Frankenstein’s AI

I read an article today, about an employee who got fired by a machine [#1].

To put it short: The employees contract expired (because the previous manager forgot to renew it), which started the automated processes of firing the employee. Nobody was able to stop the automated processes (including the current manager) with the result of the employee getting terminated and escorted out of the building. It took the company three weeks to figure out how to solve the accidental termination, before the employee was rehired (as a new employee). The employee lost three weeks of pay.

It’s a good horror story, like the story about Frankenstein’s monster, but we tend to forget that making a mistake can be better than avoiding it.

Think instead of everything that became better, because of the automation. Maybe he would have the job of doing the administration (of employee termination) manually, but now he is able to do more fun and less repeatable tasks. This could have increased his pay by e.g. 6.7 %, which matches three weeks of work (each year).

The termination “bug” would nullify his payment increase, but at the same time give him three weeks of extra vacation (and who wouldn’t want that?)

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