According to a German economist, artificial intelligence will not lead to mass unemployment

According to a German economist, artificial intelligence will not lead to mass unemployment

Computer keyboard. Illustrative photo.

Berlin – German economist Jens Südekum is not worried about massive job cuts and an increase in unemployment due to the advent of artificial intelligence, on the contrary, he considers it an opportunity to improve the quality of human work and to make better use of the acquired free time. In an interview with foreign correspondents, he said that, in his opinion, completely new jobs will be created, similar to what happened in the past during other major technical and technological leaps.

Advertisement'; }

“If we can really completely automate some processes and replace human work, then we will still have places where human hands are really needed and sought after and where they cannot be replaced. These are, for example, craftsmen, schools, kindergartens and the social sector, such as caregivers. Everywhere people are missing, so there will continue to be good conditions for finding a new job,” said Südekum. He noted, however, that positions in the social sector are now considered financially poorly valued, so wage conditions will need to be adjusted.

Südekum, who lectures at Düsseldorf's Heinrich Heine University and is also a scientific advisor to the Federal Ministry of Economics, pointed out that the United States, for example, views the development of artificial intelligence with greater concern than the Germans and other Europeans. “I see an interesting difference in the debates in the US and in Germany. The academic sector in the US is very skeptical about the direction in which artificial intelligence is developing and highlights the dangers, including job losses,” he said.

According to Südekum, the fact that Germans have a different view on this matter is due to historical and demographic events. “The US has had negative experiences with previous waves of technological progress, such as robotics and industrial automation, where jobs were replaced by machines. In Germany, it was a little different,” he said. According to the economist, the deployment of robots did not lead to job losses, but on the contrary to the retraining of existing employees and their further education. maintenance,” Südekum said. According to him, the reason why employers in Germany have invested and are investing in the retraining of workers is the demographic situation. “The German population is aging and shrinking,” the expert reminded.

German experts have been warning for a long time that Germany needs to recruit 400,000 workers annually to maintain the current level of welfare. Before the pandemic, according to the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, around 315,000 workers came to Germany per year, but restrictions related to the covid-19 disease then dampened migration.

The German government of Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz adopted a bill at the end of March, which wants to significantly facilitate the immigration of skilled workers, without whom the country cannot do in order to ensure the economy and social stability in the future.

However, Südekum does not doubt that the labor market will fundamentally change under the influence of artificial intelligence, but he does not foresee a severe blow to market stability. He does expect that artificial intelligence will replace many areas of activity that are still performed by humans. According to him, this will also apply to legal advice and journalism, which he does not see as a harm.

“Journalists will no longer have to write long standard texts, artificial intelligence will take over for them. They will be able to spend their free time use to improve the quality of your work,” he said. “The resulting effect will be a better product. And given the demographic situation, it can work very well,” he noted.

In addition to the benefits, Südekum also sees risks in artificial intelligence, such as the misuse of progress to spread misinformation, fake videos and elaborate frauds. According to him, the regulation of artificial intelligence, which is being prepared by the European Union and which member countries of the bloc are working on, can also be a problem. “Artificial intelligence is a global thing. If we set the conditions too hard, there is a danger that it will develop completely outside of Europe,” he added.