Let's get rid of humans

by @edent | # # # | 7 comments | Read ~145 times.

We place a large premium on Human. Mostly because it is what we've always known.

But, when given the choice, we often ditch humans for something better.

Some random examples…

  • Radio DJs
    • Does anyone actually miss witless chatter between records? Use of Spotify suggests a large number of us don't need a Human to introduce the next record. Or hold a phone-in. Or read out dates of a gig.
    • We might prefer a human to curate the music we listen to. But is AI any worse than Payola?
  • TV continuity announcers
    • Anyone in the Netflix / TiVo era miss them?
    • Autoplaying trailers may be annoying, but they don't need a presenter.
  • Supermarket checkouts
    • I know some people miss a natter with the person working the tills. But those of us behind them don't miss waiting!
      • (Yes, there ought to be better facilities for lonely people. No, the Tesco isn't best placed to serve that need.)
    • They often need a human when things go wrong.
  • Meter reading
    • I don't miss a stranger poking through my house to read my gas meter. I'm more comfortable with corporate surveillance than relying on a Criminal Background Check for a fleet of individuals.
  • In the workplace
    • I don't need a PA to type up my memos. Or a Human pushing a tea cart.
    • I let a robot check my spelling, but I often ask a human to check whether my documents are clear & readable.
  • At home
    • I don't employ a maid to wash my dishes, or to sweep the floors. Robots have quietly and successfully replaced them.
    • OK, a microwave dinner isn't as good as a home-cooked meal. But it's a hell of a lot quicker and convenient.

I know some of you miss Humans Doing Things. But I really don't. I don't think the organic premium is worth paying for most things.

I'm not saying you're wrong for not feeling the same way as me, obviously.

There are lots of things Humans are good at. And some things for which they are uniquely suited. Similarly, Robots are experts in some areas. And, where they're not perfect, they're cheap and consistent.

Humans should know their place.

7 thoughts on “Let's get rid of humans

  1. I guess maybe you're hoping to be last against the wall when the robot revolution comes?

  2. In an ideal world automation plus AI would free humans up to do care work / work where emotional intelligence is key.

  3. OK, a microwave dinner isn’t as good as a home-cooked meal. But it’s a hell of a lot quicker and convenient.

    but but what about nice things?

  4. Jim Grey says:

    I used to be a radio DJ, back in the 80s and 90s when radio still mattered. It was great fun, and many, maybe most, listeners enjoyed what we did. But even I almost never listen to the radio anymore in favor of the music on my iPhone or my favorite stations on Pandora. Why put up with the songs I don't want to hear that was a feature of radio? Back then, we didn't have anything better.

  5. Decision making: I still prefer humans.

  6. Not sure you capture the full range of things DJs do - there is/used to be a community building aspect to local radio etc too. Though I suppose the DJ has been unbundled by Spotify and podcast, with the latter providing community.

  7. The office coffee machine never works. I once accidentally drank the water I clean brushes in – the coffee-effect-coffee-style drink it produces tastes worse. It plays fake “cafe” sounds and has never once brightened my day with a kind word. Tea trolley pls.

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