Machine ageism

Without the desire for cost-cutting or to give it its proper name, greed, there would be little requirement for the next generation of artificial intelligence.

Pat Kane (Perspective, 26 January) exemplifies the hypocritical stance of most people in that, as a front man for a successful band, he is more difficult to replace than, say, a jobbing session musician.

And yet a drum machine can’t tell you if you’re over-engineering a track while a good musician can.

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There’s a similarity that smacks of self-interest. It reminds me of the famous quote: “First they came for the Jews but I wasn’t a Jew so I did nothing…”

Self-interest in our modern life trumps all other paths because it is the self-interested who are the king makers; they are the rich and powerful elite who can treat people like commodities as they build yet more riches – and most people in society are encouraged to emulate them.

Sometimes under our illusion of so-called democracy, journalists think by writing an article such as Pat Kane’s on the impact of robots on the workforce or others like the effect on humanity as the 1 per cent ravage the planet’s resources, they are somehow doing something about it; they aren’t.

As someone who has been on the receiving end of what “cost cutting” technology does to society, it won’t be a Terminator-like “Rise of the Machines” we’ll need to fear; it’s more likely to be a desperate act from the chronically poor, disadvantaged and disillusioned that will either wipe us out or cure us.

D Cruickshanks

Weavers Crescent


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