With A.I. advancing rapidly, many are saying the robot revolution will have the greatest impact of any yet seen, so should you be afraid of A.I.
Even in China, the land of the low-paid factory worker, robots are quietly taking over from their human counterparts.
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China has now overtaken Japan for having more robots than anywhere else in the world. The Chinese government is concerned about an ageing population and the rising cost of human labour making Chinese products less competitive.
It is giving over $100 Billion in subsidies for companies to replace more human workers with robots. It’s hoped that the workers that will no longer work in the factories will move to the growing service sector, in part to help look after the ageing population.
Countries In the west have already lost large numbers of manufacturing jobs to china but we shouldn’t get too smug about our white-collar jobs in high tech, administration, clerical and production being safe from A.I. systems in the future.
A report from the Bank of England has warned that up to 50% of the workforce in the UK and US could be at risk of been replaced by Artificial Intelligence of some form over the next 10 to 20 years.
Even highly skilled jobs such as doctors and lawyers are at risk as A.I. becomes increasing sophisticated.
IBM’s Watson, the A.I computer that beat the human champions at Jeopardy in 2011 is one such system. In research carried out by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine using IBM’s Watson Artificial Intelligence system, it was found that in a test based on 1000 cancer diagnoses, Watson recommended the same treatment as highly trained oncologists 99% of the time.
In fact, due to Watsons ability to read and digest thousands of documents in minutes and have access to all the latest research papers and clinical trials, it found treatment options for 30% of the cases that were missed by the human doctors.
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