Dan O’Brien: The hopes and fears around artificial intelligence

Partly explaining the pessimism is fear of change and the unknown. Another reason is what economists call the “lump of labour fallacy” — the idea that the number of jobs in an economy is fixed, and therefore more automation must in turn mean fewer jobs…’ (Stock picture) ‘Artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” That is how no less a figure than physicist Stephen Hawking has described the risks posed by intelligent machines capable of thought and action. He is not alone. Some, if by no means all, of the world’s deepest thinkers in relevant fields are profoundly worried about the possible negative consequences of rapid and accelerating advances in artificial intelligence (AI). The happening that triggered the latest wave of concern took place in March of…

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