Will AI elim­i­nate hu­man jobs?

Banking Frontiers - - Editor’s Blog - Manoj Agrawal Mo­bile : 98673 66111 Email : manoj@bank­ingfron­tiers.com

This is a ques­tion on the minds of many. As ex­pected, there are two an­swers. One set of peo­ple ex­trap­o­late to­wards a large num­ber of things that AI will soon do bet­ter than hu­man be­ings and make the hold­ers of such jobs re­dun­dant. This in­cludes a va­ri­ety of fields such as med­i­cal eval­u­a­tion, credit rat­ing, le­gal search, weather fore­cast­ing, de­mand fore­cast­ing, ma­chin­ery fail­ure fore­cast­ing, fraud de­tec­tion, ve­hi­cle nav­i­ga­tion, and many more. Newer ap­pli­ca­tions of AI are emerg­ing every day.

On the other hand, many claim that just like in the past, the tech­nolo­gies will cre­ate new jobs that are not been imag­ined to­day. They state that the na­ture of jobs will change and that the num­ber of jobs will not change dras­ti­cally, as new jobs take the place of older ones. I see my­self be­long­ing to this cat­e­gory, and here is my justification.

I see mul­ti­ple new types of work, each of which will cre­ate many new jobs. The first is to ac­tu­ally pre­pare the AI to be ef­fec­tive. This in­cludes things like pre­par­ing the right data sets, train­ing the AI to find the right an­swers and re-train­ing the AI to be ef­fec­tive un­der chang­ing sce­nar­ios. This is not dif­fer­ent from an en­gi­neer de­sign­ing a robot that as­sem­bles cars in a fac­tory. Just as car assem­bly jobs are get­ting re­placed by jobs for de­sign­ing, main­tain­ing and up­grad­ing ro­bots, many knowl­edge jobs will be re­placed by jobs re­lated to train­ing, mon­i­tor­ing and en­hanc­ing AI. The mar­ket makes it pos­si­ble for mul­ti­ple com­pa­nies to cre­ate ro­bots and thereby gen­er­ate mul­ti­ple sets of jobs. Given that AI tech­nol­ogy will be very easy to cre­ate, I sus­pect there will be a large num­ber of com­pa­nies in the busi­ness of cre­at­ing and sup­port­ing AI sys­tems, thereby cre­at­ing a large num­ber of jobs.

An­other set of jobs that will emerge will be how to use AI cre­atively. As an ex­am­ple, while there are nu­mer­ous com­pa­nies that make cars and bikes, there is a large in­dus­try for cus­tomiz­ing cars and bikes. This is where the cre­ative urges of in­di­vid­u­als cre­ate value. Is there any rea­son why such peo­ple will not be able to ap­ply their cre­ativ­ity to AI? I think not.

Yet an­other set of jobs will emerge re­lat­ing to reg­u­la­tion and com­pli­ance. Just as we need a large hu­man force to man­age the traf­fic on the roads, we will need a grow­ing num­ber of per­son­nel to mon­i­tor and reg­u­late sec­tors like fi­nance, food, pharma, health, tech­nol­ogy, data, etc. AI it­self will han­dle some of the reg­u­la­tory ac­tiv­i­ties, but new jobs will come up to en­sure that large risks and sys­temic risk do not go out of con­trol.

We have learnt from cen­turies of tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment in our his­tory that newer tech­nol­ogy leads to more un­cer­tainty, not to less un­cer­tainty. I ex­pect this fun­da­men­tal trend to con­tinue. As long as there is un­cer­tainty, there will be suf­fi­cient num­ber of jobs for hu­man be­ings. Jobs will dis­ap­pear only when we cre­ate heaven on earth, and if we do that, then we won’t have to worry about jobs any­way.

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