AI Apocalypse Antidote

Arthur C. Clarke’s third law states that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” For some people “AI is indistinguishable from voodoo.” The best way to reduce the fear is to learn about the technology.

The last part of the linked video addresses job loss which could well be one of the most frightening specially for the younger ones who will feel AI’s effects more deeply than us old buzzards. Jennings shows tables of jobs more or less affected by the coming wave of AI. My advice for the younger ones is to get a hold of these tables and to prepare to move into AI friendly jobs.

BTW, AI can be subdivided into general intelligence and task specific intelligence. The former is what enables humanlike autonomous robots and that technology is a long way off except in Hollywood where it has been in use for maybe a century of make believe. Task specific intelligence is much less scary.

How Can AI Help Humanity? - with Nick Jennings

Denny Schlesinger


It occurred to me that if AI is going to takeover/threaten/impact every industry and economic endeavour and all jobs therein, the safest and possibly at this stage best career play would be a specialisation that is AI protected which would be to go for jobs in AI Audit or AI regulation. Any other job has the risk that AI is turning the tables on you.

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I’ve not yet watched the video, but in my gut I know that one job will forever remain in the domain of people, that job being sales. Maybe not the sale of everything, but selling most stuff will remain a people to people transaction.

I sold real estate for a brief period many years ago and I also built a multi-level marketing sales team for a weight loss product during the same time period. I made pretty good money. But, I hated the work, not because it’s bad, it just wasn’t a good fit for me. When I went to work for a big aerospace firm I took a cut in pay. I was hired into a really stupid job in a tooling organization, but I maneuvered my way into an IT job which was a much better fit for my knowledge and temperament.

My son-in-law is a wine salesman. There’s no way AI or technology will threaten his job. It’s all about relationships as well as a domain specific knowledge. It’s about trust. Any job which is dependent on person to person relationships will forever demand human participation. There may be AI support systems, but people to people will govern a lot of the purchase decision, knowledge transfer (teaching), delivery of medical services and probably a large number of other jobs as well.

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My son-in-law is a wine salesman. There’s no way AI or technology will threaten his job.

The wine terminator:…

The field of artificial intelligence (AI) – and its siblings, augmented and virtual reality – is rapidly expanding and changing how consumers perceive and purchase many products, including wine, according to Phil Van Allen, a professor of graduate media design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He gave a seminar at the 2018 Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium (DTCWS), held just outside of San Francisco this month


Question: When AI reaches the point where it can tell us, without doubt, whose ideas for running the country (or the world)are most advantageous to all, is there any reason for continuing to have an election?

Big Brother and many others are already watching. Has the manipulation phase begun, or are Google’s and Facebook’s AI projects “innocent”? No one knows the goals of the code on the other side of the mirrors.


So, does that mean that Philip K. Dick is the great prophet of our time?

I should have been more clear. My son-in-law sells wine to retailers (i.e. restaurants, wine shops, etc.), he is not a seller directly to the consumer. His influence determines what the consumer sees on the shelves of retailers and the wine lists of eateries.

I suppose in time he will have some AI assistance with respect to which wines to promote, how consumer tastes are changing and so forth. Nevertheless, I believe his job is secure. The people in his professional sphere want to deal with another person for a variety of reasons, but most of them come down to a trust relationship and the ability to negotiated discounts.

I suppose in time he will have some AI assistance with respect to which wines to promote, how consumer tastes are changing and so forth. Nevertheless, I believe his job is secure.

That sounds like Barnes & Noble saying people want to browse books in aisles or The Limited and Payless Shoes thinking that people want to try on before buying, or RadioShack that people need handholding to choose electronics or hobbyists want to drive and buy instead of waiting a couple days for delivery, etc., etc.

If a wine expert doesn’t embrace AI/Data Analytics then I believe he may not last 5 more years.

Already big chain stores heavily use Data Analytics to determine stocking items and levels, based on previous demand, seasonality, advertising campaigns being put in place, etc. This is already big, and is still growing, and available to smaller and smaller outfits.

If you’ve read/seen Moneyball, that baseball experience is indicative of what’s happening almost everywhere. It used to be that experienced baseball scouts would identify upcoming player talent. And they used basic stats as well as their experience to predict who would be great. But, it turns out that heavy data analytics was better than human scout impressions, and that enabled Oakland to perform well above their money tier. It also is what led to the Red Socks winning the World Series after 86 years.

Now, it’s true that today the Red Sox and Cubs are supplementing analytics with things like soft skills assessments (… &… ). So while analytics won’t be the sole determination, if you’re not using it you’re going to be left behind.

Restaurants tend to have short lives. My guess is that more and more the people owning wine selling establishments will be younger, more tech savvy, and will expect to use analytics. Many will tend to not rely on some guy’s opinion. It may be that for less price sensitive establishments, having a person using analytics to inform decisions makes sense, but more and more we’ve seen that self-service access to data is more cost and time effective. The restaurant owner can go to a web portal when he/she wants, not necessarily during the day when the wine guy shows up. Wholesale sellers will want to eliminate this guy’s job to save his salary and benefit costs.

The world is changing and not too many jobs today are as secure as we think. The job I do today didn’t exist 15 years ago, and there are many companies that used to have a good business that got disrupted by the technologies I work within today. Heck, when I was born, software as a profession didn’t really exist except for a very limited set of people working for the government.

What about home construction? My Son owns a electric company and does residential and commercial work. I can see new tools to aid in better productivity on the job site. Last week had a new furnace put in. Now I am sure there is some AI components in the furnace, but I still took two men to haul it in and set it up. One interesting thing I noticed was a new battery tool being used that cut 2in pcp pipe in seconds as apposed to the old hack saw method. I think some of the labor market is going to excel and wages will increase in the skill trades. This is a long video but interesting.

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It will be a long time before your Son is hurt by AI, because all homes are different.OTOH at some point the devices will last a lot longer and need few repairs. And it is remotely possible that home and commercial construction will come into the 21st century and use a limited number of modules thus making installs faster.
Plus as other jobs vanish, there will be a worker stampede into the ones that are left. I have a friend studying to be a Nurse Practitioner , something not likely to be done well by robots and protected by certification ,but that is my worry for him.