Most tech companies are pumping engineers, man hours, and technology and man hours into Deep Learning and AI technology - but will it eventually result in tens of millions of job losses across the world? Yes, yes it will - according to Kai-Fu Lee, the founder of venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures. Lee is also a leading voice on technology in China.
Lee recently spoke with CNBC, where he said that AI is the "singular thing that will be larger than all of human tech revolutions added together, including electricity, [the] industrial revolution, internet, mobile internet - because AI is pervasive". Amazingly scary words, but also very exciting. Lee added that "It is the decision engine that will replace people". It was only recently that I reported that AI engineers had left the grip of Google, moving into the most secretive AI startup on the planet - probably Skynet, I guess.
Lee said that his firm has invested millions of dollars into AI companies that are capable of recognizing 3 million faces simultaneously, or pumping out loans in less than 8 seconds. He added: "These are things that are superhuman, and we think this will be in every industry, will probably replace 50 percent of human jobs, create a huge amount of wealth for mankind and wipe out poverty".
He expects this massive change to roll through in the next 10 years, but creating a "huge amount of wealth for mankind", I can see - but at what cost? Also, wiping out poverty sounds good on paper - but how will AI help that exactly, when there's rampant corruption in the countries where poverty levels are the highest - AI would need to overcome a lot of obstacles that the smartest people in the world can't figure out because of societal problems, not just mathematical equations.
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