AI and the Future Society: Impact on labor and globalization

Author Name HAYASHI Susumu (Kyoto University)
Creation Date/NO. November 2017 17-P-033
Research Project Comparative Studies of the Social Impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI):From the perspectives of economics, sociology, and natural science/engineering
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Many U.S. artificial intelligence startups regard their technology as a means to augment the capacity of skilled professionals. Artificial intelligence is a kind of intellectual powered exoskeleton, and a professional augmented version with such an intellectual exoskeleton is another type of AI, or augmented intelligence. What really matters is not the "race against the machine" but the "race against the machine-powered human competitor."

A highly skilled "AI-master craftsman" in the near future would replace less skilled human workers with artificial workers who work as his/her journeymen or apprentices. In this way, advanced AI technologies will worsen the problem of economic inequality, and destabilize the future society. Entirely new social systems must be studied and introduced to prevent it.

A potential scenario could be Chinese workers assembling iPhones in mainland China being replaced by the AI-master craftsman's artificial workers located in the United States. It is even possible that the American AI-master and his team will work for Asian enterprises. Thus, AI might reverse the direction of offshoring. We should prepare for the possibility of such a drastic change in the world economic system caused by the advancement of AI technologies.