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Machines should be embraced, not feared, says futurist

25/04/2016 by


By 2030, roughly 40-60% of all jobs will be completed by machines, according to Gerd Leonhard, author and self-described futurist.

Speaking at the SubOptic 2016 conference in Dubai, Leonhard said it won't be long before sectors such as finance, real estate, medicine, energy and food are "disrupted" in the way other industries, such as media, telecommunications and transportation, have in recent years.

When they are, jobs such as mopping airport floors, preparing cappuccinos and even financial advice will be carried out by robots.

Leonhard's talk, which was covered by The National newspaper, claimed that it is connectivity and the internet that will drive the change. He said it is through emerging technologies such as cloud computing and the Internet of Things that in the next five years, 75% of "the whole world" will be connected.

"Our world is going to change more in the next 20 years than the previous 300 years," Leonhard told attendees at the event for the submarine fibre-optic cable industry.

He acknowledged that challenges lay in wake, in terms of ethics, establishing limits on how humans approach issues such as artificial intelligence and human genome editing, capabilities and control over the internet's infrastructure and cyber security.

However, the future should be embraced and not feared, was his message.

"Watching the media or watching movies about the future, there's always one thing that comes up - that we're all going to die because the robots will take over the world. If you look at all of the movies that come out of Hollywood, it's this fear," he said.

"The future of the world is better than you think but, and this is a big but, we actually have to do something to make it stay positive."


Dubai, Technology, Computing, Iot, Fibre-optic, Industry

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