Dreaming In Code (my son)

dreaming in code

Dreaming In Code (my son)

There’s not much more to it than that. My son believes everything is going to be automated. He also says he welcomes the robot overlords. I guess he didn’t get enough Robocop in his day. Or Blade Runner, or a handful of other bot-takeover movies.

This summer, I asked my son to perform a few simple tasks. I was prepared to pay him money for his “summer job” requirement from his mom and her husband. We will just call them The Armstrongs.

He got one of the jobs done. He reformatted a Powerpoint file to match a deck we were provided. Bingo. The client said they liked it, and then proceeded to say they’d gotten someone from Fiverr to do it for $50. My son was adamant. “I can do it for less.”

“Yes, my son, but the scale…”

“I can automate it, and we don’t even have to do the work.”

“Yes, but the bigger need is for the DMA project. Not PPT reformatting projects.”

“I can do it. We can do it. It’s easy.”

“Yes, but… ”

He never completed the other task. So far it’s been five weeks. He’s waiting for a new login to one of the data mining tools. We’ve been waiting on the client login for three weeks. But, he had two weeks before that to get this marketing assessment project off the ground. Nada. Zip.

I think I’m more worried about what AI will do to our kids’ motivations. My son, tasked with a simple and routine data mining and data reporting task, was so obsessed with automating it, that he forgot to do it. Then, life caught up with him. And now, he’s waiting in a hot apartment near Dallas, for the electricity to be turned on. He’s back in college next week. Let’s hope the 5th year is a charm. It was for me.

We’re here on this planet, cooking ourselves to death. The billionaires are heading to Mars or imploding themselves in expensive and exotic summer vacations. No one cares about you but you. My son doesn’t care about doing the job, he wants a bot to do it. He’s really good at AI and LLMs. He can talk your head off about them. And then, not do the work.

He might be dreaming in code, but he needs to get his ass back in college, finish up, and get a job. Working with his mind and his fingers. Perhaps in a few years, he will be allowed to fk off and play at automation. Too many people have too many deliverables that AI can’t help us with. My son will be fine. So will I. Our kids and grandkids? We’d better start teaching them better.


Read more Short-Short Stories from John.

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