Pew Research spoke to almost 2,000 experts in the field of artificial intelligence to determine how the future employment picture will be affected by the creation of better robots.
Since the invention of the robot, there has been concern about the day robots take over the world.
But robots won’t take over the world in just one day. It will be a process, and some experts in the industry of artificial intelligence are voicing their opinions about how the process is going.
As part of its Internet Project, Pew Research canvassed experts in the artificial intelligence world and asked them a series of questions about the impact of robotics and AI on the world.
For instance, they were asked whether robotics and AI would take away jobs from humans or create more jobs for humans by 2025. Forty-eight percent of the almost 2,000 experts surveyed said that a significant number of blue- and white-collar jobs will be taken by robotics, creating an even greater rift between the haves and the have-nots in the country.
But 52 percent said that technology will create more jobs than it will take away, although the jobs created will be new ones, using as an example the slew of new jobs created by the Industrial Revolution, jobs that did not exist prior to the onslaught of technological advance.
However, a number of experts expressed concern that the need to fill new, as yet undetermined jobs will not be met by the knowledge of people to fill those jobs because our educational system is behind the times in preparing the next generation to work outside standard occupational pursuits.
“Driven by revolutions in education and in technology, the very nature of work will have changed radically, but only in economies that have chosen to invest in education, technology, and related infrastructure,’’ said J.P. Rangawsami, chief scientist for Salesforce.com. “Some jobs will be handed over to the ‘immigrants’ of AI and robotics, but more will have been generated in creative and curating activities as demand for their service grows exponentially.”
“In general, every way of automation and computerization has increased productivity without depressing employment and there is no reason to think the same will not be true this time,’’ said Michael Kende, an economist for a major Internet-oriented nonprofit organization.
What no one really knows is what kind of work will be done by the people whose current jobs will be taken over by robotics. The one thing most people agree on is that there will be work to be done.
“There is no shortage of things that need to be done and that will not change,’’ said Jonathan Grudin, principal researcher for Microsoft. “Technology will continue to disrupt jobs, but more jobs seem likely to be created.”
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.