(p. A15) Most computer scientists agree that predictions about robots stealing jobs are greatly exaggerated. Rather than worrying about an impending Singularity, consider instead what we might call Multiplicity: diverse groups of people and machines working together to solve problems.
Multiplicity is not science fiction. A combination of machine learning, the wisdom of crowds, and cloud computing already underlies tasks Americans perform every day: searching for documents, filtering spam emails, translating between languages, finding news and movies, navigating maps, and organizing photos and videos.
Consider Google’s search engine. It runs on a set of algorithms with input from a large number of human users who share valuable feedback every time they click on or skip over a link. The same is true for spam filters. Every time someone marks an email as spam or overrides a filter, it helps fine-tune the system for determining what is relevant.
. . .
Multiplicity is collaborative instead of combative. Rather than discourage the human workers of the world, this new frontier has the potential to empower them.
For the full commentary, see:
Ken Goldberg. “The Robot-Human Alliance; Call it Multiplicity: diverse groups of people and machines working together.” The Wall Street Journal (Mon., June 12, 2017): A15.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date June 11, 2017.)