‘Proof’ That Technology Takes Us Down a Level 4

This is a guest post by Mandy Miller. Follow her on Twitter at@MandyMayM.

For those that weren’t A+ students with your AP Stylebook, there’s new hope for you. The Associated Press just released AP StyleGuard software that helps edit your documents to ensure content meets style guidelines. While at face-value, this seems like the saving grace of a tired over-caffeinated reporter, PR professional or procrastinating college student, I’m a bit skeptical of the new technology.

Remember back in the day when you used to have to write out your spelling words on PAPER with a PENCIL? If you misspelled something, a red squiggly line didn’t pop up. The only red line on that paper was the grade your teacher wrote. In later years of English class, a green line didn’t suggest replacements for fragments. Today, I hear of students using computers to ‘write’ their spelling words. Must I go further on this “Back in my day…” spiel?

This somewhat ties back to my earlier post on if technology is eliminating jobs (Are Watson and His Tech Buds the Reason for High Unemployment). Are we innovating ourselves out of work? Of course we create new technologies with the intention of making workflow more efficient, but does this not clearly illustrate that technology is taking away our talent and moving us down a notch on the food chain of employment?

I’ve worked with some extremely talented copywriters in my short time span in the ‘big kid’ world, and I know for a fact they didn’t have any of these programs in the years they have been working. What do programs like this mean for the future? Of course they can catch funny typos, but will it come to the point where a copywriter position won’t even be needed? Will skills in AP style not even be appealing on resumes?  What other technologies in other industries are eliminating the need for a human workforce?

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