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Taiwan workers increasingly worried of losing job because of AI

/ 11:16 PM July 22, 2018

TAIPEI – The future does not seem to be that reassuring anymore for one in two Taiwan workers living in the era of digital advancements as they worry that their professions will presumably vanish or will be taken by the intelligent machines.

Up to 51.1 percent of workers are worried about being replaced by robots in an artificial intelligence (AI) era, particularly in the fields of education and trade/logistics, according to a recent survey conducted by an online job bank.

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Among those who have such concerns, the poll shows that 42.06 percent think that they would have some difficulties finding a new employment because of their age, a fear mostly prevalent among employees in the 45-50 age group.

Employees in that age category are reportedly worried about not being able to support their families if they lose their jobs because of an inability to adapt to new technologies.

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Asked if they have been anticipating the rise of intelligent machines, only about 7.71 percent of respondents said they have taken steps to upgrade their skills in an effort to prepare for the arrival of AI applications in the workplace, the survey found.

The survey was released amid last week’s meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in Taipei during which digital innovators presented Sophia, the world’s first android citizen, and called on the public to become part of AI development.

Sophia was named the world’s first United Nations Innovation Champion by the United Nations Development Program to promote sustainable development and safeguard human rights. “She” received citizenship of Saudi Arabia in 2016.

Speaking to the Central News Agency (CNA), Phil Libin, former CEO of note app developer Evernote and a panelist at the Digital Innovation Forum in Taipei, called AI a “fundamentally important transformation of technology” that could “shape the technological revolution in the near future.”

Ethan Tu, the founder of Taiwan AI Labs, also told CNA that there is too much focus on whether AI will “replace humans.” A question he deemed irrelevant to the discussion of the technology.

Tu said AI should be regarded as a “tool” and people can “decide for themselves” how it fits into their lifestyles or meets their needs.

The Digital Innovation Forum featured international business leaders and digital innovators who offered experience and insights into digital innovation and its implications for the global economy, digital governance and cyber-security.

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The aforesaid survey was conducted by 1111 job bank on July 3-17 and collected 1,089 valid samples. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.97 percentage points.

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TAGS: Artificial Intelligence, Asia, labor, Taiwan, technology
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