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Slowly, as technology progresses, more and more human tasks and jobs get replace

d by new technologies. It is a good thing. The machines are safer, more efficien
t and cheaper in the long run. It is true that it takes away jobs from the marke
t for people; however, a lot of the jobs that they take are jobs that, at least
in America, people aren t willing to do. It raises the same issue as when there is
a large influx of immigrants that do the same labor for cheaper. Ideally the cr
eation of machines to replace the more mundane jobs would be an opportunity to p
ursue something greater. Obviously, in a realistic setting that isn t true.
Although, as with the Luddites, there have been revolts against automation of ce
rtain jobs, I do not see it happening in modern times. There are protests and su
ch but nothing profound enough to elicit a change. One example is the increased
automation of the automotive industry which provides, or provided, many American
s with quite a few jobs. However, in my opinion outsourcing causes more of an is
sue than automation. Despite machines and robots replacing people humans still n
eed to be in the equation somewhere. There are many situations that, without the
human element, would be irresolvable.
The future of automation and its impact on jobs is pretty bleak. Economy-wise th
ere is no issue. Companies will be making record breaking profits; they no longe
r have to make pay checks, pay insurance, etc. On the Job front, however, many i
ssues would arise. Automation only really effects low end jobs, things like manu
facturing or other production type places. So, as an engineer, my job wouldn t dir
ectly be effected. If anything it would make my job easier, the machinery could
help expedite an engineer s work. However, the issue for jobs like this DOES becom
e threatened by the existence of an AI. Elon musk talks about investing in a com
pany called Vicarious that would like to emulate the human brain. If you are abl
e to have what is essentially a living machine that doesn t need sleep, food, or d
oesn t suffer from any disturbances to its work, what is the purpose of having eng
ineers or scientists? Jobs that require college education could very well become
pointless.
I do like Rodney Brooks essay, however I don t believe he is really discussing the
same thing as Elon Musk. It seems like Brooks isn t thinking about what may actua
lly be a possibility with the AIs. It seems like he is still thinking of an AI i
n terms of something along the lines of Siri, or as he mentions, Roomba, instead
of actually intelligent computers. AI as a tool does have many useful applicati
ons, ones that will not endanger the job market. An example of a safe AI, in my
opinion would be JARVIS from the Iron Man movies. Personalized AI that can be ti
ed in with a person s home with a variety of new smart systems like Nest Thermosta
ts are what I believe to be a very realistic part of the future.