Artificial Intelligence - Are we acting in our best interests?
Cyril Jacob 3 Jun 2021

Artificial Intelligence - Are we acting in our best interests?

Article by: Cyril Jacob|| Picture Courtesy: Getty Images

One of the most popular words in the cyber world today remains Artificial Intelligence (AI). So I suppose most of you have a fundamental idea of what AI is and how it can dominate the future. To be honest, its presence is clearly felt from the Banking Sector & Financial Sector to Food Delivery services. Be it chatbots or interactive mechanisms being devised by startups to connect with customers and partners, there is an urgency to be part of the big bandwagon of so called intelligence that has the power to disrupt many industries.

The question that pops up is - Are we humans acting in the best of our interests or rather are we contributing to our own downfall? To consider an answer for this we need to delve into different aspects.

1) In the current smartphone and 5G era, millions of jobs are at the risk of being lost. Of course, various factors gave rise to this apart from the Pandemic. From a narrow minded perspective people blame the pandemic alone but this is not the absolute truth. There lies a plethora of contributing factors that can take away your beloved job from you if not now then in the near future and that is the impact that AI has.

2) Personally, being a lawyer I know how smart contracts are being closely studied by lawyers worldwide and the fear it causes them. Truly it is nothing short of a nightmare when a software devised by humans can pose a detrimental concern on the very livelihood of an entire sector. Yes, it is happening faster than one can imagine and here is the catch - it is not limited to one industry.

3) There are optimists and experts who think otherwise and believe that AI may displace employees but at the same time has the potential to generate new employment thanks to the technological progress favouring the developers of computer programs and techies willing to foray into deep learning and AI mechanisms. As per the World Economic Forum (WEF), automation is said to displace approx. 75 million jobs but will generate 133 million jobs by 2022.

4) Considering further statistics in favour of the argument that AI will act as a disruptor, let us observe Mckinsey and Oxford Economics forecasts:

According to Mckinsey Global Institute: "between 40 million and 160 million women worldwide may need to transition between occupations by 2030, often into higher-skilled roles. Clerical work, done by secretaries, schedulers and bookkeepers, is an area especially susceptible to automation, and 72% of those jobs in advanced economies are held by women."

Oxford Economics provides that "up to 20 million manufacturing jobs worldwide will be lost to robots by 2030."

From the above figures, it is obvious that there exists something to be cautious of.

5) The e-commerce giant Amazon has reported that it will be shelling over $700 million in order to train around 100,000 employees by 2025 to be more skilled to cater to the ever changing needs of a competitive world. On the other hand, there are jobs that will not face the heat but who knows what the future may hold?

I am certainly not a pessimist to dismiss each silver lining but well, the statistics from experts who are spending months researching the impact of AI has got me slightly anxious. As of now, I live each moment by catering to as many clients as possible and giving my best. After all, it is not computers who made humans but the other way round.

Give it a thought.

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