Robots could make humans redundant before 2050
Robots are getting more and more sophisticated, and now it looks like they’ll be taking our jobs in our lifetime. According to Moshe Vardi, professor of computational engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas, AI developments in financial services, self-driving cars and self-driving drones mean robots will soon be better at certain jobs than us.
The comments came at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, and they’re a rather worrying prediction for the future. “We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task. I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us,” Professor Vardi said.
“I do believe that, by 2045, machines will be able to do a very significant fraction of the work a man can do,” he said. “You hear about the Google Car. There are millions of people who make a living from driving, like bus drivers and taxi drivers. What kind of jobs are going to replace them? 10% of jobs in the US involve operating a vehicle. Many of these jobs will disappear.”
Leisure or boredom?
It looks like the future could hold two distinct possibilities for mankind. On one hand, humans could feel liberated by their freedom and work at creative things robots can’t do – yet. But, Vardi thinks this idleness will lead to restlessness, unemployment and a bleak future for humankind.
“I do not find this a promising future, as I do not find the prospect of leisure-only life appealing. I believe work is essential to human well-being,” said Vardi. “We need to rise to the occasion and meet its challenge. It’s going to be one of the biggest policy issues of the next 25 years, and yet we’re in a [US] election year and nowhere is this a policy issue.”