When you hear the term “artificial intelligence,” chances are that you’ll often hear that artificial intelligence is going to leave millions of people around the world without jobs. As artificial intelligence and machine learning improves, workers involved in jobs and industries that can be automated will be let go, leaving countless workers without jobs and countless families in financial crises.
However, industry leaders are thinking of artificial intelligence differently than mainstream media outlets. Rather than eliminating jobs and causing a job crisis, many business leaders are now saying that AI can be used to enhance current jobs, replace mundane tasks, and actually create jobs in a wide range of industries. Considering current trends in artificial intelligence and the possibilities of artificial intelligence in the future, here’s how AI can impact jobs for the better.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is the general term for machine learning and programs that mimic human intelligence. This can be in the workforce, but it can also be used for entertainment, research, academics, and so much more.
This technology makes it possible for machines to learn from previous experiences, new conditions, and anticipated future changes without the need for manual programming and input. This automated learning is what makes artificial intelligence so exciting and so revolutionary. Machines process large amounts of data in real-time to make decisions based on that data, just as humans process large amounts of data and make decisions using their brains.
The History of New Technology and Job Trends
When thinking about artificial intelligence and how it will impact a global workforce, it’s important to consider historical trends of employment when radical new technologies were introduced.
For instance, the industrial revolution automated countless processes with the use of coal and steam power. Automation enhanced the way that goods were created and how businesses ran. This wildly new technology didn’t cut jobs due to increased automation and efficiency, it was the catalyst for rapid job and business growth.
Jump ahead a few hundred years to the mid-1990s and you’ll see just how big of an impact the internet has had on the world. With the internet, wouldn’t all printed forms of communication and information be completely gone, eliminating the millions of jobs associated with each? That would have been a very reasonable assumption to have with the rise of the internet, but the truth is far from that. Thousands of extremely valuable companies have formed from the internet, we use printed communication and information more than ever, and the internet created many more jobs than it eliminated.
AI and Costs of Operation
AI has a massive opportunity for significant cost reductions, but these cost reductions aren’t going to come from eliminating jobs. Rather than completely replacing jobs in various industries, artificial intelligence can take over repetitive tasks, reducing the costs of operation and allowing employees to take on more complex work.
This cost reduction may allow the business to reinvest those savings into growth opportunities, meaning more retail stores or more corporate locations. With growth comes the need for more employees. AI will allow workers to gain new skills and responsibilities, helping to propel the business into the future. AI should be considered as a job enhancement, not a job replacement.
Enhancing Jobs, Not Replacing Them
Some jobs that are deemed as the most likely to be replaced by AI include loan officers, web developers, financial specialists, and customer service representatives, to name a few. However, it’s much more likely to have AI enhance those jobs rather than eliminate them completely. Let’s consider customer service representatives. In many businesses and industries, AI is already helping to enhance the customer experience.
For example, AI is now screening all pre-call information sent over by the customer. By capturing a short voice recording of what the issue is, AI can assess the words and tone of that recording and pass the information along to the customer service representative before they even receive the call. This information might include what the issue is and if there are any obvious fixes to the issue, or even if the customer is angry based on their tone of voice.
AI Uses In Today’s Job Market
We’ve already discussed customer service representatives being able to leverage AI to understand customer concerns and emotions before the call even begins, and there are so many other applications for AI in the workforce today. In manufacturing, AI can be used to assist assembly workers when manufacturing products. AI machines can assist with the placement and scanning of products to ensure quality control and accuracy.
Machine learning can also enhance the financial sector, creating automated reports and projections of future financial growth for financial advisors and accountants. Web developers can use artificial intelligence to automate some of the front-end design based on end-user preferences, allowing the developer to spend more time focusing on the back-end design of the site.
The home and business internet connectivity sector has also seen a rise in AI, from assisting with customer service representatives to enhancing speed tests and creating tailored suggestions based on speed test findings.
We’ve already seen many ways that AI enhances today’s job market without even realizing it. If you’re worried about AI making an entrance into the job market and eliminating jobs, the truth is that AI is already here, and we’re seeing it do some incredible things not only in terms of efficiency and improving existing jobs, but also creating new jobs in the marketplace.
It’s easy to see why so many are worried about AI replacing existing jobs. Considering what AI can do today and thinking about what AI may be able to do in the future, it can leave many workers feeling uneasy about their future job security. However, AI should be embraced as a way to improve current jobs and create new ones. From the financial industry to the medical industry and everything in between, we see AI as a way to transform current jobs and create new job growth in ways that we can’t even imagine.