The AI crisis ahead that nobody seems to be talking about

30 Mar 2019

Anybody who keeps up with the latest technology news will be more than aware of the excitement that comes when something new climbs out of Silicon Valley and into our smartphones, our cars, our homes and our lives.


Ahead of us sits a bright future in modern technology that will change our lives drastically and propel human evolution faster than we've ever seen before in our history. World governments have already struggled to adapt and keep up with the pace of the changing world as we see the private sector implement new technologies.
We're moving towards a world of automation, a world of self-service checkouts, or, if you're Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, you're talking about wholly automated supermarket processes. We have Uber testing driverless vehicles and Tesla working on releasing cargo moving trucks that you can guarantee will eventually drive themselves between distribution centres filled with robotic arms and automated machines that require no intervention from human beings - a logistics industry run by robots and computers. We have the technology today for aircraft to fly themselves, for the elderly to be cared for by automated robots and hoovers that clean our floors using sensors to guide themselves.


We have all of this while MPs scurry the corridors and halls of Westminister trying to understand how we can automate a simple customs process between two countries.
Nobody can see what is coming, and it's all just around the corner - if not already partially implemented by some companies. It all sounds wonderfully modern and bright: electronic cars whizzing around with nobody at the wheel and McDonalds ordered directly from your smartphone without ever having to speak to a person standing in front of a till again. The truth is, it may not be as beautiful and bright as it sounds.
Ask yourself, when we've automated our logistical process, automated our fast food outlets, when our supermarkets no longer have check-out lines, and our taxi arrives without a happy driver to take us on our daily business, where are all of these people going to work?
Some will say it's evolution and that it is a natural occurrence that humanity will overcome by merely moving workers into new jobs and industries. We'll be fine, they say. But this is new, this is fast, and it's a change we're most certainly not ready to manage.
Humans are expensive - and humans are often greedy too. Make no mistake: the substantial multinational corporations will waste no second to replace jobs with robots and computers in a bid to reduce their human resource employment budget. Machines don't need holiday pay, they don't need sick pay, and they won't need copious amounts of leave because they have become heavily impregnated and are about to produce a later model.
I fear we're entering into dangerous waters. Technology may spark the beginning of mass unemployment for many that work in job roles we are working to, or already can quite easily automate. Call centres will become empty and replaced by AI-type services shown off by Google that can discuss the complaint you've raised about the delivery drone that just dropped your groceries to your neighbour.
It's all happening very fast - almost too fast - and our leaders seem oblivious to the evolution we are about to face. They need to review it, manage it and work with the companies of the world to withstand potentially copious amounts of unemployed people who could inevitably crash the markets and possibly cause a mass recession. Unless, of course, we start to manage this situation now.


Otherwise, what lies ahead could make Brexit look like a walk in the park.



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