Machines will kill our jobs long before they kill us

Now, Even Artificial Intelligence Gurus Fret That AI Will Steal Our Jobs

[Andrew Ng, Chief Scientist at Baibu]andrew ng

At two conferences this week, the Deep Learning Summit in San Francisco and the Big Talk Summit in Mountain View, the former Stanford University computer science professor [Andrew Ng] took the opportunity to sketch out AI’s challenges to society as it replaces more and more jobs.

“Historically technology has created challenges for labor,” {he noted. But while previous technological revolutions also eliminating many types of jobs and created some displacement, the shift happened slowly enough to provide new opportunities to successive generations of workers. “The U.S. took 200 years to get from 98% to 2% farming employment,” he said. “Over that span of 200 years we could retrain the descendants of farmers.”

But he says the rapid pace of technological change today has changed everything. “With this technology today, that transformation might happen much faster,” he said. Self-driving cars, he suggested could quickly put 5 million truck drivers out of work.

Retraining is a solution often suggested by the technology optimists. But Ng, who knows a little about education thanks to his cofounding of Coursera, doesn’t believe retraining can be done quickly enough. “What our educational system has never done is train many people who are alive today. Things like Coursera are our best shot, but I don’t think they’re sufficient. People in the government and academia should have serious discussions about this.”

“Superintelligence is a distraction,” said Ng, unlikely because we are so far from any possibility of machines that will truly think and possess self-motivation.

It’s time quit worrying about Terminators and Transformers, he said, and focus on the more likely possibility: that machines will kill our jobs long before they kill us.

Source: Forbes, Robert Hof, Contributor
January, 31, 2015
Now, Even Artificial Intelligence Gurus Fret That AI Will Steal Our Jobs