An Op-Ed Piece by Keishawn
I, Robot, Detroit: Become Human and Wall-E all taught us the frail balance between man and machine. Although, looking back, technology such as: the print and press, pulley and the wheel portrayed the gaping margin of ability which separates us. Staring these comparisons in the face, mankind still finds ways to incorporate our gift from the universe into our everyday lives, our most present example being the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business.
Defined as the ability for a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior, the roles given to them have been quite remedial in a sense. To name a few, personalization, filtering, and certain customer service tasks have been popular among most. But what does it this mean to us, why should we care if businesses use AI? Well for starters it could be the end of your current job, or the start of your new career.
Imagine never having to clean your house again. Dust no longer lingers on the floor. Dishes always sparkling and your laundry (oh boy the laundry) the absence of stains replaced by crisp folds. What would you do with your spare time? How would your life change if one of your most remedial tasks simply vanished?
In business, the practicality of AI is almost comparable to the internet itself. Many business owners, whether small or sizable, find a lot more possibilities within the workplace when their most menial tasks are automated. The feeling is indescribable when answering calls turns into investing or categorizing files transforms into brainstorming, even filtering content turns into innovating. AI can even put business owners in a positive financial position. The average business spends around 10%-40% of their gross income on paying employees. Realistically speaking, the AI doesn’t need to eat, sleep or take vacation days; however, is the 40% profit boost really worth it?
Endless job searches, cut throat interviews, and the unrivaled determination of others in the workplace. Ever since our first job we’ve done nothing but compete. Countless hours spent stressing over how to answer self-incriminating questions and how to maintain the job you’ve loosely managed to secure. The stress of competition never left or revealed the slightest bit of leeway. Accompanied by the dreaded feeling of “Lazy Morning” in which you’d do anything to save you from leaving the comfort of your bed.
Who knew we were competing with ourselves!
All things considered, what are the chances of getting our name tag on a cubicle when there’s opposition that never sleeps, eats, or even flinches at reoccurring late nights. If we as a species can’t out work a print and press? How do we begin to oppose Siri and Cortana? Luckily, for every dark, there’s a light and for every machine there’s a technician.
Since these machines take on so many tasks at once, non-stop, they almost have little choice but to demand an overseer due to unforeseen discrepancies and flaws. Messiah’s such as IT professionals and System Admins give all of us hope that we are still worth something in the eyes of an electronic future. AIs may even prove beneficial, in the end, to entry level employees because it forces us to gain new and relevant set of skills we can use for the betterment of our own futures; while also making the future of our customers even brighter.
As a regular consumer of Amazon, T-Mobile and Coldstone, I believe I wield a certain appreciation for an organized workplace that works quickly with little friction. I, personally, fear late night troubleshooting or ice cream cravings because people tend to have lives that the need to get back to towards the end of the day. In the near future, AIs may make that after hours scoop of ecstacy possible. However, under all the convenience of instant gratification, humans are naturally social animals and a comforting voice behind our phone screens may be all we need after a stressfully competitive day. This AI thing may be a bit uncomfortable or it could the start of something amazing, I’m not sure. What I do know is, however it ends up let’s just hope our frail balance is kept.
I, Robot taught me all too well.