Artificial Intelligence has been speculated to change the world in many ways. There is no consensus as to how this will happen though. The recent disagreement between two of the biggest names in tech – Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg– about the future of Artificial Intelligence shows just how divided the tech world is on the subject. Mark Zuckerberg was of the view that we should not worry too much about Artificial Intelligence and believes that it will mostly be beneficial. Elon Musk, on the other hand, believes that we should be more cautious as to how we proceed in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
I would say there are two major concerns about the future of AI, namely, will AI replace our jobs and will AI kill us? Here we will focus on the former concern as I believe there is a greater chance of this happening in the immediate future. So will AI replace our jobs? It’s hard to say. In the past, when automation first became widely adopted in the manufacturing industry, people were also worried about losing their jobs to machines, and they did. However, in addition to replacing jobs, it also created a lot more new jobs that were also specialized.
The automation of the manufacturing industry lead to salaries increasing, and an increase in production was also seen. This stimulated economic growth and we can safely say that the adoption of automation was beneficial to us. History might not repeat itself this time around though. AI is said to be replacing 50% of jobs over the next decade.
Jobs most likely to be replaced include the ones that involve a lot of repetitive work. Jobs like cashiers, telemarketers, cooks and bookkeepers, just to mention a few. Imagine walking into a store, taking what you need and walking out. Imagine not getting those irritating phone calls from telemarketers trying to sell you something that you don’t need. AI systems will know what you need when you need it before you even know you need it.
This sounds amazing and everything but would you even be able to afford the things you need if you have been replaced by the very same system that knows your every need? Hopefully, things won’t turn out that way but it is still too early to say. One thing that I can say is that AI will touch every industry imaginable. It won’t even affect the way we work but the way we play as well.
In conclusion, I believe that yes, AI will replace many jobs. I also think that for the most part, it will also change the way we work. Jobs will be augmented by AI and it will take care of all of the repetitive tasks. We will then be able to focus more on creative tasks. Jobs that require physical and emotional human interaction will also remain. We will need to adapt to this change and learn new skills if we want to stay relevant. We will need to come up with strategies to minimize the effect that AI will have on people’s livelihoods. This will need to be done proactively rather than reactively. If we don’t, then maybe the AI can do it for us.