Better jobs with AI?

Robots will both provide and take jobs of the future

Why AI could destroy more jobs than it creates, and how to save them

Erik Brynjolfsson has a dream of the future. Or perhaps more accurately, a nightmare.

A vision of a world where computers entrench the power of a wealthy elite and push the majority into poverty. A world where the rising tide of technology doesn't lift all boats, but sucks under all but the biggest ships.

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Why artificial intelligence still requires humanity

By Dan McLaughlin

The zenith of artificial intelligence has always been coupled with the nadir of humanity, but the technology and the human can co-operate together.

The artificial intelligence narrative has portrayed AI as the replacement for humans. This portrayal, argues Crowdflower, sets unrealistic expectations and creates scaremongering. Instead, AI should stand for augmented intelligence, where machines and humans have "complementary capabilities".

Artificial intelligence does not by its nature make human intelligence obsolete, according to the Singularity Hub. On the contrary, machines need human guidance. In the age of robots and AI, humans need to be human during their development, displaying three traits that differentiate us from our technological creations: ingenuity, adaptability and perhaps more importantly, ethical capacity.

Technology can, however, inherit the best and the worst of humanity from its creators. Our personality and needs are reflected in our inventions; some of these are malicious with the rise of cyber crime. Almost half of Americans have been hacked, while cyber-crime makes up 53 per cent of all crime in the UK.

Currently, quantum computers are a threat to cyber security, with the capability to perform brute calculations much faster than modern computers. However, they still require human operators to code and direct the attacks.

As well as taking human jobs, artificial intelligence may replace our criminals, too. It is predicted that AI will commit more cyber-crime than people by 2040. According to All About Circuits, unsuccessful attacks would only increase its ability to learn from its mistakes, therefore potentially making it more dangerous. With its potential for crime, AI still needs to be policed by its creators - although they are equally capable of the acts.

Instead of destroying jobs as gloomily predicted, the rise of artificial intelligence will simply create and evolve jobs. Marketing Week notes that there is a need for human experts, where workers will oversee the technology in the "managerial, consultative and search function rather than the implementation function".

Forbes agrees with this prognosis, predicting that artificial intelligence will create a new professional class. While historically automation replaced human labour for mechanical tasks, the key decisions were left to the humans who still had to design and programme the machines.

The job market will look different due to artificial intelligence, but workers have adapted before. Most of the jobs today would have been inconceivable centuries - even decades - ago. Future generations will be working in jobs not created yet, but they will still be working.

The rise of the machines does not mean destruction, it simply means evolution. While the narrative of artificial intelligence focuses on what it could take away, it does not look at what it could provide.

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AI and robots will take our jobs - but better ones will emerge for us

An increasingly popular concern is that robots will eat up labour's share of income at an accelerating rate, leaving ordinary workers impoverished and unemployed. A common dinner conversation topic in Silicon Valley is universal basic income, and the typical argument advanced for UBI is that we are destined to indefinitely continue losing jobs faster than we replace them. Variants on this theme have circulated since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

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