Many of us have been wondering: In light of the breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, how long until robots take over our jobs?
In addition to OpenAI, a Microsoft partner, Google and Microsoft’s new technologies can accomplish tasks previously considered exclusive to humans. Examples of this are producing creative artwork and creating original writing.
The prospects are immense. However, so is the apprehension – particularly regarding employment and wages.
As artificial intelligence continues to improve, some fear that job security may be affected. Gizmodo recently released a report titled “Here Are the Jobs Our New AI Overlords Plan to Kill,” which noted that coding or computer programming is one of the occupations at risk.
None of the available AI coding programs can substitute for the expertise of professional coders. In reality, it could even assist them.
Sam Zanca, an instructor and coder at General Assembly – a coding school in New York – stated that Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“Definitely automate the more tedious parts” of his job, “but it’s still a long ways away before having a true impact.”
“The problem is that … I’m not entirely sure if the AI that would replace me is 10 years from now, 20 years from now, or five years from now.”
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, is not particularly anxious about Artificial Intelligence. Rather than worrying that AI will take over people’s jobs, he firmly believes in its potential.
“I believe it creates more, I will call it both satisfaction in current jobs and net new jobs.”
At the start of the release of the new AI-powered Bing, Nadella asserted that artificial intelligence could boost the economy in many ways.
Nadella went on to say:
“My biggest worry is we need some new technology … that starts driving real productivity.”
“It’s time for some real innovation.”
“Because productivity and wages are related.”
David Autor, an economist from MIT, believes that although AI could increase wages over the long run, it will also cause many jobs to be transformed during our lifetimes – and what is even more concerning is that we don’t know exactly how.
David Autor says:
“We are very good at forecasting what we will not be doing and very poor at forecasting what we will be doing.”
He emphasizes that most of today’s jobs were nonexistent in the 1940s, while many have been substituted.
David Autor continues to say:
“What we’ve seen over the last four decades in the U.S. and many industrialized economies is what economists call labor market polarization, which means the hollowing out of the middle set of jobs … kind of middle class jobs involving blue collar production and operative work, but also … administrative support clerical tasks.”
“We had banks and banks of people who answered phones, who did typing and filing, who reproduced documents, who kept tables and books. Many, many of these things are now done by machines.”
A consequence of the hollowing out of the middle in the labor market has been that some individuals have risen to higher levels, earning greater wages and salaries. In contrast, others have been pushed down and now make less.
David Autor adds:
“That’s especially where the pain happens.”
That also troubles Meredith Whittaker, who co-founded the AI Now Institute at New York University to study how all these new artificial intelligence systems will affect our lives.
“They don’t replace human labor. They require different forms of labor to sort of babysit them, train them, and ensure they’re working well.
“Whose work will be degraded and whose house in the Hamptons will get another wing?”
She inquired about making sure she used the word “degrade” correctly, meaning the person would still have a job with a lower salary.
Whittaker went on to say:
“I think that’s the fundamental question when we look at these technologies and ask about questions about work.”
The fear that AI will replace human jobs is common but not a foregone conclusion. Tech experts and AI researchers have weighed in on this issue, and the consensus is that while AI will certainly change the nature of work, it is unlikely to replace human labor completely.
Instead, AI will augment human abilities, making workers more productive and efficient and freeing them up to focus on higher-level tasks that require creativity, empathy, and critical thinking skills. In some cases, AI may create new job opportunities as companies invest in developing and implementing AI technologies.