Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Will Computers Make an "Useless Class"

I was reading a great article on in Philosophy Now by Lochlan Bloom. The argument is that jobs related to intellectualism and fact checking can be done better by computers and this may put some intellectuals out of jobs. The article was thought provoking and well thought out. It did start me thinking about the necessity of using intellectual capital to advance society.

Computers are great at collecting and comparing information. They may not be so great at making new connections. As artificial intelligence rises so does the prospect of "intelligent" thought by machines. New connections might be created and found through the constant analysis of information.

However, such computers may not be able to make intuitive leaps of information like gifted scientists and students can. Creative leaps occur when not all of the information is present but the mind subconsciously makes intuitive guesses that are correct.

Think of artists and scientists that invent a new paradigm shift in our thinking. Such radical thinking is not easy for a computer to master. Computers are logical and follow pre-existing algorithms. They don't think outside these algorithms. Thus...they are left doing the same thing over and over.

The human mind has the capacity to do amazing things. We are only using a few small percentage points at one time. However, by improving our cognitive output and our way of thinking we are able to create and invent in a way that computers can't. As computers advance we are likely to use them for mundane tasks like data collection and analysis while leaving cognitive leaps to humans.

The potential "useless" class will need to be masters of data and creation to stay employed.

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