Tag Archives: Automation and unemployment

Technology Changing the World? It’s time for the regular reminder …

There’s a UK general election on Thursday 12th December.  Perhaps a once-in-a-generation chance to steer the country away from fascism?  The stakes are high and the issues numerous (yes, really, more than just Brexit) but here, we’ll try to keep to the technology.  However, ‘keeping to the technology’ is as much to do with understanding what it can’t and won’t do, just as much as what it can and will …

Some of this isn’t new in this blog but it seems to be a timely reminder.  Let’s start with a simple (rhetorical) straw poll:

  1. Can we all agree that the next few years are going to bring some interesting technological developments?  Yes?
  2. Can we generally agree that those ‘developments’ can be loosely described as ‘advances’?  Hmm?  Not quite so certain?  Depends on your point of view?  Maybe?  Possibly?  Most of the time?  Probably?
  3. Are we generally confident that emerging/future technology will benefit people?  Ah!

Which people?

This is at the heart of it.  Yes, technology changes lives.  Yes, it has the potential to make lives better.  But will it?  and for whom?

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New edition of ‘Conscious’

Yes, indeed, there’s a new edition of the novel!

Updated slightly to reflect changing world events (although, sadly, all the initial predictions are pretty much coming true now).  And with a swish new cover!  Just search for ‘Vic Grout Conscious’ on Amazon in your region (and choose the one with the cool blue cover) or use the direct links below.

Enjoy!


BBC Radio Wales ‘Science Café’ Special on ‘Artificial Intelligence’

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bhwp6j

Adam Walton and guests discuss the latest developments in artificial intelligence including how robots and virtual systems may impact on the future of jobs and education.

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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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