A common theme with predictions about humanity’s future alongside artificial agents is that they are going to take jobs away. It’s true that large corporations will jump at the chance to reduce their labor costs with machines which can not only do the work more efficiently but will also not need rest comparable to that of a human.
Automation also comes with the potential for the world’s GDP to surge with newly found wealth as a result of this. But in the near future the field of artificial intelligence will likely create far more jobs than it destroys. Still the reader must keep in mind that this prediction is only a short term prediction. At some point our workforce will be replaced entirely but this is far enough in the future to where it isn’t practical to worry about it now.
THE NET JOBS CREATOR CLAIM
The question of the impact AI will have on our job market has been looming as a dark shadow in the minds of many people over the past decade or so when we witnessed another step change in the rate of growth experienced by this industry. Experts claim that by 2020 1.8 million jobs will be lost to AI and it will create 2.3 million jobs for a net gain of just over 500,000 new jobs. After thoroughly analyzing this topic those projections appear to be very likely which overall will be a good thing.
However, it is not all sunshines and rainbows. This dramatic shift does result in more total jobs but it also changes what kinds of prerequisite technical knowledge will be required to actually be employable at most of these jobs. For example when the self driving vehicles finally drive human vehicle operators right out of a job these people will have to face the prospect of doing something else that they may not be qualified for and as we know education is no longer easy to come by as the costs for it have skyrocketed into the stratosphere over the past few decades.
This line of thinking is beyond the scope of this post but it’s helpful to keep these factors in mind when reading about the short term impacts AI will have on the job market. The main point made here is that at least in the near future the field of AI will not endanger the job market which paints a far less daunting picture than the naysayers who excessively worry about machines taking their jobs.
AI AUGMENTATION OF WORKERS
It’s no surprise that part of the reason why AI will create so many more jobs is that when human workers are augmented with this technology it will make them far more productive and efficient than they could have ever hoped to be before. This augmentation presents itself in many possible forms. It could be as simple as a learning algorithm outputting a weekly status report or filtering through important emails but it could also be as high level as helping scientists cure cancer. It has been said that by 2022 one out of five higher level non routine workers will rely on AI in part to do their job while low level routine work will largely go the way of the dinosaurs as AI takes over those positions.
SERIOUS ECONOMIC GAINS
This technology and the jobs generated by it will also result in some serious economic gains even in the short term. The manufacturing industry in particular will see large cost reductions and vastly increased revenue as a result of this technology. Overall AI augmentation is expected to generate 2.9 trillion in business value alone by 2021. That is a rather bold prediction but it has a large chance of becoming a reality. Many other industries will experience productivity boosts and cost reductions as the aforementioned augmentation makes its way into workplaces all across the world. The below image also projects world GDP gains up to 2030.
graphic source: news.cgtn.com
The long term prospects of the job market remain as of yet unclear but in the short term it’s pretty clear that we will have lots of job growth and serious economic gains. AI augmentation of the current workforce is the first step towards a futuristic society that experiences fast progress and economic prosperity. The exact details surrounding the implementation methods of this AI augmentation are still wide open to interpretation and the larger topic of how employees will work alongside machines will be covered in a future post.