From Specialized to Hyper-Specialized Labour: Future Labor Markets as Helmed by Advanced Computer Intelligence

In Pritika Nehra (ed.), Loneliness and the Crisis of Work. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 159-175 (2021)
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Abstract

With the transition of the pandemic-gripped labor market en masse to remote capabilities to avert from a national or international economic meltdown, a concern arises that many job seekers simply cannot fit into the new roles being developed and implemented. Beyond the loss of on-site work, the market is unable to reverse the loss of many roles that are, and have been, taken over by artificial (computer) intelligence systems. The “business-as-usual” mentality that many have come to associate with pre-pandemic life supposedly took these losses into account, much to various societies’ detriment during this international crisis. And unlike at the turn of the millennium, the market has come to realize that it cannot function without advanced computer intelligence (CI) systems. Arguments can be made that humanity’s currently most sophisticated CI systems come nowhere near replicating the nuances that would prompt one to classify the system as being “human-like,” and that they will remain this way for the foreseeable future. However, what is conveniently ignored in this assessment is how not even three generations have passed since computer systems became an integral aspect of daily life. While the loss of work for humans as a result of this advancement of technology may not immediately reach concerning levels, it still begs the question of how society should react to a lack of non-specialized work and the value of “humanness” in the labor market. This work intends to explore these concepts and provide anticipatory guidance on how humanity should adapt.

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Tyler Jaynes
University of Utah