the mortgage of a primary residence, medical expenses (including insurance premiums), education expenses for children up to age 25 and $2,500.00 annual deduction per child under 18 years. The same for businesses (all businesses) with the addition of deductions for raw materials, cost of goods to be sold (which are NOT supposed to include "business lunches, gifts [bribes] to suppliers, or clients, etc.] payroll and health care related costs. After all, "corporations are people." All other taxes, such as gasoline taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, RE taxes, etc., should (and could) be eliminated.

      That would leave only Federal Income taxes, State taxes (not to exceed ten percent of Federal taxes), Local taxes (not to exceed ten percent of State taxes), Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid taxes. Social Security taxes could be raised to 6.5 percent on AGI(s) up to $250.000/year. Medicare should get wholesale prices on drugs and the tax should be raised to 4 percent (50 / 50 employee / employer) to enable a "single payer" system for all Americans.

      AGI, according to the foregoing formula, could be taxed with a sliding scale. Individuals with an AGI of less than $15,000 and families (or businesses) with an AGI of less than $20,000 are not subject to Federal income tax. Federal taxes could start at one percent on AGI(s) above $15,000 and $20,000 respectively and should increase 0.15 percent for every additional $1,000 of AGI until a rate of 34.5 percent has been reached for an AGI of $250,000 or more. It is estimated that this plan will sustain all present expenditure levels, eliminate the National debt in the shortest possible time and thereafter may make it possible to collect Federal income taxes only every other year. But only if everyone is willing to pay a fair share now.

    3. Throughout history there were always rich and poor people. Protestant motto "work and pray" was meant to say: it is ok to accumulate wealth as long as you redistibute it back to the society (e.g. Build a hospital or a school) never in history though was earning of money alone considered a just activity. Industrial revolution changed all that. Some people suddenly became obscenely rich and no longer felt the need to reciprocate. In my opinion we need a system where you heavily tax but make people more involved in what cause these taxes go to.

      • I think taxes ought to work like a United Way distribution. We should be able to allocate up to 50% of our tax dollars to the department (s) of our choice. The remaining 50% would be allocated by the government, mostly to activities that need to get done but are unlikely to get directed contributions. The boring stuff. People would feel so much better about their taxes if they could direct them to defense, health, education, th e environment, whatever they are passionate about. And we’d really have true representation in our taxation.

    4. And Mr. Hawking's background in economics is what? Oh, and what does he think about how best to succeed in the ladies ready-to-wear market?

      • You don't have to be an economist to see that the current system is broken. Mr. Hawking wasn't actually commenting in any detail on economics anyway, he was commenting on what he and many others believe to be a destructive social behavior that appears to be growing stronger as technology takes over more of the workplace. In the 50 ' s we imagined a world with 20 hour work weeks when machines did the other half of the work. That optimistically failed to recognize greed, where instead of shortening hours and maintain payroll and profits at level, businesses simply fired workforce, kept the remaining workers working the same hours, and banked the salaries of the ones they fired. Then fought viciously to avoid seeing to it their former employees could eat or feed their children, pointing fingers at them and calling them lazy slackers. Instead of all of humanity reaping the rewards of the industrial revolution, its rewards have been hoarded by the few, usually at the cost of the most vulnerable among us.

      • And moronic white-trash fratboys who would have flunked out of MBA school if rich Daddy-O hadn't bought the uni a new building complex and who now are 'hedge fund managers' and 'arbitrageurs' have WHAT background exactly?
        How do you manage to cross the street alone at your level of imbecility?

    5. Hmm . . . so a background in economics is necessary to argue that amazing obscene wealth without giving a reasonable amount back to the society that allowed you to accumulate it is wrong? And then to use the ridiculous analogy that commenting on the ready-to-wear market without experience in that area is a lesson in ignorance like commenting on the dangers of the accumulation of wealth by the few without a background in economics is similarly ignorant. Is this guy serious, or just brain dead?

    6. This is not the whole answer but it is a high level starting point. Human greed is the problem. Will we ever get rid of human greed… at lest I doubt it. Human greed has driven us to evolve to where we are to today and as such we have made many advances some we have embraced and used wisely and others choices we have made have been awful.
      But greed has guided us to create money….that did not exist and even more so today exist even less each and every day. Just take a look at your so called financial worth. If every one sold every thing the paper does not exist to dole it all out to every one. Yes they could print more but that is just it it does not exist.
      So go with this money does not exist…so we do not need it. We need to get our heads right and re think what is best for us. Picture this, the Sun will come up tomorrow. The seasons will change and fruit trees will bear fruit. All with out money.
      So the human component; if the so called intelligent human race could get past the keeping score with money what could we achieve? If we are to evolve and really solve the Human issues we need to move past money. ( The planet will survive what ever we do. It was bits of broken rock before us…it may be broken after us or because of us who knows. One this is sure we will only harm ourselves and other species of life. So it is not about the earth…wrong thought process it is about you. This is one time I hope your greed for life kicks in.) With out money or more directly profits to hold us back what can we do. Well we can do every that we did before, but we can do even more. Energy efficiency will not be hindered by profits. Medical drugs and cures can be released to the masses. The only this stopping this form happening is us and the way we think. I am not the first to know this or bring it forward. Change is fear, fear is greed. People will say all sorts of comments about why this can't happen. And they are right for the reason they can't get their mind past the fear "greed" that they have and others have. If you were to step back and honestly think about what stops you, your neighbor, your town, city, country and global would from doing things it all come to money. We hear that we have the will to do some thing but not the money. Well all the resources are here on earth now and there is over 7 billion of us. Yes, I hear your comment's never the less problems can be solved, the the elephant in the room is the money solve that first and we will have taken the first step to save ourselves.
      This is a scattered comment I know but think on it…really think on it and push through the negative stuff and the more you think on it you will see the truth.
      Red pill…Blue pill choose your path.
      For those of you who get it do your part for those who don't get it…well maybe someday before it's too late you will.

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