Technology is growing at such an exponential rate and in a way this is great. It has clearly bought a huge amount of benefit to the world. It’s helped save lives, save money and in general made life a lot easier for us all.
But right now the technology of the future is my greatest fear, if not for me then for my children.
I watched a genuinely fascinating keynote speech at a conference this week by Sri Sharma who has recently graduated from the Singularity University, hosted at NASAs HQ. The 10 week course delved into the advance tech of the future include AI and VR. Hopefully the video from this keynote will be release online soon and I’m sure when it is you’ll find a link on Sri’s website or his twitter.
So why am I worried? I guess there are two things that concern me:
The first is the most realistic and practice problem.
Automation is a huge risk for jobs across the world. A recent report by the World Bank (which everyone should really read) showed that in the UK 35% of all jobs were at risk. In other countries such as China it was as much as 77%. In May this year, 60,000 people had their jobs replaced by Robots at just one of many manufacturing businesses.
So many jobs are at risk and the educational system has hardly changed since I left school 18 years ago. Sure – they teach you how to code now but by the time my youngest child is out of school computers will most likely have taught themselves how to code.
How will the benefits system cope when there are 30-40% less jobs around? Does the government really have a plan for this? Considering how useless they have been over the Brexit situation, I’m hesitant to guess they don’t.
Referencing Sri again – he has covered this topic on a recent blog post so it’s worth a read. He suggests that Basic Income could be a solution but if the Swiss referendum is anything to go by I do wonder if there will be a struggle to get something like this in play.
The second thing I worry about is a bit more “out there”.
Whilst Google is trying to reassure us that they are working on a kill switch to stop robots from taking over the world and killing us all, it does still worry me. We are seeing more and more examples of AI’s growing intelligence and just today there was an article on Engadget about Google’s AI creating it’s own form of encryption which is, in my opinion, genuinely frightening.
One of the worlds leading experts in this field has said that by 2029 Robots will be smarted than humans. Of course by then we’ll all have chips in our brains and will likely to be able to learn anything at the press of a button.
So yeah. Not having a job won’t be an issue if Robots take over the world and we’re all killed in a robot apocalypse. Fun times ahead!