Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Everything is Becoming Automated...

Academic jobs are thought to be somewhat safe in the near future -- sure, tenure is disappearing, class sizes are increasing exponentially, and funding is being cut daily. But despite all of this, you really can't outsource academic teaching and research. You can to some extent (especially with the growing popularity of online courses), but if nothing else than for prestige purposes, universities seem unlikely to completely eliminate traditional academic positions anytime soon.

One of the biggest reasons this is happening is because it's still too dependent on human skills. Unlike a lot of assembly work which has been robbed of most of its need for human intelligence by advanced automation, you still need qualified professors to make a university work.

That is, until now -- the dastardly bastards at the University of Chicago writing program have devised a Write Your Own Academic Sentence algorithm.

For me, it came up with "the ideology of post-capitalist hegemony is always already participating in the reification of the nation-state," which is already a more intelligent sentence than I could write. Maybe the automation process is coming to the academy faster than I thought...

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