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Will "Watson" a supercomputer and his offspring eliminate millions of white collar jobs within a decade?
Chess was the first "white-collar" job impacted by strong computers, because there are, perhaps, 100,000 chess professionals sort of making a living at it.
When there were no strong computers in chess I relied on a top professional to get analysis. This provided a professional with income. I no longer need his advice because I can rely on a much stronger computer than him i.e. he lost a "cash cow" and his income dropped accordingly.
Blue collar jobs by the thousands were lost when computerization took over in mass production of cars. No white collar workers cared---these are not my jobs.
Along comes Watson who won at Jeopardy. I predict that within a decade 100,000 jobs will be lost in paralegal positions as a supercomputer in a major law firm can, within a second, search all relevant case law, provide all legal precedents and all reasonable legal strategies to be used, type it up and print it with 10 minutes. Why would law firms, in this scenario, need paralegals?
Within a decade hundreds of otherwise complex legal instruments will be done better with Watson than with an attorney. This includes filings for divorce with a "mediation" computer eliminating the need for attorneys, any kind of filings for disablitity benefits, normally time consuming can be done in a second by Watson. Any slip and fall attorney can be replaced.
One hundred thousand paralegals and attorneys will be driven out of the legal profession withjin the next 10 years, despite a huge increase in lawsuits which is predictable as it becomes easier and easier to file law suits, nuisance and otherwise.
The excess of attorneys will find other ways to find employment e.g. become real estate brokers, a discipline where computers are already a dominant force and can only replace more and more real estate agents.
This is the future facing millions of white collar workers in the fields of medicine, architecture, the law, insurance companies etc.
Aren't computers wonderful!