This week’s Google Duplex demo raised important and provocative ethical questions about human-machine interactions. It also offered a glimmer of hope that the long-ago promise that technology would free us from mental and physical grunt work to enjoy lives of leisure might yet live.
The work that Duplex would do, book appointments, schedule reservations, is work that, to date, most of us have done for ourselves.
It’s called shadow work, and it’s become so ubiquitous that we barely notice it anymore. Our collective anxieties about automation and AI make it easy to overlook the less dramatic ways that work is being shifted away from workers.
The perils and promise we imagine the future to hold are like a mirage on the horizon, reflecting a time that never really arrives. It is the perfect canvas for us to project our hopes and fears onto, always ahead, ominous or inviting.
The result is that we fail to attend to the present and our recent past, and the clues they might offer to validate or diminish our fears and hopes.
A weekly post in which I share thoughts provoked by (some of) the great content I came across this week(ish).
A weekly post in which I share (some of) the most thought-provoking content I read this week(ish), which I am too lazy to write full blog posts about: