Artificial Intelligence is not just a buzzword but rather a phenomenon in itself that is here to stay. Needless to say, it has become an important aspect of today’s digital world. It has changed the way human beings function for it is used in web search engines like Google and even to understand human speech like what Alexa and Siri do. It has not only led to increased efficiency but has also led to the reduction of costs, thus being used in more than just a few industries.
The fact that technology and innovation have actually led to the creation of more and more jobs may be substantiated by statistics. According to Statista Research Department, there has been an increase of around 1.04 billion people employed globally over the last three decades. Technological advancements require workers to be on their toes when it comes to upgrading their skills because they have changed the nature of work. Technological advancements also mean the increasing use of automation in firms that call for high and complex skills.
The Role that AI Plays in Automation
Artificial Intelligence is the use of technology to make a machine act like a human using human intelligence. The processes involved in Artificial Intelligencev are learning from previous experiences and correcting mistakes to reach a state of conclusion. Automation, however, requires a machine to act on a set of instructions that humans have described. Artificial Intelligence is the most crucial part of intelligent automation.
AI-driven automation has impacted many industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation. AI-driven automation has had an effect on employment in these industries as well. For example, introducing industrial robots has reduced the restaurant sector’s employment rates.
Benefits of Automation
- No Human Interference Is Required – Automation makes use of chatbots that make handling work easier rather than delegating tasks to humans and monitoring their conversations with customers which not only takes a lot of time but involves operational costs as well.
- Increase in production rates, especially in the industrial sector – Automation helps in increasing production rates especially in industrial sectors while reducing monetary expenses and use of resources.
- Increased efficiency by producing top-notch products – Another benefit of automation is the increase in efficiency it results in. Products produced are top-notch thus increasing customer satisfaction and ROI (return on investments).
- Increase in the level of safety by reducing human errors – Safety is important, especially in industries like mining and agriculture. Increased material efficiency and reduced human errors are gifts provided by automation that automatically increase the level of safety.
- Decrease in expenses – Saving labor and operational costs is one of the benefits of automation. Businesses thus look for automation for the cost savings that it results in.
- Reduction of the time required to work – Employees can devote time to other important core functions of business by having less time to spend on tasks that can be handled by automation. Automation reduces the time required to work and thus helps businesses save time which is precious.
Drawbacks of Automation
(1) Loss of jobs for human beings
One of the significant drawbacks of automation is the loss of jobs for human beings. Businesses go for automation with the notion that machines will perform jobs more efficiently and in less time. For example, robots used in the restaurant sector for waiting on tables are worrying waiters as that has resulted in job loss for many of them. For example, McDonald’s is said to be replacing workers with AI-driven automation.
(2) Increase in capital investments to maintain automated systems
Although automation reduces operational costs, it does lead to increased capital investments because of the need to maintain operational systems which require a sufficient amount of investments.
(3) Potential to Create safety risks
Automation may create safety risks like in the case of restaurants, robots can crash with tables or customers while waiting on tables.
(4) Potential to seek human assistance
Like in the previous example, while waiting on tables, humans may need to assist robots to ensure they don’t hit customers while they are walking around the restaurant.
Changing Landscape As Far As Jobs Are Concerned
The job market is going to experience a significant change due to Artificial Intelligence as it is said to create and displace a lot of jobs in the coming years. World Economic Forum has released a report on the job market recently according to which the impact of Artificial Intelligence will be felt on one-fourth of jobs over the next half a decade. The global job market is said to be undergoing a huge transformation due to automation, Artificial Intelligence, and digitization. As per the World Economic Forum, “a new era of turbulence” is set to begin due to the same as workers won’t have the requisite skills to keep up with Artificial Intelligence and digitization.
As many as 800 companies employing 11.3 million workers in around 45 countries of the world were surveyed by the World Economic Forum. As opposed to 69 million jobs that are to be created by 2027, 83 million jobs are supposed to be eliminated as per global employers. Clerical and admin positions might face the impact the most as 26 million admin jobs might go under the knife.
Industries most affected by Artificial Intelligence-related job changes are marketing, banking and finance, healthcare, and transportation. Artificial Intelligence can perform tasks most marketing associates perform like data entry, social media content creation, and others. Even in the banking and finance industry, AI can automate mundane and routine tasks like documentation and processing. In healthcare, in addition to robotic surgeries, scanning of X-rays and Citi-Scan can also be done by AI-automated machines. Mention must be made of self-driven cars when we are talking about Artificial Intelligence that can reduce the need for drivers even.
The importance of Upskilling and Reskilling to adapt to the changes in the job market cannot be stressed enough. As per a report by McKinsey and Company, 48% of respondents have responded in the affirmative when asked if upskilling and reskilling have improved performance. Adapting to technological innovations and advancements not only help in increasing productivity but also help in increasing the potential to earn more.
Artificial Intelligence Augmentation of Job Roles
Artificial Intelligence is transforming and enhancing job roles and allowing individuals to focus on those tasks that require analytical and critical thinking skills. Artificial Intelligence not only provides businesses with the chance to automate routine tasks but also enhance job roles by providing data-based insights to improve and optimize performance.
Now, let us look at a few examples of Artificial intelligence-based technologies helping professionals in diverse fields. Artificial Intelligence when combined with an iWatch for example has predicted critical ICU transfers thus, saving the lives of patients. Not only has this but Artificial Intelligence technologies like SIA (a chatbot by Depository Financial Institution of India) and robo traders by Aidya have changed the way the banking and finance industry performed.
There is an increasing need to embrace Artificial Intelligence collaboration for long-term productivity gains instead of embracing it only to displace human jobs that bring short-term productivity gains. But, to keep up with Artificial Intelligence, there is also a need for individuals to develop new skill sets so for optimum utilization of technology to produce the required output.
Emerging Job Opportunities Created by Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is creating new and emerging job roles like Robotics Engineer, Computer Visions Engineer, AI Sales Director, AI Data Analyst, and many others. Al you are required to do is get a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in computer science, data science, software engineering, and other related fields.
Artificial Intelligence also creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to start businesses using the same. The business ideas can range from using Artificial Intelligence in chatbots to offering personalized education using Artificial Intelligence to even launching a firm that detects fraud using Artificial Intelligence.
Implications and Challenges of AI on the Society
There are a few potential ethical considerations associated with Artificial Intelligence in the job market and they are as follows:
- Instead of displacing workers, companies can help employees upskill and reskill so that their jobs are not cut off.
- Companies can also keep employees in areas where Artificial Intelligence is not needed.
- Inclusion of data balancing and data sampling techniques so that AI doesn’t create bias while hiring or evaluating employee performance for example.
- Inclusion of human oversight to identify errors created by AI-driven automation and increase accountability.
As examined before, Artificial Intelligence-driven automation can lead to the displacement of the workforce and lead to significant changes in the job market. How? By creating technological unemployment and subsequent income inequality in society due to the lack of earning potential of the displaced workers. This may lead to a rise in socio-economic disparities especially in developing countries.
Policy regulations are the need of the hour to ensure that AI-driven systems are ethical and legal. There could be standards for bias, transparency, and accountability. Not only this but standards could also be set for data privacy and ethical decision-making, among other things. 4
Let’s Sum Up
To sum it up, Artificial Intelligence is here to stay but to ensure that it does not create disruptions in the job market, it’s important to upskill and reskill and keep up with AI-driven automation. Also, ethical considerations of Artificial Intelligence cannot be overlooked and so are policy considerations.
There might be job losses in the job market in the AI era in the future but AI will create jobs too. The only thing that will help employees survive is developing new skills so that more jobs are created than they are displaced. Companies should also look at ethical considerations of AI in the job market and provide opportunities for training to ensure job loss is minimal.
All you need to do is adapt, learn, and seize the opportunities offered by Artificial Intelligence. Only then can digitization and AI-related automation can become a boon to modern society.