Robots are coming to take our jobs

Speaking to Anton was worrying, it seems that robots are already having better outcomes as psychologists and coaches. Which doesn’t bode that well for me, time to consider what other skills I have that a robot doesn’t.

Which it turns out isn’t a lot.

Artificial intelligence is already being used to deliver services that people once did, however, the surprising  impact is that it is the professional services that are currently being hit the hardest.

Professional services such as lawyers, doctors, and psychologists are the target of the first wave of the implementation of artificial intelligence. To give you an example, a chatbot lawyer recently overturned £160,000 in parking fines.

The professional services have for centuries claimed that their understanding of knowledge and expertise can only be accessed by paying exorbitant fees. But the reality is that many jobs undertaken by lawyers are routine and based on set procedures, judges and lawyers are increasingly using “e-adjudication” to resolve small claims. Ebay already employs this technique to settle more than 60m disagreements each year. And computers are already supporting and outperforming human doctors.

In the future of professionals Messrs Susskind and Susskind predict that it will go all the way to “a dismantling of the traditional professions” because technology is making it easier for people to access expertise. The complexity of certain tasks is no longer the barrier that it once was since computers love complexity.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the professional services that are being targeted, we’ve already seen that Uber is testing driverless cars in Pittsburgh. According to Deloitte, 35 percent of UK jobs are at “high risk” of being made redundant by technology and/or robotics in the next two decades.

Anton believes that the impact to business isn’t really being talked about, this is why after meeting a talking robot and talking about the psychology of human-robot interaction the idea for the social robotics and AI conference was born. The concept is to bring together leading scientists, technologists, and business leaders and to understand how AI can transform your business.

Gary Kasparov will discuss how to keep humans in the loop and still reap the benefits of artificial intelligence. He wants us to embrace AI’s potential, like many he argues that human labour has always been replaced with a machine when that machine does the job, quicker, cheaper and better. We need to focus on what artificial intelligence can do for us, and how we can be empowered to use technology in ways we’ve never imagined.

Equally, David D’Souza will question the ethics of automation, discussing how automation has the potential to destroy markets and how we need to achieve balance when we decide what we will and what we shouldn’t automate.

Ultimately my guess is that humanity will behave as it always has, some things will go too far and need to be restricted or legislated against. Other things won’t go far enough and in both cases, more harm will be done with an intention to do good.

But there is no doubt that automation is coming our way no matter what we do. Jobs will be lost and people’s lives will be changed forever, sometimes overnight. Fighting and trying to stop change has never been effective, better to understand the impacts, prepare the best you can and try benefit ethically whenever you can.

Register for the conference here, and use HODO2016 to claim a £100 discount off running prices.



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