“A lot of people don’t realize this, but a lot of the news stories you read now are increasingly written by artificial intelligence,” said Stephen Ibaraki, social entrepreneur, futurist and chair at REDDS Capital. “You get these news releases about things that are happening in sports, for example, or in business. But people are not creating these pieces anymore. It’s actually A.I. that’s releasing this information. Lots of us are spending hours on our mobile phones reading updates about events and news flashes never realizing it’s A.I. that’s generating this stuff now.”
In 2013 Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, now the richest man on Earth, bought the paper for $250 million. Taking a cue from the profitable A.I-based algorithms Amazon uses to sell books — then everything else on the planet — Bezos’s Post began using A.I. to write articles four years later. Powered by its homegrown technology, Heliograf, it began creating pieces on the Rio Olympics and local sports, producing thousands of articles. In a letter to his shareholders the same year, Bezos explained his approach to employing artificial intelligence as a way to stay relevant in what he calls a “Day 1” mentality. “Over the past decades, computers have broadly automated tasks that programmers could describe with clear rules and algorithms. Modern machine learning techniques now allow us to do the same for tasks where describing the precise rules is much harder.”
By now, we have all heard reports that A.I. advances will replace our jobs. Typically, the first sector mentioned is blue collar. As automated cars become ubiquitous, it’s estimated that truck-driving jobs will go the way of horses at the turn of the century. What doesn’t get nearly as much attention is how many white-collar jobs, even those once viewed as safe — may be outsourced to sophisticated algorithms. Yes, even jobs requiring creativity.