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Monday, May 27, 2013

An Age of Smart Machines

In the Economist:  Can we, will the knowledge worker be replaced and when?   Kurt Vonnegut is invoked from his novel Piano Player.   We certainly believed this in the 1980s.  .  " ... Two things are clear. The first is that smart machines are evolving at breakneck speed. Moore’s law—that the computing power available for a given price doubles about every 18 months—continues to apply. This power is leaping from desktops into people’s pockets. More than 1.1 billion people own smartphones and tablets. Manufacturers are putting smart sensors into all sorts of products. The second is that intelligent machines have reached a new social frontier: knowledge workers are now in the eye of the storm, much as stocking-weavers were in the days of Ned Ludd, the original Luddite. Bank clerks and travel agents have already been consigned to the dustbin by the thousand; teachers, researchers and writers are next. The question is whether the creation will be worth the destruction. ... " 

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