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How Robots will Provide Comfort and Make Space for Better Jobs




Kate Darling came up with a new analogy for artificial intelligence which could help us see its potential more clearly.

Leading robotics expert, Kate Darling warmed up the atmosphere as the first speaker on the Oslo Business Forum by opening up the controversial topic of integrating artificial intelligence into society. The question is: Are we really prepared for what is coming?

Million Dollar Question – Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat or a Help?

Through the lens of threat, humanoid-look-like robots will take over the world or, as for some participants of Oslo Business Forum even more worrisome, take over the c-level jobs. This kind of opinion has prevailed in society and still keeps on being shaped by the influence of popular culture.

On the other and a little bit brighter side, robots are seen as tools that would help society in developing the future. Leaning towards this perspective, Darling mentions an example of ATM machines, which were first considered a bad innovation that would lead to unemployment of bankers. By opening new branches and expanding different services, the reality turned out positive.

Within a collision of these two theories, a third has been created, Darling explains, “Robots are going to take jobs, but they are also going to create jobs because people have to make, develop and maintain robots.”

Nobody Knows What They Are Talking About

To sum up all theories and opinions, Darling points out that – “After seven years of talking with experts, I’ve come to the personal conclusion that nobody knows what they are talking about. No one knows what the long term impact of the robots on the labor market will be.”

However, before going further into the future, Darling suggests that we need to go back to the start and avoid the trap of comparing artificial intelligence with human intelligence. Whether it comes to learning, exploring, understanding or even physical characteristics, the approach to artificial intelligence as a genuine reflection of human intelligence can be misleading.

“We need a new analogy for artificial intelligence because it is so different from human intelligence.” – Kate Darling. 

Thinking outside of the box, Darling proposes a new analogy between artificial intelligence and animals. “We are partners with animals because their skill sets are different from ours, they are supplemental to our skills.”

With this analogy, it is easier to open up the new realization of artificial intelligence as something that is possible to domesticate, be responsible for and to give them a place in society as our companions. With a better emotional connection to robots as with animals, we wouldn’t only understand them and their possibilities better, but our own as well.

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