Chick Sexers To Be Automated: Are Lawyers Next?
Chick sexers were famously touted by Dan Kahan because they can do something very hard — distinguish male from female chicks- but allegedly can’t explain well how they do it. Moreover, becoming a chick sexer, like learning how to be a lawyer, radiologist, diagnostician, or other professional, involves repeated confrontation with error. As Kahan explained:
“[T]he lawyer attains her skill – to recognize what she can’t cogently explain – in much the same way that the chick sexer does: through exposure to a professional slideshow, this one conducted by law grandmasters, including law professors but also other socialized lawyers, who authoritatively certify what count as good and bad decisions, sound and unsound arguments, thereby inculcating in students and young practitioners the power of intuitive perception distinctive of the legal craft.”
But now, it turns out, chick sexing is going to be turned over to automated (objective) pattern recognition machines. As the Economist noted, this development is “sad for the redundant sexers … but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.” It’s also, of course, bad for the baby boy chickens, who will be turned into pet food more efficiently.
More grimly, taking Dan’s analogy seriously, this is a scary reminder for lawyers, especially the kind who dominate the profession (i.e., transactional attorneys), that professional judgment can sometimes be automated, and must never be complacent. The only thing that lawyers really have on those poor chick sexers right now is a very entrenched guild.
(H/T: The Economist)