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Monday, January 4, 2021

Is AI Making People Lose A Sense Of Achievement

Kashyap Raibagi
Analytics India Magazine
Originally published 27 Nov 20

Here is an excerpt:

The achievement gaps

In the case of ‘total displacement’ of jobs due to automation, there is nothing to consider in terms of achievement. But if there is a ‘collaborative replacement’, then it has the potential to create achievement gaps, noted by the study.

Where once workers used their cognitive and physical abilities to be creative, efficient and hard-working to produce a commodifiable output, automation has reduced their roles to merely maintain, take orders, or supervise. 

For instance, since an AI-based tool can help find the perfect acoustics in a room, a musician’s road crew’s job that was once considered very significant is reduced to a mere ‘maintenance’ role. Or an Amazon worker has to only ‘take orders’ to place packages to keep the storage organised. Even coders who created the best AI chess players are only ‘supervising’ the AI-player to beat other players, not playing chess themselves. This reduces the value of their role in the output produced.

Also, in terms of a worker’s commitments, while one may substitute the other, the substitution does not necessarily ensure a sense of achievement. An Uber driver’s effort to find customers may have reduced, but his substituted effort in doing more rides, which is a more physical effort, does not necessarily give him a better sense of achievement.