Instead of Fighting Robots and Automation, First I Invite you to de-automate Yourself

A challenge to de-automation of yourself. Do you accept or yield?

A few years back, in the midst of all this technological democratization, I came to the conclusion we, ourselves, behave more like automata than we like to admit.

I could, now, write an extensive introduction and include all facts in history, particularly the past 100 years or so, where at some point the text stated some line about the Henry Ford’s factory and its revolutionary assembly line for production of today’s world-famous model-T car. A marvel of optimization in production so great it inspired western societies for over a century, to this day, culminating in today’s state-of-the-art production lines fully automated and autonomous, coined by WEF and McKinsey as lighthouse factories. The industries of marginal cost.

This was motive enough for scholars and erudite in western societies to publicly question the role of technology in our lives, its possibilities, and threats to the economy in particular to the job market. A good example can be found on the European Comision Website about “Robustness and Explainability of Artificial Intelligence“. A good read I recommend to the reader. Today I’m not going in that direction. Today I’ll be proposing you, the reader, a challenge.

Since the core subject here is automation, might as well grab its definition on Wikipedia

Automation describes a wide range of technologies which reduce human intervention in processes. Human intervention is reduced by predetermining decision criteria, subprocess relationships, and related actions — and embodying those predeterminations in machines … “

It is a long text, worth reading. If you read it until the end, you’ll find a little reference about we, the humans. Particularly how we allowed ourselves to program, rules, protocols, and norms over the course of 100 years for delivering tasks in an almost “perfection“. Don’t get me wrong, rules, protocols and norms, are awesome too, but limited. And today is requested to acknowledge just that. Serve better purpose on machines and robots preferably with intelligent-like behavior.

At the beginning of this text, I began by stating I’d come to a conclusion. That we let ourselves turn into automata like machines. Here’s a really good example. Writing an e-mail. If you take some time to google “how to write an email“ you’ll find a common line of thought about how to do it. here’s the typical example of how to start an e-mail:

“Dear [person name],

next, you add the selected text of your choice to say what is need to say. and at the end, you will most likely be going to find something in-line with the following words:

“kind/best regards,
[your name]
[contact info]
[privacy concerns]“

let me point out here, while I make a pause, about the email contents. Many times found to be so standardized and repetitive, the recipient, upon reading the email you sent, will most likely have difficulty remembering exactly what it was about. A great way to be forgotten, I say. So here’s the challenge I leave here for you, the reader, write on a yellow sticky note, like in the old days, a reminder

“never ever repeat one single word from the previous email or message I sent earlier“

the task is simple, words like “dear”, “kind”, “best”, “regards”, and many many others, cannot, I repeat, cannot be used in the next emails (or messages) you’re going be needing to send to someone else.

The ultimate purpose is to make your messaging, regardless of medium, be unique, something truly personal to a point the reader cannot guess the contents of your previous message or email. And more importantly, also to a point, an automatic system, intelligent or not, has difficulty defining your writing patterns. This is how it needed to fight the threats of automation at work or when with friends and family.

until next time, don’t forget to share, and if possible, subscribe for fairness of work and a fairer economy.