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'$5bn for Slack?! I refuse to pay!' You don't pay – and that's its biggest problem

fajensen Silver badge

When that day comes, then my "virtual secretary" will contact your "virtual secretary" and they'll sort out everything between them and let us know what they've decided we ought to do.

That day is already here.

It's just that it's not "my" or "your" "virtual secretary" it's The Man's secretary - or - rather - Taskmaster. The fulfilment centres behind Amazon & Co equips staff with trackers and runs them like robots using optimal-path algorithms. The so-called "knowledge work" is coming right up for modernisation next on the same principles (ambulance drivers, police, health care are "getting it" now).

Whenever we encounter "digitalisation", what it really means is the down-sourcing of stupid internal bureaucracy to users by making them do the job themselves in order to get any service. This frees internal resources to invent more bureaucracy, so the escalation is geometric.

This is why we can't have any nice things. It would give us time to think, sooner or later we would get ideas and then ... change would come. The "Sir Humpreys" almost lost control in the 1960's, it's taken them more than 50 years to unwind all of that, so of course "we" wouldn't want to risk another "reality excursion". So - busy, busy, busy ....


Even 1990's "dumb-AI" like SpamBayes can figure out with extremely good accuracy what I consider spam or not by learning. If I had several classifiers in parallel, I could teach them to auto-sort all of my email according to importance and subject. Each filter would need one complete classifier, but, my 2016 computer is probably 1500 x faster than my 1990's ditto - so - wouldn't even notice this load.

Hmm. Maybe one should try it.

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