A new report titled “AI, Robotics and the Future of Jobs” says we should embrace a robot dominated futures and not worry about human displacement, but is also notes concern.
The report from the Pew Research Center survived nearly 2,000 technology experts, many of whom are assumed to have predisposed opinions regarding technology in a favorable fashion. The findings bear this out.
Workers should not worry about the robotic future
If you are a worker, don’t worry, the study says. Advances in technology have historically been a creator of new jobs. While this is true, the sheer magnitude of the potential worker displacement to come was not appropriately considered in the study. We have never witnessed the degree of computer automation that is yet to befall society and thus making comparisons to past performance might not portend the future.
As the next wave of computer automation can easily have computers have drive cars, write newspaper articles, fly planes, make investment and trading decisions, the study did note with a degree of concern that white collar would could be displaced as well.
“Certain highly-skilled workers will succeed wildly in this new environment—but far more may be displaced into lower paying service industry jobs at best, or permanent unemployment at worst,” the report noted.
Robotic future: Technology experts will adapt to these changes
But don’t worry. Technology experts survived think we will adapt to these changes by inventing entirely new types of work, and by taking advantage of uniquely human capabilities. The study didn’t mention certain human capabilities, like a sense of morality to engage in whistleblowing, might actually be considered as a negative when hiring humans. Robots, for instance, might make a great military or police force because they would kill innocent civilians on demand without giving it a second thought. (The military applications of robotic intelligence were not addressed to any meaningful degree.)
Remember that George Jetson lifestyle we were all promised? The fictional 1970s cartoon character had robots doing all the work, making life easy. The report noted technology, the liberator, will free us from day-to-day drudgery, and allow us to define our relationship with “work” in a more positive and socially beneficial way.
Let’s not forget work is all about maximizing profits. If a corporation can do something cheaper or more efficiently, it will not employ humans to do nothing as computers take control.
Ultimately, the technology experts survived say “we as a society control our own destiny through the choices we make.”
Really, so that’s how democracy works? Funny, because I thought the largest and most powerful lobbyists had a disproportionately large impact on government decisions. The report noted how government and regulators would look out for the best interest of society. Let’s see what happens when the profits of a large and powerful industry are in play versus the needs of the individual.
The study said use history as a guide to see the technology creates more jobs than it replaces. It might want to take its own advice and use history as a guide to see how government really makes decisions.