Monday, February 29, 2016

Robots to Eventually Displace Human Workers. Why Go Along With It?

In a world where society is becoming more and more hostile to the idea of making a profit, I find it amazing that more of us don't passionately disagree with the elimination of human jobs by robotic, AI-driven systems of any kind.

Robotics, much like anything else, can be a good thing as well as a bad one. In a recent article published on the Nextgov website on February 26, 2016, the writer broached the subject of robotics in government and how there are many obstacles to this concept beginning with human acceptance of working along side of them.

Personally, I'm not a proponent of robotics, especially in government. When you read this Nextgov story, you will know why.

Managing the psychological impact of working with robots; “[T]here is an ongoing debate on the psychological consequences of military UAV pilots shooting at enemy targets thousands of miles away, while not being cognitively involved the same way aircraft pilots are,” the report says.
Just how bad is public acceptance?
According to the Nextgov article, "A 2015 survey in the U.K. found 43 percent of respondents would not trust an autonomous car to drive safely."
Frankly, I'm surprised that public acceptance is that high. The general public should know that the only reason why private or public sectors want to develop robots, which will ultimately operate under the control of an AI (Artificial Intelligent) intellect, is to "eliminate common workers," thus reducing long-term expenses associated with hiring humans.
"...the robots are actually rapidly gaining on us in one area: jobs.

"Research from Oxford University shows that almost half of today's jobs will be automated by the year 2034. This has dramatic implications for our workforce. And the impact is already being felt" (read it)

Chances are, you've already had a conversation or two with an AI over the phone as there are telemarketing systems designed around AI technology that can fool most of us into thinking we're talking to a real-live boy.
"Recently, Time Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer received a phone call from an apparently bright and engaging woman asking him if he wanted a deal on his health insurance. But he soon got the feeling something wasn't quite right.

"After asking the telemarketer point blank if she was a real person or a computer-operated robot, she chuckled charmingly and insisted she was real. Looking to press the issue, Scherer asked her a series of questions, which she promptly failed. Such as, "What vegetable is found in tomato soup?" To which she responded by saying she didn't understand the question. When asked what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained of a bad connection (ah, the oldest trick in the book)" (read it).

I've run into telemarketing AI's before. The first one, which belonged to a video movie production firm I commonly purchased movies from, began asking me questions and I began to get the feeling that something was wrong. When it asked me the ages of my grandchildren, I said something like "850 years and 900 years old." I knew it was an AI at that point because it continued asking me questions without missing a beat.

I'm all for making a profit, but eliminating human jobs is not my idea of a good way to do it. In a world where society is becoming more and more hostile to the idea of making a profit, I find it amazing that more of us don't passionately disagree with the elimination of human jobs by robotic, AI-driven systems of any kind.

As these AI platforms become more and more human-like, the complexity of the job for which they are designed will advance, displacing more and more people in the work force. One day, you may find yourself out of work due to the advancement of robotics and AI technologies.

Your thoughts on this? Send them to me via allan@wmml.info.

Al Colombo


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