Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2018/ The Jobsolescence Rhetorical Device

The Jobsolesence Rhetorical Device

There is a story on Spark that repeats a common claim. This is some deep-learning startup that wants to model me psychologically so that they can classify my brain according to what Big Pharma product would work best for treating depression.

The claim is: "We aren't trying to replace doctors. We want them to work more efficiently!"

This is ALWAYS a lie.

First they say this to assuage fears of job loss. If doctors do not adopt this technology it will die, and that is unacceptable.

Next they bring up Africa. They say that Africa is poor and why don't we use this technology to do a similar job to doctors for these people? (I wish I could say "bring up poor countries" but in fact they always use Africa as their example.)

Next they bring up the enormous number of people affected by the problem. Wouldn't it be great to use technology to reach out to these people who are suffering now?

Next we say we can get rid of the low-level workers, saying that they can "go off and do more interesting work".

Next they bring up the spiralling costs of health care. A disruptor comes in and gets rid of the doctors, because the existing system is so expensive.

Then we argue that only old, out-of-touch people would ever want doctors. The technological replacement is much more convenient and efficient. The kids are all perfectly okay without doctors. Why are you such a Luddite?

Then we get rid of doctors.

Replace "doctors" with whatever field is being "enhanced" by technology.

I am not making a claim about whether getting rid of doctors is a good or a bad thing. I am pointing out that the argument that some disruptive technology is "not trying to get rid of X" when it is clear that the technology threatens X is always false.