As with most emerging technology, there are two sides that cover its benefits as well as its potential downfalls. A recent report from the MIT Technology Review found that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will eliminate 1 in every 8 jobs in Asia in the next five years. The technology was created to improve efficiencies and customer satisfaction but also leaves human workers without a viable career path.
What Industries Are Affected by Emerging Technology?
The study on Asia spanned all job markets on the continent, but there are some industries that are affected by AI more than others. Some industries lend themselves to machine learning while others such as massage therapy, public address announcers, and plasterers will not see a decline in the need for human labor anytime soon. The most common industries using this technology today are:
These changes are leading to a shift in the types of skills needed for jobs in any market. Skills that were once prominent like manual dexterity, management of financial and material resources, safety awareness, and speech abilities are now in decline according to the World Economic Forum. The work skills on the rise are now creativity, complex problem-solving, systems analysis, active learning, and technology design and programming.
The Debate on AI Technology
With the rise of automation, the 2018 Future of Jobs Report states that by 2025, machines will be working more hours than humans in the workplace with 52% being AI systems and 48% human labor.
The report from MIT found that only one-third of people surveyed listed the need to reduce headcount costs as a top priority for adopting the use of artificial intelligence. It continued by noting that the rapid use of this technology has left no time for companies to properly consider the impact on culture, organizational structure, and the need for workforce retraining to bridge the gap in technical skills.
Expert in AI and venture capitalist, Kai Fu Lee, said he believes 40% of the world’s jobs will be replaced by robots that can automate tasks. There are many who believe they will be out of a job and one TESLA professional is worried about the power the machines will have.
On the other end of the spectrum, one former IBM worker said that the jobs that are simpler are the ones that will become automated. The positions that require more human judgement and social skills will be the occupations that will be difficult to fill with machines. The goal of AI is to essentially increase efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and expedite decision-making.
Many believe that the implementation of AI will create more jobs to monitor the machines and develop the technology. With the increase in innovation, it may lower the cost to open a new business or expand the existing ones, resulting in more jobs.
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
While the term “artificial intelligence” frightens many people into thinking the world will soon become a Ray Bradbury novel, it may actually offer some benefits. There is little that any company or individual can do to prevent the growth in technology, but there are ways they can adapt to it.
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