Curious, I don’t see Robot anywhere on the list.
Arnie McKinnis

Thanks for reading, Arnie! I agree that we’re looking at some rapid and dramatic economic changes. I don’t know what exactly to do, other than the fact that cognitive computing is separate from the human ability to invent and empathize — which gives human sales and marketing professionals at least a temporary advantage.

I’m curious what your distinction between robots and bots is. Generally, I consider a bot a bit of software that can process data and produce outputs, and I think of robots as having physical manifestations. For example, I’d called IBM Watson playing Jeopardy a bot but I’d call an assembly line machine a robot, even if it is controlled by adaptable bots and capable of independent action.

I’m not as worried about robots, as I define them here, taking the jobs of human knowledge workers such as sales and marketing professionals. If I have a bit of software that can understand questions and synthesize answers, I don’t need to put that bit into a physical robot, give it a headset, sit it down at a desk, and let it answer calls. I can have it exist as a wholly digital manifestation. So I am very confident that we’ll see displacement of knowledge workers by bots, much like we saw displacement of manufacturing workers by robots.

Would be fascinated to hear your distinction, as I’ve honestly never given them much thought. Making machines do things when instructed is sort of an old trick, but making a piece of software that can synthesize instructions without human guidance is pretty new.

Thanks for reading!