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Man and Superman: Can Displaced Blue Collar Workers Become Doctors?

Posted on Monday, Feb 19th 2018

Last week, I was on a panel at the Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange (SVDX) on Robotics and AI: How will Boards Embrace Tomorrow’s Technologies?

One of the issues we discussed was what happens to displaced workers who lose their jobs to AI.

Let us say, a company that I am on the Board of has just sold a piece of software to 200 enterprise customers for $1 million each and created $200 million of high velocity, richly profitable revenue. But, in the process, at each company, 500o workers have lost their jobs. That is a million workers that we have just put out of work.

The Board is concerned that these one million displaced people will now go to social media attack the company for being a livelihood destroyer. We’re facing a PR nightmare.

Unless we retrain them and make them viable another way.

So, what is the retraining strategy for this mass of displaced workers?

While displaced programmers who have been replaced by automatic code-generators can become data scientists, factory workers, BPO workers, and truck-drivers cannot. They do not have the IQ to upgrade themselves to that extent.

We talked about brain implants and augmentation of human cognitive capacity in the last segment of this series.

The question that I am toying with, and that I posed at the panel last week is this: Can displaced workers with average IQ be retrained to become doctors?

Let me explain why I am going in this direction.

Doctors, I think, NEED AI. As it stands, we expect them to do an incredible level of multi-variate optimization in their heads. We expect them to factor in symptoms, test results, drug parameters (including side-effects and cross-medicinal impact), current research, genetic data, data-driven predictive models, and a whole lot more and guide patients’ wellness quests. This is preposterous for average IQ people. It is even impossible for high IQ people to do at any degree of precision. I, personally, would much prefer an AI doctor, and in this case, one that may assist a human with a certain degree of knowledge and training.

Now, if we go back to the possibility of human evolution (man becoming superman) using brain implants and augmentation technologies, could we upgrade displaced, very average IQ people to become adequately knowledgable, such that they can then work with the AI doctors and become viable citizens with decent livelihoods?

If the answer is yes, then humanity would take a step forward.

Quality of healthcare today sucks on a large scale. AI can improve that decisively. And if augmentation can bring hundreds of million displaced people up-to-speed to offer quality healthcare, we have solved one of the key issues facing humanity today: extreme poverty and inequality.

I will be watching the developments in this space with keen attention.

This segment is a part in the series : Man and Superman

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