Are you Afraid of AI?

I subscribe to the idea that digitization and automation promise a future of abundance.

As a graduate of Singularity University, I subscribe to the idea that digitization and automation promise a future of abundance. Undeniably, it will require new skill sets. From time to time, I get the feeling that I need to start learning how to code. The sooner we move towards acquiring new skills the better prepared will be.

The industrial revolution is an obvious reference. 200 years ago 80% of the earth’s population worked in agriculture. Due to the rise of the machine, today only 3% works in agriculture and 80% is now in the service industry. 

According to researchers at Oxford University, 47% of all jobs are now threatened by AI. Service jobs, in particular, are in great danger, which includes  97% to 99% of real estate brokers. Danger does not mean elimination. This only means that mechanical processes will be done with exponential technology. The broker’s intuition and guidance will be ever more valuable in a world of transparency and abundance. Therefore, who better than the broker to harness this technology? 

I am optimistic about a future with AI, especially a future in which humans and machines team up to win. I was recently inspired by an example in David Epstein’s book Range. For example, amateur chess players using normal computers destroyed the best supercomputer and teams of grandmasters. This is what I see happening with brokers and other service jobs.

The broker of the future will use computers to understand zoning, construction costs, investment strategies, and even engineering. A team of brokers with computers will potentially destroy AI-based systems. Like amateur chess players, brokers have a wicked instinct that will be very difficult to replace. 

Articles I read while writing:

I love this article in The Guardian by Arwa Mahdawi on what jobs might be affected by AI. 

Great article in the World Economic Forum by Micahel Buehler, on real estate jobs and AI. 

Article by Margot Roosevelt on the battle between jobs and automation in LA.

Optimistic article by Dennis Kaiser on low unemployment rates and industrial expansion.

Article on AI and human intuition, by Upasana Bhattacharjee.

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