The case for humanities in the era of AI, automation, and technology


Whether we're working side-by-side with autonomous robots on the factory floor, spreading the happy news about a new addition to the family on Facebook, or asking Siri to help us get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, all aspects of our lives are closely connected to technology in one way or another. Some of those "connections" are downright threatening. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and genetics and biotechnology, is expected to cause widespread disruption not only to business models but also to labor markets over the next five years, the World Economic Forum reports, with "enormous change predicted in the skill sets needed to thrive in the new landscape." According to an Oxford study, developed nations can expect to see job loss rates of up to 47% within the next 25 years. Additionally, a Pew Research Center study found that "robotics and artificial intelligence will permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025, with huge implications for a range of industries such as healthcare, transport and logistics, customer service, and home maintenance."

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