“Oracle Of AI” Sounds Alarm About Coming Job Losses For Truckers, Doctors And Others
Little Rock, Arkansas – Artificial intelligence (AI) will replace 40% of the world’s jobs in the next 15-25 years, according to a new best-selling book by the former president of Google China and current head of Sinovations Ventures, Kai-Fu Lee.
Lee’s new book entitled, AI Super-Powers: China, Silicon Valley and The New World Order, delves deeply into the race to world economic dominance through the coming AI revolution. Lee was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and emigrated to the United States, where he attended middle and high school.
He then earned a degree in computer science from Columbia University before earning a PhD in the same field from Carnegie Mellon. Lee is credited with developing the world’s first speaker-independent, continuous speech recognition system as his Ph.D. thesis.
He would later lead Google China where he witnessed the coming AI revolution begin to take shape. Lee, who has been called the “Oracle Of AI,” says the next world war is already being waged between the U.S. and China.
“I would say in about five years there will be very competitive, safer autonomously driving trucks that stay on highways.” – Kai-Fu Lee, Sinovations Ventures
Chinese leaders have made their plan of being the world’s leader in AI by 2030 well-known. Lee says China’s advantages are its “abundant data, tenacious entrepreneurs, well-trained AI scientists, and a supportive policy environment.”
As U.S. political leaders grapple with how to implement the already existing AI technology into American’s way of life, while managing the massive societal impact in the form of job losses it will bring, Lee says Chinese leaders are moving full-speed ahead.
Lee’s venture capital firm is doing the same. Sinovation Ventures has already invested in more than 40 AI companies with 5 already becoming unicorns (businesses valued at over $1 billion) together totaling more than $21 billion. Sinovation Ventures investments include AI companies specializing in retail, banking, manufacturing, agriculture, customer service, and yes, autonomous trucks.
Autonomous Trucks On U.S. Highways In “About 5 Years”
In a recent interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News, Lee predicted autonomous trucks are coming to U.S. roadways sooner than people have been led to believe. “I would say in about five years there will be very competitive, safer autonomously driving trucks that stay on highways,” Lee told Bartiromo.
Lee contends trucks powered and driven by AI technology will prove to be safer than humans behind-the-wheel. “Today research technologies already beat people. We just have to implement it,” he said.
Lee predicted truckers will begin losing “routine” driving jobs faster than they are being told. However, it’s not just truckers whose livelihoods will be impacted Lee says.
Truckers Are Not The Only Ones Who Should Be Worried
Doctors, accountants, investment analysts and many other white collar professions will also be disrupted Lee predicted. “Routine jobs are at most risk, especially jobs reaching quantitative decisions,” he said.
Lee pointed to recent studies showing AI is outperforming humans in diagnosing “certain diseases.” It won’t be long before entire professions within the medical community will begin to be displaced, according to Lee. “Certain types of doctors will be easier to displace,” he said.
“For example, radiology. Looking at an MRI, CT and x-ray and writing down what is being observed, those will be better done by machines over the next 10-15 years,” Lee explained to Bartiromo. “That doesn’t mean those radiologists will be out of work. They can move on to research or they can do more patient interaction, but a decent part of the job will be gone.”
Lee Worried AI Is “Coming Faster Than Previous Revolutions”
Lee says he is not “worried” about the coming job losses and radical shift in societal stability because he expects human beings to figure it out. “In some sense there is the human wisdom that always overcomes these technology revolutions,” he told Scott Pelley during an interview with 60 Minutes last month. “The invention of the steam engine, the sewing machine, and electricity have all displaced jobs, and we’ve gotten over it.”
However, what does worry Lee is the speed at which this technological locomotive is barreling down the tracks. “The challenge with AI is, whether it is 15 or 25 years, the revolution is coming faster than in previous revolutions,” he warned.
Further, Lee believes the race to AI supremacy will only exacerbate existing global inequalities by disproportionately advantaging the United States and China. This, he fears, will lead to even more power being wielded by the two nations.
There is, however, one critical characteristic human beings possess that AI will never be able to replicate, Lee says. “Human compassion” Lee believes, will be the foundational building block to the future as we all seek to find our place in the coming AI revolution.