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On artificial intelligence, jobs and growth: “Homo sapiens will be split into a handful of gods and the rest of us”. Good read and link to new BoAML report

Charles Arthur writes in The Guardian

“If you wanted relief from stories about tyre factories and steel plants closing, you could try relaxing with a new 300-page report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (Gerd adds: link goes to a PDF — must read!!) which looks at the likely effects of a robot revolution. But you might not end up reassured. Though it promises robot carers for an ageing population, it also forecasts huge numbers of jobs being wiped out: up to 35% of all workers in the UK and 47% of those in the US, including white-collar jobs, seeing their livelihoods taken away by machines.”

“The poster child for automation is agriculture,” says Calum Chace, author of Surviving AI and the novel Pandora’s Brain. “In 1900, 40% of the US labour force worked in agriculture. By 1960, the figure was a few per cent. And yet people had jobs; the nature of the jobs had changed. “But then again, there were 21 million horses in the US in 1900. By 1960, there were just three million. The difference was that humans have cognitive skills – we could learn to do new things. But that might not always be the case as machines get smarter and smarter.”

What if we’re the horses to AI’s humans? To those who don’t watch the industry closely, it’s hard to see how quickly the combination of robotics and artificial intelligence is advancing. Last week a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a video showing a tiny drone flying through a lightly forested area at 30mph, avoiding the trees – all without a pilot, using only its onboard processors. Of course it can outrun a human-piloted one”

Frey observes that technology is leading to a rarification of leading-edge employment, where fewer and fewer people have the necessary skills to work in the frontline of its advances. “In the 1980s, 8.2% of the US workforce were employed in new technologies introduced in that decade,” he notes. “By the 1990s, it was 4.2%. For the 2000s, our estimate is that it’s just 0.5%. That tells me that, on the one hand, the potential for automation is expanding – but also that technology doesn’t create that many new jobs now compared to the past

Read: Artificial intelligence: ‘Homo sapiens will be split into a handful of gods and the rest of us’

Download the BofAML report :

https://www.bofaml.com/content/dam/boamlimages/documents/articles/D3_006/11511357.pdf

Gerd Leonhard

Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author
My new film on tech vs humanity: https://gerd.fm/techvshumanvideo
Some of the best graphs
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