Futurist says advanced technology could make the rich richer, and the poor poorer

Robotics boom to lead to economic inequality across Southeast Asia

Leading Author and Futurist, Martin Ford has warned AI adoption will not only result in job losses but economic equality.

Speaking about advances in technologies across Southeast Asia, Ford says ‘One main danger of advanced technology adoption across Southeast Asia is economic inequality and perhaps unemployment or underemployment for some groups of workers. The implications of advancing automation technology is that capital captures more income relative to labor. This means that a few very wealthy people who already own a lot of capital are likely to become even richer, while average workers who own nothing but the value of their own labor are left with less. I think addressing this trend will be a big challenge for countries not only in Southeast Asia but across the world.’

Ford, Author of ‘Architects Of Intelligence and the New York Times Bestseller Rise Of The Robots’ is also a keynote speaker, futurist and software developer/entrepreneur.

He was speaking ahead of his appearance at this year’s Techsauce Global Summit, which takes place at Centara Grand @CentralWorld, Bangkok from the 19th to the 20th of June.

Southeast Asia’s leading tech conference (which is now in its 3rd year) will be bigger than ever with over 20,000 attendees, 400 speakers and 1,900 start-ups across 50 countries.

Speaker for this year’s event include:

  • Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan

  • Ryan Lee, CFO & Co-Founder, SmartStudy

  • Jemma Green, Power Ledger’s Chair

  • Marvin Liao, Partner at 500 Startups among others.

Ford adds that when it comes to job losses across the region, the most imminent threat will be posed by robots in the manufacturing sector. He says ‘in the near term, the biggest impact may continue to be in manufacturing where the robots will be better, more dexterous and capable of doing more tasks that now require people. This may be especially important in developing economies, including those in Southeast Asia, where manufacturing provides a large share of the employment opportunities.’

According to a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, on a wage-adjusted basis, Southeast Asian nations lead the world in robot adoption, occupying six of the top seven positions in the ranking: Korea leads the world with 2.4 times more robots adopted than expected, followed in order by Singapore, Thailand and China, all who have almost two times more robot adoption than expected.

Leading Author and Futurist, Martin Ford will speak at this year’s Techsauce Global Summit