Thursday, August 14, 2014

Humans need not apply...

Humans need not apply...  This short documentary does a good job of explaining how robots are developing.  I think it probably overstates the self-learning abilities being developed, but I stand ready to be proved wrong.  My own guess is that robots will (in the reasonably near term) eliminate a great many jobs that don't require particularly difficult skills, but not more highly skilled jobs.  I'd be very surprised, for example, if doctors were to find themselves on the unemployment lines.

The underlying premise of this little film is that jobs are being threatened, and that's bad.  I agree with the first part, but I'm not so sure that's a bad thing.  The centrality of jobs in our culture is an artifact of our culture, not necessarily a biological (or psychological) imperative.

Readers of science fiction will already be familiar with the many ideas about what happens to people who don't possess skills that robots can't do.  After reading many of these myself, I find the most plausible scenarios involve hordes of entertainment-seeking people with lesser skills, coddled and pampered by smaller hordes of robots.  Some people will find creative outlets, but many will pursue full time the same part-time leisure activities people pursue today, with TV at the head of the list.

No comments:

Post a Comment