Robots, AI and Job Security

Richard Maaghul
Apr 10, 2019 · 3 min read

It seems like barely a week goes by without a headline warning about the risk of unbridled development of robots and AI.

Are Robots Coming for Your Job? The New Yorker

At ODEM, we believe mankind must strike a balance between exploiting the benefits of AI and avoiding the most-negative consequences of aggressive development of thinking machines.

Elon Musk and others (including the late Stephen Hawking) have spoken out about the dangers of rapidly advancing AI research as we move toward singularity — the point where machines overtake us on the intelligence scale.

Last year’s 50th anniversary of the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey probably did little to ease Musk’s concerns. Remember HAL, the film’s terrifyingly polite, lipreading computer that decides that the crew on a mission to Jupiter is incompetent?

“Dave,” HAL says to one of the astronauts. “This conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.”

Musk, the founder of SpaceX and co-founder of electric-car maker Tesla, has said that extreme development of AI is more dangerous than the threat of nuclear war. He has repeatedly called for AI research to be regulated. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last year dismissed Musk’s doomsday comments as “pretty irresponsible.”

Still, at ODEM we’re excited about putting AI to work. We’re moving ahead to use blockchain technology and AI to improve the quality of interactions between students and educators toward making higher-quality education more accessible and affordable.

ODEM will use smart contracts, a blockchain-based category of AI, to streamline and automate the laborious process of organizing and delivering international academic programs.

We believe that AI also has a role to play in guiding students in their choice of academic courses and soft skills to protect them from the danger of being displaced in the workforce by the application of AI.

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists,” said the late Eric Hoffer, an American philosopher.

History shows us that technological advances tend to create more jobs than they eliminate over the longer-term, some job categories will be more vulnerable to disruption than others.

In Thinking Machines: The Quest for Artificial Intelligence and Where It’s Taking Us Next, the author Luke Dormehl says society must do better at educating up-and-coming generations of workers.

“Currently, education is stuck in the same Industrial Revolution paradigm it has been in for more than 100 years,” he writes.

Dormehl believes that formal education is too focused on standardized training that doesn’t adequately prepare students for a working life in fast-changing industries.

“In today’s world, learned skills routinely become obsolete within the decade they’re learned — meaning that continual learning and assessment are needed throughout people’s lives,” Dormehl writes.

ODEM is empowering students to actively own their training and education. Our Platform provides tools for students to proactively search globally and to register for relevant courses to ensure they stay ahead in the evolving marketplace of skills.

ODEM is actively harnessing the power of blockchain technology, untapped market forces, and the process of higher learning to help ensure that for millions of people around the best is, indeed, yet to come.

Rich Maaghul,

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