In future, artificial intelligence and robots won't just steal your job – they could also make you look like an idiot, according to an informal Salesforce study.
Marc Benioff, founder of the US software giant, revealed during the 2018 World Economic Forum that the firm's AI – dubbed Einstein – is not only used during management meetings but even has the power to leave high-ranking executives red-faced.
Speaking about how AI can help crunch big data, he described a recent situation when Einstein shamed a member of the senior management by correcting – in front of the entire team - his projections.
"I have my top 30 or 40 executives around my table," Benioff told attendees in Davos, Switzerland.
"And we figure out how we are doing as we look at all of this analysis. But now I have a new 'person' with me and it's kind of an empty chair.
"We have a technology called Einstein."
Benioff said that after all the humans had spoken about their projections in the meeting he asked Einstein its thoughts. The programme bluntly responded: "Well, I don't think this executive is going to make their number. I'm so sorry."
The comments, Benioff noted, left the European employee visibly irked by the correction.
But the AI was not finished, proceeding to break down its calculations in a logical sequence. Benioff said that ultimately the analysis proved useful. "I could say 'well, you've got this problem, and this person hasn't got that in place, and you didn't do this over here'," he stated.
Despite the futuristic humiliation, Salesforce says AI will assist humans, not replace them. "Einstein is nothing like the dark, science fiction depictions seen in movies," the firm promises.
Paul Armstrong, founder of consultancy firm Here/Forth, told The Times newspaper on Friday (26 January): "The near future may see robot 'intelligence machines' but managing goes way beyond simply making predictions and using an algorithm to come to a conclusion.
"While the AI industry continues to leap forward, the days of true robot bosses are far in the distance. The technology and the interfaces simply aren't there yet."
But renowned physicist Stephen Hawking warned last year that the rise of AI may become "the worst event in the history of our civilization" if humanity fails to prepare for the risks.