Keep concerns about AI in context, says Nobel-winning economist


By Meera Shaheen

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH: Concerns that Artificial Intelligence will cause massive job losses are overstated and the technology’s economic and social impact needs to be seen realistically, Nobel Prize-winning economist Sir Christopher Pissarides said at the American University of Sharjah Feb. 16.

“Robots were thought to take away jobs, but I think it’s exaggerated,” said Pissarides, speaking in the Main Building’s main auditorium to several hundred people. 

He said robots and artificial intelligence should not be viewed as an inherent threat to people’s livelihoods, but rather tools for them to use.

He likened the usage of robots, AI, and programming to people needing to be literate to work in the post-industrial revolution world. He added that though some jobs will be digitized, many more jobs will be created.

Pissarides said that these new tools are still tools, and will need humans to maintain and operate them.

His presentation was entitled “The Future of Work and Well-Being.”