Artificial Intelligence is embedded in every part of our daily lives, from the biometrics on our mobile phones, mobile banking platforms, GPS, online purchases, package delivery, social media, internet searches, and even viewing recommendations on streaming services.
It’s everywhere. AI is now part and parcel of everything we do. The Fourth Industrial
Revolution is not coming; it’s already here.
Unlike previous industrial revolutions in history, current technological advancements are impacting careers across every sector of industry. In the wake of machine learning, AI, and their almost limitless capabilities, many Americans are expressing concerns over job security in the face of digital transformation.
Manufacturing and robotics have been a topic of discussion since the Third Industrial Revolution when automation in manufacturing and industrial sectors gained prominence. Step into any factory in the U.S. or around the world, and you will see evidence of its impacts.
Now, AI-driven robots and machines handle tasks that humans traditionally perform. As the technology becomes more sophisticated, robotics will continue to take ground — working faster and more efficiently than a human workforce could.
In 2021, it was reported that an AI-powered 3-D printer built a two-story home in a week. It’s purported that only a two-man crew was required to oversee the operation of the AI-powered machine that constructed a 3-D printed three-story residential structure containing five apartments.
Other reports showed robotics that can lay 1,000 bricks in an hour. This would take an average human bricklayer at least two days. What happens to the humans that would typically fill these roles?
Because AI is particularly effective at automating repetitive tasks, any job that involves repetition is subject to elimination. Administrative tasks like scheduling, document management, and data analysis can be automated by AI-driven software, reducing the demand for administrative and clerical positions or components of other jobs with those functions.
However, some experts say that AI won’t completely eliminate certain career paths as we will still need humans at specific touchpoints within the process that AI automates.
For example, software company Open Bots creates AI-generated software that extracts and intelligently processes information from unstructured documents. This company touts its potential to create efficiencies in processing large documents such as loan packages, which can often exceed 200 pages. Their AI-powered software is capable of signature detection, document identity, and identification extraction – things that generally take loan processors significant time and effort to do in accordance with compliance requirements.
This software, in its present iteration, automates and streamlines these processes, making loan processors more efficient. The document review and lending decision is still determined by humans.
If you’ve initiated a conversation with a website chat box, you’ve probably encountered AI. Only when your request falls outside the programmed dataset will you encounter a human.
AI-powered chatbots will continue to handle customer support, reducing the need for human CSRs in specific scenarios. Although, in future iterations, you won’t see a chatbox. You’ll engage with an AI-generated representative who looks as human as you and me and only encounter a human when required to handle more complex tasks.
While many opposed to AI technology express concerns over the future of jobs, some experts say that new careers are in view in the wake of this fourth industrial revolution.
McKinsey Consulting’s research suggests that while AI automation may lead to job displacement in some sectors, AI can also create new roles and potentially net job growth.
In a 2020 report, the research and advisory firm Gartner predicted that AI would create 2.3 million jobs by 2020 while eliminating 1.8 million, netting a gain of 500,000 jobs. The statistics continue with Goldman Sachs economists in March of 2023 reportedly predicting the automation of at least 300 million full-time jobs globally.
What do we say to the 1.8 million that were displaced and the additional 300 million impacted?
While the answer is unclear, one thing is certain: Our present and future are digital, and AI will continue to significantly impact every area of our lives.
Previous generations were told to learn law, healthcare, and engineering. This generation was urged to learn computers and coding. However, with AI threatening the certainty of these career paths and others that once seemed sure, what do we advise our children and ourselves?
With calls for regulations and meetings involving tech titans in the headlines, governments won’t regulate AI away. Don’t look forward to a pause on its creation, which some experts have called for.
The future of work will look different from the past. Expect it to change with greater acceleration than you have seen before. Prepare for an AI-augmented job market and cultivate skillsets that are sustainable in the face of AI. What those are, only time will tell.
This is sure: Upskilling is not an option. It’s now a mandate.
V. Venesulia Carr is a former United States Marine, CEO of Vicar Group, LLC, and host of “Down to Business with V.,” a television show focused on cyberawareness and cybersafety. She is a speaker, consultant, and news commentator providing insight on technology, cybersecurity, fraud mitigation, national security, and military affairs. Read more of her reports — Here.
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