Fantasy Robot Shadow Wall  - KELLEPICS / Pixabay

Is Artificial Intelligence Helping or Hurting Human Employment?

Possibly one of the most contentious aspects of our projected use of artificial intelligence is how it will affect the jobs and careers of humans. Which, of course, directly relates to how it will affect our livelihoods. There are typically two camps under the artificial intelligence umbrella – those who see AI as a form of assistance for professionals and manufacturers and those who view the use of artificial intelligence as a means to an end for their careers. Those who the use of artificial intelligence are worried, understandably so, that they could lose their jobs to a robot that comes with a much cheaper price tag.

There is no doubt that artificial intelligence has moved from sci-fi movies and fiction to a very real concept used in our world, today. Those who suggest that artificial intelligence is a threat to workforces all over the world predict that as much as 30 percent of the world’s human workforce could be replaced with intelligence agents and robots. To put that number in perspective, that is 400-800 million jobs within ten years, which means that as many as 375 million people could possibly have to switch industries entirely.

Others argue that artificial intelligence will help create a brighter future for the workforce by creating more jobs. This camp argues that robots are being to replace jobs that aren’t good or high-paying, to begin with, and the use of robots or AI agents for these kinds of jobs will empower and influence human employees to work towards higher-paying and higher-quality positions. There is, however, the fear that the transition will become generational and somewhat bumpy.

How do we really prepare an entire international workforce for a seismic shift? Certain industries are already experiencing the application of artificial intelligence systems, devices, and agents to assist professionals. One of the most notable industries is health care systems throughout the globe. These developments come in many different including systems that help doctors reach diagnostic decisions, triage assistance, and even digital applications that help trace and contain disease and virus outbreaks. For now, these technologies are helping the health care industry, but it is natural for health care professionals to fear the possibility of being replaced.

Of course, it is no secret that digital technologies greatly improve productivity, but it has not yet been confirmed that productivity growth will also lead to a growth in employment. Also, if developers, creators, officials, and corporation heads are suggesting that automation and digital technologies allow the workforce to seek better jobs, how even is the playing field? Sure, many people may be able to seek out higher education or career development resources, but what about the individuals who do not have the access or funding to support going to college or a trade school?

Before making claims regarding how artificial intelligence is going to affect the global employment situation, it is the responsibility of global leaders to invest time and resources to determine how AI affects the global workforce.