By Brian Henry
The CEO of a company that develops artificial intelligence for industrial and military purposes told Cheddar that the government will need to play a role in supporting workers who lose their jobs to AI.
"There's this question of: if AI can automate all jobs or a big chunk of jobs, then what happens to the workers? There isn't one blanket answer. I think it's a mixture of things we'll have to do," said SparkCognition CEO Amir Husain, who is also the author of a book on AI: "The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence."
Husain's company is working to build autonomous power plants and has a joint venture with Boeing called SkyGrid that is developing an aerial operating system to manage what is expected to be a surge in autonomous aircraft traffic. He said AI is bound to result in good workers losing their jobs ー and that the government has an obligation to help them.
"I do think the government needs to take responsibility for workers who through no fault of their own after tremendously exemplary careers now find themselves at the juncture where technology can displace their jobs," he said. "The government needs to step in and support them, whether with universal basic income or some other such methodology."
Husain told Cheddar that the new technology will create some job opportunities ーbut likely not enough to offset the losses.
"There will be some new job creation. But in my view and in all the statistics I've seen it would not be sufficient to take care of all of those who might be displaced over the next couple of decades."
He said the solution for those who have lost wages to the new technology needs to include "a mixture of government stepping in, responsibility being taken by countries for their citizenry, combined with some retraining, and combined with some skills refocused."
When discussing the bigger picture, Husain told Cheddar that it doesn't much matter if the global economy is prepared for new technology because the change is "inevitable."
"Whether or not the global economy is ready for artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence is here. I think the question is: who is positioned to derive benefits from AI? There are many countries that have now launched national strategies around artificial intelligence. France is a country that has done that. China, most famously, they have a 2030 plan."
"I think those leaders and their countries will be well positioned to reap the benefits of AI. Of course, within our own society, myself and many other like-minded AI scientists, practitioners, entrepreneur are pushing for that same kind of focus where we develop a national AI plan and truly make use of this groundbreaking technology."
For full interview click here.