As if competition with fellow humans wasn't tough enough: Robots to replace human laborers ‘in 10 years’

Published February 13th, 2014 - 10:55 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Artificial intelligence and robots are expected to replace humans in the next 10 years, an expert revealed at the United Arab Emirates Government Summit on Tuesday.

“The world is no longer changing every 100 years,” said Dr. Peter Diamandis, Co-Founder of Singularity University and Founder of the X-Prize.

The future of state-run services in the UAE has been discussed at the a three-day Summit, which began on Monday and is hosting high-profile UAE and international delegates and speakers include royalty, senior government officials and corporate bosses.

The expert said that as a result of technology evolving constantly, studies have predicted that 40 percent of the future 500 companies will no longer exist in 10 years.

Speaking during a Summit session titled during a session titled ‘The World in 2050,’ Diamandis said: “Robots will enter every aspect of our daily life and we are not talking about in 45 to 50 years we are talking about now, they already exist now and they are being used now,” as quoted by Gulf News.

“Let us look at the Osborne computer, a portable computer mostly used by accountants in 1982, 25 years later, in 2007, it was replaced by smartphones. So in another 25 years, 2032, you can only imagine the change, the internet will be everywhere.”

“Right now the only constant is change, and change is moving at an increasing rate,” he added.

Diamandis predicts that artificial intelligence (AI) similar to iPhone’s Siri will be responsible for taking jobs from humans in the near future.

“AI can today do most of the things that humans can do, they can think better than humans, they can translate and understand 85 languages and they can read and write so it is predicted that they will take 50 per cent of human’s jobs in 10 years,” said Diamandis.

The expert said robots will also be responsible for the loss of 50 percent of the jobs in the service sector in 10 years as they will compete with imported labor sources as the cost of labor will drop to just the cost of power.

Up for discussion at the summit has been how UAE government services can adopt technology and managerial success stories from the public and private sectors.

In a video presentation on Monday, Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, showcased how technological advancements aim to improve the lives of residents by 2021. The initiative aims to create a single-window system that will allow people seamless access to all government services.

Education and healthcare challenges in the Gulf state have also topped the agenda, including how private industry partnerships can cut costs, as well as using technology to enhance services.

Round-the-clock government services and apps for smart devices have been highlighted as well.

Drone deliveries

In a move to further bolster its government services, the UAE announced on Monday plans to use unmanned aerial drones to deliver official documents and packages to its citizens.

The drone project was unveiled by Mohammed al-Gergawi, a minister of cabinet affairs.

“The UAE will try to deliver its government services through drones. This is the first project of its kind in the world,” Gergawi said, according to Reuters news agency.

The drone service could be introduced across the UAE within a year, Gergawi said, adding that the vehicles would be tested for durability and efficiency in Dubai for six months.

“Within a year from now we will understand the capabilities of the system and what sort of services, and how far we can deliver. Eventually a new product will be launched across all the country,” Gergawi said. 

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