“Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make.” – Nick Bostrom
The advent of technology and artificial intelligence has instilled a constant fear that the human workforce will soon be antediluvian, thanks to hyperbolic sci-fi movies. Consequently, many people are anxious in regards to the future of their employment as the growth of AI witnessed a growth of 270% in many business sectors in the last 4 years. Moreover, AI-driven tech reports in sectors like medicine, automotive, cybersecurity and e-commerce have a strong impact on productivity so policy-makers and countries need to drill down and understand the impacts of automation on industries as well as the workforce.
AI typically demonstrates ‘intelligence’ as it is programmed based on a set of algorithms that have the aptitude to change and re-write themselves in response to the data received as input with the sole impetus to execute tasks associated with intelligent beings. AI possesses the capacity to relieve humans from tedious repetitive tasks, enabling them to focus on more complex and rewarding projects. It is conventionally perceived that tech and AI might eliminate some jobs, however, it creates many others. AI can replicate Human Intelligence’s efficacy in executing certain tasks, but they are frequently lacking in ‘specialized’ intelligence, making automation a rigid concept unable to respond to changes in input or ‘think’ outside of prescribed programming. AI at work is something to be enthusiastic about for people who can accept the unpredictable nature of life and so realise the constant demand for flexibility in thought and behaviour, as well as a willingness to learn new skills, competencies, and knowledge in new domains. An analogy to this is the Industrial Revolution, where certain kinds of jobs disappeared. However, many more jobs were created, and the nature of work was dynamic.
People must learn specific skill sets that AI cannot execute, at least not with current technology. This included the human knack for compassion, empathy, and creativity which will prove to be an invaluable asset in the future workforce. Drivers, for example, may be replaced by self-driving cars, but AI is unlikely to replace preschool teachers. That is because teaching involves creativity and social and emotional intelligence skills. Thus, jobs based on care, creativity, and education will remain as vital as ever. Humans should embrace computing and AI as part of the new work culture while maintaining their unique characteristics, such as creativity and social intelligence. Furthermore, rather than feeling threatened by AI systems, humans must understand how they can apply their particular skills to advance AI systems.