Don’t fear the machines, Jack Ma
Artificial intelligence will cause disruption and displacement, but robots will never replace humans, according to Jack Ma.
Addressing an audience of students at Seoul’s Yonsei University on Wednesday, the Alibaba boss told former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: “No matter how smart computers are, human beings will be champions. The world is not about smartness. The world is about heart. Wisdom is from the heart. The brain is about knowledge. If you compete with knowledge, the computer will win. If you compete with wisdom, the computer has no chance.”
Ma also addressed the issue of youth unemployment around the world, noting, “don’t worry about young people. They will tackle challenges on their own and very successfully.” The focus should be on changing education systems to “let humans do things that humans are good at.” The next 30 years will be tough, and it’s important for systems to adapt to the difficulties before they take hold, he commented.
“I love the technological revolution, but I’m concerned about its potential negative impacts. Talk to all the different players including governments, private entities, and urge them that we have to prepare ourselves now for this imminent change,” Ma said, adding that Alibaba views its responsibility as sharing knowledge and technology “to let people live a better life.” Everyone should be thinking that way, he stressed.
“If you want to be successful in the next 30 years, think about others, not about yourself,” Ma said. “We are entering the DT (data technology) era, when we should enable others not just ourselves.”