Newshub decided to do an “AI” piece today. Expect much more of this kind of “filler” piece. They will go thus… “X says AI will take all our jobs, Y says AI will save us.”
These pieces are about as well informed and informing as a lump of 4×2 – good for propping up a slow news day, but not much else. The “more compassionate and moral than NZers” message (which comes from Y) type statement that was made is utter nonsense. AI is just a name we give to the software of machines – AI don’t have compassion or morals. If they appear to, that is simply because they are reflecting the data we feed them… human data with all its flaws.
Yes, there is change coming because of this technology. In the past we have been particularly poor at predicting what the future will look like and I think this time the possibilities are far too numerous and complex for us to predict what will be. Statements like “30-50% of people will lose their jobs” (said X) are simply guesses because there is no precedent on which to base the numbers. All the reports talk about truck drivers and accountants losing jobs and not a lot else. They are shallow – and probably necessarily so – because we just can’t anticipate what creative people may come up with for this technology. Having said that, I must admit I just am not sure what to advise my children (as if they’d take it). Should they all learn to code? Maybe not, as most interaction with machines may not be via coding languages. Should they become artisans for niche markets where the technology doesn’t penetrate? Maybe for some, but not for all.
I think that perhaps the best we can do is to encourage what enhances creativity and resilience to, or even better a flourishing with, change. It is my hope that flourish with change will become the mantra not just the next generation, but for all current generations, for how we determine to approach the coming changes is likely as important to the well being of our society as the changes themselves.