Many had their concerns about the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the employment market, whilst many others expected positive outcomes. The result was that it was a complex and difficult transition in the short-term, but a big leap for the human civilisation in the long-term.
AI can also be expected to make a similar impact. Our current generation may have to go through a difficult period of transition, giving way to an easier and better future for the coming generations.
So what can be the impact of AI on the employment market in the near future? Is it going to be a nightmare for majority of the workforce?
Let’s find out what the experts, business community, and researchers have to say about it.
According to Chalmers Brown of Due, an online payments company, AI is going to primarily free up humans to focus on things they do best. He believes AI will, more importantly, take over tedious, repetitive tasks.
AI is already being widely used by the masses and it hasn’t made any impact on jobs. Applications like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, and many other customer service apps, customer loyalty apps, and other applications have already embraced the power of machine learning for the general good of everyone. It has only made things simpler for everyone.
Mark Benson of Exosite, an IoT solutions provider, thinks that there is widespread lack of knowledge about AI and that is the driving cause behind the fear that the employment market has for it. According to him, the technology can potentially solve complex social issues.
Matthew Lieberman of PwC, the global accounting and financial services company, goes on to claim that instead of ‘destroying’ jobs, AI is going to contribute to the employment market and strengthen the economy. It is going to bring an evolution in the market, even when it is going to be a gradual growth. He claims that the technology will make people more efficient.
Professor Daron Acemoğlu of MIT and Postdoctoral Fellow Pascual Restrepo at Yale, in their report, have come to the conclusion that there is going to be a balance between the rate at which jobs will be automated by AI and the rate at which new complex jobs will be created for humans. This balance will eventually prevent the job market from suffering.
They are also of the opining the machines are going to take up routine tasks at an increasing rate. This will allow humans to focus on tasks they can do better.
There were similar speculations about the Internet Revolution about the computers taking over human work. Today, so many people rely on the internet to make a living. The jobs present today couldn’t even be imagined a few decades ago.
Interestingly, Acemoğlu and Restrepo also predict that governments will be in a position to invest more in education, healthcare, and social services – which is something the public at large is more interested in, currently.
If anyone would want to take a piece of advice from these researchers, it will help to become highly skilled workers to handle new, more complex tasks. Gradually, the new jobs will become easier to learn.
Even Gartner, a global research and advisory company, claims that AI is going to create more jobs than what will be lost. But it will take until 2020 for AI-based new job creations to enter the positive territory. The impact will be felt based on the industry.
Whilst artificial intelligence is going to cut many jobs, it is going to create more jobs at new positions, at all levels ranging from entry-level to management.
So, looking at history it would be farfetched to claim that AI is going to be a nightmare for the job market. It is likely to create some big ripples in the water, but instead of tumbling over the ship, the ripples are expected to push the ship to move faster.