We may soon be hearing that line a lot as the Bank of England warns that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will soon put millions out of work. Their Economists envisage a Fourth Industrial Revolution where robots and computers can work more efficiently, more quickly and more cheaply than human beings – rendering the humans redundant. We have had robotised production lines for cars for years and today there are many distribution warehouses where computer controlled “robots” select and pack items for dispatch, with little human intervention.
Where is the cross over between programming and original thought – true artificial intelligence? Will it ever happen? On 17th February 1996 Deep Blue became the first computer to win a chess game against a reigning world champion and the speed of computer/ AI development continues to accelerate. Thus far the big question, what happens when artificial intelligence becomes self-aware?” has only been answered in science fiction. Will we see Skynet as envisaged by The Terminator franchise, artificial children envisaged in the film AI, or self-aware robots in Bicentennial Man and I, Robot? No one really knows….
The ticking time bomb is whether enough new jobs will be created to compensate for the loss of jobs in other sectors. The world’s economy is based on working for a living to feed a family, but that breaks down when there is no more work…
Sectors currently under threat include financial services, retail, driving, technology and professional services.