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Artificial Intelligence Will Not Take Up Half of Our Employment

Artificial Intelligence Will Not Take Up Half of Our Employment

There have been some alarming reports recently about the possibility of artificial intelligence leaving half of the world potentially unemployed. Recent research shows that within 30 years, robots will be in a position to perform almost all jobs that are held by humans right now. A recent detailed study from the Martin Oxford School has speculated that approximately 47 percent of U.S. jobs are at risk of automation. As there may be some truth in this report, it is not likely that half of the world’s jobs will be taken by machines in 30 years. Here’s why:

Jobs still require human input

The Martin Oxford School’s report didn’t estimate the total number of jobs facing the risk of automation. Additionally, some of the jobs facing the risk of automation might not be automated because of technical, societal and economical reasons.

For instance, an airline pilot may be a very easy job to automate. This is because computers fly planes most of the time. However, people will still need the reassurance of a human pilot on their plane.

Similarly, the Oxford report estimates a 92 percent probability of bicycle repairing being automated. However, automating this kind of a job can prove to be very difficult and expensive, making automation uneconomical.

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Technology can create employment

It is prudent to put into consideration how much working weeks will change in the coming decades. Most developed countries have witnessed the total number of work per week hours decreasing significantly since the industrial revolution began.

For instance, the average working week in the U.S. has reduced from approximately 60 hours to only 33.

Some other developed countries like Germany have even shown lower working hours per week.

This makes it harder to predict the number of people facing the risk of unemployment in the coming decades.

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Other reports show that by 2050, nearly half of the jobs held by people today will be lost to robots. Additionally, the machines will be able to perform most of these jobs faster and better compared to humans.

According to professionals, the world is headed toward a time when robots will outperform humans in almost all tasks.

However, experts advise of the importance of confronting this danger before it really takes place.

If robots are able to do all the work done by humans today, people need to find out what they can do about this. If machines take over for humans, humanity might face its biggest test ever, which is uncovering the true what it really means to be a person.

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Some reports have shown that the pace at which artificial intelligence is progressing is increasing by the day. Therefore, people need to find out how they can deal with this reality fast.

Additionally, technology has progressively been driving up inequality in incomes as the total number of white collar jobs is increasing.

Soldiers, drivers, and waiters could have themselves replaced by machines in the coming years. Last year, artificial intelligence reports predicted that the total number of service androids could hit the 31 million mark by 2018.

Conclusion

Artificial Intelligence has been showing some invaluable progress over the past years, and it might soon take over drivers’, waiters’ and soldiers’ jobs.

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Although machines may eliminate the need to have human input in workplaces, professionals have predicted that technology will create additional opportunities for people.

Additionally, it will increase a person’s ability to perform on the job. But there is need to learn new skills to ensure that people fit in the new job market.

Most importantly, people should figure out what they will do in case their job is taken over by robots, as experts foresee the possibility of artificial intelligence causing more disparities in income distribution and a significant decline in blue collar jobs.

More by this author

Vivian Michaels

DM Expert and Technology Adviser

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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