It’s hard to imagine what life will be like after the time at which Artificial Intelligence becomes sufficient (or egad, “self-aware”). The only prediction that I feel comfortable making now is that life after that point will be “different.”

Presuming that we avoid the path that leads AI toward the “Ultron” outcome, and are able to find ourselves on a path more aligned with “J.A.R.V.I.S.” or “Vision“, then I suspect the first application of that AI would be toward solving homelessness and hunger.

So, what would a world look like where everyone is housed and fed?

This quote from yesterday’s Marketplace program struck a chord for me in that debate:

…there are some people saying [the development of sufficient AI] could happen so fast and be so disruptive as to sort of change the game there, and we need to be thinking about, you know, in a world where we don’t need to work, are we going to have society structured so that everybody has enough and can choose how to spend their time, or are we going to have a society where most people live in poverty?

Kelsey Piper, Will AI help humanity? Americans aren’t sure, Marketplace, January 29, 2019

And this on the heels of a study finding that 4 of 10 Americans are one missed paycheck away from poverty.

I know that people have been focused on wealth inequality for a while, but I believe that solving that problem seems to be more important now than ever…before we imbed it into the next evolution of human society.

I, for one, want a society structured so that everybody has “enough” and can choose how to spend their time…but I also am nervous about a path that leads to a WALL-E world of sloth-like humans.

I am not sure where this will lead…but I do suspect that it will be “different.”