The recent news headlines have been scattered with multiple topics of discussion on Artificial Intelligence, or AI, and its wide application. Artificial Intelligence has been altering and mediating all forms of human interaction, ranging from companies/businesses in risk management to national security and warfare.
However, the pinnacle of debates seems to center around America’s workforce and the replacement of labor-intensive work with robots. According to Fortune, by 2030, more than 800 million jobs will be replaced. Numerous jobs of varying skill requirements are at risk of being replaced by machines.
Many technology companies such as Apple, Google and Uber have already undergone development for self-driving cars and the progress is alarming. Several car corporations such as Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Waymo have already assimilated self-parking mechanics and self-driving car services as of right now. Transportation automation may risk 5.2 million jobs in the US alone, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
White-collared jobs are no safe-haven either. Journalists, lawyers, even medical researchers and doctors are at risk of losing their jobs. According to Forbes, computer creativity is taking leaps forward in all forms of art, including literature. Much of a lawyer’s job consists of contracting and document-scanning which can be done more efficiently and effectively by computers than humans can.
Many of today’s most brilliant minds have said that artificial intelligence will be the downfall of humanity, however, we should not rush to such conclusions. In many cases, AI will not be replacing humans, but rather, will be aiding. There have been multiple examples of new machinery affecting an area of job security, yet in many cases, we’ve learned to adapt and make use of it.
In recent times, many people have shown disapproval of such artificial intelligence with violence and vandalism. There has been increased fear over job security with AI, but many seem to ignore any idea of a mixture of both the organic and inorganic in the workplace. AI can improve our labor force rather than replace it, and jobs will be reaffirmed to fit with these machines.
With this rise of technology, comes its ethics and AI will learn based on what we feed it. By giving such machines the tedious tasks that we do not wish to do, there is more time for creativity, flexibility and growth. For example, self-driving cars will replace drivers, but it will also open other jobs such as maintenance of these automobiles. In the same sense, AI will open new windows for the economy.
Joshua Nam, a sophomore at Van Nuys High School, is an avid computer programmer, and one of many minds that will be living in an era of AI integration. He responded positively to machine learning.
“Artificial Intelligence can sometimes come up with ideas that we can’t come up with ourselves,” Nam said. “It depends on who’s controlling the AI. If there is a monopoly on AI, it’s not good, as one person can affect so many people. We’re constantly moving in the future, [and] people can find other jobs that are more beneficial.”
Not only limited to the auto industry, but AI will also benefit warehouse employees, security and medicine. Robots have become comparatively better at medical diagnosis than humans. As a result of the growing influence of artificial minds, they will become more effective than us at performing these tasks.
However, there will always be aspects of customer service and care that humans will be better at. When going to a hospital, people want to be comforted by people, and similarly, the human aspect of many jobs will never be replaced by a machine.
There are many unanswered questions about machines in a workspace such as a robot worker’s rights, changes in legal standards, laws written about safety, to say the least. At the end of the day, AI is an apparatus with wide application, but control lies in the hands of the user, us.