Will AI steal our job?
What is philosophy and what has to do with artificial intelligence?
A new digital renaissance humanism is what we need to not be replaced by artificial intelligence.
Everywhere online we read about the jobs that will be erased and replaced by artificial intelligence (AI); among them, Forrester Analysis says that 25% jobs will be automated by 2025.
Where is the AI?
It’s already here: for example, are based on AI:
- Google Maps, that suggests us alternative routes because it “knows” where’s the traffic jam;
- suggestion on what we’d like, based on our history, as we see on Amazon, Netflix and Spotify;
- vocal search, and the dictation feature to give instruction to our devices – mine have not yet realized that I have the French “R” 🙂
- the bank fraud alert, that sends a warning when unusual movements are detected.
Looking back at our history, in the past there have already been many waves of innovation and automation, which had an impact on routine jobs, moving workers from one industry to another.
Contrary to what one might think, an increase of automation has determined an increase of the employment as well, due to the rising demand for other related needs, says David Autor, economist at MIT, in this article on the Economist.
In fact, automation has an important positive side: it increases the value of jobs that only humans can do, related to the emotional traits we own as human beings.
With this perspective, the savings on human resources costs are beneficial only in the short term but not in the long run.
The real accountability we all – institutions, decision-makers, global companies – have is to determine whether and when we should replace human with technology, and what are the social implications of this change.
Surely the technological progress and artificial intelligence are having implications also on the continuous education of the people, being them students or workers.
Classes must provide updated training on new technologies and we have to imagine
new ways to deliver more effective training, with a skills development plan organised accordingly to the competencies needed by the person we are training.
We already have established online platforms for distance learning (MOOC: Massive Open Online Course) that have the advantage of spreading the courses of the most prestigious universities worldwide, wherever there’s a connection – and the will – to learn.
Coursera, Udacity, Treehouse and Lynda, to name a few, have a broad catalog of best-in-class courses.
What will be next?
Quid Custodiet Custodes, ver. 4.0
In addition to technical training, it’s crucial to give adequate space to the humanistic and philosophical education, that teaches us how to ask the right questions and where to look for consistent answers, because of its cross-disciplinary nature.
What are the ethical implications of automation?
What’s our human limit?
What’s the impact of automation on welfare and world geopolitics? And what about migrations?
But more trivially:
When a news is true or false?
The study of philosophy and ethics becomes then essential for everyone:
– For the automation engineer, called to make decisions by evaluating carefully the consequences of its programming
– For each individual, who must be aware and know where’s the human value and what she won’t give up;
– For brands, that must define their values before being swept away by the automation wave.
The ability to define ourselves (people and organizations), learn, unlearn and relearn, is – and will be more – essential because the world is becoming increasingly interconnected and complex, while automation and human boundaries are constantly evolving.
Another useful thing to do is stopping anthropomorphize devices: they are computers, not people.
And one of the certainties we can rely on is that we are human beings and we have the duty to cultivate our humanity to make a progress in what is proper to our being.