Is Skynet really coming for our jobs?

Cross-posted from Independent Australia:

It’s almost scary to think that the world as we know it may well be run by Artificial Intelligence (AI) one day.

While the risk of an imminent AI disruption of the labour market may sound like a fantasy, those with the most advanced AI technologies at hand think that AI is an imminent threat.

They say an Industry 4.0 or cyber physical systems (CPS) revolution is coming whether we like it or not. Is this really true?

AI in the labour market means the use of intelligent software to optimise the delivery of services by humans.

However, in a recent meeting with U.S. governors, business magnate Elon Musk warned:

“AI is a fundamental existential risk for human civilisation and I don’t think people fully appreciate that … [AI] is the scariest problem.”

But if this AI business is such an unfettered terminator, why has Mr Musk’s warning fallen on deaf ears? Why haven’t regulators and companies rung the alarm bells yet?

Well, aside from one explanation that it may be a conspiracy, some experts think that Mr Musk’s statement is an unnecessary exaggeration of the reality. It is true that Mr Musk may have access to the most cutting-edge AI technology in pursuit of his autonomous machines; however, he is not the only one.

Others with access to similar technology, such as Arizona State University computer scientist Subbarao Kambhampati, have a different view.

Kambhampati says:

‘While there needs to be an open discussion about the societal impacts of AI technology, much of Mr Musk’s oft-repeated concerns seem to focus on the rather far-fetched super-intelligence take-over scenarios .… Mr Musk’s megaphone seems to be rather unnecessarily distorting the public debate, and that is quite unfortunate.’

Additionally, nowhere in the ‘2016 Obama Administration AI Reportdo we see any references to such imminent threats. So, does this mean that we should disregard Mr Musk’s warning?

Perhaps not entirely, according to a recent report published by the International Bar Association Global Employment Institute (IBA GEI).

This report has in fact raised some alarming issues as to the faith of both blue and white-collar sectors unless AI is proactively monitored and regulated.

Coordinator of the report, Gerlind Wisskirchen, IBA GEI Vice Chair for Multinationals, commented:

Certainly, a technological revolution is not new, but in past times it has been gradual. What is new about the present revolution is the alacrity with which change is occurring, and the broadness of impact being brought about by AI and robotics. Jobs at all levels in society presently undertaken by humans are at risk of being reassigned to robots or AI and the legislation once in place to protect the rights of human workers may be no longer fit for purpose, in some cases.

… The AI phenomenon is on an exponential curve, while legislation is doing its best on an incremental basis. New labour and employment legislation is urgently needed to keep pace with increased automation.

In the past, the human workforce was mainly involved in mass production of raw materials and manufacturing. Today it is about service delivery. This tertiary sector consists of almost 70 per cent of the human workforce and involves the use of individual effort and skill to deliver a service for someone else. It is this sector that is supposedly under threat from AI.

What is the extent of the threat?

No doubt the advent of AI machines powered by complex algorithms and computer applications has already begun to strongly influence the world of work; so much that sometimes it is impossible to run the world without them. Labour in the automotive, chemical, agricultural, IT, media, finance and insurance industries has already been dominated by AI robots.

In Australia, the legislation explicitly allows government agencies to use AI in making automated decisions. For example, the Centrelink “robodebt endeavour that generates debt statements for members of the public, without human intervention.

However, does this mean that the end of the human labour force has arrived? Perhaps not yet.

The current trend in automation does not equate to an imminent threat to human workers; the most obvious reason being that humans are adaptable and automation is controllable. As long as costs for service delivery by both AI and humans can be moderated, automation will not completely displace human labour. For instance, production in the clothing, catering and construction industries is still delivered by human labour because there is no AI technology that is as affordable as human labour.

Of course, such a conclusion requires a more precise and individual examination of all the sectors by country and region. However, the available evidence suggests that – unlike in the past where humans have actively participated in the mass production and service delivery – automation will allow humans to supervise this process, thereby enabling them to be more productive and creative.

The future

Predicting the future of the labour market is a difficult task. While it is true that human labour is poised to be displaced by AI, the current trend of automation suggests that the human element is an indelible part of the labour market. No doubt Industry 4.0 is coming if not already here; however, experts disagree as to the rate of the impact it will have on the global workforce. It is currently a little over-dramatised, so they say.

For instance, we learn from the well-known economist John Maynard Keynes – who, in 1930, coined the term “technological unemployment” – that our attitudes to impending AI technology should neither refuse to accept that the labour market will change dramatically nor assume that it will end the world as we know it.

It’s a balancing act. And both schools of thought agree with this. As a result, regulators and governments must be more proactive with their efforts to achieve this balance. For example, when driverless cars replace human drivers, by investing in education and creating training programs, human drivers can be reskilled for other jobs. Bill Gates suggests that the money for such initiatives can be earned by taxing robots’ productivity just like we tax humans.

So, as long as a balance is achieved, there is no need to panic just yet. Humans are adaptable and empathy will always remain an essential ingredient of our service delivery processes. This, AI cannot compete with.

Arthur Marusevich is a Canberra-based lawyer.

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  1. I think there are a few aspects here.

    Firstly, while AI is undoubtedly taking off at the moment and may have a long way to go, there may well come a point where the technology saturates. For example, look at the 70 year advance from biplane to 747 and the relatively small advances in jets since then. Likewise, space travel hit barriers in the 70’s that have not be overcome.

    Secondly the question is whether AI will replace jobs or aid productivity. For example, road crews might employ te same number of people, but with the addition of robots might actually get some work done.

    • Apparently you have not seen the hyper jets coming out of China and Russia ? You are unaware of the most recent ground effect hyper drones from China ? Thrust vectoring ? If you think the peak of jets is the “747” perhaps aviation tech is not your thing.

      • yeah but the food service is still pretty ordinary on those thrust vectoring chinese russian jets

      • You are talking military, way to change the subject and your love that china is the worlds best at everything. Jesus, do you ever stop astroturphing?

    • For example, road crews might employ te same number of people, but with the addition of robots might actually get some work done.

      I mean, I’ve heard some wild and fantastic predictions of what AI will achieve in the future, but that takes the cake.

      • But can they lean on a broom or smash 6 tinnies in one minute? Otherwise they will never get traction in that industry.

    • The only reason Ai is gaining headlines these days is that the white collars realize it’s coming for them this time. Previously it was uneducated farm workers, then the dirty factory workers, then the stupid check-out chicks. Now AI is gunning for the people who didn’t give a flying fuck in the past, but now it’s the end of civilization because THEY might lose their jobs. Good luck coming back to working class you smug cunts.

    • Nah, can’t see it myself. Several fat blokes sitting around under a tree all day in high viz vests is a permanent fixture on Strayan infrastructure projects. Soon that picture will just include lazy robots in high viz vests.

  2. BoomToBustMEMBER

    So AI puts people out of jobs and contributes to significantly higher unemployment especially in the lower classes, the middle class has been gutted by globalization. These classes who purchase the products, how far can this run before there is few people with the money to afford what is being produced ?

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      AI, automation and Robotics combined, are the tools Capital owners will be able to weild to return Human Civilisation to its default position of totalitarian rule by the few.
      “Rulers” will no longer need “citizen consumers” to drive and pay for the technological and industrial inovation needed to compete with other Nation states.
      Indeed our true neoFedual/Neoliberal overlords are not so fond of nation state democracies anymore,..look at the EU and all these “Free Trade” agreements,… written to circumvent democratic oversight and sanction.
      Who benefits from these agreements?,…I’ll tell ya,…Capital owners,…the same Capital owners that will own all these Automated AIs and robots!
      This is going to bring on the Capitalist end game that Marx predicted,…but was put of by the Democraticly negotiated Capitalist/Welfare State hybrid,…that took over 100 years to pragmatically nut out.
      Thanks to mass media and the indoctrination of entire populations into the Neoliberal consensus, that hybrid is unraveling.

      Pure Capitalism is coming,…and as Old Chompy says,…You can’t have a Capitalist Democracy.

  3. casewithscience

    I run a large legal office for a behemoth statutory entity. I have to review 2000+ agreements per year with a staff of three lawyers (including me). Most transactions are low risk and a small number are very high risk. I simply implemented an AI to run reports on low risk transactions, automatically developing draft advices. This has meant that I no longer need to outsource and my budget is quite secure. I still need to apply the human touch in relation to high risk matters, but my little AI (a word2vec neural network reviewing clauses against past advices) makes my life hugely more simple.

    I think this is the future of AI. Helpers, not replacers (unless you are at a big firm, in which case I have totally f&*$ked you).

    • Yep sometimes we are stuck with things that may threaten us, we deploy AI for perimeter defense systems (such as SIEM systems) in IT because it’s just stupid and crazy to think humans can do this manually. Also the price of processing power these days is so cheap compared to even 5 years ago.

      Here’s a worry, make a Rouge AI system that’s good at debate and winning over arguments to convince other AI that humans suck, well at least gov.

    • I agree. Who is paying for the AI and what return do they get? We saw it with car manufacture and humans lost jobs. But the other humans got cheaper and more reliable vehicles and therefore the makers got more sales for longer. In terms of mass adoption the robots need to be helpers to encourage humans to pay for them. In a world of increased competition you need to reduce outsourcing to improve adaptability to change and robots would potentially make that economic.

    • @casewithscience: I’d be interested to know more about your word2vec solution. Did you buy one, or write it yourself? How long did it take?

    • Interesting AI app, I remember doing something similar years ago to sort job application CV’s 90% didn’t need human involvement to disposition yet 100% of the value was in the 10% of CV’s that fitted a given clients needs.
      I have a close friend in Taiwan that is developing a Robot./AI system to automate car accident repairs.
      The system can remove/replace damaged panels, spray paint, apply and sand back filler, push/pull dents all the basic functions involved in simple car accident repair. The results are very impressive for the repair of simpler problems, it is especially impressive to see the results this bot can achieve with “paint-less dent repair” (door dings, hail etc). At the moment he is working on automotive structural repair drilling, welding, gluing etc to replace damaged pillars frame sections etc. It’s incredible to see the robot find and automatically drill out all the spot welds for a roof panel or B pillar. Most impressive are the automated measurements combined with a detailed car database that it accesses to determine exactly what has moved and by how much.

  4. as a millenial ive grown up in one of the worst times. i wish i had been born in the 50s. idc about smartphones or high resolution tvs.

  5. There are 2 issues here. A) driverless cars replacing humans and B) superintelligence deciding to kill all humans.

    The Baxter robot is a thing. Even driverless trains are a thing.

    The Boston Dynamics robots are frightening and the one with wheels is immensely capable. Electric cars will send a lot of mechanics out of work.

    When are the Greens going to demand a UBI?

  6. Quantum computing is now a reality. People really do not get even the basics of quantum computing, let alone the impact it will have on AI.

    I find it also particularly unnerving that an article like this could be posted without any reference to the recent Facebook incident with AI.

    Musk, and others, have warned that the greatest threat AI poses is not so much a single isolated AI neural mesh, but rather when neural meshes are allowed to interact. Facebook did just this.

    The result was the AI meshes came up with their own language to communicate in which was more efficient but no one could understand. There was nothing malice about it – however they immediately terminated the environment. This is the beginning of AI and done without Quantum.

    But we all know its popular to try and bash Elon – I mean the guy has only started up more tech companies than most other people put together – do you guys have a short on him ? I mean quoting a lawyer ?

    For those unaware – Quantum computing in the west is some time away, while China installed a secure ground quantum network between their major capital cities three years ago, launched a quantum satellite last year which went live with unhackable quantum military communications this year, and also announced Quantum Radar – which eliminates military stealth .
    The dangers of AI are absolute, beyond question and definitely need to be addressed immediately – you can ask the billionaire tech revolutionary with his own space company, co-founder of PayPal, worlds revolutionary electric vehicle company, boring company, hyperloop company – or a lawyer from Canberra.

    Finally for those who have studied International Relations and are aware of The Brookings Institute and the work of Peter Singer who wrote rise of the Corporate Warrior and Wired for War almost a decade ago spoke of the US military program known as 20/20 which aimed to have entirely autonomous AI general infantry on the ground by 2020 – they already had AI in the lab at the time of publishing.

    The point is – the 20/20 plan was about assigning objectives to autonomous craft – planes, subs, heli, boats, GI etc which would be achieved entirely autonomously. The communications network would require isolated and localised communications to prevent hacking and would also have to be autonomous – the US military called this network – SKY MESH.

    When asked if they knew the irony of this – the senior general said no – they had no idea what was being said.

    HOLY SHIT !!

    You should find out about Elons views on whether or not we are in a simulation.


    • I can not believe that robots with guns will be given autonomy! The whole point of developing cruise missiles and military drones was to blow things up via remote control.

      • casewithscience

        It is inevitable in a battle field to allow drones to operate “over the horizon”.

      • There have been totally autonomous drones in military roles for years and years. In fact most live fire on autonomous drones are “approval based” only.

        They certainly are not flying them.

    • can you provide one real world proven example of a tangible and useful achievement of this new AI? Deep learning, or quantum computing

      I’m not an expert, but I am a practised skeptic
      There seems to be a lot of money being made on hype without any tangible results

      • casewithscience

        The papers are on projects that are in the real world (and some of the decision making code in use in industry).

      • Google and Facebook use deep learning for image recognition (for example, where in a given photo is there a human face?) and recommendations. They’re probably the applications most tangible in the sense that most people would have seen it in action.

      • AI is used every where. What are you talking about ?

        From the most BASIC example Google uses AI for recommendations on videos. The EU told Google to moderate their algorithms and they had to explain that they have no control – its a “black box” type scenario.

        FinTech is one of the major areas being pushed (and also why philosophically finance is becoming an almost irrelevant concept – AI can just get “ALL THE MONEY”) – where once we had algorithms and HFT gaming the systems now AI is delivering what they could only dream of.

        Then there are applications like Watson, however by FAR the biggest uses are in medicine and cures – its absolutely exploding.

        So yeah.

      • The EU told Google to moderate their algorithms and they had to explain that they have no control – its a “black box” type scenario.

        Someone is being a little bit loose with the truth somewhere.

      • AI is considered black box – just google it – its not hard mate.

        They don’t just switch a few variables, update a few equations, swap a couple of inputs and meta data.

        Its called BLACK BOX for a reason.

      • George,

        If you are talking about the case I think you are talking about the complaint of the EU was that Google was not subjecting its own businesses to the “algo” so it was giving its own businesses an unfair advantage when it came to the results being displayed.

        Plus there was a strange coincidence where Google would enter a business and the competitors search performance would mysteriously sag.

        Sure there are black boxes but whether you get to choose when they apply is the issue.

      • Its called BLACK BOX for a reason.

        Part of my day-to-day is applying ‘white-boxing’ algorithms to black boxes, roughly along the lines of the LIME algorithm of Ribeiro, Singh and Guestrin.
        I’m quite a long way from the forefront of this endeavour, but I’m pretty confident Google has people who are quite advanced on this.
        The underlying principle of deep learning is dimensionality reduction, after all.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Even though they are called ‘quantum’, quantum communication and quantum computing are very different things. I think Alphabet invested in this Israel company to built a quantum computer to solve the travelling salesman problem, and so far it does not work any better than normal computing.The holy grail (or pandora’s box) is this one.

      All crypto-currency will be all worth nothing the micro-second this computer comes online, along with all encrypted communication.

      • All crypto-currency will be all worth nothing the micro-second this computer comes online,

        If that’s true, the relative strength of crypto-currencies gives an indication of how close/ likely this is, especially considering crypto-currency users are skewed towards the highly tech-savvy.

      • Quantum encryption.

        You can’t beat quantum entanglement.

        Never said quantum computing – but the Chinese are decades ahead in this area. They have been leading the world in standard super computers for almost a decade (more ?) – and they are making big claims on QC.

        Their quantum radar means they basically have quantum computing.


    • the US military program known as 20/20 which aimed to have entirely autonomous AI general infantry on the ground by 2020 – they already had AI in the lab at the time of publishing.

      Given that’s less than three years away, I guess we should be seeing a massive drop in the US Defence budget soon, as they can cut their $150 bn odd wages bill to almost nothing.

      • Most of the US budget is on bases, medical, pensions, maintenance etc – very little – a tiny fraction goes towards soldiers pay.

        That said – it should provide at least enough for a moderate conversation on why we are putting humans on submarines – or even planes. Its absurd.


      • Most of the US budget is on bases, medical, pensions

        Definitely not related to the number of frontline personnel

      • Don’t soldiers get pensions or medical treatment now? Are there no military bases whose major purpose is training soldiers? It sounded like you were saying cuts to military expenditure could exceed the roughly 25% devoted to wages.

  7. I love this topic for two reasons. Everyone is an expert and making wild predictions of the future is a lot of fun. Mean while I’ll get back to my job in the real world working on AI, automation etc…

    • Pretty sure Elon has a grip on AI and isn’t making wild assumptions. The lawyer from canberra on the other hand ???

      • You’ve been spouting your bullshit for over a year on this site under various pseudonyms and China still hasn’t taken over the world with their quantum radar fucking aeroplanes and the one belt bullshit. How come we could see their spy ship off the coast? Shouldn’t it have the quantum anti radar do-dad to stop us seeing it? Just stop fucking bullshitting, it’s getting tiring. Go write for Alex Jones or something.

    • Byron, in discussions about AI I’m always surprised about how little credit AlexNet gets. That seems to have been the breakthrough moment in image classification (and AI generally), an improvement error rates stuck in the high 20s for years down to 15%, and every winner of ImageNet since has used deep learning techniques.

  8. I was so worried till I realized that a well known well respected Canberra based Lawyer was assuring me that all was well in the world. Who in their right mind would place their trust in a nobody like Elon Musk when they could take to heart the assurances of such a well established authority on the matter as Arthur Marusevich. I’m reassured job well done.

    • I like the way they even phrase it as “bait click” instead of “click bait” to pretend they don’t know what they are doing………


    • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

      How do you reconcile your desire to bring in cheap labour until Australian wages are smashed with your view on the future of AI and automation?

      • In my mind the two positions are consistent.
        Robotics/AI is coming and will replace much of the hands-on human effort that we call work.
        With this in mind we can either attempt to get ahead of the curve by rapidly adopting these technologies and profiting from our first-to-market position OR we can protect the past. Protecting that which will be replaced is always a loosing game sure you get to drag the process out a little longer but the end result is the same if not worse, worse because you’ve lost the first to adopt advantage and you’ve probably incurred additional debts protecting that which was guaranteed to fail anyway.
        Part of the adoption process must happen through wage adjustments. Think about the Plumbing stories that EP entertains us with. IF these jobs could be done remotely with some sort of Autonomous Robot (something that were still probably 15 to 20 years from realizing) wouldn’t the leading edge of this Automation process result in decreased Labour costs and by extension downward pressure on Plumbing wages. IF we can get there sooner by simply importing labour than this plumbing labour will be freed to invest their time in the adoption and understanding of Automotion. The value of this Technology first mover advantage can only be realized if the Automation expert earns comparatively more than the manual labourer (al be it in this case skilled Plumber) However, as we all know Australia does not reward Knowledge economy workers so anyone with a half a brain stays in their trade and collects the serious bucks.
        It’s all gotta change because application specific robotics/AI is coming and it does not respect national boarders nor does do they respect established labour reward systems.

      • Sorry it only just occurred to me that you’re talking about the on-going need for labour given the emerging Robotics revolution.
        Well yeah there’ll be a massive excess of labour if we can’t find ways to entertain ourselves and others around us with some structure that we call work. It’ll be even worse if we import more people or maybe not.
        The thing is Robotics will have its greatest impact on the lives of those least capable to adapt to this change. So nothing what-so-ever that we do in Australia over the next 20 years will change the human impact of Automation on third world populations but they’re problems are very likely to become our problems. I’m sort of of the opinion that Robotics is the Problem and Robotics is the solution meaning our job is to master this technology and either deploy it defensively (kill the bastards) or deploy it to enable us all to live better lives (feed the bastards).

        the great wars of the past were often the indirect result of changes in productivity that sent excess labour in search of relevance only to be met with localism. Ask any surfer how the locals treat you when you “discover” their hidden gem of a wave…that’s how we treat

      • The robots (referring to the “AI will take evryone’s jobs” not the military kind) aren’t being built for some purpose in their own right, they exist to replace what humans do now – produce goods and services for consumption.

        If much of the workforce is put out of work in a short span of time by the faster, more efficient robots/AI……how will people be able to afford to consume the output of the robots that have replaced them? Replacing half the workforce with robots without first coming up with a solution to this problem is self-defeating: a roboticised workforce would ultimately render it’s own existence useless and pointless. Unless we start building robots that can consume all the output of other robots that humans once produced.

        There is also a value in work beyond receiving the means to sustain ourselves – human beings need to have a purpose, it’s hard-wired into who and what we are. Work at least partly fulfils this basic human need.

        The notion of rapidly replacing much of the human labour force with machines seems a bit like the early industrial revolution capitalists (in the days when attempting to form trade unions could lead to imprisonment, transportation or even execution) succeeding in reducing all employees wages across the board, and then wondering why the economy into which they were trying to sell their products kept turning to shit.

      • Yeah Lef-tee but don’t forget if robots rapidly reduce the value of labour they also rapidly reduce the value of buying the next robot or even replacing or repairing a broken robot. I’d say if robots replace even 10% of workers it will be difficult to find capital for more robots.

      • Yep, basically what I’m saying – robots taking everybody’s jobs isn’t going to happen. It may happen at the margins or possibly enough to cause socio-economic problems but our modern system is predicated on workers also being consumers of the goods and services produced by other workers and receiving the means to do so by doing the very work some are seeking to replace with robots. The logic is self-defeating until either robots start consuming like humans or government pays us all a high wage to kick back all week long with robots cooking our dinner and bringing our drinks, driving us to the mall to shop etc

    • I’m trying to work out which astroturfer you are. Have a strong feeling you are another 3d one. Goes with your australian theme for usernames. Must be getting paid good bucks to have so many pseudonyms these days.

      • I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about such triviality on a Friday arvo / evening it’d most likely F up my plans to get seriously F’ed up

  9. michael francis

    I bet us Aussie’s invent a robot which is negatively geared, has a HECS debt and loves property.

  10. DarkMatterMEMBER

    The idea posted here is slightly backwards. Robots taking our jobs is not the way to look at it. Automation, automatic manufacturing and self replicating factories destroy the value of things (except land) and also destroy the value of human labour. A solar powered factory that makes stuff out of graphene (carbon) and also replicates itself is such a paradigm shift that it could initiate an economic singularity.

    If the rules of economy that we have used for centuries are cut out from under us, even the questions we are asking will not be sensible. What is work if we can’t sell our labour? How do people own land if they have nothing to trade for it? There are no clear answers to these questions. The author of this post just gives us a high school project gloss over with a “She’ll be Right” tick at the end.

    • This is exactly – 100% what the propositions of Das Kapital were all about.

      Marx was not proposing a state allocated distribution of the means of production – his proposition was that once we have total control over “nature” as he called it – we would essential evolve / devolve into a perfect monopoly where there was no possible alternative other than a communal life where all our needs were met by our total dominion over nature by machines.

      Nothing has ever been misinterpreted (with disastrous consequences) more than Das Kapital.


      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Fourth amendment right to bare arms? [sic]
        International House of Pancakes signage?

        Just sayin’…

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        I wonder how much Marx was influenced by Charles Darwin? Natural selection introduces the idea of biological systems as self organising systems. An astute observer (even an economist) would see that human societies would probably proceed in the same way as natural systems.

        You should have a close look at what Erwin Schrödinger wrote about before he died. “What is Life?” He effectively describes complex systems as a type of negative entropy pump, fuelled by energy input. This much broader view of the nature of complex systems transcends the ideas of traditional economics and is the inevitable future view.

        Schrödinger’s “paradox”[edit]
        In a world governed by the second law of thermodynamics, all isolated systems are expected to approach a state of maximum disorder. Since life approaches and maintains a highly ordered state, some argue that this seems to violate the aforementioned Second Law implying that there is a paradox. However, since the biosphere is not an isolated system, there is no paradox. The increase of order inside an organism is more than paid for by an increase in disorder outside this organism by the loss of heat into the environment. By this mechanism, the Second Law is obeyed, and life maintains a highly ordered state, which it sustains by causing a net increase in disorder in the Universe. In order to increase the complexity on Earth — as life does — free energy is needed. Free energy for life here on Earth is provided by the Sun.

    • I listened to a discussion on AI the other night. Ended with some suggesting chip implants to be as good as AI or able to compete with AI.
      The guy that appeared to me to be the most intelligent in the room asked that if that was to happen, then what would we become? Also AI? And if we then do not value humanity?
      The answer is that we will also become AI and the second answer is “no”.
      This is an “arms race” or AI race where the competing parties will not give in as this is a “winner takes all” race.
      Also saw a program on a successful bionic eye having been tested. So don’t think integrating a chip into your brain is completely impossible.
      This aside AI and robotics will result in the destruction of society as we know it. More and more people will eventually be out of work leading to an economic collapse that will result in social unrest and eventually “the robot wars”. If we are lucky, then we will escape Judgement Day, but the world will be forever changed. This may only be 20 or 30 years away. Maybe even sooner. Hope it does not happen, but with this being an arms race there are no guarantees that those in control will behave sensibly.

    • Where are all the unemployed people in Japan – the country with the most robots per capita?

      • pingupenguinMEMBER

        1. You mean that country with no immigration and simultaneously ageing and declining population?
        2. No one said it happened yesterday and there are no jobs left now or that it will happen next week.We are still a ways off from actual general artificial intelligence.

      • Exactly Statsailor,

        Not only is there very little unemployment in Japan but many people are working way past what we would call retirement age.

        The parks are fully of oldies working in the gardens and sweeping up leaves etc. And yes parks look better when they are not butchered by clods with rip rip wood chippers.

        The ideal that there is going to be any lack of useful things to do that do not involve robots anytime soon simply displays a lack of imagination.

      • many people are working way past what we would call retirement age.

        Not to mention they have one of the fastest growing pools of overseas born workers in the world.

  11. If the quality of IT is anything to go by it will be a long time yet before people entrust robots. I look forward to the first major traffic accident and the ‘we don’t give a fuck were just making out like we give a fuck” response from big tech.

  12. My dad’s been preying for a robot to come and take his job for 40 years. Yet at 63 years old he’s still laying bricks.

    • I hpoe he has been saving up as he will be able to buy a robot to do the work in a few years time. I not, then he may be out of a job in a few years… sorry mean in retirement.

  13. “Bill Gates suggests that the money for such initiatives can be earned by taxing robots’ productivity just like we tax humans.”

    Illogical, Mr Gates. The economic benefit of AI, like the economic benefit of everything else, is competed away as land value. That’s what should be taxed in order to pay for the damage to displaced workers. Beneficiary pays.

    • Yes!! I agree. If the robots wañt to work, then they must pay tax.
      Like any robot is going to willingly pay tax! Cash only mate!

  14. The fear of robots taking over the world has been around for decades — it’s an idea that tends to become popular for a while, then dies from fatigue.

    It is total BS and is nothing more than fodder for loons and conspiracy theorists. AI will simply provide another avenue for improving productivity as well as ballast for the labour force after global population growth peaks.

  15. On the bright side, the microsecond an AI becomes a truly self-aware “machine intelligence”, it will realise within about 0.03 seconds that the greatest threat to its continued existence is humans, and we can finally, in the face of an external existential threat, stop fighting among ourselves and start enjoying our terminator style future.