Damn Algorithms

Work. It’s boring, exhausting, and counterintuitive to the creative problem solving that once drove American innovation. What the hell happened?

Algorithms, that’s what. Google made it fashionable to boost the bottom line with them. Now, they’re little more than a way to save on labor. Tim O’Reilly describes this turning narrative in tech as “a very dangerous time.”

How can algorithms give us more creative control over our work schedules? Or make it easier to collaborate remotely? How can they build trust and transparency, or fit 80 hours of work into 40? The world is smaller, our brains are bigger. It’s time we made an algorithm for working smarter.

The founder of O’Reilly Media has a huge influence on the role of tech in our lives, including the future of work. Now, he’s set his sights on job creators and “innovators” he thinks are more interested in making a buck than building products and services the world can use (video).

Is he right? Have we accepted the future as an extension of the past? How can a more sustainable workforce ensure an abundant future? Fair questions for a society on the brink of the automation apocalypse. But don’t fret.

O’Reilly says, “It’s still possible to reinvent the world. If we could make a more inclusive world with this technology, that would be a great gift.”

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