This is a continuation of the article “[Part 1] Will Artificial Intelligence replace humans and eventually make them redundant?” Please read the first part of the article by clicking here.
Here is my two pence: Technological advances are inevitable and unstoppable. The economic scenario today is such that companies would implement anything and everything that would allow them to gain an advantage over their competitors. And once one company adopts a better method or technology, it is only a matter of time before others follow suit. In view of this, it is inevitable that computers will take over a lot of jobs that humans today perform, and a lot of people will end up losing their conventional jobs.
However, why I don’t think these events would lead to a breakdown of society and mass economic collapse as humans find themselves without anything to do is this: A few hundred years ago, almost every single activity was labor intensive. Agriculture, construction….you name it. Everything required a lot of manpower. Over the years, with the invention of machines and other paraphernalia, the amount of human labor required to, say cultivate an equal amount of area, or construct an equally big building has gone down drastically. However, does that mean that a significant majority of human race has become unemployed as a result of these inventions? No.
Despite an exponential increase in human population, there are jobs for people. How? Well, as the basic needs of food and shelter started coming within the reach of more and more people, and as the standard of living rose to the point where having a full stomach has become commonplace for a significant portion of the populace, humans have discovered other horizons, other things to be explored, made, and invented.
Take the example of Facebook, or any other social network. Do you think a caveman would, or even could, spend hours everyday glued to a screen, watching random videos, or reading random stuff? No, because he would have more important things like food and survival on his mind. However, we can afford to do exactly that because these necessities have been taken care of — not for everyone, true, but for many.
So here is what I believe will happen. Robots will take over a lot of labor intensive tasks from humans. However, this will not be the end of us. After all, with the introduction of robots, things will also get more efficient and cheaper — leaving everyone with a surplus of resources as compared to the past. This could leave people with even more time on their hands — enabling them to discover entirely new industries, professions, and ways of making money, while also making the world a better place in the process.
After all, who would have thought that singers, dancers, and other artists would acquire the stature they enjoy today thanks to the massive reach given to them by the Internet. However, here we are. A whole bunch of professions exists today which would have been ridiculous and unthinkable just a couple of decades ago. And there trend is expected to continue. Indeed, a recent report suggests that almost 65 percent of kids currently in the early stages of their schooling will work at jobs that don’t even exist today!
So yes, get ready for some major shifts in the structure of the human community, as robots, computers, and other machines start taking over from us. And unless some all powerful AI decides that humans need to be eradicated for their own good (which might just happen), I am willing to bet that this new industrial revolution despite displacing many humans from their current employments, will not cause the sort of issues that we think it will — Simply because humans have been dealing with problems of a very similar nature ever since the wheel was invented. On the other hand, this change actually had the potential to make the world a safer, better, and happier place for everyone. And that in my own opinion, is something definitely worth changing our jobs for.