Lately, there has been much debate regarding the use of Artificial Intelligence in our day to day lives. The recent war of words between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg is a testimony to that. Musk ended up calling AI “greatest existential threat.” Movies like Terminator and Transformers are enough to send chills down our spine. Certainly, no one would like to see the destruction of humanity by human’s own creation. Also, deep down, we know that it is all a Sci-Fi, nothing else.
But the reasons which bother our leaders the most is of the jobs, more so in the case of a country like India. The critiques argue that more skilled, accurate and fast machines would end up consuming a large part of jobs and render a large number of people jobless. Well, nothing can be far from the truth.
Though there is some substance in the fact that it would lead to the loss of jobs but on the other hand it would also lead to the creation of an array of jobs related to the technological sector. Actually, there’s nothing new in it. This structural transition is happening since ages. Now in our times, we cannot even imagine that such jobs existed for real.
For example, there were pinsetters who used to set the pins manually for every game of Bowling before the discovery of mechanical setters. Also, there were Lectors who read news and literature out loud to workers in industries as a source of little entertainment while working (they were said to be fired for carrying out a lot of distraction.) And the most bizarre of all was people who used to tap on the windows or doors of people acting as an alarm clock! All those jobs no longer exist.
Sure, they faced some problem of unemployment but with little skill, they were absorbed in some new jobs. Certainly, no one would have ever imagined at that time that there could be a job of mobile repair or the significance of call centres. Eventually, everyone was streamlined.
So, instead of fighting over petty issues, one must think about innovative ways to make sure that the people acquire the required skills so as to minimize the jerk caused by the introduction of new technology. People must also be open to change and be ready to accept the benefits the new technology brings to them rather than crying over their losses.
Afterall, AI is there to make our lives easier. Who knows, maybe in near future, our grandchildren would never know what hardbound books were and they would be dumbstruck when we would explain them the sweet pain of writing with our own hands, the mesmerizing smell of a new book and the satisfaction of reading it.