If A.I Comes for White Collar Jobs, Will Political Backlash Push Laws to End the Threat?

When the A.I bots come for you, will you care?  And if you do care, will you have any political power to get your government to protect you?  A discussion Michigan Radio looks at the ramifications of the spread of A.I and examines the potential fallout should A.I start to replace white collar workers.

When artificial intelligence comes for white collar jobs, will people revolt?

Kentaro Toyama, the W.K. Kellogg Associate Professor of Community Information at the University of Michigan School of Information, joined The Next Idea to discuss the future of artificial intelligence and his recent article in The Conversation.

On artificial intelligence replacing another tier of jobs

Toyama warns that artificial intelligence, which has already replaced a large number of jobs in our economy, will begin to replace highly-skilled white collar jobs, those that we typically think of as requiring a good education. Legal work, financial analysis, and even journalism are at risk, Toyama said.

“I certainly have students whose jobs, you know, ten, twenty years out might no longer exist,” he said.

On whether machines can truly replace humans

The limits of a computer’s abilities have been not only a technical debate for some time, but also a philosophical one. There are of course some limits on what computers can do, like feel emotion, but “unless you believe in supernatural forces even within human beings… there’s no reason why anything that you can think couldn’t ultimately be done by a computer,” Toyama said.

On why white-collar workers might successfully lobby politicians

Though automation displacement has been occurring for some time, it has mostly affected blue-collar workers, who are usually far removed from the politicians who could pass legislation to regulate automation. However, white-collar workers are often closely tied to politicians, whether through family, friendships, or contributions.

“Our politicians have brothers and sisters and daughters and sons who are from these ranks,” said Toyama.

Read Mor at Michigan Radio


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