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AI - Detailed Scenario Planning for an AI Society

January 14, 2021
Updated January 2022.                                   

This is one of our series of 'Considered Documents'. It is a follow on and underpins the document Artificial Intelligence - Accelerating and Managing Deployment.

It is recognised that there will, over time, be widespread replacement of existing jobs by AI. Some believe this ‘Disruption Scenario’ will be mitigated by creation of new types of jobs, largely based on what happened in the industrial revolution and with computers. Others believe AI is of an entirely different order, because any new jobs will be capable of being performed by AI and we will reach a ‘Tipping Point Scenario’ where there is a net loss of jobs. If that happens work may become a privilege! The estimates of the length of time to that tipping point vary considerably with 20 years often being quoted but even if it is 50 years we need to plan ahead for such far-reaching consequences.

The tipping point scenario would affect and overturn almost every aspect of how we operate our society. So, it is an opportunity to plan what sort of society we want in the future and to choose to take steps now that have a beneficial outcome whatever scenario comes to pass. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that there are huge positive opportunities from AI at every turn as long as we make good decisions early.

Our paper examines both the Disruption Scenario and Tipping Point Scenario in depth. It identifies issues, unintended consequences and potential ways we can avoid or mitigate them and also looks at the opportunities and what sort of AI society we might be able to create. 

One of three. This document is one of three documents on AI which were written in sequence and each relates to the previous one.

Artificial Intelligence - Accelerating and Managing Deployment (This introductory document to the topic)
Artificial Intelligence - Detailed Scenario Planning for an AI Society (Detailed Scenario Planning of alternative potential scenarios)
Artificial Intelligence - Managing the Impact on Society (Additional proposals drawing on the Scenario Planning document)