Monday, 20 March 2017

Rise of the Machines?

It it is a fear long expressed that, before long, that machines will come to out-number humans on the planet. The general notion that being greater in number will make push the human species toward obsolescence. Indeed, there is now a projection, made by those who are supposed to know about such things, that by the year 2055, up to 50% of human work activities will have become fully automated. This includes careers such as teaching, occupation management, therapy and acting. There are already machines said to be able to compose works of verse!

What is lost in such discussions is that projections such as these are based on an essentially false premise. Or at the very least a dashed faulty one. For a key handicap of any mechanized contraption, no matter how sharp its artificial intelligence, the one thing it will always lack, is emotion. A career in the theatre or indeed Hollywood is a non-starter if one cannot emote. Judging cases, while possible, would remove any sense of judicial discretion. A cornerstone of the judicial system in any properly civilized nation. A computerized entity would be unable to make the quick decisions required of an office manager and could not comprehend the emotional empathy required to be an effective therapist. The prospects of a mechanized take-over of human work, while ominous and somewhat plausible, are also a bit too far-fetched to warrant a great amount of present day concern.

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