AI News, The role of AI in education and the changing US workforce artificial intelligence

The opportunities and challenges of a changing workforce

The world of work is rapidly transforming, with technological advancements altering traditional perceptions, as well as the reality of how work is done and by whom.

Governments ought to respond to this paradigm shift in a timely and effective manner – indeed, the issue, and the ways governments respond to the future of work, are discussed regularly by G20 countries.

On top of this, technology is opening up fresh avenues in the form of robots: McKinsey research shows that 50pc of all current work-related activities have the potential to be automated through the adoption of existing technology.

While multiple studies, including an early report by Credit Suisse, have shown the benefits and importance of diversity in the workplace, this is also posing a challenge that businesses have to deal with.

Not only is it important for public policy to respond to new work arrangements, such as freelancing and contract work, but attention must be paid to ensure all types of workers have social safety nets.

As a result, schools across the world are adopting new teaching strategies by implementing digital subjects and focusing on non-technical skills such as creative thinking.

Countries such as Saudi Arabia are embarking on transformation programmes with a focus on education as a continuum, taking into account the private and public sectors, as well as the role of businesses in supporting education and training.

The role of AI in future warfare

To illustrate how artificial intelligence (AI) could affect the future battlefield, consider the following scenario based on a future book I am writing entitled The Senkaku Paradox: Risking Great Power War over Limited Stakes.

In a less successful case, Russia could interdict major elements of that attempted NATO deployment through some combination of cyberattacks, high-altitude nuclear bursts causing electromagnetic pulse, targeted missile or aerial strikes on ports and major ships, and perhaps even an “escalate to de-escalate” series of carefully chosen nuclear detonations against very specific targets on land or sea.1 While the latter concept of nuclear preemption is not formally part of Russian military doctrine, it could influence actual Russian military options today.2 Alternatively, the NATO deployment could succeed, only to face subsequent Russian nuclear strikes once evidence of NATO’s conventional superiority on the Baltic battlefields had presented Moscow with the Hobson’s choice of either escalating or losing.3 By 2040, some aspects of this kind of scenario could improve for American and NATO interests.

The clarity and perhaps the scale of NATO’s security commitments to the Baltic states might have strengthened, reducing the chances of deterrence failure in the first place and improving the initial capacity for resistance to any Russian aggression.4 But on balance, technological innovation, including advancements in robotics and AI, makes it quite possible that things could also get worse.

Thus, while it is at least conceivable that ports and airfields could become much better protected, it is hard to escape the prediction that rail lines, road networks involving large numbers of bridges, tunnels, or elevated routes, and large concentrations of supplies in depots or warehouses will be at least as vulnerable in 2040 as they are today.

That is unlike the case 20 years ago, when, even though the Y2K debacle and other scares should have sobered people to the risks of inadequate computer security measures, a general sense of complacency about great-power relations discouraged meaningful action against threats to electronics from hacking, high-altitude nuclear bursts, malicious supply-chain actors who might compromise the integrity of semiconductor chips, and so on.

One challenge could be a more efficient form of advanced persistent threat in which efforts to penetrate an adversary’s computer systems employ automated capabilities with massive raw computational power that continually adjust tactics to the defenses encountered.

It seems implausible that arms control agreements would prevent the development and deployment of such autonomous systems, not only because of the verification challenges but also because the United States itself will feel powerful incentives to create more autonomous systems, including those with the ability to employ lethal force under certain types of conditions, as Paul Scharre has convincingly argued.8 In another scenario, swarms of quadcopters (unmanned helicopters with four rotors), each packing several kilograms of explosives—thus able to destroy a modern jet if detonated at the right location—might attack NATO air bases and the aircraft on them.

The total cost of the ordnance was estimated at several billion dollars.10 Such munitions could be used in a similar way against NATO movements on major roads in Europe, advancing from western points toward Poland and the Baltic states, with the munitions delivered in the future by small robotic devices.

a 2013 RAND study lists the technology maturity of such systems as between 1 and 3 on a Technology Readiness Level scale that goes from 1 to 9.11 However, the constituent technologies, such as automated sensors, are already largely available.12 As AI improves, a constellation of such devices could be made largely autonomous.

Drug-trafficking organizations have been using semisubmersibles to transport drugs to the United States for years, now craft with very slender vessel designs that are efficient at cutting through waves (though still slower than most warships).13 A decade ago, it was already possible to build such boats with a payload of 10 tons and at a cost of less than $1 million per vessel;

they were often manned then, but making them fully autonomous would not be a major leap.14 Clearing operations against what would in effect be mobile and self-healing minefields populated by devices that can communicate with each other and reposition themselves to create dense, lethal networks will be much more difficult than clearing current threats.

They could also be programmed to change their positions every so often to elude neutralization and to repair any potential gaps in their coverage—even if there were no central data processor that actually knew where the gaps were located and even if space-based navigation systems were disabled (since the UUVs could have various types of inertial or bottom-following guidance).17 The network could be set up simply to play the odds, in an environment of little communication and poor information exchange.

The picket line might be set up roughly three-to-five miles offshore, where water depths are 100 feet or more—making it hard to detect any submersible object visually.19 The math might go something like this: Of course, the United States and other NATO countries could attempt to thwart the operations of these UUVs.

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