I have long been an opponent of A.I.  Artificial intelligence is defined by Oxford as:

the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

It's that part in bold that really worries me.  See, I'm not afraid of a Terminator-style robot revolution as much as I am afraid of a job wasteland created by an army of A.I. powered machines created to replace entire industries of workers.

Regardless of my fear, the future is here.  Automated, long-haul trucks hit the open road in Texas this week courtesy of Waymo.  The tech giant is rolling out a program called the "Waymo Driver."  This program involves testing automated passenger and cargo hauling hauling vehicles on open, public roads to ensure the program is ready to roll out nationwide - which is not very far away.

This week, Waymo vehicles are hitting the blacktops in Texas and New Mexico for more testing.


3.5 million people are out of a job?  In the past, people replaced by technology just moved on and got another job - but that may be a trickier proposition now.  A.I. and automated technology are affecting more than just trucking.  Warehouse robots are replacing the workers that take the goods off of the truck, automated stockers fill the shelves with this cargo, and self checkouts are replacing the cashiers - and believe me, that is the tip of the iceberg.

My prediction is that within 10 years, there won't be an industry that remains untouched by this technology.  How long before humans don't have to work at all?  What does that world look like?

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