Understanding Essence vs Efficiency
When something’s been Turing Tested, it means that a computer has successfully tricked a human into thinking it was a human. In other words, the task has been fully automated and most likely, somebody’s job just got a whole lot easier.
Automation is a tempting way to think about things. You pare the important from the unimportant, locate each dependent step and distill it into a system. Whether you ultimately hand it over to a computer or not, it takes a certain kind of ingenuity cut waste and create order. If you’re looking to automate certain processes within your business, you could look more into how robotic process automation works, and how it could help you.
But I would argue that that is weak and ultimately very replaceable (hello outsourcing). I think you look at it from the right angle, it’s simple exploitation. A process of squeezing something dry. Important but not transcendent. What’s special is the ability to scrap the process in favor of something different entirely. Solutions not improvements.
I guess what I mean to say is that you can sit around Turning Testing yourself until you’ve got half your company tricked chatting with your computer. Or, you can really think about what it is that you have in front of you and how you can make it go away by folding it on itself.
Here are some things that have helped me do that, maybe they’ll work for you:
Cesar’s Way by Cesar Millan (seriously)
Blue Ocean Strategy by Chan Kim (incremental vs exponential)
Take that, 6 Percenters (Jeff Jarvis)
Without Walls: Interview with Leebeus Woods (Bldblog)
Be Bold (Wikipedia)
“Strong Opinions, Weakly Held” (Turning Pro)
“Dismounting a Dead Horse” (Mountain Runner)
The Anxiety of Influence (Wikipedia, Book)
Good news for the Luddites then? Oh, and I just finished an essay for university that I based on your Spartan concept. Very helpful (assuming I end up with good marks).
I’d firstly argue that Turing Test is an inappropriate term for the scenario that you’re describing.
I mean it’s catchy – but it’s inaccurate.
If an automated process response is indistinguishable from a conversation with a human, either the human or the judge has failed.
But arguing against automation in general, or even arguing against the idea that Automation in general is a good thing is a a flawed argument. Throwing in the emotional reference to outsourcing is also an association fallacy to begin with, outsourcing can be a by-product of some automation – but the fundamental goal of all Automation is to reduce busy work and produce a purely creative environment.
The purpose of Automation is to take a task that currently requires a human that can be distilled into a standard function, document and detail that function and then replace the human time with an automated system.
A failure to review and constantly improve automated functions is a Monkeys in a cage issue, (http://freekvermeulen.blogspot.com/2008/08/monkey-story-experiment-involved-5.html), not a fault with automation. Part of any decently implemented automation process is a review and improvement process
Fundamentally – review of the system can’t be completed by anything less then a creative intelligence – which for at least the next 15 years means a human. Even 15 years from now, it’s pure speculation that computers will ever be capable of creative tasks like true process improvement.
In the ideal of an automated society, the only tasks that required human attention would be the creative – Coming up with and implementing ideas. Finding ways to make things happen. Reviewing ideas and improving them.
Every time you do something that requires more interaction then being creative – you’re doing something that you shouldn’t need to do. Why is technique a part of art? What if we could automate the process between thinking of something and sharing it with others? Why does the speed and accuracy of our typing or enunciation make or break communicators instead of what they’re trying to communicate?
Hell, in a more pure business context – while Automation sometimes costs jobs through outsourcing and mechanical automation – it’s a mechanism that’s intended to free human time for more important tasks then whatever it is that’s being automated. If I automate 50% of my day, and then assign 2% of my day, or 3 hours a month to review of those automated tasks – that gives me almost a thousand hours a year that I can spend doing something productive, something that can’t be automated by a computer.
Automation sucks if you’re building your career around being a drone who does something simple and repetitive over and over again. Automation sucks if you’re a monkey in a cage who lacks the basic ability to overcome the way it was done and find new ways. Automation sucks if you’re a cost center in the business and bring no inherent value to the business proposition.
Automation is a blessed godsend to anyone who’s value to the business proposition is more then knowledge of a tool and time availability.
Scootah, I’ve looked at this post three different times today, with large intervals in between.
It’s fucking awesome and I can’t think of anything to add right now. I do believe that you’re strongly tech-oriented and thus a little more extreme about this than I am, but you’re right.