A sad reality: Humans in competition with robots for jobs - Expert

10 Nov 2023 10:00am
Polish alcohol-beverage company Dictador hired the world's first-ever AI robot named Mika as its CEO. Photo: Dictador's website
Polish alcohol-beverage company Dictador hired the world's first-ever AI robot named Mika as its CEO. Photo: Dictador's website

SHAH ALAM – With the rapid digitalisation and improvements of Artificial intelligence (AI), competition now arises in terms of employment opportunities between humans and humanoids.

Just yesterday, Polish alcohol-beverage company Dictador hired the world's first-ever AI robot named Mika as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Global Centre for Cyber Safety director Prof Col (R) Datuk Ts Dr Husin Jazri said while the appointment was a historic moment to demonstrate the power of AI, is was also a sad situation.

“While there is a reason to celebrate, there is also a reason to be sad to see a situation where a human competes with an AI humanoid for a job.

“It is a sad situation to allow AI Mika to command humans when it should be the other way around,” he told Sinar Daily when contacted.

Husin who is also a cybersecurity professor at Taylor’s University added that AI in whatever form should be enablers and tools to make businesses more efficient and profitable.

“Is it safe? No, it is not safe as AI Mika brings risks that could be harmful to humans and businesses in many ways.

“For instance, between saving a business and life, which one comes first?

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“Do we know the algorithm? Is it legally sound and is it humane?

“This situation triggers the need to have cyber safety laws that can properly govern the AI ecosystem as such it remains productive and true to its purposes,” he said.

He also believed that the European Union (EU) had enacted a law on AI but the effectiveness was yet to be seen.

Besides, he said this meant humans and AI would have to live side by side and complement each other.

“We are already experiencing this when we use Chat GPT as this app is a resemblance of AI existence in our day-to-day activities.

“There is a need to regulate the use of modern technology by monitoring its entire ecosystem and Malaysia should empower the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry to have a technology safety commission that looks into the technology that brings new economic opportunities and its safety to humans,” he said.

He added that AI could be more efficient than humans due to its computing, analytics and data mining power.

“In some other areas, where emotional judgments are required, humans are always better, especially involving tasks that are not structured and of very high risk.

“By having a new economic opportunities (NEO) commission, proactive and timely intervention can be done to ensure the coexistence of human and AI is productive and harmonious,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman said the appointment of Mika as CEO of Dictador was important as it was the first time that an AI-powered humanoid was appointed to a C-level position.

He said Mika was the first robot to lead a global company and whether it was safe or otherwise for a company to rely on AI-powered robots to lead the organisation depended on the degree of intelligence and the safe boundaries imputed into the AI for it to function intelligently and not pose any risks to the organisations.

“Before the appointment of Mika as Dictador CEO, many perceived that AI would be replacing humans in repetitive and mundane jobs.

“However, the appointment of Mika as CEO dispelled the notion of AI replacing humans in repetitive jobs.

“Mika opened the doors for AI-powered humanoids to compete with humans even in areas where decision-making is critical in the organisation.

“Perhaps what can still save humans is the fact that humans have feelings and decisions are not based on mathematical algorithms alone,” he said.

He added that humans could be assisted by AI to perform their jobs better.

“AI should complement the human workforce and in certain areas of work that are considered as 3Ds should be performed.

“Humans should be deployed to carry out higher value-added jobs,” he said.

He said technology would keep improving and humans could not run away from it.

“We must be grateful that it supports and never be worried about AI as it is here to help us as no AI can replace humans,” he said.