This isn't exactly a new concept, just used in a new way.
If you have no sig other to help you through the tough times, no family to depend on, and no friends to turn to...there is still that horrible horrible government thing. You will not die without a job, but you certainly need to be confident enough in who you are to not blow your own brains out for fear of the "no job and die" beliefs.
we don't have to know WHY it works better, just that it does and how to build a working copy
But the fact that it does work better means we're either missing a part of the picture that is obviously important or the AI version is leveraging quirks with the system that no current model we have represents. I'm shocked to read that anyone would be comfortable just ignoring the why of something just so we can progress beyond our understanding. If we don't understand the why then we're missing something very important that could lead to breakthroughs in many other areas. Do not let go of the curiosity that got us here to begin with.
"Productive != creative"
Repeat: "When in reality, it tends to be the people with experience who see new, better ways to do things. (Which makes a lot of sense, if you think about it.) "
Repeating something over and over again doesn't make it true either. You said a study showed workers with more experience are more productive. Being productive has nothing to do with being creative. I completely agree with you that someone that knows a problem area best are the most likely to solve a problem...this doesn't mean the person has to live with the problem for 40 years before they decide to fix it though. However someone that is just being introduced to a new area are also more likely to identify the problems better because all the old folks have learned to just live with the same problems. Again, being productive has nothing to do with being creative.
Your assumptions are not in line with what the statistics actually say.
My assumption that you quoted was "When you consider that the hot new thing all the startups want to write in changes every 5-6 years it's no surprise that older workers don't hold as much value. " This is not an assumption. It's basically a stated fact. Older workers do not hold as much value and when you're comparing resumes between older workers and new workers with newer technology the newer workers are actually more likely to have the correct skillset. To someone in HR they are not going to see a guy with a decade plus of experience in J2EE as something better than a guy with 2 years experience in the language the job is actually for..when you're looking for coding grunts or a group of guys that might spit out a few good ideas once or twice in their career. I don't see why you're failing to connect those same dots. You basically seem to hold no value to a younger developer. Kids in grade school can code...kids in high school can come up with better ideas than some of us will in our entire careers. The truth is someone that has been doing the same thing for 40 years honest truly probably...isn't going to be the next best thing since sliced bread. Their ideas are spent, they've had a thousand chances to shine through the ranks. Their value to most in HR is in stability, training, and high level system design. Not in coming up with the next best thing since sliced bread. To be honest if they had such a great idea they're probably making enough money and have enough experience under their belt to market and sell it themselves instead of working for another asshat boss.
So please explain to me again why older workers are just perfect and exactly what every company should be hiring instead of a young whipper snapper? They aren't going to work late nights, they aren't going to try and impress the boss, and they are more likely to want to stick with what they know works than to try new things. Show me anyone over 35 that works 12 hour days coding non stop and I'll probably shoot the guy myself for not having an self respect by that age.
At least the places I've worked older workers are more interested in keeping the status quo. When you consider that the hot new thing all the startups want to write in changes every 5-6 years it's no surprise that older workers don't hold as much value. They certainly have value in system design and higher level work. Throwing them at coding in a language that has only been around for a few years doesn't make lot of sense. Certainly language of choice is the only reason for the age difference. Those with a family and mortgage simply by definintion are less likely to take risks or are even at an income level where they are pushed to impress the boss / start their own company. Their motivation went out the door a while ago. Studies have been done on this (citation needed). So I fail to see why it's a surprise that startups focus on cheaper labor (younger) that are more likely to be motivated in ways someone with a family and mortgage simply are not. Ask a man with 3 kids, a demanding wife, and a mortgage to stay working a 14 hour shift to meet that next agile milestone...see how long he sticks around before changing jobs.
That doesn't make it right.
I think you're confusing a personal moral you have with the obligation a country has to defend itself.
I hate it when I hear about how horrible the world will be when tech xyz comes along. We've been around for some 65 years capable of completely destroying the human race at the push of a button. The risks will be contained just like with everything else. But I guess if we're not worried about it, it just might happen.