Author Bio: Vonetta Logan is a financial news reporter for both tastytrade and dough (tastytrade's sister company). After being hired on to our team, Vonetta wanted to find a way to inform consumers and investors about the consequences/repercussions that current events and trends have on the financial space. 'Nailed It!' is a satirical segment created to do just that.
What do I love more than anything? ROBOTS! Anyone who spends more than 5 minutes with me knows that I have a passion for robotics.
The only surprising thing about Nailed It! is that it took 16 episodes before I dedicated 13 glorious minutes to robots.
I grew up in the freewheeling, robot loving 80’s. I begged my mom to take me to see Short Circuit in the theater. I was a tiny bespectacled kid gazing at a jive-talking robot. I was in love.
Small Wonder, Kitt on Knight Rider, the Transformers, R2D2- all splendiferous robot friends!
I spent every Friday night in high school watching "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and dying of laughter over robots riffing on bad b-movies. Don’t want to brag, but yeah, I was that cool...
Call me a bot fangirl, but I just don’t get the dystopian future in "The Terminator" and "The Matrix," where humanity is either enslaved or slowly being driven extinct by our robot overlords.
For this episode of Nailed It! I wanted to figure out if robots, software, AI and automation will be the greatest or the worst thing to happen to humanity. I learned so much while researching this topic that I could easily do a Ken Burns style 20-part series.
I learned that people’s feelings about robots taking jobs depend on how you describe the job. People are comfortable with robots taking “thinking” jobs like accountants, but are uncomfortable about robots taking “feeling” jobs, like kindergarten teachers.
(Ah, what an amazing movie that would be! Schwarzenegger in a Kindergarten Cop/Terminator mash-up!)
“Are you Sarah Connor? I’m taking attendance.”
“I just did a robot scan and…it’s not a tumor!”
Note to self: start working on that screenplay and get an agent, cause that’s GOLD, Jerry!
Anyway, back to robots and jobs. UCSF employs hospital delivery bots and they are amazing.
You can check out an awesome story about them here.
They deliver meals and meds, and the staff gives them names. But in all of my research, I couldn’t find any companies with large-scale robot implementation that had also displaced a significant portion of their human workforce.
My personal belief is that for the next few decades at least, robots will work with us instead of replacing us. Have you ever heard your co-worker on the phone and you just know they’re trying to reason with a customer service bot? “No! Help! I said REPRESENTATIVE! BILLING QUESTION!”
The yelling only stops when a real live actual person is on the line. We need people.
According to a Pew study, “smarties” (that’s the technical term) are evenly split on whether or not our demise is imminent. 48% saw robots displacing more jobs, while 52% say there’s nothing to worry about.
Huh, look at that - I’m in the majority for once! #winning Someone get me a home loan.
Would you guys want a robot boss?
Think about a boss who wouldn’t hover over you or micromanage you and wouldn’t play favorites. Plus, no awkward “boss appropriate” small talk. (“So, how’s your lawn doing? Get rid of those weevils?”) For an introvert like me, an iBoss would be the best ever. Though to be fair, Tom and Tony do have the emotional capacity of robots.
The other thing I learned is that there’s an important distinction between robots and AI. Stop thinking only about robots. (I can’t, it’s too hard... need... Robots Anonymous. ....Robotamous?) A robot is a container for AI. Sometimes mimicking the human form, sometimes not. AI is the computer inside the robot. AI is the brain; the robot is its body.
It would it be much cooler if Elle “The Body” McPherson went by Elle “The Robot” McPherson. (I wrote that joke just for me. It’s okay. Let’s move on.)
When it comes to Artificial Intelligence, it was fascinating to delve into the world of machine learning, deep learning, and natural language programs. Here are some crazy myths I was able to clear up in my research that didn’t make it into the final cut of the show.
No, a robot has not passed the Turing Test. It was a chatbot that was supposed to be a 13-year-old boy from the Ukraine, which helped with its grammar and syntax errors. It was not a supercomputer, nor was there any artificial intelligence involved.
Anyone who has tried dating on the internet knows that bots are chatting to you all of the time. Sorry to break it to you, but horny MILF aren’t sitting around waiting to chat. "I sexy, not wearing top, you want to chat, yes?" Sorry, dudes, but that’s a bot. #bonerkiller.
Did you know we have yet to create AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) or Human Level AI? That is to say, a computer that's as smart as a human across the board.
Yes, there are chess and "Jeopardy!" champion computers, but they can only do that ONE thing. Human intelligence involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly and learn from experience.
You don’t really appreciate human intelligence until you try to replicate it. The average brain has 100 billion neurons. Those neurons are connected to axons, dendrites and glial cells each with thousands of synapses that transmit signals via electro chemical connections.
Synapses are most like transistors in that they turn on and off. Because each neuron contains axons and dendrites that have 1000 synapses, the total capability is 100,000,000,000 x 1000!!! Compare that to the 2.3 billion transistors on a Pentium chip and you see how remarkable the human mind is. Unlike digital computers with fixed architecture, the brain can constantly rewire its neurons to learn and adapt.
We’re still a ways off from reaching general level AI, let alone human-killing, singularity-driven super AI.
The things you should be most worried about are the advanced neural networks used by corporations, and what that means for your privacy and individual security. As tech’s elite pour more and more money into AI, we’re getting closer and closer to an Amazon drone delivering a package that we didn’t even order.
Our willingness to tag, tweet, snap and share creates delicious heaps of data that algorithms chomp up Hungry Hungry Hippos-style. Algos instantaneously learn our likes, dislikes, locations, and who our friends are.
HR departments can now run predictive analytics to see who is most likely to quit, predict what type of employee you’ll be if you do get hired, or who should be promoted, statistically speaking.
It is on my bucket list to fight a robot in real life. #lifegoals.
But shout out to Frederico, the intern who put on a robot suit and a dress to play robo-Vonetta.
And you thought your job sucked. In the mean time and in-between time here are some fun links if you would like to learn more about your future robot overlords. This has been Vonetta...I'm out!!