Not my job
More automation is coming and it won’t do your job. It will do the job differently.
NPR/Marist did a poll of American workers. Here is an article Contract Jobs the new normal.
This was what stood out for me.
“Most American workers do not feel their job is potentially threatened by outside factors. Most say it is not very likely or not likely at all that they will lose their job due to automation (94%), immigrants or foreign workers (94%), or to outsourcing (94%).”
Automation is coming. It won’t be to far off before long haul trucking is done driver less. I think as a stepping stone the highway driving will be done driver less and then the truck will park off the highway maybe at a place called a truck stop, where a human driver will take over. The human driver can then do the things that an AI would find difficult like bending laws. For instance in cities there are times when drivers to complete a delivery have to double park and technically break the law. Also, there are people who would want to mess with autonomous vehicles. They could make them get stuck by “forcing” the vehicle over and the block them. Taxi or Uber/Lyft drivers won’t be able to compete with driver less cars.
They don’t look like us.
Most workers don’t think a robot could do their job. They are probably right. But, that is because the job is done by a person. When people think about their job they think in human terms and then envision a general robot that can act like a human. The general robot that can do anything a human can do is years in the future. Warehouses are designed for people. When you get your suppliers to package the items in “robot” friendly ways then you don’t need to have hands with the dexterity of humans. Robots do not look like humans they look like machines. At first they aid humans in being more efficient or do some of the dirty jobs. Maybe someone does not lose their job, but someone else doesn’t get hired. Here is an example of a robot that does not look like a human sewing.
The office worker is not safe.
If you use a computer all day, you could be replaced by a few algorithms.
How many different decisions do make in a day? Most work is routine. If you are moving around numbers or taking data a reformatting. You can be replaced by software. “But I have to be able to handle questions?” IBM Watson played Jeopardy and won.
Years ago it started out as “expert systems”. The thought was to program an application with the “knowledge” of an expert. Through a series of if then branching a solution to problem could be found. But now with neural networks and adversarial networks, fast and cheaper computing big data sets can be used to perform medical diagnosis.
“But my job takes creativity!” Not really. Yes, there are some truly creative endeavors but most creative work is derivative.
Look at pop music, this has become pretty much drop the verses and repeat the chorus ad naseum. Country pop is very formulaic.
And of course 4 chords
Did you ever sit watching a movie and think, I have already seen this. You did with different actors, with different jokes, but still the same movie. I read a book called “Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!” They basically hand you the plot because if you diviate from it you won’t sell the script.
The really good marketers come up with new and innovative approaches. But then there is an avalanche of marketing and advertising copy cats. just google “copycats advertising”
As the automation gets better and law enforcement is affected. What happens when you can enforce the law perfectly? Should we?
So what does the coming AI/Robot apocalypse mean?
I think businesses will take any advantage they can to remain competitive. In capitalism, profit is king and companies don’t stay around long without making money. Even so called “Non-profits” still need to take in more money than they spend. So automation is the rational thing to do. The bigger question is what is going to happen to the displaced or never placed workers?
Will it be dog eat dog, some form of socialism or something else? I have a feeling is that it will be reaction and not something planned. Automation is coming but with 94% of workers thinking that automation will not affect their job, we have a disconnect. I don’t think automation is evil but it reminds me of the poem “The Hangman” by Maurice Ogden.
Instead of some evil taking people’s jobs one by one I think it will be apathy or denial.