2020 is here and we have been arguing about artificial intelligence impact on society. Artificial Intelligence is killing jobs or not.Here is the best analysis and expert opinion on following FAQs. Will artificial intelligence lead to unemployment ? Will automation and artificial intelligence reduce or increase jobs ? What are AI impact on employment and economic growth ?
Economist Richard Wolff says before we embrace A.I. technology we might want to think about the impact it will have on the economy and find ways to ensure that big businesses aren’t the only ones who will profit.
Now you could soon be replaced by artificial intelligence. I spoke with Professor Richard wolf about this very topic Richard says we need to all revisit the impact AI will have on the average American and find ways to ensure that big businesses aren’t the only ones will profit from this technology. Take a look there is always an alternative you could have said to the same number of people. Here’s how we’re going to use the new machines everybody works halftime you don’t work eight hours a day you’ll work for that way with four hours and a doubling of the productivity of the machine. You produce the same goods you have the same sales and nobody loses their job. In other words the technology enables us to increase leisure and here’s the irony we have always said that.
One of the things we like is to be more productive. So we have free time. It’s always been the irony of capitalism that it doesn’t deliver the free time. It could have because it substitutes more profits for the fuel than extra leisure for the many if we really want to plan for artificial intelligence impact, we ought to revisit that basic question and make a commitment as a society that we’re going to use the new technology for the leisure. More leisure for the many rather than more profit for the few. Now how big of a problem is this really because isn’t this a repeat of history in the 18th and 19th century the Industrial Revolution didn’t lead to any major social upheavals or widespread suffering when technology destroys jobs people find other jobs.
So how big of a problem ai and unemployment is? Will automation and artificial intelligence reduce or increase jobs ? well I think I would correct you just a little bit yes we eventually found other jobs. But the key word there is eventually large numbers of people lose their jobs.That may mean, they’re without work for a year or for two or for three. We know in America that there’s no savings for the mass of a working class to rely on those people are going to interrupt their lives they’re going to lose their connections lose their work habits. The cost of them will be staggering and even if eventually we get more jobs indirectly as the next phase it will often be different people and you will have severe social problems in the conflict between those who have been hurt by this technological change and those who get the jobs.
The new jobs that may emerge. So even if and it’s a big if, everybody gets eventually a job, that eventually can be socially explosive. Yeah professor wolf and your first answer you really did a great job of putting the real issues on the table the questions here in terms of the actual application of technology it can be used to increase profits or in a warrant worker directed or perhaps a scenario where workers have more influence over the production process.
Ex-US President Barack Obama on How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect Jobs
How we think about the the interface between humans and machines, I think a lot about this where the idea of extended intelligence makes a lot of sense.I am seeing positive impact of artificial intelligence on jobs. It also is probably the better way of thinking about it for our economy and jobs because people worry that well are we going to get into a situation where, I mean she’s just doing everything and one of the promising aspects of AI is it turns out that for example even in playing chess a computer with a human oftentimes can do better do better than just the computer well think about that application broadly to a lot of disciplines. What we want to be able to do is develop systems that are open enough transparent enough that human judgment human imagination creativity are still intruding are still active.
But a lot of the routine stuff is happening day to day and in some ways that’s just analogous to you know how will we use calculators right, it’s an extension of our intelligence but it’s a simple enough one that it doesn’t feel as threatening as it does partly because we understand exactly what’s going on and with a lot of these systems you start losing track of what are they doing. And I know that’s a problem you’ve been thinking about a lot for us to be
successful in these areas we really have to think through the economic implications. Because most people aren’t
spending a lot of time right now worrying about singularity.They are worrying about my job going to be replaced by a machine. You know I tend to be on the optimistic side that historically we’ve absorbed new technologies and people find that new jobs are created and they migrate and our standards of living generally go up.
I do think that we may be in a slightly different period now simply because of the pervasive applicability of AI and other technologies where high skill folks do very well in this in these systems they can leverage their talents they can interface with machines to extend their reach, their sales, their products, their services, low-wage low-skill individuals become more and more redundant and their jobs may not be replaced but wages are suppressed. And if we are going to successfully manage this transition we are going to have a societal conversation about how do we manage that how are we training and ensuring the economy is inclusive.
You know if in fact we’re producing more than ever but more and more of it’s going to a small group at the top how do we make sure that folks have a living income. You know what does it mean in terms of us supporting things like the arts or culture or making sure our veterans are getting cared for.So the the social compact has to accommodate these new technologies and our economic models have to accommodate them. The good news is that’s not going to happen overnight. Let’s say that’s a twenty thirty year process if we’re making good decisions now then we can build the runways so that by the time AI is fully incorporated into our economic life people welcome it as opposed to reject it. But we can’t assume that and if we continue on current trends you’re going to continue to see these populist movements both on the left and the right.That believe that technology globalization AI.
You know the guys who are off on their own you know staring at computer screen to figure this stuff out that all of that is threatening to the day-to-day lives of ordinary people and the values that they cherish and notions of community and we have to guard against that. Starts with making sure the economy economic implications are worked out. It’s actually the non-intuitive which jobs get displaced because I would bet that if you had a computer that understood the medical system and was very good at Diagnostics then the the nurse or the farm pharmacist is the least liquid it’s likely to be and maybe just the amount of school they have to go to is just a Community College instead of medical school. My rule of thumb is if the person looks like they’re doing work that a robot renew I could do they’re going to be more likely displaced and there’s actually a very high level jobs maybe some categories of lawyers or auditors that might disappear. Whereas a lot of the service businesses the arts.I think that things that involve computer just aren’t well suited for and I think to President Obama’s point that we have some
time and I don’t know what you think about universal basic income. But as we start to see people getting displaced there’s also this idea of work provides the structure for people it provides the purpose and so
can we look at other models like academia or the arts where people have purpose or people who will take care of
kids at home.
Because we don’t calculate mom’s into GDP that’s crazy right so I think one of the problems is there’s this general notion sort of on Wall Street. How can it be so smarter than any money right and now going into academia, I realized a lot of smart people without money and so I think that also this ties into the values of society. Because as we start to see other work that may have actually viable work it just isn’t as viewed as working well you’re exactly right and that’s what I mean by redesigning the social compact. Now whether a universal income is the right model is there going to be accepted by a broad base of people? You know that that’s a debate that we’ll be having over the next 10 years next 20 years and you’re also right that the jobs that are going to be displaced by AI are not just low skilled service jobs they might be high skilled jobs but ones that are repeatable and computers can do what is indisputable though is that as AI gets further incorporated and the society potentially gets wealthier that the link between production and distribution. How much you work and how much you make gets further and further attenuated because the computers are doing a lot of work and as a consequence we then have to make some tougher decisions where are we already had this problem. It’s just it’s been so it’s not as hyper-charged as it’s going to be we underpaid teachers despite the fact that that’s a really hard job that’s really hard for a computer to do well to replace a really good teacher. But we don’t value teachers because it used to be primarily women’s work or because you know it they’re a whole host of reasons why we don’t for us to re-examine what we value what we collectively are willing to pay for whether it’s teachers nurses caregivers moms dads who stay at home artists all the things that are incredibly valuable to us but right now don’t rank high on the totem pole that’s a conversation that we need to begin to have and enjoys identified. I think the ways in which this could be solved but it’s going to require a new way of thinking and that’s not going to happen right away.
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