Artificial intelligence creates tremendous opportunities that benefit society. But how does it impact jobs? The question comes up often in the media, evoking an artificial intelligence revolution that will overturn the job market.
But what’s the real story?
In this chapter, we'll examine how AI might alter work life so you can prepare and make AI your ally, not your enemy.
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?
Good question! 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. For example, in 2019, the OECD analyzed the trend toward automation. The upshot? 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.
These more recent figures are far less alarming. Rather than the wholesale disappearance of jobs, we will most likely see the modification of existing ones. Let’s take a look at how AI is affecting some specific professions.
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.
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.
The technological changes introduced by AI will lead to transitions in the job market, with some jobs disappearing as new ones are created.
AI will assist with certain job tasks, making people more efficient, accurate, and faster.
Human beings still have many years of work ahead of them and can adapt to these technological changes through lifelong learning.
Now that you have learned more about the challenges and opportunities associated with AI, test your knowledge by answering a few questions!