attribute: Phillie Casablanca

AI and the future of work?

I wonder where our jobs will be in 10 to 20 years.
Techniques in Machine Learning and understanding of pattern classification are continuing to improve, and processing power continues to get cheaper, when will it be cheaper to throw a computer at a problem? As it becomes easier to apply ML to optimization problems, the human optimizers will gradually be replaced by the machines. When they get replaced, the value of "knowing" and "understanding" a system will decline. With "knowing" devalued, where does that leave us. Will "thinking" be lost? I suppose it's the same worry repeated by each generation. Books, radio, television, each new technology, when introduced, raises concerns and prophecies of the decline of civilization.

The rise of the machines began with the industrial revolution, or really with the beginning of tool making.
These initial paradigm shifts threatened the laborer. Allowing more and more of the population to shift from manual labor to "thought" or "knowledge" work, speeding the advancement of knowledge. With the rise of machine learning, however, it is the "knowledge" work that is threatened. Marking a shift from "thought" work, to where? As we move our focus from knowledge and understanding, where will our minds go? Will we turn into merely consumers of AI productions, gradually falling more and more into poverty? Or, will the the AI, or various AIs, have mercy on us, keep production costs low, and allow us to step closer to utopia?

Are there precautions that we can take, and if so what would they be?

monkut // Sept. 26, 2015 // 3:02 a.m.