There was a time when it was quite impossible to imagine machines using human abilities like reasoning, understanding and learning from experience, to perform tasks like driving or acting as a personal assistant. But thanks to the emergence and popularity of AI or artificial intelligence, our future is all set to revolutionize. Already, we see how mankind has harnessed the power of AI through smartphones, video games, self-driving cars and chatbots that you see every time you go online to shop. So, is AI all good or does it have a dark side?
Is the human element of AI a threat?
Most of us are aware that AI has made it possible for machines to understand their environment and react accordingly, understand military simulations and speech patterns or voices, and even read and analyze complex data, videos and images. As Bill Gates says in one of his interviews, computers can now “see” as well as humans.
This is probably the reason why there is a concern all over the world that AI might impact the job market negatively, where 60% to 70% of the present jobs might either get eliminated or marginalized. However, the picture is not all bleak and AI will most likely promote new kinds of employment opportunities, especially for IT experts, in the field of Cloud Computing, Big Data and so on.
Here are a few ways in which AI will impact the job market:
1. Multiple Layoffs: Jobs like telemarketing, bookkeeping, insurance calculation, receptionists, couriers, proof-readers, computer support specialists, marketing research analysts and retail salespeople will probably be affected negatively by AI. These can be automated intelligently, but the silver lining is that the proficiency and profit margin in all these sectors will improve dramatically when handled by AI.
2. Creating multiple new jobs: While AI will replace a number of human jobs, it will create many others. It is being predicted that by 2020, AI will be creating 2.3 million jobs, and will replace close to 1.8 million jobs. Job demand will vary from one sector to another, where manufacturing industries will probably see more job losses than education and healthcare.
- Workplace safety will increase: This will happen partly due to the amount of dangerous jobs that will be handled by AI and not humans. For instance, self-driving vehicles, assembly line robots etc. will still be dependent on humans at a higher level, but advanced AI will predict the areas which require safety and which protocols can guarantee better safety for humans.
- Data processing will become more efficient: Industries that require a huge amount of data processing like the financial sector, insurance sector, stock markets, etc. will become more efficient as AI will keep enhancing the data processing techniques. Hence, these sectors will become more stable and there will be a better probability for market predictions to be true and accurate. Consequently, more people will invest in the market and reap better returns.
- Research will become near instantaneous: Research will continue to require human interface because AI cannot choose where to focus. But beyond this, all calculations and models predicting the behaviour of large socio, economic and political ecosystems will improve dramatically. Consequentially, the production of medicines and technology will accelerate significantly, which will create more jobs for humans.
- Vastly improved legislations: Legislations all across the globe are getting digitized gradually. Currently, the biggest hindrance to smooth legislation is the mammoth task of filing and retrieving pertinent data from thousands of sources spread across hundreds of locations. Smart legal AI will solve this problem and very soon we will have the Google version of the legal documentation that will be linked throughout the world. This will improve the quality of cases fought and streamline them, ensuring a faster turnaround time for case completion.
- Specialized jobs: Since managing vast and powerful AI networks can be a challenging task, it will create entirely new job profiles for humans, the world over. These professionals will focus on the betterment of existing AI, which will lead to further job creation and efficiency in the market.
All in all, it makes sense to be optimistic about AI, as the potential benefits it will bring to the economy will outweigh the jobs it will eliminate. Though adjustments have to be made in the short run to fall in line with this technological revolution, AI will offer humans the scope to train for better jobs. It will add a whole new edge not only to businesses everywhere, but also change lives for better.