All over the world, there is a somewhat understandable fear in the minds of millions and that has to do with uncertainty about the future of jobs, the prospects of securing jobs in the future and how Artificial Intelligence could ruin the chances of securing a good job in the future.
No doubt, Digitization and automation have replaced millions of middle-class jobs, making labour these days insecure and on the road to a very bad end. However, despite these fears, AI has come to stay.
In a prediction by PwC (via the Guardian) AI will create over 7.2 million jobs in the U.K. alone over the next two decades.
With these fears becoming a possible reality in the future, MIT professionals and experts gathered together in an MIT conference some months ago, to discuss how Artificial Intelligence (AI) do not replace jobs but even go ahead to create them.
The theme for the MIT conference was “AI and the Work of the Future Congress,” which had participants and delegates discuss the future of AI with relation to the labour market. The final result of the MIT conference peaked at the release of the final report of MIT’s Task Force on the Work of the Future. The report deductively concluded that there will be no technology-driven jobs that will just wipe out jobs rather new policies will be implemented to drive innovation; technology etc.
Elisabeth Beck Reynolds, executive director of the task force, and executive director of the MIT Industrial Performance Center said, “We’re not going to run out of work,”,
She also added,
“Clearly the distributional effects of technological change are uneven. We’ve seen the reduction of middle-skill jobs [due] to automation, [along with] jobs in manufacturing, administration, in clerical work, while we’ve seen an increase in jobs for those with higher education and higher skill sets. … Our challenge is to try to train [workers] and make sure we have workers in good positions for those jobs.”
AI is expected to cause jobs to shift, and evolve; but not to totally disappear. AI is also expected to help people in the future perform their duties, more effectively, with analytical procedures and real-time solutions to possible problems that may arise.
AI will surely help humans work better in the future, but Artificial Intelligence no matter how well developed it becomes overtime, will be limited especially with regards to skills that involve emotions, creativity, cognitive etc.
According to an article by Forbes, AI may help people write hit songs and compose really good music but AI will not be able to truly replicate the natural human ability to create and invent. Also, machines may not be able to truly communicate much needed social skills needed for social interactions with humans. Human emotions too which play a huge role in social interaction will be almost impossible for a machine to replicate. The notion of caring, compassion and empathy will always be strange to AI. Though nurses and doctors often use AI to help gather information, AI cannot replace their much needed role in the health sector.
The ability to make correct judgement and take correct decision will also be a stumbling block to Artificial Intelligence and machines in general. Hence, problem solving by AI and machines whill be largely dependent on what it was programmed to do at that particular point in time.
Concluding, while AI will enhance efficiency and help in complex problem solving, the labour market of the future will not wallow in unemployment but rather it would adjust to the demands of the new reality AI where jobs are still secured but delivered more accurately and timely.