Worry not the day when machines replaced humans but the day when machines fail and humans know not what to do.
Cars helped humans travel across distance faster. Type writers helped humans write a report faster. With computers and word processing software, not only writing is faster, grammar mistakes, spelling errors are picked up easily, formatting and corrections are done with just a few mouse clicks. Ape is just bringing up some of the simplest examples of how machines have aided humans.
Now, machines not just aid humans to process tasks faster, intelligence are built into machines to analyse information and flag out anomalies or run through an whole lot of data to pick out specific information. What most people would call human errors will be eliminated when machines replaces humans, wouldn’t it? Ape will share a leaf from the sacred text The Kin Jio Leaf.
According to The Kin Jio Leaf Volume MCCXY, Chapter XI, Leaflet V….
There was a department of about 20 staffers on shift rotation, working 24/7 everyday. Their job was simple. Information and reports would come in from everywhere. They would key in the data and the Processor would reformat and reorganise the information to be addressed to specific recipients before the staffers would redistribute it out. Came that fateful day when the Processor was upgraded and “automated” to receive information directly from the senders, process those information and sends it out to the recipients. Staffers no longer need to receive the information, key it in and do the sending. It’s all “automated”… so to speak. The staffers almost got “right-sized” aka retrenched. Almost because information from senders do not always come in a standard format that was recognisable by the upgraded Automated Processor. Such problematic information will be transferred to a “Human Fix It” folder where the staffers would read the information, adjust it before pushing it back to the Automated Processor. The staffers got to retain their jobs but the thought of “right sizing” still floated in the minds of management – perhaps 20 Staffers could be reduced to 10? Luck was one their side again when the Automated Processor failed. In spite of the fact that there’s a Backup Automated Processor, that too failed to work because of a common software bug. The whole operation was grinded to a halt. The oldest of the staffers recalled fondly how they used to work with just fax machines. The fax machines from senders and to recipients were available then. Most of the staffers were also trained on how to analyse the data the manual way. Thus, they quickly contacted all senders and told them to send via fax. When the information was processed, they would contact the recipients to receive their reports via fax too. The process was slower than what the Processor could do but nevertheless, the job was done.
The bug was eventually removed. Not only the Automated Processor was fixed, it was given an enhancement to be Enhanced Automated Processor (EAP). It had several layers of redundancies and fail safe mechanisms. It could also process most of the nonstandard information and standardised it. The EAP ran for a few years without any hiccups. The staffers got the nice pink letters that contain the statement “The management thank you for your contributions over the years and wish you best in all your future endeavours.” Only a handful of young and lower paid staffers were denied the pink letters because the EAP couldn’t solve all nonstandard information – the “Human Fix It” folder was still there. Over time, even those staffers that remained were eventually replaced by newer and lower paid newbies who were trained and only trained to standardise nonstandard information. By then, no one had any idea what those machines that look like printers yet not printers were sitting in that corner collecting dust. Thus, the fax machines were also removed and ungraciously thrown into the dump. The fax machines did have their pink letters though but the heading read “Depreciated Assets To Be Scrapped” without any words of appreciation.
Then came that fateful day the EAP failed. …
Unfortunately, the subsequent pages in The Kin Jio Leaf were too badly deteriorated for the text to be legible. Damn the Enhanced Reproduction Processor (ERP) that is suppose to scan the sacred text for signs of deterioration and reprint a copy before the text become illegible. Please excuse ape now as he needs to recall the pink letter sent to the librarian.