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The Robot Uprising

Have you heard about the flavor of the month: ChatGPT? Of course you have.


"Oh no! Our jobs!" Sure, it's a natural reaction. That one day everything will be automated and run by code and all of our jobs will become obsolete... so we should fear our AI overlords. The thing, this isn't a new reaction to technology.


I remember a SXSW talk I attended - maybe eight-ish years ago? I can't recall the speaker (sorry), but the subject was the rise of AI and the fears that come with it. This talk really stuck with me, because the speaker talked about how this scared feeling of "my job is going to be performed by a robot" is nothing new. In fact, it goes all the back (and probably further) to the industrial revolution and the invention of machines like the combine. Yes, a machine that replaced hard, back-breaking labor and did it efficiently. Farmers and farm workers took to the streets. I can hear them screaming: "This is an outrage! Over my cold, dead body!" And because I'm Texan, probably a "You want my hand-thresher? Come and take it!"


But. People adapted. Learned new skills. Those that embraced the new technology got ahead. And the laggards and luddites came along eventually.


This has happened again and again and again throughout our lifetimes. A new, powerful tech thing comes along and makes a lot of people uncomfortable. But, eventually, we absorb it into our lives and see how it can make things easier, or give us an edge, or some inspiration that we can build on.


Who's to say if ChatGPT will replace ad folks. All I'm here to say is that if history holds true, humans will adapt. And then the next shiny thing will come along and we'll be freakin' out again.


Ah... technology.


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