Are the robots coming for us? What Malcolm Gladwell thinks

As a fan of Malcolm Gladwell, impatiently awaiting the 3rd season of Revisionist history podcast, I couldn’t miss his bonus podcast live interview with Adam Grant at the 92nd Street Y in New York.


I particularly liked his view on AI and are the robots going to take our jobs? Knowing the dystopian view from Nick Bostrom and the pledge from Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawkins, Bill Gates it is a critical question.

The AI question at 43:50 is

“If blue collar jobs are replaced by AI, how do you stay relevant as a worker?”

and the example of the truck driver doing more than just actually driving a truck whilst lawyers and white collar workers should be more worried about their jobs.

Gladwell is not alarmist about AI and the displacement of some jobs as

there are so many things that we need people to do that are not being done right now; and most of them involve communicating with them and empathising with them.

This reminded me of Melanie Cook’s Augmented AI presentation at SXSW 2017.