There is no doubt that automation led by AI and robotics will eliminate many jobs in the future. Routine work, be it white- or blue-collar, can be expected to be taken up by machines. But it is also time to dispel the myth around AI to see what it can actually do as a tool. Only in this way can we really hold honest conversations about how humans and machines can forge a new alliance.
There is simply no reason to think that AI and robots will render us redundant. It is projected that, by 2025, there will be 3.5 million manufacturing job openings in the US, and yet 2 million of them will go unfilled because there will not be enough skilled workers. In conclusion, rather than undermining humans, we are much better off thinking hard about how to upskill ourselves and learn how to work alongside machines, as we will inevitably coexist – but it won’t be a case of us surrendering to them.
AI is not something to be feared. It’s not an impending robot revolution. It’s not an economic tidal wave rushing to wipe out jobs and create large-scale unemployment. What it is is another technological disruption, and just like any other technological disruption of the past, it is bound to cause some shock waves. These changes, however, are not something to be feared, but embraced. We need to stop treating AI as the villain in some low-budget sci-fi horror film.