Has SKYNET Arrived? Robots Rise as We Develop More Artificial Minds to Take Over Genuine Careers

(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)
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What could possibly be the downside of AI reporters and robotic lawyers?!


The question inevitably will be asked – is this the cause, or the reaction? What I refer to is the emergence of stories where we find automatons being dispatched to take over the duties of humans, and the ensuing mysteries become evident. In an economy where the dollar is shrinking and we have a moribund workforce, is this cause for alarm or an expected result?

This is not the case with fast-food restaurants forced to go with manual ordering kiosk screens when entry-level wages were artificially inflated by activists. Instead, we are seeing instances where computer minds are displacing traditional manpower/mindpower professions. 

A Pulitzer Nomination for Distinguished…Programming?

The first instance comes from, appropriately enough, a technology news outlet.

It was discovered by web writer and marketer Gael Breton that at the tech news publication CNET they have begun publishing AI-generated content. Over the past couple of months, the site has been delivering financial articles that are said to be derived from “automation technology,” their term for the artificial intelligence used to “write” the entries.

CNET did not make a formal announcement about the rollout of this tech. Instead, the pieces from their bot source have been given the byline of “CNET Money Staff.” When you click on the author’s link you arrive at a truncated page that gives this bio:


ABOUT ME: This article was created using an AI engine and reviewed, fact-checked and edited by our editorial staff.

This appears to be a reality creeping into the publishing industry. It was a little over a year ago when I covered how The Miami Herald was using an AI “reporter” to cover real estate news items. CNET’s quiet rollout of this similar tech is a new experiment for the outlet. Starting back this past November, to date, the page sports 74 articles credited to the AI generator. 

Breton raised an interesting point: How is CNET receiving impressive amounts of traffic for these bot-generated pieces when Google has declared it will downgrade automated content in its search listings?

Social Distancing, Netherlands, Robot
AP Photo/Peter Dejong

Ladies and Hard Drives of the Jury…

In a more revolutionary use of the AI platform, we may be on the horizon of a truly horrible or encouraging development (depending on your perspective) – Robot Lawyers!

Okay, you will not be seeing a version of “Futurama” with an automaton standing before the bench in a courtroom. But now we are on the verge of AI possibly creeping its way into legal proceedings. A company called DoNotPay is set to have a court case where a defendant fighting a traffic ticket is going to be using its technology in a live hearing.

The company’s AI-creation runs on a smartphone, listens to court arguments and formulates responses for the defendant. The AI lawyer tells the defendant what to say in real-time, through headphones. 


The company’s technology has primarily been applied to generating forms and other documents as well as assisting some in small claims disputes. Although this particular tech has a very limited scope at the moment, it is looking at broadening its usage in more aspects of the law. The challenge is in creeping into the trial phase of things as very few courts currently permit earpieces and headsets to be worn during a trial. There is also the legal wrangling needed to get around the common mandate that all involved in a case submit themselves to being recorded. You essentially are dealing with an automated lawyer dispensing legal advice apart from the courtroom stenographers. 

In both of these instances, we are looking at employing the use of artificial intelligence to mostly cut through swaths of tedious and repetitive tasks and paperwork. But it does not take a hyperactive imagination to see this tech becoming expanded and then applied to more jobs where humans can be displaced. 

This lurch appears far more tolerable to many when you give them the prospect of having artificial intelligence replacing repellant characters like journalists, and lawyers!


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