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Comment: That is an excellent point.

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Michael Nystrom's picture

That is an excellent point.

This context doesn’t just make Google’s voice interfaces usable—some day, it could make them even better than humans. “Today, automatic speech recognition is not as good as people, but our ambition is, we should be able to be better than people,” says Huffman. In order to achieve that, Google will leverage the intimate knowledge it has of its users.

What if robots, with those strong metal arms, and silicon brains that are a quadrillion times faster than ours, and with a quadrillion times more data at their disposal, simply displace us?

To the OP: Just because something works out for a while doesn't mean the relationship will always hold true. This much should be obvious. There are breakpoints in the development of any natural system. Things develop a certain way for for a while and suddenly there is a phase change and new rules apply.

If computers / robots, or what Kevin Kelley calls 'The Technium' in his book What Technology Wants, learn to fix themselves, and to make more of themselves - i.e. to reproduce - then what we have on our hands is a new species. Then we're not talking about robots stealing our jobs, but stealing our niche.

In evolutionary terms, there is a word for what happens when a stronger competitor moves into your niche. It is called extinction.