Amid Automation Debate, A.I. Backers Tout Job Creation Potential

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it’s “not so much that a job can be automated. It’s pieces of a job can be automated. [As] machines get a little smarter, they’re not anywhere near approaching the intelligence of a human, but they’re getting intelligent enough that you can share some context.”

Vu sounds skeptical that machines will reach human levels of intelligence any time soon, if ever. She thinks it’s a problem that the general public’s understanding of robots is colored mostly by science fiction.

“I think that that’s very misleading,” she says. Rather, the advancement of robots and software is really just “another chapter in the story of us figuring out—us as humans, as people—figuring out new ways to build things and to make things. There’s change and adjustment.”

Gorenberg predicts that the term “artificial intelligence” will go away as machine learning algorithms and related technologies become ubiquitous in software systems. And when that happens, Gorenberg thinks the debate over “whether jobs will be created or lost” will also fade away.

He says it’s the same with most new technologies. At the beginning, “people fear it,” but in the end, it “produces positive results,” he says.

“I think we’re in a transition” period, Gorenberg says.

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