The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment

Artificial intelligence is the latest buzzword in technology. With expert opinions varying widely from job-replacing and society-destroying to it’s role as the “last invention of mankind”, it is easy to forget the real-world challenges we need to overcome. Technology doesn’t get better by default – it is because of the hard work and sweat of engineers that it progresses, little by little, every day. So let’s take a look at some pragmatic, down-to-earth engineering and policy challenges facing the widespread adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and how they can be solved.

The first AI problem, the effects of which can be felt today is the disruption of jobs due to automation. The automation penetration levels are only slated to rise, and thus jobs in every field, and of every skill level shall be impacted adversely. The two main methods to tackle this problem include (a) an automation tax, which calculates the automation level of each company, and accordingly taxes them, thus incentivizing the hiring of human workers, and (b) the establishment of a universal basic income, whereby free money is distributed to everyone, with no strings attached.

The second AI problem deals with who controls AI. It is pretty obvious that evil AI mustn’t fall into evil hands. This leads to the pressing need of an all-encompassing AI charter- forbidding companies and government agencies from not sharing substantial progress in AI technology, and forbidding countries from using such AI for military purposes, ushering in the demilitarization and democratization of AI.

The third problem is the one with the greatest consequences- the actions of a super intelligent robot. Given how difficult it is to program an end goal into a computer, the difficulty is only amplified when you realize this must occur within a moral and legal framework. You then have the additional task of validating those defined end goals using those moral and legal frameworks to prevent any evil use. If you were an AI researcher with such technology at your hands, it would be much more tempting to simply unleash it into the world. To tackle this problem, the scale of ongoing AI safety research must be greatly amplified, and expeditious solutions found.

Advait Sangle OMOTEC Student
OMOTEC Student – Advait Sangle

He loves technology, and spends an alarming majority of his waking hours in front of a computer screen. He supports the Free Software Movement and believes firmly in the Right to Privacy. He is passionate about custom PC building, and is a big fan of loud clicky mechanical keyboards.​ Besides this, he is a national-level debater and MUNner, an abacus post-graduate, literature and coffee aficionado, and lover of alt-rock.

12 thoughts on “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment

  • June 10, 2020 at 6:28 am
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    A good overview of the AI dogma! Well written!👍

    Reply
    • June 24, 2020 at 8:47 pm
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      This is a great inspirational article. Very impressive topic of discussion relevant to current environment situation. We require safety measures around the AI functionality we develop to avoid any negative impacts and disruptions due to the technology advancements/automation. Great job, Advait!

      Reply
  • June 10, 2020 at 7:28 am
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    Dear Advait,
    Your perspectives are interesting, well researched and well articulated.
    I am keen to understand your thoughts regarding how it is possible to bring in a legally binding, universal mandate on use of and/or restrictions on AI, especially when countries across the globe have greatly varied perspectives on what they consider justified.

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    • June 13, 2020 at 6:40 am
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      Thanks for the question!
      I think that solely government-based regulation will be hard because this AI needs “proactive” legislation rather than “reactive” legislation. It HAS to involve some degree of self-regulation and nudging by the companies themselves (something we are seeing already) to move the government in this direction.

      That said, getting countries to agree on any common ground is going to be hard – but we’ve attempted to do it with climate change in the past (to varying degrees of success). This will be necessary in the fields of AI ethics and safety. I think the problem of AI unemployment will solve itself, as governments will be forced to take actions that keep their economies going.

      Reply
  • June 11, 2020 at 12:17 pm
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    Hey Advait Sangle! This is Deepak Iyer. I too do programming, but not machine learning and AI yet.
    I am learning python programming. I also know JS, HTML, CSS and Arduino BUT even though I don’t know much, I am Very clear of my ambitions. Because I care about only 3 things. Myself, the FUTURE of humanity, and the people who help me modernize/fund it. I dont know much, but I do read A LOT and learn FAST and i will learn everything i need to in order to reach where i want to reach in life. You should also know i am NOT humble, and don’t plan on being. But you look young, smart and clear of your vision. Just like me. This article of yours summarized my thoughts best. I thought if i got to work with you, we could build some stuff, you know. If you want to get in touch, this is my email:
    deepak.iyer.2000@gmail.com
    my phone number:
    7738007279

    Reply
  • June 11, 2020 at 12:37 pm
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    Your article so rightly sums it all up…must put/research the safety valves before you unleash it!!
    What an interesting well written article!
    It’s time young intelligent young minds moved into public service, you could teach a thing or two to the policy makers!
    Enjoyed reading this very balanced perspective.

    Reply
  • June 15, 2020 at 5:39 am
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    Very well written and elucidated, Advait. As you rightly note that technology will continue getting better, it is the ethical framework that needs to keep up with the times and, if possible, try and anticipate the moral and legal dilemmas. It is good to see talented youngsters like you are thinking on these lines and promoting a more integrated advancement of society. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  • June 25, 2020 at 7:12 am
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    Dear Advait,

    Good work!

    I hope for your next article of your thoughts on the possible solutions to the above problems. As a young and beautiful mind, I hope your perspectives and articles may create a better ecosystem in the era of AI, ML, BCT and RPA.

    All the best!

    Reply

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