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Last updated on 2/29/24

Assess the Impact of Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace

Artificial intelligence creates tremendous opportunities that benefit society. But how does it impact jobs? In this chapter, we take a step back and look at how AI can change our daily lives at work, and how we can best prepare ourselves to make it an ally rather than a threat.

Is Artificial Intelligence Human's Ultimate Competitor?

It’s nothing new: whenever disruptive technologies appear, changes in the job market follow, as organizations embrace new advances to improve productivity and reduce costs (i.e., acquiring new machines that take over part or all of a task usually performed by humans). One example is sorting fruits and vegetables on a production line to determine whether they are ripe enough to be sold.

But how will my job be affected by this transformation?

Artificial intelligence is not just about automating tasks. It aims to automate our cognitive abilities, such as perception and decision-making. This raises even more questions about its impact on jobs.

So you may be asking yourself if your job will be impacted by this transformation. You are not alone! In 2013, an Oxford University study made the news when it predicted that artificial intelligence could replace nearly half of all jobs within 10 to 20 years. Several years later, this prediction is far from coming true; it has even been revised downward.

Since then, the results of other studies have been less definite. The OECD, for example, has analyzed the trend toward automation. The upshot? As highlighted in their 2021 report, economists believe that 14% of jobs face a strong likelihood of being automated over the next two decades, while 32% of jobs could be deeply transformed.

While these figures are somewhat less alarming, it’s clear that certain existing roles are already changing. In any case, we should bear in mind that it is very difficult to make precise estimates. It is entirely possible that AI will have a transformative impact beyond expectations. Let’s look at how AI is already changing the world of work!

The Future Landscape of Jobs

Although recent studies have been reassuring regarding job losses, some tasks may be automated, even if the job itself remains.

Attorneys could use an AI tool to locate legal information without spending hours looking for it. Accountants could use an AI tool to interpret invoices and record them in a software program automatically. Photographers could use AI software to correct all of the slides of a presentation automatically. In all of these examples, AI does not replace the profession; it merely provides a new tool.

Artificial intelligence is also a source of job creation, particularly in the IT and digital realms. Although the new “marquee” job of the artificial intelligence revolution is that of a data scientist, many other skills are required to carry out AI projects, such as computer programming, research, and design. Many jobs will be created in this vein, including database administrator, cybersecurity officer, SEO engineer (search engine optimization), and more. This Forbes article mentions some new and enhanced roles AI could create.

The Importance of Continuing Education

Whether the arrival of these new technologies does away with your job entirely or fundamentally alters it, there are actions you can take. You are already taking one by taking this course. The key to survival, both today and tomorrow, is lifelong learning. Options will be a matter of government and corporate policy and individual choice. More and more types of training are being offered online (on the OpenClassrooms platform, for example 😊 ), in the classroom, and on the job, with customized learning platforms that allow users to progress at their own pace.

Let's Recap!

  • The AI technological revolution has shifted the employment market, with certain jobs disappearing and new ones being created. 

  • AI is good at helping us to perform certain tasks, making us quicker, more efficient, and more accurate in our work. 

  • Humans need to adapt to these technological changes and ensure that they continue to undertake training throughout their working lives. 

Now that you have learned more about the challenges and opportunities associated with AI, test your knowledge by answering a few questions!

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