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Archive for January 2021

Is developing robots that replace existing jobs unethical?

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A very tough question. Before we delve into it, let us look at the technology trends for 2021:

  • Artificial Intelligence 
  • Business automation and robotics
  • Enterprise risk management
  • Human experience and productivity
  • New computer architectures 
  • Next-generation communications
  •  Zero Trust security

As noted above, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Automation and Robotics still tops the list.

The big theme on AI seems to be on ethical AI. It is easier to actually define unethical AI and then simply define ethical AI to be AI that is not unethical. What is unethical AI? Using AI to hack into personal information, interfere with others, modify data to match goals … there is no end to this list. But one item on the list will prove to be very conflicting: taking away jobs. For decades computers have taken away routine jobs. With digital robots powered by AI, this trend will only accelerate. For example, up to¬†20 million¬†manufacturing jobs around the world could be replaced by robots by 2030, according to analysis firm Oxford Economics. People displaced from those jobs are likely to find that comparable roles in the services sector have also been squeezed by automation

The sound argument against is that automation has freed up people taking them away from routine tasks to become creators and innovators. Analysts state that for every job technology takes away from people, it creates two jobs. To date this prediction has held ground. However, despite these 2:1 employment gains from technology, there is an issue of redistribution of jobs that have left many behind creating a digital divide. In fact some even attribute the recent polarization in America to the digital divide. The solution is simple but very difficult to implement – education. Many large entities like Amazon, Google and Microsoft have taken the lead in supporting this transformation. Not just the big players, but even the smaller firms should play a big part in narrowing the digital divide.

Written by Subbu Murthy

January 5, 2021 at 11:36 am

Posted in IT Governance