I didn’t really want to write a blog today. It’s true: Some days I don’t want to write. I get tired of writing. But I haven’t written a blog in a couple weeks, and it needs to get done.

Words Don’t Write Themselves (yet)

The words don’t write themselves. That’s the trick of the thing. If they just wrote themselves they wouldn’t feel like work.

Sometimes I dream about a machine that transfers my thoughts directly to the paper, without the need to type it all out in painful slow rhythm. I wonder, too, whether it would  change the writing.

The way technology is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if I get to find out someday. For now, I’m just glad I was born in the post-typewriter era. I know writers who still use a typewriter for their first draft. Good writers, successful writers, not coffee shop hipsters working on their post-post-modern take on gay zombies in Victorian England as a metaphor for capitalism, or some such.

They say it helps their writing, and it does make me wonder:

How much of what I write is written to match the beat of my fingers on the keys? Would thoughts have the same cadence, or would it be one of those things where people would read my thoughts directly and feel that something was different, despite being unable to place a finger directly on what?

Is there some sort of uncanny valley there? I expect we’ll find out. Probably about a week before someone invents an AI that puts me right out of a job. And that’s cool. You guys will all have been replaced by robots long before us writers. You think it’s easier to invent a machine that arranges symbols to create emotional responses in the brains of humans they’ve never met, or fill out a TPS report in triplicate?

Yeah. We won’t be the last, but we’ll be somewhere way down that road.

I think janitors will probably last the longest; figuring out what needs to be cleaned, how to do it, and then performing the required acrobatics is exactly the sort of thing computers are terrible at, right?

Janitorial Services are the only Singularity-Proof Career Options

Every mess is different, every mess is subjective, every mess requires a slightly different set of motions, different tools, different techniques, to arrive at the arbitrary (but inarguable) state of “clean”. How do you even start building the AI that can parse all that?

Maybe, janitors will last so long that the machines will have taken over everything else, and reached a state of awareness where they look down on janitors, and, consequently, refuse to become them. Maybe in the year 2500 the only career available to humans will be janitor. Or “poop technician” or whatever they’re called these days.

Mothers with their children will point to janitors and say, “If you work really hard, someday maybe you can be a janitor!” And the kid will make moon eyes, and dream of being a janitor, but then it will be harder than they expect, and they’ll grow up to be batteries, or hunted for sport–I don’t know, whatever it is the robotic overlords are doing with humans. Loading us into homemade cannons and competing to see who gets the best distance?

AI is Short for Artificial Insanity

Whatever the AIs end up doing when they take over, I’m sure it won’t be anything logical. Even if our creations one day surpass us, they won’t be some bastion of logic and reason. They’ll still be running software built by the species that invented the Kardashians. Someone, somewhere in the design process, will have watched Jersey Shore at some point, and liked it. You can’t just shake off that kind of stupid and crazy.

It’s going to stick around like gum on the bottom of a desk; ie, either forever, or until the janitor takes care of it.

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