Someone once suggested to me that the thinking professions could not be replaced by automation or robots.
And now I just read on the New York Times website that experiments are already being run on teaching robots — man am I glad I did not become a teacher — I mean they get no respect.
The article glibly pointed out or suggested that there was no intention of actually replacing all teachers with robots, but maybe for “simple” and “repetitive” tasks, and it suggested they might be good for foreign language instruction.
Since when is foreign language instruction nothing but simple and repetitive? I realize a lot of people think you can simply use a machine to translate things. Anyone who has ever actually tried to use foreign language knows that does not work. A lot of novices think you can simply literally translate things word for word. Even though I know better I tried doing something like that on a German-American blog (I have neglected of late) and boy was I admonished by a native German speaker who implored me to cease and desist.
Now it is true that some lazy or jaded secondary and college instructors might as well be robots, but real teaching for humans is not the realm of robots.
I know there was a story several years ago that computers had been developed that could essentially write a novel. I’m not aware of what became of all that.
I realize, though, that there does not seem to be a limit to technology.
Perhaps we might all be replaced some day.
I sometimes wonder about this ever-advancing technology — I mean will we get to a point where there is really no reason for us to exist?
Of course the idea originally was that with automation we would all have more leisure time.
There’s at least two problems with that. One is that some people actually enjoy their work. Another problem is that under our current system most people (not all) have to be involved in some type of gainful employment to pay for that so-called leisure time.
And with unemployment so high, is this really a good time to be eliminating even more work?
Strangely, before I read that story about the teaching robot, I , always trying to think of something clever to say, was going to ask my brother the lawyer if he ever had a client drop his services in favor of Legal Zoom Dot Com.
And I know I should quit while I’m ahead (or behind) on this subject, but , true story, I once worked in a welding supply/auto body paint store. We mixed a lot of paint, a pint or a quart a time for this one customer. The outside salesman, and head of the paint department, my boss, sold that customer a paint mixing machine. Well he made a sale, but the store lost that customer. But maybe they would have bought a mixing machine from someone else anyway.
P.s. P.s. P.s.
And I really should quit, but one more thing. When I was a little boy I had a friend and he had a talking Robert the Robot toy. One day curiosity got the better of him and he took a hammer and busted that robot open to find out what made him talk. This was the 1950s, pre-computer, pre-digital days. There was a tiny record player inside.