Tag Archives: Automation and unemployment

Good Robot? Bad Robot?

It’s 2030 and you’re not doing your old job any more because an AI machine can do it faster, cheaper and safer. How’s that working out for you?

But, first of all, let’s deal with some basic logic.  How fair is this?

  • Gavin: “Steve, what’ll we do for tea tonight if Mum’s not there to cook?”
  • Steve: “Dunno. Ask Dad? Or make it ourselves? Or go down the chippy?”
  • Gavin: “Steve, you’re an idiot. We won’t have do any of that because Mum will be there!”

Bit harsh on Steve, yes?  He was only answering the question that was put to him.  If their Mum wasn’t there, he had an idea of what could happen.  He wasn’t asked whether he thought she might be.

Silly?  Maybe.  But that’s exactly what the economists and the right-wing press did to Professor Stephen Hawking a while ago on the subject of robot automation and unemployment.

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Abstract Data?

The arguments about ‘abstract art’ (compared with ‘real’ art) rage on.  But could we soon be having similar debates about data?  Or has it already happened?

(The first part of this post is deliberately written from the point of view of an analytic treatment of art.  If you’re going to scream, ‘No, you can’t reduce it to that!’, then it’s not aimed at you – but ‘sorry’, anyway.)

‘Abstract art’, sometimes ‘modern art’, divides people.  To some, it’s the pinnacle of human achievement, the height of our civilisation; setting us spiritually apart from the functional necessity of other species.  To others, it’s a pointless diversion; an excuse for people who can’t read, write or add up to feel worthwhile about themselves and give each other awards and qualifications.

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