Tech Companies Should Stop Pretending AI Won’t Destroy Jobs

from MIT Technology Review

No matter what anyone tells you, we’re not ready for the massive societal upheavals on the way.

I took an Uber to an artificial-­intelligence conference at MIT one recent morning, and the driver asked me how long it would take for autonomous vehicles to take away his job. I told him it would happen in about 15 to 20 years. He breathed a sigh of relief. “Well, I’ll be retired by then,” he said.

Good thing we weren’t in China. If a driver there had asked, I would have had to tell him he’d lose his job in about 10 years—maybe 15 if he was lucky.

That might sound surprising, given that the US is, and has been, in the lead in AI research. But China is catching up—if it hasn’t already—and that rivalry, with one nation playing off the other, guarantees that AI is coming.

China will have at least a 50/50 chance of winning the race, and there are several reasons for that.

First, China has a huge army of young people coming into AI. Over the past decade, the number of AI publications by Chinese authors has doubled. Young AI engineers from Face++, a Chinese face-recognition startup, recently won first place in three computer-vision challenges—ahead of teams from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Carnegie Mellon University.

Second, China has more data than the US—way more. Data is what makes AI go. A very good scientist with a ton of data will beat a super scientist with a modest amount of data. China has the most mobile phones and internet users in the world—triple the number in the United States. But the gap is even bigger than that because of the way people in China use their devices. People there carry no cash. They pay all their utility bills with their phones. They can do all their shopping on their phones. You get off work and open an app to order food. By the time you reach home, the food is right there, hot off the electric motorbike. In China, shared bicycles generate 30 terabytes of sensor data in their 50 million paid rides per day—that’s roughly 300 times the data being generated in the US.

More here.

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71 Responses to Tech Companies Should Stop Pretending AI Won’t Destroy Jobs

  1. Matt Henry February 23, 2018 at 2:10 pm #

    The USA and China are leading the competition to implement AI. The author of “Tech companies should stop pretending AI won’t destroy jobs” estimates jobs will begin to disappear due to AI in 15-20 years in the US. In China, recently catching up to the US in this race, job loss is predicted in 10-15 years. There are four main reasons China keeps increasing its chances to beat the US. First, China has more young people entering AI. Also, China has more data which is the foundation of AI. This combined with the fact China has more people gives them a major boost over the US in this field. China is already ahead of the US in technology convenience which includes people not carrying cash. The articles cites, “In China, shared bicycles generate 30 terabytes of sensor data in their 50 million paid rides per day—that’s roughly 300 times the data being generated in the US” (Lee). Years ago it was not like this, but the third reason China is pulling ahead is that they have passed the copycat phase of US and they have exceeded all overseas counterparts. Lastly, government policy in China accelerates AI. This plan will allow them to pass the US by 2020 and be a global AI innovation hub by 2030.
    No matter who wins this AI race, it is imperative that it will be running both of these countries in the future. Something AI officials do not recognize is the negative impacts that will result from this. AI will replace so many jobs which will cause people social and economic issues. Inequality will increase as poor people will not be able to afford a lot of the technology and their jobs will be done by technology. Some people think this change will not be as soon as we think, but we need to start planning for this right away. This includes training people to do jobs that AI cannot do and adapting the education system to work hand in hand with AI. There are many changes and challenges that need to be acknowledged by AI companies and solutions need to be worked towards achieving.

  2. Nathaniel B February 23, 2018 at 2:13 pm #

    Fu Lee makes a valid point and addresses what many people already know, that AI will take all our jobs. However, I think it is very interesting and surprising that according to Fu Lee, this is going to happen much sooner than many of us expected. As this issue (job loss) begins to become more and more of a problem, we are left with the question of how to fix it. Fu Lee mentions that maybe by paying those who lost their jobs with the money saved by letting them go will be a solution, but then the profits of the business are effected and those employees are still left jobless.
    We have already seen this happening in the United States, and will continue to see it happening more and more. First, we started to see self-checkout lines at grocery stores, but there were also always some manned stations. Now we have officially seen a completely check-out free grocery store by Amazon in Seattle called Amazon Go. Self-driving cars are another example, Uber and Lyft drivers may soon be out of jobs, as well as taxi drivers. I do not necessarily believe that everyone will switch to AI in 15 to 20 years like Fu Lee said, especially with cars, but given the way technology is moving, I think it will happen eventually.
    From a business perspective, the overall objective of AI makes sense because it is achieving better service for less money. I believe that part of the reason that AI is now becoming so big in the tech and business world is as mentioned in the article, it is very big in China due to the mass population. In an effort the keep up, the United States is advancing their AI as well. A great deal of the controversy of this topic comes from the fact that many AI companies deny that AI has any negative downside whatsoever. This is controversial because it is obvious that AI has both pros and cons and the concept as a whole should be carefully reviewed to prevent any type of significant job loss.
    I think that a major pro that could come out of AI would be that travel will become much safer. Self-driving cars are expected to be much safer on the roads than many distracted human drivers. Plus, this technology will probably eventually make its way to more than just autopilot, but permanent self-flying planes. AI technology will also continue to gain intelligence and may be able to help us answer medical questions. A con will still be the fact that the world is becoming too reliable on technology and we are seeing less human interaction. And finally, again the loss of jobs has been and will continue to be a factor.

  3. Timothy Guerrero February 23, 2018 at 2:44 pm #

    The technical revolution has forever shaped not only the United States, rather the entire global society we attribute to, as the means of technological progress and the internet has connected people and industries like none other. However, there is a vital flaw in the constant technological gains being made – with the emergence of this new technology comes a changing economy, one in which author Kai-Fu Lee exemplifies in his contribution to the MIT technology review. He beings with an anecdote that sets the problem up quite nicely – by utilizing a new technology in Uber, Lee displayed how the rise of technological artificial intelligence will lead to self-driving cars in the eminent future, thus leading to replace the driver’s job in the future. And given the stark competition between the two global powerhouses- the United States and China, AI innovations are becoming a new expectation, which will lead to the destruction of many jobs in today’s economy.

    The suggestion Lee makes towards the latter of his piece is what stands out to me most, and it is a concept I emphatically agree with. Just over ten years ago, the iPhone never existed, and now we live in a digitalized world in which it is necessary for interconnected measures in business, as now businesses function as collaborated as ever. It is inevitable that AI will overpower the future global economy, especially with a country such as China allotting mass resources and efforts into the advancement of AI. So, Lee argues that we must accept this fate and build an economy in which we do jobs technology can’t replace, that way we are not in shambles when more and more jobs are lost in the coming future. It is with this embodiment of change that we can truly capture the best of the technological revolution, creating a society as efficient as ever. However, failure to adapt will result in an unparalleled chaos, and let technology dictate our world. It is up to us to shape our future, and we must act now to allow for proceeding generations to flourish in this new world order.

  4. E Fuller February 23, 2018 at 6:01 pm #

    The advances in AI have already been disruptive, and with Chinas massive labor force joining in we’re looking at a massive upturn in its development. If the U.S. wants to remain competitive we’re going to have to get ahead of this change. Adapting our labor force is going to be paramount in keeping people employed. That means adapting the way we teach and how we look toward employment for the swath of industries that will adopt AI technology. With China taking the lead on the development of AI we are losing valuable edge in competing in the global market. But, we can get ahead of this shift if we educate people on the looming and imminent introduction of AI into the global workforce, softening the blow or even coming out ahead if Chinas workforce can’t react as quickly.
    There is no denying that AI are faster, more efficient, and most importantly cheaper than a human. So, if, people want to be relevant in the upcoming the job market then they need to able to adapt and work with alongside the new implementation of these AI. This means encouraging fields least likely to be autotomized if we are to avoid “people’s loss of dignity or meet their need to feel useful.” as Kai-Fu Lee put it. The changes that AI will deliver promise to be beneficial, if not disruptive, but I have no doubt that we as a society can get ahead and have an easier time transitioning into a post AI world.

  5. Michael Polito February 23, 2018 at 6:09 pm #

    AI is one of the most powerful pieces of technology that countries around the world are working on. The US leads the race in the technology that could possibly take over millions of jobs and replace humans. AI might be too smart for humans and will take over our jobs before we know it. The article says that scientist are telling people that it could take between 12 and 20 years but the author of the article things that it will be sooner. I happen to agree with him because of the fact that these countries across the world including the US have their most brilliant minds working on perfecting AI. It has become a race to see who will perfect AI first because it is a piece of technology that will change the world and how things are done. It is so smart that we may not need humans for certain jobs and humans may never do certain things like drive again. As much as this technology may help I do not think the population of the world is ready for it because of the fact that it is so smart. People do not know how to handle this because it is smarter than any person and it is going to take jobs from a lot of people. There are going to be many people that will be very upset at the development of AI
    AI has gotten to the point where it is too smart. There is an article that was published a while back where they reported that the AI has created its own language and is communicating with each other. The problem is that the engineers cannot crack the code and cannot figure out the language they created and so do not know what they are saying. The fact that this technology has become smarter than the human population is great but it is also a little concerning because if it can create its own language what else can it do. I am not saying that it is going to cause a Y2K but I feel like the possibility of that happening may become a little greater. Hopefully this technology is regulated and can be controlled so nothing like this can happen but it is something that concerns me because of how smart these engineers have made this AI. The idea of humans working will become in certain sectors of the job market will begin to die because there are no errors made with this technology, it is faster, and the job will be done more efficiently. That is something that humans cannot compete against, there will always be human error but if their jobs are taken over by a robot who is extremely smart there will be no errors and there will be no need for humans. I hope when this technology is finalized they do not use it in full force and ease into it because the people of the world are not ready for this technology this is something that is completely new to people and needs to be eased into. No one has seen anything like it because there is nothing like it and I think people will be surprised how effective it is going to be and how many jobs it is going to take from the people.

  6. Olivia Mason February 23, 2018 at 6:10 pm #

    Artificial Intelligence is a topic in which many people have mixed emotions. Many large companies are excited about the future of it as AI can outperform humans greatly at routine jobs and for a fraction of the cost (think: no benefits/insurance policies, can work all hours). However, those who currently work these kinds of jobs, taxi and bus drivers, line workers and telemarketers. Even professions with a high degree of education like accountants are at high risk of automation (as websites are now available to aid in the taxpaying process for much cheaper than hiring an accountant).
    We have already seen a degree of automation taking over “mundane” jobs: many grocery stores have self-checkouts (and Seattle has Amazon Go, a completely automated grocery store), and self-driving cars are becoming a reality (there are already self-parallel parking, breaking, and line-adjusting cars on the market). So how long do we have before all taxi’s and Uber’s are automated? According to the author, in the United States, 10-15 years.
    What makes this such a big issue is the drastic decrease in jobs. Those why typically drive for a living (delivery, busses, taxies, etc) do not have a high level of education, and jobs for that demographic of people are already decreasing. Jobs that have that require low-skilled workers are the jobs that will become automated, and at the quickest rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, 1.6 million Americans are truck drivers, about 715,000 Uber and Lyft drivers, and almost 700, 000 bus drivers. The economy currently isn’t prepared to handle that many additional out of work citizens, and while AI is inevitable, there are no jobs for this demographic slated to replace those being automated.
    The world is heading in a new, automated direction. I think that some of the focus that is currently on implementing and developing AI should be shifted to finding and creating jobs for those that will be put out of work by automation. About 3 million people are projected to be out of work (according to the author’s timeline) in 15 years, and that’s just the drivers. Soon servers and many retail workers will be out of luck as well, and the economy can’t support that unemployed workers. If some effort isn’t being put into developing new jobs for these workers, I fear that another economic crash and depression will soon follow the AI boom.

  7. Jacob Abel February 23, 2018 at 6:22 pm #

    The rise of China in AI is set, according to many experts, to start the next cold war with the US. It will be the new nuclear weapons. This article makes a lot of good points and paints a grim picture of America. AI will kill a lot of jobs and the fact that many in government aren’t highlighting it is very dangerous. This seems similar to what happened with globalization and the many trade deals that were signed in the 19th century. I am not surprised by the fact that AI companies aren’t saying that their new industry will kill jobs as it would slow their growth. While it’s dishonest it just seems like typical business practice. This article also does a good job of showing how much China is investing in AI. The US is not making the technology a top priority like it should. The advancement in AI also seems to fit China’s system much better, as democracy can often slow progress. We debate through our issues and don’t make decisions like the ruling few in China. It may take a sputnik like moment for the US to realize that it needs to take this technology more seriously. The future of millions of jobs and the safety of our country is at stake.

  8. Alexis Candelora February 23, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

    AI technology is undeniably a major and inevitable change in the near future of the world. How near it is to invading society and the job market depends on global location, but will quickly spread internationally. The most likely place of origin is China as the amount of data in the country is at least triple that of the US, not to mention the government funding which goes into the development of AI technology. The development and evolution is coming faster and faster. It is actually quit scary and unnerving to think the implementation of AI technology and robots is progressing so quickly, so as to take jobs in retail and even transportation away from living people in anywhere from the next 10-20 years. While the development of robots and such appears cool in pop culture such as the Star Wars series, the time it would take to fully integrate AI into modern society and for society to adapt would no doubt be a challenge for the world as a whole. As the article mentions, AI technology will undoubtedly be able to surpass human skill and intelligence, ultimately driving people out of their careers and stealing jobs, creating a social divide, globally. While being optimistic about the future developments and integration would be nice and enjoyable for many, as a society, we cannot ignore the drawbacks of developing such an intelligent robot. The benefits are certainly fascinating as AI would lead to more efficiency and would put less of a burden on employers concerning budget and employee payment in the end, one must consider whether the benefits outweigh the negative consequences. I believe the integration of AI technology would have to be taken extremely slow in order to prevent social chaos and massive loss of jobs throughout the country and the world. However, this scenario is highly unlikely as many employers and companies would be too ecstatic to wait for a full integration. The companies from a business standpoint would focus on their company and what is monetarily best for them rather than the effects they’re actions would place on the society around them. Thus, I believe the development of AI technology is not entirely beneficial and contrarily, is terrifying for the future of society as we know it.

  9. Sebastien Jose Fortes February 23, 2018 at 7:50 pm #

    Artificial Intelligence worries me, and not because of the movie clichés. As an accounting major, I often wonder if my career choice will turn out obsolete by the time I get out of college. Even though AI itself is difficult to program, it probably doesn’t take a genius to make an automated machine that can create spreadsheets.

    I’d know. I spend a lot of time playing with spreadsheets when deciding what I want to do in the day, or what books I plan to read in the future. If you want to make a time sheet, you just have to type “=A2+1/24” to add an hour to the previous cell.

    This article, admittedly, has made me even more aware of my fears. The ending says that we need to reinvent education. This is true. Computers can be programmed to do math faster than any human, and information can be stored on the Internet, but both math and history are still prioritized over the sciences, and even the arts. I don’t believe that the arts should be a major priority, but I do see it as an inspiration for learning, and computers can’t really write entire books yet.

    These aren’t the only reasons to reinvent education. Students feel disenchanted with high schools, with nearly ten periods of classes per day, standardized testing for arbitrarily-chosen topics every year, waking up before seven in the morning, and the constant emphasis on extracurriculars. School has become fixated on teaching kids _what_ to think, as opposed to teaching _how_ to think.

    Partly because of school, I do have a generally liberal lean. I’ve come to agree with ideas taught in class, especially those related to civil rights. However, with this liberal lean in classes, students often feel the need to divide ideologies into two very different categories, and therefore fail to communicate. For example, liberal students assume that the wage gap is related directly to gender, but do not consider the types of jobs or the legality of equal pay.

    If schools continue to create division while humans create Artificial Intelligence, we’ll end up in a society that collectively doesn’t know how to advance alongside its own inventions. Yes, it may seem lazy to leave certain topics to the machines, but it’s certainly more practical. We have to either learn the skills that computers can’t while we still can, or slow down progress to catch up.

    Remember: if we can’t get along on Earth, we shouldn’t try to meet extraterrestrial life. We most definitely should not bite off more than we can chew. That causes suffocation, which isn’t very pleasant, as far as I know.

  10. Daniel Schreier February 23, 2018 at 8:03 pm #

    Regardless of country, unless one is in a position which requires characteristics only humans possess, it’s going to be close to impossible for people not to lose their jobs because a device with AI will replace them. With this statement, I open this discussion by asking the question: do we really need AI? Of course it would be cool to commute in an autonomous vehicle, and surely it would be amazing to have our groceries delivered to our door, without even worrying about if the products would be fresh or not. However; the ones who will truly benefit from this, and will make more money than ever we could imagine are the ones who already not only have that, but a ridiculously big amount of data about us, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. Thus, AI would be hurting billions of people who wouldn’t have time enough to find a job that still requires humans to be done. With 7.2 billion people living on this planet, and growing every day, we as a society and our leaders should think if this is really worth it. I don’t think so. TO illustrate my viewpoint, let’s take Uber as an example. Suppose that all Uber cars in the city of New York are autonomous. If we use the number of Uber drivers today, we would say there would be 50,000 autonomous cars in New York, which would mean 50,000 drivers out of a job, which brings unemployment and all the consequences it has to the economy, moreover, since most jobs are not AI performed, who would ride in those Ubers, if pretty much everyone is out of a job? Nobody has money to pay for the ride! And on the top of everything, those 50,000 cars would be controlled by a computer, which shouldn’t be a problem, but what happens if the computer crashes? Or Uber HQ loses power? We would have 50,000 cars stranded in the streets of New York. I can’t even imagine the chaos it would be. Still, many would argue that computer failures are way more difficult to happen that human mistakes. Indeed, this is true, but computers also fail. For example, in 2016, a failure on Waze’s algorithm caused of of the biggest traffic jams ever in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Now, perhaps I exemplified an extreme situation, however, things like this will happen more and more every day we go by. AI is a good tool, but humans must come first.

  11. Adam Facella February 23, 2018 at 8:09 pm #

    I think that this is a very relevant topic which is brought up in class quite often. Often times we talk about jobs getting taken over by AI, jobs that many of us are interested in getting involved in and there may no longer be opportunity to get those jobs. This is much more relevant in China in current time due to the amount of data that is collected in all of China. I never realized how much relevance data has in creating newer technology and making the entire world move forward. It is interesting to see how much more advanced the people in China are due to the amount of data that they collect. There is no longer cash in China, which is something else which we have talked about in class before. All shopping needs are now done online which is something that I can see happening in America. Even now, most of our shopping is done online regardless. Most of the time I will not go to the mall to do shopping, most of it is done in the comfort of my own home on my laptop.
    Something which is very different in China than in the United States is that the government policies in China for AI are much more advanced than the regulations in America. The Chinese are looking to keep having AI work for the better of the country.
    The main concern for America having the AI beginning to take over is the autonomous vehicles. This is the first step in changing the world completely. Soon there will be no need for a driver’s license and the jobs of many drivers are soon going to be taken away. There will be no need for truck drivers, taxi drivers, or any other type of drivers in the country. These are only a few of the jobs that can be taken care of better than AI. After drivers are taken away it is only time for all other jobs to be taken away.

  12. Alan Josefsek February 23, 2018 at 8:42 pm #

    This is a very interesting topic that I have written about on many separate occasions. Technology is progressing extremely fast; faster than we have ever seen for generations. The newest technologies are far more advanced in technicality when compared to others in the past. This is important to note because this new wave of technology is going to dramatically effect the way all people live their lives in the long run and in the future, especially when it is already created. Large companies are experimenting with artificial intelligence (AI) technology in order to cut their costs dramatically. The largest cut will be payroll. Payroll typically makes up sixty to seventy percent of a company’s revenue stream. This is extremely high. Imagine what you could do with the amount of revenue you would hang on to with that expenditure gone. This is why ai technology is so alluring to these companies. Another cost that ai technology cuts for large corporation are research and development costs, also known as R and D. Research and development typically costs millions upon millions of dollars, but is essential for large organizations to compete against each other. AI are able to perform specific tasks as well as, or better than, we humans can. That is a fact. And this includes R & D. With machine learning, ai can teach itself. At its most basic, it is the practice of using algorithms to parse data, learn from it, and then make a determination or prediction about something in the world. So rather than hand-coding software routines with a specific set of instructions to accomplish a particular task, the machine is trained using large amounts of data and algorithms that give it the ability to learn how to perform the task. This is especially dangerous considering how this technology can be applied to any human task. Why hire anybody when you could purchase an ai once? AI are currently being used in the financial services industry to predict things such as trends, mergers, and venture agreement outcomes. If AI is successful in completing this with little to no accuracy, humans will become obsolete. This is a fact that can not be ignored.

  13. Natalia Falana February 23, 2018 at 10:59 pm #

    AI will undoubtedly change the world. As AIs become more advanced and begin to rival human capacity in numerous fields, people may find themselves struggling to keep up. I greatly fear that companies will decide to use AIs without creating new careers for the people who will be displaced. If an AI can do a job more effectively than a person, then a company would be foolish to choose to pay a person when they could simply rely on technology. In many instances, technology, and companies’ over reliance on it leaves customers unhappy. When companies choose to only offer automated options instead of customer representatives, it sends a message to people that their needs are not even worth listening to. Often the reasons why people call help centers cannot be resolved by the computers that answer and often customers simply get frustrated and stop trying to get the help they need. Many companies prefer creating these walls between themselves and their customers to avoid uncomfortable situations or avoid having to offer refunds or accept returned items, and yet the most successful companies like Amazon, offer their customers human customer representatives even though they own some of the most advanced AI technology.

    To a certain extent people will always need and request a real person. A real person offers a sense of security and familiarity that technology has not yet reached. In many ways technology can be frustrating and having to deal with AIs that are always changing will be a challenge for a very long time. Technology works best when a person is somehow still present, and this presence helps to alleviate the sense of loneliness and isolation that an automated world often creates.When AIs truly reach the full capabilities of people, then they should also be granted similar rights. If AIs ever learn and understand enough to be almost human, then they will need to be paid and protected just like people are. Regardless of whether AIs actually become as advanced as people, the people who are displaced will need an income. A base income for all sounds preposterous and yet, it may be in large companies’ best interest to somehow give back to all the people who will have lost their jobs because without jobs many companies will lose large customer bases. How companies respond to their abilities to create better AIs, and how consumers react to their integration into every aspect of society, will determine whether they become a beneficial marvel, or a threat to our way of life.

  14. Joseph Lisowski February 24, 2018 at 2:55 pm #

    The topic at hand is not only concerning, but a very real problem we will have to face rather soon. Advancements in production and automation in recent years have been significant, though for the most part it has been symbiotic automation. Meaning that a machine and a worker would pair up to complete their tasks more efficiently together. However the next logical step is coming like the author mentioned. With AI expanding into more and more fields of work, like in China with food being delivered fresh with just an app payment, it will kick more and more workers out of the job industry.
    What makes it worse is that instead of jobs being replaced this time, they will be outright gone. Imagine if we were able to get the automated trucks running today in America. The entire truck driving workforce would be eliminated entirely. According to that entails roughly three and a half million workers. There is no sugarcoating it, this would not be symbiosis or some other fancy term for improvement. The harsh reality is that those people would be kicked to the curb. Granted there are upsides to this change from which the companies will reap the benefits. We as a country should prepare our newest generation to adapt to these coming changes. If they are going to stand a chance in this new type of industry, it would make sense to train them for jobs of the future rather than the jobs that are fleeting. And hopefully those truckers can finish out their time in the business while it still lasts.

  15. Daniel Colasanto February 24, 2018 at 8:08 pm #

    A great topic and interesting article. As AI becomes more developed and the discovery of its practical applications progress, more services will be created by the emergence of AI but on the flip side many jobs will be lost to humans if AI can do a particular set of tasks for a lesser cost. Economies are based on factors of production and cost for resources is one of them. For years humans have done jobs that have produced towards the overall GDP of the economy and learned new skills when technology shifted from old to new. However AI is a very disruptive technology. Unlike going from farming to working in a factory or riding horse carriages to driving cars, or from coal to oil, AI is to put it bluntly, eliminating jobs. For those of those denying that AI will not affect the global workforce are denying the fact that unskilled and minimally skilled workers will see dramatic decrease in employment.
    I personally think that in order to prepare for the take over of artificial intelligence in the global workforce countries will need to invest heavily into their education systems.
    I feel that the future of education will be more focused on teaching students practical applications of math, science, and possibly require computer programming as a core requirement for graduation.
    People are going to need to learn new skills and likely have to change to entirely different industries for work. Governments are going to have to prepare for the worst but also try effortlessly to prevent economic crises. The change in products and services and going to be massive. Inequality between social classes may widen. New markets will be created giving countries such as China a chance to finally out pace the the United States GDP growth. Countries that can collect the most data will learn more and gain the most in the future. Although I feel that there are many occupations that will not be made obsolete just yet with the emergence of AI, such as doctors or lawyers, I believe my generation needs to be very conscious of the rapid change in production and services over the next coming years so that we will have the opportunities to remain competitive in the global markets and the standard of living in the U.S for us and future generations.

  16. Shakur Mckinney February 26, 2018 at 12:26 pm #

    I thought this article was very intriguing, I feel like the coming of A.I and the effect it will have on the workforce is something that the average person doesn’t think about. I feel like the average person when asked about A.I thinks about things like Siri and Alexa; little things that are cool and slightly help us live easier lives. What people don’t understand is that A.I is a lot further along than what most people would assume, and the effect of that is that many day to day activities that put humans life in jeopardy, have failure rates, or can be approved upon will soon be taken over by A.I. Even in the article the author talks about how his Uber driver asked him how long he thinks he has until his job is taken over by A.I. There are already cars that have an autopilot feature installed within them. So the technology is already here, but as with all technology that is new it is just to expensive at the moment for companies to implement into all their products and to try to sell to the masses. But in a world where nearly 1.3 million people; 3,287 people a day die due to automobile accidents, why wouldn’t A.I which is smarter than humans, won’t speed like humans, wont text and drive like humans, and wont have lapses in judgement like humans be implemented into cars so that they are all auto piloted by A.I. At first thought one would think that this is great, A.I auto piloted vehicles should in theory dramatically bring down the rate of car crashes and fatalities as a whole, in fact there shouldn’t be any car crashes unless there a computer malfunction occurs which should not happen often and should still cause dramatically less accidents than human caused accidents. But what people don’t think about is the workforce and how they will be affected when this type of A.I takes over the automotive industry. Thousands of taxi cab drivers, Uber drivers, truck drivers, pizza delivery guys, etc will lose their jobs. The immediate problem with this is that those people are now out of a job and have no way to feed their families and pay their bills. But another problem that comes after that is that those people who have lost their jobs have to go find new jobs that are in different fields. This will lead to inflation and a surplus of workers, which will make it harder for people to find jobs not to mention different types of A.I implemented for different types of purposes will result in there being a smaller market for human required jobs. So what this will soon create in my eyes is millions of unemployed workers and only a handful of jobs that require human skill. Among other things I found enjoyable in this article I liked how the author talked about the three sides that have formed when it comes to people thinking of A.I. The author talks about how there are those who, think that AI combined with humans should be better than either one alone, there are those who think we’ll be saved by a universal basic income, and there are those who deny that AI has any downside at all. As with all things in life I don’t think A.I and its use and how I feel about it can be this cut and dry. I think I fall somewhere in the middle betweeen the people who believe AI combined with humans should be better than either one alone, and the people who believe AI doesn’t have any downside at all. Overall though I found this article very interesting.

  17. Jake Bennis February 26, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

    It is not surprising that China has a strong chance of winning “the race”. China has always been known for having unique technology that cannot be found as commonly in other countries. Chinese businesses are able to copy other countries’ products and also have the knowledge to build upon them proves that they have potential for more unique projects.
    I agree that AI will replace a lot of jobs, however it will open more jobs as well. A lot of the new jobs will be maintaining and building these new technologies. Future life will be different than how life is now, and a lot of students today are taking courses on future and current technology. Another key point is that these AI will be replacing harder and dangerous jobs. AI will also be more consistent than human work. Although we cannot say how long it will take before AI replaces a large number of jobs, we can all agree that there is potential for newer, safer jobs.

  18. Steven Merunka February 26, 2018 at 4:53 pm #

    Whether it be China or the US who step into the next chapter of AI systems it mean trouble for the middle man. For the rich AI seems excellent, the less they have to do because you have computers to do it for you. Or business, instead of McDonalds hiring people to take orders and cook the food they could simply have a self ordering system and have machines produce food on a covayer belt. Maybe even firms who use AI systems to calculate millions of data points and compress it into one number with a press of a button sounds like the right direction of the human race. Even though this sounds like we’re heading towards the promise land, it seems just the opposite.

    In this article, it even starts off with someone asking when their job will be taken from them. That’s the issue that we need to stress before doing something that may unravel decades of work. Unemployment is not something to take lightly and with the rise of Ai systems might spell trouble for our economy. Simply taken out of a economics course, people earn money. And with that money they spend it and the market depends on the money of the people who have earned it. If you build a system in which thousands of people lose their job there’s no income. With no income comes no spending and will no spending comes a market crash, you see where this is going? It’s a snowballing effect. Yes The concept may be extraordinary and a spectacle to have these computers so smart they can carry out human activities but think about what that means for the young people who haven’t even started their lives yet.

    The fear of jobs being lost and an unbalance of the market is something people need to consider before implementing something that may save the companies money but hinder the long term economy. 20 years may seem far away but sooner or later it’ll catch up and we all might be out of jobs. Even if jobs are created through this process will it really outweigh the loss in the end?

  19. Antonio Macolino February 26, 2018 at 5:26 pm #

    One of the largest problems in life that my generation will face is how to grapple with the fact that AI is a becoming a very real thing and huge advancements are being made every year. A few years ago, artificial intelligence just seemed like something out of a movie or something very unattainable. But now, in 2018, AI is becoming a very real thing. Advancements are being made in the US and China at lightning speeds. It is particularly this competition between the US and China that is causing these advances to happen so quickly. The Chinese seem to be slightly ahead and the US is trying hard to catch up.
    What these advancements in AI mean is a drastically different world than the one we know today. In just 10 to 15 short years from now, AI will begin to take jobs away from people. These AI systems will be able to perform jobs way better than humans and at little to no cost. This means that thousands and thousands will lose their jobs, and this is just in America alone. While the benefits to AI are great, it almost seems like the downfalls outweigh these benefits. So many people will be out of work and there will be a huge spike in unemployment and people who need welfare.
    I agree with the article in the sense that we are not ready for this. Since AI is coming seemingly out of nowhere, I do not think people and mainly large corporations truly understand the huge social changes that will happen. First off, we will have to figure out what to do with the huge amount of people that are now unemployed. Some suggest creating a new welfare program using the excess money made from AI.
    Another solution posed by the article is the need to radically change our schooling. I agree with this. I believe that we must look at what jobs will be taken from humans and start training the next generation for the jobs that will be left. AI is bringing wonderful innovations to the world, but unfortunately not many people are thinking about the repercussions these innovations will have. We need to figure out what we are going to do about the radical societal changes that are coming. If we do not address these upcoming problems, our social framework and workforce will be turned upside down and cause chaos.

  20. Nicholas DiBari February 27, 2018 at 4:18 pm #

    After this reading, I could not help but think of a quote from one of my favorite movies, Jurassic Park: “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Granted, this article does not pertain to the recreation of dinosaurs, however, it does pertain to something equally potentially earth-shattering: a total societal upheaval at the hands of artificial intelligence. Advances in technology has pushed us to the point where we are on the precipice of an entire revolution fueled by the potential inherent in artificial intelligence. Scientists in China and the United States (as the article mentions) and, truly, across the world are making strides in innovation, redefining what artificial intelligence is and is not capable of.

    In Arizona, Waymo, a company that came out of Google, is launching a service that employs a fleet of driverless cars that can be hailed via an app very similar to that of their potential competitor, Uber. While not officially in service yet, the cars are being tested on the streets of Phoenix and the service plans to be commercially operational by later this year following their TNC permit (

    Furthermore, artificial intelligence is not only being employed to make our lives more easier, it is also being used to make us live healthier lives. Fitness apps, such as Fitwell, collects data based on the day to day life of its users and uses the aggregated information in order to make and suggest individualized workout and meal plans ( Implementations of artificial technology such as this serve to benefit mankind, however, artificial intelligence does carry potentially detrimental implications.

    While there is the perhaps obvious impact of an artificial intelligence system replacing your job, there are also indirect impacts to bear in mind. Technology is on the rise that will not eliminate jobs, rather, it will be instituted in companies and simply be far more efficient as a substitute for people. Start-ups are becoming readily more prevalent and, while perhaps not immediately predictable, it can be assumed that numerous businesses will inevitably be disrupted. It is only advisable to keep on top of the trends and make sure you are as well prepared for the coming implementation of artificial intelligence across business (

  21. Andrew Kuttin February 28, 2018 at 1:33 am #

    The concept of artificial intelligence is horrifying to me. I am a firm believer that Lee’s estimate of 15-20 years before AI takes driving jobs is accurate. The technology that will take over our workforce already exists. It is only a matter of time before society fails to stop it and it becomes mainstream. I acknowledge that fearing the new wave of technology is irrelevant because it cannot be stopped. Because of this, the conversation shifts to what should happen after it arrives. This article addresses the concept of a universal basic income as a solution to the loss in employment. After all, an economy is reliant on the people having income in order to stimulate it and if a substantial portion of the workforce is made irrelevant, they will need some way to keep the lights on. Elon Musk, one of our greatest modern minds, says that a universal basic income is “going to be necessary” ( The article points out that proponent of this solution do not take into account the depression or shame that many will have as a result of losing their ability to earn money for themselves. On this topic, Bill Gates thinks that artificial intelligence taking over the workforce will actually be beneficial ( He speculates that people will take their new surge of free time to become more productive and skilled. He says that the point of humanity is not to sit behind a cash register. If people have the burden of a full time minimum or low wage job taken off their shoulders, they will have time to diversify their skill set and educate themselves for jobs that artificial intelligence cannot do. I see a universal basic income as a band aid on the situation. Education needs to be reformed to prepare the younger generations for these jobs, but AI will move faster than any such change. Therefore, universal basic income could serve as a bridge until society is able to overcome the change on its own.
    Since this change is inevitable, it is important from the perspective of the US, to be at the forefront of artificial intelligence innovation. As time goes on, the Chinese are not only catching up to us, but are on pace to overtake us. As the article points out, the Chinese have much more data than is available in the United States. Roughly 300 times the data actually. China is home to the most mobile phone and internet users in the world. This enables them to create a base for their artificial intelligence to work from that is much more sophisticated than anything in the US.
    Artificial intelligence is coming and it is going to change the world as we know it forever. As a college student who has sold my soul for a chance at a bachelor’s degree, I am concerned. I do not know which professions will still be relevant in the next 15-20 years and I am ultimately preparing to enter a professional world that will not exist when I enter it.

  22. Mark Marino March 1, 2018 at 11:25 am #

    Whether we like it or not, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking over our lives and the world at the moment. AI will be sole ruler of our day to day activities. They will take jobs away from people who need the most; the middle class. Amazon’s warehouses are capable of pushing out packages with the use of robots and artificial intelligence. These robots have taken over the jobs of many Americans that are in desperate need of work
    AI has been seen on Jeopardy, the IBM Watson was able to click the clicker and come up with an answer in a matter of seconds. All of this with the difficult part of jeopardy with answering the clue with a question. Watson was able to beat out 2 other humans in the game and successfully show how powerful artificial intelligence is. In our iPhones, Siri is a form of artificial intelligence that uses our phone’s processor to execute commands and interpret what we are saying to it. Siri is a “dumbed down” version of Watson but still a very powerful tool in the world of AI.
    The processing power of Watson is truly marvelous. The physical processors that are needed must be powerful enough to analyze and process data in a few seconds. One thing is that there are limitations to when it comes to AI. Artificial Intelligence is only as good as the humans who are on the build team to make it. The knowledge that people know is the only information they can possibly put into Watson. Data in this sense is crucial. The more data researchers collect to advance AI the faster and better of a machine they will be able to put together.
    When it comes to data mining, the US and China are at the forefront. There can be some parallels politically that are seen when the US, China, and Russia go head to head with the new technology boom. China and Russia will always try to undermine democracy in and effort to promote their ideas. America will promote democracy and will always try to beat out China and Russia. The newest trend now is cryptocurrency, a decentralized system of currency that uses blockchain technology to mine currency. These new booms of technology will for certain raise tensions between these 3 countries, it will be interesting to see what is to come.

  23. Tyler Grzybowski March 1, 2018 at 10:53 pm #

    Artificial intelligence has led to significant advancements in technology in the last several years. Artificial intelligence itself or just AI is a relatively general term for any task carried out by a program or machine that if for say was carried out by a human would require the application of intelligence to complete. With the term being so broad it can sometimes create a gray zone of what actually classifies as AI. For simplicity anything that uses AI in its basic form takes in as form of data, processes and interprets the data, and lastly comes up with an output. Amazons Alexa is a great example of AI currently in use to aid consumers in their everyday life. This intelligent personal assistant can perform all sorts of tasks. Alexa can answer all your random questions, read you the weather forecast, play music for you, control your lights and thermostat, create a too do list for you, or even order items for you off of Amazon. While Alexa currently may possess some capabilities that make her useful for her owners the personal assistant still isn’t anything groundbreaking in terms of changing the way we humans live are daily lives. A much more important implementation of AI that occurred just recently is Amazons recent launch of Amazon Go. Amazon Go is Amazons take on a grocery stores while adding with it a new revolutionary shopping experience. Shoppers at Amazon Go will never have to experience waiting in line or dealing with fumbling with cash from their wallets. Instead, the process is entirely automated with the help of AI, no cashier’s necessary, and no employees to pay except those keeping the shelfs stocked. With labor often being the most expensive thing a company has to pay for automation would lead to huge improvements in the bottom lines of companies that can utilize AI to do the work of people. At the present time AI is extremely good at automating a job that is routine in nature and it just so happens that many routine and repetitive jobs exist in our world today. Amazon has already implemented over one-hundred thousand bots in its fulfillment centers where they carry out a routine task of carrying large shelves of products to humans which specify the specific product to be shipped out. As AI becomes more advanced the limits of what tasks they can accomplish will expand to those requiring more judgment and intelligence. One of the largest projects currently under development is to automate vehicles and even more specifically trucks. Truckers move over seventy percent of all the freight tonnage moved in the United States and with 3.5 million truckers represents a good portion of the America economy. Bringing automation to trucks will see an improvement in efficiency and possibly lower prices on some goods however it will see the loss of many jobs. It’s known that technological shifts will of course bring other jobs to be filled but it will be interesting to see if enough new roles can be created and if those displaced will be able to possess the skills to do them.

  24. Zachary Corby March 2, 2018 at 1:19 am #

    The time is coming for AI technology to take over the world and there is not much people can do to stop it. More and more people are beginning to realize that yes AI will take over the world sooner rather than later but no one is on board to help make the transition smoother. The US is very reluctant to try and make advances in this technology because of the potential job losses that will result from it. Thousands of people are employed with jobs that would most likely be lost to this technology. Delivery drivers, truckers, taxi drivers, uber would all seemingly try and adopt this technology to cut costs which would be devastating to the unemployment rate in America. The article says how truckers have already pleaded to Trump to try and stop this technology which is seemingly a waste of time. They should instead be looking to how they can better themselves to prepare for the inevitable change that will happen down the road. The potential roadblocks from this technology are centered around the government. First people are very skeptical of the government and this type of technology would seemingly have to be allowed by the government. There are legislation and moral issues that would have to be cleared first by AI companies though the government before it ever became commercialized. Between the government and the technology, people would be extremely skeptical of how it could work because that is what America is taught to think. The other one is unemployment and politics. It is tough for anyone to really endorse AI technology because it would lose you many votes from unskilled workers and people who would lose their jobs because of this. Yet I find it extremely embarrassing by the lack of support from the US government toward this technology. We are supposed to be the best country in the world and we are not trying to encourage innovation or expansion of technology. China in turn has the perfect idea. Not only did they start researching this technology a lot later then us, but now they are either even or ahead of us in terms of developing it. Since their country is also so technologically advanced already, they are able to collect a lot more data from people which further helps them innovate. There is no longer a debate about whether we should allow this AI technology or not because if it is already created it will eventually trickle into the market. It is time for the government to begin being proactive for once and helping to find jobs for when this technology becomes mainstream. If the government could start to figure out how to expand the industry and create jobs for people, it will only help to expand the economy. Unemployment will not rise because of the technology, and people will more then likely get better wages with jobs that are dealing with this technology instead of what they were already doing. Here is another idea, why doesn’t the government begin to invest in education? Maybe if they gave older less skilled workers more options with education they could learn new skills that could help them survive the upcoming changes. China is advancing passed us in many facets in technology and it is because their government encourages innovation, and is proactive to change. Meanwhile our government lives in the past and does not try to think about future changes as much as possible which shows in their development over us. How else would China be able to produce a technology they started later then us 5 years earlier? It is time for the government to step up and support the technology revolution that is brewing and help people live with the changes that come along with it.

  25. Jessica Williams March 2, 2018 at 11:30 am #

    The issue with this article is that it’s not a matter of these tech companies ignoring the situation. Some of them may be well aware of the issues raised by the regulation of AI, but the real reason why none of them acknowledge it is simply because they don’t actually care. While working individuals might be out of a job, all of the corporate leaders are more concerned about the decrease in costs that will result from the utilization of AI technology instead of human workers, as less money would be directed towards paying the workers of a business.

    Recently, I have read a book for my Macroeconomics class that discusses the issue of selfishness in corporate businesses. The book entitled “Who Stole the American Dream?” written by Hedrick Smith, mentioned a “New Economy” strategy, in which business owners would focus more on stock prices as opposed to worker loyalty and happiness. One particular individual who comes to mind after reading this article was a man named Al Dunlap, who was otherwise known as “Chainsaw Al,” since he would often join companies to boost their stocks, while cutting workers and managers in the process. He boasted that he helped create a large number of millionaires, while, another individual who worked with him named Jerry Ballas spoke on behalf of the workers of the particular company he “chainsawed,” stating that their morale was very low.

    While the circumstances are slightly different regarding the issue of AI, I cannot help but contrast the selfishness of the companies that want to regulate AI to the issue of the “New Economy” ideals that Smith mentions in his novel. With this in mind, I cannot see how a company would be willing to take the extra money made from the use of these machines to pay their previous human workers for a “universal basic income.” Although the workers might feel undignified for receiving these funds hypothetically, there is a chance that, realistically, many companies might not provide these funds to help these workers find new jobs in the first place.

    In the article, the author also talks about how many people think that the introduction of new technology will create new jobs. The issue with this is that the jobs needed to maintain AI will require college degrees on the subject, which many people might not be able to afford. In addition, the author stated that AI would be replacing “routine, single-domain jobs”, which generally don’t require a college degree. Not only is AI going to be creating new jobs, it’s going to be replacing those that some workers might only be able to fulfill without getting a college degree. The issue of being both jobless and in need of a degree is only going to create more financial struggles for people.

    While the normalization of AI appears to be a new innovation that has so far benefitted China, it may affect the United States in many different ways, some of which, may not be good. Before we invest in replacing our workers with artificial intelligence, we must first take into account the differences between the United States and China, and how AI will affect each country’s citizens.

  26. Mary Margaret Miller March 2, 2018 at 11:49 am #

    It is more than inevitable that artificial intelligence is reinventing the way we live, but to what extent does it impact our daily livelihood? It has been common fear amongst many that companies will become obsolete due to artificial intelligence completely taking control over society. Some also worry that another recession could be upon us as unemployment rates are expected to rise in 15-20 years from now. These predictions were based on the rate of growth of artificial intelligence within the coming years, and some experts truly believe that many jobs are going to be put at risk, or may not even exist after that period of time.
    With the expansion of the digital age, it is becoming more convenient and affordable for companies to incorporate artificial intelligence into how they run their businesses in place of using manpower. However, artificial intelligence cannot survive without a team of people to reassure it is running smoothly and properly. When artificial intelligence creates some form of an error, it is a team of individuals that have to determine how to fix and reverse the technological problem at hand.
    An agreeable topic that the article mentions is how the students of today across the globe must plan ahead in order to find a career that won’t be replaced by a robot. We live in a futuristic society where we can never focus on living in the present. We must always put our full attention towards being ahead of the next one, such as China’s recent innovations. The lessons we are being taught in school are slowly becoming more and more antiquated as we grow older, due to the technological advancements that are changing the way we live in society. Students who are in college are at the greatest risk for having their career being impacted by artificial intelligence since they are just entering the work force. The greatest recommendation from executives of major corporations is that we must always prepare and adapt for change, and it is inevitable that the digital age will be reforming dramatically within the next 15-20 years, or possibly sooner than we know or realize.
    It is a belief of mine that artificial intelligence will never be capable of taking over all of the occupations in the world. What one must realize is that there always has to be a brain behind artificial intelligence being that it was created by man. By looking at it in the manner, if there was ever an extensive problem for artificial intelligence service, software, or company, there must be someone further to oversee it and fix the issues. Although we are becoming heavily dependent on artificial intelligence, we must realize that we are able to outsmart it, and that it will never have the power to overtake all jobs of society.

  27. Luke Nadolny March 2, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

    AI is one of the innovations in the future that will help us substantially, but will also hurt us equally. With the rise of AI, hundreds if not thousands of people will be at risk of losing their jobs to it. The technology companies around the world know this very well and are right to not let this information out, as it can be catastrophic to a potential job candidate’s moral. We also need to take into account how much free reign AIs are going to have as if one becomes corrupt, the amount of damage one could cause to a business or to a person is unimaginable. Of course there would need to be people to construct the AIs and people to program them, but after that, what else is there to do? What is stopping an AI from doing your job ten times better? These are things we need to take into account as AI takeovers are inevitable, but not limitless.

    There are some positives to AIs through all of this controversy. As already said, it can do a job potentially ten times better than any human can, so operations can run more smooth than normal. It can also pull up whatever you want on the internet or eventually they will be able to operate your house or business with just a voice command. With the release of AIs like Alexa and Siri, and even Watson, we have seen people of this generation become used to asking their Alexa to set a timer, or asking Siri to look for the nearest Italian restaurant. Recently, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been developing a program that will install Alexa in people’s cars. This is a genius move by Bezos to mas distribute Alexa to companies as well as consumers.

    Back to the negatives however, there are students who are majoring in places like finance and accounting, topics that AIs will be able to do no problem. When they get to the real world and they start to mingle with their jobs, AIs will start to take over their positions and there will be no need to keep them around. So all of that studying, all of that stress and all of that hard work in college just to be replaced by an AI seems to be an inevitable future. This is one of the reasons why my major is marketing, it is the one of the only majors that can not be done by a robot or AI.

  28. Ryan Blume March 2, 2018 at 2:34 pm #

    It’s important that the U.S continue to make progress in developing artificial intelligence. As the article states, China is catching up and progressing faster in the development of AI. “Fifteen years ago almost every decent startup in China was simply copying the functionality, look, and feel of products offered in the US. But all that copying taught eager Chinese entrepreneurs how to become good product managers, and now they’re on to the next stage: exceeding their overseas counterparts” (Lee). Being that the U.S doesn’t have a great relationship with China, it’s vital that the U.S stay ahead of them so they don’t have any advantages over us. Not only that, but the U.S should strive to have advantages over every country, especially our enemies.

    Despite how important AI is, it can have its downsides. It is inevitable that AI will take away jobs, but at the same time it could create jobs. A few summers ago, I worked as a cashier at Stop n’ Shop, and they had AI in the form of self-checkout. Instead of a cashier running the items under the scanner, the customers themselves were able scan their purchases. The managers saw that this was working well, and they installed a few more self-checkout machines. I don’t know if anyone was fired over this, but there was a reduction in employee work hours. As bad as this sounds, there was a silver lining. Occasionally, the machines wouldn’t correctly all the time. For example, if a customer wanted to use a coupon, they would scan it, but the machine wouldn’t read it. For things like this, there would be an employee standing around the machines to fix any problems the customers were having. The employee would manually enter the coupon code (customers couldn’t enter it), and the problem would be fixed. While employees may not be able to be a cashier, they would serve more as maintenance staff for when the machines are wrong. As an accounting major, I wonder if I will ever serve in this role. Most of my assignments, like working will spreadsheets, are done in excel and it will only be a matter of time before AI can do this. As Lee stated, it’s not about if this will happen, but when.

  29. Samuel Kozlov March 2, 2018 at 3:46 pm #

    Although it is not likely to affect the field I wish to enter into, Accounting, artificial intelligence seems like both the problem and the solution in this case. Many people do not realize it at the current moment, but AI is going to change the way almost every laborious task is being done. Not only that, but it is likely to change the lives of many, for better or for worse. Many people thinking that AI won’t affect them don’t realize that in 10 to 15 years already, China is going to be incorporating AI in almost every one of their jobs. Furthermore, the U.S. isn’t far behind, as it will likely take 15 to 20 years to really affect us.

    Problematically, since the U.S. and China are competitors and rivals, they will be fighting to have the first installments of AI, so the process could even be sped up. It will affect other places in the world, and soon enough it will spread like wildfire across all developed countries and even countries that need to rely on dirt cheap labor for their jobs. Some people have gone on to say that AI could be mixed with human labor, but that is a flawed notion since most jobs that are routine and single-domain are won out by AI by a long margin. Others believe that a universal basic income could help stop the problem, but most people fail to realize that this is likely not going to be nearly enough to satisfy the majority of peoples’ lifestyles. It will certainly not be able to replace the income that people derive from working. In my personal belief, there needs to be a solution presented that will replace the full incorporation of AI into the workforce. If companies get their way and have only AI in their workforce, the U.S. and the rest of the world can have a big problem on their hands.

  30. Lucas Rodriguez March 2, 2018 at 4:21 pm #

    The incessant rise of the technological era proffers an inescapable atmosphere of job-related innovative suffocation; no matter which direction we endeavor amid our itinerant attempts to escape this disaster we will be forced against a wall of sheer hardware, and when we seek help we are surely to be assisted by a robot. Questions regarding the security of our future occupations have seemed to emerge as the most prominent of concerns- whether or not we accept these impending terms, we are soon going to be consumed by the outbreak of an automaton-based work force fumed by the notions of company-related profit maximization. At first it is reasonable to assume that the basic costs for such upcoming technological workforce implementation, such as loss of human capital and initial manufacturing and resource costs, may be of a major issue in terms of a company’s performance and ability, but soon afterwards immense profit could be estimated by eliminating wages and an abundance of workers- not only saving money, increasing profit, but additionally increasing productivity. But despite looking at the positives that such influences may proffer, such as an increase in production and newer technology (which could lower prices), we must look at both parties affected by this drastically inevitable revolution. As the article illustrates from Lee’s analytical commentary, China and the United States have rapidly been expanding their growth of newer and improved artificial intelligence based devices. And because of this almost palpable competition between the two industrially powerful countries, it reasonable to assume a more rapid A.I. takeover is undergoing emergence. From the statistics provided, almost 57 percent of all jobs could potentially be replaced within the next 15 or so years, wiping out half of the intimate human confrontation that has been piloting our workplaces for centuries. For instance, on global scale, the existence of certain transportation related services, such as Uber or any Taxi corporation, could potentially be entirely replaced by self-driving automobiles that companies have already started to invest toward development. And in terms of our most obvious example, our beloved fast food industrial chain, our almost 4 billion workers in the United States alone have the potential to be jobless, frantically searching for either better educational opportunities (which could increase income from universities and allow individuals to attain better jobs) or joining the deep pool of unemployment, depending on how vast the expansion becomes. China has already began a mass utilization of robotic services in certain food industries. An additional motive behind this ineffable undergoing is precisely how efficient robots are when compared to humans; we have allowed a mere machine to replace our natural human-kind skills; soon they could potentially be constructing “themselves”. An example of this in the larger scale could be portrayed by IBM’s project “Watson”- a question answering computer system. The system has started to become utilized in certain diagnostic related circumstances in different facilities, and has actually been proven to be more accurate than real human doctors, in terms of diagnostics. When examining patients (this software was largely tested on a variety of patients and more notably cancer-related illnesses) the machine was said to have an upward accuracy of more than 90% in terms of correctly identifying a certain problem an individual may face. When you compare this statistic to that of a regular doctor’s accuracy, an underwhelming 50%, one could see the potential of a spiraling growth of these automaton-related machineries not only in our basic food related services, but potentially around the world. It would be as if a mechanical chip is thrashed into the center of our largest corporation based regions, completely reestablishing and overriding any glitches found in the foundations of our universe- these annoyance-related glitches being us. There is no point for companies to invest in workers when they could just operate from a hierarchy of solely a managerial bases, where the need for other laborers will become non-existent and the platform in which these businesses will secure profit will come from their own operating machines. Although exaggerated, it will be as if these machines will structure an infinite limbo of mass technological design; they will first be implemented into services, these services will be maintained by even more artificial intelligence, and that intelligence will be maintained by the former unit. With an increase in such innovation, we must question whether or not our attempts to “save” mankind or make an increasingly reliable and efficient community by creating a new and more adaptable infrastructure will ultimately lead to the decay of our available jobs. This implementation will require more individuals to compete for work and will inevitably consume the older generation of our societies. Thus, the newer generation will be thrown into an artificial world of wonders, in which everything will be based off of technological design and impending inhabitants will be forced to acquire a computer engineering related interest.

    • Daniel Kim March 2, 2018 at 7:33 pm #

      To expand your last statement, the United States focused on liberal arts education during the mid-twentieth century until Sputnik from the former Soviet Union launched into space. After that incident, the United States government started to focus on STEM education to develop future scientists and engineers to beat the Soviet Union in the space race. Of course, we landed our man on the moon. Now, the United States does not seem to focus on revamping our education system to fit with the modern time. According to the Department of Education, the United States is not doing so well with the STEM field. As the world becomes more complicated, technology is becoming a huge part of our lives. We cannot avoid this reality and as this reality is becoming more prevalent, the sad part is the people who are left behind.

      If there is one prevailing theme that the United States has, we like to rush into things that we are not prepared for. Take the Iraq war as an example. After 9/11, the Bush administration ran head to head with the United Nations as the latter tried to persuade the United States not to get into a conflict with Iraq. Since the United States was a global powerhouse, it decided to go to Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein anyway. Of course, the U.S. military quickly overthrew the dictator. However, the reality sank in. No one was in power and the situation spiral out of control as the United States attempted to rebuild Iraq into a democracy. This building process killed many U.S. soldiers and forced the American taxpayer to give trillions of dollars to fix the mess in Iraq. Everyone back home wanted their sons and daughters back. They also wanted the war to end. Finally, in 2011, the United States pulled its troops from the Middle East.

      Now, we are heading towards a similar direction with the rapid advancement in AI and automation. Right now, we simply do not have effective programs broad enough to help people make a transition into the tech world. Perhaps, we will eventually figure out a solution that can benefit workers without the expense of hindering technological advancement. However, the current issue is making a feasible plan to prevent an impending job doom when AI and robots take over.

  31. Luis F Gonzalez Jr March 2, 2018 at 4:32 pm #

    AI is a massive industry accelerating at a fast pace. Not even a decade ago, it came onto the scene as a major breakthrough in technology and now is seen as a threat to many and a savior to companies. This technology will change drastically how human society lives and will transform the workforce for many nations. There are many perspectives to see in which how AI technology will affect us. Some believe it will take away most of the jobs and won’t bring any new ones, others believe AI won’t change anything but instead enhance what we already do, and others believe an integration of both will be most beneficial instead of one alone. I personally believe it will take away lots of jobs with little amounts of new jobs in return. AI is simply a smarter version of the human brain and it learns at a quicker pace. It is mostly a long-term investment because if anything in the industry changes, AI technology will adapt to it faster than the average worker would. It would reduce costs and improve production, which is what firms desire when trying to increase their output. AI is not restricted to one field of work but is functional across many different skills such as: customer care, autonomous transportation, analytical, etc.

    No industry can refuse to integrate technology into their company culture just to protect their workers. If they did, they would be tremendously out beaten by their competitors. It is simply a fact that you need to incorporate these new technologies or the firm simply won’t be able to compete and will lose the fight. The correct response to this is figuring out how to replace those lost jobs and how to reform the education system to its new labor force needs. Technology is advancing a lot in modern times and we need to know how to adapt to the new world’s circumstances. Schools cannot simply teach the traditional majors offered but need to integrate AI tech into their teachings or teach what AI tech cannot do, which is not much. This puts the education system in a tough spot because what is the right move? That is a hard question with no answer because we simply have not experienced anything like this before. We have no precedent to base off our reactions and if done incorrectly many life could be hurt.

    The problem with AI tech is that it is essentially perfect. It creates many problems. If it replaces one thing, many indirect correlations will be hurt. So in other words, one tech can replace maybe two or more related job options. AI is a powerful artificial mind that needs to be put into good use but not be put into selfish use. Firms like making profit but they need to look out for positive externalities not be money greedy.

  32. Kunj Darji March 2, 2018 at 5:05 pm #

    In the future, actual jobs that people would do is checking the robots and programming them; offering services in special areas that require more than textbook knowledge.
    There will be a need for the labor force but someplace else, in different functions. There will be no need for translators, factory workers, lorry drivers, etc. The transformation process will not be sudden but it already started.
    Let’s recap where are automation solutions currently:
    Amazon now has more than 100,000 robots in action around the world, and it has plans to add much more to the mix. The robots make warehouse work less tedious and physically taxing, while also enabling the kinds of efficiency gains that let a customer order dental floss after breakfast and receive it before dinner.
    The first Amazon Go shops opened recently that allow people to walk into the store, pick up groceries and simply walk out the store without queuing at the cashiers. The system would deduct the value of their ‘cart’ from their bank account. This helps to make shopping less problematic. Currently, it is not taking away jobs because they need to test the new system with real customers and fine-tune their software in order to cope with little kids running around with candy and chocolate bars in their hands, placing them at different places. But essentially, the goal of the system is to eliminate waiting. Having said that, there will be always people required to maintain the store, but fewer people than before.
    Self-serving cashiers at Tesco or Ikea (etc.) is also something that was introduced a few years back that still needs some getting used to from the customer. The result of having self-checkout counters is that they reduced the number of cashiers at a ratio from 4 to 1 person. That one person is there helping people if they got stuck during the checkout process.
    Would a self-checkout option be integrated into common fashion stores? Maybe. Would they be introduced to high-end stores? I don’t think so because those stores have the customer services that is best for a human being who is kind and helpful to a customer.
    A robot that helps users appeal parking tickets for free in the UK and US. The bot has helped strike down 375,000 parking tickets in the last two years. As artificial intelligence technology progresses, fewer lawyers will do mundane tasks.
    More than 10 major law firms have “hired” Ross, a robotic attorney powered in part by IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence, to perform legal research.
    The car manufacturing process will be much shorter than current. Tesla is creating one of the most advanced robot technology to assemble a car. Much fewer people are needed in their factories to put together a car than in any other. Their goal is to make their cars the best possible, in the shortest period of time. This is one of the reason their production time is so bad because at first, they need to create a harmonized process for robots to work together. But when they will achieve that, probably this year, they will fulfill all the Model 3 preorders (~400,000) quicker than it would take for any other company. Crushing all the other manufacturers. Because it does not matter if the other players will have a competing product to Tesla but how quickly can they make it if there is a market for it. They are not investing as heavily into the automation process as Tesla does, and in some point in the future, they will realize that you can’t scale a production if there are humans checking the paint quality and welding. That is part of the reason why Tesla is currently not turning a profit because their R&D invest two times higher than conventional automakers.

  33. Damian Mioduszewski March 2, 2018 at 5:29 pm #

    The world around is changing at an astronomical rate that was simply impossible to imagine about 20 years ago. Many jobs that were taken for granted to be around until the end of time is now in jeopardy due to the increasingly more complex AI being able to handle these jobs. One of America’s most essential jobs, trucking is now in jeopardy as there are now autonomous trucks being tested around the country. The author of this article has a conversation with a driver and tells him that it will be another 15-20 years before his job is taken over by AI or robots. Also mention by the author is the race between China and the US of artificial intelligence and who is going to first introduce the new advanced AI. Many are skeptical saying that it will not be 15-20 years before many people are going to lose their jobs but I personally believe it will most likely be before that even. Even with many impediments the American economy has been producing the world’s most advanced AI and it is more than likely to produced technology that will take over these jobs. Secondly another major point this author is trying make is that China will overtake us in producing the world’s most advanced technology. I personally don’t believe the Chinese have been major innovators and the only reason they are this advanced is because they have been copying the US. The US has been innovating technology and has become masters at it and China finally making some new inventions of their own does not mean they are going to overtake the US. Instead I view this as an opportunity to help the American economy by helping improve the education system to better this today’s economy. I would support improving the education system to better fit this economy by introducing more computer science based classes. With the revitalized education system we would be able to ensure that America would be on top of the technological race beating China. Even with this new opportunity we should figure out alternatives for the masses that would be left jobless from the technology being able to take these jobs.

  34. Justin Brenner March 2, 2018 at 5:29 pm #

    Ethicality in replacing jobs with AI is a hot button topic these past few years, and it seems to be one that I personally have been having to contend with a lot. My own Research paper is on the ethicality of replacing minimum wage work with machines, And the AI debate presented seems to further reinforce this idea. AI implementation will most certainly do two things. The first is add a lot of convenience for consumers, making things like driving, shopping, and general living a lot easier. The other guaranteed thing is that it will destroy certain jobs and leave many with low skills without a viable option for work. Similar to another article I talked about as well, this leads into the “race for convenience” that we are seeing amongst businesses. Everyone wants things to be easier and streamlined, but many do not realize the cost that it entails. However, its not like all jobs will be lost, as the AI race will also give jobs to those looking to enter the field, as there will be people needed to create and maintain these AI’s. In that sense, it is not a terrible thing, but it does create some unpleasant scenarios, like how the Uber driver above worried how his job will be replaced soon. In a much more practical business sense though, the USA will have to quicken it’s pace in AI development if it wants to be a major player in its production, as china has already gotten a foothold in the race, and is quickly about to overtake the US in AI development. This race will certainly be an interesting one to see play out, among both consumers, and businesses.

  35. Daniel Kim March 2, 2018 at 6:43 pm #

    According to the Department of Education, the American education system is not preparing students well enough for the new reality as three-quarters of the fastest-growing job positions are within the STEM field. The same department also notes that the United States has one of the highest high school dropout rates in the world and half of those who attend college either repeat classes or never graduate. At the same time, competition with China for technological supremacy intensifies as the country of billion citizens is catching up with the land of the free in many aspects. Some of these include the military and, of course, cyberspace. From Newsweek, China quietly grew its military at an average rate of about 9.5 percent from 2005 to 2014. With these in mind, the world is becoming an uncertain place.
    On one hand, technological advancements promise us betterment of people. On the other hand, it is making us realize that maybe the movie “Terminator” was hinting our possible future for everyone involved. By everyone involved, I mean everyone who is currently living and is going to live after 2020. The internet brought many changes, both good and bad. On the good side, the internet allowed people to become entrepreneurs through platforms such as Youtube and E-commerce. Google and Amazon have an internet to thank for their massive successes. On the bad side, Facebook makes people more self-conscientious and Tinder makes our self-worth based on our physical appearances and some witty jokes. Psychologists and other academics refer to this unintended scenario as the boomerang effect. However, tech companies such as Google and Facebook are obviously going to make the case that AI is going to be good for everyone because such and such. In reality, no one really knows the repercussions of the current situation. We do not have anything in place to prepare millions of people who may find themselves without jobs when AIs and automation reach their peak. We are currently closing ourselves off to the rest of the world as Russia and China are flexing their political and military muscles in other countries such as Crimea and Djibouti. With this in mind, who knows how long the United States may stay as the alpha dog?

  36. Dean Spenzos March 2, 2018 at 7:30 pm #

    It feels like problems like problems related to jobs being taken always arises. There is the ongoing argument of immigrants coming to the US and taking people’s jobs. It constantly comes up in presidential elections and will probably never stop. There is also the problem with outsourcing certain jobs to other countries like India and China. They have poorer people working for extremely low wages that would not be legal in the US. Everyday, people are scared their job will be given to someone else willing to do it for less. More recently, with the increase in technology, older generations have begun to fear being replaced by someone younger and with less experience so they can be paid less. There is a constant cycle of companies trying to find ways to decrease expenses and pay less for workers.
    It is possible that with the advancement of AI we have found the limit of the cheapest long-term labor. Self-driving cars are a one-time cost that has the lifespan of many years. It will no longer be older people being put out of work but even the younger generations. In terms of profits, why pay a driver for every ride they give when you can purchase an automated car and receive 100% of the fares for every ride. The problem is multiplied when the biggest companies working on AI do not even recognize the problem and are doing nothing to ensure people don’t lose their jobs.
    I the US is in the lead of AI development there may be a chance to solve the problem because we will be in control of most of the market. However, young Chinese developers are quickly approaching and surpassing companies like Google and Facebook as stated in the article. If these Chinese startups become more successful then they will draw more talented programmers which will increase the rate at which they improve AI. This will ultimately put the US at a greater disadvantage in the industry. In class, we’ve discussed the topic of China gathering vast amounts of data on their citizens. This article goes into more detail about the discussion we had and states that there are triple the number of mobile phone and internet users in China than in the US. With all that data they can much more easily build a database for their AI to work off of. The article says that a good scientist with a lot of data will easily beat a super scientist with moderate data. This should really scare us because it means that China is poised to become the global AI leader. This could have a massive impact on the number of jobs that are taken away from humans.
    If the US does not act fast we could be facing major problems. It might be possible to implement legislation that would require a certain amount of human drivers for every automated driver. This would definitely help reduce the problem and set a precedent going forward. The AI industry is something we need to keep an eye on.

  37. Michael Katz March 2, 2018 at 7:37 pm #

    The article “Tech Companies Should Stop Pretending AI Won’t Destroy Jobs” from MIT Technology Review highlights the fear that many people who have technology related employment might be eventually losing their jobs to the increased use of technology in all sectors of our economy. China is the number 1 competitor in developing this technology and is already using all kinds of technology that those of us in America are just starting to understand. The Chinese use more mobile phones and computers in more ways than we do. Their population is committed to this technology. They shop, order meals, and use their technology in ways that no other country does. The government is much more supportive of this research and funds ideas that the researchers are studying. People who fear they might lose their jobs need to understand that as they are moved out of one position, they will be able to move into another easily. There will always be a need for the human element in this kind of increasing technology. AI can be a benefit in improving everything in our world and we should give it a chance and not be afraid. We can’t avoid this new technology, but people will learn to retrain for the new jobs that will occur. Colleges, universities, and trade schools will have to develop curriculums to accommodate these new jobs. It looks like an exciting time heading our way.

  38. Jon Cortes March 2, 2018 at 7:50 pm #

    The idea of artificial intelligence has been around for generations. It wasn’t until recently though, that people started seeing it brought to life by different technology companies. While we may be a long ways away from it, it’s possible AI could replace jobs normal people like you and I do to earn a living. When it comes to the forefront of technology, there’s no one higher up on the horizon than China and their booming technology industry. If workers are starting to become worried about self-checkouts and driverless cars, perhaps it’s because they have been taking their jobs for granted, and not put in the amount of work they use to as before. Artificial intelligence deals mostly with programs that can be taught to mimic the actions of a human being such as learning, speaking, problem solving, and so on. There is a great potential for future advancements in AI, and Chinese programmers doesn’t want to waste any more time. If companies like Apple and Google can create devices that respond to voice-activated commands, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Chinese were to create machines that could potentially run an entire store. Recent reports have proven that China has far more analytic information than the U.S., which could be used to teach their AI systems to learn the names of people and their own environment. While the United States also works hard at developing artificially intelligent machines, we’re still far behind from what other countries like China are capable of now and in the future. Creating a new artificial intelligence software may sound difficult, but the people of China are definitely trying their hand at a few different ones. Despite negative feedback from workers in the service industry, it is possible for AI machines to actually make their jobs easier instead of just taking them away. There are other uses for AI besides doing jobs that citizens don’t want to do. Medical training, virtual reality, and recognizing human language are just a few of the applications this technology can be applied to. The government in China is planning to continue the advancement of AI throughout the 2020s and 30s. This could mean a greater rise in the technological abilities of old and new devices. Digital cameras could have AI added in to them to assist photographers in finding the best location for the best photos. It’s not something that will happen overnight, but the rise of artificial intelligence should be something welcomed by society and not feared instead. Stores like Amazon and Walmart are already beta-testing the idea of a checkoutless store, and AI could help set a future precedent for these stores. No longer will consumers need to wait for employees to help them, they will be able to ask their smart devices to find which aisle the bread and cheese slices are located in. There’s no limit to what this technology can do, but we should also remember to not let replace our common sense and intuition when it comes to shopping. Hopefully, we’ll be able to live a world where machines with artificial intelligence can get along with humans, without any of us being afraid.

  39. Antonio Chirichiello March 2, 2018 at 8:59 pm #

    The major issue that arises with the direction of technological advances is the fact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will replace, a large variety of jobs. The article even mentions that, AI technology will supersede all the people who are in white collar and blue collar work only to happen within, the next 15 to 20 years. It may not be an issue for the people who are retiring in the next decade or so, but this does pose a significant threat to job availability in the work force for my generation and the next. Becoming an eighteen year old during the 2008 financial crisis and living out on my own, I understand the feeling of job scarcity and how difficult it may be to find work in times of crisis. But, it is the job loss which will occur during a time of innovation that may even be a more frightening situation to fathom. The real question is, who wins in the endless battle of technological power? Is it the creators or is it the consumers?

    There are always two sides to this AI innovation or to any innovation that may pose a threat to an economy and job scarcity. Who has the correct opinion to this technologic boom which will cause job replacement by robots that possible leaves millions jobless? Is it the people who have to benefit from AI technology? Or, is it the millions of American citizens that are at an extremely high probability of losing their jobs and possibly more? I believe the millions of Americans who are at the risk of losing their jobs, possibly the only form of income they may have to pay the bills, are the people who with the right opinions. Once a person loses a job with minimum experience and no certificates or degrees, it may be rather difficult for them to find work and at a significant rate. I feel this will even effect the middle aged group of people the most, especially the ones who have been working at that one job their whole life. A limited experience in the workforce makes it hard for a person to acquire work when they are only qualified to perform minimal work.

    In conclusion, I feel that if we continue to advance in technology, then it is inevitable to avoid the change that will come with AI technology. The capabilities that come with the power of that technology may be endless as these robots are able to obtain countless amount of information at a fast pace. All we can do as a society is try to innovate new methods to create new jobs for all of the unfortunate people. In turn, they will need to also innovate with the technology and acquire new skills. I believe, we need to help assist in the transition of the AI technology and create jobs instead of leaving millions of Americans helpless. This will in turn be better for the economy and a less of a chance to experience any economic issues. We need to work together in order to avoid any future economic issues when technological advances are involved.

  40. Frank Mabalatan March 2, 2018 at 8:59 pm #

    I recently came across this same article when I was browsing Reddit under r/Futurology and it provoked several thoughts in my head. First, I acknowledged time is inevitable and all attempts to combat it are futile. If artificial intelligence is the future and if artificial intelligence will destroy jobs, it is inevitable for the jobs to be destroyed. On its face, this is a disastrous fate for the world to be subjected to. The jobs of millions will be taken over by AI in the near future and most of these workers would be left without an income. People worry about losing their jobs because they worry about losing their income, but what if they did not need to?
    Several billionaires have come out in support of universal base income, a stipend given to citizens used to promote individual enterprises and ventures. Richard Branson believes “wealth that is created by AI [should go] back into making sure that everybody has a safety net.” If AI will replace all the jobs which provide actions and services that contribute to society, people who used to complete those jobs would be left with an abundance of time. As Branson believes, why shouldn’t we return a portion of AI wealth to people so that they can continue to push the boundaries of technological innovation without the time constraint of a job? The culture in the United States for centuries now has been to attain a job so one has a steady stream of income, but if that is provided for, what purpose does man have now? He is now able to pursue his interests and expand on what piques his curiosity freely, without the preoccupation of worrying how he may continue to live. Universal base income can be used to incite business ventures and artistic and creatives outlets which will enrich the society of the country and the world. One thing society cannot do is fight the times and win, however it can still win by embracing it wholeheartedly and, seemingly, radically.


    Billionaire Richard Branson: Extreme wealth generated by A.I. industry should be used for cash handouts:
    Elon Musk doubles down on universal basic income: ‘It’s going to be necessary’:
    Mark Zuckerberg Calls for Universal Basic Income in His Harvard Commencement Speech:

  41. Avans Beaubrun March 2, 2018 at 9:38 pm #

    Avans Rophe Beaubrun
    Professor O’Sullivan-Gavin
    Social & Legal Environment of Business
    March 2, 2018

    For this week’s assignment I read the article titled “ Tech Companies Should Stop Pretending AI Won’t Destroy Jobs.” Estimated 15-20 years in the United States, many occupations will be replaced due to Artificial Technology. This may sound very favorable and rewarding to many individuals, however Artificial Technology will certainly lead to social and economic issues. In addition, Artificial Technology will also increase inequality. In other words, individuals who lack sufficient money to adapt to such advancement will not be able to afford a lot of the technology and their jobs will be replaced.

  42. Greg Mattessich March 6, 2018 at 9:31 am #

    Kai-Fau Lee makes an excellent point here. I think many people are unaware or unconcerned about the potential of AI and its effects on society. As we continually improve our technological advancements, AI will for sure dominate the world. Many of us falsely assume that we are nowhere near that level of advanced AI yet. This is far from true. I’ve always been slightly frightened by the accuracy of some AI bots, especially the self-learning ones like the chess bot that can beat the best chess player in the world consistently.

    It will get to a point where AI will become vastly more intelligent and more efficient than us. There is no doubting this, because companies will have no reason to not implement automation and AI work unless they consider the consequences and impact. By that point, we will require some sort of universal basic income to cover the expenses of the low-skill labor jobs. The AI bots will be efficient enough to stimulate the economy and (hopefully) allow the extra money to spread out more evenly across the lower, middle, and upper class.

    Another interesting point in this article is the race of AI in China. Being the first to develop super-intelligent AI is certainly dangerous, especially if U.S is the one to win. Imagine a super-intelligent self-learning AI that can answer all of our questions and problems. This would certainly disrupt our direct competition with Russia and China, and I doubt they would be hesitant to nuke and destroy us at that point.

  43. Patrick Day March 8, 2018 at 2:11 pm #

    Even though many people were aware that artificial intelligence are going to take over jobs one day, it is interesting that Fu Lee states that it will happen sooner than we thought it would. As long as there is competition between countries like China and United States for the technology race, it will become inevitable in that people will lose their jobs to the AI. Just like Fu Lee stated in his article, “Tech companies should stop pretending AI won’t destroy jobs” it says that, “The competition between the US and China has sparked intense advances in AI that will be impossible to stop anywhere.” I believe that our society will not be ready for this technological revolution due to the shift of the economy and the many jobs that will be lost in such a short amount of time. Even though it will be convenient to have a life only using AI, many people will be struggling to figure out what they are able to do to be able to maintain their lifestyle from before. People that would also be in danger of losing their jobs to AI are people with high degrees like accountants since it is mostly recording their assets, liabilities, and profits onto an excel sheet. Big corporations would be looking forward to revolution because it will make their businesses more efficient due to working the entire day, not having to worry about giving out salaries, and it makes it easier for departments like human resources to not have to worry as much on issues among employees. I do agree with Fu Lee in that it will happen sooner than we think because there are many countries that are doing everything they can to make the perfect AI that would soon be too smart for humans that are doing the jobs today. A good example as stated in the article, is the autonomous cars that will be able to drive people on their own and cause people that drive others for a living to lose their jobs.
    Any business would do anything to create the greatest amount of money possible. Just like Natalia’s comment I agree with that saying, “If an AI can do a job more effectively than a person, then a company would be foolish to choose to pay a person when they could simply rely on technology.” As more businesses decide to use AI to run it, millions of people will have no job and will be struggling to find a new job since most of the jobs that would be taken over are mostly things that any human can do. Just like Fu Lee states in his article, we must spend the time we have now to figure out jobs that humans can do but no the AI and start training people so that not everyone would be harmed by the takeover of the AI. The people have the power to shape the future and we can either do something about it to have a better life along with the AI or just wait around until the AI starts taking everyone’s jobs.

  44. Russell Malko March 9, 2018 at 10:46 pm #

    What Tech Companies care about most is innovation/progress and money, there might be downsides but for their product to sell they must ignore the bad. Their sole reason they do this is because they want their product to sell as much as it can or get as much of a good reputation as possible before coming to market. That’s why I don’t like how Kai-Fu Lee states it in his article by saying that the AI companies deny that their AI’s have any downsides because the truth is they fully know what their AI’s are capable of. They are developing this software willingly knowing that these AI will replace someone job or do something better. Since that’s the point of them, to be able to make tasks quicker and have less down time instead of having a human do it which would potential mess up or create more errors. These companies completely acknowledge what they are doing, and they keep doing it because in the end if their AI ends up taking someone’s job then that means they did their job correctly.

    Now, people might say that by this happening it’s all negative and we shouldn’t have machines take peoples jobs but how else would we advance? Now, yes as the article suggests we can have AI implemented along with humans but I don’t believe that would be as efficient as it should be. If we just focus on the negatives we can’t justly say that they outweigh the positives to AI either. Without us taking these risks we otherwise wouldn’t eventually move into the next future which we are trying to constantly move towards. A future where technology reigns supreme and people are technologically advanced as ever before. Without taking those risks we wouldn’t go anywhere so in my opinion we can’t keep listening to the people putting down AI and technological advances as these are what’s going to make us better. These technologies are what’s making us more efficient and if that means jobs are going to be replaced by AI I’m certainly leaning towards that. Essentially the more simpler jobs are going to be replaced first and this does give time for people to find other jobs that can’t be replaced by AI or tech. I agree with Patrick Day when he says, “The people have the power to shape the future and we can either do something about it to have a better life along with the AI or just wait around until the AI starts taking everyone’s jobs.” I believe that life shouldn’t be just a cake walk and people must realize that they are going to have to get up from their simpler jobs and go out and learn. Just because you graduated from college and stopped schooling doesn’t mean you have to stop learning new things. Throughout life we should keep learning new skills that will help us professionally or even just day to day. That means we’ll have more to offer that an AI wouldn’t, so we wouldn’t be in fear of losing our jobs. By just sitting around obviously you aren’t going to learn anything new but constantly learning is something people need to keep with them for a lifetime. Today more people must realize this lesson and carry with them because an old dog can learn new tricks no matter what the age is.

  45. Coby Dunn March 12, 2018 at 11:21 pm #

    A.I development has been an ongoing discussion around the world, and it will continue to be a very serious discussion as more and more jobs become threatened by the efficiency of A.I. The US has always been a land known for the promise of opportunity. It is why this country has is know for the American dream, and the promise of new beginnings. What people fear, is that in the near future, their dreams are going to be crushed. We are already seeing estimates for certain jobs becoming obsolete. In ten to fifteen years taxi drivers are going to be out of a job. Soon after, or even before, we are already seeing automated grocery shopping. In other countries, like China, that are catching up with the US technologically, people are using their phones to shop, pay bills, and order food. Humans are becoming less and less efficient compared to A.I. The main difference between the US and China, is the political, and economic structure. China has a more socialist structure than the U.S. Better healthcare, and benefits for those who need it. So, when people look for answers to the upcoming job crisis, they fail to realize that America is not equipped to deal with mass unemployment. Universal income, using the money saved from using A.I to pay workers, these all sound like good ideas, but how long can we expect these to work. Countries will be faced with discouraged workers, since they will not be able to educate themselves, or adapt to the changing economy. However, technology, and the world, will continue to grow. A.I will take over jobs, and we are going to have to find solutions to the millions of people who will be faced by a society that has left them in the dust. The next generation is going to be faced with a new set of jobs, and a new education that they need to succeed in the world.

  46. Lauren Woodward March 13, 2018 at 6:13 pm #

    AI technology is obviously making a huge change to our society and the way it functions. However, we do not realize the speed and importance this change will make entirely. The impact on jobs, technology, and functions of life will change dramatically, and although some changes may be beneficial, others are drastic and frightening. The kick that America has started with AI is now spreading to other countries, such as China, and the race for AI is on. And the fact that America never likes coming in second, makes the growth and research of AI expand exponentially.
    As countlessly said before, AI is putting our world into a whole new situation that we aren’t necessarily prepared for. What’s different in this article than any others I’ve written about is that it takes into account the opinions of those that believe the AI revolution will be introduced just as other revolutions before it. I heavily disagree with this argument. We have absolutely no idea what this kind of technology will do to our society as a whole. Its a threatening form of technology that while seems very appealing and attractive, can ultimately lead to the demise of millions of jobs around the world. Its also changing the way my generation thinks, from a personal standpoint. When thinking about what I should major in, I had to realize that technology is changing fast, so I tried to pick a field where jobs wouldn’t decrease by much. I can’t imagine I was the only student to think about this factor, considering how younger individuals are much more knowledgable about technology than adults are.
    I have a strong belief that AI technology is not healthy for our future in this society. While it has some benefits, like helping those in need of the AI technology to do simple functions, overexposure and overuse of these devices will not only lead to a decrease in jobs, but also an increase in the laziness of already lazy Americans. My furthest belief of AI will go to Amazon Alexa and other smart home hubs similar. AI car and trucks catapults us into a totally different world that will only get worse. By technology companies claiming AI technology will not harm jobs, they are simply being ignorant to the fact that it will plummet the job market substantially and giving its employees false hope in the soon to change society.

  47. Grace Galuppo March 15, 2018 at 6:31 pm #

    AI is a complex subject that contains both advantages and disadvantages for people living in the United States. Although the US has been the lead in AI research, China will most likely be the first country to implement AI technology in their workforce. A main reason why China will supersede the US in AI is due to their influx of daily data. In China, citizens are unable to pay their bills on their phones, which eliminates the need for cash and increases people’s dependence on their smartphones. Subsequently, the more information people are plugging into their phones, the more data collected. Additionally, Chinese companies are able to collect more data than companies in the United States because of their larger population. Another factor that will expand China’s AI is their government. Since the Chinese government is a communist state, their government actions have a greater authority and quicker results than the United States. Furthermore, the United States, as a democracy, has a government containing ways for branches to check one another and for laws to pass in a longer time. The Chinese government has put a plan in motion to catch up with the United States in terms on AI technology and applications by 2020 and become an international focal point for AI.
    I think that AI will destroy our economic system in the United States, as our country is unequipped to deal with the unemployment AI will create. As of now, the government is unable to keep up the demands of social program assistance for people in need. Imagine how a slash of blue and white collared jobs would affect this already increasing problem. The article mentions a point of view taken by people who believe that the money made by AI be distributed to those who lost their jobs, claiming, “This additional income will help people find their new path, and replace other types of social benefits”. However, this point of view neglects to detail out a plan. For instance, how long will the extra income for people who lost jobs last? Or how much will the person who lost their job earn, enough to support a family? In addition, I know I would feel uneasy if I took a free handout from the government rather than work for my money and I think many Americans would agree with me.
    Another point of view taken by AI companies consist of a denial that AI would have any downside. However, it is naïve to think that a technology like AI, which has the capacity to eliminate jobs for people in both the lower and middle classes, have no effect on our economy. Nonetheless, it is not surprising those big corporations, who would use AI to significantly lower costs, to advocate that AI has a downside.

  48. Connor Wiedeman March 16, 2018 at 9:56 pm #

    Every so often there is a new technological advancement that can change our whole system and AI is one of them. While many notable people are involved and encouraging the further development of AI, there are also those who oppose it, heavily. The most influential of AI’s outspoken critics is Elon Musk who was once quoted saying “I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful,” “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.” Given Musks heavy involvement in the technology sector with projects such as SpaceX and Tesla, I believe we should not take Musks opinion with a grain of salt and further research adverse implications of AI.
    An interesting comparison that Musk makes is that developing AI intelligence is like the stories of men summoning demons. In the stories they are fully confident that they can control the demon once summoned but once released it has a mind of its own. I believe more studies need to be conducted so we are able to see as far ahead with AI as we can. I think we should understand how it will impact different aspects of society such as unemployment. The question that nobody knows the answer to is what happens when millions of people lose their job to a computer. So many jobs in today’s world could be eliminated if AI becomes more advanced so what then? What will be stopping companies from laying off countless employees and replacing them with workers who require no pay? Truckers are already facing the threat of Tesla’s self driving cargo trucks taking over their jobs and have, according to the article, already appealed to congress to stop further testing of self driving trucks.
    While I personally find AI technology to be fascinating, I think it would be naive to rapidly develop the technology with tunnel vision towards beating China in the AI race. We would be better off to gradually develop it and analyze both the positive and negative implications of applying it beyond testing labs. By doing it this way, I think it will be much easier for researchers to realize the line in the sand of what is or isn’t going too far. In my opinion, too far is the point where people start losing their jobs. If the technology is there, it would be too enticing to companies to replace human labor. AI requires no salary, time off, and eliminates human error.
    Something that can be very detrimental to the development of AI is the denial of tech companies that it could have negative implications. This is a dangerous thought to have because it is putting untrue information in people’s head, although it is even more dangerous if tech companies actually believe that it can have no negative implications or downsides. Safety sells, and all precautionary measures should be taken to make sure we don’t do anything we regret.

  49. Steven C March 22, 2018 at 11:55 pm #

    Artificial intelligence has been a fairly new concept that is designed to enhance the capabilities of humans but has also been a great concern to many people. In this article, by Kai-Fu Lee, he discusses some of the concerns that come with the advancement of artificial intelligence. There is no doubt that we live in a period of time that allows humans instant access to information with a touch of a button or in our pockets with our smart phones. With this great advancement of technology comes great risk. This risk has been overlooked for many years, being outweighed by the positives of this technology. As an example we can look at social media. At its core the goal was to connect people from all over the world. This was great, but what we didn’t think of was how this platform can be used in a negative way. Today we have cyber bullies and an alarming increase of depression and anxiety in children and young adults which can all be attributed to social media and technology. Don’t get me wrong I love the abilities that technology has given us but I realize the consequences to this new found technology. Companies like Facebook and Google have been using/testing AI in some of their programs. Facebook shut down their AI program because the two robots they were using started to communicate with each other using their own language that we humans couldn’t understand. It is scary to think that robots can think on their own and start creating things that would only benefit themselves. This is why what worries me the most is the advancement of artificial intelligence or AI. AI has been brought up fairly recently and has been overlooked by many people but hopefully people start looking into it more and are more cautious when using it.

  50. BPatel March 23, 2018 at 3:12 pm #

    After reading this article, I learned that the evolution of AI is inevitable and it is fast approaching and threatening the job market. There are many jobs that the AI will be able to do that will result in job loss of millions of people in the country. Having an AI has its benefits, it can complete the task more efficiently and effectively than a human. Take the manufacturing industry for example, many of the workers’ jobs there are being taken over by robots that work faster and provide better outcomes than those workers.
    This is an overwhelming situation in my opinion because like the author of the article mentioned that AI would take over the job market in about 10 or 15 years. For me, 10 or 15 years from now I will be working as a member of the countries job force and with my career in Healthcare, AI is a major threat. Within the health industry, it is important for its professionals to gain trust and connect with their patients. AI is said to lack in human connections and ability to gain trust of the individuals. Furthermore, it would be beneficial for the professionals to work with the AI to enhance the quality of life of their patients. For example, a professional working with an AI can provide creative feedback and insight on a specific case. AI are wired to be logical thinkers and not have the natural tendency to be creative unless trained to be otherwise.
    Overall, the author makes a valid point that companies should not ignore the capabilities of an AI but in my own opinion, I think that those companies should find a way for humans to connect and interact with AI more easily. Furthermore, there is a huge threat coming our way and we as a society should figure out how to properly deal with it. The emerging demand for artificial intelligence is again overwhelming but there are ways to overcome the challenges that these demands might face.

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