The Spooky Specter of AI Automation

  2 m, 30 s

Happy Halloween!

AI automation is a super spooky subject these days. The way some people tell it, you’d think we’re about to enter a world of robot overlords and mass unemployment. Of course, the reality is far more nuanced. But the doomsayers sure do get a lot of press! Should you be scared?

3 Perspectives on AI Automation

Most people agree that artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation will transform our economy, and society. But the range (and tone) of these predictions vary wildly. Here are three perspectives on how AI automation will impact society, jobs, and the economy.

cartoon robot

The Pessimist

Elon Musk is a well-known AI Alarmist. This summer, he called AI a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization“. In September, he tweeted, “…Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo.” Clearly, Musk has a pretty grim outlook on how AI will impact society.

“We owe those workers a vision of the path they could follow instead.” – Paul Barba

But it’s important to not fall into hysteria. Artificial intelligence is a new technology – and just like any new technology, it can be used for good and for bad. But Musk does raise some good points, especially when read through a more moderate lens.

assembly line robotThe Realist

The United States employs more than 4.3 million people as truck drivers or delivery workers. It may take years, but eventually these people will lose their jobs to driverless cars. This is scary for everyone, especially the drivers. But that doesn’t mean we should stop developing driverless cars.

Artificial intelligence is a new technology – and just like any new technology, it can be used for good and for bad.

In his latest article on InfoWorld, Paul Barba argues that, “Those of us working in automating industries have a duty… to advocate for our efforts to move in socially positive directions.” As Chief Scientist at Lexalytics, Paul has a unique vantage point. In the article, he explains that as automation expands, we need to acknowledge how lower-income workers will be disproportionately affected. And, Paul says, “We owe those workers a vision of the path they could follow instead.”

cartoon person wearing virtual reality headsetThe Optimist

Worldwide, GDP growth has been pretty stagnant. That’s about to change. Many economists predict that AI will drive economic growth of 4.6% or more. But how will this occur? In his recent blog post, Seth Redmore examines the data. The short answer: by empowering workers in all industries, AI will drive huge increases in productivity and efficiency.

What’s more, AI will open up entirely new industries and create millions of jobs. Where humans can’t or won’t do the work, intelligent machines will fill in and make everyone more productive. Read Seth’s post to explore how Artificial Intelligence Will Double Economic Growth.

What do you think? Are you an AI Pessimist, a Realist, or an Optimist? Is the Spooky Specter of AI Automation hanging over your head? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, or tweet us @lexalytics!

Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Insights, Machine Learning