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Innovation

Will management replace your boss with an API?

If you're a boss, beware: using a new API, software can now hire, evaluate, fire and pay employees.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

If you're someone's boss, beware: Australian jobs listings website Freelancer.com wants to replace you with software.

On Monday, the company released its FreelancerAPI, which it calls the "world's first sophisticated API for tasking humans from software."

What does that mean, exactly? Simple: software can now hire, evaluate, fire and pay employees.

The API -- an acronym that stands for application programming interface -- offers a programming interface for humans that allows software to send complex tasks to humans, retrieve the results and pay for the completed work.

"Software can now simply post a job and hire one, three or 500 humans," said CEO Matt Barrie in a statement. "Software can now literally assemble an army overnight to solve complex problems."

Barrie explains:

Imagine a trivial example of software that controls a store selling virtual goods; the software might be able to stock the store full of content using the API, soliciting humans to generate more content and retaining the freelancers whose content sells. Provided the store continues to make a profit (or has money in the bank to pay freelancers), this might continue perpetually.

Take one more step -- gather enough programmers to create software that can use the API to improve itself -- and you're on your way to technological singularity.

Is it effective? Your guess is as good as mine.

But I always revert to the software bug theory: if a flawed human created it, it's bound to have flaws.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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