Computer Repair Shops & AI – A Shrinking Employment Space?


Today’s world is far from what the human plane once used to be. A discursive field that is dominated by rapid advances in AI and computing. Rendered fully unrecognizable for the residents of a long age past. Made even inhospitable, on occasion, for our otherwise thriving boomer demographic. 

Lamenting an Inhospitable Age

Let’s not even talk about the inter-war folk and their antecedent generations. 

On account of a failed fast-culture appropriation, the majority of these are suffering. And due to no fault of their own, I think everyone would agree.

It’s just that the world, with the advent of the 90s tech boom, has spiraled completely off-course. The linear trajectory of history, which proceeded with gentle gradations, seems to have leaped ahead on steroids. Almost skipping an epoch – it wouldn’t be wrong to surmise – of traditional/dialectical human development in between.

All were resulting in the affliction of our elders being made continually dependent on the generosity of their much-younger-aged contemporaries. Individuals who, both millennials and their successors, are known for their unprecedented apathy shows. Concerned with only the bottom – efficiency – line. Unsympathetic to the plight of those considered old-fashioned, disconnected, or hard up in any way.

A Devious Present & Future: Courtesy AI

I’m not trying to encourage a stereotype here. 

As a long-time computer repair tech born in the 80s, I know better than disparaging my generation. But I’m not afraid to vent openly on an off-putting tendency I see displayed infuriatingly by the people who comprise it. 

All, however, is not so well these days for the young.

In many respects, and particularly in the latest iterations of computer repair shop software (my area of expertise), AI has fresher fish to fry. 

Expediting the narrowing of the under-30s’ economic/functional space. Providing better commercial alternatives than even the fittest human agents. Incentivizing employers to favor systemic mechanization. Gradually rendering the organic to go obsolete.

So, when considered in retrospect, the bell now tolls for everyone.

Ode to what is subjective…

And the only opening I see for human involvement in our ambitiously sell-fanned future concerns the personal space. 

The realm where errors of judgment or execution are considered ‘art.’ Lapses that spell opportunity, a new kind of hitherto unexplored advancement. The field that will forever, with its held produce, be conjectured as being ‘less than’; wherein lies its uniqueness. Its inimitability. A functional deployment that only a fellow sentient, governed by chaotic arbitrariness, can replicate. 

AI will be at pains to mimic – if this should ever become a possibility.

Meaning (I should hope) that my computer repair shop software will not get the best of me in the days to come. My course of employment, which calls for a generous measure of repair creativity, probably won’t let it! A comforting thought. 

The irony here, of course, is that human beings’ unpredictability plays to my advantage. To all sentient economic agents’ advantage. 

Because people, given the time of day, can inflict an unimaginable, non-probabilistic run of device damages. Breakages that not even the most resilient supercomputer processors can dismantle for their causal origins. And so, the originality of the ‘fix work’ required in these situations would continue to be something unanticipated. A domain where you and I excel – under the providence that is innate.

The repair world paradox

In the repair world, the human – at present, at least – is indispensable. The commercial client, a creative, animate being, does not respond well to systematic interfaces, which can be intimidating. 

In-person interactions can be likened to the ‘oil’ that facilitates the repair shop workflow. Without their strategic occurrence, any business would lose revenue. The market’s inevitable hinging on consumer preference actively renders the case so.

At the same time, the repair field cannot do without minute process automation – on the managerial front. What a reliable computer repair shop software works wonders at. From a technical standpoint, no fixes can be mediated without tech. Think micro-soldering rods, valves, and electronic wire filaments. The stuff which provides the actual service distillation – luring the currency.

The wise repair manager, then (in my opinion), is someone who can juggle both effortlessly. 

A further pro can mask the effort, making it seem almost natural to purveyors. Comfortably inviting, even engaging, for customers. Culminating in what is often referred to as the ‘backdrop of the expert.’ The station where, in our case, the tech reigns supreme over the repair shop software – and not the other way around.

Ensuring human relevancy

Another question that often comes up during discussions of AI-social sphere entrenchment:

How do we ensure that humans remain relevant to the work arena?

Well, my response to this pressing, insecurity-breeding concern has to do with a prescription. As far as I am concerned, a no-brainer, which many authorities have for long been advocating. 

We need to get people on/with the program!

By working alongside AI frameworks constantly, they will be enabled to detect breaches. The kinds are fleshed by underlying coding frameworks, mediated, specifically, by their hollow in-between spaces. 

Now, each worker will come up with a series of diagnosed openings. However, the large bulk of these, when compared for patterns, and retrieved from a majority of respondents, will be common. 

In time, such a databank of ‘lapse entries’ will provide insights into the best line of resistance. Space where the human agent can function without the threat of better AI imitation.

A more equitable world

Even under the most intelligent introspection, the above analysis cannot be dismissed even if its explication should seem exaggerated.

What’s important is how we, as a species, move beyond this precipice.

One solution might be to impose conscious limits on AI advancement. Particularly at the junctures where human agency – at present – holds the upper hand.

In a repair setting, this can be conceived as, for instance, a point of sales software bound for algorithmic processing by worker input. So, no information would translate into no processing. 

Here, the executive agent could be considered the ‘equation ignition.’ The spark without which no roaring fire can manifest.

Complete mechanization, in any case, is not a possible scenario.

Not unless we contemplate a world without any Adam toiling in its field.

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