There is nothing unfamiliar with the hypnotising lull of a technologically advanced society.
The possible monopolisation of the employment sector by robots, the topic for Politics in the Pub on Monday night, was led by panelists ALP Member for Chifley Ed Husic, Alex Ferrara from the Goulburn Greens and Nathan Furry from the Goulburn Nationals.
The consensus carried by all three panelists was the mechanisation and growth of artificial intelligence (AI) would invariably lead to the reduction of jobs.
“I want you to think about 3.5 million,” MP Ed Husic said in reference to statistics released by an economics firm.
“Those jobs will disappear, jobs will change.”
Mr Husic highlighted the need to keep skills updated, but to also educate those who want to re-enter the workforce.
“We need to set the ethical boundary. Where is technology likely to head? In many cases we’re unprepared. We’re not coming out in the public sphere,” he said.
“I don’t believe robots are going to rise and take over. The key is that we’re prepared.”
Mr Furry said educating younger people was the key to the solution, suggesting the government could not be the only solution.
“We’re leading the change by owning the change,” he said.
“We cannot let robots target human vices. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
The majority of questions from the crowd explored the impact of AI on specific industries, the possible implementation of a Universal Basic Income, and at its core, the philosophic struggle of identity AI and robotics produces.
“I am an advocate for AI to make things better,” Greens representative and IT business owner Mr Ferrara said.
“Change is a mixed bag. What do we do in a world where the number of jobs is dwarfed by the number of people who want jobs? The jury is not out on this at all. Change is not a bad thing.”
Mr Ferrara said there was evidence of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) in many technologies today, however the rise of Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI), a machine that could surpass the human intelligence, might become problematic.
“We need to set parameters. The possibilities are endless,” he said.
All three, despite holding a slight variance in position, agreed businesses should work cooperatively with governments to ensure jobs are still available for people who wish to work.
“Human interaction can’t be replaced,” Mr Furry said confidently with the support of the crowd, concluding a complex topic many understood was far from over.
- To watch the whole discussion or to keep up to date with future topics head to Politics in the Pub – Goulburn on Facebook.