Humans Need Not Apply

Earlier this year I attended a half day meeting entitled The End of Jobs as We Know Them? Technology, Society, and the Future of Work, which was hosted by the Open Society Foundation’s Future of Work Project.  While it was exciting to hear from innovative leaders in of  Alt-Labor movement (Saket Soni and Sarita Gupta are at the top of the list), I was really there to hear from Carl Frey the author of The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerizationan academic paper from Oxford University, speak.

First they come for the burgers, then.....

The paper predicts that 47% of U.S. jobs are at risk of being automated in the next 20 years. This figure has taken off in the media, Frey’s paper has been cited countless times by economics reporters and publications (here, here, here, etc). In my own informal monitoring of this type of news Frey’s research is the primary source that reporters reference when writing about automation.

Finally there is video that takes Frey’s paper (and even the new book The Second Machine Ageand makes it easily digestible (and terrifying). If you work for a living I recommend you check it out, and get ready for the Robot Apocalypse.

A choice quote –

“These jobs are over. The usual argument is that the unions will prevent it. But, history is filled with workers who fought technology that would replace them and the workers always lose. “

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The right question?

“As more data becomes available and as the economy [world] continues to change, the ability to ask the right questions will become even more vital.”

– Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew MacAfee, The Second Machine Age

 

data
The data black hole will take you to galaxies of possibility.

Those in the business of winning elections have been using all sorts of data (consumer being a big one – what does your magazine subscriptions say about your political leanings?) to build voter models. Combine these models with polling information and you can develop a blueprint for winning messages.  Of course this all happens in the limited field and timeframe of elections where the question is clear: How do we win this election?

Continue reading “The right question?”