Subscribe to DSC Newsletter

AI superpowers – for people and jobs

 

Introduction

In this post, I argue that

  • The idea of AI Superpowers could also apply to people and not only nations.
  • Post COVID the biggest change will be the loss of the factory assembly line (the 1920s Henry Ford model and Frederic Taylor's division of labor ideas)
  • A new class of ‘worker’ - if we may call them that – will emerge – whose key ‘superpower’ will lie in collaboration with AI to amplify her abilities
  • AI is a part of the solution where AI empowers people providing ‘superpowers’ to individual workers
  • ‘People are the authors of the story’ and countries will shape AI in their own image
  • We will see parallel super powers instead of one super power because countries will also shape AI in their own image(values)
  • Talent is the difference – where talent goes – the region will leverage AI
  • The Telecoms model offers a parallel for AI where tech policy influences technology
  • Collaboration with AI i.e. how humans and AI work together will be a key differentiator
  • Jobs will be reengineered to work for human - AI hybrid roles
  • This calls for more skilled workers and better ways of learning
  • It means AI will bring back manufacturing jobs from offshore destinations

 

Note that the ideas presented here are my own and do not relate to any company or institution I am associated with

 

Do we believe in the idea of AI superpowers for countries?

I read the book AI Superpowers before COVID

And recently after COVID

What a difference a few months makes!

And you have to question what you are reading ..

Do we really believe any more that:

  1. There are two (and only two) possible AI super powers
  2. Data is a key differentiator and the lack of data protection is an asset
  3. Central government funding will help start-ups in one region to gain a globally advantageous position

In just a few months .. none of the above seems true

More to the point - Can any one country be an AI Superpower? 

Like the quest for Unicorns - are we searching for the wrong thing when we search for ‘AI Superpowers’?

The idea of AI superpowers (when applied to nations) was less about technology and more about technology policy

And technology policy is no longer a competitive advantage in itself as we stand today(post COVID) because everyone is playing in the AI nationalism game (AI nationalism - The algorithms of august)

 So, can AI nationalism create a single winner? Today, other countries have started to be more directly involved in AI policy such as the call for Eric Schmidt of Google

Expanding this view going forward, we will see the development of parallel technology stacks (for better or for worse). This is already happening with Alibaba to spend 28 billion in bid for cloud autonomy

 

The Telecoms model as a parallel for AI

There is a recent parallel for tech policy and AI – and it’s the Telecoms model. Every country realises the strategic significance of Telecoms and seeks to safeguard its own position. This will also happen with AI. More to the point, the countries who initially gained a lead in Telecoms (Japan and Korea) subsequently became key players but not necessarily the dominant players (if you consider that the US and other countries dominate in terms of the tech stack – ex Apple and Android). And 5G also brings very clear positions.5g mobile standards may fragment driven geopolitics dean bubley. This model may well repeat with AI also with countries taking similar positions. And of-course from a technology perspective. Both USA and China will continue to have a dominant technology position.

 

Post COVID values will shape economies

Later in the AI Superpowers book, there is another perspective that “People are the authors of the values in the story of AI” i.e. We are not passive spectators in the story of AI - we are the authors of it. That means the values underpinning our visions of an AI future could well become self-fulfilling prophecies. If we tell ourselves that the value of human beings lies solely in their economic contribution, then we will act accordingly. 

So, this view could be interpreted as AI to empower individuals and values of countries because people and nations will shape AI in their own image. That seems more relevant post COVID i.e. the empowering of people

So, in the west, what values will shape society post-covid?

 

I can see many social changes such as:

  • the rise of Anti-Consumerism,
  • the importance for craftsmanship – (Medieval craftsmanship and the guilds movement flourished after the Black Death pandemic in the 14th century, because workers with skills became highly valued, giving rise to Renaissance art, the pursuit of beauty and urbanism.)
  • the value of design – Ferrari is now worth more than General Motors and Ford
  • the rise of veganism and more awareness of the food chain.

 

Worker 2.0 – AI superpowers for the people and jobs

AI shaped by people could also empower people. I believe that the biggest victim of COVID-19 will be the assembly line model. Already, we are seeing this in Germany where meat processing industry has been realigned. If the traditional assembly line model is broken – then the whole supply chain could be impacted. Coupled with a change in values – ex: anti consumerism, greater craftsmanship etc – AI could bring about a new type of worker who is empowered by AI.

Another way AI could empower people and countries is through the race for talent. The race for talent and creativity is the real differentiator for AI. Both UK and Canada are examples of this. Just before COVID and post Brexit – UK unveiled a much more progressive immigration polity for scientists. So, another way people drive AI and superpowers is through talent. So, apart from USA and China – a few other countries also have a strong talent pools for AI currently. These include UK, Canada, Germany, France, India, Israel, Russia and Eastern Europe.

Hence, we could widen the definition of AI superpowers to apply to people – where it will have more impact post COVID.    

Conclusion

To conclude:

  • The idea of AI Superpowers could also apply to people and not only nations.
  • Post COVID the biggest change will be the loss of the factory assembly line (now with us from the 1920s based on Henry Ford and Frederick Tayor's division of labor ideas)
  • A new class of ‘worker’ - if we may call them that – will emerge – whose key ‘superpower’ will lie in collaboration with AI to amplify her abilities
  • AI is a part of the solution where AI empowers people providing ‘superpowers’ to individual workers
  • ‘People are the authors of the story’ and countries will shape AI in their own image
  • We will see parallel super powers instead of one super power because countries will also shape AI in their own image(values)
  • Talent is the difference – where talent goes – the region will leverage AI
  • The Telecoms model offers a parallel for AI where tech policy influences technology
  • Collaboration with AI i.e. how humans and AI work together will be a key differentiator
  • Jobs will be reengineered to work for human - AI hybrid roles
  • This calls for more skilled workers and better ways of learning
  • It means AI will bring back manufacturing jobs from offshore destinations

Note that the ideas presented here are my own and do not relate to any company or institution I am associated with

Views: 442

Comment

You need to be a member of Data Science Central to add comments!

Join Data Science Central

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2020   Data Science Central ®   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service