Artificial intelligence: ‘Homo sapiens will be split into a handful of gods and the rest of us’

Robots manufactured by Shaanxi Jiuli Robot Manufacturing Co on display at a technology fair in Shanghai Photograph: Imaginechina/Corbis If you wanted relief from stories about tyre factories and steel plants closing, you could try relaxing with a new 300-page report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch which looks at the likely effects of a robot revolution. But you might not end up reassured. Though it promises robot carers for an ageing population, it also forecasts huge numbers of jobs being wiped out: up to 35% of all workers in the UK and 47% of those in the US, including white-collar jobs, seeing their livelihoods taken away by machines. Haven’t we heard all this before, though? From the luddites of the 19th century to print unions protesting in the 1980s about…


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