Oz Blog News Commentary

Instant Learning and the Next Economy

March 15, 2016 - 22:37 -- Admin

Let's face it.  Human biological evolution is very slow.  Our bodies and minds are roughly the same as they were ten thousand years ago.

That hasn't held us back though.

Thousands of years ago, we learned an unique way to transcend the limits of biological evolution.  We learned that we can rapidly evolve as a group by gathering, storing, and sharing the experiences of individuals.  

Technology has accelerated this process.  It allows us to allocate an increasing percentage of our population to it (from scientists to teachers), more easily gather and store its torrents of information (computers and Moore's law), and share it instantly across the entire globe (the Internet and smartphones).  


However, all of that earlier innovation is child's play compared to what is now possible.  With limited AGI, it will be possible to exponentially accelerate the gathering, improvement, and sharing of human understanding.  Here's how this is done in its most basic form (currently called cloud robotics):

  • An AGI learns a task or a concept through experience (this is becoming very easy to do with model free deep learning, Big Data and Big Sim as I pointed out yesterday).
  • That understanding is packaged, uploaded, and stored in the cloud.
  • Any other AGI can download that understanding as needed.

This is clearly a formula for radically accelerating the growth of human experience.  A radical upgrade to the existing process.  

Currently, when a human being learns something, it's accomplished through a slow and painstaking process.  Worse, even when a human finally understands how something is done, it's hard to retain and even harder to share with others with any permanence.  Yet, despite the imperfections of this system, we've made all the progress we see today.  

Cloud robotics and limited AGI changes that.  It makes it possible for human beings to capture understanding and store it in a way that makes it instantly available for anyone that needs it.  This contrast in systems provides us with significant insight into what human beings enabled by limited AGI will be doing in the future.  I believe the future of work will be:

  • Teaching AGIs everything we've already learned about the world.  This is a herculean task and it has the potential to keep many of us busy doing it for many decades into the future.
  • Collaborating with AGIs to learn things we don't already know about the world.  AGIs can learn how to do things without a formal knowledge of how something works.  This is where engineers, scientists, and philosophers live and work.
  • Applying the understanding and capabilities of AGI to do things in the real world better and more easily than ever before.  Most of us will be working in this space.

As you can see, there isn't a lack of opportunity for productive endeavor in the next economy.  It's only limited by our imagination.  

Have fun,

John Robb

PS: After AGIs learn through exposure to Big Data and Big Sim, they will need to refine that understanding through real world experience guided by human beings.

PPS:  Since cloud robotics is a platform, the first movers that get it right win all (both countries and companies).