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Tag Archives: Artificial Intelligence

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Could Artificial Intelligence Mean The End Of The Human Race?

Katia Arias No Comments

Artificial Intelligence

Source: erichstauffer.com

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has declared our time’s technological breakthroughs as “The Fourth Industrial Revolution”, where all existing technologies fuse to break barriers between the physical, digital and biological worlds.

Amongst the biggest advances of the revolution we find Artificial Intelligence (AI), a computer system able to carry out human tasks such as decision-making, speech recognition and visual perceptions.

Source: mirror.co.uk

Source: mirror.co.uk

Using AI companies like Google and Tesla created the first self-driven car. Facebook has used it to recognize faces, Apple created Siri; and NASA is developing an air security program where planes can dodge storms and other hazards. No wonder, the world of science is eager to dive even deeper into the field.

 

 

But, even if AI seems great so far, what would happen to us when machines take over the world?

“We are approaching the time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task” Moshe Vardi, computer science professor at Rice University expressed. And, if not developed responsibly, Cambridge professor Stephen Hawkins noted, “artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”.

Studies carried out by Citi in the USA and the Center For Economic Policy in the EU and Japan, show that AI can indeed spell the end of humanity by, widening the inequality gap, increasing levels of unemployment, and taking away the “human” factor of work, which, in turn, upsets entire economies and poses moral concerns.

 

  1. Increased Inequality

 According to the Citi report, the inequality theory caused by AI can be summarized as follows:

“The benefits from the new industrial revolution are not being equally shared amongst all people in the world.”

With higher technology, the skill requirements for labor also become higher, leaving all those who didn’t study a computer science almost out of the game; hence creating a new 1% vs. 99% division.

The 1% represents the tech savvy, highly skilled population that benefits from AI and can complement its knowledge with the new automated processes. And the 99%, on the other hand, represents the middle to low skilled populations whose job will be taken away by AI, and whose knowledge will be substituted by computers.

As the Business Insider would put it, the cities with more rapid income growths that hold more 1% income earners and offer very specialized jobs are less susceptible to automation; while cities that offer more generic jobs, hold 99% income earners and have slow income growths are most likely to be taken over by machines. Leading towards mass migration, the death of some towns amongst other issues.

Source: VOX - CEPR's Policy Portal

Source: VOX – CEPR’s Policy Portal

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Source: VOX – CEPR’s Policy Portal

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Unemployment

The new inequality gap also leads to the next major issue, which is mass unemployment. As more and more factory workers, taxi drivers, and lab technicians are replaced; the world will find itself with a higher dependency rate than ever before. More people will need to survive but less people will be able to work for it.

The Citi Report proposed that education would be the only solution to solve the problem. With only 0.5% of the US Workforce shifting to tech industries in the 2000s, the World Bank estimated that 47% of US jobs would be replaced by automation in the near future and only high skilled Tech training could land these people new and stable jobs.

Going even further the World Bank estimated that in China the replacement rate would be of 77%, in South Africa 67%, India 69%, UK 35% and Thailand 72% (amongst others), landing with an OECD average of 57%. Which, according to the World Economic Forum, represents the net loss of more than 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies by 2020.

 

Source: uk.businessinsider.com - World Bank Development Report (2016)

Source: World Bank Development Report (2016)

Read More: Is Uber doing bad by doing good?

3. No More “Humanity”

While machines can predict the weather and avoid traffic accidents by 90%, they cannot replace humans when it comes to common sense, creativity, multitasking, learning, morality  and feeling.

As infant psychologist Alison Gopnik would point out, “machines are not [yet] as smart as a two-year-old child.” Simply because they can’t form hypotheses, create theories or learn from experience and imitation.

Innovation sounds great. But what if robots can solve puzzles but they can’t really learn from the world around or find new solutions on the spot. Or, what if robots can increase your company’s efficiency but they do so trespassing the rules because they have no moral compass?

This is why scientists & entrepreneurs like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk are paying special attention to the revolution and encouraging developers to be careful. We want machines to help humanity not to take over it.

 

Source: Intelligence.booklikes.com

Source: Intelligence.booklikes.com

Conclusion

 In conclusion, whether or not we want it, AI is here to stay and ready to make an impact. It all depends now on how governments, business owners and individuals will adapt to the revolution and how they will choose to mingle with technology.

On the public side, governments should create policies that bring technology at the same pace workers can adapt to it, paired up with technical programs to retrain the population.

On the private side, businesses must recognize that machines, even if they bring cost and time efficient solutions to the table, cannot replace humans when it comes to design thinking processes or morality. Hence they must study their companies and keep a sustainable balance between people and machines.

And as individuals, people must learn where they stand. If the technology is growing around you, get informed, seek to learn and keep on working to stay competitive.

 

If you found this post useful, please let us know in the comments!

 

Sources:

  1. “What Will Artificial Intelligence Mean For The World of Work?” Recovered from: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/feb/17/artificial-intelligence-future-of-work on September, 16
  2. “Robots Will Steal Your Job: How AI Could Increase Unemployment & Inequality” recovered from: http://uk.businessinsider.com/robots-will-steal-your-job-citi-ai-increase-unemployment-inequality-2016-2 on September, 16
  3. “Artificial Intelligence And Employment” recovered from: http://voxeu.org/article/artificial-intelligence-and-employment on September, 16
  4. “AI And Robots Threaten To Unleash Mass Unemployment, Scientists Warn”, recovered from: https://www.ft.com/content/063c1176-d29a-11e5-969e-9d801cf5e15b on September, 16
  5. The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What It Means, How to Respond”, recovered from: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-what-it-means-and-how-to-respond/ on September, 16
  6. “Applications of AI”, recovered from: http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/whatisai/node3.html on September, 16
  7. “AI Has Arrived And That Really Worries The World’s Brightest Minds” recovered from: https://www.wired.com/2015/01/ai-arrived-really-worries-worlds-brightest-minds/ on September, 16
  8. “Five Million Jobs by 2020: The Real Challenge Of The Fourth Industrial Revolution” recovered from: https://www.weforum.org/press/2016/01/five-million-jobs-by-2020-the-real-challenge-of-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/ on September, 16
  9. “Weighing In On The Pros And Cons Of Artificial Intelligence” recovered from: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/pros-and-cons-of-artificial-intelligence.html on September, 16
  10. “Stephen Hawking Warns Artificial Intelligence Could End Mankind”, recovered from: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540 on September, 16

 

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