ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND THE FUTURE OF WORK – SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND THE FUTURE OF WORK – SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?

Artificial intelligence is at the top of many lists of the most important skills in today’s job market.

In the last decade or so we have seen a dramatic transition from the “AI winter” (where AI has not lived up to its hype) to an “AI spring” (where machines can now outperform humans in a wide range of tasks).

Having spent the last 25 years as an AI researcher and practitioner, I’m often asked about the implications of this technology on the workforce.

I’m quite often disheartened by the amount of disinformation there is on the internet on this topic, so I’ve decided to share some of my own thoughts.

The difference between what I am about to write, and what you may have read before elsewhere is due to an inherent bias. Rather than being a pure “AI” practitioner, my PhD and background is in Cognitive Science – the scientific study of how the mind works, spanning such areas as psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and artificial intelligence. My area of research has been to look explicitly at how the human mind works, and to reverse engineer these processes in the development of artificial intelligence platforms. Hence, I probably have a better understanding than most of the differences and similarities between human and machine intelligence and how this may play out in the workforce (i.e. what jobs will and will not be replaceable in the future).

So let’s begin.

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