Increased focus should be placed on democratizing artificial intelligence (AI) so that the technology’s capabilities aren’t solely available to big corporations, according to a director at Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA).

Tim Pan, senior outreach director at MSRA, warned that the changes brought upon by AI could come too fast for the general public to react and realign themselves in the workplace. He said that widespread access to AI should be emphasized.

“It will be very difficult for a taxi driver to change his or her job to be a computer scientist in their lifetime,” said Pan. A lot of professional drivers will lose their jobs when autonomous vehicles hit the streets, he added, which creates a social issue.

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.