How AI will change our lives

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

We are already immersed in a world where digital and frontier technologies relieve us of repetitive and low added value activities. The challenge of our present is to train our children to work together with artificial intelligence, knowing how to manage the incredible opportunities. Perlatro, analyzes by the McKinsey Global Institute have estimated the global economic impact of Artificial Intelligence (or AI) at $ 13 trillion by 2030, equal to an overall increase of 16% in world Gross Domestic Product.

How AI will change our lives

How AI will change our lives

How AI will change our lives
How AI will <br /> change our lives

How AI will change our lives

How AI will <br /> change our lives

Furthermore, according to the latest «Future of Jobs 2020» report published at the end of October 2020 by the World Economic Forum, by 2025, 85 million jobs could be replaced following a different division of labor between man and machine, while 97 million new professions could emerge more suited to the new corporate organizational structures. The opportunities offered by the innovation frontier, therefore, coexist with anxieties and fears that there may be negative repercussions from the employment point of view. We reached out to Professor Luca Maria Gambardella

Professor Gambardella, how does Switzerland rank in the world rankings? Do we have a leading role or are we chasing other countries in the field of research in Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

According to the latest 2020 edition of the Global Innovation Index, Switzerland is in first place in the ranking (and has been so for some years), followed by Sweden and the United States. Efforts are also enormous in this sector, where Ticino was a pioneer with the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence Studies (USI-SUPSI), created in Lugano in 1988 and today a world leader. Around these research activities, Bachelor (SUPSI) and Master (USI) university courses have grown, to train specialists in the sector and specialized companies have been born to bring AI solutions to the market. A couple of years ago, UBS also decided to open its AI center in Ticino. Investments in computing resources and communication infrastructures are also important in this sector, in order to create an eco-system that is attractive to large players and their research and development activities. We are working on it, also with the support, as well as the academy, of the Canton and the City of Lugano. But the path is not easy because now everyone is moving in this direction and the speed of decisions is an important key, in addition of course to public and private financial investments.

Let’s dispel a myth: will artificial intelligence steal our jobs?

In this historical period I believe that Covid in a few months has done more damage to the labor market and to the economy (in addition to social damage and more on which I do not want to prolong here), rather than digitalization and artificial intelligence in many years. If in this period some activities have continued however, it was thanks to the possibility of working / teaching / buying remotely, or thanks above all to modern digital solutions. Certainly it does not apply to all categories, and fortunately the policy has intervened here to put some remedies. As regards the introduction of digital tools and artificial intelligence, today’s perception is that these methodologies are creating jobs in different sectors, but obviously the type of revolution that awaits us (and that it is already underway) is different from the industrial one. The types of workers that will be replaced in the next period are workers who carry out low-value non-manual activities, such as call centers. It will take a while, but we must prepare ourselves to retrain current workers in these sectors with continuous training and create prospects for our young people. A recent study states, in fact, that 60% of young people who are 14 today will do a job that does not exist today. My suggestion is to commit not only to technical / scientific skills but also to increase the critical sense of our young people, as they will work in mixed teams, composed not only of colleagues but also of specialized artificial intelligence to solve specific problems. They will need to be able to listen to everyone and make complex decisions. For this it is necessary not to neglect humanistic subjects such as literature, history and philosophy. For the rest, the vision is that we will have more space and time for creative and conceptual activities also at work, leaving the machines with more routine and boring activities.

To dissolve atavistic fears and anxieties often unmotivated in terms of technology and the frontier of innovation, we are helped by a monument of scientific dissemination such as Piero Angela, who in the preface of the book by Stefano Quintarelli «Artificial Intelligence», published by Bollati Boringhieri (2020 ), with great clarity argues that: «Technology has always played this role, which is both creative and destructive: it has been a growth accelerator that often has also left behind losses and mismatches. The change brought about by technology has been unimaginable: the increase in efficiency due to the automation of machines has made it possible to work less, earn more, move from mass illiteracy to mass university, have effective treatments, stretch life, and much more. The new technological revolution, the digital one, however, has something different from the previous ones: it came very quickly and requires rapid adaptation. The innovations that are constantly being born require, in fact, an equally fast ability to learn and adapt. Also because, in order to work, new technologies always need men and women who know how not only to use them but also to invent and manage them».

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