Browse Definitions:
Definition

software substitution

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

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 ???publishDate.suggestedBy???

Continue Reading About software substitution

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchCloudProvider

  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.

SearchSecurity

  • Common Body of Knowledge (CBK)

    In security, Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is a comprehensive framework of all the relevant subjects a security professional ...

  • rootkit

    A rootkit is a program or, more often, a collection of software tools that gives a threat actor remote access to and control over...

  • Metamorphic virus

    A metamorphic virus is a type of malware that is capable of changing its code and signature patterns with each iteration.

SearchHealthIT

  • clinical trial

    A clinical trial, also known as a clinical research study, is a protocol to evaluate the effects and efficacy of experimental ...

  • Practice Fusion

    Practice Fusion Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that developed a free electronic health record (EHR) system available to ...

  • RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator)

    An RHIA, or registered health information administrator, is a certified professional who oversees the creation and use of patient...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • Red Hat OpenStack Platform

    Red Hat OpenStack Platform is a commercially supported distribution of open source OpenStack software designed to build and ...

  • storage medium (storage media)

    In computers, a storage medium is any technology -- including devices and materials -- used to place, keep and retrieve ...

  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

    Random Access Memory (RAM) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close