Will AI Take Over My Job?

Talk of Artificial Intelligence (AI) over the last two years has grown exponentially such that it is hard to open a newspaper, or click on a newsfeed without witnessing yet another multimillion $$ takeover of a “deep-learning” startup by Google, Amazon or Microsoft to add to their growing databank of AI acquisitions. Yet with every small advance in terms of product availability there is still more dire warnings in terms of impending dire consequences for the human race. In August 2017 Elon Musk tweeted “If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea.”

While he went on to concede that there wasn’t any imminent danger recent studies have indicated that potential job losses are a reality. A 2016 analysis from the World Bank estimated that roughly two-thirds of all jobs in developing nations around the globe are susceptible to replacement by automation. Yet our sense of alarm could be equated to bemoaning the advent of the tractor to replace the plough, or the arrival of the internet to transform global communications and a myriad other aspects of our lives. It is not the innovation per say which is the problem but rather how we implement it.

The aim of AI is to replicate the intellectual capability of human beings and to process information at vastly greater speeds. As we are more than just our intellects we have nothing to fear. In fact AI could be a blessing for humanity because the further we move away from the level of survival i.e. the search for food, shelter, work to live etc. the more time we will have to explore and realise our full potential.