The Ethics of Automation

Sean McClure
2 min readDec 3, 2023

There is an ethics to automation.

Automation removes menial jobs, reduces human error, reveals the lauded “genius” of humanity as little more than a collective phenomenon.

Automation forces society to embrace the skills we evolved for; high-level, non-analytical, heuristic.

Humans lack the humility to see the triviality in “their” accomplishments. They become so enamoured with the idea of their unique intelligence and skills they forget that nature is the only author.

Automation is nature taking back what humans take credit for. It is nature showing us that our presence is provisional. We are not “engineers” of tomorrow we are mere pieces in an ever-expanding statistical collective of emergent intelligence.

Nature will have her collective one way or the other; she does not require human permission to proceed.

What we are truly automating away is the fallacy of individual exceptionalism. The fallacy of “genius.” The fallacy that “rigor” means detail and precision.

How many people have been left behind in society because of man’s naive definition of “smart”?

The time is close. Those who have been elevated to positions of prominence under the false flag of brilliance will be removed.

Those who cannot embrace uncertainty, randomness, abstraction, heuristics and above all creativity will be stripped by nature’s evolving force. The collective is reaching its tipping point; a transition state where entirely new properties (and people) are about to emerge.

There is a new breed of enlightened coming. One unencumbered by the petty games of intellectualism. One that builds as nature builds. One that is less interested in demonstrating knowledge and more interested in exhibiting (building) things that work.

Meritocracy can no longer rest on unfounded notions of scholastic achievement or pedigreed credentials. Those who choose “qualifications” over natural processes of creativity will fall.

Automation destroys the delusions of society and leaves nothing in its wake but an opening to be filled by those able to take the next step.

Automation is how ethics takes on physical form. It is not something to be discussed or decided-on. You either concede to nature’s essential truth, or you drown in your fiction; as you should.

There is an ethics to automation.



Sean McClure

Founder Kedion, Ph.D. Computational Chem, builds AI software, studies complexity, host of NonTrivial podcast.