I’ll park the general fear that a logic-based machine will eventually decide that an often illogical humanity is the problem and find its own nefarious solution… as we are most likely a few decades away from that kind of implementation and threat.
However, we are reaching the period of time where we need to be asking ourselves whether it is in society’s immediate interest to progress down this path with few, or no checks and balances.
Instead, I’ve concentrated on the potential disruption to one industry… the transportation sector… and how the one change symbiotically impacts an entire economy:
FIRST UP, JOBS – One of the most at risk professions in this early stage of the AI revolution will be drivers.
A quick scan of the internet outlines 3.5 million professional drivers, be they truck drivers, taxi drivers, Uber or bus drivers. By my reckoning this is some 4 per cent of all those active in the US labour force. If those jobs were to go over the next 5 years then you are looking at a deep economic recession, tax rises AND the resulting social unrest.
Indeed, a Forrester report from last year stated that some 6 per cent of all jobs would be lost due to AI by 2021… whilst an academic study from Oxford University stated that 47 per cent of all jobs are at risk from computerisation and/or automation.
This will lead to a massive changes in the economy; and likely increase the odds for Universal Basic Income… where all citizens are given a set amount of money per day, week, or month to live on.
This redistribution of wealth from the wealth creators within society to those who are no longer productive in the economy means a fundamental shift towards market socialism… a system that has never successfully been implemented.
Britain will be impacted massively too, with its 600,000 registered HGV drivers and some 300,000 taxi drivers. –Noting this, why did the British government give Millions of Pounds is R&D money to the automotive sector to advance automated driving?
Why did the US administration do the same?
What was the plan?
In terms of Australia, well… as it has some of the longest and most dangerous roads in the world; is one of the most urbanised countries in the world; and a high wage economy… my guess is that it too is primed for disruption in the transportation and logistics spaces.
SECONDLY, PERSONAL FREEDOM – Again, a wide ranging topic.
When automated cars become notably safer than human drivers… which is merely 1-2 years away, then how long will it be before humans are priced out of the marketplace by forever rising insurance premiums
FINALLY, HEALTHCARE – AI offers fantastic advances in pharma, biotech and healthcare.
However, it also has certain negative impacts. Problems that admittedly will eventually be solved by technology, but still impacts of note.
For example, if the number of car accidents is reduced to zero then the number of organ transplants able to take place will plummet.
I think I’m right in saying that there are more than 120,000 people already waiting for organ transplants in the US alone… and 16 per cent of all organ transplants are donated from victims of car accidents.
It’s a dark subject to talk about, but certainly worth noting
I say again, I am very much for the advancement of machine learning and the myriad of opportunities it brings to human advancement.
I deem this advancement both necessary and inevitable. I just believe that a grown up discussion is needed on the implications for society both good and bad.
The question is, are our elected politicians and governments ready, willing, or able to discuss it in a non-partisan, mature way for the betterment of society?
Let’s hope they are.
Anyway, I hope you’ve liked this video. If it gets sufficient traction, I may well post further riffs about AI, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Bioinformatics and all the other notable emerging technologies over the coming days and weeks.
This is just a bit of an experiment.
Take care… and thank you for your time!