02:33 GMT +327 February 2017
    Artificial intelligence

    Robotics, AI Revolution to Benefit the Rich, Increase Inequality - UBS

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    The world's so-called fourth industrial revolution, to be focused on the development of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), will benefit society's richest and lead to a further widening of global inequality, a new report has warned.

    Research from Swiss bank UBS, published to coincide with the 2016 Davos summit, has warned that while the increase in prevalence of AI and robotics will lead to a number of opportunities, it will also result in a number of global challenges.

    UBS warned the fourth industrial revolution, which comes after historical developments in steam power, electricity and electronics, will have a greater effect on emerging markets in places like South America and India, as the increased use of robots and AI will undercut the competitive advantage of cheap labor.

    However, the bank's chairman Alex Weber said impacts will still be felt in developed nations as demand for certain types of jobs decreases.

    "Inequality increases not just between developed and developing and emerging countries. It's also within our society. It will have an impact not only between the rich and the poor but also the young and the old."

    Robots Could Take Over Low-Skilled Jobs

    The report found that the world is headed for a polarization of the workforce, particularly in regards to low-skilled jobs, which will lead to "larger gains for those at the top of the income, skills and wealth spectrums."

    "Many labor-­intensive firms should be able to boost profit margins as they substitute costly workers for cheaper robots or intelligent software," the report added.

    However, far from being confined to low-skilled jobs, UBS warned the increased use in automation and robotics could "impinge on the employment prospects of middle-skilled workers" involved in professions such as customer service, which could be ultimately replaced by robots.

    The report is one of many to have recently raised concerns about the impacts of AI and robotics as technological developments in the field progress.

    Ahead of upcoming lectures where he will present new research on black holes, British physicist Stephen Hawking said that increasing technological advancements in artificial intelligence, man-made viruses and other factors such as global warming could ultimately wipe out the human race.

    The comments also come amid heightened debate about what can be done to reverse worsening global inequality, after an Oxfam report revealed that the world's 62 richest people own as much as the poorest half of the world's population.

    As a result many researchers, including those from UBS, have urged policy makers to try and intervene to ensure that society's poorest are shielded from the impacts of increased technological developments.


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    Artificial Intelligence (AI), employment, research, robotics, report, technology, poverty, economy, inequality, World Economic Forum in Davos, UBS, World
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    • avatar
      Russia should build them to cut grass, clean and buff floors. and many other shores in the house. or flats. instead of dogs, drones could watch the perimeters. Even with dogs. Or how about a guide. That go in say a hotel and take guests up. New ones ONLY. That request ... a tour guide. And at museums. And many other places. But tehy may not be too needed. But for hiking they great. Hikers could bring a bracelet that alert them thru Glonass. The drone go faster than anyone, i=pinpoint the hiker , bring water and other things that are common, and with cameras a medic can see from a hospital and tell what to do . Other drone can RUSH supplies. Even combat wild animals, with whatever scare them out. AWAT+Y from wounded or bring weapon.
    • avatar
      That's the future the .01% parasites want - the factory farming of humans. Oases of cloud people of fantastic wealth, millions of mud people barely scraping by, totally surveilled, fighting for crumbs, totally helpless and hopeless.

      It should be noted that AI is not absolutely necessary for this future, quantum computing would do it too. Once voice and face recognition is perfected, the masses will be surveilled 24/7. "Imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever" -- Orwell, how-to writer for the monsters. That's the goal.
    • avatar
      When Robots become the masters, what happens then?
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