EXCLUSIVE: A Former Google Researcher Seth Stephens-Davidowitz Talks to USA Really About Technological Evolution of the Future in the World
RUSSIA, MOSCOW – August 10, 2018
During the open discussion "How new technologies are changing the State" by the Moscow Strelka Institute, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a former Google researcher, gave an exclusive interview with USA Really about the robotization as a technological evolution of the future.
In his view, computers give human beings more leisure, during robots will doing all our work.
"I think nobody would predict, what the job market would look like in 15-20 years, I think truck drivers would be no more because self-driven cars are just a matter of when," he said.
Yes, many people are gonna lose their jobs, Stephens-Davidowitz said, but "we will just be doing, you know, whatever we want...going on vacation and singing songs to each other."
"I think there are many areas, where computers might do a better job than humans, and, clearly, a lot of people are gonna lose their jobs. I think we should teach kids about it: we don't know what the job market is gonna look like," he noted.
But the problem remains that first people will lose their jobs, and secondly, mass degradation of the population can begin; robots will take their rightful places instead of teachers, doctors, cooks, drivers - these are professions that are now vital for many. Now, imagine that robots will work instead of them. Hundreds, or maybe millions of people can leave without work, and perhaps housing in the future. By the way, it also will be impossible to live in the pleasure because people won't have money.
We'll be taught by robots. Most likely, the faculties and departments of universities will remain, but at the end, you will only be able to be assistant teachers or doctors.
"Right now, I think, caring and social skills are really valuable in teaching and robots can't do it in the same way, but it's hard at that point to bet with the robots, because there are many things we thought computers would never be able to do, and it turns out they can do that," said Stephens-Davidowitz about it.
"There is no theoretical limit of how far the computers might go in their capabilities. It's just a matter of how good we are in programming, you know, what would be the tricks to make them better," he added.
But Stephens-Davidowitz reassured everyone that Humanities and work will remain. It is about journalists, historians, political scientists, philologists.
"I don't think we know how far AI and robotics might go, but, you know, journalists would still exist, I think they will, but maybe some kinds of journalism would be in an automated way, there already are services that use AI, like, sports journalism - they use algorithms after every game, writing about it...so to get the best way to report that story... The same is about historians and political scientists. Although the history now writes, too, by machines," he said.
Stephens-Davidowitz predicted that a large percent of the workforce would be already replaced by robots in the next ten years.
"Also like, a lot of American and Russian workforces, I’m sure, are truck drivers and UBER drivers and taxi drivers, so...it's not a problem, because it'd give human beings more leisure, I think we'd have robots doing all our work," he noted.
As for the downsides of such a prospect, we can say that people can lose not only their work but also themselves.
"I think it could be very dangerous, since you could imagine the first people who lose their jobs they wouldn’t know how to support themselves...and they have nothing to contribute to the economy, and then - the wealth gap would make it enormous...the robot technologies would control all the resources," he said.
People will have to accept this at first and continue to live in a new reality. It will be easy to adapt to it, he said, but it will take some time.
"I think it's exaggerated, many people hate their jobs, I think people can find other ways to get meaning in their lives, but I'm more concerned of displacement and a number of impoverished people," Stephens-Davidowitz concluded.