Monday, 20 November 2017

have you considered getting a machine to do that for you?

Ahead of the debut of its Selectric typewriter—which had the revolutionary labour-saving enhancement of a magnetic tape for recording and playback of keystrokes—IBM engaged master Muppeteer Jim Henson and composer Raymond Scott to—rather prematurely, usher in the end of drudgery and tedium with a promotional short-film. Despite the cheerful, liberating message, there is a sinister sense of apprehension just below the surface that reflects how society had as much a tenuous time grappling with automation as they do with machine learning presently. The same reassuring words that “machines should do the work and people should do the thinking” might still apply but we might be hurtling towards a time when our virtuosity might become second fiddle.