Will Robots Ever Dream of Electrical Sheep?
Watching the movie Blade Runner got me thinking and doing research on this. How would you feel if some of the decissions taken by your company that directly impact your job were actually decided by a machine? That is a question that won't be getting a quick "yes"from most people, however, on deeper analysis, isn't it happening already in many ditigal or Internet-based businesses?
The revolution in artificial intelligence is unstopable and it doesn't seem unrealistic to asume that is already part of many companies management processes. Its advocates might even be able to argue that, if used wisely, robots could even be able to improve the work conditions for humans. How? Let's see: machines could take over repetitive and mundane jobs, so the people doing those jobs could move on to more interesting tasks, they might even be able to asses whether there are unfairness in job assignements and be able to redistribute tasks in a more unprejudiced manner. But, taken to extremes, they could turn the lives of those working in offices or factories in a total nightmare.
While real-life droids won't be able to pass the Voight-Kampff test that the LAPD uses in Ridley Scott's movie (they still lack the empathy that would make them more "human"), one of the arguments in favor of using machines to make business decissions is that, by doing so, favoritism and prejudice would be eliminated. Those against it argue that machines can be as prejudiced as the people programming them. In order to avoid that, some tech companies are starting to hire psychologists to aid their ingeneers to build "ethical" programs and algorithms.
In the same way that artifical intelligence has "learnt" to manage a set of chess pieces to be able to defeat a chess world champion, it seems a bit more difficult to be able to manage a set, or team, of people. As human beings, with desires, motivations, needs, feelings,... we are still complex beings with one piece of machinery in our heads that we are still not able to fully understand ourselves.
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.