It's too late...
"El Reg wonders if think tank reports and research consultancies ought to be automated, too."
From the sound of it, our Robot Overlords have already started. You don't honestly think a human could come up with this drivel, do you?
A think tank is calling for hundred-of-thousands of UK public sector jobs to be automated. Blighty should also take a look at using drones for policing, apparently. The report, Work in progress. Towards a leaner, smarter public-sector workforce [PDF], by centre-right wonkers Reform reckons up to 250,000 state employees in …
Chatbots could shave off around 90 per cent of the total number of Whitehall admin workers by 2030 - and save £2.6bn a year in the process - it claims. A further 90,000 NHS admin and 24,000 GP reception jobs could be automated in the same way, saving around £1.7bn.
I wonder if that £1.7bn saving includes the welfare costs for those 114,000 NHS admin staff and GP receptionists, or the costs to retrain or employ them elsewhere. Or maybe we could just shoot them, as they will be an unnecessary drain on the economy.
Nurses used to look after patients.
Then there was a demand for an increase in status for nurses. Increased status means higher pay, so all graduate entry to justify the higher pay, but then you are writing reports and filling in patient data as befits your higher professional status. So then you hire cheap nursing auxiliaries and assistants to actually look after patients.
Which group were you planning to replace with the new automated systems? Hint I bet it isn't the higher status all-graduate patient care management professionals doing the paperwork.
Those 30% being the useless form filling bullshit that has been foisted on the NHS by successive governments. Then they could actually get back to doing the job they trained to do and that real people want them to do - looking after patients.
The key word is 'designed' it took 16 people 12 weeks to pick a font that didn't work on all computers and restricted how gov departments could display their information.
it took the rest of the civil service a bit longer to translate all the web pages into the new format, GDS did very little of that.
>brrr – brrr<
Welcome to the Desktop and Laptop support desk. To ensure we are talking to a real person we require you to complete a simple IVR test. Press 2,4,6 and 8 to navigate or 5 for other options.
You are in a twisting maze of little support options all alike.
I recently went through the nauseous procedure of reporting a telephone fault to BT, and ended up on a chat line, purportedly to a person "somewhere".
But when you are on the line to someone with limited English working from a script, you wonder if in fact you are talking to a robot - the Turing test.
What are we going to do with all of these people? As automation increases, many private sector jobs will disappear too. You can't have everyone running custom skinny mochas micro businesses.
During the 1970s-1980s "traditional men's skilled jobs" like turners and fitters were reduced by the introduction of CNC equipment. We were told that we would all have a lot more leisure, and many older men were "retired early". We thought that the changes meant a 2-3 day working week with lots of nice leisure time, but they actually meant "unemployment". We now have societies that have significant levels of un(der)employment, and a relatively small number of skilled people.
I was involved, in a minor way, with some relevant bits of the State. It seems to me that we should not expect governments to help (unless they are forced) - They know that with a majority of the population spending long hours at work and commuting, there is less possibility of trouble from them. The unemployed can be contained by poor access to transport, an oppressive "benefits" scheme, and distracted by crap TV.
So what are they going to do when 40% are out of productive work by 2025 (western intelligence projections)?
The NHS has wasted spectacular sums of money on clinical records systems, with pretty poor results.
GOK what would be the outcome of any foray into AI. Robot surgery? Fine if very routine - but there's a lot of variance in the basic human design which can trap the unwary.
There's a saying in the surgical world that There's no such thing as minor surgery - just minor surgeons
As to AI in diagnostics, they may just match the standard of NHS 111 [ie piss-poor], but the complexity of diagnosis in unsorted fresh cases, with the added complexity of languages and dialects is huge. Not to mention the difficulties of clinical examination.
...but what happens to the poor sods automated out of a job?
Another load of people on the Dole, another burden on the few remaining tax-payers, more malcontents free to cause trouble whenever some butt-hole in a nice shiny think-tank somewhere "justifies" their funding by getting rid of everyone else's jobs... so maybe not all bad (I don't advocate civil disobedience but anyone who cannot see a real sh*tstorm lurching ever closer needs to get out their ivory tower and look at life nearer the ground)
Just because the public sector has been able to get rid of loads of staff does not mean the staff were sitting around doing nothing - like the monetary budgets, the headcount is decreasing while the workload is increasing but that doesn't seem to occur to the people (and I use the term loosely) who control the purse-strings...
...about eighty years into the future, IIRC.
And in a particularly nightmarish vision of the future, Reform said surgery is another area on the verge of being disrupted. “Autonomous robots, such as the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot, have already outperformed human surgeons in routine procedures,” it said.
Come back, Call-Me-Kenneth, all is forgiven!!
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