Will AI Cause Mass Unemployment?
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Will AI Cause Mass Unemployment?

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rtificial intelligence (AI) has often been feared, from those that worry robots will one day take over the world to those that worry about our increasing dependence on it. While we don't expect a re-enactment of the Terminator movies, the second concern is a valid issue. Many of us are becoming more dependent on AI, especially in the workplace, and this is why there is the concern that AI will one day cause mass unemployment.

Is this something that we should really be worried about? Well, yes and no. The implementation of AI has led to the elimination of some human jobs. Those within the manufacturing industries have been badly hit because of the efficiency of robot technology on the factory floor, and online customer service roles have also come under threat from AI chatbots. Jobs in these sectors are being replaced, and according to an article by Saviom, other jobs that could be replaced include:

  • Receptionists
  • Proofreaders
  • Retail merchants
  • Taxi and bus drivers
  • Security guards

The future may seem bleak but is the situation really as bad as the media makes it out to be?

Will AI Really Cause Mass Unemployment?

While the invention of AI will result in a loss of some jobs, the reality might not be as bleak as it first appears to be. In fact, there are those that believe AI will complement existing human jobs rather than take them away in their entirety. There is also the belief that AI will create more jobs than it takes, so mass unemployment may be something that we don't necessarily need to worry about.  

So, while there are the scare-mongering reports in the media that AI will cause mass unemployment, it could be that the truth is entirely different.  

Let's go into a little more detail.

AI will support human employees

In many ways, the use of AI makes life easier for employees and employers alike. Thanks to robots, software programs, and mobile apps, many repetitive tasks can now be managed through artificial intelligence. While this has been seen as an evolving threat to human jobs, the opposite could be true as the efficiency of AI could give workers more time to focus on other facets of their job roles. This will mean that employees can put more focus on the quality of their work and as a result, employers will be more likely to continue their employment.  

AI will create more employment positions

For AI to function effectively, there is still the need for human intervention. For this reason, there will be more vacancies for employees with tech skills as they will be asked to manage and control the AI programs used in the workplace.  

Employment could rise within other industries too and this would be a direct result of the efficiency of AI. Profits can be made when AI is implemented correctly and this can give companies the means to grow. When growth happens, more employees will be needed to fill the vacancies that emerge. This is especially true when businesses expand internationally as a global workforce will be needed to fill the available positions.

Upskilling will save employee jobs

As discussed in this article by Forbes, upskilling will lead to greater job security for employees. This way, when new jobs emerge in the changing employment landscape, employees will be able to fit into new positions instead of having to permanently leave their workplace. Some of these positions will include those that are needed to support the AI technologies that have been implemented, others will include those that businesses have been able to create after company growth.  

There are some jobs that will always be secure

Some jobs may become obsolete but there are also those that AI cannot take away. As discussed in the article by Saviom that we linked earlier, these job roles include:

  • Human resource managers
  • Writers
  • Solicitors
  • Scientists
  • Clergymen
  • Psychiatrists
  • Graphic designers
  • PR managers
  • Software developers

Why won't AI take over these jobs? Well, there are some skillsets that AI programs will never be able to replicate successfully, including those that require creativity and human emotion. It might be that robots and software applications can complement some of these job roles but AI in any of its forms is unlikely to ever take them over completely.  

For those people considering their career paths, now is the time to consider the jobs that can be considered safe and future-proof. By training in fields where unique skillsets will always be required, you will be less likely to face unemployment in the future.  

The Myths Surrounding AI And Unemployment

There have been many myths circulating around AI and unemployment but as we have made reference to in this article, some of these can be debunked.

There are those who say AI will take away jobs but as we have discussed, there is the chance that AI will not only complement existing jobs, but it might create new opportunities too.  

There are also those that say AI is (or will be) smarter than humans, including Elon Musk, but as discussed by Flovate, this depends on how human intelligence is measured. AI can process more data than a human brain but when it comes to divergent thinking, AI is severely limited.  

Finally, there are those that say AI will create mass unemployment, which is perhaps the biggest myth of them all. Yes, some jobs will be eliminated but others will grow in their place. Those who commit to upskilling will move into new jobs within their industries. Those who train for careers that are deemed future-proof will likely never be out of a job. So, while we don't have a crystal ball in our hands to predict the future, the chances of mass unemployment due to AI in the coming years is unlikely.

Conclusion

So, perhaps we shouldn't fear AI. It is useful when it comes to the automation of business processes and it offers employment benefits too. If you run your own business, you might already understand the advantages that AI can give you over your competitors.

Get in touch with us today at Gemraj Technologies Ltd if you would like to know more and we will put your mind at ease when it comes to AI in the workplace.

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