There is a fear, a rumour, a nagging feeling perhaps, that robots will one day take over most of our jobs. Technology is advancing, and as machine learning comes into the spotlight, we start to wonder, are our jobs really in danger?
Machines have already started doing technical tasks in certain industries (and doing them much better than humans). Does this mean that as humans we no longer have a job at the company? Joseph Pistrui of the Harvard Business Review states that many knowledge jobs (such as lawyers and accountants) will soon be automated and that accountants have a 95% chance of losing their jobs. Scary, right?
But there is hope for us creatives. After all, what can we do that robots can’t (yet)? Think for ourselves, make decisions, DESIGN. Joseph says, “Humans are strategic; Machines are tactical.” They do not have an imagination. They do not have the capacity for creative analysis. They do not have emotions.
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Seymour Adler and Robert B. Kaiser of Harvard Business Review say we can make ourselves valuable as employees by having a strong work ethic, drive and motivation to complete jobs no matter what it takes. Ambition and eagerness for more responsibility goes a long way in making yourself valuable. Social skills is another thing we have over machines (at least most of us). The ability to meet clients face to face, show emotion, have a conversation. To manage people and build relationships, be influential and read audiences. These things we go a long way in business (and life) and cannot be replaced so easily by robots.
Image Source: http://metropolis.scienze.univr.it/altair/events/ias13tutorial/
Therefore, companies should be strategizing about how to incorporate these automations into their businesses by looking at Artificial Intelligence as a way to augment and increase their production, instead of replace employees. Some of our new job descriptions may be to look after these new technologies. After all, someone will have to take care of the machines. But it will give us opportunities to look beyond the mechanical tasks in the workforce and better ourselves for more meaningful and creative positions.
Save the creatives! We are the future. xo M.
Ah, yes to determine if you are a human or a robot cleverly disguised with what the humans think is “skin”. The topic of determining who is who and what is what is common in science fiction. Often painted in a bleak dystopian future, where society is dark and filled with dim neon lights; or been destroyed by an atomic bomb or two; the thought of Artificial Technology being an enraged enemy trying to destroy all that is flesh and bone. Because robotics and AI technology are coming up as a big society game changer, it is addressed in different forms. From novels to movies, and even video games, it’s touching our lives in hypothetical ways on real fears.
In movies and novels like Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner, 1982) the Void-Kampff test is developed to determine human from machine, or Replicant in this case. Using questions to stimulate a strong emotional response. This theory of tough emotional questions is also applied in a more recent story line of Fallout 4, a recently released video game in 2015. Unable to detect the difference between human and robot, one community develops a test like the Voigt-Kampff test, calling it the “Safe Test”; asking the visitor to answer the questions as honestly as possible. When all is said and done, they really are not any closer to determining if you are a robot or not.
So will we one day be this dimly lit dystopian future, searching for rogue robots or questioning our neighbours about their authenticity? If one day we were to have indistinguishable humanoid machines around us, what sort of tests will be devised to know what’s what; or will we even need one? What sort of questions does one need to ask for successful determination of human or machine? Emerging technology of computer chips in humans, cybernetic limbs and prosthetics are becoming a new frontier for us humans. Do we eventually categorize these people in the same as these AI? Where is that line of “no longer human” drawn? Indeed, more questions about our morals as a society may be put to the test, rather than the machines.
So when asked:
“You are approached by a frenzied scientist who yells, ‘ I’m going to put my quantum harmonizer in your photonic resonation chamber!’
What’s your response?” (Fallout 4, 2015)