Artificial intelligence has been a hot topic of discussion for the past few decades. However, something we often don't hear about is the potential for artificial intelligence to take over job positions that have traditionally been held by humans. According to Business Insider, the White House projects an 83 percent chance that individuals making below $20 per hour will end up being replaced by a computer, and that individuals who have extremely high-paying, specialized jobs are in danger of being replaced by artificial intelligence as well. Nathaniel Popper’s article, The Robots are Coming for Wall Street, illustrates how this is already becoming a reality. Recent research and analysis software, such as Kensho, a financial software used by companies like Goldman Sachs, has already replaced the jobs of numerous financial employees. Kensho has proven to be far more accurate and efficient than any human employee. Additionally, a paper recently published by the University of Oxford revealed less than half of American jobs alone are at “high-risk” for having their positions filled with computers, or other automated machines.
One may ask what a future with AI-dominated careers would look like. While there may be many pros to AI, such as efficiency or reduction of errors, a future where humans are able to have the supposed convenience of no human interaction could be detrimental to human communication; after all, human acquaintanceship and social interaction are essential to personal and social development. Many might argue against an AI future simply because there is something lost without human-to-human interaction. Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and sociologist who studies the effects of technology, states technology has already created a world where we have come to expect more from technology than we do from one another.
When it comes to research and analysis software like Kensho, one could see how replacing humans with artificial intelligence could turn out to be more beneficial for efficiency, accuracy and even quantitative research. However, what if an attempt was made to replace doctors with automatons? Would artificial intelligence serve as a better candidate, or, is there a chance that medicine carried out by human hands is irreplaceable?
In addition to inevitable changes in quality of service and communication, artificial intelligence could have a drastic effect on public policy, as governments would have to rearrange the working sphere so growing numbers of people would have opportunities to work for a fair wage. This dilemma alone could potentially force nations to revolutionize their social and political philosophies. The question arises of what humans would do in the absence of jobs they formerly held: would people start pursuing hobbies and other activities? Or, perhaps they might spend their time living in virtual realities. However events may play out, artificial intelligence has the very real capacity to change our world.