“Jobs will be lost” is pretty much the traditional response to anything that even remotely relates to automation, with artificial intelligence (AI) now at the top of the list. True, AI is a form automation, but it goes one step further. Not only will the machine do someone’s job, it will have the ability to learn new tasks and take positive action when variables are introduced.
Like humans, the machine will be able to learn a new job when the current task is completed or becomes obsolete. The difference is the machine will always adapt to new situation, whereas the human has the choice to adapt or not.
According to research firm Data Driven Investor, AI empowers machines with effective ways to replace manual tasks. Companies of all sizes and industries verticals are pursuing AI-driven automation to enhance workforce productivity and maximize profitability. But that all comes with a price. Many believe, and rightfully so, that machines will take over many jobs and unemployment will rise. And all things indicate this will be the case, but to what degree is unknown.
The Data Driven Investor refers to a study conducted by the World Economic Forum that finds in the near future, the growth and development of AI technologies will disrupt the employment industry and take away several jobs from humans. However, the technology will also create enormous new job opportunities. They also quote research firm Gartner’s confirmation of AI creating more jobs than it replaces.
Gartner predicts that, in 2020, AI will create 2.3 million new jobs while eliminating 1.8 million traditional jobs. Ultimately, employees will be expected to prepare for the gradual transition and learn skills that complement technologies such as AI. Again, humans have the choice to transition or not.
As per the Data Driven Investor, the following professions are most likely to be replaced by AI:
- Sales and Market Research
- Predictable Physical Work (Repetitive manual work)
- Data Processing
- Data Collection
In contrast, the jobs least likely to be replaced by automation include those of managing others, applying expertise, stakeholder interactions, and unpredictable physical work.
One way or another, we are certainly in for, at the very least, an interesting future. Let’s all meet in the unemployment office and discuss it someday. In the meantime, review the World Economic Forum report, Gartners job predictions report, and the Data Driven Investor.