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AI replacing jobs – is this good or bad?

A future in which human workers are replaced by a machine is now a reality at Fukoku Mutual Life – an insurance firm in Japan. Employees are being laid off and replaced with  IBMs ‘Watson” Explorer” – an artificial intelligence system that can calculate payouts to policyholders.

Watson  possesses cognitive technology that can think like a human, enabling it to analyze and interpret all of your data, including unstructured text, images, audio and video.

The technology will be able to read tens of thousands of medical certificates and factor in the length of hospital stays, medical histories and any surgical procedures before calculating payouts.

Fukoku believes it will increase productivity by 30% and see a return on its investment in less than two years. The firm said it would save about $1.25 million a year after the $1.6 million AI system is installed this month. Maintaining it will cost about 15m yen $125,000 a year.

Automation and AI is replacing process and analytical  jobs in recruitment, the legal profession, restaurants, airports, supermarkets, transport (self driving cars and  drones), the 45,000 robots installed by Amazon, motor manufacturing becoming almost totally automated and the list goes on. In the USA trade and industry ministry will introduce Watson  to help civil servants draft answers for ministers during cabinet meetings and parliamentary sessions. 

At the BBG Conference in Sydney, futurist,  Craig Rispin shared how Watson is helping legal firms create and analyse contracts – replacing the need for paralegals. 

At the I4J conference in Washington in November, Bill Foster, the Rocket Scientist Physicist Congressman shared USA Congress concern  that by 2030 it is forecasted that with the help of AI, 15% of the current workforce will be able to provide all needs of the current workforce, and applauded I4J with grappling the problem.

What will the other 85% of the humans do to pass the time and earn a living? Do they need to? Is the old economy changing to a gig economy? Will it be necessary for them to ” earn a living” – Will  there be another way to survive? Maybe a better way? Where people will go to work because they want to – where they can find a way to add value to their fellow humans.

A new social and economic structure for society will be needed and soon! This is an exciting time to be in planet earth!! 

Posted on January 13, 2017

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