This week I attended a webinar, AI in Business: Myths, Reality, and How to Reap Value, with Philipp Gerbert from Boston Consulting Group. (I think you can still watch the video if you register.) For the most part, you could just read this and get the gist of it: Artificial Intelligence in Business Gets Real, a research report based on surveys and interviews with executives in businesses employing (or trying to employ or thinking about employing, etc.) AI.
There were two lines from the presentation that caught my ear:
- Do you fear that some of your tasks will be automated, or hope that some of your tasks will be automated?
- During this reskilling, what's the responsibility of the individual? What's the responsibility of the company? What's the responsibility of society?
The first one I understand. If the robots are coming for your job, learn how to make the robots that are coming for your job, then let them have it, and go on to do something else. The things you can automate at work are often not the things you wanted to be doing anyway.
The second one is a different variation on the question of what to do with people that are going to be displaced by AI. In the US, of course, there is a tendency toward the individual and her/his own problems to sort out. But there are multiple responsible parties in the game. If a mass of people get turned out of work (I doubt that will happen to the extent that the hype suggests), then the problems will be larger than the sum of the individuals who have them. Better to consider that before it happens.
A few other references mentioned:
- Philipp Gerbert, Sukand Ramachandran, Jan-Hinnerk Mohr , and Michael Spira. The Big Leap Toward AI at Scale. Boston Consulting Group. 2018-06-13.
- Philipp Gerbert. AI and the 'Augmentation' Fallacy. MIT Sloan Management Review. 2018-05-16.
- Philipp Gerbert, Martin Reeves, Sam Ransbotham, David Kiron, and Michael Spira. Global Competition With AI in Business: How China Differs. MIT Sloan Management Review. 2018-07-24.