Monday, November 30, 2015

Future Economic

Many economists has given serious thought to the potential economic implications of intelligent machines. One of them is Robin Hanson,  a professor at George Mason University, suggest that wholesale use of machine intelligence could increase economic growth rates by an order of magnitude or more. At the same time, however, the obvious reality that as machines become affordable and very likely more capable would lead to fall in wages below human subsistence levels. Expert says that there is reasons to be hopeful because there are many jobs that robots simply will never be able to do, no matter how advanced they become. There are many attributes such as empathy, creativity and judgement that would stop AI to fully take over the human jobs.

Future Social
Many individuals are pondering the social impact artificial intelligence will place on the future of our society. Whether it be a drastic change in the workforce, or a major improvement in our research, artificial intelligence sparks a fear of the unknown. Some people believe it will lead to a utopian society with no work and plenty of leisure time, whereas others view it as a social nightmare. Wherever you stand on the spectrum, it is important we educate ourselves on the matter to be aware of the possible implications. When it comes to employment, many positions are already being performed by the use of intelligent machines. Duties such as customer service, and financial analysts are no longer craving the need for human workers. Unfortunately “the new coming wave of automation is blind to the color of your collar” (CBS Interactive Inc, 2015).As you all may know just as machines changed the assembly line, they now have even more  power with access to tons of data. This can eventually cause a major decrease in the size of white collar workers. Although many of these jobs require extensive training and expertise, many of the tasks are repetitive which can in the end be completed by robots.
According to the Atlantic, “two Oxford researchers analyzed the skills necessary for over 700 different occupations to determine how many would be dominated by machines in the near future. From the results they concluded that automation is likely to take over 47% of today’s jobs within a few decades” (Kaplan, 2015). What also struck us as interesting was the look between male and female dominated jobs. Based on future predictions, “The jobs performed primarily by women are relatively safe, while those typically performed by men are at risk” (Kaplan, 2015). No matter how we choose to look at it we can’t deny the fact that we have a huge gender bias when it comes to occupations in the workforce. Society has unconsciously labeled professions that are typically executed by each gender.  For example, “out of the 3 million truck drivers in the US, 95% of them are men, this also goes for majority of the carpentry and construction workers as well. Therefore, when analyzing the administrative and secretary positions, 95% are performed by women” (Kaplan, 2015). Many of these speculations are due to the fact most jobs labeled as “male dominated” include lots of manipulation and physical movement during the task. With these specific occupations they are likely to be repetitive and much easier to measure performance. Robots will be able to successfully complete jobs in this manner by the utilization of sensors that will inform and monitor their progress of completion. On the other hand, women normally work in “unstructured environments, where the ability to read people’s emotions and intentions are critical to success” (Kaplan, 2015).So if your job involves creativity, emotion, critical thinking, and innovation you should be the least bit worried that your job will be taken in the near future. “The broader and more varied your duties are the harder it will be to replace you” (Kaplan, 2015). 

Instead of taking over most of the jobs by 2025 there will most likely be a shift in the sector creating new jobs for individuals as well as expanding unfamiliar horizons.  Are we mentally prepared to work alongside AI? According to Automated Insights CEO Robbie  Allen, he  believed “our future is going to be much more of a humans and software working together” (CBS Interactive Inc, 2015). Artificial Intelligence can ultimately help us reach new heights when it comes to solving complex issues in our world. Machines can work alongside experts in order to provide them with the proper information they need to make more effective and efficient decisions. Based on Mark Nall, a program manager for NASA predicts “the social consequence is that good paying jobs will be increasingly scarce.”(Smith & Anderson, 2014)  This can have a huge effect on our lives as a society and ultimately make the job market a lot more strategically competitive.  
Preparation for the future of jobs are also a concern of many individuals. Experts surveyed in the Pew Research Center explained, “For instance, many are concerned that our existing social structures and especially our educational institutions are not adequately preparing people for the skills that will be needed in the job market of the future. Conversely, others have hope that the coming changes will be an opportunity to reassess our society’s relationship to employment itself by returning to a focus on small-scale or artisanal modes of production, or by giving people more time to spend on leisure, self-improvement, or time with loved ones”(Smith & Anderson, 2014). In other words our concept of “work” of the future will change significantly.


CBS News. “Will artificial intelligence overtake humans in the workforce.” CBS Interactive Inc. 5 Sept. 2015. Web 27 Nov. 2015.
Kaplan, Jerry. “The Age of the Robot Worker Will be Worse for Men.” The Atlantic. 4 Aug. 2015. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.
Smith & Anderson. “AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs.” Pew Research Center. 6 Aug. 2014. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.


The Impact of AI on the Current Economy
“Roboy, a robot developed by the artificial intelligence laboratory of the University of Zurich, is presented to the media.” Photograph: Samuel Truempy/EPA
Automation technologies, including artificial intelligence, are currently impacting the economy. There has been a major increase in the amount of industrial robots across the globe (Karsten & West, 2015).  The prices of these robots are decreasing, and they are able to operate without any interruption throughout the day, which makes them competitive in terms of both cost and capability (Karsten & West, 2015). As these technological advancements become more affordable, capable and widespread, they will have even more applications in the economy (Karsten & West, 2015). For instance, in the service sector, computer algorithms can execute stock trade in a staggering fraction of a second, which is far quicker than any human could (Karsten & West, 2015). If automation technologies risk job security in the future, it is said that there needs to be a way to to deliver benefits outside of employment (Karsten & West, 2015). “Flexicurity,” also known as flexible security, is one way that has been proposed in order to provide healthcare, education and housing assistance (Karsten & West, 2015). Other considerations that have been mentioned are expanding on the Earned Income Tax Credit, providing basic income and encouraging corporate profit sharing (Karsten & West, 2015).  
According to existing research, we are in a period of transition. As a result, experts are not in agreement as to how large the impact of automation technologies, like artificial intelligence, will be on the workforce (Karsten & West, 2015). Some believe that there will be a massive increase in unemployment, while others feel that technology may create new jobs that will employ those who were displaced from their previous positions as a result (Karsten & West, 2015). Further, in 2014 the Pew Research Center surveyed around 2,000 industry experts; they found that they were extremely divided on how robotics and artificial intelligence will affect jobs and the economy in subsequent decades (Stephens, 2015). These experts are also in disagreement in regard to how automation technologies will affect the economics of employment (Stephens, 2015).  
Karsten, Jack, and Darrell M. West. "How Robots, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning Will Affect Employment and Public Policy." The Brookings Institution. 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2015. <>
Stephens, Rachael. "Robots at Work: The Economic Effects of Workplace Automation." Journalist's Resource. 22 Sept. 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2015. <>



Other Category Responses:
-I think it's possible to get close but each human is unique and AI would be mass produced so it would be missing the ability for unique thought.
-Perhaps some but human thoughts are connected to human emotions
Other Category Responses:
-They already are....basic machine language (Ai) has replaced many people. As always, the people replaced found new jobs and the world moved on.
-Definitely some jobs that are currently being done by people, yes. The job market will steadily decline
Other Category Responses:
-AI will only make workers better. They won't replace people. Remember computer where suppose to replace workers.
-Stay the same


Artificial Intelligence of the Now: Socially Acceptable or Unacknowledged?

A lot of what is happening now technologically, and in the last ten or so years has seemed to have had a positive impact on society. Currently, many individuals see Artificial Intelligence as having created jobs and alleviating a lot of hard, strenuous labor. As seen so far, AI has been a perpetuator of creating opportunity and not taking opportunity away from the human workforce as so many believe to be the case for the future. Some positive points that are being focused on now are as follows: “Advances in technology may displace certain types of work, but historically they have been a net creator of jobs. We will adapt to these changes by inventing entirely new types of work, and by taking advantage of uniquely human capabilities. Technology will free us from day-to-day drudgery, and allow us to define our relationship with “work” in a more positive and socially beneficial way. Ultimately, we as a society control our own destiny through the choices we make.” (Smith, 2014) For now, experts are focused on the positive impact that can be seen, and the positive relationship AI has had with humans until now as well as possibly for years to come.
    Although positive impacts are being seen, there has been little focus on AI workforce from a social standpoint and what these new technologies are doing to change us Human beings. Only just now have sociologists and those alike have given any attention to AI and its impact on society at large so a social impact has really yet to be seen. This is still very much in its developing stages it seems, but we are starting to see a great shift from the one focus robot to a multitaskable, and self learning intelligence. We are heading to the Singularity phase as Ray Kurzweil, a technological inventor and futuristic predictor, says. the Singularity is “A future period where technological change will be so rapid that its impact so profound that life will be irreversibly transformed” (Transcendent, 2009).  which means that we are in a transition phase. AI is being introduced more frequently and at higher capacities. Currently we are ending the introduction phase of technology, and are now working towards moving into the Singularity.  We are developing and teaching AI to be fully functional on its own like Baxter, the general purpose robot, which learns tasks by watching and mimicking someone do them.
“Baxter is the computer of the 1980’s, and only the beginning...He’s already replaced lower skilled jobs. We’ve already seen how dumber robots than Baxter can replace jobs.” (Grey). So while jobs are being affected and changing, robots and artificial intelligence in general have seemed to have had little effect otherwise, or at least that effect has yet to be seen.
Grey, CGP. "Humans Need Not Apply." YouTube. YouTube, 13 Aug. 2014. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
Smith, Aaron, and Janna Anderson. "AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs." Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech RSS. Pew Research Center, 6 Aug. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.
Transcendent Man. Dir. Barry Ptolemy. Docurama Films ;, 2009. Film.

Industrial Revolution's Cheaper and Faster Productions

Though the technology invented during the industrial revolution is on a different level than what is being produced today, the idea and principle is the same; with the replacement of “man-made” items. With the industrial revolution the way things were made or manufactured were being changed in many different fields of work; for example, textiles. Textiles, woven fabric, was originally hand spun; but the invention of a wheel and loom changed the process and made it quicker and ultimately cheaper to produce the same product (Man-made to Machining).

            The idea of the process of how goods were made was one of the biggest changes during the industrial revolution. The speed of the machinery invented had outpaced artisans’ production speeds, which ultimately causes the goods to be cheaper and more readily available (Man-made to Machining). The use of machinery was in large factories that needed workers to man the machines, providing jobs for the working classes.

            With the prices of these goods dropping, the want of them was rising. More people and different classes could afford the same goods that might have been too expensive to afford. The demand grew, and industries would have to produce their goods faster to match up with the rising demand (Man-made to Machining). This caused an increased demand of workers, especially to operate the machines. With this, people were able to buy and spend more, and this caused the emergence of the middle class (Poddar). These people had more spending money, and more time to spend (Poddar).

            Though the machines needed workers to run and hadn’t fully replaced them, it did minimize the dependency on man-made only goods. It showed that machines could do the same thing, faster and cheaper. At some point, more workers were needed, and women and children filled those roles. The hours were pushed further back due to the demand and supply scales and the need for them to be balanced.

"Man-Made to Machining - History of the Industrial Revolution." Man-Made to Machining – History of the Industrial Revolution., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Poddar, Ankur. "Causes and Effects." The Industrail Revolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2015. <>.


Social Impact of AI in the Workforce in the Past

In the past, there was not much use for AI in the workplace. However, we went through a similar process during the Industrial Revolution what we are experiencing now with AI becoming incorporated in our workforce. So, we examined the characteristics of industrial revolution and early AI as they brought several social impacts in the past.

The first social impact of industrialization was a change in people’s lifestyle. Before the Industrialization, people only worked in the local surroundings of their homes (Fitzgerald, 2000) either making fabric or farming in the fields. After the Industrialization, people moved to cities to work in places like factories (UN, p.7). Such urbanization influenced people to live a faster, busier life. Similarly, AI also brought a change in people’s lifestyle by accelerating the pace of life. For instance, Microsoft’s AutoCorrect developed in the late 1990s, which scanned a user’s text against dictionary and found the closest matches for any unknown strings of characters (Engber, 2014), helped people to write quickly and accurately.

The second social impact of Industrialization was a change in the nature of work. Whereas the agriculture depended heavily on season and weather, industrial work could be done regardless of weather conditions, and the result was increased labor. AI, on the other hand, helped reduce physical labor by either doing repetitive, simple tasks for workers in factories or helping the disabled in their work environment.

The third social impact of industrialization was a change in the workforce. While the introduction of assembly line created new low-skilled jobs such as assembly line worker and assembly line operator, high-skilled workers such as artisans and craftsman lost their jobs. Likewise, AI created certain jobs such as AI engineers and operators, but also replaced some jobs that required simple, repetitive tasks, such as assembly line workers

 Assembly line before & after AI


Engber, Daniel. "Who Made That Autocorrect." Sunday Magazine 8 June 2014: MM24. Print.

Fitzgerald, Richard D. "The Social Impact of the Industrial Revolution." Science and Its
Times: Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery. Ed. Josh Lauer
and Neil Schlager. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 2000. 376-381. Global Issues In Context.
Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

Patterns of Urban and Rural Population Growth. Vol. 68. New York: United Nations, 1980.
1-184. Print.