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Humans will only have to work three days a week in AI era: Quanta chairman

Quanta chairman Barry Lam predicted that in the new era of artificial intelligence 10 years from now, people will only have to work for three days and their job responsibilities will be related to AI control

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CNA file photo

CNA file photo (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--Quanta Computer Inc chairman Barry Lam (林百里) predicted on Sunday that in the era of artificial intelligence (AI) 10 years from now, people will only have to work for three days and their job responsibilities will be related to AI control as more works in the future will be completed by AI, which he thinks has a market 100 times bigger than that of cloud computing.

Citing the example of Formosa Plastics’ Mailiao power plant he visited not long ago, Lam said that the whole power plant used only six experienced engineers.

Lam said that during the Cold War, only nations with atomic bombs were superpowers, but now nations compete with each other to develop more advanced AI technology.

What will be the role of humans in the AI era? Lam said humans will still be above robots as they can take off robots’ plugs, but it is inevitable that more and more and more jobs will be taken by machines and there will be fewer production lines in the world.

The cost of using a machine to replace a human worker can be paid back over two years, Lam said, adding that the good side of it is that people can spend the time saved by machines to take care of their children, keep their parents company, and engage in recreation and leisure travel.

The unemployment problem arising from the AI development should then be solved by social science, he added.

When asked if Taiwan, which is an important global supplier in the IT era, can repeat its IT success in the AI era, Lam said, “We might have to put more powder into it.”

According to Gartner, Inc, global business value derived from AI is projected to total $1.2 trillion in 2018, an increase of 70 percent from 2017. AI-derived business value is forecast to reach $3.9 trillion in 2022.

"AI promises to be the most disruptive class of technologies during the next 10 years due to advances in computational power, volume, velocity and variety of data, as well as advances in deep neural networks (DNNs)," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner.