President Obama Has a Bleak Prediction on Artificial Intelligence
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President Obama Has a Bleak Prediction on Artificial Intelligence

You may still think of artificial intelligence (AI) as belonging only in sci-fi movies, but the fact is it’s very much alive and well in our world. Well — not exactly alive. But, you know. It exists. One big example is self-driving cars, but there are many other areas where AI is present as well.

President Obama recently had an interview with Wired about the perils of AI, and his outlook was kinda bleak. He fears that the rapid growth of AI will displace lots of jobs, and not just the ones we think: even doctors and other high-skilled professionals aren’t necessarily safe. The reason for this is that a lot of the jobs we regard as high-level have tasks that are easily repeatable. In other words, tasks that a computer could easily pull off. According to our POTUS, in order for us to stop underpaying those who have a super hard job that computers can’t do well, like teachers and other professionals, we have to “reexamine what we value; what we are collectively willing to pay for.”

However, the President’s predictions aren’t all bad. Our POTUS says, “I tend to be on the optimistic side — historically we’ve absorbed new technologies, and people find that new jobs are created, they migrate, and our standards of living generally go up.” While times are changing, thanks to AI and technology in general, he says, “High-skill folks do very well in these systems. They can leverage their talents, they can interface with machines to extend their reach, their sales, their products and services.”

So it’s not exactly Y2K that we’re dealing with here. By working together and staying creative in our approach to problems, we can ensure that the kind of morality unique to humans isn’t overrun by AI’s abilities but lack of conscience. Since AI can only exist if we create it, we still have the power.

What do you think about the future of AI? Is it friend or deadly foe? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(h/t Wired, photos via Getty + Chip Somodevilla/Getty, Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty)