A computational engineer has warned that artificial intelligence could leave half the world unemployed within 30 years, and that he fears for the psyche of the human race, asking, “what can humans do when machines can do almost everything?”
“We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task,” Moshe Vardi, a professor at Rice University in Houston, Texas, told attendees of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference, The Guardian reports. “I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us: if machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?”
Eminent figures in science and technology, including Tesla and SpaceX’s Elon Musk, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and physicist Professor Stephen Hawking, have expressed their fear over the rise of artificial intelligence. Musk has called AI “our biggest existential threat”.
“I do not find this a promising future, as I do not find the prospect of leisure-only life appealing,” Vardi added. “I believe that work is essential to human wellbeing.”
Vardi predicts that AI will only exacerbate the global economic downturn, and that few human professions will be immune. “Are you going to bet against sex robots? I would not,” he pondered.