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The fear and believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a potential threat to human existence is beginning to take a slightly modified perspective as some industry experts both globally and locally take a different viewpoint.

Loss of human jobs as a practical example of the envisaged threat by AI is not in contrary to different studies and statistics that have predicted that majority of the jobs would be lost especially in developed nations where technology has taken a deepened root.

“We just see the tip of the iceberg. No office job is safe,” says Sebastian Thrun, an AI professor at Stanford known for his work on self-driving cars.

The IBM Watson is another solid practical example of an AI. The IBM Watson embeds a cognitive solution, a question answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language.

“The IBM Watson improves speed and efficiency in organizations; it can be integrated with an Enterprise Service Box (ESB) in banks,” Ibironke Kiyomi, A Consultant at IBM said last week at Tenece-IBM event in Lagos.

“Companies don’t even need Front Desk officers anymore because IBM Watson does the job,” she added.

The debate if AI will take over human jobs became topical recently when Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg responded to Elon Musk, one of those experts who fear that AI will cause more harm than good.

“I keep sounding the alarm bell, but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react, because it seems so ethereal,” Elon said, claiming that the technology represents a “fundamental risk to the existence of civilization.”

“I have pretty strong opinions on this … I think you can build things and the world gets better, and with AI especially, I’m optimistic, Mark responded.

“I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios are — I just, I don’t understand it. It’s negative, and in some ways, I think it is pretty irresponsible.”

Speaking with Olumide Olayinka, Partner, and Head, Risk, Innovation and Data Analytics, at KPMG, he laments it quite sad that everybody gets scared that machines will take over human jobs which are not so.

“The kind of jobs that would be replaced is not the kind of jobs humans should be doing in the 21st century, for me, they are not taking our jobs, it is the rise of human,” he said.

The described the rise of humans as a situation whereby mundane and repetitive jobs would be taken over by machines, while humans focus on more significant tasks. “Machines have come to help humans,” he added.

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