Lawrence Wong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Singapore.
Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said he expects technology – including artificial intelligence – to disrupt the labor market but will not eliminate jobs entirely.
In fact, technology can make people more productive and create more jobs, he said at the Asia Tech x Singapore Summit on Tuesday.
related investment news
“I don’t believe we’re going to end up with a jobless future, a dystopian jobless future where machines take over for everything and people get upset because technology can replace some tasks,” Wong said.
The meeting brings together government officials, global business leaders and consumers for four days to discuss the role of technology in the future.
Wong, who is also the city-state’s finance minister, said what would change was “the nature of blue-collar and white-collar jobs” and warned that “the pace of change will accelerate, the scale of interruptions will increase over time. “
He added: “It can also make us more productive at other tasks. And in this way it will create new tasks and new jobs.”
AI has become the new buzzword in the business world after the chatbot ChatGPT went viral after its launch in November. The AI-powered chatbot, which can generate human-like responses to user prompts, reached 100 million users in just two months after its launch.
Some researchers and analysts even suggest that it could make people disappear and replace jobs.
These experts, including Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT owner OpenAI, as well as executives from GoogleAI arm DeepMind and Microsoftt, also called for a global priority to reduce AI-related risks.
Regulations are required
The International Monetary Fund’s first deputy managing director, Geeta Gopinath, also warned of “significant disruption” to labor markets and “very large” risks arising from generative AI, according to a Financial Times report. She also urged governments to introduce regulations to govern the technology.
Singapore’s Wong said workers must learn to adapt and adapt amid the coming disruptions stemming from AI.
“It is understandable that this will create anxiety among those who are less able to adapt and adapt. We will all do more to help workers refresh and update their skills so they can remain competitive and relevant in an increasingly digital world,” he said.
“We can’t leave this to the markets to sort themselves out. Nor can we say that this is only the responsibility of employers,” Wong stressed.
He added that the regulators need to implement ‘comprehensive support’ in the form of job placement and skills development. “This will require a concerted and proactive effort by governments, industry and skills training providers,” Wong said.
Singapore has launched AI Verify, the world’s first testing toolkit, to help companies objectively assess and confirm whether their AI products are responsible and comply with international principles, Wong said.
The country will continue to work with industry on pilot projects and drive the development of AI testing standards, he added.