Podcast Episode

Gigaom AI Minute – March 21

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In this episode, Byron talks about automation and jobs.

Gigaom brings you our unique analysis and commentary on the present and future of AI.


At Gigaom.com/quiz, there is a ten question test that scores how likely any given job is to be replaced by automation, be it by a computer or a robot. I'm going to spend ten AI Minutes going through the questions one at a time, and why they're on the test.

Question #1: How similar are two random days of the job?

You would score this a zero if they're completely different. That would be maybe an electrician, or a movie director, or a police officer. And you might score it a 10, the maximum score, if each individual day is identical, essentially, to the other ones. And that might be a data entry person, or an order taker at a fast food restaurant. You might be inclined to score in the middle, like a 5, if the job is basically the same, but there are variations everyday, such as a bank teller.

The reason this is on the test is probably obvious. Automation works best when it's automating tasks that are done over and over again, hopefully identically. The more improvisation there is in a job, the harder it is to automate.

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