Browse Definitions :
Definition

software substitution

Software substitution is the use of computer programs to conduct tasks that have traditionally been performed by a human.

The replacement of workers by software is an ongoing trend. Well-established examples include automatic teller machines (ATMs) and automated checkouts. An increasing number of tasks can be automated, including many that have not been considered possible to develop software for. Robojournalism, for example, is the creation of articles and other types of writing by content generation software. Content generation products combine artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and machine learning to produce content that can be hard to differentiate from that written by a human. Although the current technology is most successful for brief and formulaic content, it is likely to become sophisticated enough to generate more complex works.

In an article in the New York Times, Anna Lowrey explains how data from crowdsourcing platforms like Amazon's Mechanical Turk can also be used to enable software substitution. For an image recognition task, a company might hire humans to identify, for example, the cutest pictures of cats from among a large number of images. Once the humans have completed that task the data can be analyzed and used to develop software that replicates the human task. Then, the next time they want to sort cat pictures according to cuteness, it won't be necessary to hire anyone for even the extremely low fees typical of MTurk tasks. The company can then  sell the software to other businesses so that they too can automate the task. 

In January 2014, The Economist identified twenty jobs that were likely to be fully automated within the coming twenty years. These were, ordered according to likelihood of replacement: telemarketers, accountants, retail clerks, technical writers, real estate agents, word processors and typists, machinists, commercial pilots, economists, health technologists, actors, firefighters, editors, chemical engineers, clergy, athletic trainers, dentists and recreational therapists. 

 

This was last updated in April 2014

Continue Reading About software substitution

SearchCompliance
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • threat modeling

    Threat modeling is a procedure for optimizing application, system or business process security by identifying objectives and ...

  • social engineering

    Social engineering is an attack vector that relies heavily on human interaction and often involves manipulating people into ...

  • distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack

    A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is one in which multiple compromised computer systems attack a target, such as a ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

SearchStorage
  • race condition

    A race condition is an undesirable situation that occurs when a device or system attempts to perform two or more operations at ...

  • storage security

    Storage security is the group of parameters and settings that make storage resources available to authorized users and trusted ...

  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

Close