5 thoughts on “The Unintended Consequences of Automation”

  1. Predicting what the future will look like is hard. Just take the line from Mr. Roboto: “My heart is human / My blood is boiling / My brain IBM” IBM went from the first name in computers to an also-ran in a matter of years, so much that if there’s a Mr. Roboto in the future, its computerized brain will not be made by IBM.


    1. And yet, IBM’s Watson is arguably the best application of AI in place at the moment and is in use for a lot more than just Jeopardy. While a brain from Google may seem more likely at the moment, as you say, predicting the future is hard.


  2. I started in the government armed with a calculator that was locked to my desk. This was how we developed a budget to procure two Navy aircraft carriers for $7.5 billion. All our budget exhibits were done using type writers and photo copied to produce multiple copies. The advent of computers has not resulted in a paperless office – just allows us to create more options. Of course we are still using accounting systems written in COBOL!!!


    1. Of course, written properly COBOL still does a better job of balancing dollars and cents than any other language and FORTRAN is still faster for calculation-intensive problems. Who knew languages created in the 1950s would still be alive and kicking?


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