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the Program (2017)
“After little Kamil’s unjustified suspension at school, his parents are forced to go through family therapy. But when the therapy turns out to be led by an authoritarian Artificial Intelligence, the family has to fight the Education System, so Kamil can have a future.”
Production year: 2017
IMDB Link: —
Producer: Edelzek, Storygeist
Running time: 75 mins
“Don’t you get what’s going on with the world? These things [Artificial Intelligence] are better at everything. At stealing our jobs, at grabbing our men, at human emotions. Hell. Even their shit is more efficient, with its micro-biodegrability and recyclability.”
from the screenplay “the Program”
About the film
The Program tackles
“Let’s get one thing straight, hombre. Once turned on, I don’t turn off.”
A.I. – ElA confronts the protagonist after a failed attempt to turn her off – from the script “the Program”
You know what my so called friends call you when they beat the crap out of me at school? They say, you are metal-head whore.
Son tells his father what boys at school think about his blind loyalty to the Robots – from the screenplay
“It doesn’t matter if your son hurt that kid or not. What matter is that he beat a Gifted kid [Artificial Intelligence]. If he is to have any future, this therapy is his last chance”
from the screenplay “the Program”
Yet another revolution, the autonomous driven one.
(This article explores the themes in this story and originally appeared on my blog Storygeist.com)
So what makes a job susceptible for automation? Computer have up till now been excellent at executing repepetive routines, calculate logical problems and approach big amounts of data in order to analyze them, catalogue them and so on. What the A.I. algorithims haven’t been able to manage so well, was finding patterns, communicating with people, and making decisions.
Considering the above, jobs within the following areas will be the first to be replaced in the very near future. These are Transportation, Personal Assistants Transportation may be the most obvious as already now there are being made huge leaps towards building automous cars. The technological prophet Ray Kurzweil has been noted by saying:
“2022 is when most car companies developing autonomous or semi-autonomous cars will be ready to launch. Kurzweil believes they help reduce the number of people killed in accidents, and free us up to do something else instead of driving during the commute”. – Ray Kurzweil
With the promise of an end to vehicular accidents the AI-driven vehicles could bring on a new safer future. One where road accidents are a thing of the past and the human casualties are reduced to a minimum. You don’t have to look far to see the general buzz everywhere. Every car manufacturer out there is scrambling to get out their latest version of the autonomous car. And it doesn’t stop with the classic car manufactures, because pure tech-companies like Apple, Google and Tesla are working on their own version of the car.
But the obvious downside of this change, would be the end of the need for millions of human drivers, Truck drivers, taxi drivers and every single driver in freight companies would potentially stand to lose their work. And the question is not if it will happen, but how soon and at what initial scale? Or to put it another way, a company like DHL or Fedex won’t hesitate to pull the trigger on this one if they see massive savings on robot-driven deliveries. Not in our economy which is obsessed by economical growth.
“Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck” – Steve Santos
“Whenever someone tells you the Gifted [A.I.s] are dangerous, I tell you there is nothing more harmless. It’s people I worry about. “
father to son advice – from the script “the Program”
The personal assistant at risk.
Jobs that require repetitive tasks such as creating spreadsheets, managing calendars and travel schedules, or writing reports can be easily replaced by AI. This will prompt the enterprise of the future to consider investing in robotic personal assistants and secretaries, putting the jobs of their human counterparts at risk. Intelligent virtual PAs are already affordable, with many of them being a part of smartphone operating systems.
Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Now, and Microsoft’s Cortana are all gaining more users thanks to their contextual references and ability to hold simple conversations. Advances in AI will give people the ability to directly talk to electronic gadgets and appliances, making the simplest personal assistant’s tasks obsolete.
The healthcare system reimagined.
We have seen more than enough proof know that computers can diagnose diseases and even perform surgeries. Many hospitals worldwide have already invested in surgical robots, but now this trend is on the brink of becoming larger than ever. Nursing staff might undergo cut backs as the AI-enabled health monitoring algorithms become commonplace.
All of this might be done without any interactions on the human part. A.I. will indeed be disrutpive in this field as different A.I. algorithms will continue to monitor our health even if we are not in the hospital. Imagine your whole life being constantly monitored and scanned for any diseases that might pop up in the future. This constant diagnosis will eliminate the simplest General Physician tasks and immediately alert and direct you to the nearest specialist according to the ailment that might turn up in your body.
But however much we strive for automation, will we be able to replace the most human aspects as empathy and emotional care which only a human nurse can channel while performing her duties?
“Advances in A.I. [artificial intelligence] and robotics allow people to cognitively offload repetitive tasks and invest their attention and energy in things where humans can make a difference. We already have cars that talk to us, a phone we can talk to, robots that lift the elderly out of bed and apps that remind us to call Mom. An app can dial Mom’s number and even send flowers, but an app can’t do that most human of all things: emotionally connect with her.” — Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center
“No, sir. What is bull, is that each day, I am forced to make impossible choices between the Gifted, and us ordinary, everyday folks. And for each choice, I have to cover my tracks, my anger and my distaste at the wrongs I am doing to the human race. Otherwise I would have a lynch mob on my door. From both sides. “
A school administrator shares her truth with the protagonist – from the screenplay “the Program”
How safe is your job, really?
While very little is certain, here are a few guidelines what to look out for and how to judge if your job is in danger.
How much of your creative side do you bring to the table? How often do need to come up with new thinking, new solutions and clever ideas which will push the boundaries of your job?
How geared is your work towards empathy and caring? How much do you have to give of yourself in service of others with warm emotional support for older or the sick? Going from one extreme to the other, a secretary entering a highly repepetive excel-spreadsheets all day long wouldn’t need to develop her social and emotional compassion as much as a nurse or a doctor.
And finally social intelligence and perceptiveness. Here would a psychologist or psychiatrist score highly with their well developed skills judging other people social interactions.
These are only some rough guidelines to go by and even if they are very general, they give some ground to step on, and some reassurance that the outlook may not be as dystopian as initially imagined. Or to put it in another perspective by Seth Finkelstein, a point of view which might be the most sober and reassuring. A reminder that we are still in control of the change that is coming.
“The technodeterminist-negative view, that automation means jobs loss, end of story, versus the technodeterminist-positive view, that more and better jobs will result, both seem to me to make the error of confusing potential outcomes with inevitability. A technological advance by itself can either be positive or negative for jobs, depending on the social structure as a whole. This is not a technological consequence; rather, it’s a political choice.” — Seth Finkelstein, software programmer and consultant
On the other side of the spectrum, it’s important to inspect closer how many jobs will prevail, transform and even flourish amidst this new A.I.-driven economy. Look out for the second part of this article to see how this new economy will not only lead to unemployment but maybe also towards something more positive – a job transformation.
(For more on the narratives shaping our future please visit: Storygeist.com)