Let's take a breath: Robots and artificial intelligence systems are nowhere near displacing the human workforce. Nevertheless, no less a voice than Bill Gates has asserted just the opposite and called for a counterintuitive, preemptive strike on these innovations. His proposed weapon of choice? Taxes on technology to compensate for losses that haven't happened. David Kenny (@davidwkenny) is IBM's senior vice president for Watson and the company's cloud platform.
Let's take a breath: robots and artificial intelligence systems are nowhere near displacing the human workforce. Nevertheless, no less a voice than Bill Gates has asserted just the opposite and called for a counterintuitive, preemptive strike on these innovations. His proposed weapon of choice? Taxes on technology to compensate for losses that haven't happened. Taxing this promising field of innovation is not only reactionary and antithetical to progress, it would discourage the development of technologies and systems that can improve everyday life.
I am often asked about artificial intelligence and the future of work. My answer is that A.I. will change 100% of current jobs. It will change the job of a software developer, of a customer service agent, of a professional driver. And it will change my job as the CEO of one of the biggest technology companies in the world. Yet notice my choice of words: A.I. will change jobs but it won't replace all of them.
When three female African-American mathematicians--Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson--became unsung heroes at NASA during the 1960s space race, the US was engaged in a fierce competition to become the world leader in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. As told in the recently released movie Hidden Figures, the trio's groundbreaking calculations for rocket trajectories required programming a complex, first-of-a-kind IBM computer that helped put astronaut John Glenn in orbit. Skip ahead 54 years, and the US is a world leader in scientific innovation and advanced technologies. Stanley S. Litow (@CitizenIBM) is president of the IBM Foundation and vice president of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs at IBM. He is a former deputy chancellor of New York City public schools.
Earlier this year, President Trump signed an executive order for the "American AI Initiative," to guide AI developments and investments in the following areas: research and development, ethical standards, automation, and international outreach. This initiative is indicative of the changing times, and how, as a country, the U.S. is learning to navigate the implications of AI. Leaders in the business world, specifically, are faced with the responsibility of equipping our employees with the skills necessary for paving long-lasting career paths, and the workforce must discover what will be expected as technology continues to disrupt the norm, and work as we know it. As a global business leader, an AI optimist, and a father, I find myself asking: What will make a career sustainable in 2020 and beyond? Will the future of education rise to meet the demands of the future of work?