The Rise of Automation and Algorithms | Homo Deus Part 4:

in steem •  3 months ago

This story deserves to begin with the story of David Cope. David Cope is a musicology professor at the University of California. He is well-known for being highly controversial in the classical music genre.

Current Book & Quotes From: "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow" by Yuval Noah Harari

He started out this controversial journey by writing a program called EMI (Experiments in Musical Intelligence). This program specialized in the imitation of Johann Sebastian Bach.

“It took seven years to create the program, but once the work was done, EMI composed 5,000 chorales à la Bach in a single day. Cope arranged a performance of a few select chorales in a music festival at Santa Cruz.”

Upon doing a few performances, people would ecstatically speak about how the music would touch their soul and be so meaningful and powerful to them. Then they would be told that EMI was the one who composed the music and many of the same people who were just praising the music would become silent or even angry.

Overtime EMI got even better at composing music. It began to imitate other well-known artists as well and then it created it’s first album under a contract with a music company. This is when the negativity really started rolling in from people in the classical music community.

A professor named Steve Larson decided to challenge Cope and EMI:

“On the appointed date, hundreds of lecturers, students and music fans assembled in the University of Oregon’s concert hall. At the end of the performance, a vote was taken. The result? The audience thought that EMI’s piece was genuine Bach, that Bach’s piece was composed by Larson, and that Larson’s piece was produced by a computer.”

People couldn’t tell the difference between a human composer/performer and EMI. Further than that, people actually thought that EMI’s music was better and more in-tune with the soul of music.

Cope didn’t stop there, he went on to create more and more sophisticated programs, One of which is called Annie. Annie is a program built on machine learning which results in its musical style being in a constant state of flux and development. Annie is creating music based on any inputs from the outside world. Nobody knows what Annie will produce next.

The Rise of Automation and Algorithms

Automation and computer algorithms are continuing to develop and improve. Algorithms and A.I. are not going any where. They will only continue to evolve and grow and get more and more sophisticated.

What comes along with that is job displacement for human beings. We will continue to be replaced as automation technology improves.

We’ve already seen a redefining of the rules when it comes to jobs. Some people make their living by being “instagram famous” which means that they just travel the world or take pictures of themselves looking good or whatever their niche is AND they get paid for doing that. Not only do they get paid, they are getting paid a lot more than most people working “normal jobs”. And they have a lot more freedom.

This new trend is a sort of stepping stone. Creativity is becoming more and more valuable in our society. Creatives are becoming a new breed of worker. They are the new “American Dream” (and this dream still applies to people who aren’t American).

The trend of people leaving the notion of “normal jobs” and forcibly adopting these more creative outlets as the pillar that drives their life is just beginning.

More and more jobs will be replaced by automation and computer algorithms. It’s not a question of if you’ll get replaced, but when. The people who will stay employed the longest are the ones who have the most “human-esque” skills. The skills that come naturally to humans that come unnaturally to artificial intelligence. But even those skills can be up for grabs (as we can see with our professor and his composer algorithms).

The most sought after skilled laborers will be the ones who know how to build, manage and evolve these automation technologies. They’ll probably be the last ones standing in terms of “normal jobs”.

I found this study that Yuval cited to be the most interesting. Some of these numbers will probably alarm you and will definitely surprise you at the types of jobs we’re talking about here:

“In September 2013 two Oxford researchers, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, published ‘The Future of Employment’, in which they surveyed the likelihood of different professions being taken over by computer algorithms within the next twenty years. The algorithm developed by Frey and Osborne to do the calculations estimated that 47 per cent of US jobs are at high risk. For example, there is a 99 per cent probability that by 2033 human telemarketers and insurance underwriters will lose their jobs to algorithms. There is a 98 per cent probability that the same will happen to sports referees, 97 per cent that it will happen to cashiers and 96 per cent to chefs. Waiters – 94 per cent. Paralegal assistants – 94 per cent. Tour guides – 91 per cent. Bakers – 89 per cent. Bus drivers – 89 per cent. Construction labourers – 88 per cent. Veterinary assistants – 86 per cent. Security guards – 84 per cent. Sailors – 83 per cent. Bartenders – 77 per cent. Archivists – 76 per cent. Carpenters – 72 per cent. Lifeguards – 67 per cent. ”

There are of course many new jobs that will replace these. Jobs that we haven’t yet thought of. There are also certain jobs that have a very low likelihood of being replaced by algorithms any time soon. The same study quoted this:

“There are of course some safe jobs. The likelihood that computer algorithms will displace archaeologists by 2033 is only 0.7 per cent, because their job requires highly sophisticated types of pattern recognition, and doesn’t produce huge profits. Hence it is improbable that corporations or government will make the necessary investment to automate archaeology within the next twenty years.”

What Are We Going to Do?

The question of what purpose humans have becomes an even bigger question in the time of automation. I’ve talked about this before in previous posts.

I also mentioned previously in this post that there are stepping stones in this development. Stepping stones that I think many people will jump on and then use as their sort-of lifeboat in this future scenario.

These stepping stones are things like Steem, Instagram, Web Design, Freelancing, Photography, Cryptocurrencies etc. - they’re creative and technical skills that are not likely to be automated because they are best done by humans.

Becoming an “instagram influencer” is one of the most sought after professions for young millennials right now. Rather than everyone wanting to become a doctor or a lawyer, people are wanting to become a “digital nomad” who roams the world and gets paid for it. Who wouldn’t want that? It sounds like the ultimate journey to me. Something that I’d love to do full-time.

The question of what we will do with ourselves really comes down to tapping into your inner creativity. "What will I do in this new economy?” should be replaced with: “What do I want to do in this new economy?”

Anything is possible as we are seeing with the rise of the internet and the new redistribution of wealth and power. Being individual, unique and creative has never been more rewarding and easy to do than in this moment.

There are opportunities everywhere and the opportunities are growing. The future is abundant and full of doors that you can walk through. You can become a Steem content creator and earn a living by doing whatever you love and want to share with the world. You can become a Steempreneur and build/launch your SMT (well, you’ll hopefully be able to do this in March of 2019!).

You can do anything in this new economy. Your imagination sets the limit to your reality. What do you want to do in these exciting times?

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A big concern is this trend of people becoming permanently unemployable. Coal jobs disappearing made people unsatisfied, could it be that the next wave of angry people could be directed at big tech companies (Amazone etc.), who are massively atomizing jobs. No wonder these big tech companies support things like base income. Complex issue.


Agreed. The issue is very complex and the trend is definitely heading in the way of people becoming permanently unemployable. This is why I believe that the idea of "being employed" is going to be re-defined out of necessity.

When I try to think about the future of employment, I can't see a future in which every human - or even say 95% of humans are employed in the traditional sense. Our population continues to grow which adds yet another complexity.

If we imagine that the population stays the same (even though it won't) for the sake of making the example easier then we have to fill 7 billion+ jobs in a world where automation and algorithms can do 90+% of jobs better than humans themselves.

Many consider me an optimist for this, but I believe that the rise of automation and algorithms will act as a means to giving more humans more freedom. Freedom to be creative and focus on art and perosnal passions rather than working for money to buy more stuff..


If we don't need cheap human labour, It must be a different economy with different values. From exploitation to co-ownership for example. Can we have everybody (at least) middle class?


it is inevitable. thats goverment job to relocate them to other industry. or maybe the economy is rich enough for everyone no need to work so much to live.

I think the same thing, the internet is a tool that opens doors that were closed to the vast majority of people. A good option would be to develop our skills much more, I like drawing, for example, I would love to learn animation, although for this I need a suitable tablet, in short, there are many possibilities to create our place in this automated world. My main hobby is writing, I hope I can find a way to make it my way of life.


Hey @marimoon! Thanks for leaving your thoughts here, I love it. You're the precise example of how I think the future is more abundant in a world of automation and algorithms.

For you though, the future of being able to draw and write for a living are already within reach. It's possible for you to make a living by drawing and writing and proliferating your art to the world and earning money through a multitude of different avenues - Steem, patreon, Instagram, Squarespace... the list goes on.

Automation and algorithms may serve to make it even easier for the next generation of artists who, like you, want to focus on being creative rather than working some job for an income. Universal Basic Income will have to play some sort of role in the future if automation takes over as many jobs as we anticipate it to.

The problem with creativity is that not everyone has it and it's not something that is easy to develop. Just being able to work hard is becoming less and less relevant these days.

great article

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good post, i want to be an actress

Automation and Algorithms sounds like Steemit... The best Post in the perfect place!!!

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the rise of alogorithums are growing day by day and i feel this was by google, when they started SEO , let see what is next, thank you for this update

Artificial Intelligence is the way forward, you will see that in the coming years that algorithm has taken a bold step and everything is automated.

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Thank you. Well written. It's a vision of the future which we can't stop from happening. I'm more "old school" so will be sad to see the present activities of all of us go, to be taken over by automatic droids.

Hii khaleel
I m new in steemit
Pls vote me
Thank you

Thank you for this post, I am always concerned if I read that even music will be taken over by AI. That even creativity can be enhanced by algorithms. But your vision opened up another perspective to me. To connect with the inner creativity and express it, is something that many people are searching for their whole lives. Now is the time do simply do it. "Embrace fear to find your calling"(positive

I suppose one can grumble at the inevitability of the automation take-over and futility at trying to fight it. Seems like a quitting attitude to me. I am just looking and researching and ready for some early adopter opportunities which seem to have never been more attainable for normal folks.

I want to spend a couple years amassing crypto, experimenting on the new applications that become available, while working in meats pace to buy as much freedom as I can.

I just like the passivity of it all and the fact you can be a cog in the machine and build wealth on the side by not wearing the blinders.

So good to have you back and posting regularly.

great great

Oh no
Think I am going to write on some thing very soon related to this base on the pattern of life frim where I'm from
The truth is clear
It will be sooner or later
My pray is that i found a stepping stone if not life will bored all through

Please can I link your post to my post for people to understand what I am writing of
I am writing on power of ignorance
Hindering crypto currency

Let's use our A.I. and algorithms to attack the pandemic corruption that will make us slaves to A.I. sooner rather than later. Nice article!


Citizenship for a robot? Maybe give equal rights to all your citizens before giving robot's any rights.

Congratulations @khaleelkazi!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 6 with $ 275,22

Great Job Bro @khaleeljazi please help me Grow up on steemit

Great work brother

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I found this to be the most inforative artical i have ever read on I have been a writer for steemit for about a year,and I love seeing where its directing people of the future.2 years ago I started driving for Uber,but now i concentrate watching for great stories,and this made me stop and reply and resteem your artical on mine.My name on here is @amoeba1967-1918 . Thanks for a look into the future.

Kick ass and take names

Thanks a lot, this is very informative. There are humans in this platform pretending to provide information and click on-baiting customers. But this put up honestly packs a punch with all this information. well played sir.

That's why I am so very much interested in mechatronics

The future is made of bits actually. So algorithms will be the new wave of things surround us.

David Cope: 'You pushed the button and out came hundreds and thousands of sonatas'

Composer David Cope has spent the last 30 years teaching computers to create classical music


I believe this is an extraordinary achievement. Music as it was before has already been decoded. But, me being a musician, music is for me a wordless form of expression. I personally have heard some of this creations and to put it in a simple way i would use this example:

Imagine that a Beethoven symphony is this phrase:

"Music is the most amazing thing that could ever happen to human kind"

David Cope's programs creations would be something like:

"Music most thing human amazing is the happen could never kindly".

I mean this with no disrespect to the huge work of programmers and all the analysis that had to be done to achieve this. But geniuses like Bach, Beethoven or so, did their music with INTENTION, and music without intention is just a mere collection of sounds following the "rules" dictated by the different composing styles.