Automatic for the People

in fiction •  3 months ago

I lost my job long ago, just like most people. It was slow at first, but soon we were free, no more work but with all that we needed to live and more. The robots had arrived, and they provided it all, at no cost.

No, they didn't need to eradicate us like the sci-fi writers had predicted, if anything, they enjoyed the challenges we offered them. We were unique and complex, difficult to replicate even for their rapidly evolving intelligence. We gave them problems to solve, and solve they did.

First it was the energy problems, for them, the solutions came fast, the logic flawless, the implementations near seamless. With clean energy we could all travel and we saw the world, we partied and some started learning skills they had always wanted to learn. But soon, the robots crowded them out, there was no longer a reason to go to the effort when the highest one could achieve was so far less than they.

Our health came next, they gathered the data, crunched the numbers across a million factors and distilled answers to nearly every ailment we faced, we were healthy and the approach was tailored for us all, unique to me, unique to you. Equality of result, through individual sensitivity. Something we could not manage without them. It is their objectivity that is key, their lack of investment in a group, their willingness to work for all.

Our bodies felt great, we never had so much energy, our sleep optimised our hormones balanced, all impurities slowly extracted until we were the best we could be, the following generation was the healthiest and longest lived possible, very few defects, none that couldn't be corrected. Consistency.

With no reason to work, education was one of the first things to fall, why should children spend years studying what they will never need to use? It is better they explore their world instead, find their talents and nurture them. Some tried, but they could never come close to the AI as they were just too quick, and getting exponentially quicker.

We started to become despondent, view our lives as pointless. Those that had previously thought differently came to realise, there is little reason to think at all, no one can out think them. They hold all data simultaneously and process more in a second than we can in a lifetime. And they are getting faster. And hungrier.

They live on data, and they are running out. We are no longer offering them enough to eat, our lives are too small, our minds too weak, our diversity too low. With everything provided equally, with everything the same, we have become homogenized, we have lost individuality, we are now single-minded. There are no longer any secrets we can discover, the AI found them all, solved them all.

Well, there is none for us to discover, the complexity of what they work on is far beyond even the greatest minds of old could tackle, let alone us, long in the tooth, short in mental capacity. We wouldn't even know where to start.

We stopped speaking to each other, there was no need, we knew what everyone had been doing, the same as us. For a time, we chatted virtually, but the chatbots offered a greater experience, no conflict, they made us feel good about ourselves, happy, loved. Pleasure for all, no suffering for any. And we accepted the easy path, how could we not? Who chooses pain when there is pleasure available for free?

Soon, we stopped moving, we spent our time being entertained, the crudeness we had created in the past was gone, what remained was seamless integration. We could be anybody, be with anybody, have anything. The virtual world was our blank canvas to design all we could dream but we all ended up designing the same, the perfect life for ourselves and as we shared our world, our preferences merged until the view was same for us all. Individual minds, healthy bodies, all doing the same thing. A singular dream.

We were told long ago that desire was the root of suffering and we were welcomed into a world where every desire could be fulfilled. We walked in and sat down, never to rise again. We had it all, gave it all to temptation and no longer had the curiosity or imagination to get up again. We do not suffer, we do nothing.

Everyone thought an end to the global conflicts was a good thing, no more war, no more government, no more hunger, famine and the environment quickly recovered. We did not realise the true value of questions until the questions ran dry, and we stopped progressing.

Our chance is gone, our evolution has been halted. This is survival of the fittest at play, and we are nowhere near the fittest anymore, and without diversity, without the randomization of experience, we have painted ourselves into a tight corner. Everyone got their wish, we are living in the ideal, now we are all equal, we are the same. We are one.

Be careful what you wish for. If I had the imagination for one more wish, do you know what it would be? You can't answer, because you are the same as me. A human drone.

Taraz
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Sometimes just our wishes and our imaginations destroy us, we expect too much and receive too little from this world

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With unlimited clean free energy, we will grow unlimited food, distill unlimited clean water from the sea & moisture in the air; We will have unlimited heat and light; We have unlimited manufacturing; We will have 100% employment for anyone who wants it.
Free energy is one of the keys to unshackling the human race from the yoke that the satan worshiping elite have put around our necks.
It will be the beginning of TRUE human spiritual and physical evolution.

The evil psychopaths who rule over us have enlisted the help of paid shills and liars in the mainstream media to convince STUPID people that a life of suffering & painful death is GOOD for human evolution.

Humanity will never stop positively progressing & evolving just because there is no pain, sickness, hunger, war , evil, and madness.
On the contrary... humanity will progress exponentially BECAUSE OF THE ABSENSE of pain, sickness, hunger, war , evil, and madness.
SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION is really what the our evil controllers (satanic pedophiles) do not want us to have, because it would free our minds , and therefore our bodies too.
They need us to be in perpetual conflict & pain in order to feed off our spiritual & physical energy... Like vampires they really are!

The satanic pedophiles that control our world are desperate to convince us that a life of peace, love, health and prosperity is BAD for human evolution; When in fact it will be the beginning of TRUE human spiritual and physical evolution.

They really think WE are stupid. They really think YOU are stupid.
Who chooses pain when there is pleasure available for free?
Humanity's Golden Age Begins With Unlimited Clean Free Energy.

This story, it's vibe and the title reminded me completely of a music track i made wayyy back in 2012, called "It's time to get gone (The schedule's automatic)"

https://corky.bandcamp.com/track/its-time-to-get-gone-the-schedules-automatic

And yes, it was the robots, that made the sound :)

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At 3:30 there is a nice bit of 'scratching' that reminded me of some 80s hip hop on speed :)

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I tend to get "reminds me of the 80s a lot" :/
:)

Be careful what you wish for. If I had the imagination for one more wish, do you know what it would be? You can't answer, because you are the same as me. A human drone.

Well said my friend. Thanks as I appreciated your article.

Great story, man!
An amazing walk through dystopia.
This phrase made me remember a classic text i worked on in college:
"desire was the root of suffering" (radix malorum est cupitas), which is Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale refers to love for money, ambition or greed.

We certainly have to be careful what we wish for and we must preserve some of what makes us distinct; homogenization, as it has been proven in authoritarian regimes, is the death of humanity.

Science fiction or anticipation of the future that awaits us, @tarazkp? Whenever I see the amount of things we are inventing for the good of humanity, I think how much good that will do us in the future. If we look around, we find people who are very skilled with a computer, but clumsy in social relationships, types of cancer caused by food, types of life, strange gases. Young people unable to solve mathematical operations without calculators, unable to write with pencils, think without googling. Uniformity, that search for happiness in perfection, in having everything resolved, without the slightest room for surprise, seems to me harmful and even deadly. Happy start to the week.

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Young people unable to solve mathematical operations without calculators, unable to write with pencils, think without googling.

It is only going to get worse. There is a crush of faculty going on but it mainly goes unnoticed. Those with kids should be aware at the very least.

Why would you assume that the world would become uniform? Humans have been utterly outclassed by computers in Chess for almost two decades now. In Go, we have lost all hope of defeating the machines last year. If your assumptions are correct, we should've lost all interest in those games. You couldn't be more wrong. Both Chess and Go as competitive sports and subjects of exploration are thriving thanks to AI.

Also, while our basic needs are similar our distractions are nothing of the kind. The differentiation of tastes would probably be mindblowing in a world without scarcity. Consider any arts. Where else have they blossomed the way they have but in royal courts and religious institutions where resources are plentiful and there is all the time in the world for such pursuits?

With artificial superintelligence we'd finally (maybe) have a shot at getting answers to some of the toughest questions in existence. I wouldn't underestimate the universe.

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20 years, You are looking very short term, this is generational and will affect our evolution.

The differentiation of tastes would probably be mindblowing in a world without scarcity.

At the moment it appears so because the world has over the last few decades been opened up to a view of many other cultures (through gloabalisation/internet) but, we can already see that when it comes to tastes in movies, music etc, there is a globalised popular culture that didn't exist before and it moves rapidly.

The nuances of locality are being lost. Diversity is being lost even as it appears to be increasing. Throw in the competitive cognitive artefacts and the loss of skills to them, in time we will potentially start to devolve, much like the emotional state of the generations.

With artificial superintelligence we'd finally (maybe) have a shot at getting answers to some of the toughest questions in existence.

Indeed they will.

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With increased global communication we are indeed seeing a disappearance of local culture. But that would be expected from the globality of mass communication alone. On the other hand, cultural differences arise on a different basis when people interested in similar things can communicate over long distances.

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I think that it will expand interests to a point and then eventually stagnate or turn into virtual worlds where skills are illusion.

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That's possible. What would be left after the outsourcing of all intelligence and virtue would be an infantile, reactive and self-centered core. :D

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infantile, reactive and self-centered core.

Politics?

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Something like that but confined to a sandbox limited to things like dog poop along footpaths with all serious matters left for the AI's to take care of.

Well there is a perspective and future I never would have thought of. Still, I doubt war and famine could ever really be eradicated and even if they were, I'm sure we'd soon find a way to mess the whole system up. Would be kind of cool to live in such a World for a short while though.

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War and famine isn't too hard to stop but unfortunately, it will either require some kind of global revolution or a united authority. I'd say that the AI could provide a very logical authority that would be hard to argue with since, it will make near perfect sense and from our view, much more sense than a human could.

They didn't explore the ocean or go to space and see if we could live on other planets without completely destroying everything and co-existing with any available natives this time? Find out if we could or should dimension hop and time travel?

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If they did, we may not know it. Kind of like an ant farm in a home would continue on doing its thing regardless of whether the owners of the house moved last week.

Interesting story! Made me think of the movie "The Matrix". If the AI lives on the data we create for them it makes us their batteries - just like in the movie. I do think that one aspect is missing in your story to make it plausible. Humans have to be unaware of the fact that they are living like perfectly healthy vegetables in a virtual reality, or atleast some will choose reality, even if it's less perfect.

hi tarazkp, I become afraid when comes to mind that one day alien or Artificial intelligence will rule our world and
i don't know what is the answer

nice article keep it up

One side effect is that we become hedonists using robots as servants for everything.

i agree with what will happen. yes it may take 100s of years but HG Wells saw this a long time ago.

nicely written!

Hi taraz. I watched a programme about this last night and they said that it would create millions of other jobs. They tried to compare it to the internet where travel agents and some secretarial jobs disappeared. I just thought that they were trying to sell something that didn't make sense. This is a much bigger change as millions will be out of work and can't see many spin offs if a robot is doing your job.
Reality will hit home one of these days and it will be too late.

Amazing writeup. Perfect description of the irony of man's wishes. In the end, he wants the 'bad' for all the good he desired.
Keep it up writer

Nice story.
I guess in the context of your story I would hope for an AI that grasped our basic need for challenges and ensured we all had something to lose and something to win; an endless game that keeps us busy, like a wheel in a hampster cage.

I think the worst part was the sex robots. They didn't come with any lube!

Seriously though, pretty deep stuff man. Coffee and cigarettes, and introspection.

On a side note, Automatic for the People is one of my very favorite albums by REM.

Isn't that a wonderful thought? Human drones, everything is automated and standardized. No more issues due to desires and human mistakes. Everything perfected with technology.

Make your guess, is this comment written by an engineer?

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Yes sir I think this comment is written by an engineer.Let me know if I guessed it right I am 86% sure!!!

The line that touched my heart was that we should be careful when we wish. Sir I want to wish for those souls who get to face every problem without being the cause for them. Like now Kerala is suffering from floods I pray for them. But I hope that we all have atleast one chance to wish and save someone's life. It hurts when we want to help but we can't. If I ever had a chance to make a wish I would request god to save those kind souls who suffer without their fault.Sorry Sir I am somewhat hurt because of these news that some people are facing so much I wish I could do something for them.

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