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New book explores how to ensure AI has a positive impact on individuals, society, industries, business, the economy, and jobs

‘Beyond Genuine Stupidity - Ensuring AI Serves Humanity’

Published on 27th November, ‘Beyond Genuine Stupidity - Ensuring AI Serves Humanity’ is the new book from Fast Future Publishing. It explores how Artificial Intelligence (AI) could have impacts across every aspect of our world – highlighting practical strategies to ensure a positive overall impact for humanity.

‘Beyond Genuine Stupidity - Ensuring AI Serves Humanity’ explores critical emerging issues arising from the rapid pace of development in Artificial Intelligence. The authors argue for a forward looking and conscious approach to the development and deployment of AI to ensure that it genuinely serves humanity's best interest. Through a series of articles, they present a compelling case to get beyond the genuine stupidity of narrow, short-term, and alarmist thinking and look at AI from a long-term, holistic perspective. 

The reality is that AI will almost certainly impact current sectors and jobs - and hopefully enable new ones. A smart approach requires us to think about and experiment with strategies for adopting and absorbing the impacts of AI, encompassing education systems, reskilling the workforce, unemployment and guaranteed basic incomes, robot taxes, job creation, encouraging new ventures, research and development to enable tomorrow's industries, and dealing with the mental health impacts.

The book explores the potential impacts on sectors ranging from healthcare and automotive to legal and education. The implications for business itself are also examined from leadership and HR to sales and business ethics.

“The media is full of dire warnings that ‘the robots are coming’, implying that you should lock up your knowledge and protect your job at all costs! The apocalyptic forecasts suggest artificial intelligence and robotics, combined with other disruptive technologies, could eliminate the need for humans in the workplace. We wanted to get beyond the hype and explore possible scenarios of how AI might impact us and discuss what can be done now to ensure a positive outcome for humanity.” explains lead author Rohit Talwar.

Co-author Steve Wells says “Alongside the techno-pessimists, there are equally sceptical voices rubbishing the idea that anything drastic will happen. They cite previous industrial revolutions as proof that new jobs will emerge to fill any gaps created by the automation of existing ones. In practice, no one really knows how quickly AI might eliminate jobs or what the employment needs will be of the future businesses and industries that have not yet been born. We wanted to explore the new opportunities that could arise once we release people from the more routine aspects of their work.”

Ultimately, today’s business leaders acknowledge that the robots are coming; it is just that we don’t know where they may have their biggest impacts.  Productivity is expected to rise, but what will it mean for actual employee performance, satisfaction and engagement?  How will customer service be different in the AI-powered workforce of the future?  What is the role of education and job training in a world with constant fluctuations in business models?  To stay ahead of the game, mental exercises like constructing scenarios can provide insights that challenge the ‘expected’ future and open doors to exciting new images of progress. Visions of the future are empowering tools at a time when drastic changes are afoot and uncertainty is high. They can help us prepare organisations and individuals for a range of possibilities and rehearsing the future also helps reduce the shock factor when the more radical developments do play out.  

“What we do know is that AI is one of the key exponentially improving technologies shaping both the workplace of the future and the roles that will be available for humans and machines.  Some forecasts suggest that by 2030, up to half of all jobs could be replaced by robotic or AI workers. Elon Musk - the real world ‘Tony Stark’ and technology entrepreneur behind Tesla, Hyperloop and many other disruptive new ventures – believes that robots will outperform humans in every field of activity far faster than we can imagine.   Others such as the OECD predict that for every new job created, three will disappear through automation. We wanted to get readers thinking about the scale of possible impacts and alternatives routes we might take to ensure the technology serves humanity.”  says co-author Alexandra Whittington.

Talwar concludes that “The future is not a statistic.  Whilst the cataclysmic ‘replaced by robots’ warnings may well be overstated in the short term, the pace of change will inevitably quicken – a number of job roles are already being transformed by AI technologies in the workplace.  Indeed, some jobs could be eliminated entirely while other new work roles will be created.  Whether eliminated or transformed, one reasonable take-away remains:  AI is recalibrating the division of labour between humans and technology.  To help put the potential changes in an everyday context, in the book we identify 20 currently human job roles that could be transformed or eliminated completely by the use AI and robotics over the period from 2020 to 2030.”

‘Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity’ is published by Fast Future Publishing on 27th November 2017. For more information see: www.fastfuture.com .