3/20/2016

Machines Must Learn to Handle the Exceptions

It seems to me that the majority of people in the workforce are simply applying patterns to events.  In that they aren't re-creating the wheel day in and day out.  Perhaps they learn the basic techniques a decade or so ago, and every day in which they work, they simply know what to look for, then apply some remedy, and on to the next.

When you hear about a particular profession being all knowing and solving complex problems, it's my belief they aren't.  They are simply applying the formula stated earlier.

After a discussion with my father a while back, after dumping a list of complaints, he said I should number them.  After numbering the complaints, any time in the future, when I have the same complaint, just say the number.  Hi Dad, 42, 71 and 63.  Great, what else?

I think most of our job titles today can be learned by anyone with any level of degree or intelligence.  Simply learn the process, learn the patterns, learn when to apply certain remedies to certain scenarios, and there you go.  Nobody has time to learn all the idiosyncrasies of each and every thing, like plumbing, electricity, law, medicine, etc.  They lock you in early to a specific trade, and you never venture out.  It's not that each topic is complex or impossible to learn, who has the time.

Now I will say this.  In each and every case, you have to handle the exceptions.  Because they always happen.  And knowing how to handle them causes the cream to rise to the top.  Servers down, losing money by the second, who can fix it?  Patient is dying, who can save them?  Water leaking through the house, who can fix it?

Each person has experiences over time.  And having the ability to apply that learned knowledge at the right time is called intelligence.  I think we can train computers to not only handle the day in and day out repetitive tasks that comprise almost every job function, but I also think we can train the machines to handle the exceptions, to learn over time, learn on the fly, apply troubleshooting techniques at millions of thought processes per second, to weigh the best possible outcomes vs. the possible downside possibilities.  It's just a matter of time.  And when that happens, I'm really not sure what humans will do for a living.

And there you have it~!

Bloom Consulting Since Year 2000