picture the following:
you're dirt poor, living in the middle of buttfuck nowhere, but you've got an intelligent robot that helps you with your daily tasks: collecting food, farming, building your home out of nearby natural materials. when the robot starts to break down, it collects raw materials from the environment, drops them into a 3D printer, and prints out replacement parts to replace its own borken components. When the printer starts to near the end of its life it prints another one. you're virtually never in danger of outright starvation, and the machines can synthesize medicines and other basic medical interventions to keep you alive.
What have I described? It's a point past the poverty technology singularity, a point beyond which grinding poverty ceases to severely negatively impact a person's life (in absolute, not relative terms). This is the point beyond which extremely powerful, adaptive technology becomes so cheap that even really poor people can afford it, the way that many people in the developing world today own inexpensive cellphones (which was unthinkable a generation ago).
I was thinking about this the other day when I read about how a machine learning company projects that their medical technology will take off quickly in the developing world due to lack of better alternatives. Enlitic is a firm currently developing AI that can read medical images, thereby replacing radiologists. Imagine you're in subsaharan Africa in a refugee camp, cut off from most healthcare resources, but somebody's flown in an Enlitic X-Ray machine. The few doctors working there won't need to rely on local radiologists (or even foreign ones, via teleradiology), in order to use medical imaging to guide their care.
although rising inequality is a serious problem with many negative attendant consequences for our societies, there is a flipside to the increasing wealth of the past 100 years: the global average standard of living has increased. I think there'll be a technological rubicon, that, once crossed, will greatly alleviate the suffering of the many.
that is, until skynet comes around (LOL).
people I admire
Bret Easton Ellis