Pluralistic: The REAL AI automation threat to workers (11 Jan 2024)

Today’s links The real AI automation threat to workers: The robot can’t replace you, but it CAN replace your shitty boss. Hey look at this: Delights to delectate. This day in history: 2009, 2014, 2019, 2023 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading The real AI automation threat to workers (permalink) Long before the current wave of AI hype, we were being groomed for automation panics with misleading stories. Remember this one? “‘Truck driver’ is the most common job in America. Self-driving trucks are just around the corner. How can we prevent America’s army of truckers from turning into a howling mob when the robots steal their jobs?” It was absolute nonsense. First of all, “truck driver” isn’t a particularly common job in America! The BLS lumps together all cargo vehicle drivers under a single classification. The category error here was thinking that every delivery van driver, furniture mover, and courier is behind the wheel of a big rig, cracking wise on a CB radio as they tear up the interstate. But what about automation threats? It’s possible that if we redesigned the interstates to give 18 wheelers their own separated lanes, and then set them to following one another, that they could traverse long distances in that way. Congratulations, you’ve just invented a shitty, failure-prone train. “Shitty train AI” does not threaten the job of the vast number of people the BLS classifies as “truck drivers.” For one thing, “shitty train AI” isn’t going to…Pluralistic: The REAL AI automation threat to workers (11 Jan 2024)

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