I once heard a funny joke about having a job, it went like this “If having a job was such a fantastic thing, owners of companies would have kept all the jobs to themselves.”
Let’s be honest about this, a lot of the jobs we do, aren’t exactly rocket science, and not particularly intellectually challenging. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. As a software developer, I get to work on really hard and intellectually challenging problems – But a lot of the work I do, is also arguably work we could have trained monkeys to do. It’s repetitive in nature, requires little intellect to complete, and yet a tiny error can still have drastic consequences.
The first time a brain surgeon performs some difficult procedure, it’s challenging. The 5th time he does the same procedure, it’s routine. The 1.500th time he does it, he’s probably thinking of his upcoming weekend at Disney Land, as his autonomous nervous system cuts through your brain tissue on autopilot. For the record, this is not a good thing.
If the brain surgeon could somehow teach a machine to do the same procedure, the surgeon could instead of being bored at work, spend his time at Disney Land with his wife and children. And the machine would never be bored, it would always perform the procedure the exact same way, and it would highly unlikely do errors that the human being could do, due to lack of focus. Machines are simply better at this type of work than humans. This is a fact. As long as the parameters are not changing, or some unforeseeable event occurs, and the task is repetitive in nature – The machine will always outperform the human.
Brain surgery is probably not the best example here, and you might not necessarily be willing to allow some computer to rewire your synaptic connections, based upon some algorithm – But in software development, I can think of a million tasks, where the parameters are never changing, yet the task is extremely repetitive in nature. Having a human being do these tasks, is not only boring and less cost effective – But also flat out madness.
Don’t be insane, have your computer do whatever your computer can do!