When the whole world is agog with the wonders of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is being adopted by a wide spectrum of industry verticals from fashion to healthcare, Nobel Peace laureate and founder of Grameen Bank, Professor Muhammad Yunus calls it the most “dangerous” technology that will take away jobs en masse and reduce human beings to second class citizens.

“To me AI is the most dangerous technology. While we are excited about all that AI can accomplish to make our lives more beautiful, at the same time thousands of people will lose their jobs with machines taking over.”

“AI is now at a stage where it can wreak havoc, starting with autonomous cars that will render thousands of drivers jobless...Even in journalism, machine journalists and story tellers are getting awards for their articles and book,” he told BusinessLine .

Universal Basic Income

Pointing out that human beings will be reduced to beggars ultimately, he said, it is time to introduce Universal Basic Income, which can be given to all in order for people to take care of their basic needs.

He fears that AI which is expected to become as intelligent as human beings and gradually become more intelligent than human beings, would look upon human beings like they were “cockroaches” on this planet.

He feels the time has come to bring in restrictions and stringent guidelines for the use of technology.

“Today, technology does not have many guidelines like we have for medicines, food items etc. Very soon AI will be fighting wars, killing people, settling scores, that is where we are headed. Therefore, I am pleading for some social guidelines that will tell us what can be done and what cannot be done with technology. We must bring in technologies that can serve the poor, in preventive healthcare for instance” he said.

Promoting entrepreneurship

The way forward to create employment according to Prof Yunus is to promote entrepreneurship among the youth and urge them to start social businesses that solve problems and are not meant to make money for a few. He ridicules the economic system that interprets individuals as ‘job seekers.’

“Human beings by nature are entrepreneurs, go-getters, problem-solvers, farmers, hunters, gatherers, that’s what our history tells us. But, somehow economic theory persuaded us that the only thing that we can do to survive is to find a job.

The Education system is job oriented where Universities take pride in saying they produce ‘job ready’ people” which is a shame. They should create ‘life ready’ young people who know what is the meaning and purpose of this life. Why let a few people who have money hire you and make money? We are mercenaries of the whole system. Why should we be mercenaries?” he asks.

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