While everyone is gushing about Artificial intelligence and the promise it holds for the future, Chinese millionaire and founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma has attempted to pull the world's focus towards one of the most severe impacts that technologies like AI are going to have on the mankind. While addressing an entrepreneurship conference in China about the job disruptions that would be created as a result of automation and the internet, Ma shared that he believes that three decades down the line Artificial intelligence and other technologies will be causing people “more pain than happiness."

Ma Yun, who is known professionally as Jack Ma, is a Chinese business magnate who is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a family of successful Internet-based businesses. According to Jack Ma, social conflicts in the next thirty years will result on having an impact on all sorts of industries and walks of life. He added that a key social conflict will be the rise of artificial intelligence and longer life expectancy, which will further result in an ageing workforce fighting it out with each other for fewer jobs.

Coming from Ma, who is usually optimistic in his candour, the statement drew much more attention. According to experts, Ma made the statement so as to draw businesses focus towards adapting or facing the problems that lie ahead in the future. Ma even shared that when fifteen years ago he made a similar observation about the impact e-commerce is going to have on traditional retailers, only a few people cared to listen and act but he's hopeful that since now he's much more well-known name, people will think about what he has said and a few of them will even act accordingly.

Ma's statement about automation and unemployment resonates with a number of current studies that have suggested that automation will result in elimination of jobs which would inadvertently make lives difficult for a large number of population. According to a shocking Forrester study, 7 per cent of all jobs in the United States would be eliminated by the year 2025. The report further added that the job displacement process is going to begin with customer service representatives and will eventually end up moving to truck and taxi drivers.

Current technologies available in the field includes the popular voice assistants technologies like Siri, Cortana, Google Now and Alexa, as well as automated robotic systems and chatbots. For now, the above scenario with these technologies might seem far-fetched but with the pace at which the technological world is advancing, there's a huge possibility that five years down the line all the aforementioned technologies will be making decisions in fact better decisions on the behalf of the human population in more complex scenarios. This will eventually lead to mass adoption of breakthroughs, such as the self-driving cars etc.

Ma also joked that 30 years from now the Time magazine cover for the best CEO of the year is most likely to be a robot as robots will be able to do calculations more quickly and rationally than humans. Additionally, they won't get affected by human emotions such as anger, sympathy or happiness.

He also advised the business leaders who aren't aware or those who do not understand the concept of cloud computing and artificial intelligence to identify a young individual in their company who could teach them about the necessity of these concepts for the upward trajectory of a business in today's world.

According to Ma, while understanding the importance of these concepts is important but one should make sure that “machines should only do what humans cannot." He believes that, "only in this way can we have the opportunities to keep machines as working partners with humans, rather than as replacements.”

[Top Image: makeuseof.com]

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