AI Technologies Impact on Jobs

Calum Hjelm, Editor

AI is on the forefront of everyone’s minds, and increases in technology have started heated discussion on if AI will increase job productivity or increase unemployment. 

Artificial intelligence is when a computer is programmed to use human-like thinking, and engineers explore how close AI can get to human behavior. There are four different types of AI. Reactive machines interact with direct stimuli and cannot store memory, like AI beating a master in Go. Limited mind is where a computer can store memory for a short period of time, it is used for self driving cars.

The computer intelligence that is being worked towards is the theory of mind, where a computer could potentially understand that humans and animals have thoughts and emotions and self reflect on their actions. The ultimate goal of AI technology is self awareness, where AI knows it is a computer and its place in the world.

New technology has always been used to increase productivity in America, but at what point do computers start taking job opportunities? The American University of Washington states that rural areas are impacted most by automation . “Those who lost their jobs during the rise of automation were crammed into service industry jobs that paid less.“ Jobs in production and transportation are the highest risk. 

 It will increase the economy because businesses will be able to invest back into themselves instead of having to pay workers, increasing the money they make. While low paying jobs are in fear of getting replaced by AI, the people making these computers are becoming richer. Ian O’byrne from the College of Charleston states “The main challenge is whether or not we have the social, political and educational imagination to adapt and effectively use these technologies… then a relative few will be able to leverage these new powers and tools, while the remainder may be worse off for it.” If the government helps displaced workers, AI could help a lot of people.

While a lot of people that are losing their jobs won’t have the resources to get a higher education, some will. They will have the opportunity to apply themselves to something bigger, using skills like emotional intelligence or creativity that a computer can’t do to be successful.

 Computers will be used for more dangerous jobs, controlled by a human operator keeping people more safe. New AI could let people get more time off work or substitute for people on maternity or medical leave. Coding and computer science will be taught to kids at a young age because of the boost of jobs in that field. Once AI gets far enough there will be a boom in technological advancement in society.

AI could help from the medical field to service workers but without regulation on how much this technology can be used people will not feel secure in their work. The only way is to wait and see.