Consider this report by the Onward think tank:
Without widespread retraining, it warns, there’ll be a political revolt. Contrast that with says another report which says the opposite. Automation 2.0, is going after high-skilled jobs. It has already hit architects. Developers now use standard software to construct bland buildings. The only consult an architect for a final review. So is it only a matter of time before the robots surpass us in all areas of mental activity? Not really, if we realise that artificial intelligence is as much an ideology as a process.
This much is clear from the book, Ghost Work by Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri.
The authors make it plain that artificial intelligence isn’t as artificial as it’s made out to be. So much of it is an illusion sustained by human intervention.
Artificial intelligence and ghost work
Around the world, there are some 20 million of these ghosts at work. And it is:
- they who process tricky takeaway orders.
- who verify your Uber driver’s picture when an algorithm fails
- the people who pretend to be artificial intelligence powered chatbots
- they step in when algorithms that power sites fail, and
- do all the small tasks needed to make the machines succeed.
Ghost workers do the mundane jobs that our economy has yet to automate. The reason is that it’s easier and cheaper to use humans to behave like machines than it is to develop machines that simulate human behaviour. After all the human brain isn’t a computer.
Human judgement and creativity are not the output of a series of syntactical rules. Silicon Valley makes huge profits by trying to persuade us that they are. They try to make us, like the architects, the servants of whatever their faulty algorithms dictate. So the future of work does not look like the hyped media stories about robots.
Above all, it isn’t that artificial intelligence is becoming more human. It’s that human intelligence is becoming more artificial, more conformist, and more rule-bound. In other words, more reliant on ghost work which is the sort of work which reveals cracks in the system. It’s these cracks we need to repair to preserve human dignity.
What do you think? Why not leave a comment below?