Unveiling the Dark Side of Artificial Intelligence in the Job Market

The advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is getting everyone super excited. Many are imagining how AI will be able to assist or even simplify their everyday activities. Computer scientists all around the World are racing to produce the best algorithm to aid humans in their daily chores.

It was eye-opening when China held the recent World Robot Conference 2023 in Beijing (World Robot Conference, 2023). The event was held for seven days, and more than 160 companies with more than 600 robots were displayed during the conference. With the advancement of such technologies, the most prevalent concern surrounding AI is the potential for widespread job displacement and automation.

AI has the ability to excel in common tasks, for example, performing routine and repetitive tasks. They are able to perform such tasks more efficiently as compared to humans. This will indirectly lead to the automation of jobs across various industries. If this trend continues, jobs that involve data entry, customer service, and basic analysis are particularly vulnerable. For example, Chatbots and virtual assistants are rapidly replacing humans and are able to handle customer inquiries efficiently. This task can be done with little human intervention. In the coming future, many individuals’ rice bowls will be affected, further worsening the current unemployment situation worldwide and creating income instability.

In the recent World Robot Conference 2023, Dreame Technology, an innovative company with the vision to “enhance the living quality of global users”, showcased their barista robot. This robot is able to prepare a cup of delicious coffee, and it is fully equipped with coffee art. This latest product by Dreame Technology promises to bring coffee preparation to a new level. The main question is whether human baristas will still play a significant role in the future.

Another breakthrough in the World of technology is self-driving cars. Some of the major players in this industry are General Motors, Uber Technologies and Tesla. With the introduction of self-driving vehicles, many human-caused road accidents can now be avoided. One of the major root causes of road accidents is human factors, including inattention, fatigue and microsleep, incorrect assessment of the situation, high speed and non-adjustment of driving. All of these issues can be avoided with the introduction of self-driving cars. Take Tesla for example. They have tested their products with more than 160000 consumers, and recently, Tesla introduced their beta self-driving car models, which include enhanced autopilot and full self-driving capability features (Tesla, 2023). With such technology, driving around the city or long-distance travelling is just a cruise in the park. But this will indirectly impact the lives of taxi, bus, and lorry drivers. In the years to come, such occupations might no longer need human intervention as AI systems will replace humans.

In a nutshell, AI can be seen as a double-edged sword. It brings humans a vast number of advantages, but it can also cause much devastation. It depends on how we utilise this technology for the benefit of humanity or as a mouse trap for human beings. Something for us to ponder: we humans need to anticipate the potential consequences, as seen in the recent 20th Century Studios film ‘The Creator,’ and ensure responsible use of AI to avoid a future we wouldn’t desire.

About the Author:

Programme Leader, School of Information Technology, SEGi College Penang

Eric Kong Kok Wah is an accomplished academic with a solid educational foundation, holding a Master’s degree in Computer Science with a specialisation in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Malaysia Terengganu (UMT). With a career spanning over 14 years, Eric has dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the field of education since 2009. As a seasoned lecturer, he possesses wide-ranging expertise, encompassing various courses that lead to certificates, diplomas, and full-fledged degrees. Within the dynamic realm of Artificial Intelligence, Eric’s unwavering passion is firmly rooted in the captivating domains of image processing and segmentation. His extensive knowledge and experience in these areas underscore his steadfast commitment to advancing the field.




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