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Gigaom AI Minute – March 30

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In this episode, Byron talks about individual variation in jobs.


At, 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.

And finally, question #10: Would someone hired to do the same job do it exactly the same as you?

Score this a 0 if the answer is no. That might be something like a screenwriter; two screenwriters aren't going to write anywhere near the same thing. On the other hand, score it a 10, suggesting that it can be automated if two people would do it exactly the same way, like a data entry person. Hopefully they are doing it exactly the same way. And score it in the middle if the jobs are pretty much the same, but there are individual variations. That might be a dentist, or a house painter, where they're going to do it mostly the same, but maybe not.

The reason this is a good indicator of whether something may be automated or not is the degree to which two humans do something exactly the same means there's exact, clear understanding of the job and how to describe it and what to do. And therefore, that can probably be made into a program. On the other hand, if no people do it the same, then how you do it would be much harder to code.

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