Virtual AI Humans, Augmented Intelligence and the Future of Jobs

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already disrupting the world we live in. It is transforming the productivity and GDP of the global economy with an estimated growth of $15.7 trillion by 2030. This figure is more than the current output of China and India combined. Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) is driving this economic growth by performing repetitive tasks that humans currently do but faster and more accurately.  

 

As the technology advances, it is estimated that ANI will replace 800 million blue and white-collar workers during the next couple of years (Manyika et al., 2017). Kai-Fu Lee, Ray Kurzweil and others expect AGI to take over most human jobs within the next two decades.

 

We now have the technology to develop a new breed of sophisticated, interactive, engaging, self-learning, and immortal digital AI humans (DAIH) that work for businesses at near-zero marginal cost and outperform humans in their jobs in almost all aspects. These multi-agent cognitive AI systems, also known as virtual humans or digital employees, are already helping organizations and governments cut costs, automate processes, personalize services, and recommend products. They also are helping to maintain public safety and guarantee autonomous surveillance and security. 

 

The emergence of AI augmented human creates a new type of world where it is possible to exist both physically and digitally. This idea of navigating a digital world with a different nature of work, economic landscape and life style is what I term “AI Citizenship”. I extensively discussed this concept in my new book, “The Artificial Intelligence Citizen” and in my recent Ted Talk, “Project Geminai: The Rise of Digital AI Human Twins”. 

 

A casual examination of history shows that this is not the first time we will be experiencing technological unemployment. The workers during the Industrial Revolution feared for their jobs too. So, are we up against anything new? Is there truly an economic AI-apocalypse on the horizon? The nature of AI suggests that we just might be up against a different challenge than we have ever faced. Not only does AI perform repetitive tasks well, it also can learn and innovate new cutting-edge solutions that further enhance productivity. This kind of automation can create a world where human labor of all types is no longer needed.

 

We respond to the economic dynamics of a world in which professionals with decades of experience find themselves out of a job through a solution like the Universal Basic Income (UBI). With UBI, a Canadian or Chinese human professional who lost their job to a digital human could receive a basic income from the government with no strings attached.

 

The idea of UBI is not new. In fact, the COVID-19 induced economic downturn created precedence of sorts for this kind of government intervention. The pandemic offered AI nations and corporations the field to collect UBI data that can be used to predict human behavior when machines eventually start to dominate the job markets. Thus emerged the largest UBI experiment in human history.

 

In a machine-dominated job market, we have a situation where a digital AI human does the job at a lower economic cost. With more cost-saving, the big corporations now have more money to pay taxes with which a government can fund the UBI program. Many developing and under-developed nations, however, do not possess sufficient technological AI and data resources. They could thus find themselves in a difficult social and economic situation in the next couple of years. A Middle-Eastern or West-African professional won’t probably get a UBI if they lose their job to a digital human system that is developed, owned, and controlled by a foreign AI corporation in Toronto or Silicon Valley. The ripple effect of this is social, political, and economic instability in most of these nations if their leaders don’t figure out how to create new jobs, unlock growth and create new streams of revenues to maintain social and economic stability.

 

This viewpoint indicates that we are seemingly walking down a dystopian path. 

 

We can, instead, write our evolutionary history towards a utopian future. Even most fascinating is that we can create this story and history using the very same technology being developed by large corporations. Rather than thinking “replacement,” we can think, breathe and live “augmentation.” We can augment people with this technology and create shared value for everybody. Until now, we have relied on our physical bodies to express our minds' boundless creativity and intellect but what if we could let the mind be free to express itself unconfined by physical space? Imagine a digital AI replica that thinks and acts on your behalf in a million places at once? This is the utopian dream!

 

I call this digital reflection a digital AI Twin or a Geminai (Gemini + AI). It is technically and commercially possible that a human professional subject could digitally clone their mind and upload it into a Geminai to represent them in cyberspace. Through Geminai, we intend on filling the roles now occupied by humans with digital twins. This is in contrast to the AI developed by large corporations that completely shut everyone out.  

 

Rest assured, this is not sci-fi. With every social media post, people are constantly migrating their knowledge, thoughts, and memories to the digital world. We can pool this data together to create a digital self/twin that represents and augments humans in the digital world. This is why we have put together a team of ML engineers, data scientists, and neuroscientists at Project Geminai whose sole objective is to breathe life into this idea. We are moving the discussion from mere academic curiosity and interest to the real world. We have a very realistic target to have our first commercial prototype before the end of the year.

 

With humans working alongside the very same technology that could otherwise have replaced them, we create an ecosystem where the very best of what it means to be human meets the very best of Artificial Intelligence. 

 

Beyond serving in just one role, we can go one step further by imagining a situation where a Geminai performs different jobs. It could work as a deep learning consultant, a yoga trainer, a mental health therapist, and a nutritionist at the same time. This hybrid Geminai can offer these services in different languages, for thousands or millions of people in different places, at once, and – perhaps most importantly for some – create wealth for its human counterpart. 

 

The construction of digital AI twins of real people could change our perception towards the nature of jobs, wealth creation, social interaction, and even our understanding of mortality, religion, and the afterlife. Geminais offer us the opportunity to ensure that nothing we do today is lost to time by holding our most treasured experiences and memories.

 

Understanding the challenges and the prospects of an AI-powered future is exactly the point of AI Citizenship. It is empowering yourself with the knowledge required to maximize the benefits of AI and to lessen its negative impact. 

 

Through our platform, AIQOM, we are on a mission to educate millions to become active and responsible AI Citizens. We have partnered with different governments to build AI nations on AIQOM. We provide citizens with the skills and knowledge required to create and equip their Geminais to fill the emerging roles in the job market.  

 

By walking our talk, we demonstrate what it means to be human – enriching the quality of our time here on earth and creating a better world for the generations to come. 

 

                                                                                                                               

 


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