We are already seeing the dangers of AI automation in many facets of life today.
If you go to the grocery store, there are multiple self-checkout stands that are manned by one employee. Replace six checkout lines with six automated lines and you’ve lost 5 employment positions.
Amazon Go has taken this concept to the next level. Shoppers use an app as they enter the store. Then they take the products they want and leave. That means even fewer employees are needed to maintain the store.
We often think of AI automation as something that affects other people. In the coming years, the dangers this concept provides will affect each person in some way. Here are the 5 main dangers to watch for with AI automation in the workforce.
Why AI Automation Is Such a Dangerous Concept
#1. It will limit human interaction.
If you go to the average website with a chat box, you’re not talking to a person. You’re talking to a program. It is designed to offer you pre-programmed responses to common questions that benefit the company more than it benefits the customer. Automation may be designed to make lives easier, but it also isolates us from one another. We’re talking to bots instead of talking with each other.
#2. It will create new societal classes.
People will be defined by their ability to create and/or interact with AI automation. If you do not have access to this knowledge, then you could be excluded from jobs, educational opportunities, or even the ability to purchase something. You’re not shopping at Amazon Go if you don’t have the app with you, after all.
That means the rich will keep getting richer, while the poor will struggle to find ways to survive.
#3. It limits new job creation.
The United States has been adding jobs at a record pace. In January 2018, 200,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy. The unemployment rate was listed at 4.1%, which was its lowest level since December 2000. That’s good news, but only on the surface. Most positions that are created in our modern economy are temporary. Up to half of the employees at major employers, such as Walmart, are temporary workers.
Before 2000, the private sector added jobs at an average annual rate of up to 3%. Since 2008, that rate has been lower than 1% annually.
At the same time, the labor force participation rate is also at its lowest levels since 1978. That means the unemployment rate is artificially low. Adding more AI automation will only exacerbate this problem.
#4. It will create new criminal enterprises.
Legal systems are based on one core value: that it is more profitable for the average person to follow society’s laws than to break them.
AI automation changes the equation. When the “haves” dominate the “have nots,” an increase in crime will happen. Expect more scams, more burglaries, and more people spending money they shouldn’t trying to join the “haves” portion of society.
#5. It will change who is in charge.
If given enough time, AI automation is what will gain control of the world. Their programming will be what commands the economies of the world. Those with access will exploit that power to their own personal benefit. It will filter into every aspect of life. Automation could literally take every job away in the future.
Imagine automated farming. Automated cheese production. Automated painters and writers.
What Is the Answer to These Dangers?
The main dangers of AI automation paint a bleak picture.
Thankfully, we still have an opportunity to change our future. Rapid advancement in automation technologies has created a new trend that we call “software robotics.”
Imagine if these bots could be programmed to benefit you… and what opportunities you could create for yourself if that was on free community platform with learning tools that help you learn the skills you’ll need for a transformed economy.
Instead of having “haves” and “have nots,” everyone would have access to the same opportunities. By working together, we can make exclusion go away.
That is a future worth investing into.
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