AI and Automation—Adapting To Transformative Technologies

In this episode, Keith and Remington tackle AI and automation—technologies that are poised to fundamentally transform our economy, society, and our entire understanding of what it means to be human.

We explore the potential of AI and automation, what it is and is not, and how small businesses and startups can take advantage of it—or at least avoid being disrupted by it. We differentiate strong and weak AI, and conclude that small businesses and startups must embrace these technologies, or at minimum seek to understand the opportunities that exist, in order to stay competitive in the 21st century.

Yes, AI and automation threaten both blue collar and white collar jobs, but these technologies also allow us to accelerate the process of Creative Destruction to distribute value to all—if we let it.

Episode Notes, Sources and Corrections

Remington cites three data points on AI, automation and jobs. The first is from Cognizant execs in What To Do When Machines Do Everything that suggest up to 15% of jobs may be obsoleted by technology in the next 10-15 years. The next two, from McKinsey & Co. and Brookings Institution, Remington conflates. The McKinsey study suggests up to 1/3 of jobs are susceptible to obsolescence and the Brookings Institution suggests as many as 25% may be at risk.

Remington cites R.U.R., a 1920 play by Karel Capek, which is one of the first mentions of robots in fiction.

Isaac Asimov’s 1956 short story “The Last Question” is available here.

A primer on the difference between Strong and Weak AI can be found here.


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