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The Times of India recently wrote, “Who needs an army of lawyers when you have a computer? When Minneapolis attorney William Greene faced the task of combing through 1.3 million electronic documents in a recent case, he turned to a so-called smart computer programme. Three associates selected relevant documents from a smaller sample, ‘teaching’ their reasoning to the computer. The software’s algorithms then sorted the remaining material by importance. ‘We were able to get the information we needed after reviewing only 2.3% of the documents,’ said Greene, a Minneapolis-based partner at law firm Stinson Leonard Street LLP. Artificial intelligence has arrived in the American workplace, spawning tools that replicate human judgments that were too complicated and subtle to distill into instructions for a computer. Algorithms that ‘learn’ from past examples relieve engineers of the need to write out every command.”

 

The article continues, “The advances, coupled with mobile robots wired with this intelligence, make it likely that occupations employing almost half of today’s US workers, ranging from loan officers to cab drivers and real estate agents, become possible to automate in the next decade or two, according to a study done at the University of Oxford in the UK. ‘These transitions have happened before,’ said Carl Benedikt Frey, co-author of the study and a research fellow at the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology. ‘What’s different this time is that technological change is happening even faster, and it may affect a greater variety of jobs.’ ”

 

Read more here.

 

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ Alexandre Dulaunoy