Before coronavirus, most of our theories about a global crisis and apocalypse were related to Artificial Intelligence taking over the world. While it is tough to focus on any other kind of threat right now, we cannot deny the multiple concerns some experts have raised in the past about robots. They believe that AI will soon replace humans in almost all the fields and rule over the world after mastering emotional intelligence.
But do you know what the scariest part is? Coronavirus has actually helped in speeding up this process and many human jobs are now being carried out by AI machines.
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“People usually say they want a human element to their interactions but COVID-19 has changed that,” says Martin Ford, a futurist who has written about the ways robots will be integrated into the economy in the coming decades. “[COVID-19] is going to change consumer preference and really open up new opportunities for automation.”
Since the rule of social distance has become mandatory for countries, employers are now taking the assistance of robots to carry out necessary jobs. America’s biggest retailer service, Walmart, is using robots to clean the floors and in South Korea, hospitals are using robots to measure temperatures and distribute hand sanitisers.
Experts predict that by the time the period of social distancing gets over, robots would have replaced a lot of essential jobs.
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Companies that produce cleaning and sanitizing products are in high demand right now. UVD Robots, the Danish manufacture of ultraviolet-light-disinfection robots, shipped hundreds of its machines to hospitals in China and Europe. Economic experts predict that as the government allows more and more businesses to open, we will see a sharp increase in this trend.
“Customers now care more about their safety and the safety and health of workers,” says Blake Morgan, author of The Customer of the Future. “Moves towards automation can keep them all healthier and customers will reward companies that do this.”
From school tutors to fitness trainers, many tasks are now carried out by robots. Social media applications like Facebook and Google are using the technology to curb the false news culture as human moderators are not able to review certain things from home.
Furthermore, with social distancing, most humans have grown accustomed to the idea of working remotely. They can perform their tasks after receiving instructions from the employer sitting across the screen who necessarily does not have to be a human. The instructor just needs to think and act like one and soon, we would need almost no human interaction to carry out certain tasks.
A 2017 report by global consultants McKinsey predicted that a third of workers in the US would be replaced by automation and robots by 2030. Global crises like this pandemic have changed the course of the world before so experts believe that the timeline of AI takeover might move closer after coronavirus.