Bank of England’s Chief Economist Sounds Warning on AI Job Threats

Bank of England’s Chief Economist Sounds Warning on AI Job Threats
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As artificial intelligence continues its journey to become mainstream by penetrating various industries, concerns have emerged on the security of the current jobs.

Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist, aired out his worries by saying that the possible disruption of what can be referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution could be greater than what was experienced during the Victorian era’s First Industrial Revolution.

According to Andy Haldane, there will be widespread loss of jobs, which could result in social tension, rising inequality as well as so many individuals trying to make ends meet. He went on to argue that it is vital to learn from history or past experiences.

With that, Andy insisted that it is vital for people to be provided with the necessary training in a bid to allow them to take advantage of the new job opportunities that would become available.

To emphasize his point, Haldane stated that in the past a safety net including new welfare benefits was put in place. He went on to say that each of the past industrial revolutions had a lengthy and straining effect not only on the jobs market but also on the livelihoods and the lives of many people in society.

In the past, machines effectively took over various types of jobs, which resulted in a hollowing out of the jobs market. What’s more, it left many people out of jobs for a long period, making it hard for them to make a living.

In turn, such a situation led to heightened social tensions, financial tensions and increased inequality in society. For Haldane, such issues represent the negative side of technological revolutions, which has always existed.

Citing past experiences, Haldane said that the hollowing out that is expected to come with the looming Fourth Industrial Revolution could be of a greater scale, especially with machines doing and thinking or rather replacing humans’ technical and cognitive skills.

Additionally, he said that job losses would be compensated for by the creation of new job opportunities as a new technological wave rose in society.

According to Haldane’s statement, he appears to be somewhat convinced that the scale of job losses that is likely to come with the impending industrial revolution will be much large compared to the first three industrial revolutions.

He added that the world would require much greater numbers of new job opportunities to be created in the future in a bid to prevent people from suffering from the dreaded longer-term feature dubbed technological unemployment.

Although this situation has not been experienced in the past, Haldane posed a question on whether it could happen in the future. Nevertheless, he asserted that job opportunities that are much more focused on various skills including human interaction, as well as face to face negotiation and conversation, would be most likely survive.

Unfortunately, he does not project manual jobs flourishing. In fact, he sees a situation whereby intelligent machines would phase them out as they can do such tasks efficiently, accurately and fast.

Source BBC

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