Saturday, 8 October 2016

mechanical turk or singing for one’s supper

JF Ptak delves into a very modern topic of discussion through the lens that the long shadow that innovation has cast over jobs-security and the notion that robots will create mass-redundancy with musicians, once the mainstay of entertainment with live, orchestral accompaniment, finding themselves shoved aside with the advent of talkies and canned- or robotic-soundtracks punctuating the experience.
Colluding with the advent of telephony that made written correspondence a less attractive means of communication, various leagues and lobbies back in the 1930s rallied on behalf live bands—though there’s no incipient doubt yet of the humanity of the composition, just perhaps the emotional quotient of the performance. A Mechanical Turk is a human employed, at a pittance, to perform repetitive tasks that could be automated—thus stealing jobs from robots—but given the circumstances, it’s more efficient to have a person perform it, like squirrels running in wheels to operate a complex juggernaut.