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The Future Of Work In An AI Economy.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will combine with robotics, automation, the internet of things & cloud computing to revolutionise manufacturing through "smart factories". Work is important, it contributes to a person's sense of being. If you ask any adult who they are, chances are they will answer your question by stating their profession. But would the answer be accurate? Probably! What about in the artificial intelligent future? Their sense of identity is their profession because of the value they derive from it, because of the amount of time they spend working. Inevitably, many roles will become increasingly redundant, particularly monotonous & manual roles in administrative, factory & financial work. However, growth is also expected in jobs that the technologies will enhance- data analysts, software developers, E-commerce, social media specialist, innovation managers etc.
However, whilst AI has the potential to become evasive in our everyday working lives, it's impact is unlikely to be uniform across the board. The technology driven world is filled with promises but also has it's unique challenges. Cars that drive themselves, machines that read X-rays & algorithms that respond to customer-service inquiries are all manifestations of powerful new forms of automation. Yet even as these technologies increase productivity & improve our lives, their use will substitute for some work activities humans currently perform- a development that has sparked much public concern. There will be potential shifts in occupations in the years ahead, with important implications for workforce skills & wages. The potential impact of automation on employment varies by occupation & sector. Activities most susceptible to automation include physical ones in predictable environments, such as operating machinery & preparing fast food. Collecting & processing data are other categories of activities that increasingly can be done better & faster with machines. This could displace large amounts of labour- for instance, in mortgage origination, paralegal work, accounting & back office transaction processing. It's important to note, however, that even when some tasks are automated, employment in those occupations may not decline but rather workers may perform new tasks.
Workers displaced by automation are easily identified, while new jobs that are created indirectly from technology are less visible & spread across different sectors & geographies. Infrastructure & buildings are two areas of historic under-spending that may create significant additional labour demand if action is taken to bridge infrastructure gaps & overcome housing shortages. This will also increase the demand for architects, engineers, electricians, carpenters, and other skilled tradespeople as well as construction workers. Investments in renewable energy, such as wind & solar, energy-efficient technologies and adaptation & mitigation of climate change may create new demand for workers in range of occupations, including manufacturing, construction & installation. Creatives- a growing category of artists, performers & entertainers will be in demand as there will be more flexible time & demand for leisure & recreation. Educators, especially in emerging economies will be required to meet up the requirements of the upcoming change in economy.
The challenge is that the data is on both sides of the fence, right? So there's no question that the speed of disruption is increasing. We're seeing Amazon with these automated shops you go into- there's no cashier or checkout person, no one's stocking. Eventually it's going to be robots & AI taking the majority of these jobs and the stat's we've seen, is that 50%-60% of jobs domestically- even a greater percentage in developing world are getting lost. The concern is, can we uplift ourselves & actually partner with AI & robotics to do that? There are two categories of people- Some are technology friendly & believe technology can solve major problems & it's true in the current & long term scenario as we can see. Other people that believe it's the end of time because we're going to have total anarchy. The truth is probably the balance between the two & we can understand this. Finding a sense of purpose & meaning in the work you do is a critical factor. Doing something you love will give you that satisfaction. Technology gives you a means to do something purposeful instead of everyday mundane tasks. It helps us expand ourselves once we understand a balance way of using it to our advantage.