Will AI cause mental health problems in humans? Fears for ‘depressed’ workforce
The world of AI and automatons is rapidly developing as industries use to emerging technologies to gain a competitive edge, such as in the automobile industry.
But there are concerns that such speedy innovation could have unintended and widely unforeseen effects on the human population of the world.
Some experts in the field believe a consequence of AI will be a spike in depression among workers.
It has been suggested that depression will be just one of the mental health issues that becomes more prevalent in people that find themselves losing out to robots in the jobs market.
Tech expert Charles Towers-Clark, who is CEO of cloud company Pod Group and author of “The WEIRD CEO: How to lead in a world dominated by Artificial Intelligence”, has predicted that in the future workers will become “disenfranchised and depressed” as they are pushed out of the workplace by AI.
He told Daily Star Online: “Any task that can be put into a process will be automated. If a task can be automated, it can be completed by a computer or a robot.
“For example, drivers – approximately 5% of the working population – will almost certainly be replaced by autonomous vehicles.
“Soon enough, AI will not only understand finance and law better than bookkeepers and junior lawyers but will also write better code than programmers.”
He continued: “There is every possibility that AI will destroy a huge number of jobs. Within 100 years, new jobs will be created.
“However, within the next generation or two, this won’t be the case. So, within the next 25 years, a large part of society may very well end up being unable to find employment, which will leave them disenfranchised and depressed.”
His thoughts have been echoed by other leading figures in the industry.
David Niki, the chief technology officer at Innowire Advisory, has predicted similar patterns for an unemployed human workforce.
Describing how the number of staff at most businesses will be dramatically reduced, Mr Niki said that although people will always have “the edge over AI”, it will not stop workers losing their job to technology.
“I think more than professions being lost, the number of staff will be reduced. ie. in the future, you might have a call centre having five people working instead of 100.
“People still need to be there, but their number will significantly decrease. The AI will take care of most of the parts but will need to escalate to human operators at some point.”
He said that this is because people who lose jobs to robots will become increasingly depressed.
Describing these people as “dispensibles”, Mr Lebrecht has argued that even “if they have the basic-level needs of the Maslow hierarchy of needs covered, they still lack wellbeing, fulfilment, and agency.”