Replying to Ryan – Essence vs Efficiency

Monday, December 7, 2009

If an automated process response is indistinguishable from a conversation with a human, either the human or the judge has failed.

But arguing against automation in general, or even arguing against the idea that Automation in general is a good thing is a a flawed argument. Throwing in the emotional reference to outsourcing is also an association fallacy to begin with, outsourcing can be a by-product of some automation - but the fundamental goal of all Automation is to reduce busy work and produce a purely creative environment.

The purpose of Automation is to take a task that currently requires a human that can be distilled into a standard function, document and detail that function and then replace the human time with an automated system.

A failure to review and constantly improve automated functions is a Monkeys in a cage issue, (, not a fault with automation. Part of any decently implemented automation process is a review and improvement process

Fundamentally - review of the system can't be completed by anything less then a creative intelligence - which for at least the next 15 years means a human. Even 15 years from now, it's pure speculation that computers will ever be capable of creative tasks like true process improvement.

In the ideal of an automated society, the only tasks that required human attention would be the creative - Coming up with and implementing ideas. Finding ways to make things happen. Reviewing ideas and improving them.

Every time you do something that requires more interaction then being creative - you're doing something that you shouldn't need to do. Why is technique a part of art? What if we could automate the process between thinking of something and sharing it with others? Why does the speed and accuracy of our typing or enunciation make or break communicators instead of what they're trying to communicate?

Hell, in a more pure business context - while Automation sometimes costs jobs through outsourcing and mechanical automation - it's a mechanism that's intended to free human time for more important tasks then whatever it is that's being automated. If I automate 50% of my day, and then assign 2% of my day, or 3 hours a month to review of those automated tasks - that gives me almost a thousand hours a year that I can spend doing something productive, something that can't be automated by a computer.

Automation sucks if you're building your career around being a drone who does something simple and repetitive over and over again. Automation sucks if you're a monkey in a cage who lacks the basic ability to overcome the way it was done and find new ways. Automation sucks if you're a cost center in the business and bring no inherent value to the business proposition.

Automation is a blessed godsend to anyone who's value to the business proposition is more then knowledge of a tool and time availability.

This is a reply to This Post over at that I kind of liked