Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Global Job Market
- Published | 15 June 2023
Artificial intelligence (AI), as a transformative force, is reshaping the job markets across industries and geographies. The impact of AI is characterized by a combination of job displacement, creation of new roles, skill demands, and the need for workforce adaptation. This article explores the multifaceted influence of AI on jobs worldwide and highlights the challenges and opportunities it presents.
Artificial intelligence (AI), as per the definition by Encyclopaedia Britannica, is “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” Nowadays, AI is increasingly becoming an important part of our lives. The most recent popular example of significant disruption being caused by AI is OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a generative artificial intelligence platform. IBM defines generative AI platforms as “deep-learning models that can generate high-quality text, images, and other content based on the data they were trained on.” According to Goldman Sachs Research article published in April 2023, increasing adoption of generative AI alone could drive a 7% or about USD 7 trillion increase in the global GDP and improve the productivity by 1.5% over a period of 10 years (2023–2033). Industries across sectors are finding various use cases by the ever evolving and expanding AI technology. By improving productivity and encouraging innovations, AI is expected to contribute almost USD 16 trillion to the world economy by 2030 (as per PwC’s latest report in June 2023). Meanwhile, a report by Goldman Sachs published in March 2023, anticipates that “AI could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs.” AI may also enhance “the total annual value of goods and services produced globally by 7%.” Another industry estimate expects that about 18% of global jobs could be automated due to the rise of AI platforms, impacting advanced economies. The workforce worldwide would be upended.
AI Automation and Displacement of Jobs
AI-driven automation is revolutionizing industries by automating repetitive tasks and augmenting human capabilities. As a result, some job roles are being displaced. Tasks that can be efficiently performed by machines, such as data entry, routine customer service, and certain manufacturing processes, are gradually being automated. This displacement necessitates workers to adapt and acquire new skills that complement AI technology. According to an estimate by the World Economic Forum (WEF), by 2025, AI and automation could displace around 85 million jobs worldwide in medium to large businesses across industries. McKinsey anticipates that AI will affect mostly the jobs carried out by knowledge workers, who are involved in “developing and using knowledge rather than producing goods or services” (Cambridge Dictionary).
Experts anticipate that AI will fully replace the following list of roles or jobs:
Data Entry Operators – As AI enables machines or software or algorithms to process voluminous data with more accurately in much less time, the roles for data entry will continue to be phased out.
Telemarketers – Chatbots are increasingly used to call and sell products and services. Hence, there will be much less human intervention in the telemarketing processes.
Vehicle Drivers – Increasing implementation of electronics, semiconductors, and communication devices in vehicles and the rapidly growing popularity of autonomous or self-driving cars could reduce the need for human drivers for vehicles.
Workers in Factories – With the advent of Industry 4.0, which heavily relies upon autonomous robots and digital twin, there will be much smaller number of employees required on the factory floor.
While AI displaces these jobs, it also generates new opportunities. The development, deployment, and maintenance of AI systems require a skilled workforce. Job roles, such as AI specialists, data scientists, machine learning (ML) engineers, and AI ethicists, are witnessing a significantly high demand. Moreover, emerging roles in AI strategy, training, and system monitoring are flourishing, creating a new job landscape. A lot of opportunities will be presented to human beings in the future due to robots and AI. According to an article published by Times of India, in November 2022, although almost 1.7 million jobs have been lost to automation since 2000, AI is expected to create 97 million new jobs by 2025.
The rise of AI is reshaping the demand for skills in the job market across the globe. While technical skills, such as programming, data analysis, and AI development, are becoming increasingly critical, soft skills, such as critical thinking, creativity, complex problem-solving, and emotional intelligence, are gaining more importance. Upskilling and reskilling programs are vital to bridge the skill gaps, ensuring workers remain employable in an AI-driven economy. The rise of AI is leading to a shift in required skill sets. Many traditional jobs in various functional areas, such as sales, marketing, and product management, are being augmented by AI, requiring workers to upskill or reskill to remain relevant in the workforce. According to LinkedIn's 2021 Emerging Jobs Report, AI specialist roles are among the fastest-growing jobs globally, highlighting the demand for skilled professionals in the emerging AI field.
Nowadays, the impact of AI on jobs across industries and countries is quite evident. AI is also bringing both opportunities and challenges. As AI-driven automation displaces millions of jobs in certain roles, millions of new job opportunities are also emerging, demanding a highly skilled or a quickly upskilling workforce that can bridge the widening gap in the requisite skills. Organizations, governments, and individuals need to come together in navigating this transformative period of AI’s growing dominance by embracing upskilling, promoting ethical AI practices, and ensuring inclusive economic growth. By embracing the power of AI while prioritizing human welfare, a country, society, community, an economy, organization, or an individual can harness AI’s vast potential to create a better future of work that is both technologically advanced and socially responsible.
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