With articles like this coming out day by day, and the technology behind Machine Learning only getting more robust, there’s no question that anxiety for workers in “low-skill” industries is at an all-time high, especially compounded by the loss of business resulting from the Coronavirus epidemic.
It seems as though every week, some newfangled technology comes in and threatens to take the jobs away from honest, respectable workers! First they come for our jobs, then they’ll get our families, and at this rate, we’ll soon probably all have to submit to our robot overlords!
Well, not quite just yet.
It is important to keep in mind that news media always have one goal: to get you to click on their content, and they’ll write anything into their headlines to make you do just that.
Admittedly, Machine Learning and robotics have come a long way. Boston Dynamics for example have produced robots that challenge the clunkiness and small range of motion we normally expect to see in robotics, and their creations only get better ever year! After seeing a video like that, it really challenges our ideas of what robots can do but no, this does not mean that robot ninjas are coming any time soon. (Unfortunately)
The “intelligence” of software using Machine Learning algorithms at this point is still a far cry from what you would think of as a true AI or “strong” AI. Rather, it’s a bit more like this:
(Works on humans too)
Machine learning algorithms simply “learn” to recognize patterns in the information they are fed, and make predictions or produce results based on those patterns, almost like an infant first learning the differences between raspberries and blackberries. (Hint: They’re different colors. Thank me later.) This does not mean that the software understands the context behind the image, it is simply doing whatever has worked in the past.
Simple jobs such as toll collecting, image recognition and other monotonous tasks are easily automated by this type of very specific and narrow “AI,” but does that mean that you should worry? it depends. After all, everybody has different circumstances and not everyone is suited for every job – some people might prefer something intellectually stimulating and others would rather slough through some mindless work and enjoy their life at home instead. I’m not here to judge.
I’m just here to let you know that the robot uprising we scheduled?
It might be running late.