Byte Tank

Pedro Lopes Notes

Job Safety in the AI Era

Words are cheap and keep getting cheaper. The last notes on this blog could have been written via generative AI, and as time goes by, new generative models will likely create higher quality content than I could ever produce, consistently.

I didn’t use these because the writing process comes as a form of thinking, but if there are automated mechanisms that increasingly outperform us humans in so many different areas, what does that leave us?

Human connection

How comfortable would you be in having a relationship with a being that is orders of magnitude more intelligent and capable than you? Not just logical-mathematical intelligence, but emotional, linguistic, musical or even spatial intelligence.

A being so advanced that any form of communication or relationship between you and it would always be severely constrained, even with neural interfaces. A being so advanced that you would never be able to have an essential understanding of it. A being so advanced that you wouldn’t even know that you are being manipulated by it. How many humans do you know who are friends with chimpanzees or bonobos, our closest relatives?

We are still human beings, with all the perks and limitations that come with it.

I would claim that humans will always be attracted to their familiar counterparts. Other beings that share their own struggles and limitations, and by consequence, what they create and share. Machines have their important place in the world, and history has proven to us that life as whole improved as technology evolved to serve us, but it would be healthier for us to think of them as tools, rather than human replacements.


We have been fitted with extraordinary senses and tools that allow us to efficiently interact with the world. It took milenea for nature to shape us, and as Leonardo da Vinci puts it when comparing natural to artificial structures: “Nature made the most perfect inventions. There is nothing superfluous, there is nothing lacking” (paraphrased)

Our place

Try having a machine fixing the leaky pipe in your bathroom, or to change your desk’s lightbulb. Odds are that you’ll be flooded and in the dark in the nearterm. There will come a point where they will likely do that, but we are still not there.

Machines / tools currently outperform us in several tasks on the digital realm, and in several heavy duty physical tasks. But when it comes to fine digital dexterity, human connection, and interaction with the real world and its complexities, we still have an edge.

Future Proofing

Take a look at the daily tasks in your job. How repetitive are they? If they are repetíve, how much of a human element is present? Look at your organization and see where rubber meets the road in terms of human connection and physical intervention.

Strive to be closer to that human interface and focus on delivering tangible value to people or businesses (group of people). With this simple mindset, I believe you’ll be in a safer place, surrounded with an abundant supply of meaningful (monetary, emotional, etc) value that you can extract and provide.