Thu, Dec 12, 2019

If your company has noticed the effects of smart technology and automation, you certainly aren’t alone. Many organizations have enjoyed more efficiency and increased productivity, and it isn’t just in our homes that AI, or artificial intelligence has made an impact. But many of us still instinctively regard the increasing use of AI as a threat, rather than something that will bring about positive change; one of the most common concerns is that of humans having their jobs taken over by robots and machines.

Up to 30 percent of human labor could be undertaken by robots or machines by 2030, or between 400 million and 800 million jobs, according to research carried out by McKinsey Global Institute, which suggests the concerns are justified. McKinsey also forecasts that up to 375 million workers will be forced to completely switch jobs. Think of the recent rise on the Chinese labor economy or the shift away from agricultural work in the 20th century in Europe and the US; the so=called automation revolution could be more significant than either event.

Artificial Intelligence and Future of Jobs

More jobs will be created than will be lost as a result of this increased automation, according to some more optimistic companies. AI will need new systems to be developed and implemented and that should create jobs and ultimately affect the economy positively. Employees not having these skills is the most significant challenge when implementing artificial intelligence systems, according to 80 percent of those participating in the EY survey.

Simple problem solving tasks and those tasks that are repetitive are most likely to be replaced by AI. Financial institutions, customer service positions and industrial jobs will all see AI making decisions, rather than a human. Identifying financial crime and corruption, approving a loan and integrating new employees can all be efficiently handled by artificial intelligence.

More automation means more revenue, which in turn means that service sector supporting jobs benefit from more expenditure. Advances in technology have always created more jobs than they have eliminated, as can be verified when we look back at the advances in technology and automation made throughout history. This doesn’t stop people having concerns about AI and its long term effects, and it is easy to see why.

Healthcare and medicine are already benefiting from advances in artificial intelligence; more accurate diagnosis, more effective treatments and a higher rate of preventing disease are just some of the positive effects. And aid can be focused more where it is needed when it comes to the ongoing battle against world poverty, as AI is able to accurately analyze the data recorded and provided by satellites.

An AI Future Means More Opportunity

The area of education is just as important as business when it comes to harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics – the so-called STEM subjects – should be focused on more, and the importance of data analysts, programmers and other AI associated roles should be realized. When it comes to tasks that need imagination and building relationships, humans will always do better than a machine or a computer, although repetitive tasks are much more suited to AI.

The transition to AI may be difficult, although it can be made smoother by the encouragement of lifelong learning, making it easier to learn new skills and generally making major changes to the educational system. As the world changes continually, learning has to change too and become something we do all our lives, and not something that ends just because we finish school or college.

The new technology should be welcomed by companies to make sure they are enhancing human intelligence by implementing the most efficient possible AI system, and not simply worrying about the negative impact. Our workplace will change as will our lives outside the workplace, and ultimately this has to be accepted and welcomed. In the automotive industry, huge increases in efficiency and productivity can be enjoyed by using robots instead of people, but a robot designed specifically to work on a car production line wouldn’t be able to work in any other industry. In other words, a particular industry isn’t going to be adversely affected just because one industry has undergone a huge technological change.

Just about any industry can benefit from artificial intelligence, making it different from advances in technology that have gone before. The disruption to a specific type of industry isn’t confined to that one industry once you have AI that is capable of solving problems, recognizing sequences and patterns, or understanding language. The article you have just read wasn’t created by AI, but it could have been; the technology already exists. And it may seem hard for some to believe, but processing a lawsuit, dispensing medication and diagnosing illnesses isn’t something out of science fiction – AI is doing all that and more today.