- October 31, 2016
AI: The Most Valuable Engineering Breakthrough: Problems!
Many feel that artificial intelligence will provide the same exponential positive impact to the world’s economies that microchip technology did in the 1980’s. That is why I engineered this 3-part AI series. In the first two parts I shared the present and future applications of AI. In this third and final part we will explore potential problems created by artificial intelligence!
AI As A Job Killer
As I shared in my recent TV appearance, unskilled workers, like the checkout people at CVS, are being replaced by AI technology. Unfortunately, this is to be expected with any new scientific, engineering, research and development (R&D), Information Technology (IT) or manufacturing area. For example, many older recruiters remember how typists were replaced by dedicated word processors. Then computers with word processing programs replaced dedicated word processors. This is the normal evolution of technology.
People benefit from advanced technologies like AI, but others also suffer. One example is the 1.7 million potential truckers that may be replaced by robotic driven trunks powered by artificial intelligence engineering, scientific and technical breakthroughs. Many of their resumes will be floated to recruiting agencies in the future!
President Obama Has His Concerns
Even President Obama, who is very pro AI, has concerns. In a recent White House report, President Obama shared possible downsides of scientific, engineering, R&D and technology breakthroughs in AI and robotics including, “Automation is likely to eliminate many jobs, from warehouse pickers to secretaries, affecting people on lower-wages the most. That could exacerbate income inequality and widen the gap between less- and more-educated workers. We might create systems we don’t fully understand, that lack transparency and accountability. And, ultimately, AI-based machines might become more intelligent than humans, and swallow us into the singularity.”
Beware; China is Passing Us Up In AI And Robot Technology
Despite concerns about AI and robotics technology, we cannot stand still. If we do we will be left behind in artificial intelligence and robotics technology.
China, which had been know as a low cost manufacturing outlet, recently passed America up as a leader in AI. One example is the field of robotics where robots are rapidly becoming more and more lifelike and unrecognizable from humans. The most human-like robots ever built were engineered by China’s University of Science and Technology. They recently stole the show over at the World Robot Conference in Beijing last week. Americans need to wake up or be left behind!
Needed: More And Better STEM Education
In order to mint the appropriate numbers of engineers, scientists, research and development, IT and technical professionals for future artificial intelligence and robotics development, we need to improve our STEM education in the U.S. Unfortunately; we trail the world in science, technology, engineering and math. These STEM fields are the cornerstone of future engineering, scientific, technical, IT, R&D and manufacturing jobs that will be on the forefront of artificial intelligence and robotics innovation.