Are You Afraid of AI?

After weeks of unrelenting bad news about AI and its seemingly imminent takeover and destruction of civilisation as we know it, the latest McKinsey report stating ‘We estimate that between 400 million and 800 million individuals could be displaced by automation and need to find new jobs by 2030 around the world.’, perhaps its time to reflect and become  cognisant of a a more nuanced perspective.  While these figures may be somewhat alarming it is worthwhile remembering that similar fears were raised at the beginning of the Technology Revolution in the mid twentieth century. Yes many people lost their jobs over time but many more re-skilled for the new careers that opened up.

Perhaps we sense that something different is going on now. During the Industrial Revolution we replaced and or complimented our muscle power with machine power. In the Technology Revolution we replaced and/or complimented our intellectual power with machine power. Now with the advent of AI we see that our intellectual capability can and will be easily surpassed. It is already happening. A digital brain can now drive a car. Robots can perform certain precision operations. Ai can easily surpass pathologists in  pattern matching of scans for the earlier detection of cancers.

If we identify solely with our intellectual capabilities as the source of our specialness as leading custodians of the planet, then perhaps we have a right to be concerned with these developments. However there are those of us who suspect  otherwise. For one thing we have imagination and that is exactly what Business consultant group Cognizant have used to predict in its book “What to do when machines do everything” that although  12% of jobs in the U.S. will be replaced by automation over the next 10-15 years,  21 million new jobs will be created as a direct result of new technologies.

A brief sample of those jobs include Data Detective, (Those who will analyze data from IoT devices, mesh, neural capabilities etc., to provide business and organization with data-based insights), Augmented Reality Journey Builder, (those who “will create the next generation of entertainment experiences. This artisté will be responsible for writing, designing, and building in-the-moment augmented reality experiences for client’s “trips” into AR”. See report for more details.

Perhaps it is time to embrace the benefits of AI that are manifesting around the world from translation and healthcare benefits  to legacy system replacement.

Perhaps it is time to learn more about what AI can do to enhance our lives  and our businesses today.