As a working mom, after a day in the office I find myself jumping in the car to drive one of my daughters to practice, a game or a social event. With the progress being made in maturing the use of artificial intelligence and machine technology, does this mean that I will be out of a “job” when self-driving cars come to a market near you?
When AI and machine technology is leveraged for innovation to create new products and services, I find it exciting to think about the future and what is to come. What comes to mind are the Jetsons. But when I think about how the technology can be used to improve productivity and take cost out, I think about the impact on jobs. We are seeing this today. I provide talent acquisition, location and workforce strategy advisory support services to our clients and over the past few years I have experienced approximately a 25% headcount reduction year-over-year for a specific skillset as a result of automation initiatives to eliminate redundancy, improve productivity and capitalize on the technology to complete select tasks faster, better, cheaper.
AI and machine technology is coming and will touch virtually every industry--industrial manufacturing, accounting, select tasks within healthcare, even delivery and transportation, specifically truck drivers. I imagine that an increase in the use of automation will replace jobs but it will also create new jobs and perhaps better jobs.
A November 2017 McKinsey Report predicts that for 60% of occupations at least one-third of activities could be automated. The report goes on to say that it expects 400 million to 800 million people could be displaced by automation within the next 12 years. By 2030, McKinsey predicts that six countries expect to be at full employment: China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico and the U.S.
As a country we have been grappling with a growing talent and skills shortage. Could this technology be an avenue to closing some of these gaps along with other strategies like training? I also do believe that this could be an opportunity to elevate our workforce and learn new skills and address the gaps that a robot can’t address. At least not yet….
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Ami Sarnowski contributes regularly to the Genesis10 blog. Read her post, Take Mom's Advice--and that Coding Class.