Robots 'to take 50% of our jobs by 2050 and outperform humans at almost anything'
Half of Brits could be unemployed by 2050 - because jobs will be done by robots , a top scientist predicts.
Enjoying a round of golf or a pint down the pub could become the norm for millions in decades to come.
But all that free time might not actually be that good for us.
Speaking at the world’s biggest science conference in Washington DC, Prof Moshe Vardi expressed concerns over the social impact of an economy with more than 50% unemployment.
Prof Vardi, of Rice University in Houston, Texas, told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): “We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task.
“I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us: If machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?”
“A typical answer is that if machines will do all our work, we will be free to pursue leisure activities.
“I do not find this a promising future, as I do not find the prospect of leisure-only life appealing. I believe that work is essential to human wellbeing.”
He raised the possibility that not having to go to work every day could lead to more of us becoming depressed because of a lack of direction in life.
He added: “Humanity is about to face perhaps its greatest challenge ever, which is finding meaning in life after the end of ‘in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.’ We need to rise to the occasion and meet this challenge.”
His presentation, called Smart Robots and Their Impact on Society, argued the pace of progress in artificial intelligence was increasing. At the same time technology is eliminating growing numbers of middle-class “white collar” jobs and driving up income inequality, he said.
Waiters, carers and even soldiers could eventually have their jobs taken by machines.
Last year a report predicted the number of global service androids is set to hit 31million by 2018.
The Foundation for Responsible Robotics said the world is on the “cusp of a robotics revolution”.
( Source )