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On AI, mass layoffs and PR narrative

Why so much narative about AI and layoffs?

Anyone with a certain IT background knows that voices about mass layoffs due to AI are not true. Yes, there are some layoffs due to AI but they are marginal respect of the current waves of layoffs, so why such false narrative?

The answer I gave myself came from the IT history, back at Xerox PARC time with their first modern Smalltalk workstations, the Alto, with a now classic desktop, mouse, keyboard, GUIs with a tiling WM etc. The historical narrative state the Alto was a failure, "nobody want a desktop computer", "it's way too complex for the average Joe", … well, such a failure that ALL modern IT was born on top of such "failed" tech, starting from modern GAFAM who root their success in some pieces of Xerox tech, overturned to be anti-users instead of pro-users like the original.

What happen back then? Well, one of the giant of that time, IBM, known for it's help in organizing Nazi's holocaust and propaganda, pushed the idea that desktops are too expensive for anyone, too complex etc, selling instead classic "modernized" machines, far more limited and limiting, cheaper but not that cheap indeed, that essentially implement just some aspects of a modern desktop. Their target to modern eyes seems obviously the desire to keep users powerless and tied to a vendor, the only one who profit from the power of computing, the sole Alphabet, who own information and Meta-information, acting like an Oracle for their customers-slaves. Nothing new under the Sun indeed. From the history we know the same plot for books "the people do not need books", "books are just for "élites", "if we spread them the worse will happen", … And well… Most people believe IBM simply because buying Xerox machines was expensive and most do not see the point of having them instead of working with paper automated by some electromechanical machines like those from IBM, those who understand in the end, they can have emails thanks to Xerox, but if almost all others just have paper mails there is no point in sending emails to themselves…

Since anything good at a certain point succeed, at least became spread, popular, in the end we got desktops, of course years after Xerox, far more limited and limiting, when IBM and others have found ways to make them anti-users. Nowadays after DECADES we start finally to really understand the use case for desktops, thanks to remote work on one side, the level of crappiness of commercial OSes that finally push many towards FLOSS OSes and the very slow spread of knowledge about the tech. This means red alert for the giants who profit from their lock-in, anti-users services/crap.

So they push the new tool of the trade, something you can't use on your iron, it's too complex, too expensive, you need it, so you have to buy our service and we take care of anything for you.

So why so many layoffs these days?

Well, after DECADES of widespread availability for instance of internet banking platforms, who happen to be widespread after decades of their substantial technical possibility, a sufficiently big mass of people use them, enough people that keeping open so many bank branch offices is useless for the banks. That's not AI, that's classic IT automation, that after a terribly long delay start to be spread enough for people noticing the effect. Tha same happen for insurances. The same happen INSIDE many big companies that even those who sell IT solutions internally have never really automate enough keeping gazillion of work paradigms from another era, so needing much more stuff to get things done.

The neoliberal's economics have done the rest, sinking the bulk of the population and SMEs. That's why we see so much layoffs these days.

Of course some get fired "because of AI", typically reaching in a little amount of time the press with news like these, some effectively because for instance thanks to modern LLM the automated translation of some text is good enough a single human interpreter can correct small faults and publish the translated article in a far little time, so instead of let's say 20 humans translating in the recent past 5 now can do the same amount of work, due to automation AND sometimes "AI" to auto-classify docs, scan them with OCR good enough for a fully automated ETL and so on we have some layoffs, but most are not due to the recent AI/ML boom.

Conclusion: why not stating the truth?

Like I said giants do not want literate people, they profit better from illiterate, giants want Ford-model workers at all levels to rule easier and more effectively, even if such model can't last longer.

These days we are about to reach enough understanding of computing to be ready rediscovering the old Xerox Augmenting Cognition idea, and the giants do not want that at all. The desperately need to have an useful idiot mass of slaves. They hope AI makes that possible enabling illiterate to do literate things and forcing them to their services.

These days many services are meaningless if enough people rediscover the Xerox desktop model. Many aspects of surveillance capitalism simply cease to exists, if we rediscover we can own our mails why using someone else webmail that's slower than a local MUA and we can't customize as we can with a local one we own? If we can call each others via VoIP IP2IP or more simpler personal domain name to personal domain name who want Skype, Zoom, Teams, WA and so on?

Keeping people on someone else computer is part of the 2030 WEF agenda, since it means keep people owning nothing and "being happy" like the kind of happiness Canon enforce in China to avoid getting banned from the services they use, they have data, their digital life on.

At least, I fail to see a better explanation.