Sunday, April 29, 2012

IMTU Robots and the Economy

The side note in my mega-professional package list became this...

Professions and Robots.

In TL10 Non-volitional Robots with IQ11 and 5cp cost around $53,000, Robots with IQ13 and 10cp cost around $76,000. According to the UT, this kind of AI is almost fully sapient, they can do low level and low skilled jobs. They are much cheaper than any human as low skilled laborers.

Fully Volitional AI Robots at $76,000 has IQ11 and 10cp, or $570,000 for IQ13 and 20cp. At this level VAI can really replace humans in certain jobs. 

What happens to all the low skilled humans?
They don't exist (in Terra), or if they did they migrated to the Imperium, if gov't did their job there are extensive retraining and job placement programs and education is of the highest quality and free. If governments do their job humans will never worry about technology making them obsolete because all those resources everyone provided to gov't goes into advancing the quality, productivity and capability of their population. Keeping a population, a Gov't's human resource, up-to-date, cutting edge, highly productive may be the highest use of a such an institution.

IMTU Terran gov'ts keep the market free by allowing automation to take up all the low value jobs, but invest heavily in keeping their people smarter and smarter than the robots. Some gov't go as far as subsidizing the cost of augmentation, or at very least plot out a way for their people to continually improve themselves and make it easier to get that augmentation on their own.

Gov't who spend a huge amount of resource in education should have smarter population. Given how the science of cognition has advanced in TL10, IQ should be very very high compared to TL8 standards. The V.AI IQ13 and 20cp robot that costs $570,000 is nothing compared to an IQ11 population with about 100cp in skills and advantages.

Vilani and No-Robot Policy
Vilani don't allow the free market to remove jobs as technology advances. There are no Volitional or N-Volitional Robots or AI in the Imperium. They have intentionally perserved jobs and calcified these into castes. It would be a very big deal for the vilani to know that their lower castes can be replaced, or is replaced by robots in the Terran Economy.

Low Skilled Terrans migration to Vilani.
Low skilled Terrans are welcome to the Imperium to fill the ranks of their lowest castes. Its similar to the labor migration experienced in the present TL8, there are many poorer and lower skilled people who are willing to do necessary but low value work in a much wealthier economy. That economy benefits because of comparative economic advantage.

The Vilani Imperium protects its jobs aka caste system, to the extent that prices are not as competative to Terra's. This trickles down to Imperial Vilani education, Terra spends x3-x6 more than Vilani per individual in their education and personal improvements. As technology advances and automates certain tasks workers in Terra either retrain, move up the value chain, or allow themselves to be made obsolete by robots. Given the choices, there are some who quite agree with the Imperium's View on automation and migrate there.

A side effect of having lower skilled and tier work is a very slow population growth. Vilani would gladly accept Terran migrants, just to trade off the jobs they don't want to the terrans, like the disruptive life of shipping. Unlike having to educate and raise children, fully grown and trained Terran migrants cost very little to the state, and are willing to accept the terms of the the Imperium. Terrans would love the high valued Vilani tender and purchase more and more of the Microsoft and Apple luxury products produced by the Vilani for their own markets.

Ubiquitous Robots
Robots are like Personal Computers in TL8, their ubiquitous in TL10 and they can do amazing things everyday. Everyone technical knows a little robotics, the same way everyone knows enough of how to customize their computer tools in their way of working or at least work within what they know about the technology. A ships engineer knows how to reprogram and maintain his robot crew in the same way he can fix and modify his own tools. Every technician knows how to maintain robots essential in their operations; administrators, merchants, entertainers,...etc. Everyone knows how to use a robot the way almost everyone knows how to use a computer.

Note that in in TL9 1 roboticist can maintain 5 robots per month, in TL10, 1 roboticist can maintain up to 10 robots per month. The roboticist replace the TL8 IT in terms of tech support; or you can say the IT evolved to roboticists. Some technical professions don't always need IT; some professionals are able to maintain robots specifically used in their own jobs, the way some people can be their own IT.

Volitional Robots and Rights.
Some Gov't treat (volitional AI) VAI as sapient individual and bestow them rights. Although despite having rights, they are not human and cannot take advantage of the special programs gov't have to keep their human population highly productive, educated and constantly employed. In a way they are a second class citizen, and a lesser being because of the very gross difference in capabilities. The best some gov't do is allow these VAI robots to migrate.

Some early VAI designs have a problem learning without having to start from scratch and maintain their naturally grown personalities. Humans are more adaptable; the some of very cognitive biases that impede some of the logic and rationality of humans also allow them to be more flexible. In order to achieve some of the sapience of VAI with the limitations of TL10 processing some processes are “hard-wired” into the robot brain.

VAI Robots cannot be destroyed outside their own free choice because of obsolescence, they have the right to choose to be reprogrammed (many do) and upgraded, changing themselves irrecoverably. Some are possessive of their identity and their flaws and opt not to be recycled, these are instead shipped out farther and farther out in the terran and vilani frontier to serve start up colonies.

Terran Populations and Robots.
Obsolete and early VAI robots of late TL9 and early TL10 find a new life in Terran colonies with the chance to slowly earn their way for their own upgrades. In these sparsely populated human colonies, you can find x3-x8 the human population in VAI robots which have found another chance.     
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