no robo killers, but...
what about jobs?
General-availability specialized AI has a pretty massive potential impact on jobs. Take our friendly auto-pilots for example. Once Tesla and the like have good-enough auto driving capability (i.e. once they achieve significantly less mortality risks than human drivers and once the legal framework - insurance and manufacturer liability - around it has matured), then what?
Along with capability to down quite a few at the pub and have the car drive you back, expect less taxi drivers and less truck drivers.
You can generalize that type of impact, in the 30-50 year time frame, to a whole lot of jobs. There will be jobs that will be pretty safe - masseurs, chefs, nurses, etc... There will be plenty of creative type jobs that will need top-flight humans to assist the AIs. There will be jobs that don't have the numbers to justify crafting AIs for them. There will be jobs where human dexterity will remain paramount.
But it still leaves a lot of potential replacements.
Or, to put it slightly differently - we ain't necessarily dreaming about benevolent AIs like in Banks' Culture. I agree with the article that self-awareness is still quite far off. If anything, the success of machine learning is probably slowing down research in "real AI".
But Bank's "benevolent socialism" bit, where we all live a life of leisure enabled by our AI underlings? I don't think our societies are yet grasping the challenges that potentially quite limited job requirements could bring.
See for example https://www.amazon.com/Race-Against-Machine-Accelerating-Productivity-ebook/dp/B005WTR4ZI
I am quite aware of the lump-of-jobs fallacy trap. I mostly agree that it's a trap - even though modern research is starting to recognize that, in a given country, some displaced workers will be net losers, even as society as a whole benefits. But wholesale AI to replace mundane humans tasks is another kettle of fish.
No one wants to go back to Victorian times and slave all day. Nor do I think AIs doing work is necessarily a bad thing. Or avoidable. But nothing tells me that Banks' rosy future of self-confident yet clever idlers is more likely to happen than just generalizing today's unpleasant impact of long-term joblessness to a large proportion of the population.
Unless we start thinking about how to make it a positive transition. Signs ain't good - Western military planners are still stuck thinking pilots will be needed for another 20-30 years, despite the massive risks inherent in getting it wrong.