Artificial intelligence has been around for about a half century. So far, we could conclude that the positives of AI outweighing the drawbacks. From the moment we woke up until we go back to sleep, AI helps us in so many ways. Such as helping us to find an uber, filtering spam mail, or using Siri to set our alarm.
Basically, AI is better than human when doing things that are administrative and menial. The first reason is that AI makes less mistake. Second, AI is excessively cheaper than human labor. At first, AI maybe costly because we need to design the AI itself and install the back-end stuff such as the server/hosting. But going forward, AI literary don’t need anything else than monitoring. Unlike human labor with their wages, bonus, and other expensive facilities.
With the exponential advancement of technology, AI is more accessible than ever. That’s why currently, AI starts to be used everywhere and anywhere. With this fast-paced growth of AI and automation, World Economic Forum predicted that 52% of labor hours will be executed by machine by 2025 just like the illustration below =
To see what’s coming in the next 30-40 years UBS has made another prediction that is depicted in the graph below =
We are currently almost at AGI (artificial general intelligence) stage. By 2050, AI will evolve into what’s called ASI (artificial super intelligence) which has the power that exceeds human. This could lead to an endless outcome, one of them is what Stephen Hawking said which was “could spell the end of the human race.”
Genuinely for me (a final year undergrad that hasn’t even feel what working feels like), this is very daunting. Especially when it comes to how it will impact the workforce mechanism and the economics itself. Even though, for years, we have known an economic phenomenon called creative destruction. Which means “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.”
To know a slight fracture of the consequences and impacts that will come, we only need to look back to history. But to keep in mind, our main focus here will be about employment and the workforce regarding that’s the main concern that people had with AI.
As you can see above, because of the technological advancement that we have made, the trend of productivity and employment are not congruent anymore (starts from 2001). The main contributing factor that shapes incongruence is technological unemployment. Technological unemployment is the loss of jobs that incurred because of technological change.
Based on the trend, we can assume that the gap of dependency between productivity and employment will keep decreasing. When it reaches the peak of independence, then the human labor force is not that needed, and the unemployment rate will escalate.
Basically, this whole post wants to emphasize this point. In my opinion, the impact of AI is like an inverted U =
Which mean that AI will benefit our society steadily [just like now]. Until some point [in the future], when AI will yield more cost compared to benefits. At this point, our government needs to make a decision, to create an ecosystem that will benefits the greater good. If not, then we need to consider living in the worst case scenario.
REFERENCES AND SUPPORTING ARTICLES
Cellan-Jones, Rory. “Stephen Hawking Warns Artificial Intelligence Could End Mankind.” BBC News, BBC, 2 Dec. 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540.
Pettinger, Tejvan. “Technological Unemployment.” Economics Help, http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/glossary/technological-unemployment/.
Ratcheva, Vesselina Stefanova, et al. “5 Things to Know about the Future of Jobs.” World Economic Forum, http://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/future-of-jobs-2018-things-to-know/.
“Technological Unemployment.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Oct. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_unemployment.
“A New Dawn.” Artificial-Intelligence, http://www.ubs.com/microsites/artificial-intelligence/en/new-dawn.html.