You Are Not an Artisan

Venkatesh Rao, , Jul 19, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a long post and will take some time to schlep through, but the distinctions painstakingly made by the author are important and serve to draw our attention to the sort of work we should focus on in the future (this in turn should guide our decisions about education). "The easiest way to appreciate the emerging human condition to adopt a couple of new metaphors for machines: machines as children and humans as intestinal fauna..." We will have to take care of our machines as though they were percocious children; while most of the attention is focused on creative work, the real employment gains will be in the schlep work the giant machine-system cannot do for itself: data cleaning, image interpretation, human customer service as a differentiator  from voice-prompt hell, various kinds of machine repair... From solar panel installers to driverless car debuggers, several schleppy professions are starting to emerge."

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