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Experts say AI could replace 80 per cent of human jobs in the ‘next few years’


Artificial intelligence could replace 80 percent of human jobs in the coming years — but that’s a good thing, says Brazilian-American researcher Ben Gurtzl, a leading AI expert.

Renowned mathematician, cognitive scientist, and robot innovator Guertzl, 56, is the founder and CEO of SingularityNET, a research group he launched to create “artificial general intelligence,” or AGI — artificial intelligence with human cognitive capabilities.

With his long hair and leopard-print cowboy hat, Guertzl was in a provocative pose last week at the Web Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the world’s largest annual tech conference, telling AFP in an interview that AGI is only years away and speaking out against it. Recent efforts to curtail AI research.

with human intelligence?

Q: How far are we from artificial intelligence with human cognitive capabilities?

“If we want machines to be truly as intelligent as people and agile in dealing with the unknown, then they have to be able to take great leaps beyond being trained and programmed. And we’re not there yet. But I think there’s reason to think we’re years rather than decades from there.” to there “.

The dangers of artificial intelligence

Q: What do you think of the controversy surrounding AI such as ChatGPT and its risks? Should we stop researching for six months, as some advocate?

“I don’t think we should pause it because it’s such a dangerous superintelligence… These are very interesting AI systems, but they’re not able to become like general intelligence on a human level, because they can’t do several complex things. Thinking stage, like You need to do the science They can’t invent wild new things outside of their training data.

“They can also spread misinformation, and people are saying we should pause them because of this. It’s very strange to me. Why haven’t we banned the internet? The internet does exactly this. It gives you more information at your fingertips. It spreads nonsense and misinformation.”

“I think we should have a free society. And just as the Internet shouldn’t be banned, we shouldn’t ban it.”

A threat to jobs

Q: Isn’t their ability to replace people’s jobs a threat?

“You could probably eliminate 80 percent of the jobs that people do, without getting AI general, I guess. Not quite with ChatGPT as a product. But with systems of this sort, which will follow in the next few years.”

“I don’t think it’s a threat. I think it’s helpful. People can find better things about their lives than working for a living… pretty much every job that involves paperwork should be automable.”

“The problem I see is in the interim period, when AI systems eliminate one human job after another… I don’t know how to (solve) all the social issues.”

Advantages of artificial intelligence

Q: What can robots do for society today, and what can they do in the future, if artificial general intelligence is achieved?

“You can do a lot of good with AI.

Like Grace (a robot nurse) we showed at Web Summit Rio. In the US, a lot of seniors sit alone in seniors’ homes. And they’re not bad in terms of physical condition – you have medical care, food, big screen TV – but they’re bad in terms of support. Emotional and social.So if you inject humanoid bots into it, that will answer your questions, listen to your stories, help you place a call with the kids or order something online, you’re improving people’s lives.Once you get to AI, they’ll become better mates.

“In this case, you’re not eliminating human jobs. Basically, there aren’t enough people who want to do nursing and nursing jobs.

“I think education would also be a great market for humanoid robots, as well as local help.”


Q: What regulations do we need for AI to have a positive impact?

“What you need is for society to develop these AI systems to do good things. And for the management of AI systems to be in some way participatory among the population. All of these things are technically possible. The problem is that the companies that fund most of the AI ​​research don’t care about doing the good things.” They care about maximizing shareholder value.”

(This story has not been edited by the NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.