Brian Li (brian.li2@mail.mcgill.ca) at McGill University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) sent me this article he (and a friend) wrote.


With the integration of this system in a human-like-machine, these “” robots are able to carry complex series of action and are becoming more and more predominant in our society. 
This idea has generated concerns regarding jobs opportunities, where an average worker can be automated away by these new technological systems [1]. In contrast to an optimistic view of AI, many low-skill jobs will be replaced by sophisticated automated AI. With a rate of 37 percent, more and more Millennials with developed problem solving, and advanced technical skills have raised worries about the risk of their own redundancy which may be inevitable [2].

Research has shown that in the future decade, automation will take over 40 percent of jobs completely, automating the entire sector, however, it will also impact almost all occupations to an extent as well. In fact, 60 percent of all occupations could experience a 30 percent increase in automation with technologies existing today. If this alarming rate is possible with today’s technology, one can only imagine where the future might lead. One of the more automation susceptible jobs includes manual labour and operating of machinery: work is carried out in adaptable environments where small changes are increasingly simple to foresee. Such activities are prominently in sectors involving food service, accommodations, retail and manufacturing can see a 78 percent increase in automation in the next coming few years [3].

Moreover, the number of young people that do not possess a college degree is increasing and the world is experiencing an excessive number of workers that do not have the skills to secure a full-time employment [4]. The use of robots is not mitigating the problem of unemployment that societies are facing. In fact, it is estimated that “smart” robots will be eliminating 6 percent of all the existing jobs in the US by 2021. This is the moment to make rational decisions about this situation and to think carefully about the replacement of humans by machines. Andy Stern, the former president of the Service Employees International Union, commented [5]:

Six percent is huge. In an economy that’s really not creating regular full-time jobs, the ability of people to easily find new employment is going to diminish. So we will have people wanting to work and struggling to find jobs because the same trends are beginning to occur in other historically richer job creation areas like banking, retail and healthcare.

You would think the automation of jobs would be enough, but somehow, we have gone as far as to automate human consciousness as well. One of the current projects of David Hanson, “Sophia” the robot, involves the combination of human aspects such as cognitive, linguistic, gestural functions with AI technologies. Sophia can engage in discussions, recognize human emotions and emulate them herself [6]. This may seem like a huge step forward for the field of robotics, however, it is also a leap towards the replacement of humans themselves. This robot is described as a ‘ robot’ as it mimics the sentience of human beings, but what is the step forward from here?

We are now approaching a point where machines can improve themselves at a tremendous rate and AI can possibly replace humans. In fact, few high-profile voices such as Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates are explaining that technology can be if not used appropriately. It is time to raise concerns about the possible consequences that these “smart” AI could cause societies [7].

References

  1. Bryan, B. (2017) ALIBABA’S JACK MA: New Technology ‘may cause the Third World War’. Business Insider. Retrieved February 22, , from http://www.businessinsider.com/alibaba-stock-price-jack-ma-artificial-intelligence-machine-learning-may-cause-world-war-iii-2017-6 
  2. Marlin, D. (2018) Millennials, This is How Will Impact Your Job For Better And Worse. Forbes. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielmarlin/2018/01/16/millennials-this-is-how-artificial-intelligence-will-impact-your-job-for-better-and-worse/#7fd929a54533
  3. Chui, M., Manyika, James. and Miremadi, Mehdi. (2016) Where machines could replace humans- and where they can’t (yet). McKinsey & Company. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/where-machines-could-replace-humans-and-where-they-cant-yet
  4. Dobbs, Richard., Madgavkar, A., Barton, D., Labaye, E., Manyika, J., Roxburgh, C., Lund, S. and Madhav, S. (2012) The world at work: Jobs, pay, and skills for 3.5 billion people. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from https://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/the-world-at-work
  5. Solon, O. (2016) Robots will eliminate 6% of all US jobs by 2021, the report says. TheGuardian. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/13/artificial-intelligence-robots-threat-jobs-forrester-report
  6. B. Goertzel, J. Mossbridge, E. Monroe, D. Hason, and G. Yu, “Loving AI: Humanoid Robots as Agents of Human Consciousness Expansion (summary of early research progress),” Cornell University Laval, 1-16
  7. Nogrady, B. (2016) The real risk of artificial intelligence. BBC News. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161110-the-real-risks-of-artificial-intelligence



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