comment by ESRogs ·
2020-08-22T01:40:52.395Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
For this post, I’m going to take artificial general intelligence (AGI) to mean an AI system that matches or exceeds humans at almost all (95%+) economically valuable work.
I'm not sure this is such a good operationalization. I believe that if you looked at the economically valuable work that humans were doing 200 hundred years ago (mostly farming, as I understand), more than 95% of it is automated today. And we don't spend 95% of GDP on farming today.
So I'm not quite sure what the above means. Does it mean 95% of GDP spent on compute? Or unemployment at 95%? Or 95% of jobs that are done today by people are done then by computers? If that last one, then how do you measure it if jobs have morphed s.t. there's neither a human nor a computer clearly doing a job that today is done by a human?
I think that productivity is going to increase. And humans will continue to do jobs where they have a comparative advantage relative to computers. And what those comparative advantages are will morph over time. (And in the limit, if I'm feeling speculative, I think being a producer and a consumer might merge, as one of the last areas where you'll have a comparative advantage is knowing what your own wants are.)
But given that prices will be set based on supply and demand it's not quite obvious to me how to measure when 95% of economically valuable work is done by computers. Because, for a given task that involves both humans and computers, even if computers are doing "more" of the work, you won't necessarily spend more on the computers than the people, if the supply of compute is plentiful. So, in some hard-to-define sense, computers may be doing most of the work, but just measured in dollars they might not be. And one could argue that that is already the case (since we've automated so much of farming and other things that people used to do).
Alternatively, you could operationalize 95% of economically valuable work being done by computers as the total dollars spent on compute being 20x all wages. That's clear enough I think, but I suspect is not exactly what Alex had in mind. And also, I think it may just be a condition that never holds, even when AI is strongly superhuman, depending on how we end up distributing the spoils of AI, and what kind of economic system we end up with at that point.