In the coming decades, artificial intelligence will a posses larger influence on society than the internet, due to its capability of transforming the work path followed by industries and businesses, claims Robin Li Yanhong, Chairman of Baidu.

In the New York Bloomberg Global Business Forum, Li Yanhong and Christine Lagarde, MD at IMF, discussed the path that is being followed by technology. There onstage, Li said:

“If the internet was the appetizer, then AI is the main course.” He further added, “The internet changed a lot of our daily lives, but did not have much impact on the 2B industries. I think AI will change that.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) consists of technologies that do jobs that are actually the features of human intelligence, such as identifying sounds and objects and comprehending languages, has always been a controversial topic. Tech front-runners such as Elon Musk publicly warn about the technology going out-of-control, and governments are now actively learning about their potentially disruptive effects on jobs.

Others claim a benefit, in that AI will release labor to go hunt for more-valued work, thus, increasing productivity, particularly for developing markets with aged populations. China is chasing AI and considers it a national priority; making a plan to become a tech giant in the space by 2030.

In the video session, Lagarde claimed that an IMF survey of thirty “Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)” member countries have discovered that such advancements in AI will cause almost 26 million jobs to “probably disappear” worldwide. She further informed that women will be more likely to be effected by the influence of AI than men, because more women are doing more work that includes repetitive tasks.

Li claimed that although technology will replace the need for lots of human jobs, AI will also generate new jobs, such as jobs related to data labelling, in which humans are the ones to label the data and then computers learn from that.

Baidu CEO Robin Li Claims that AI will Greatly Reshape Our Society

He further said that “it’s hard for me or anyone to imagine what new job opportunities will be created” in the coming time, though he thinks there are “more opportunities than threats”.

Nonetheless, people will be freer since because of an increase in productivity, working hours will be reduced and this time will be used to absorb content, which needs creativity and is normally developed by humans. “Computers are not good at that yet,” Li said.

“We do have a lot of opportunities,” Li said. “But that being said, there are constraints, like how do you protect privacy, how do you make sure technology does not get out of control and do bad things to mankind. There are things that we need to worry about but I do see more opportunities than threats.”