July 3, 2017

» Is it unethical for me to not tell my employer I’ve automated my job?

[…] I’ve basically figured out all the traps to the point where I’ve actually written a program which for the past 6 months has been just doing the whole thing for me. So what used to take the last guy like a month, now takes maybe 10 minutes to clean the spreadsheet and run it through the program.

Although a particular case, this sort of question will become more common with AI, machine learning, and other deep learning applications.

But as Battlestar Galactica thought us, all of this has happened before and will happen again — From Planet Money episode 606: Spreadsheets!:

And what happened was this accountant, he got a rush job from one of his clients. It was the kind of thing that in the old paper universe would’ve taken a couple days. This guy has this new electronic spreadsheet. So he plugs in the numbers, does the work in just a couple hours. Then, what he does - he just waits, let’s the thing sit on his desk for, like, two days, FedExs it back to the client. And the client was like, wow, you did it so fast.

There’s space for a lot of debate on ethical questions like this. But there’s opportunities created when industries


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