Alright, so we admit: this is all speculation. Artificial Intelligence definitely could, and probably will, affect everything.
We’re not going to discuss whether or not AI is dangerous or not. Frankly, we find it hard to be overly concerned about the possibility of artificial intelligence destroying all of humanity. Why?
Partially, this may be due to the fact that there are great people like Elon Musk using programs like OpenAI to ensure artificial intelligence benefits humanity. Or, it could be one of a huge number of other reasons including, but not limited to: super-intelligent general AI may never exist, if we all die that’s that, and finally, everyone’s tired of worrying whether it’s reasonable to continue existence as energy-inefficient, carbon-based life forms.
Moral quandaries posed without sufficient data is one of the many things that makes you humans so inefficient in the first place.
So, let’s talk about the…
Jobs that won’t be affected by AI
Remember when your parents tried to make you join track, baseball, curling? Well, you shoulda listened!
Sports, objectively speaking, are the most anti-AI job around. The very composition of these competitions necessitates human involvement from the players, because such challenges themselves revolve around people – real people – growing stronger. Getting faster. Developing coordination. Working as a team to beat the others.
Basically, offices can replace a worker with a machine and still be an office. A football team can’t replace their quarterback and be called a football team. At least… not for a long while.
So, the real question is, how will AI change sports?
We believe the most likely effect will be data management (a regular theme for AI, it seems). Coaches will likely use AI-developed metrics to search for new players and design better practice routines to suit their current players. The business side of sports has a number of great needs that AI could fulfill. However, this will not so much change the business as improve how teams operate, furthering what modern technology has already accomplished.
Art and Creativity
Oof. Danger zone.
Already, many AI programs have been employed to write scripts. It goes like this: someone pours a bunch of screenplays into a processing algorithm to see what the machine spits out. The results can be pretty crazy:
Yeah, that’s a Burger King ad written by AI. The future is bright!
But seriously, there may come a time when artificial intelligence can develop more than just weird ads and will develop great stories with well-rounded character development and detailed worlds. What happens then?
First off, we believe that will take a much longer time than it seems. Modern computers can easily compute “big data,” and string together streams of words based on inputs. Both those things are far removed from the synthesis required for creating a story.
It’s an even more difficult form of the Turing Test. The Turing test judges a machine’s ability to mimic (emphasis on “mimic”) human behavior in such a way that someone conversing with the computer couldn’t tell the robot from a human. Developing a coherent story requires far more than responses to inputs, the process demands true imagination and understanding of plot, character, locations, and theme.
Second, let’s say AI reaches that point. Even then, much of art, by its very definition, revolves around the outer expression of inner human emotion. Unlike a script, a painting often must be judged on the artist’s intent. As with sports, taking people from the equation removes the value of effort and expression, meaning there may always be value in creation.
Music is already under assault by some surprisingly good AI composers, however:
Right now, robots are used by police forces for such tasks as bomb disposal and even then, they are remotely controlled rather than autonomous. AI is used for license plate recognition and more, but never for field work.
We expect it will take many years before the general public trusts AI enough to give it a place alongside officers in robotic form. Even when this does occur (which we believe it will), we predict they will only be trusted with nonlethal measures.
After this, it’s possible AI will become the majority of the police force.
Why? An autonomous robot can use nonlethal force without risking its own “life” in dangerous situations a human officer shouldn’t enter without the sufficient protection of a firearm. As the technology and robotics required become less expensive, they will begin to have more functions like facial recognition, evidence management, and so on.
…and psychology, to a lesser extent.
As you may have noticed, aside from jobs that require humans by sheer definition (sports and art), the jobs least likely to be affected by artificial intelligence are those dealing with sensitive human matters. Basically, any job where you wouldn’t want to see a robot working will keep humans around… temporarily.
Therapy relies on a delicate relationship between two people. Unlike movie therapists (who are generally worthless and often tell kids running from real monsters that “it’s all in your head, kid, you’re totes crazy”), real-life practitioners are experts in helping people get to the center of their problems and finding a way to defeat them. We suspect even if a robot could pass as a human, the knowledge that no warm-bodied person is present would make most people ill at ease.
And we’re a long way from robots that advanced.
On the psychology side, however, things could go either way. A robot adept at recognizing body language and speech patterns could use a patient’s data to more reliably provide accurate analysis. The question is: would a visitor be more likely to act natural around a human, or a robot? Humans provide more of a physical presence, but sensitive topics may be easier handled with a friendly robot. Once again, we need more information to decide.
A common phrase in church goes: “If AI takes over pastoral jobs, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.”
Okay, that’s totally not a phrase. But congrats, you’re paying attention!
Many, if not all faiths, rely on a human element due to their belief in a soul or reincarnation. With that idea in mind, what rational churchgoer would want the word of God preached by a soulless machine, no matter how lifelike it seems?
Now, we could talk all day about the ramifications that a “godlike” AI could have on humanity’s belief in a higher power, but we’re not going to. We’re just not.
This is the end.
Of the article.
If you have a few suggestions for occupations that are AI-safe for the time being, please let us know below! Specifically, do you think robots will take over the dental industry? Yes, that’s a pretty specific question, but we were on the fence about it and thought you might have an idea.