The scam of AI and Industry 4.0: not only about journalism


In August 2019, a “robot journalist” wrote a very successful article.

The scam of AI and Industry 4.0: not only about journalism /img/sathoshi-nakaboto.jpg

The story of that robot journalist is narrated (by a really scared human journalist) here, and also commented at BoingBoing. In a nutshell, what happened is that the journalists at The Next Web wrote some simple software that scans the Internet for Bitcoin-related news, reformats that text as one story, and publishes it on The Next Web’s website. And one day, a “story” from that software was the most read of that day.

Understandably, the human “colleagues” of that software are very unsettled, or, to adopt the same technical term used by one of them, “scared shitless”. That journalist is right, because he identified the real, bigger problem. Or one of them at least.

The story goes that robots that can outperform humans at routine drudge work will “free the humans up to do the complex, thoughtful, high-EQ stuff that humans are at the moment uniquely capable of”.

The three reasons why this is wrong. Always the same ones

The first real problem here is that:

“Our economy mostly has no idea how to value those supposedly superior “human” skills. No, today”s firms are mostly obsessed with [incredibly rigid ways of] measuring output, which is where bots excel”

The second problem is that this is true not only for journalism, but for the great majority of decent jobs, in any field.

The third, maybe even the biggest problem of all is that there may ever be creation of enough jobs of the kind that algorithms and robots cannot do. soon enough to avoid riots. More on this here and, less recently, here.

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