Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Will the AI crisis replace the faltering Climate Crisis?
Keep humans in good jobs in the robot era, ILO commission urges
JANUARY 23, 2019
GENEVA (Reuters) – Governments must ensure the global economy keeps providing decent jobs – and not just for robots, a global commission set up by the International Labour Organization said on Tuesday.
The “Global Commission on the Future of Work”, co-chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, said in a report that governments, employers and unions needed to adapt to revolutionary changes in the world of work.
“In short, the future of our societies depends on how we deal with the challenges and opportunities related to the world of work, we need to reorient policies as well as actions to deliver a human-centred agenda, which is what this report basically focuses on,” Ramaphosa told a news conference.
He said one of the questions raised most often about the future of work is: “Will my job be lost to a robot?” but the commission preferred not to take a binary view of technology in which “it’s us or them”.
“The future of employment is not going to be determined alone by the autonomous forward march of technology and technologies. It depends on policy,” Ryder said.
Depending on policy choices, technology could create positive outcomes for jobs and societies, or lead to what Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel had called 19th century-style “digital day laborers”, he said.
“We have to make the right policy choices to put humans in control of the forward application of technology.”
What frightens you more? The possibility that our gradually warming climate might cause devastating problems in the near future? Or the possibility that your kids and grandchildren might struggle to find a job, in a near future economy dominated by artificial intelligence and advanced robot technology?
Hollywood has helped prepare the way for the new AI scare.
Consider all the terrifying AI movies which have hit the big screen, ranging from the Terminator series, to Transcendence, Eagle Eye, even movies like Passengers (the AI refuses to accept there is something seriously wrong) – its a long list.
Contrast all these movies to the terrifying climate movies you haven’t seen. I mean, the author of Game of Thrones admitted the White Walkers are a metaphor for dangerous climate change. And there’s always “The Day After Tomorrow“. But memorable climate scare movies are few and far between.
The climate crisis is done. Nobody takes Paris seriously. Asia is building coal stations at an astounding rate. Even the French discovered it is impossible to implement a significant carbon tax without triggering major street riots.
The AI crisis is fresh and dangerous, it is coming for your job and your children’s future. Vote yes to pay more taxes to properly regulate and contain this growing menace.