Expert warns that office jobs could vanish by 2018.
Claims were made by CEO of UK artificial intelligence company, Celaton
He said clerical jobs could disappear completely in ‘less than five years’
People in sales, education and IT among the employees most at risk
By 2025, machines will be able to ‘learn and reprogramme themselves’
Hmm!! Matrix anyone?
According to artificial intelligence expert Andrew Anderson, machines can already automate tasks and learn to make decisions like humans and its only a matter of time before they replace office worker jobs completely. IBM, for example, is already using its supercomputer Watson (pictured) to answer customer service calls
Many of us already rely heavily on technology for everyday tasks, but the very technology we need to get through the day could soon be after our jobs – and the shift could happen much faster than we think.
Claims made by an expert in artificial intelligence predict that in less than five years, office jobs will disappear completely to the point where machines will replace humans.
The idea that robots will one day be able to do all low-skilled jobs is not new, but Andrew Anderson, CEO of UK artificial intelligence company, Celaton, said the pace of advance is much faster than originally thought.
‘I’m afraid it’s now a reality that most clerical workers will disappear. This has profound implications for jobs of course, but huge technological advancements are being made all the time and artificial intelligence (AI) has now become very sophisticated to the extent that it can think and learn like a human,’ he said.
AI, for example, can carry out labour intensive clerical tasks quickly and automatically, while the latest models are also capable of making decision that would traditionally be made by humans.
Anderson said his company had been assessing the industry and found that the pace of change was accelerating more rapidly than Government bodies and others had prepared for.
‘[AI] can read and understand the meaning of entire documents by learning the patterns of words and phrases in context. It’s this ability to learn – and learn from the natural consequence of processing documents – that is minimising the need for clerical workers to carry out these repetitive tasks.
‘The fact that a machine can not only carry out these tasks, but constantly learn how to do it better and faster, means clerical workers are no longer needed in the vast quantities they once were.’
For example, a machine can recognise duplicate claims filed to insurance companies by knowing it has seen a phone number or an address before.
More importantly, whenever human intervention is required, AI learns from this and therefore further reduces the dependency on clerical workers.
The case is already being seen with many online retailers using automated customer service agents.
Earlier this year, technology firm IBM turned its supercomputer Watson into a robot call centre.
The artificially intelligent computer system took on the role of a customer service manager called the Watson Engagement Advisor.
The service uses IBM’s Big Data Analytics technologies to gather data about customers and make sure the answers are best suited to them.
Watson can then personalise its responses based on the company, and the type of customer, for future calls too.
Robots are also used by the police and military as bomb-disposal experts, for example.
Earlier this year, students from Cornell University invented a robot that can fetch food and drinks, do the housework and carry out other everyday tasks.
While researchers from Bielefeld University built a robotic barman called Joint Action in Multimodal Embodied Systems, or JAMES for short.
But this advantage can come at a cost. According to a report filed last year by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the greatest loss of jobs between 2010 and 2020 is predicted for administrative, clerical and secretarial occupations.
This is set to amount to 387,000 jobs.
Mr Anderson continued: ‘AI is sophisticated enough to know if a correspondence is a complaint and then how important it is. For some people this is difficult to believe which is why we have to demonstrate it live. Seeing is believing after all.
‘The perception of ‘too good to be true’ is diminishing as more companies adopt AI to accelerate and improve profitability, customer service and shareholder value.
Anderson added that AI was a ‘game changer’ and although it could affect jobs, there were much greater benefits for the customers.
Machines can significantly increase productivity and therefore reduce costs. They can improve customer service, compliance, scale and efficiency.
Independent AI expert, Massimo Barbato – who wrote Thinking Beyond Limitation which explores the impact of technologies on everyday life – agreed.
‘While it was once mainly lower-skilled jobs squeezed by new technology, AI could undercut the ‘knowledge’ professional.
‘By 2025, machines will be able to learn, adjust, exercise judgement, and re-programme themselves.
‘The hardest hit would be professionals working in sales, education, healthcare, IT, management, finance and law – knowledge-based jobs, where analytics tools, mobile internet devices, apps or web-based services such as the cloud can be developed to outperform humans.’
Are you scared or worried yet? You should be!!!
So far corporations have moved manufacturing jobs all over the world taking jobs away from workers in NORTH AMERICA. We were told not to worry because more jobs would open up in office type jobs; now we are told that robots will take those jobs. So what do people do for jobs now? A question to all the corporations out there. Who the f%*k is going to be able to buy anything? If robot computers will be able to program themselves, there won’t even be computer jobs. Does that mean that North America will eventually become a socialist country? After all what is there left? We can all plug in and join the world of the Matrix or we can become like the Eloi in THE TIME MACHINE. Will we eventually be run and controlled by robots? Stuff of science fiction? Sure as hell doesn’t seem like it. Stick our heads between our legs and kiss our ass goodbye. We are cooked and done.
A robot developed by researchers from Cornell University uses Kinect sensors, 3D cameras and a database of household task videos to anticipate their owner’s needs. For example, it scans the surrounding area for clues and when it spots an empty beer bottle, can open the fridge, pick up a full bottle of beer and hand it to its owner