RE: No Singularity?
Thu, 18 Nov 1999 08:15:55 -0800

Robin Hanson, <>, writes:
> For economists, this distinction is already very blurred. Economists
> think of "labor" as the time people put into work, and "human capital"
> as all the investments that people make in themselves which make them
> more productive, such as education and health. Economists have long
> accepted that most capital is human capital. All that other stuff,
> machines, companies, buildings, etc. actually gets less income than
> human capital.

How would you think this distinction be applied when intelligent robots, or AIs, or uploaded/simulated humans start to become available? What would be the distinguishing factor which would make us call the time they spend "labor"? Presumably robot working hours are not currently considered labor.

Perhaps what I really am asking is, what is the fundamental purpose of the distinction between labor and other inputs, and how can that purpose best be served when these lines begin to blur?