You don’t have to search hard for commentary about the negative impacts of technology on our trades and professions – specifically, when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI).
In fact, some reports suggest technology will get rid of 40% of Australia’s jobs by 2030.
But do these bold claims represent the bigger picture for what’s going on? We think not.
Top jobs impacted by AI
The jobs and industries most likely to be challenged by AI include customer service roles, financial services, healthcare, legal services, and transportation.
There are endless other industries that will feel the impact of AI, but in every case, its revolutionary intent will be the same.
That is, to improve products and services by collecting vast amounts of data, conducting deeper analysis, and generating sophisticated algorithms that have the capability to mimic certain human functions.
AI might take jobs, but it will also create new ones
So, yes – automation and AI may be on a path to diminishing routine cognitive and manual job roles, but it’s also destined to create many new opportunities in its wake.
This is because, for every new technology implemented, industries will demand people who can develop it further and make use of the data to a business’ advantage.
Take financial services, for example; will AI reduce jobs in the sector, or will the industry simply become more empowered with greater opportunities for financially savvy professionals?
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said in his commencement speech at Harvard that while automation will take jobs, it will be up to Millennials to create new ones.
And it’s not the first time industries have faced a similar evolutionary transition.
While many manual labour jobs were diminished by machines during the industrial revolution, new jobs were created as workers were required to build, develop, and operate machinery. And the result? Increased productivity.
Embrace AI – don’t work against it
For industries and workers alike to reap the benefits of increasing AI and avoid extinction, they must embrace it – not resist it.
Companies will need to engage the right talent, people who can adapt and lead change within their organisations while continuously learning new skills to work alongside AI and use it to the business’ best advantage.
This means companies must turn their attention to recruiting and developing agile employees, rather than task-led employees who will find themselves in a losing competition with AI.
Upskilling workforces to work alongside AI
Combining the right people skills with the capabilities of technology will be crucial to the survival of existing businesses as the disruptive effects of automation and digitisation continue to take hold.
While education institutions struggle to adapt their programs fast enough for the pace of change, businesses themselves must work hard to upskill their workforces and transition workers into the roles of the future.
Any business impacted by the rise of AI should be looking forward to developing a new-generation of jobs which focus on soft skills such as creativity, problem solving, collaboration, leadership, innovation, adaptability, and strategic thinking.
All these skills are complementary to the capabilities of automation and AI and will make businesses more efficient and productive than ever before. Only then will businesses maintain the competitive edge.