World’s top CEOs are still unsure whether Artificial Intelligence will displace more jobs than it creates

  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution is well underway and it seems the train has already left the station.
  • An Overseas Development Institute report states by 2034 it will be cheaper for robots in the US to manufacture furniture than for instance carpenters along Kenya’s capital along Ngong Road.
  • During the WEF 2019, there were 11 public sessions on Artificial Inteligence, the most of any topic.

The World Economic Forum forecasts a net loss of over 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies to Artificial Intelligence worldwide by 2020.

An Overseas Development Institute report prediction on the impact of Artificial Intelligence is neither so comforting.

The report states that by 2034 it will be cheaper for robots in the US to manufacture furniture than for instance carpenters along Kenya’s capital along Ngong Road.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is well underway and it seems the train has already left the station.

It is therefore understandable why the topic was on top of every CEO and executives during the recently concluded annual World Economic Forum, 2019 held in Davos, Switzerland.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has replaced blockchain as the big conversation for executives, second only to US-China trade.

During the WEF 2019, there were 11 public sessions on AI, the most of any topic.

Eighty-five per cent of chief executives thought that AI and machine learning from huge data sets would dramatically change their business over the next five years, according to a PwC report.

But when asked if AI will displace more jobs than it creates, CEOs sat on the fence: 49% think yes, 41% no and 10% don’t know.

Whether China was on track to surpass the US in AI development was also a big debate. Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman and AI Superpowers author Kai-Fu Lee both thought it likely.

The bottom line is this: if companies don’t shape their own “ethical” standards, they are likely to have them thrust upon them.

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