Robots are here, and they may take over sooner than we though. Recently I was at the airport, and I noticed several things. Robots serve me.
There was a Dippin’ Dots Automated Machine, an automated ProActiv machine, a Beats Audio Machine, and even an automated machine to squeeze me fresh OJ. I was totally amazed, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but wonder: how many jobs do these machines mean, and how long until they take over America’s labor industry?:
There’s a BakeBot robot whipping up fresh cookies at MIT; hospitals are now employing medical robots to assist their doctors; and a robot named Baxter can beat any human at the popular logic game Connect Four, among many other tasks.
“Historically what we thought was that robots would do things that were the three D’s: dangerous, dirty, and dull,” explains Ryan Calo, professor at University of Washington School of Law with an expertise in robotics. “Over time, the range of things that robots can do has extended.”
Their abilities will only continue to expand. Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, anticipates that by 2029 robots will have reached human levels of intelligence.
Many people fear a jobless future — and their anxiety is not unwarranted: Gartner, an information technology research and advisory firm, predicts that one-third of jobs will be replaced by software, robots, and smart machines by 2025.
Artificial intelligence and robots are not just challenging blue-collar jobs; they are starting to take over white-collar professions as well. Financial and sports reporters, online marketers, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and financial analysts are already in danger of being replaced by robots.
While one camp of experts predict that several unlucky Americans will be pushed out of work in the near future, others argue that this increase in computing prowess will simply eliminate old jobs and introduce new ones, resulting in a net-zero effect — or even an increase in jobs. New technology means new products and services, they argue, as we saw during the Industrial Revolution.
Experts are calling this movement the “Second Machine Age,” as it is comparable to what we saw 200 years ago with the invention of the steam engine and the machine age that ensued.
The machines of the Industrial Revolution overcame the limitations of human muscle, while the robots and artificial intelligence of today are overcoming the limitations of our individual minds.
H/T: Business Insider
Sign up to get alerts from Joe!