Wednesday, May 10, 2017

AI And Who It Comes For

I've seen several articles recently about AI being developed to replace people.

Management sells its salaried employees on automation and AI with pure greed. If fewer people are employed, then the firm makes more money, and if the firm makes more money, then an employee's stock and options will be worth more.

It's a simple equation.

Sure, people are going to lose their jobs, but you won't. And breaking eggs for omelets, amirite?

This time, though, the AI being developed is expressly to eliminate managerial positions, even middle managers.

I think most expected AI development to be a limited, controlled event. Compartmentalized. If they weren't entry level employees, the AI and automation were all good for them.

AI isn't like that, though. It's not a discrete event. It's a long, long carpet, and it's unrolling.

It's not going to stop unrolling.

Unless we have a greater awareness of how it impacts people, and actually care about those outcomes, we have a societal tragedy in the making.

Don't get me wrong--I think AI is awesome. It's incredible. But there have to be ethical considerations, and right now, that doesn't seem to be happening.

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