How will Artificial Intelligence technology replace jobs?

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There is no such thing as Artificial Intelligence, merely programmed by humans automation of repetitive tasks.

“Artificial Intelligence technology” is just a hyped up term to suck in idiots. Those who think Star Trek is a reality programmer.

“Programmed systems automation” is the most appropriate label for the current & foreseeable state of computer & mechanical technology.

The Chinese had automation systems powered by wind or water wheels hundreds of years before the European invention of the Jacquard loom in 1804. Which was a mechanical system that used punched cards.

Any task that is repetitive and predictable can be automated. Banking systems employ incredibly simple, near to mindless, repetitive tasks, like debit & credit transaction processes, tabulation and interest calculations. As little as 60 years ago these tasks were performed by hundreds of thousands of people in thousands of bank branches.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world were employed in providing support services, like the manufacture of chairs, desks and filing cabinets, paper, ink, pens & pencils etc. And hundreds of thousands of people around the world were employed in sales, warehousing and transport getting consumables from the manufacturer to the customer.

Along comes computers in the early 1960s, batch card operators & programmers replaced much of the back office functions in a bank. So there was a net decline in staff required, therefore fewer desks etc required, so less manufacturing and a loss of jobs & reskilling became normal.

1970s, batch card operators are replaced by direct input, fewer clerical staff required in branches, fewer desks etc are required. So less manufacturing and a loss of jobs & reskilling became essential.

In the 1980s word processing and automated reporting had replaced typing pools, so fewer skilled typists required, fewer desks etc are required. So less manufacturing and a loss of jobs & reskilling became an imperative.

In the 1990s intranet and the early internet come on the scene, email is the common interface for correspondence, personal secretaries become redundant, fewer desks etc are required. So less manufacturing and a loss of jobs & reskilling becomes redundant, people now have to have skill diversity so they can change occupations.

At the beginning of the 2000s bank’s are closing more and more branches because of lack of demand. People prefer automatic cash dispensers and credit/debit cards. No need for bricks & mortar premises, effects building trades, brick & cement manufacturers, fabric manufacturers, steel makers etc etc.

Now people do all there day to day banking over the internet, no need for client facing offices, back end processing is done by computers, no need for clerks etc. No need for desks or multiple buildings etc, power consumption is reduced which means less infrastructure is needed to supply it which means less people to maintain it.

For the sake of space and time, I haven’t gone into detail, just skimmed the surface of the impacts of office automation. Which has had both a multiplier and accelerator effect in the loss of millions of jobs in only one industry.

Now the bright side is, that those people who found their acquired skills redundant, had to seek new opportunities. Which has given rise to increased demand for re-education, and a emphasis towards services.

The purpose of employing technology to automate repetitive tasks is to reduce the demand for labour. The end game is not to replace people with machines, but to free people from the mundane mindlessness of forced employment. So they can do something useful with their lives.

I was watching a gardening show the other day, and they had a segment on a therapy garden in a rehabilitation center. One person interviewed, had severe spinal injuries, required augmentation, was bound to a wheelchair and basically his life was over. Then the head gardener built him a raised garden bed which the injured fellow could manage to grow crops.

Computers (AI) would not have come up with such a solution, they are incapable of intuition and inventiveness. They can only innovate on what already is known to them. The moral I took from the show, is no matter what, there is always something. We can do that will make our life better, and it rarely involves machines.


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