Growth – The Age of Em: Work, Love, and Life when Robots Rule the Earth by Robin Hanson
Premessa: nell’economia del futuro a lavorare saranno dei robot: ovvero emulatori azionati con upload di intelligenze umane opportunamente selezionate e velocizzate. Gli uomini vivranno perlopiù in campagna godendo della rendita azionaria dei titoli delle compagnie produttrici di emulatori.
the em economy should be more competitive in the sense of more aggressively and more easily replacing low-efficiency items and arrangements with higher-efficiency versions.
Stronger urban concentration should also help promote innovation (Carlino and Kerr 2014
For a long time, most innovation, and most of the total value of innovation, has been associated with a great many small and context-dependent changes (Sahal 1981). Most innovation has also long come from application and practice, rather than from “researchers” or “inventors” narrowly conceived. Most of the research that aids innovation is “applied” as opposed to “basic” research. Thus we expect most of this better and faster em innovation to consist of many small innovations that arise in the context of application and practice.
Note:INNOVAZIONE CONTESTUALE APPLICATA E PRATICA
One might guess that a future very computer-centered economy improves at something closer to the recent rate at which computer technologies have improved. This suggests that the global em economy might double as fast as every year and a half, which is 10 times faster than today’s economic doubling time of about 15 years.
Note:CRESCITA: 10 VOLTE PIÙ VELOCE
our growth of inputs is still limited because of the limited rate at which we can increase the number of skilled laborers. There is little point in making twice as many machines if we don’t have twice as many people to run them.
Note:L’ INPUT CONTA PIU’ DELLA PRODUTTIVITA’. CON GLI EMULATORI L’INPUT DI LAVORATORI SPECIALIZZATI NON SARA’ PIU’ UN PROBLEMA
So the world economy has lately been doubling roughly every 15 years… In an em economy, however, labor can be grown as easily as capital; factories can make more ems to run machines as fast as they can make more machines to be run….
Note:OGGI RADDOPPIAMO LA RICCHEZZA OGNO 15 ANNI
Our basic economic theories of growth strongly suggest that this ability to rapidly increase inputs could allow an em economy to grow much faster than the 1.5-year doubling time weakly suggested by an em economy being computer-based (Fernald and Jones 2014; Nordhaus 2015). In fact, basic economic theory allows for the economy to double in a month, week, day, or even faster.
Note:STIME PER DOMANI: RADDOPPIO OGNI MESE
Faster growth and innovation in the em era should encourage an emphasis on less durable capital equipment, including buildings. Such equipment should be designed for a shorter useful lifespan, under the expectation that more efficient designs will quickly become available.
Note:BENI PRODOTTI: AVVANTAGGIATI QUELLI A RAPIDA OBSOLESCIENZA
large increases in growth rates translate into large cost increases for systems that produce steady value, relative to systems that produce value quickly all at once and then end. So ems will use rockets and other disposable products more,
Note:TRIONFO DELL’ USA E GETTA
To generate an empirical estimate of em economy doubling times, we can look at the timescales it takes for machine shops and factories today to make a mass of machines of a quality, quantity, variety, and value similar to that of machines that they themselves contain. Today, that timescale is roughly 1
Note:QUANTO IMPIEGANO LE MACCHINE A REPLICARSI
Today, humans are such a left-out component; our economy doesn’t grow this fast because we can’t replicate people as quickly as machines.
Note:REPLICARE L’ UOMO, QUESTA LA DIFFERENZA COL PASSATO
an em economy focuses much more than ours does on computer capital, which has long seen much faster rates of innovation than has other forms of manufactured capital.
Note:RITMO DELL’ INNOVAZIONE
the economy might double every (objective) year, month, week, or day (Hanson 1998)
Another way to estimate the economic growth rate of the next era is to assume that the next era will grow faster than our industrial era by a factor similar to the factor by which our era grows faster than the farming era, or by which the farming era grew faster than the forager era.
Note:ANALOGIE: DIFFERENZIALE TRA AGRICOLTURA E INDUSTRIA
This method estimates a roughly 1 week to 1 month economic doubling time for the next era.
Note:STIME DEL SECONDO METODO
There are several factors that some expect to influence growth rates, but which probably have at best modest effects. One such factor is the mental speed of citizens… Yes, there could be some weak effects because of ems running faster or slower, but these are mostly minor. It is mainly the existing capacity that creates more capacity, not the mental speed…
Note:IL MITO DELLA VELOCITÀ
Another factor that does not obviously suggest faster growth rates is the larger size of the em economy. Yes, a larger economy has more resources to pursue more possible innovations. But there are also usually diminishing returns in new ideas;
Note:IL MITO DELLE ECONOMIE DI SCALA
A third factor that does not obviously suggest faster growth rates is greater intelligence. While more intelligent people are more productive, and more productivity gives more growth, even so there isn’t obviously a more direct connection here, a connection not mediated by productivity.
Note:IL MITO DELL’ INTELLIGENZA
Smarter people are awarded more patents, but that is in part because smarter people tend more to be sorted into the types of jobs that produce patents.
A fourth factor that is less relevant for growth than many think is the number of researchers… even if the em world coordinates somewhat better than today, it seems that growth would increase by only a modest amount, as nations that do more research today do not grow noticeably faster (Ulku 2004)…. increases in research funding usually give much less than proportionate increases in research progress in a field (Alston et al. 2011…
Note:IL MITO DELLA RICERCA
Among their many roles, clans likely also serve as a basic unit of financial organization. For example, individual ems and subclans could relatively easily turn to their larger clans to insure against risks. Hidden information and actions, which are often obstacles to insurance, are less of a problem within a clan, especially when shallow mindreading is feasible.
Note:RITORNO DEI CLAN
A more competitive em economy likely adopts more efficient financial institutions. This plausibly includes more support for hostile takeovers of public firms (Macey 2008), and more use of private ownership of firms. As having worker control over firm management seems to reduce productivity, ems probably avoid that (Gorton and Schmid 2004).
Note:SCALATE OSTILI E COOPERATIVE
In most models and real markets so far, average interest rates (i.e., rates of return on investments) have usually been at least as large as economic growth rates. Thus as em era growth rates are large, em era interest rates are also large. This tempts slow humans and em retirees to save a large fraction of their income.