Here's good reason to fear AI (10 Apr, 2018)

Have your say on today's Aardvark Daily column

Here's good reason to fear AI (10 Apr, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:11 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2018/0410.shtml

There are two issues raised in today's column:

1. Can we trust AI, especially if we let it loose on millions of taxpayers' data in the hope that it will ferret out tax-dodgers?

2. Isn't it ironic that real people do not get the protection of human rights treaties in respect to tax matters but huge, faceless corporations do?
aardvark_admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3327
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 2:10 pm

Re: Here's good reason to fear AI (10 Apr, 2018)

Postby hagfish » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:42 am

'Rights', 'treaties', 'fairness', 'entitlements', 'deserving-ness' - something all these concepts have in common is that they don't really exist. They are 'nice to have', and paying lip-service to them can ease the way for an entity's ability to do business or exercise power. When push comes to shove, relying on your 'rights' is about as effective as relying on 'thoughts and prayers'. As Cersei Lannister said, 'power is power'.

I think we can look forward to the disappearance of the $100 bill, followed by the $50 (as per India). Eventually cash won't matter - AI will be pervasive and omniscient enough that even a couple of gardeners exchanging eggs for honey will attract a GST liability.

There are lots of reasons why effectively gathering all owed tax is difficult or impossible. Governments are not interested in that. They are interested in the ways it can be possible. If that means 'updating' our privacy laws and sharing data, so be it. If it means banning effective encryption, requiring backdoors, and monitoring and assessing every byte of data, that's what we should expect.

I think the only hope for the western world is that we let AI take the wheel, and dictate how resources will be distributed. These AI can take the environment into account, rather than treating it as an externality. The 1% may grizzle, but the rest of us may be much better off, toiling under the whip of our Boston Dynamics overlords, and chewing on our cricket-flour protein logs.
hagfish
 
Posts: 693
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 10:28 am

Re: Here's good reason to fear AI (10 Apr, 2018)

Postby phill » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:27 am

i was impressed by the quality of the article ..
so much so i looked up the writer
sadly she is a lawyer from a firm that seems to specialise in surfing the margin between morally wrong and legally wrong .. ( aka shysters )
her speciality is .. tax .. but mostly for high worth individuals and corporates .. those most likely to be caught by the scanning of endless data to establish trends and avoidances

if we have finished the regression to a nation of shopkeepers this then could be considered racial profiling
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )
User avatar
phill
 
Posts: 1665
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:31 pm

Re: Here's good reason to fear AI (10 Apr, 2018)

Postby Perry » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:03 am

phill wrote:her speciality is .. tax .. but mostly for high worth individuals and corporates .. those most likely to be caught by the scanning of endless data to establish trends and avoidances

My perception is the chasing the little people looks good numerically on an IRD report card to gummint.

At times, there seems to be a marked lack of regard to the Eighty-Twenty Rule or to the old adage: de minimus non curat lex (the law should not concern itself with trivia).
Perry
 
Posts: 544
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 9:31 pm

Re: Here's good reason to fear AI (10 Apr, 2018)

Postby latewings » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:12 am

This deep mining proposal sounds like scope creep on the IRD system upgrade. I would be very concerned if involved in that project to add functionality that was most likely not in the spec in 2013 when the overhaul started.

I doubt anyone argues that major tax evasion should be reigned in, but is the ROI significant enough given (as you alluded) the large online companies with healthy profits but poor local compliance? To obtain that compliance would require international cooperation, but given the past multi-national efforts to curtail tax havens like the Cook Islands this shouldn't be impossible. Maybe Mr Trump's recent spat with George Bezos' little online venture might provide opportunity to strike an accord.
latewings
 
Posts: 346
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 10:18 am

Re: Here's good reason to fear AI (10 Apr, 2018)

Postby JonL » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:13 am

Just watched a 4 Corners program last night, on the power of the ATO (IRD in oz speak), to destroy small businesses over assumptions of wrongdoing based on faulty interpretation. Not a pleasant scenario.
JonL
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 10:05 am

Re: Here's good reason to fear AI (10 Apr, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:44 am

Yes, if that article in Stuff is anything to go by, we're going to have the IRD dictating what is an "acceptable" profit margin -- just as they refused to accept the decision of two dental surgeons to take a lower than "industry standard" salary from their practice and thus charged them with tax evasion. If the IRD want to dictate the margins and salaries of the self-employed then let let them pay compensation when those businesses fail.

Funny isn't it that (yet again) when the little guy chooses to deliberately underpay himself so as to leave more money in the business for growth and expansion he's considered a tax-dodger -- but when Zuckerberg decides to draw a salary of just $1 for his role at Facebook, that's not a problem.

One set of rules for the powerless -- another set of rules for the rich and powerful.

Sigh!
aardvark_admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3327
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 2:10 pm

Re: Here's good reason to fear AI (10 Apr, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:53 am

And it appears that SkyNet becomes sentient later this week: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/indust ... -four-days
aardvark_admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3327
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 2:10 pm

Re: Here's good reason to fear AI (10 Apr, 2018)

Postby goosemoose » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:31 pm

So in other words IRD is creating a computer program, under the guise of AI, to hammer tradies, sole traders and one or 2 man bands.
Corporates need not worry, they've got lawyers and state sanctioned avoidance programs.
goosemoose
 
Posts: 563
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 1:05 pm

Re: Here's good reason to fear AI (10 Apr, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:35 pm

goosemoose wrote:So in other words IRD is creating a computer program, under the guise of AI, to hammer tradies, sole traders and one or 2 man bands.
Corporates need not worry, they've got lawyers and state sanctioned avoidance programs.

I think you've nailed it mate!

And of course they're able to lay off 1,500 workers from their own offices at the same time.

Where's Arnie when you need him? :-)
aardvark_admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3327
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 2:10 pm

Next

Return to Today's column

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron