Artificial or Organic Intelligence? – Wahidul Islam and Ifrith Islam
The economic forces at work is undeniable and hence the working-age population has been forecasted to be recessed by about a third in the next half century and companies simply cannot hire enough workers.
Therefore, turning to automation gives a huge raise to the productivity without any mistake and helps to remove any very difficult economic growth, but marks a retreat from a services-oriented culture where the customer is king.
But it remains a matter of constant debate whether machine or robot should replace human or not. Replacement of man with machine and machine with man has implications for the world.
A knife has no religion so is the case with science. The use of a knife depends on the proprietor of it. Anyone can possess a knife though it is prohibited in Bangladesh to carry a knife which has a blade longer than six inches except on Eid-ul Azha days when animals are sacrificed. It may be good if the user is good and it may bad if it falls in a wrong hand. It may be worse if a knife falls in the hands of a marginalised minority who have gone crazy because of being deprived of their basic rights for years.
There is a section of western media spinning the narrative that nuclear weapons of Pakistan may fall in wrong hand the stocks may be used to gain something wrong but unfortunately there is no western narrative that their high-tech labs may be used in a wrong way. They may be used as ‘money plant’. If a war-monger country employs paid scientists in their laboratories to produce things meant for attaining their goals, then the nation at the end of the day become rich in missile of short range first. Followed by mid-range and finally long-range arsenal.
A man or woman whose human rights are not upheld may turn into knife-wielding marauder to make his livelihood.
Think of a robber who can use the same knife to rob off valuable things from a solitary traveler.
Or Think of a doctor uses a knife or lancet to remove a cyst or amputate a cancerous human and animal organ. It must be kind cruelty on the part of a physician who regularly uses knives on human bodies in operation theatre.
Generally, science laboratories across the planet are owned and operated by renowned universities where scientific projects have to go through a whole slew of regulations. These labs work for the benefit of the humanity. But when the funds for such university labs dry up the scientists or the education managers look for research grants. Opportunist multinational corporates with meteorically rising idle capital grasp the opportunity. They donate funds for such penniless labs and researchers, albeit, with diktats.
Scientific researches meant for human welfare redirects here. The dictations of the funder prevail upon. The university lab is taken over by those businesses and profits, catering only to the business needs. The scientists agree to serve the purpose of business magnets or conglomerate. Thus, positive human intellect is sold out.
After years of researches, the new technologies, which should be called products meant to be sold on market only to make money. Something news is invented, flashing the news headlines. The new products of these research lab wear the look of scientific invention. Praises pour in for the scientists and funders, so are the prizes.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence are shaking up present-day world. Different industrial sectors are being automated, albeit, at the cost of loss of human employees. Even the newsmen are not safe from onslaught of AI. Desk jobs feel the threat first than the reporters. A number of questions about the impact of AI or automation remain unanswered. Many newspapers across the world are posing the questions and bringing them to the forefront for critical evaluation. Question of the fate of jobless people in post-automation era remains unaddressed. People feel threatened that robots or machines will replace them and that’s not baseless as jobs are not created as many as over seven billion people of the planet need. The following excerpts from ten leading media outlets.
The New York Times
“Developing Countries May Need Their Own Strategies to Cope With Job-Taking Robots”
If a demographically constrained country’s experts are employed to draft policies for a state which is enjoying high demographic dividend is most likely to have wrong results. These experts may end up laying out a wrong plan and project proposals. And the wrong plan may be used to gain welfare for the consultant not the state in question. Similarly, science and scientific knowledge may fall in wrong hand resulting in change in the direction of scientific researches.
Scientific researches may be directed on the wrong direction as is the case with nuclear weapons. To contain this weapon, the world leaders had to draft a policy called Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) on September 10, 1996, or non-proliferation treaty negotiated between 1965 and 1968.
The Washington Post
A 2016 study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that 9 percent of jobs would be completely displaced in the next two decades. Many more jobs will be transformed, if not eliminated. Two academics from Oxford University, however, put that number at 47 percent in a study conducted in 2013.
The workers earning less than $20 per hour and without a high school diploma would be most likely to see their jobs automated away. The projections improved if workers earned higher wages or obtained higher levels of education.
The Wall Street Journal
‘Two-third of the public anticipates that most vehicles on the road will be driverless within the next half-century- with 9% predicting that this will occur in the next 10 years… Additionally substantial shares of Americans think it’s likely that within 20 years doctors will rely on computer programs to diagnose and treat most diseases (79% think this will definitely or probably happen); that most retail interactions will be fully automated and involve little or no human interaction between customers and employees (65%); and that most deliveries in cities will be made by robots or drones instead of humans (65%).’
if the establishment of AI happens in full, the move will entail the loss of 1,177 full-time posts, and 815 roles currently performed by agency workers; on the new site there will only be jobs for about 500 people- exemplified by Amazon, which now employs 500,000 people around the world, up from 20,000 a decade ago– gives them plenty of cover. But the evidence is plain: the buying, selling, and handling of goods is rapidly becoming less and less labour intensive.
The Times of India
In India, we must brace for the impact of these trends. Amongst the most severely affected will be the IT industry. Nasscom predicted that automation would result in a 20%-25% reduction in IT jobs in three years.
The impact will be serious across sectors from e-commerce to manufacturing, security services, banking and agriculture. Labour intensive industries will becomes the first targets of automation.
The report noted that by 2027 there will be 9.93 million employees in the Chinese financial industry, but 22 percent of the jobs in banks, 25 percent in the insurance market, and 16 percent in the capital market will be cut because of repetitive work.
According to the United Nations, Japan’s working-age population will fall 35 percent to 50.7 million in 2065 from 78.1 million in 2015.
The Japanese customers are mostly commonly greeted by the employees with bow and they are very much used to get response even to the slightest request. This embodied intense personal interaction with customers are highly noticeable and being bowed by automated machines could be a great blow to the ego. Even without the bow, machines with hand and legs are not quite equal to the real handshake of a warm smile and a polite person.
If religion of a country falls in backbenchers’ hand the religiousness in the land will have the most mundane look and can be used to gain something personal for the backbenchers.
Asia is home to most of the people of the world, what Industrial North America or Europe aren’t. The US and European countries have not demographic dividend but they have rich universities and state of the art scientific laboratories where they can invest their idle capital. To man their research laboratories brain drainage is there in case of manpower shortages. But dependence for manpower on Asian and African countries has prompted the rich western nations to downsize the dependence and divert the academic and industrial research for automation.
If AI is designed to render people jobless there should be a regulation like the NPT and CTBT as scientist needs training in philanthropy to make them humane, and help to grow backbone for old morale.
If the lab owner are with big capitals are bad then they would be focusing on becoming mercenary profiteers as their only goal is to capture the most prized profitable work-inventions or life-changing discoveries.
A young man without any work, out of hunger he does whatever he wants to, which would lead him to either commit a serious crime like murdering individual or to decimate a specific place by becoming a suicide squad member, or turn himself into Robbin Hood.
Farmers used to till their lands traditionally before Russian cultivation system was modernized at the end of the 19thcentury. When introduced tractors or power tillers started cultivating vast tracts of land, rendering thousands of traditional farmers jobless. Modes of farming changed for better but the lot of the marginalised farmers changed for the worse.
Weapon of mass destruction such as chemical, biological, radiological weaponry had to be contained like those of nuclear arsenals.
Scientists who developed these weapons were not great enough to be repentant like Alfred Nobel who invented dynamite and patented in 1867. Finding his invention (dynamite) being misused to kill humanity, he donated his entire proceedings from his patent to institute Nobel Prize. Alfred was disappointed with what he read and concerned with how he would be remembered. Apart from being a great scientist he had a quality of a philanthropy which today’s scientists lack in. In place of being philanthropist scientists they being paid pundits. Most of them work for gaining certificates or as directed by their employers who are mostly multinational corporates. These corporates want to automate everything in their production houses so that they don’t have to depend on human resources.
So they go on investing in artificial intelligence, automation, internet of things, big data and blockchain.
In the dawn of civilization, people were good and naive but, with the passage of time, people started to become greedy bit by bit. Life struggle became harder which tempted them to tread the path, harming their peaceful and easy life. Greed whetted and they started being obsessed to gain more and more. Businessmen with such greed end up being profiteers. Scientists with such mercenary mentality turn into eccentric wage earner in a research lab, inventing a new technology that may harm the humanity. In such case the consideration of the side effects of the harmful tech flies out of the window of the high tech lab.
But it shouldn’t be. Scientists shouldn’t create destroyers in their labs neither for them nor for the common people of the planet. Scientists including the inventor of AI American computer scientist John McCarthy should follow the footstep of Alfred Bernhard Nobel — a scientist with conscience, philanthropy and humanity.