Article: Better Than Human (Wired)

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A relatively short article by Kevin Kelly, summing up the threats posed and opportunities offered by the widespread entry of robots into the workforce.  It’s definitely worth a read.  If you want to delve further into the subject, check out the other links below…

• Wired: Better Than Human

It may be hard to believe, but before the end of this century, 70 percent of today’s occupations will… be replaced by automation. Yes, dear reader, even you will have your job taken away by machines. In other words, robot replacement is just a matter of time. This upheaval is being led by a second wave of automation, one that is centered on artificial cognition, cheap sensors, machine learning, and distributed smarts. This deep automation will touch all jobs, from manual labor to knowledge work.

The robot takeover will be epic. And it has already begun.

Here’s why we’re at the inflection point: Machines are acquiring smarts.

… once we can cowork with robots right next to us, it’s inevitable that our tasks will bleed together, and soon our old work will become theirs—and our new work will become something we can hardly imagine.

We’ve accepted utter reliability in robot manufacturing; soon we’ll accept it in robotic intelligence and service.

While the displacement of formerly human jobs gets all the headlines, the greatest benefits bestowed by robots and automation come from their occupation of jobs we are unable to do.

We aren’t giving “good jobs” to robots. Most of the time we are giving them jobs we could never do. Without them, these jobs would remain undone.

It is a safe bet that the highest-earning professions in the year 2050 will depend on automations and machines that have not been invented yet. That is, we can’t see these jobs from here, because we can’t yet see the machines and technologies that will make them possible. Robots create jobs that we did not even know we wanted done.

… success will go to those who innovate in the organization, optimization, and customization of the process of getting work done with bots and machines.

This is not a race against the machines. If we race against them, we lose. This is a race with the machines. You’ll be paid in the future based on how well you work with robots. Ninety percent of your coworkers will be unseen machines.

Other links:

• Mini Review: Race Against The Machine

• Mini review: The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future

• Review: What Technology Wants (Kevin Kelly’s last book)

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2 comments

  1. Pingback: Article: On the exponential curve (Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity University) (Wired UK) | Spare Cycles
  2. Pingback: Humans Need Not Apply… | Spare Cycles

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