Long before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) were already causing unprecedented changes in work and business around the world. Now, some scholars are drawing new lessons from today’s crisis that may further impact the trajectory of AI’s influence on our lives.
Darden Professor Anton Korinek, an authority on the economic implications of advanced AI, believes the current pandemic is accelerating the changes already underway, in which AI is automating human work. “COVID-19 has spurred a massive technological transition into the virtual world, putting large digital firms at an increasing advantage,” said Korinek. “In addition, it has caused massive unemployment, which led to unprecedented government interventions to support the jobless.”
According to Korinek, it is critically important that we understand the forces at work and learn from the current crisis about the looming digital disruption. To explore this further, Korinek recently co-hosted a webinar, COVID-19 and the Economics of AI, with Allan Dafoe, the director of the Centre for the Governance of AI based at the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford in the U.K.
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