Alan Turing, widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, reportedly said that “once the machine thinking method had started, it would not take long to outstrip our feeble powers”, and that we should “expect the machines to take control”.
The world has changed dramatically in the decades since Turing left us, and the voices portending a dystopian future proliferated by artificial intelligence technologies have grown louder.
We live in an era where AI isn’t confined to the world of science fiction or even a tour of Silicon Valley; it permeates much of our daily lives. Whether in the form of predictive internet search engines, chatbots that help us book everything from restaurants to Covid-19 vaccines, smart devices in our homes, or virtual assistants telling us how long the drive to the office will be – AI is everywhere.
Market research forecasts that the global AI industry will grow at an annual rate of 33.6 per cent from 2021 to 2028. We are standing on the brink of the AI-driven Fourth Industrial Revolution.
As AI technologies evolve, there will be a significant shift in the composition of our workforce. According to a 2020 report unveiled at the World Economic Forum, automation and workplace digitisation will disrupt 85 million jobs globally. Another forecast by the World Intelligence Congress also points to AI potentially replacing nearly 70 per cent of an average human manager’s workload by 2024.
The alarm bells of human workers being displaced by technology are sounding once again.