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#AI@Work: General or Specific Intelligence?

AI, as it stands now, is categorized into two types of intelligence: general intelligence and specific intelligence. General intelligence is based on the theory that machines can be made to think like humans. Machines can have functions that are similar to the human brain, operating with understanding, compassion, reason and logic. When this happens programmers and software engineers will be obsolete. Specific AI refers to a computer’s ability to perform specific tasks. AI performs these tasks much better than humans could do them. This is closer to where AI evolution is currently. In many ways and areas, AI is still in its infancy. For now, we will still need software programmers and engineers in areas like healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, food production, customer service, finance, defense and many others.

There used to be a paradigm that said if you work for the government, your job is safe for life. That, however, has changed. Even governments may become obsolete with AI. The private sector is implementing AI and intelligent solutions to problems many governments around the world are still unable to solve. Simple management, payroll, cataloging and financial systems are a legacy. The gap between the private and public sector’s ability to reach and apply technologies is widening. As technology becomes more advanced and complex, it becomes more disruptive. Then there is the question of talent. Traditionally the private sector has and does pay better than the public sector. And a current crisis of trust is infiltrating governments all over the globe. As the workforce moves to digital and remote, there are more expectations on government to keep up with technology. Most of our governments are dated. There is a relevance gap reflected in outdated and inadequate services and slow-moving processes and procedures. As AI disruption infiltrates the workplace more people will begin to question why government is what it is. More importantly, why they are paying for it.

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