Will AI Revolution Lead to Mass Unemployment?

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AI has created a lot of buzz. And as much as it has fascinated the world, it has also scared millions of employed people with the fear of losing their job. Artificial intelligence has built robust systems for industry which are highly advantageous to them. Increased productivity is the major benefit of using AI systems.

In fact, companies with their use of chat bots, virtual & voice assistants, built on artificial intelligence principles, have taken the world by storm with their business use cases. Looking at their immense potential for increasing productivity, companies are now making strategic investments in artificial intelligence to grow. They have qualified teams building robust systems that take productivity to higher levels. As the demand for talent is increasing in artificial intelligence, people are skilling themselves through AI certifications and other artificial intelligence preparatory programs.

Amid all this productivity talk and wide spread use of artificial intelligence, will automation lead to unemployment? This question has raised ears all around. More so after the world’s most popular billionaire and Space X & Tesla founder, Elon Musk, said that automation will replace most human jobs such that economies around the world will have to implement a universal income policy so that everybody is paid.

Does this mean that AI will replace human jobs?
An insurance company in Japan has announced that an artificial intelligence system which calculates maturity payouts will replace a major part of its workforce.

For the company, it might be a small cost-cutting measure. However, by large, it will have a tremendous effect on workforce. Reportedly, the company will pay 1.4 million pounds for the AI-powered machine and save about 1 million pounds annually. But just like any other machine needs maintenance and regular service. This machine will need that too and would incur about 100k pounds annually.

If we look at the this from a financial perspective, this obviously looks good. However, thinking from the perspective that the success of a company depends on the quality of a product and service delivered by it, this certainly feels ominous. Also, as the said company is a service provider, which is an intangible product, its quality of service is utmost important. Can artificial intelligence deliver same level of satisfactory as a human employee should the company’s biggest concern.

Which jobs are at most risk of being replaced by automation? 
A study conducted in 2013 suggested that about 47 percent of jobs in the U.S were at the risk of being computerized. The number of jobs equaled 702. The study warned that jobs in logistic and transport (drivers, conductors and more) were at risk of being replaced with AI. Jobs like cashier, teller, security guards, and customer support staff including telemarketers, front desk executive, call center executives, clerks) will be replaced eventually. Similar studies carried out in UK and Japan have suggested to replace 35 percent and 47 percent in respective places.

Looking at these predictions and status quo where chat bots and machine learning have made things more convenient without human interference, it is likely that AI revolution will replace jobs sooner than we think.

What does the future of work look like?
Artificial intelligence does have its advantages for the industry. It might replace a few jobs, but looking at the predictions made by company executives that it will create more jobs, it is essential for working class to start skilling themselves in artificial intelligence and other related technologies. After all, artificial intelligence is created by humans and it will add more systems for people to learn and work on it.  Thus, artificial intelligence has the potential to replace as well as add more jobs. Upskilling or reskilling is the only way out.

About Niti Sharma

Niti Sharma is a professional writer, blogger who writes for a variety of online publications. She is also an acclaimed blogger outreach expert and content marketer. She loves writing blogs and promoting websites related to education, fashion, travel, health and technology sectors.

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