Monday, May 21, 2018

Robots and AI - some NZ perspectives

There has been a flurry of activity via various media and government agencies, on the effects of robotics, artificial intelligence, industry 4.0 etc,. These discussion, all feed into the range of consultations, now underway, on the future of education in NZ - see this link for example of consultation with Business NZ and the Council of Trade Unions.

Overseas, there has been extensive reporting on the rise of AI - see todayonline for example. There has been interest in the effects of the Amazon Go stores - which obviate the need for cashers, checkouts and shopping carts. Also many articles about how AI will replace jobs - for instance lawyers.

Beyond the hype are articles which provide a bit more balance, for instance, the shift in how some jobs will be constituted, rather than replacements of jobs, and the significance of AI but its limitations in replacing many human attributes. Plus the workers viewpoints, as in making a repetitive job more interesting when robots are added into the mix.

Several interesting articles add to the mix of the need to balance the more extreme views on robots and AI. This TEDtalk, argues for the need to not use human understanding to construct algorithms for AI, as AI can work quite differently from how humans thinks (with their inherent bias etc.)

Some NZ focused articles include:
the boost to the NZ economy by 2053 if policies are developed now to ensure the foundations for AI are sound - e.g. ethics, privacy, IP etc.
a caution against UBI
A good overview from BERL NZ on the internet of things, big data, smart cities and the skills required for the transportation industry into the future
Robots in NZ may be useful in occupations how finding it difficult to attract workers - including forestry and horticulture.
plus another one on there being no need to fear the coming of robots.

All good reading to keep up with the play as the convergence of technologies, hasten AI, robotics etc. into our social structures and lives.

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