Artificial Intelligence and Jobs

AI Intersects with RoboticsThis very good opinion piece addresses a subject that is gaining more attention and driving more dialog. Will artificial intelligence destroy jobs? Author Kai-Fu Lee has an opinion:

“It will soon be obvious that half of our job tasks can be done better at almost no cost by AI and robots. This will be the fastest transition humankind has experienced, and we’re not ready for it”

A very important message from the piece addresses a future-thinking issue; that is, what accelerants and obstacles influence the path of scenarios such as AI, and what are the implications? The author describes what in this case can be called the China effect. China’s drive towards AI dominance is an accelerant. Even if some voices push for stronger AI regulation over fears of an eventual singularity, others will push ahead. As they do so, pressure to keep pace is a likely outcome. Another quote:

“The rise of China as an AI superpower isn’t a big deal just for China. The competition between the US and China has sparked intense advances in AI that will be impossible to stop anywhere”

The authors bottom line: these changes are coming, they are coming rapidly, and society is not ready for it. The article articulates the key arguments against this bottom line:

  • It will take longer than we think before jobs disappear, since many jobs will be only partially replaced, and companies will try to redeploy those displaced internally
  • Every technology revolution has created new jobs as it displaced old ones
  • AI combined with humans should be better than either one alone
  • Universal basic income to the rescue. The extra money made by AI is distributed to the people who lost their jobs. This additional income will help people find their new path, and replace other types of social welfare
  • Others deny that AI has any downside at all—which is the position taken by many of the largest AI companies

Kai-Fu Lee is the founder and CEO of Sinovation Ventures and president of the Sinovation Ventures Artificial Intelligence Institute.

One thought on “Artificial Intelligence and Jobs

  1. Two sentiments will drive AI…

    Evil AI hype –>funding–> Anti evil AI hype –>more funding

    Rise of AI in China because of survelliance –> Pushes other markets to implant more surveillance –> More surveillance –> More data

    Because of (2) a parallel market for data privacy, identity protection will emerge outside China riding on (1) paradigm.

    Infact startups like twenty billion neuron ( are paying people to act before AI

    Liked by 1 person

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