Exploring the impact of technologies on the job market

ACN's Alexander Sophoclis Pieri shares his take on how technology is impacting the global workforce.

Tags: Artifical intelligenceCloud computingITP Media Group (itp.com/)United Arab Emirates
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Exploring the impact of technologies on the job market Alexander Sophoclis Pieri, editor of ACN.
By  Alexander Sophoclis Pieri Published  May 28, 2017

Last month, Dubai Police welcome its first operational robot police officer. Unveiled at this year's edition of GISEC, the aptly named Robocop stands at 170cm and weighs 100kg.

Packed into a compact frame, the autonomous robot police officer is equipped with a whole range of start-of-the-art law enforcement technologies. This includes an emotion detector that is able to distinguish between different emotions and facial expressions, hand signals up to 1.5 metres away, and is also able to identify criminals through facial recognition.

Additionally, the robot is capable of interacting with people, changing its own expressions and greetings to suite the situation at hand, and is fluent in six languages, which includes Arabic and English.

Lastly, the autonomous robot police officer is fitted with a built-in tablet, which allows people to access police services and complete the associated payments, as well as linking to various law enforcement-related social media platforms. 

While certainly a monumental step in the field of robotics and for the Dubai Police, it will be quite a long-time before we'll see the deployment of robot police officers capable of policing the streets on their own.

There is still a lot of work to be done, both in terms of robot design, but more importantly with artificial intelligence. The AI in such machines would need to develop to the point where the unit would not only recognise criminal activity in play, but also recognise instances where it is being deceived. It would also need to improve how it interacts with people during stressful situations.

Once they do however, it will be a monumental step in humankind's existence, but also a perplexing turning point.   

We've reached another point in history where technology will dramatically impact the global workforce. Advances in the field of AI, robotics, automation, and IoT, to name a few, have not only created technologies capable of doing our jobs, but are also quickly surpassing our maximum level of efficiency.

In certain cases where there is an element of danger, such as in the operation of a vehicle, technology will soon be able to do it better.

One need not look any further than the autonomous vehicles that are currently in development. Several industry experts have already expressed their views that autonomous cars will be safer than human drivers and for good reason.

Equipped with numerous, high-sophisticated sensors, such vehicles will be able to react much faster than a human user. Coupled with an advanced AI and machine learning as well, and the vehicle will be able to study other drivers in real-time and learn from them the various nuances of the road.

Once the human element becomes the only dangerous element on the road, it probably won't be long before designated zones for human drivers become commonplace within a smart city. Who knows - it may reach a point where everyone will be asked to turn in their keys and driving licenses.

According to the Future of Jobs report from the World Economic Forum, released back in 2016, roughly 5 million jobs across the world will be lost to advancements in technology by 2020.

This will include low-income jobs, such as drivers and construction workers, all the way up to financial analysts and bank tellers. Even journalists too are at risk, and soon enough, we'll have our robot police officers.

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