How our current corporate structure is working is that the lion share of profits made by the company is divided in the top tier of the company “the fabled upper management” but if we were to closely examine the work they do we will find that their job is mainly to study the market, business environment and a large number of affecting factors and make a decision about the future of the company, their roles may also include the enforcement of these decisions and depending on the scale of the company maybe even implementation(mainly observed in the start up environments). And it is the effectiveness of these decisions(assuming that the execution goes smoothly) that decides if the company gains a profit or suffers a loss.
These decisions are made with careful studies by some of the greatest business minds in the world and often employ tools already using AI to better aid and augment their decisions. Looking at the other half of the equation. The actual working hands of any organization who receive the orders and tasks from the management and then spend a great chunk of their waking hours in return for their livelihoods in the form of money. Now there has been a great debate around about the rise of AI taking over the jobs from the hands of the people and then performing it in a superior way without tiring or demanding pay, once we are done pondering if this is even possible we might think of a situation where we realize the fact that if the job of the workers can be replaced by AI performing automated tasks(ranging from handing over coffee to writing intricate algorithms) it is within the realm of possibility that the job of the management too can be automated rendering them un-necessary. Now this can lead to one of the three situations. Both with varying but high chances of actually happening.
- The AI performing the task of the masses taking away their jobs yielding them massive profits for the corporations, creating a huge gap between the gap in the rich and poor with literally all the wealth residing in the hands of a few hundred individuals while a large population of both skilled and unskilled workers possibly living in poverty. This topic is discussed a lot in todays time and has also been widely researched. There are corporations looking into this to cut their expenses in human workers, working conditions and many more. This is a potential threat to our social fabric but given the political situation around us, governments might reign in these businesses in some way or another to regulate this, either imposing regulations to curb companies from adopting to this practice quickly giving people time to adjust to the new system, find new work or simply to wait for the some massive change in environment or a demand to show up that cannot be satisfied by the then available system or will penultimately lead to the third condition to happen.
- An AI to replace the Management itself is developed reducing the number of rich individuals to a smaller figure but concentrating their wealth in these numbers, this is less likely to disturb the social fabric and more likely to happen as it is much easier to train models of these types over robots performing automated tasks, this may create an ideal working environment for the masses or an extremely stressful one all at the will of the creator, this might also potentially stagnating the business environment for years to come as AI is less likely make mistakes unless there is a huge upheaval in the environment. This will also make the decision making process in the huge corporation much faster one of the only shortcoming and help find everyone in the world a place in the corporation.
- This is either the ideal situation to occur something to pray for or something that will probably cause global hunger uprooting the very concept of society. An AI to perform both the jobs is developed and deployed at the same time making the very concept of work obsolete though some may think that this will lead to the owners of big corporations to have all money and for some time this might very well be true. But a situation like this is less likely to happen given the current Democratic Environment unless people actually find a way to make this happen which will make the second situation(the horrible one) I mentioned earlier. The other one will be almost Utopian and is hopefully more likely to happen. As the changes I mentioned earlier hit the market it will cause a massive upheaval in the society with the wealth concentrated in a few hands the rest of the population might fall back to some other form of exchange of service as the entire supply will be taken over by a few individuals our entire knowledge of economics will be rendered useless. This may give the corporations a morbid excess in the beginning but a new demand which cannot be satiated by the machines will pop up sooner or later(say saving the planet from climate change, helping others or hopefully something philanthropic) and people will start to work towards that. In that scenario with the growing excess of the products available right now will most likely bring them down entirely. These great corporations producing profit indefinitely without any intervention may even turn to public property providing their services for free. Making a massive update for every item that we use today free for use. The very concept of work may go obsolete as the current business environment is not a zero sum game if the size of pie increases faster than the number mouths it has to feed, the quality of life will increase undoubtedly, hopefully the time left to humans in this abundance will be used by them in a more enlightened way like research, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, soul searching etc.
The worlds described above are all hypothetical but in the realm of possibility and in full disclosure I am neither an expert in business nor AI but still these are some of the ideas I had regarding our future with AI after a very long brain storming session. There is a lot of research going on in the field. And with the amount of computable power humans posses at this point and what it will have when the research in Quantum Computing yields fruit is at a scale unimaginable. Not to mention the massive data produced each year as the Tech-Giants gather our online footprint is massive and though right now may only tell us what YouTube video to watch next may be able to direct our very lives in the future. This may seem scary but in today’s world machines are the only trust worthy part left of the system. With Companies and even Governments making tracking our every move for personal greed. Hopefully a beautifully written AI devoid of limitations like greed will be able to provide us with a better solution not to mention with the massive following and rise of open source may influence this in someway making the world’s best and truly transparent upper management.