Artificial Intelligence: Nearly nine million British jobs could be lost to AI by 2030?

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Nearly nine million British jobs could be destroyed over the next two decades (and proportionately similar numbers in the other developed nations, for example USA, Canada, Germany, Japan, we must assume,) as robots and Artificial Intelligence displace human workers. People working in retail, manufacturing and business support services are most at risk, figures released by The Department Of Work and Pensions reveal. But government ministers said regions across Britain are prepared for the challenge posed by robots and are in the process of creating jobs which are at lower risk from AI. Employment Minister Alok Sharma told The Daily Mail website MailOnline: “Every industrial revolution has eventually resulted in more jobs being created than lost in the economy.”

The minister added, “Whilst jobs which can be automated are currently most at risk from the impact of robots, jobs which require more cognitive and people skills are on the increase. This means that our jobs market is absorbing the impact of robots and more people are in work than ever before. And as companies look to technology to boost productivity, this can be an opportunity for a generation of workers who, armed with new skills, can enjoy the jobs of the future. That is why I am determined to make sure we are investing in retraining opportunities, allowing people to forge new careers.”

Tech enthusiasts dismiss this, saying that the next generation of robots will have human like intelligence and be capable of carrying out and task a human can. If nothing else the figures lay bare the massive change to Britain’s industrial landscape which looms on the horizon thanks to AI and ought to make politicians aware they need to start planning for the social consequences of this rather than pandering to the tech corporations, most of which have proved irresponsible and ethically dysfunctional.

While governments are offering corporate businesses tax breaks and other incentives to adopt technology to boost productivity they are not thinking about the downside. “This can be an opportunity for a generation of workers who, armed with new skills, can enjoy the jobs of the future,” one politician smarmed.

As usual where “science and technology” are involved, they hype is far outstripping the reality. Artificial Intelligence is a meaningless term bandied about by tech wankers for sixty years and yet we are no nearer to creating a truly intelligent computer now than we were then. As you read this page think for a moment that a computer can be loaded with all the words on this page and detained definitions for each. And then you can enter a command to make the computer parse these words. And at the end of the task the computer will have no more idea what the page is about than a similar machine that has been wiped clean of all its data, siftware and firmware.

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