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Artificial Intelligence is no more a fictional term limited to just novels and books. We are living in the era in which AI is transforming our lives. Automation of jobs and humans going jobless is the most important concern social and computer scientists are pondering upon as AI makes its way across the globe in human lives. Art Bilger, an expert at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, says that over the next 25 years, over 47% of the jobs will be no more, thanks to the rise of robots, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The professions which are more risky in these times, according to Bilger are: Accountants, doctors, lawyers, teachers, bureaucrats, and financial analysts, as computing algorithms and machines will easily be able to do these jobs, rather more efficiently.

AI taking away jobs marks the biggest seismic shift after the industrial revolution. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and automation, thousands of jobs were lost, but hundreds of thousands of new ones were created. For example, when looming industry started, weavers went out of work, but they set up their looming machines. Similarly, blacksmiths became car mechanics when automobiles put horseshoe business out of steam. But the upcoming job loss will be unprecedented as there would be no space for humans as robots can be programmed to do everything.

 Mr. Bilger says that “no government is ready” for the changes that are coming in the next two decades. The rise of the machines will affect the jobs of almost every class. Bilger has also founded an NGO named Working Nation, whose goal is to spread awareness among masses about AI and how it is going to change our lives, and to convince the governments to do something about it. The organization wants people and governments to understand that the very concept of employment is about to change. The modernization of workforce and creation of alternative models of employment instead of “structural employment” is what we need the most.

What is the Solution?

Bilger recommends that governments should provide all those who lose job a basic monthly income with a “re-education” program so that jobless people could learn skills and get those jobs which are going to stay. Bilger also points out that the rise of AI could herald an era where we will not feel a compulsion to “work” daily and instead pursue our true passions and inner callings.

 

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