Whenever I talk to people about the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, it’s clear there is a lot of anxiety surrounding these developments.
And no wonder: these technologies already have a huge impact on the world of work, from AI-powered algorithms that recommend optimal routes to maximize Lyft and Uber drivers’ earnings; to machine learning systems that help optimize lists of customer leads so salespeople can be more effective.
We’re on the verge of tremendous transformations to work. Millions of jobs will be affected and the nature of work itself may change profoundly. We have an obligation to shape this future — the good news is that we can.
It’s easier to see the jobs that will disappear than to imagine the jobs that will be created in the future but are as yet unknown. If, as The Wall Street Journal suggests, we think of AI as a technology that predicts, it’s much easier to map its impact. We must push ourselves to do that and understand the future of work.
Here are six principles to keep in mind as we imagine how the world of work will evolve.
1. Expect massive disruption
As Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, explains, we’re in the midst of a “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, after steam power (the first), electric power (the second) and digitization (the third). The fourth, which incorporates AI and robotics as well as other technologies, will have an even greater impact.
Of course, most new technologies create new opportunities at the same time as they eliminate old jobs, but there is rarely a perfect correspondence between these two forces. The people whose jobs go away aren’t easily retrained for the new jobs and that can lead to anger and social unrest — and, in the short term, massive inequalities, across both geographies and groups of people.
It’s essential to prepare for change by keeping abreast of new technologies, both in general and in your specific field. Learn as much as you can and keep your skills up to date.
2. AI will replace repetitive tasks more than jobs
Recent studies, including one from McKinsey and another from the OECD, have poured cold water on earlier estimates that nearly half of American jobs are at risk of being eliminated by AI.
Newer studies look at specific, repetitive tasks instead of whole jobs and find that, for most of us, some fraction of the work we do each day could be done better with AI. But for most jobs, computers aren’t going to replace everything we do.
For the majority of us, AI will take away the most repetitive and boring tasks, enabling us to spend more time on creative problem-solving and on the parts of our jobs that involve complex human interactions and relationships.
To help prepare for this future, investigate AI-powered tools in your own field. Learn how to use them and exploit them to increase your own productivity.
Source : https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/08/ways-to-ensure-ai-robots-create-jobs-for-all/