AI a big threat to humans, says Alibaba founder Jack Ma
ARTIFICIAL Intelligence (AI) is disrupting many industries across the world. From robots being developed to diagnose disease, to harnessing the power of natural language processing and machine learning to mimic human speech patterns for customer service.
There can be no doubt that AI applications will drastically improve many aspects of daily life. Google has estimated that robots will reach levels of human intelligence by 2029.
But, with the advancement of AI technology comes the increasing fear that robots will soon take over our jobs. In fact, IT research firm Gartner estimates that by 2025, a whopping one third of jobs will be replaced by robots and smart machines.
Agreeing with this issue is the high-profile technocrat, and founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ma voiced his vision that machines will one day replace humans in a variety of aspects.
When speaking about the responsibilities of the world’s tech giants, including Alibaba, Facebook, and Amazon, Ma told the gathering:
“…we have the responsibility to have a good heart, and do something good. Make sure that everything you do is for the future.”
According to Ma, the latest technologies such as AI and big data pose themselves as a threat and would disable humans instead of enabling them.
“People like us have the money and resources and we should spend money on technology that empowers us and makes life better. AI, Big Data is a threat to human beings. The AI and robots are going to kill a lot of jobs, because in the future, these will be done by machines,” he says.
When voicing his opinion on the impact of technology, Ma said:
“We are very lucky because the world is in big transformation mode because of technology. Though this revolution will create successful leaders and opportunities, every new technology will also create social problems”.
Alibaba’s founder then discussed past revolutions of technology and their impact on the world.
“The first technology revolution caused the First World War and the second technology revolution caused the Second World War. Now we have the third the tech revolution. If the Third World War happens, it should be fought against disease, pollution and poverty, not against each other.”
The Chinese businessman is not alone in his concerns over AI. According to a report by Pew Research, over 70 percent of Americans express wariness or concern about a world where machines perform many of the tasks done by humans.
AI to enhance – not replace – human capabilities
While many fear that our jobs will be replaced by a march of inhuman impostors with metal hearts and algorithmic brains, others argue that AI technologies seek to only improve human capabilities.
According to Chris Chelliah, group VP and chief architect for core technology and cloud at Oracle Asia Pacific:
“[AI] isn’t going to replace people, but it can certainly make people better at whatever they do”.
AI technology has the potential to improve the capabilities of humans. For instance, reducing the time taken to complete tasks as well as improving the effectiveness of our decision-making skills.
Robots and machines lack the emotional aspect of human-touch which is so necessary in every aspect of daily life. So fear not, our jobs are here to stay. For now, anyway.