Let’s make the following assumption for a moment:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will kill all jobs it’s designed to help.
In a hypothetical future, an AI designed to replace engineers, for a company, succeeds and leaves all engineers at that company unemployed.
Does the general population believe that’s how things will go down?
Imagine a company that has 1,000 engineers, and develops an AI system to replace them, putting them all out of work. Some will find jobs at companies that haven’t adopted AI, but I’ve been to a number of businesses that were started as a result of layoffs. Employees that became competitors to the company that let them go.
It’s likely that a company adopting too much AI to replace key employees may put itself out of business. Even if AI does better at its job than the engineers that were laid off, businesses still have finite resources. There are only so many product models, marketing angles, and connections that a business can put resources into. By creating any number of new competitors, a business is increasing the odds that someone else will find the right combination that puts the hurt on them.
For all the hype that AI tools receive, they should be seen as augmentations to existing business. If in the future, the tools reach a point of actually replacing skilled employees entirely, the decision to do so needs to be considered more than surface deep, if it’s not, the only artificial intelligence will be that of the executive, thinking he’s making smart decisions.