Eve of Construction

When my brother Pau Roig introduced me to the exciting BLOCKCHAIN world, we both agreed that this revolution would clearly leave us a better world. Or at least, it would give us an interesting and refreshing alternative to things we don’t like about the traditional financial system. 

For days now, we have been discussing with him whether we are more excited or cowed by the new AI revolution. Every technology brings two opposing forces: job destruction and job creation. 

Does this AI revolution lead to a negative rate of job creation?

And in these discussions, we found thanks to Ivan Rodriguez Lopez (who always has this kind of pearls in the suitcase) an interesting article on the subject. I leave here the link (very complete article of Tom├ís Pueyo).

But I’ll stay with the last three graphs. We can reduce schematically (perhaps too reduced, to be fair), the tasks in 4 types. On one axis: manual vs. cognitive. On the other: routine vs. non-routine.

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So simplifying, and swallowing a few centuries of history in one line, we can say that the Industrial Revolution began to automate manual and repetitive/routine tasks (and we are not done with that process yet).

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Computers opened the door to the automation of cognitive processes. 

But as we have explained here in other articles, programming goes top-down, we always tell the computer what to do in each case. We create processes and computers execute them. And world productivity has increased incredibly since this has happened.

And now comes the dizzying leap: AI makes it possible to automate NON-routine and cognitive processes. We no longer tell the computer what to do in each case, it is able to learn and take decisions. And by God, sometimes it does it much better than a human. We no longer program top-down, now we let the AI solve.

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I don’t know how the world will be divided up with this new revolution or how will the wealth be distributed. I don’t know which jobs are going to disappear tomorrow, and which ones in 10 years. What should we advise our children? I don’t know. 

Surely, those jobs that require more human hours than those we are doing will grow, for example, in the health sector. Even if we equip doctors with AI to diagnose and prescribe, if instead of 3 minutes per patient we give them half an hour, the result will be better. We need more human hours in healthcare. And that’s worth investing in.

But I am optimistic.

This week at MWC I saw thousands of people colliding ideas, projects and opportunities. And I remembered Toyo Ito. When I was CFO of Fira 2000 I was lucky enough to participate in the commissioning of the construction of the Gran Via tradefair where the MWC is held. I remember a huge team (15/20 architects) discussing for hours until 2/3AM the smallest details, such as the orientation of the benches in the central spine. Obsession for detail and perfection. 

One of the reasons why the MWC is a success is hidden in the details that Toyo Ito and his team (and that of Fira 2000) drew on a piece of paper more than 15 years ago. 

Well done things, require a lot of human time. AI will save us time and effort in many jobs, but don’t worry, there is still a lot of work to be done in many other areas. 

Lot of jobs will be destroyed. Some others will be created. Like my friend Marc Vila, he is now an AI trainer.

In the end, the question we should ask ourselves is: are we better professionals when we use AI?

I am.

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Barry McGuire

– But you tell me over and over and over again my friend. Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

– No, I don’t believe it my friend. We are on the eve of construction.

Yours in crypto and AI

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