Artificial intelligence is that cutting-edge technology which has the potential to change the way that humans interact not only with the digital world but also with each other. In general terms, AI refers to a set of computational tools that can substitute human intelligence in the performance of certain tasks. There is a lot of advancements that are happening at a break-neck pace very similar to what happened with the database technology earlier in the twentieth century. Today databases have become the backbone of the infrastructure that drives enterprise-level software.
Moving on to the consider effects of AI on employment, it can be argued that it will only be the middle level which usually requires routine manual and cognitive skills are the ones that are mostly at risk. With progress in this front, the displacement effects of such routine and manual jobs will be positive through the growth of other non-routine jobs in various parts of the economy.
It is, however, important to note that this speed of change today is significantly faster than it was earlier. The growth of machine learning and the efforts undertaken to better machine performance explains how most of these advancements are inspired by the architecture of the human brain. Undisputedly so, AI remains to be distant from achieving the level of complexity associated with the human brain, on very specific tasks machines have outperformed humans.
Let us consider this with the following set of jobs that can indeed get affected by AI:
Office assistants and receptionist- An automated touchscreen system or humanoid AI can easily take over such a role, of course, if and when the organization is ready to afford this technology.
Blue-collar jobs – Let us consider the case of the automobile industry or manufacturing set up that can replace manual labor of lifting assembling and packaging as well. This is very common in developed economies because there can be more done by machines in terms of productivity and is far less hazardous to human lives.
Taxis and bus drivers – Behemoths like Tesla dedicate themselves to the technology of semi-automated driven vehicles bring home a bouquet of benefits such as fuel economies, time thereby eliminating conventional issues posed by the labor force. But of course, this still is a distant dream in developing countries such as India.
Armed forces – Robot soldiers in the form of weaponized drones with capabilities far ahead of a good old soldier in a battlefield is work in progress. This is indeed welcome since it means no more wasted lives.
Paramedical assistants – The rise of robot-assisted surgery is on the rise and doctors today a lot more efficient in terms of lowered mortality rates with such surgeries carried out with precision. Technology and AI plays a huge role in advanced medical sciences today.
Security guards– High definition cameras that function round the clock are in use with their highly programmed abilities and sensors to detect the slightest happening of mishap in large buildings. This is far advanced in terms of what a fleet of guards is capable of.
Sales and service personnel – AI in the form of self-serving kiosks that can sell and as always address service queries are increasingly being adopted. There are benefits of analytics and predictions that are pre-programmed into these systems that can fetch instant reports and results.
Finance and Accounting – Finance jobs may soon be replaced by AIs which can indeed compute and analyze data faster. Research has shown that robots are faster in accounting tasks than humans. Now, this is a less risky proposition when compared to say a self-driven vehicle since the risk, and likely damage caused as a result still can be retraced and reversed.
To conclude, it would be wise to keep advancements in AI that is taking place year after year in countries such as the EU, followed by the US and China. The sectors that have actively adopted AIT with enthusiasm include car production, and plastic and chemical production, where job displacement effects will be felt the most- one can say blue-collared jobs.
A lot remains to be seen such as –
- The policymakers have to come up with a clear framework of rules for the operation of machines and AI systems.
- A collective consultation with affected parties and experts, and a comprehensive debate on the regulation of the liability, safety, security, and privacy of these technologies need to be carried out.
- Updating relevant skills and training programs for those whose jobs will be directly impacted by these new technologies is also a must.