Robots are not our friends, Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.
The former secretary of state told radio host Hugh Hewitt that America is racing headfirst into a world of artificial intelligence without considering the repercussions.
“Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, a lot of really smart people are sounding an alarm that we’re not hearing,” she said. “The future is coming right at us, and honest to goodness, I just think everybody listening to you should be demanding that public officials start coming up with some approaches to how we’re going to protect human beings and our lives from this.”
Clinton expressed particular concern about the loss of jobs due to automation and the potential rise of surveillance associated with the internet of things like Smart TVs and home assistants.
Bill Gates has discussed his worry over the loss of jobs that will come as a result of advancing technology, and has suggested that robots who replace humans in the workplace should be subject to an income tax.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has suggested that the rise of artificial intelligence could lead to World War III. “I have exposure to the very, most cutting-edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it,” he warned at the 2017 National Governors Association Meeting. “I keep sounding the alarm bell, but until people see, like, robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal.”
Stephen Hawking has said he worries robots will eventually replace humanity.
While the prospect of a society run by robots is terrifying, it’s likely a far off worry. The automation of jobs, on the other hand, is already occurring.
Between 2000 and 2010, nearly 87 percent of manufacturing job losses came from an increase in automation and better technology, a Ball State University study found. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. jobs could be lost to automation in the next 15 years, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The Republican tax plan, which could pass in the Senate next week, incentivizes business owners to replace jobs with automation by giving them tax breaks for new equipment.
“What do we do with the millions of people who will no longer have a job?” asked Clinton. “We are totally unprepared for that.”
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