The machines are coming

The Economic Singularity. Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism
Forfatter: Calum Chace
Forlag: Three Cs. (UK)
Authorities around the world need to take steps to prevent mass unemployment and social collapse, Calum Chace believes.


Much indicates that the machines are looking for our jobs. The book The Economic Singularity. Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism suggest that Artificial Intelligence (AI), in combination with technological development of the Internet of Things (IoT), will create mass unemployment in a few decades. Author Calum Chace has written several fiction and professional books on AI, and has 30 years of experience with this subject. He predicts a future society where "a very large minority of community members will go permanently unemployed".

All affected. One of the arguments leading to this conclusion is based on a study conducted by the consulting firm McKinsey. "Automation will not completely eliminate so many occupations over the next decade, but will affect almost all jobs to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the type of work," he writes. Research is ongoing. One of the findings so far is that "as much as 45 percent of the activities people are paid to perform in the United States can be automated by using existing technologies".
Many jobs require administrative tasks such as time reporting and expense accounting, which can be done both faster and better by machines. Imagine portable devices (in or on the body) that automatically report time usage. They know when you come to the office and when you go from there. You tell your phone or other portable device that you are going on a business trip and, well, all credit card bills in that time period will be sent to your employer without any action.
Mail handling can also to some extent be done by machine. All documents, emails, phone calls and tasks will be stored in the cloud. Your AI Assistant processes them and sends automated status updates to those concerned, answering questions about prices for the services your company offers.

All jobs will be affected by the machines learning to do this kind of work. Of course, tasks that do not require special education or skills, such as simple administration, will be hit harder by automation than jobs that require highly educated manpower.
Automation will therefore be felt better in industrial and agricultural-based countries such as China, India and Ethiopia than in countries where service is the largest industry. Research from the financial firm Citigroup and the University of Oxford shows that a staggering 85 percent of jobs in Ethiopia are at risk of being automated, compared to 35 percent in the UK, based on World Bank Development Report data.

Chace proposes the introduction of citizen salaries to avoid collapse in the economy.

Speed ​​increases. The risk of unemployment also increases due to the pace of technological development. According to future researcher Ray Kurzweil, the technology is developing exponentially. This speed, combined with the large number of tasks that can be performed by AI, makes it natural to ask whether we are approaching a time of mass unemployment. The answer is that even though all jobs will be affected by AI, new types of jobs will be created at the same time.
Take my job as a journalist, for example. Computer research and even article writing are already done by machine. The Quill text program from AI technology company Narrative Science collects and processes data and creates articles on finance and sports for the Associated Press. Other journalistic tasks such as photo editing, proofreading and creative writing are also performed by AI.
Personally, I would have greatly appreciated whether a reliable AI device could conduct web research, point out any irregularities in the data material and write a draft about the consequences of the findings. It would give me more time to interview experts about what to write about and explore the social effects of the phenomenon.
In some professions there will still be a need for human labor, but not in all. Expertise in driving and manufacturing goods, for example, will be superfluous when self-driving cars and 3D printing have become commonplace. Idea creation, however, and other typically "human" skills, will be more important. But even when it comes to creativity, man is no longer one-of-a-kind. In photography, for example, ShadowDraw helps you create sketches, and SmileVector beautifies images by changing wrinkles to smiles on a face.

Conquering new areas. We used to think that it would be unwise for a machine to acquire social skills. Care work is one of the areas where such expertise is particularly important. But already there is a robot named PARO who performs nursing tasks – and this cuddly self-robot has proven effective in curbing stress in patients, and contributes positively during the re-evaluation.
On the whole: How many jobs are affected, and to what extent, is not the big question, but whether a sufficient number of new jobs – ones that can only be done by people – can be created. And in that regard: Are the authorities worldwide aware of the situation, and are they acting accordingly?
With adequate measures, we will probably be able to give many enough people skills that will be valuable in the AI ​​future. But this requires a new approach to education: In the main, we should stimulate new professional education and stop schooling for jobs that will no longer exist in ten years.
Whether mass unemployment should occur due to inadequate societal measures or because AI is eating into more and more areas, Chace proposes the introduction of citizen pay to avoid collapse in the economy. At the same time, this will allow for greater focus on art, play and innovation, he believes. Some are afraid that citizen pay will make us all couch-
pigs, but research from Canada of 10 people has shown that only young mothers and teens stopped working.
When the machines arrive, we hope that there is a welfare system in place that prevents our communities from collapsing.

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