By Zoleen Goswami
Remember the science-fiction movies in which robots conquered the world and humans became their slaves? A world in which a person was no longer valued because there was a robot who was always better, smarter, faster. Well, that exactly is going to be the future.
Artificial Intelligence, commonly known as machines/robots are technological advances intended to help humans, however, recently, we have strayed from that path to a rather dangerous territory. We have started to invent robots that will eventually be living our lives for us; it isn’t far until humans will be forced to submit to machines for the simplest acts like driving, walking, and even thinking. New innovations are threatening to overtake jobs, for example, ‘low-skilled’ tasks like driving and labour.
According to Hongkiat, in China, a factory’s employee number went down from 650 to merely 20 due to automation. Unfortunately, it is going to hit the weakest section of our society, people who are just getting by, people who will not be able to cope with sudden unemployment. Poverty is already a big issue in the developing world and automation will only increase it. The negative effects of automation are not only restricted to developing countries but also countries like the U. S will be impacted greatly. Researchers predict that in the U. S, around 70% of jobs are at ‘high risk’ of being automated and mass unemployment similar to that of the Great Depression in 1929. (The Impact). The impact will be severe in profit-driven societies in already developed countries like the U. S because if you don’t have a job, you will not be valued.
These changes may not seem like a big threat, they wouldn’t to me, a high school student, that is until they come for your jobs. As a teenager, I often wonder what I am going to do later on in life. I think of things like a doctor or a medical researcher, however, now with automation, I start to think about how little freedom I will have in terms of jobs. Most blue collar jobs and 40% of white collar (high paying) jobs will be replaced(AI), and that leaves us with only a few options. Some researchers argue that the human race will get over this period in time as well, just like it did with the Industrial Revolution. However, it’s hard to believe that now since most of us will go into poverty.
Ultimately, robots are easier to manage, they don’t need to be looked after, they cost less, and they are better than humans; they will make you wealthier. Ah, money. All of this is being done for money, not for the good of the public, not to ‘help’ people with their jobs, but to help wealthy inventors and CEOs of major companies inflate their vaults. While all of this is happening, somewhere on the streets of Bangladesh a little boy will be begging for money because you see, before automation, he could have gotten a job at a factory and would have been able to lead a decent life, however, now he can’t do that. Like him, there will be countless others, possibly even you, reminiscing of the past when you were valued.
These changes built over time they now hold great power over us is because of the power that we have given technology. When is a new invention in the market, we quickly accept it without a second thought. This is one of the major reasons that has given inventors an easy way to make money. Technology and our greed for it will be responsible for the extinction of the human race. Governments have not tried to regulate the changes that are taking place and this has allowed us to become dependent on any technology presented to us. But let’s not blame the government for everything.
If we don’t come together and act now, we will not be able to come back from the wave of automation. Only the rich will thrive, and that too, will only last momentarily, the majority will be suppressed into poverty, inevitably causing civil unrest. If we blindly trust technology, we will be the cause of our own extinction.
- “8 Human Jobs A.I. Robots Will Eventually Take Over.” Hongkiat, 11 Dec. 2018, www.hongkiat.com/blog/human-jobs-ai-will-eventually-take-over/.
- “AI Expert Says Automation Could Replace 40% of Jobs in 15 Years.” Fortune, fortune.com/2019/01/10/automation-replace-jobs/.
- “AI Starts Taking White-Collar Jobs.” The New Stack, 22 June 2018, thenewstack.io/ai-starts-taking-white-collar-jobs/.
- “AivsHuman.” Genetic Literacy Project, geneticliteracyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/6-7-2018-AivsHuman-copy.jpg.
- Carvana. “Self-Driving Cars: When Will They Become Commonplace? – Carvana Blog.” Carvana Blog | The New Way to Buy a Car, 17 Oct. 2017, blog.carvana.com/2017/06/self-driving-cars-when-will-this-become-commonplace/.
- McKendrick, Joe. “Artificial Intelligence Will Replace Tasks, Not Jobs.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 20 Aug. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/joemckendrick/2018/08/14/artificial-intelligence-will-replace-tasks-not-jobs/#6ce994c4a7fa.
- “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence – Widespread Job Losses.” IoT For All, 2 Oct. 2018, www.iotforall.com/impact-of-artificial-intelligence-job-losses/.
- “With AI, Jobs Are Changing but No Mass Unemployment Expected – UN Labour Experts | UN DESA Department of Economic and Social Affairs.” United Nations, United Nations, www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/policy/with-ai-jobs-are-changing.html.