Saturday, August 16, 2014

Humans Need Not Apply

Worried about the impact of technology on your job security? You should be. This is worth the 15 minutes:

I love the background music, by the way, which is bad news for composers (as explained in the video). Like I've said before, a recession is when technology replaces your neighbour's job; a depression is when technology replaces your job. But maybe you don't do any of the 47% of jobs that will be affected?

Scott Alexander has been writing a lot about the impact of technology (and many other things). His latest post on Robin Williams (yes, there is a connection) states the following about the future impact of technology on our working lives:
This is also the basis of my support for a basic income guarantee. Imagine an employment waterline, gradually rising through higher and higher levels of competence. In the distant past, maybe you could be pretty dumb, have no emotional continence at all, and still live a pretty happy life. As the waterline rises, the skills necessary to support yourself comfortably become higher and higher. Right now most people in the US who can’t get college degrees – which are really hard to get! – are just barely hanging on, and that is absolutely a new development. Soon enough even some of the college-educated won’t be very useful to the system. And so on, until everyone is a burden. 
...By the time I am a burden – it’s possible that I am already, just because I can convince the system to give me money doesn’t mean the system is right to do so, but I expect I certainly will be one before I die – I would like there to be in place a crystal-clear understanding that we were here first and society doesn’t get to make us obsolete without owing us something in return.
By the way, that video was launched on YouTube just three days ago - it has been viewed 1.3 million times already. Looks like it struck a nerve with some folk.

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