The rapid pace of technological development and scientific advancement is awe-inspiring, and so is the phenomenal rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) along with all its majestic manifestations and magnificent materialization. Having entered the super-industrial age, human evolution in terms of its material growth and relative progress is still in the making of its concluding chapter. With each passing day, a new scientific breakthrough or machine-driven contraption welcomes the modern era with a delightful surprise, as it did in the primitive ages with the advent of the first wooden wheel and stone tools.

Allowing that change is the only constant that characterizes today’s world. The onset of artificial Intelligence can frankly be referred to as the mother of a whole host of inventions as it is consistently hell-bent on modernizing classic inventions and redefining elements that are employed and manipulated daily, reforming how we tend to lead our lives mechanically.

Now, a household term more than technical jargon, the wonders of artificial Intelligence prevail everywhere. With the least margin to err or swerve away, a melange of aptly programmed gadgets and AI-powered processes pave the way for an ultrafast modus operandi nearly in all automated procedures and technology-driven phases of daily life, promising us the most efficient push-button lifestyle dotted with calm, comfort and contentment in unison. Thanks to the AI-run systems functioning in the background, however, the rise of the most intelligent and superfast yet shortcut-driven civilisation is an oxymoron by itself as the new age has gone exceptionally a long way to ward off the intellectual burden and enlightened superiority it has possessed over the rest of the living creatures.

With a rapidly reducing need for using cognitive functions or making the most of one’s intellectual abilities, the advent of AI and machine learning may push the human race to the verge of reinventing itself. It will necessitate getting oneself acclimatized to sophisticated surroundings way before the bulk of the population becomes irrelevant or is relegated to worthless species in a hi-tech world ruled by a niche minority comprising a lot of young, digital-savvy gurus and technodexterous teenagers.

Welcome to the AI-powered social setup where a human-friendly machine and machine-friendly human are both indispensable for each other’s existence, as anything less than the above would render them irrelevant, perhaps even meaningless. Now emerging as a by-default attribute in place of an additional salient feature, the modern-age wonder called AI is eating old-age professions and occupations like a voracious monster. Yet no one looks worried about the alarming trend to make things worse. The most recent episode occurred in Karachi, where a well-established news publication immediately fired the entire staff after implementing an AI-based content creation system. Similar happenings have been reported from across the world where robots are replacing human resources at a breakneck pace, snatching employment from both newbie media persons and the most accomplished journalists, leaving them jobless all of a sudden under the banner of science.

As things currently stand, the likes of columnists, opinion leaders, reporters, editors, proof-readers, feature writers, etc., are being relegated to process-operating idiots with basic technical qualifications to operate and pander to the directives of a super-smart rechargeable robot, who doesn’t go on strike, ask for any monetary returns or enjoy labour rights at all. What else can a fortune-hunting employer dream of? In the same vein, the watershed transition moment took place when machines were first introduced in the manufacturing world to replace human labour while millions of the workforce were left irrelevant for the rest of their lives in one fell swoop. In fact, the number of redundant labour was more than those who died, injured or paralysed in both the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Of course, the ongoing AI mania will create many new employment opportunities for the generations to come, but what about millions of those being lost during the transition?

Primarily aimed at increasing the manufacturing output manifold with minimum resources and time, the current pace of mechanization, automation and robotisation is mind-blowing, bringing in speed, efficiency and accuracy at one go, at the expense of a vast human capital, which is now ending up as the ultimate casualty of its own intellectual obsession and noetic adventurism. The race between artificial Intelligence and real wisdom is finally over. In today’s time and age, it is more than a crime to be a senior citizen failing to adapt to technological change, making them more vulnerable to mass layoff and economic redundancy. Interestingly, the field of medical sciences is best employing AI tools to increase life longevity, but the same AI revolution is literally showing old folks the door to leave, without asking.

Over and above, the economy of the knowledge-based, learned elite, the AI surge is fast evolving the globe into the world of youth because of their unmatched ability to memorise, learn, grasp, and comprehend the most complex but emerging knowledge fields based on technology and data sciences. Notwithstanding their overwhelming numbers, the rest of humankind will be most susceptible to social Darwinism and will face the wrath of an enlightened minority, decades younger than the vast majority left in the lurch of an unassailable knowledge divide.

There is a dire need to see the relentless AI surge from the prism of Anthropology in place of knowing it through the lens of Marxism or Gender Studies. Increasing the gap between the haves and the have-nots, the AI phenomenon, by its very nature, is more appropriate for a world with fewer human beings around rather than catering to the overpopulated planet with over eight billion humans. The women empowerment movement would be taken over by the human empowerment drive to make both men and women capable of actualising their self-worth in place of losing their individual and collective values at the hands of an AI-powered machine. Thanks to artificial Intelligence, there will not be a war between man and machine, but it will rather be a clash of man versus man once again, wherein the most AI-armed side will rule the roost.

Now turning human beings into two-legged dumb creatures in lieu of bonded labourers as was done in the past, the spectre of virtual colonialism is at its peak. The IT giants such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon will leave no stone unturned to reign supreme over each other. It will continue to add value to the lives of the chosen few by depriving the rest of even their basic amenities and physical needs. For instance, think of a multi-storey AI-run shopping centre loaded with a huge variety of high-demand products for everyday needs. On the other hand, however, an absolute majority of consumers who desperately need these daily items are unable to buy them, only adding to the miseries of an already inequality-infested world.

At Google, a frequently appearing verification message ‘I’m not a robot’ asks us to confirm our human identification time and again. Interestingly, when a robot repeatedly asks me to prove my human credentials to help me keep availing of technological marvels, I find myself being alienated and irrelevant. Having recently lost my job in my late 40s, at the hands of an AI-based software, I am not looking for a rational explanation but a shoulder to cry upon. Because I’m not a robot!

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Faizan is a journalist and has been associated with various publications in editorial roles. His areas of interest include creative thinking, new product development and innovation. He can be reached at