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The job you are studying for might not exist in the future -social consequences of AI & automation.


Hello! We are in a group of students doing a social change
project for our CMNS 425 class.

Our project is about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and jobs.
AI and Machine Learning (ML) has the potential to disrupt many aspects of
society. The biggest concern surrounding the issue is how it might affect the
future of employment. Companies are rushing to implement ML in their businesses.
This is not limited to unskilled routine labour such as transportation,
manufacturing, or farming. AI can perform white collar jobs too. Examples
include Rossan AI lawyer employed by multiple renowned law firms to handle the tasks of
paralegals, and
AIVA, an AI that composes background music for video games and movies.

Considering the impact AI could have on society, the public
is ill informed about what AI is, its capabilities, its development process and
direction, and most importantly who stands to benefit/lose from the technology.
Discussions and portrayals in media surrounding the threat of AI that dismiss concerns
surrounding AI as fear are irresponsible and do a disservice to the public. AI
development are done in proprietary settings -by corporations that have no
obligation to be transparent about their algorithms, direction, and uses. Such
a process is inherently exclusionary. AI has the potential to affect humanity,
but if left to be developed in its current isolated environment, many populations
could become marginalised by this new technology. Not acknowledging the
legitimacy of the concerns raised surrounding AI is to be compliant to the
possibility of becoming marginalised.

This purpose of this thread is to facilitate a space for
those who would like to know more about AI to gain a clearer understanding of
the issue. We invite our fellow SFU students to share in a discussion on the

This discussion will be facilitated by our group till
December 4 at the very least. Feel free to continue the discussion beyond that.
The contents of the responses might be included in our report for our project
that only our professor would see. All participants will be afforded
confidentiality in our report.


This is meant as a dialogue –we do not intend to dominate
the thread. It is our hope that meaning from the discussions would be constructed
by all participants. We want everyone to learn from each other’s experiences
and interpretations too!

To facilitate the discussion, we have three Discussion
Questions that build on each other. Respond to question [1] first, wait for
others to share, then move to the next.

[1] What skills and qualities for jobs should humans focus
on in the coming age of AI?

This question is meant to
facilitate brainstorming. Don’t think too hard about it; just share what comes
to mind!

[2] How well can the skills and qualities mentioned in
response to the first question be accomplished by AI?

Use literature to help sort the responses.
Share any interesting articles you come by.

Maybe consider if it is a matter
of time, development direction, whether these skills/ qualities would be augmented
by AI etc.

[3] What skills and qualities should humans focus on to stay
ahead of the AI situation?

Converge on a collective conclusion
about what you have learned from the discussions.

You could expand this question to
include other ways humans can stay ahead of AI, how much has to change so that
humanity will remain relevant in the face of AI, and who or what entity has the
most potential to benefit from AI?

Suggested readings

To help think about these questions, we have five suggested

[1] An infographic of Ray Kurzweil’s predictions leading to
the technological singularity

Ray Kurzweil is an engineering director in Google. Whether or
not his predictions hold up, it is certain he has a hand in developing AI to his

[2] What is Narrow, General, and Super AI

An article that explains the different milestones of AI

[3] Technology Will Replace Many Doctors, Lawyers, and Other

Jobs are being restructured to be automatable.

[4] The Future of Automation and Your Job

How to know what jobs could be replaced by AI and

[5] The forthcoming Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution:
Its impact on society and firms

Peer reviewed article that functions like a literature
review of the discussion surrounding AI and employment for those who want something more rigorous.

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