Author Topic: Future shock - the third rail of advancement.  (Read 517 times)

Madbunny

  • Beginning to See the Wedge
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Future shock - the third rail of advancement.
« on: March 29, 2018, 01:50:28 AM »
 If something can be done, someone, somewhere will do it.
The nature of what can and will be done exceeds anything
 that man is as o psychologically or morally prepared to live with

~ Alvin Toffler

In this thread, I'd like to discuss potential third rail problems with scientific advancements that, on the surface have incredible upsides that as a society we'd be insane to overlook or abandon.  Ideas that are so good that we're willing to live with whatever downside that comes with them, GMO rice comes to mind, by adding extra nutrients into rice, creating so called 'golden rice' arguably a BILLION peoples lives have been improved.  Patent challenges and legal brinksmanship notwithstanding its hard to argue against those kind of results.

I'll add two..  As this is more or less philosophical musings, I am thinking that we should input our own ideas, and to kick it along ideally add an item of your own.
If it turns into a science/nerd fest a mod can always move it to a more appropriate location.

1 - https://phys.org/news/2018-01-anti-aging-hormone.html

The idea here is that in theory one could 'lock in' a particular age, and your body would stay at that biological age until you reach whatever natural limit your body has.  The current theory is that it somewhere up in the 120's.  Its really hard to find a down side to the ability to stay healthy for the duration of your life, which while not immortal *is* pretty long, particularly if you're living a healthy lifestyle.  It isn't a holy grail, but its pretty close.  I can't think of anybody really who wouldn't want to be healthy for their live, particularly if they can choose for themselves what age they want to stop 'aging'.


The third rail downside: Unemployment, overpopulation, incredible class disparity.




2 - AI controlled robotic assistants.
http://www.sci-tech-today.com/news/Meet-Loomo--Segway-s-New-AI-Robot/story.xhtml?story_id=022002AMPFXA


Small, easily managed and reasonably unobtrusive.  Its easy to imagine that an AI companion for the elderly that can let them stay mobile, remind them to take their medication and alart emergency authorities should they, for example fall down.  Its AI and voice controlled, which means that a person in a wheelchair could trailer hitch to one or they could be custom built into the chairs, like a docking mechanism.  For regular people it can form a 'reasonable' alternative to cars meaning less pollution, less congestion, and arguably less consumption.

The third rail downside?  You guys tell me what you think.




Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a night, set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Old Seer

  • Was God's Anointed But Took a Shower
  • *
  • Posts: 218
Re: Future shock - the third rail of advancement.
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2018, 03:37:13 AM »
Real problems with living longer. I wouldn't mind living forever, but as for now it's not a good idea to live longer. It wouldn't be good for the economy.
1- There's always the problem of floks being able to afford advancements. The rich could live longer and others would be left behind---hate and revenge may cause real social problems.
2- Social security would have to be redone as people live longer. Let's say that as kloks (and floks too) live longer the SS would be set at an older age. But the one's who can't afford to live longer may not get social security and most would die long before they got to 100.
3- on the physical science side people living longer means they have to work longer. But age and ability during older ages don't match. One can live longer--to 125, but the bod may not keep up with the age. Living longer doesn't necessarily means they stay younger longer--- but most don't. A body unable to work at 85 still has 15 years to go for retirement.
4- living longer dosen't mean staying healthy longer either. And, the systems are already geared for the age we get to. Living longer may upset the economy, especially the health side. People would have to payout more for health care as living longer also means being unhealthy longer.
 Home robots.
Being a physicist I don't like the idea. My opinion just for me is, I fiddled with many a complicated gadget and some of my own making. The upkeep on gadgets can lead to more expense then what they're useful. Take the wind generators. The break down rate has caught up with the installation rate, so now what. They can't keep up fixing them. Would robots break the family, very likely would, and would they break down enough to end up in the closet for sale.  I cant see a family paying for 2 cars, and 2 robots an ATV, motor cycle, and snowmobile, and  if robots are the same cost as a car which they very likely would be I wouldn't be interested in adding more debt.  Robots add to the overall breakdown rate of what a person owns.

I find it difficult to relate to them, I'd rather relate to people.

The only thing possible the world needs saving from are the ones running it.
Oh lord, save us from those wanting to save us.

Dave

  • Formerly known as Gloucester
  • Has Finally Learned to Not Feed The Trolls
  • *****
  • Posts: 6854
  • Gender: Male
Re: Future shock - the third rail of advancement.
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2018, 04:25:26 AM »
Being the recipient of an Implantable Csrdioverter Defibrillator (ICD), that is also a pacemaker, and a science fiction fan of very long standing I have a deep seated interest in this area. In fact in biotech and AI in general.

Currently the device communicates with the outside world via a type of "near field" comms system, but like Bluetooth. This allows programming/reading and I have a bedside monitor at home. Rumours are of this being extended to a cellphone network connection with "locatability"  so it can report emergencies and be located.

I use my cellphone functions to keep track of my medications and appointments. At the moment I have to manually set these in, maybe the next stage will be via an app over the network.

I used to have an alarm pendant but realised my most likely emergency will almost certainly involve unconsciousness, so I gave that up. Some form of constant monitor/alarm for that danger would be nice, a robot could offer limited function there. But the only current systems require a "check/response" type protocol,, "Are you still conscious?"/"Yes", maybe "beep/press". But that gets intrusive and has limited use. Body position sensors are also limited, by the time such systems decide it is a real alert the persons can be dead. False alarms cause often deliberste disabling of these devives

I am not sure about the need for a physical roll-around robot, unless it could help people get out of bed or a chair, get them dressed, act as a wslking aid, make a hot drink etc. That would take a large robot that would possibly need more room than many have in their bedrooms, where it would be most important for the very elderly/disabked. Some elderly people may be reassured by, essentially, a very large smartphone on wheels, full of apps, that follows them around. Oh, and it will have to remind them (possibly repeatedly) that it needs recharging, or have an automatic docking function.

I hope that even limited response AI gets to the point of portable usefulness and function for all. But the image of lots of people muttering to such devices creases me - people using Bluetooth "hands free" is bad enough.

Since, in most cultures, funding and staffing of human monitoring for vulnerable people is woefully lacking, and too often staff are under-trsined, I doubt that such devices, though they might be used as an excuse to reduce staffing levels, would have a serious impact on employment. With the increase in health and longevity there is a rising crisis in care for the elderky and disabled, anything that reduces this crisis would be useful, but it might be a first world thing only, the initial cost would be high.

As an adjunct in nursing homes or in order to enable more people to have safer independence in their own homes I can see the advantages, but they would be no real substitute for people.

I would prefer something wearable, that only nags me gently, I think.

At 73 with a serious cardiac condition (though currently capable of 99.9% of life's essential functions) you might understand my interest
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.

Madbunny

  • Beginning to See the Wedge
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Future shock - the third rail of advancement.
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2018, 07:37:14 AM »
Real problems with living longer.
(trimmed for space)

I see the issues with economic disparity for sure.  As I see it the main problems with a system that lets people live longer (in a reasonably healthy body, which is what the study and science from the link are striving for) is that
1 - economic disparity.  The wealthy, at least in the US already live longer healthier lives.  Having access to expensive science that pushes this boundary for them first isn't a surprising idea.  It would be more surprising if they didn't get it first.  Which leads to the next problem...
2 - people who work vs people who live on the proceeds of their money.  Using a simple annuity as an example since its a predictable product you could conceivably accumulate enough for retirement that lasts near as no matter forever unless the economy outpaces it significantly for long periods of time.  You'd have longer to accumulate the money you need for the retirement lifestyle you want.  Want to retire on 40k a year?  Right now you need about a million dollars, want to retire on 400k a year... you get the idea.

2.5 the only way to accumulate that much larger amount of retirement income would be to work longer, which would require you to purchase life extension tech.  If you didn't have the funds you'd have to take a loan.  I trust you see where I'm going with this.  The rich get richer, because they're not poor.  The poor stay poor because they don't have the same tools the rich do.  Purchasing that access with loans, or credit creates a self feeding circle.

3 Right now, as people age and leave the workplace they get replaced by younger personnel.. if the people *in* the workforce never age, or there just are not ways for them to advance due to lack of openings then we have as stagnant population of unemployed, and potentially unemployable.

Still, if you could revert your body to when you were say... 40 and it stayed at that level of health and fitness, along with all the same drives, urges and spirit that you had then up until say, a month or so before your body died would you?  If you could pick any age and lock it in, or let it age naturally, but at a slower rate, would you?  I'm 1,000% certain that I would.  Its a twist on the (Anne Rice) vampire question.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 07:48:21 AM by Madbunny »
Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a night, set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Tank

  • Fed up with stupid.
  • Administrator
  • Excellent and Indefatigable Guardian of Reason
  • *****
  • Posts: 30147
  • Gender: Male
Re: Future shock - the third rail of advancement.
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 07:40:36 AM »
Madbunny. No need to save space by putting two quotes in one post. In fact it makes conversations easier to follow and reply to if you don't mix posts up.  :D
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Madbunny

  • Beginning to See the Wedge
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Future shock - the third rail of advancement.
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2018, 07:48:37 AM »

Being the recipient of an Implantable Csrdioverter Defibrillator (ICD), that is also a pacemaker, and a science fiction fan of very long standing I have a deep seated interest in this area. In fact in biotech and AI in general.
(trimmed for space)

Thats amazing!  Medical science has achieved so much over the last century it boggles the mind.  I'd love to hear more about it sometime. 

I have seen some larger devices used to assist, as an example paraplegics to stand at various heights, and can be summoned remotely so that depending on ability the disabled person can get in and out of it on their own, but I didn't really want to go that route... as a medical device.    As useful as that is, I liked the idea that the Loomo, is small enough to be reasonably unobtrusive, can be programmed with various AI tools like facial recognition, or as you noted in your reply the idea of prompt/respond queries.  I've seen other variations on this as transport, mostly coming out of Japan as a way to get their elderly population able to move about independently.  I like the idea of an AI that we can summon verbally, or in theory give it complex commands; go to the store and get me a newspaper', or 'play groundhog day on the living room TV'.

At the moment I'm a low voltage installer, so I spend my time installing expensive shit in expensive homes for rich people.  Voice commands or simple home automation is all the rage.  Geofencing for example that recognizes that  you're home and turns off the alarm, turns ON the lights and unlocks your door all without needing your input.


Some elderly people may be reassured by, essentially, a very large smartphone on wheels, full of apps, that follows them around. Oh, and it will have to remind them (possibly repeatedly) that it needs recharging, or have an automatic docking function.

I would have LOVED something like (what I'm imagining this could be) for my grandmother.  She had some memory problems as she got older and tended to forget to take her medication, forgot my phone number, and generally hated getting up to answer the phone.  She hated cellphones.  The idea that something could potentially keep track of whether or not she took her meds, or could just dial up somebody at a verbal command (or even just function as a phone) I think would have added a lot of quality of life for her at the end.  I was always afraid she'd go off for a walk and get lost.  Fortunately there were enough people around her to help her if she did.. but still.

Point taken on the charging, as well as this not being a substitute for people, which I suspect is where the third rail aspect comes in.



The more we rely on THINGS to work for is, or connect us rather than doing it for ourselves the more we isolate ourselves.
I suspect that if we started doing it in large scale we'd eventually wind up with a very weird, very lonely society.
Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a night, set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Dave

  • Formerly known as Gloucester
  • Has Finally Learned to Not Feed The Trolls
  • *****
  • Posts: 6854
  • Gender: Male
Re: Future shock - the third rail of advancement.
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2018, 08:56:09 AM »
Madbunny wrote:
Quote
The more we rely on THINGS to work for is, or connect us rather than doing it for ourselves the more we isolate ourselves.
I suspect that if we started doing it in large scale we'd eventually wind up with a very weird, very lonely society.
Report to modera

Straying off thread here but this goes back to the break-up of the nuclear family, grandparents looking after or being looked after by grandchildren in a multi-generation home. Perhaps it is a result of the mobility of the workforce started in the Industrial Revolution, forgotten most of my socio-history.

Implantable tech has now spread beyond cardiac:
Back pain
Sleep apnea
Depression
And Parkinsonism

https://youtu.be/mO3C6iTpSGo
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.

Old Seer

  • Was God's Anointed But Took a Shower
  • *
  • Posts: 218
Re: Future shock - the third rail of advancement.
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2018, 05:24:25 PM »
Being the recipient of an Implantable Csrdioverter Defibrillator (ICD), that is also a pacemaker, and a science fiction fan of very long standing I have a deep seated interest in this area. In fact in biotech and AI in general.

Currently the device communicates with the outside world via a type of "near field" comms system, but like Bluetooth. This allows programming/reading and I have a bedside monitor at home. Rumours are of this being extended to a cellphone network connection with "locatability"  so it can report emergencies and be located.

I use my cellphone functions to keep track of my medications and appointments. At the moment I have to manually set these in, maybe the next stage will be via an app over the network.

I used to have an alarm pendant but realised my most likely emergency will almost certainly involve unconsciousness, so I gave that up. Some form of constant monitor/alarm for that danger would be nice, a robot could offer limited function there. But the only current systems require a "check/response" type protocol,, "Are you still conscious?"/"Yes", maybe "beep/press". But that gets intrusive and has limited use. Body position sensors are also limited, by the time such systems decide it is a real alert the persons can be dead. False alarms cause often deliberste disabling of these devives

I am not sure about the need for a physical roll-around robot, unless it could help people get out of bed or a chair, get them dressed, act as a wslking aid, make a hot drink etc. That would take a large robot that would possibly need more room than many have in their bedrooms, where it would be most important for the very elderly/disabked. Some elderly people may be reassured by, essentially, a very large smartphone on wheels, full of apps, that follows them around. Oh, and it will have to remind them (possibly repeatedly) that it needs recharging, or have an automatic docking function.

I hope that even limited response AI gets to the point of portable usefulness and function for all. But the image of lots of people muttering to such devices creases me - people using Bluetooth "hands free" is bad enough.

Since, in most cultures, funding and staffing of human monitoring for vulnerable people is woefully lacking, and too often staff are under-trsined, I doubt that such devices, though they might be used as an excuse to reduce staffing levels, would have a serious impact on employment. With the increase in health and longevity there is a rising crisis in care for the elderky and disabled, anything that reduces this crisis would be useful, but it might be a first world thing only, the initial cost would be high.

As an adjunct in nursing homes or in order to enable more people to have safer independence in their own homes I can see the advantages, but they would be no real substitute for people.

I would prefer something wearable, that only nags me gently, I think.

At 73 with a serious cardiac condition (though currently capable of 99.9% of life's essential functions) you might understand my interest
The thing I like about the gadget you speak of, they let a person live longer in a normal life span. But an elixir or serum that would extend life to 150 is a different matter. Would I refuse to take a serum to live to 150--nope. But I'm sure it would cause problems.
The only thing possible the world needs saving from are the ones running it.
Oh lord, save us from those wanting to save us.