Automation is gradually replacing human labor around the world on the job market. Early this year, a study carried out by Oxford University in the United Kingdom revealed how the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) would soon put many people out of work, especially the middle classes in Western societies.
The study revealed that by the end of the next two decades, a whopping 47 percent of jobs that humans are currently doing will disappear. These jobs wouldn’t just disappear into thin air, rather, they’d be taken over by machines due to AI advancement.
According to the authors of the study, not only is the entire concept of employment about to change dramatically because of the AI advancement, the trend is also irreversible. Apart from this study by the Oxford researchers, other studies and reports have also arrived at similar conclusions.
Although the AI community might be opposed to these studies and concerns, the fact remains is that what they are creating will have dire consequences on our economy. Prominent personalities who have seen the impending trouble have sounded the alarm bells. Others have gone further, offering suggestions on how we may mitigate the impending danger cast over our livelihoods.
American business magnate Bill Gates is the co-founder of the tech giant, Microsoft Corporation. As somebody who made his fortune from the technology industry, many people expect him to embrace full AI development.
However, Gates has taken on a different position, and one unexpected. In 2015, Gates openly contradicted one of Microsoft’s Research chiefs, Eric Horvitz, by saying that humans should be worried about the threat posed by AI development. Horvitz had earlier said Microsoft sees nothing wrong with AI, and that around a quarter of his team’s resources are focused on AI development.
However, Gates said he didn’t understand people who weren’t troubled by the possibility that AI could grow too strong for people to control. Not only this, the control these machines may have on humans worries Gates. He is also concerned with how the new machines would soon render many people jobless.
Gates is now suggesting a comprehensive policy by governments around the world to tax every single machine that takes a job from a human being. In other words, Gates is saying that if a robot replaces a human’s job, it should be taxed at a similar level to what the human worker would be taxed by the government.