Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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AI shadow subscription lifestyle financialisation overlord

Runs automatically, sorts out life's problems
  [vote for,


1. Global financial system is over-complex, is run by and in the interest of the rich, is short-term focussed and ignores long term externalities.

2. Political systems are also run by and in the interests of the rich and powerful

3. Individuals have limited understanding of the wider picture, and act in their own interest which can lead to perverse collective behaviours.

4. Actually individuals don't even act in their own interests a lot of the time due to psychological blocks biases and behavioural issues.

5. The system is getting ever more complex and fragmented and no-one has any hope of understanding it.

6. There is an awareness that "something needs to be done"

Possible solutions that have been tried:

1. Revolution, kill everyone you disagree with and start again from scratch. Not usually a great success by many metrics.

2. Carry on and ignore the problem. Tends to lead to a bigger problem in the future.

3. Run away and hide, e.g. by joining a commune, nunnery or something liek that. Kind of works but tends to be a bit restrictive. Also tends to be parasitic on the majority of people not doing it so as to keep a functional society and economy going.

Suggested idea: use multiple competing and co-operating AIs to run a subscription shadow society. Like joining a commune, people would sign up to the system. They would give the system complete access to and control over their bank accounts and all networked systems in their lives. The system would organise incentives and punishments to optimise human behaviours. The AIs would naturally watch all of the internet and social media, and the reactions of their human clients, and would read all the latest psychological and scientific research. The system would basically optimise the paths to life success of its clients both individually and collectively. Clients could withdraw from the system freely at any time but the collective power of the system would make membership much more attractive than independence.

pocmloc, Sep 30 2020


       The financial system is, almost by definition a complex system - where "complex system" is a specific technical term describing any system consisting of a large number of (relatively) simple agents, each behaving in accordance with its own internal rules. These systems are emergent both in terms of their own existence (i.e. they themselves emerge, rather than being designed) but also in their operation, bring about emergent properties and behaviors. Those facts largely account for points 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. That the agents in such a system might develop feelings of anxiety isn't a documented feature of complex systems, but it may well be a universal feature - there is an inherent sense of chaos, possible doom and general lack of control that is a feature of most complex systems, anxiety, and perhaps as a remedy, faith might be expected emotional outcomes.   

       There is research that suggests systems populated with non-homologous agents are objectively more sustainable and exhibit less wildly fluctuating behaviors than those where the participatory agents conform to a more limited set of parameters - I'd contend that our current state of affairs is possibly due to the way a relatively small set of operating actors have dominated the system - making it essentially homogeneous, and therefore nudging it into a more volatile region of phase-space. All the main players are essentially AI (or at least mathematical-model) run (or let's say, augmented) anyway, so the idea as posted is kind of outlining the status quo. If you invest your money in a big firm via your pension, the chances are it will slosh around according to various algorithms and calculations already far removed from any individual's judgement, even any quarterly readjustment to avoid any worrying drift from some arbitrary baseline is itself likely to be AI-boosted in some way shape or form.   

       It is interesting, and counter-intuitive, how homogeneity which you'd think would lead to stability, can through worrying levels of feedback, lead to more volatility. It's also interesting how, globally speaking, the economy seems to have this long 100-year cycle where levels of integration, homogenised behaviors and connectedness lead to a series of catastrophes, disintegration and rebirth. Each cycle seemingly getting closer to what some folks used to get excited about and talk about a "singularity". I suspect we wont be seeing talk of that for another 100 years or so.   

       (Also, none of the above to be taken too seriously, there's a great deal of hand-waving going on here - I am fond of this (vague) idea of a systemic rhythm and how it might be seen as a precursor to some kind of fundamental systemic change.)
zen_tom, Sep 30 2020

       That's why we use organic components. "Humans are too intrinsically unreliable to ever be effectively replaced by machines".
8th of 7, Sep 30 2020

       Communism by AI?
Voice, Oct 01 2020

       //optimise human behaviours//   

       How is optimal defined in this case?
pertinax, Oct 01 2020

       to be the best
pocmloc, Oct 01 2020

       (obligatory) I for one welcome our AI shadow subscription lifestyle financialisation overlords.   

       (opens app) Hey look. It just put all of my savings in an offshore account named "not pocmloc". I'll just trust the algorithm.
Worldgineer, Oct 01 2020

       //to be the best//   

       That's more of a translation than a definition. To use AI terminology, it does not imply any particular utility function.
pertinax, Oct 01 2020

       better than the rest
pocmloc, Oct 01 2020

       So, better than anyone I've ever met, then?   

       Does the algorithm also involve "tear us apart baby, I would rather be dead", by any chance?
pertinax, Oct 01 2020

       Hmmm that is possible, I hadn't considered that possibility.   

       I suppose the thing I was thinking is that the AI would be given the autonomy to decide these things for itself.
pocmloc, Oct 01 2020

       Wild internet rumors speculate that this system already exists and is fully operational but only for high net worth individuals.
sninctown, Oct 02 2020

       [sninctown] those rumors are not that wild - in fact, it's fairly mundane really. Once you've got enough capital to be able to operate internationally, and can transparently move yourself, your capital and operations wherever you like, you've effectively transcended all legal constraint.   

       Since most law is parochial and created nationally, this is a significant weakness in terms of maintaining any kind of global rule of law.   

       Which is why people like me get upset when politicians try to dismantle international bodies and organisations that try to close these glaring loopholes. In a fragmented and nationalist-focused world, without effective international law-making, cooperation and financial controls, you will get an increasingly unassailable group of people effectively able to operate outside of any law.   

       When those people start getting together and use big media to lobby for small-world, nationalist views, inciting culture wars, and seeding chaos, they're just doing what comes naturally, protecting their assets and consolidating their extra-legal position.   

       Ironically, by falling for the "anti-globalist" narrative and railing against international institutions, populist movements do the handiwork of those they purport to dislike. Interestingly, along with the fat-cat corporation-owning capitalists, the other main beneficiaries are terrorists, mobsters, drug-dealers and dictators. Nationalism sustains a huge shadow economy largely built on the misery and subjugation of others. Populist movements in the last 10 years have pushed back efforts to shut down criminal networks and made our world a more dangerous place as a result. And worryingly, it's all worked so tragically smoothly.
zen_tom, Oct 02 2020

       Worrying for who, exactly ?
8th of 7, Oct 02 2020

       Ultimately, worrying for those of us who don't like the prospect of being leaned on by untouchable mobsters. Which is another way of saying, anyone who supports the idea of the rule of law.   

       Law within borders is a necessary starting point, but given that there is a significant cadre of people who are effectively unencumbered by those borders, if you limit the application of law to internal affairs, you're masking off an increasing amount of activity from any kind of regulation. (Also, and again, this is kind of perverse in its symmetry, but it's interesting that those powerful few who are most "border-agnostic" are also the same ones promoting a stricter adherence to the application of tighter and more rigorous border-specific controls on everyone else)
zen_tom, Oct 02 2020

       // untouchable mobsters //   

       Pr. "politicians" ...
8th of 7, Oct 02 2020

       At the higher levels, probably yes - there's a crossover point between politicians, union bosses, mobsters, corporate criminals and general wielders of power - but there really are also people who really do believe in the positive benefits of law, and the power of progressive legislation to deliver a freer and more equitable civilisation.   

       If we give up on those ideas, and ideals, then we might as well start sucking up and welcoming our nearest mobster overlords and hope they look upon us forevermore with feelings of benevolence.   

       The law (and its enforcement) is the only thing that curtails the tricky politician from crossing that divide. And once a politician (or anyone else) achieves enough power to effectively live outside of the law, then the actual distinction breaks down. What you have is two groups of people, those bound by the law, and those who can operate outside of it. I suppose politicians of all stripes act at the boundary, where law is created (or destroyed), hence their sensitivity to corruption.
zen_tom, Oct 02 2020

       I must be simple, because isn't it just the individual not overly taking from the rest of society for their person input or cleverness. Everyone deserves to live, the life you want you have to work for.
wjt, Oct 03 2020

       Google "iron law of wages", [wjt], to understand why, under quite common initial conditions, working will *not* get you the life you want. I'm OK, I have a good life, but class privilege (and other forms of good luck) have had at least as much to do with that as working.
pertinax, Oct 03 2020

       We could be part of a supra-organism that reflects our values, and creates good conditions for our homeostasis! Sure, what's not to like. No man is an island. Looks like I'm trying to create a kind of ... community that would be in line with at least part of HB people. :) so, it won't be a competing AI, but a complementary one.   

       Ecosystem of supraorganisms can also be complicated..
Mindey, Oct 03 2020

       Some if the sci-fi novels indicate quantum AI will be applied in optimising resource sharing rather than shaddow mothering. If the Earth becomes a maximised system, this makes sense.   

       I don't think the iron law of wages' chase will feature, living rather lifestyle will be down to individuals', corporations' and governments' sharing decisions.
wjt, Oct 04 2020

       Sorry, maximised , for me, is because the system is closed.
wjt, Oct 06 2020


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