They Took ‘Er Jobs, Day Terk Er Jerbs!” is one of my favorite lines from the cartoon South Park, season eight (2004) episode titled “Goobacks.” In the episode, people from the future were coming back in time and taking jobs. The episode was meant as a satire of illegal immigration, and I think it hit the nail on the head. When I read stories like this one dealing with Artificial Intelligence, that same quote pops into my mind. “They Took ‘Er Jobs!

I don't mean to make lite of this whole situation, I've had my job replaced by automation and I have been laid off in the past. It sucks, no doubt about it! Now it seems that not only has robots and computer automation been replacing the human workforce, but it now looks like it may be used to decide whom to let go, fire, or lay off from their job. According to The Washington Post, hundreds of former Google employees gathered online to discuss the recent terminations that took 12,000 jobs.

After theories about why and who was let go, the question arose wondering if an algorithm could have been used to decide who to let go. (The Washington Post could not independently verify). TWP did have a quote from Google saying that there was “no algorithm involved” in the decisions of who got to keep their jobs and who, sadly, were let go.

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If AI was not used in this particular instance, it’s only a matter of time before it will be. I prefer the old “eeny meeny miny moe” method, personally.


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