6.01.2005

 

Robot Salesmen

AI Seduces Stanford Students

I know what you are probably thinking. You are thinking, "if there is one thing robots won't be able to do, it's selling stuff to human beings." But if that is what you are thinking, you would be wrong. From the article:So what happened?So here's what will happen. Scientists figure out that, by mimicing the customer, they can improve sales of a robotic salesman by x%. Then they figure out, "if we compliment the customer's choice of shoes, we improve sales by x%." Then they figure out, "if we ask the customer where he/she was born, sales go up by x%." And a hundred little tweaks later, a robotic salesman outperforms a human salesman by a factor of two.

This article further clarifies that process:This is the huge advantage robots have. Every year they get better and better and better, until they are much better than humans at everything. Welcome to the Robotic Nation. See also Robots taking jobs.

Comments:
How about rational robotic politicians? Give them great political rhetoric from scientific findings. Then they can sell the people of Earth the stipend payment idea! http://marshallbrain.com/robotic-freedom.htm
Let the rational machines sell great ideas, produce all goods and services, However, competing AI evolving uncontrollable towards a singularity sounds real bad.
 
This is a pretty interesting article. I recall reading a book like this one that suggested mimicry is the secret to ninja mind control :)

As for the stipend, it is the worst policy idea since communism.

First it isn't necessary. Just like farming, manufacturing and almost all physical-labor will be taken care of by a small percentage of the population. The rest of us will be forced to think to make a living. Read this.

Secondly, stipends like Alaska's work only because there are other people who are interested in the natural resources not easily available elsewhere. Who would pay for the stipend? I don't mean the government: where does the government get the money?

The only answer is ‘those who produce wealth’. And now you know why the founder of Ikea doesn't live in Norway: tax arbitrage. The quickest way to eliminate the wealthiest people is to tax them so much they leave your country but still trade with it. Look at California.

And if you start talking about solving this by making the stipend system global, you really need to step back from the communist rhetoric and read this.

There are many other critiques, but the stipend 'solution' doesn't need to hear them all to be repudiated. I’m pretty sure mimicry couldn’t convince most folks otherwise :)

The real solution is human ingenuity in the short term, and a mind-machine interface in the long term.
 
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