One Important Way To Think About Your Job
As we are entering the third Industrial Revolution, more and more of our jobs will be replaced by robots and algorithms. Some estimates claim that 5 million jobs or more will be lost to machines by 2020. And it’s not science fiction or paranoia; as advances in big data, deep learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence increase exponentially, so does the number and variety of jobs that machines will be able to do — not just well, but better. So how do you know if your job is one of the ones at risk? One way to think about your job and how vulnerable it is is to distinguish between Algorithmic and Heuristic work.
An algorithm is defined as “a self-contained step-by-step set of operations to be performed.” We tend to think of algorithms in terms of math and computers, but they can be done by people as well. With the advent of the factory and assembly line, algorithmic work became the norm during the Industrial Revolution. Instead of a single person producing an entire chair, the work was pieced out to different workers making the same piece over and over again. This worker turns the legs while that one weaves the cane for the seat, and this third one assembles the back… This process of breaking work down into its component parts was revolutionary for its time. It turned the process of creating a product from an artisanal one into an algorithmic one.
On the other hand, something that is heuristic requires trial and error, cleverness, insight, application of inductive reasoning, and so on. It’s not guaranteed to get the same result (or, indeed, any result) time and time again. These are the sorts of jobs that require creativity, empathy and insight. Think of a brilliant trial lawyer arguing a case, an investigative journalist, a scientific researcher, a coach, or a consultant.
These jobs also tend to be more abstract. You never know exactly what problem you’ll be tackling on any given day, or perhaps the parameters for success are constantly changing. A teacher falls into this category, because while a computer can deliver a lesson, a teacher has to have creativity and insight to understand what individual children need to succeed. Their metric for success will change not just daily, but with each child as well, depending on what each child needs that day for that lesson.
Heuristic work requires a human touch. So far, at least, computers are incapable of replacing this kind of important creativity and emotional connection and therefore will be unlikely to replace these workers any time soon.
Where does your job fall? - For many people, a job or career won’t be entirely algorithmic or heuristic. Instead, jobs fall on more of a spectrum with algorithmic tasks at one end and heuristic at the other. The key to knowing whether or not your job is at risk is to determine which end of the spectrum you are on.
AI will eliminate 6 percent of jobs in five years - Within five years robots and so-called intelligent agents will eliminate many positions in customer service, trucking and taxi services, amounting to 6 percent of jobs, according to a Forrester report. “By 2021, a disruptive tidal wave will begin,” said Brian Hopkins, VP at Forrester, in the report. “Solutions powered by AI/cognitive technology will displace jobs, with the biggest impact felt in transportation, logistics, customer service, and consumer services.” Intelligent agents, chat bots and digital assistants include Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Alphabet’s GoogleNow and Facebook’s Messenger bots. They are powered by artificial intelligence and they can already understand a person’s behavior, interpret their needs and even make decisions for them. AI-based services and apps will eventually change most industries, resulting in a redistribution of jobs, Forrester found. Self-driving cars, for example, will have wide-ranging impacts on both the auto and transportation industries. Facebook and Google are soaking up top talent and building huge bodies of data to train algorithms that will power all kinds of new services, the report found. They are already able to take things like images and video and convert that “unstructured data” into insights, like labeling objects in images. The bots of 2021 will be much better at understanding human language, and they will be better at learning from users and increasingly able to handle more complex scenarios. Those expanded cognitive abilities will make intelligent agents much more useful to people, and drive widespread adoption over the next three to five years, the report found.
A robot could be the best boss you’ve ever had - Another key component of effective leadership is integrity, which involves putting the team ahead of the leader and displaying consistency between one’s words and actions. There are two main reasons for the importance of integrity in leadership. First, integrity is linked to trustworthiness and unless groups trust their leaders they will not be able (or willing) to perform well. Second, when leaders lack integrity they could engage in a range of unethical and counterproductive behaviours that harm their teams. Given the frequency with which these toxic and destructive behaviours are displayed in leaders, including highly qualified and talented individuals at the top of successful and global organisations, it appears that the honesty bar is fairly low, so it should not be difficult to design robot leaders that outperform most of their human counterparts on this score. Needless to say, unlike human leaders, a well-programmed robot would be selflessly focused on advancing the interest of its team – that would be its only agenda. In contrast, even when people lead effectively they tend to be driven by selfish and narcissistic desires (eg the need for status, recognition and power), which explains why they often derail. Indeed, one study estimates that up to 67% [pdf] of managers can be expected to fail. A third critical element for effective leadership is strategic self-awareness or the capacity to understand how one impacts on others. Self-aware leaders are able to examine themselves from other people’s perspective. They are alert to feedback and able the gauge how their acts and intentions may be interpreted by others, which enables them to proactively manage their reputation.
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Years ago, I had been told by several people, that the US government frequently removes books they deem dangerous or 'sensitive' from libraries. Some are replaced with sections removed or rewritten so as to 'contain' information that should not be available to the public despite the authors intent. A key example was during the Manhattan Project when the US was trying to finalize research into atomic bombs. They removed any books that dealt with the subject and two of them were by Dr. Gustave Le Bon since they dealt with both energy and matter including radioactivity. I had been looking for these two books for many years and fortunately stumbled across two copies for which I paid about $40.00 each. I couldn't put down the books once I started reading them. Such a wealth of original discoveries, many not known or remembered today. / Page 88 - Without the ether there could be neither gravity, nor light, nor electricity, nor heat, nor anything, in a word, of which we have knowledge. The universe would be silent and dead, or would reveal itself in a form which we cannot even foresee. If one could construct a glass chamber from which the ether were to be entirely eliminated, heat and light could not pass through it. It would be absolutely dark, and probably gravitation would no longer act on the bodies within it. They would then have lost their weight. / Page 96-97 - A material vortex may be formed by any fluid, liquid or gaseous, turning round an axis, and by the fact of its rotation it describes spirals. The study of these vortices has been the object of important researches by different scholars, notably by Bjerkness and Weyher. They have shown that by them can be produced all the attractions and repulsions recognized in electricity, the deviations of the magnetic needle by currents, etc. These vortices are produced by the rapid rotation of a central rod furnished with pallets, or, more simply, of a sphere. Round this sphere gaseous currents are established, dissymetrical with regard to its equatorial plane, and the result is the attraction or repulsion of bodies brought near to it, according to the position given to them. It is even possible, as Weyher has proved, to compel these bodies to turn round the sphere as do the satellites of a planet without touching it. / Page 149 - "The problem of sending a pencil of parallel Hertzian waves to a distance possesses more than a theoretical interest. It is allowable to say that its solution would change the course of our civilization by rendering war impossible. The first physicist who realizes this discovery will be able to avail himself of the presence of an enemy's ironclads gathered together in a harbour to blow them up in a few minutes, from a distance of several kilometres, simply by directing on them a sheaf of electric radiations. On reaching the metal wires with which these vessels are nowadays honeycombed, this will excite an atmosphere of sparks which will at once explode the shells and torpedoes stored in their holds. With the same reflector, giving a pencil of parallel radiations, it would not be much more difficult to cause the explosion of the stores of powder and shells contained in a fortress, or in the artillery sparks of an army corps, and finally the metal cartridges of the soldiers. Science, which at first rendered wars so deadly, would then at length have rendered them impossible, and the relations between nations would have to be established on new bases."
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High Voltage & Free Energy Devices Handbook
This wonderfully informative ebook provides many simple experiments you can do, including hydrogen generation and electrostatic repulsion as well as the keys to EV Gray's Fuelless Engine. One of the most comprehensive compilations of information yet detailing the effects of high voltage repulsion as a driving force. Ed Gray's engine produced in excess of 300HP and he claimed to be able to 'split the positive' energy of electricity to produce a self-running motor/generator for use as an engine. Schematics and tons of photos of the original machines and more! Excellent gift for your technical friends or for that budding scientist! If you are an experimenter or know someone who investigates such matters, this would make an excellent addition to your library or as an unforgettable gift. The downloadable HVFE eBook pdf file is almost 11MB in size and contains many experiments, photos, diagrams and technical details. Buy a copy and learn all about hydrogen generation, its uses and how to produce electrostatic repulsion. - 121 pages
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