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Does AI threaten tech jobs?

There are rumors that implementing Machine Learning in tech could render thousands jobless


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Giorgi Mikhelidze

3 years ago | 4 min read

Since the first day of creating computers, people have been obsessed with the idea of artificial intelligence - just imagining that one day you can interact with machines, talk to them while they respond is breathtaking!

AI is one of the most popular words in the IT world nowadays and while some may be very excited for the future, the fear of being replaced had arisen in the hearts of some business owners.

As the possibility of an “intelligent technology” becomes more real year by year, some people worry that Ai is coming after their salaries and jobs. However, the question remains, is reality that terrifying? How did we even get there?

The past: Industrial Revolution 

Before we talk about the future, let’s take a glance at the past. Probably the same thing happened in the 18th century when the Industrial Revolution took place and the process of manufacturing was revolutionized by new inventions.

This increased the efficiency in business and provided higher production. However, it’s also important to mention the fact that the development took traditional jobs, but it also created new ones.

The thing is that if we look at this process from a short-term perspective, yes, things might have been a little difficult, but in terms of long-term goals, the Industrial Revolution along with technological development has taken the world to a new level. 

AI: Improving living standard 

Artificial intelligence has already done its job of improving living standards, but the potential it still has is insanely huge. So, is the hype real? Will AI be a threat to human employment?

We don’t think so. Jobs haven’t been reduced in the past by the invention of new technologies, and they will not reduce now. What this means is that some jobs will surely be displaced, but AI will more likely change what employees do - jobs will evolve, not disappear.

The responsibilities of a normal employee might deepen and people, in general, will need more knowledge and skills to work, which is not very bad news, right? 

Did you know that there’s already a term for the thing that is going to happen in the future? It’s “technological unemployment”, and it was found a very long time ago, in 1930 - when the threat of Artificial intelligence was not even a thought.

This term describes a loss of jobs caused by advances in automation and other technologies. Oxford University Research predicts that 47% of existing jobs can be automated in the upcoming years. On the contrary, PwC forecasts that AI will create around 7 million new jobs in the UK alone. 

Not everything can be replaced

The development of Artificial Intelligence services will replace the standard tasks that are repetitive and do not require a human cognitive mind. The new path to future jobs can be exciting because jobs will no longer be routine and as we already mentioned, they will have the foundation of education and will require a new set of skills.

It’s more likely that people with new jobs will be more productive and enthusiastic about their work. The employers now have a new task to focus on. They should think about educating their current/future workforce to improve the skills that can’t be replaced by the machines, which are: 

Creative skills: Marketing professionals encouraging you to buy their products along with Social Media managers, relationship managers will and can not go for automation. Besides, we all know that AI is already helping some people compose music, but it will not be able to replicate human’s ability to be inspired and invent.

Emotional skills: We, humans are great at being emotional, AI is not. For instance, it can’t replicate empathy, self-awareness, and other important skills. Think of the healthcare industry, where these skills are very important to do the right job. AI can provide doctors with important information and they can make decisions based on them, but conversation and physical interaction with a doctor will always be essential. 

Technological skills: It is important to remember that humans create AI. Technical knowledge also can’t be replicated in the field such as AI systems. 

Negative effects

Is it all good? Of course not. Like everything else in the world, AI can also have negative effects on jobs. The first and probably most important issue that is going to arise is the inequality of high and low-skilled employees.

Not everyone is going to magically have access to higher knowledge and skills, and there will always be people who have more opportunities compared to others.

For instance, the low-skilled employees will have to participate in the development process, and considering their skills and limited resources, it might take a long time to adapt. There’s also another thing that needs to be mentioned. Let’s imagine that online help will be replaced by chatbots, meaning that the process will completely be controlled by robots.

This leads to higher profits for business owners but is bad news for employees. Machines don’t need medical leaves or day-offs on a working day, they are not going to ask for higher pay or overtime payments. In the end, business owners will have all the benefits, while the employee is left with nothing.

If the current employees do not have any technical skills, there will no longer be a requirement for them. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, we think that AI will create more jobs than it takes. To this day it has already introduced 2 million jobs and shortly there might appear a job title like “Artificial Intelligence trainer”.

The potential that AI has still can’t fully be predicted but we do hope that changes will be positive and technology will provide better job opportunities for more educated and skilled employees. Companies can’t leave their current workforce behind, so it is important to think about ways to educate their staff.

According to some experts AI will accelerate job growth in fields like medicine, finance, programming, etc. It’s also a prediction that high-paying jobs are more likely to survive the artificial intelligence era. All we can do is wait and see what happens.

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