By a thousand cuts
Alistair Croll

Absolutely right.

So you work flipping burgers? There’s a robot coming for that part of that job. You take the money at the counter? McDonald’s have replaced you with a screen already, combined with a debit card swipe. You mop the floor? Ok, you still have a part of your job that is safe. Let’s say 50% of your job is safe— so the 20 staff employed this year? That’s 10 staff next year, (or, given current labour market trends, 20 part time staff on minimum wage, unable to support themselves...)

Likewise, nearly every other job. And, what worries me the most (because my job is immune to these future shifts, in regards to being replaced {, though not from prevention of the actual issue by tech!}) is that the jobs that are currently decent and professional will be flooded by those who see the writing on the wall for their current jobs/skillset, meaning that with 500 “specialists” in an area that has traditionally only supported 50, the economy of that job collapses — you only need a few idiots flooding the market with “recession proof” job training courses in an area to kill it for everyone doing that job.

There is no answer. Technology improves every day. There are already several fields in which it is impossible for a human to keep up — IT security for one. Even traditionally slower moving fields are speeding right up — car manufacturers are now turning out new models almost yearly, because CAD/CAM allows the change to be passed right down to the robot welder at the click of a few buttons, without re-training the staff on the production line. Things that were previously “cast in stone” like the exact holes in the chassis, are now easily changed.

Locks, which you might guess are my forte, are traditionally the same year on year, but the new generation of electronic locks blows that out the water. Just like your computer (TV? Fridge? Car?), locks are being “upgraded” remotely, so a trick that gained entry yesterday may not work today. On the flipside, with several ways to open the locked door (smartphone, fingerprint, PIN, key, webpage) the chances of actually getting locked out have dropped.

Instantly, less work, and more workers wanting to fill those remaining jobs. The future doesn’t look bright.

Further, the bizarre thing about AI’s “not understanding themselves”, such as the author’s claim that Tesla isn’t good at GO, is, well, bizarre. Anyone who claims an AI is “too narrow” for a second task, etc. is clearly forgetting that each and every one of these AIs run on Turing’s universal machines. Sure, some have custom hardware, but even that can be emulated, and then adding world-champion-beating GO playing to your Tesla car will be as easy as installing an App. (Your phone was rubbish at sharing pictures, but there’s an App for that) And even if there’s no App, you can use the network (yes, the internet, which is effectively everywhere now) to simply access the AI that you need to do that bit of work. Once an AI can figure that out, it becomes as smart as both those AIs, as well as all other AIs it can talk to.

In summary? The human race as it currently exists is about to undergo radical change.

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