Replacement of Humans
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The Leader of the Luddites , engraving of 1812 The Luddites were 19th-century English textile artisans who violently protested against the machinery introduced during the Industrial Revolution that made it possible to replace them with less-skilled, low-wage labourers, leaving them without work. Historian Eric Hobsbawm has called their machine wrecking " collective bargaining by riot", which had been a tactic used in Britain since the Restoration , as the scattering of manufactories throughout the country made large-scale strikes impractical. [ 1 ] [ 2 ]
Neo-Luddism is a philosophy opposing many forms of modern technology . [ 1 ] Its name is based on the historical legacy of the British Luddites , who were active between 1811 and 1816. [ 1 ] These groups along with modern Neo-Luddites are characterized by the practice of destroying private property as a means of protest. Neo-Luddism stems from the concept that technology has a negative impact on individuals and communities. [ 2 ] [ edit ] Views Neo-Luddism denies that older technology was disregarded because of their inferiority. This dictates that humanity was better off before the advent of specific new technologies, labeling these technologies dangerous. These technologies are seen as so foreboding that it challenges faith in all technological progress.
It's Man v. Machine on Jeopardy this week as IBM super-robot Watson takes on former champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. At The Atlantic, we're using Watson as an occasion to think about what smart robots mean for the American worker. This is Part Three of a three-part series on the exciting and sometimes scary capabilities of artificial intelligence. Read Part One -- Anything You Can Do, Robots Can Do Better -- and Part Two -- Can a Computer Do a Lawyer's Job? Since the beginnings of the personal computer industry, computer hardware sales have often been driven by a particular software application so compelling that it has motivated customers to purchase the machine required to run it.
This piece originally appeared in the March 2011 edition of The American Prospect. In discussing rising inequality in the United States, Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke recently said, “It’s a very bad development. … It’s creating two societies. And it’s based very much, I think, on educational differences.” A better-educated workforce is widely touted as the panacea for every economic problem. Education is said to be the cure both for unemployment and income inequality. To hear leaders of the financial sector talk, the underlying problem with the economy has not been a runaway financial sector but an unqualified workforce.
Ramin Rahimian for The New York Times “People get bored, people get headaches. Computers don’t,” said Bill Herr, a lawyer who used to work for a chemical company. Articles in this series, appearing in The New York Times in the coming months, will examine the recent advances in artificial intelligence and robotics and their potential impact on society. Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times “It’s a means of showing who leaked information, who’s influential,” said Elizabeth Charnock, founder of Cataphora, an information-sifting company.
When looking backward, you must always be prepared to make allowances: it is unfair to blame late-20th-century observers for their failure to foresee everything about the century to come. Long-term social forecasting is an inexact science even now, and in 1996 the founders of modern nonlinear socioeconomics were obscure graduate students. Still, many people understood that the major forces driving economic change would be the continuing advance of digital technology and the spread of economic development throughout the world; in that sense, there were no big surprises.
And now for something completely different. About 15 years ago, before I became a regular columnist, the Times asked me and a bunch of other people to contribute to a special edition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the NYT magazine. The stated rule was that the pieces should be written as if submitted in 2096, looking back at the magazine’s second century. As I recall, I was the only contributor who obeyed instructions; everyone else was too concerned about loss of dignity. Anyway, I decided to write the piece around a conceit: that information technology would end up reducing, not increasing, the demand for highly educated workers, because a lot of what highly educated workers do could actually be replaced by sophisticated information processing — indeed, replaced more easily than a lot of manual labor. Here’s the piece : I still think it’s a fun read.