Before I start talking about artificial intelligence, let me give you two other examples. First, after the invention of the steam engine, all sorts of workers’ riots broke out in industrial countries, with workers occupying factories and smashing machines. Why? Because these steel monsters had taken their jobs and put them out of work. There was a world outcry, too, that there were such self-moving machines and that the capitalists no longer needed workers! According to this logic, this section of the population should have been permanently unemployed and would not have been able to slow down until today. But what happened? Over a large period of time, unemployment did not rise in a straight line with technological progress.
Secondly, with the invention of household appliances, (e.g.washing machines), women’s liberation activists in some countries were particularly happy, thinking that these machines had freed women from the drudgery of housework and that with one the washing machine per family, the problems of all mankind had been solved. But later surveys showed that the housewife’s housework time did not decrease one iota when household appliances became widespread.
So, what is happening? Why didn’t these two expected reductions in labour demand happen? One of the main reasons is that technological advances have created new demand, and new demand requires new jobs to meet it. It’s not for nothing that technology raises our standard of living. When your standard of living increases, naturally someone has to work behind the scenes to drive that increase.
Technological progress does eliminate some jobs, and conversely, what jobs does it create? Firstly, it’s the jobs around new technology, engineers, programmers. Consider comparing the per capita consumption of meat and the number of pieces of clothing between 1000 AD and now, and you will understand why technology is so advanced and there are still so many people working in agriculture and textiles in the world.
Please don’t imagine that society will always be what it is now, and then overnight a computer will replace 80 per cent of human jobs. This is never going to happen, and the process of artificial intelligence is a gradual, interactive process. The disconcerting problem of such a phenomenon is that if we start from the base of human nature, technological progress leads to productivity growth, and this growth can be exponential, but it can never outrun the growth of human desire, and our needs will always be greater than the supply of producers.
Factory Automation in Malaysia could also be foreseen as an indication of industry development in the future. Modern technology and sustainability in the future will be put more close attention since the globe faces tremendous challenges, technology may play a significant part in developing a more sustainable future.
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