Artificial intelligence has already made significant changes to the world we live in. As a result, many people are experiencing fear of robots taking over jobs. We already have AI developments such as drones, self-checkout kiosks and customer service chatbots that have changed the nature of jobs for retail employees, airport employees, call center staff and pilots. Radiologists have also seen changes thanks to AI. For example, Arterys, a medical imaging startup, reads MRIs in seconds.
One of the latest jobs that seems to be threatened by AI is Wall Street stockbrokers. According to an article from the New York Times, “Big banks are using software programs that can suggest bets, construct hedges and act as robo-economists, using natural language processing to parse central bank commentary to predict monetary policy, according to Bloomberg.” It’s natural to fear things that are new or unfamiliar to you, such as artificial intelligence. But if you find yourself bogged down in fear of robots taking over all our jobs, it can help to realize how many more services will now be available to more people as a result of artificial intelligence.
Artificial Intelligence = A More Abundant Society
In the Huffington Post article Why I Don’t Fear Artificial Intelligence, Peter Diamandis makes some great points about how artificial intelligence will allow human capabilities to expand and more abundant resources available. Among the future jobs he predicts AI will be performing for us, he includes physician, teacher, physician, chef and fashion designer. Diamandis predicts that one of the great benefits of AI is that many of these services will be free, regardless of where you live. And you shouldn’t fear robots taking over jobs, because they are likely to help train us to perform even better jobs. Diamandis believes that humanity will evolve along with AI: “We’ll quickly find that trying to train AIs to be more humanistic will challenge us to be more humanistic.”
The idea that humans will naturally develop different or more complex skills, eliminating the fear of mass unemployment, is a very likely possibility if we look at history. When tractors were created, farmers didn’t become obsolete; they simply learned to work with tractors and their capabilities were freed up for more tasks. As a result, the farming industry was able to increase production. Likewise, when ATMS were invented, bank tellers didn’t become obsolete. In fact, there are more bank tellers now more than ever.
AI Can Expand Human Potential
Like Diamandis’s points about AI expanding human capabilities, it can be easily argued that the fear of robots taking over jobs is unfounded because of the paradox that Forbes.com contributor Adam Ozimek brings to our attention. In his article The Paradox of Robots Taking All Our Jobs, he argues that if artificial intelligence is expected to transform other industries, then who says they won’t transform education, enabling humans to perform at their highest possible potential and learn the best ways to complement robots? “In the scenario where many humans lack the skills to work in a complementary way with artificial intelligence, we must remember that artificial intelligence will be training humans much better than humans are trained now.” Following this logic, our children will have higher capabilities as a result of AI, and we shouldn’t worry about AI taking jobs away from them.
So instead of harboring the fear of robots taking over jobs, think about the ways that robots can improve and transform society for the better. It’s possible you may not be performing the same exact job as you are now in ten years, and it’s possible that the job you are doing now won’t be available for your children. But that just means we will all be performing better jobs and contribute to society in a more effective way. And with the help of AI, our future society could have much more to offer to ourselves and the rest of the world.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.