If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
The future of jobs has been used to justify the major changes to university education announced last week. Fees for courses that, according to the government, lead to jobs with a great future will fall, while those with a poor future will rise. But can the government predict the jobs of the future? And do proposed fee changes match those jobs that will grow? Read more: The government is making'job-ready' degrees cheaper for students – but cutting funding to the same courses In the research I have done on the future of work, several things are clear.
As the coronavirus has swept across the globe, the swathes of redundancies that have followed in its wake have relegated the "robots are taking our jobs" narrative into the background. It was a narrative with a somewhat mixed logic at the best of times. For instance, research from the London School of Economics (LSE) found that the introduction of industrial robots has actually increased wages for employees while also increasing the number of job opportunities for highly skilled people. The researchers conducted a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of industrial robots over 17 countries between 1993 and 2007 across 14 different industries. The period of analysis corresponded with a huge rise in the use of industrial robots, with the price of such machinery also falling by approximately 80%.
With its White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI), the European Commission embraces the potential of AI in the European economy and labour market. They have the potential to serve applicants, clients and society by enabling better matches and a faster, more efficient process. These improvements will prove essential for the recovery of the European labour markets following the drastic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, the human touch will remain crucial in the recruitment industry. Leveraging technology in a smart way allows us to free-up time to focus more on those elements of our work that require human creativity and emotion – traits that technology cannot emulate. The future will be one combining smart tech and human touch.
Many people fear the rise in automation may result in lower employment but that may not always be the case. According to new research, firms who were quick to add robots to their manufacturing also saw a rise in employees. "When you look at use of robots at the firm level, it is really interesting because there is an additional dimension," said study co-author and MIT economist Daron Acemoglu. "We know firms are adopting robots in order to reduce their costs, so it is quite plausible that firms adopting robots early are going to expand at the expense of their competitors whose costs are not going down. And that's exactly what we find."
This is part 2 of a three-part series examining the effects of robots and automation on employment, based on new research from economist and Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu. Overall, adding robots to manufacturing reduces jobs -- by more than three per robot, in fact. But a new study co-authored by an MIT professor reveals an important pattern: Firms that move quickly to use robots tend to add workers to their payroll, while industry job losses are more concentrated in firms that make this change more slowly. The study, by MIT economist Daron Acemoglu, examines the introduction of robots to French manufacturing in recent decades, illuminating the business dynamics and labor implications in granular detail. "When you look at use of robots at the firm level, it is really interesting because there is an additional dimension," says Acemoglu.
The father of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Alan Turing had developed the perfect test to determine when a machine can be considered "intelligent": When the person interacting with it (written form of communication back then), cannot be certain whether he is interacting with another human or in fact a machine. The last Microsoft publication, from Brand Smith and Harry Shum, titled The Future Computed, is dealing with the present and the future of Artificial Intelligence but not in a transcendental way as the usual publications. What that means is that it doesn't delve into impressive future projections but rather examines the steps we are taking right now, the way the framework for the following steps should be shaped and what changes it will bring. That's because, for the AI systems to develop, it is necessary to safeguard the principles, the policies and the laws for their responsible use. In this publication the writers support the claim that these systems should be fair, trustworthy, transparent and controllable.
This is part 1 of a three-part series examining the effects of robots and automation on employment, based on new research from economist and Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu. In many parts of the U.S., robots have been replacing workers over the last few decades. Some technologists have forecast that automation will lead to a future without work, while other observers have been more skeptical about such scenarios. Now a study co-authored by an MIT professor puts firm numbers on the trend, finding a very real impact -- although one that falls well short of a robot takeover. The study also finds that in the U.S., the impact of robots varies widely by industry and region, and may play a notable role in exacerbating income inequality.
Whether employers are currently operating as normal, teleworking, or planning for the future, the Covid-19 experience may lead them to turn to the proliferation of workplace artificial intelligence (AI) tools to help streamline recruiting and hiring so they can continue maintaining social distancing best practices. Employers should be aware, however, that using such AI tools brings with it various regulatory challenges regardless of its utility in these trying times. AI has been exerting an ever-growing influence on companies' employment decisionmaking for some time. AI tools that have long been used to market services and products to customers (e.g., algorithms for personalized pop-up ads) are making increasing inroads into the employment arena, including those that mine data from an applicant's social media and internet presence to determine personal attributes and those that evaluate an applicant's responses during a video interview in making employment decisions. Employers considering using AI recruitment and selection tools during the Covid-19 crisis, which some experts expect to last for months after the curve has "flattened," should be mindful of the potential for misuse and of discriminatory impact raised by these technologies.
Innovations such as AI and automation have been tipped to kickstart the Fourth Revolution. While the technology is being widely adopted, it is constantly evolving. Therefore, there is uncertainty surrounding its overall impact, particularly on professional roles within the supply chain. Some fear that the technology will replace its human counterparts, while other experts suggest it will work in unison with humans, supporting them to focus on higher value opportunities. Amidst all of this uncertainty one thing is for certain: AI and automation will change how we operate.
The Big Reboot is a two-part exploration of how we prepare society for the potential impacts of technological disruption, job automation, and the continuing shifts taking place in the global economy. In this first discussion we look at practical strategies for i) raising skills and digital literacy across society, and ii) generating the new ventures and job openings required to fill the employment gap left by those that are displaced by technology. We are reaching peak hysteria in the debate about the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation on tasks, roles, jobs, employment, and incomes. On an almost weekly basis, we see projections of wholesale job devastation through automation. These doom-laden forecasts vie with outlandishly optimistic forecasts from AI vendors and consultants suggesting that millions of new roles will be created because of our smart new tech toys.