AI or Artificial Intelligence has been a hot-button issue ever since the term was coined in 1956, with constant fears regarding its ethics, its limits and most controversially its effect on the job market.
In a study made by Quartz, 90% of responders thought that up to 50% of jobs would be lost to automation within five years, which reflects the anxiety that people have towards AI or any sort of machinery intervenes. But, are those fears and doubts justified?
Well, to further understand our current situation, let’s look back at similar points because the truth is these fears have been around ever since the industrial revolution. As early as 1928, The New York Times has published articles with such headlines as “March of the machine makes idle hands”, “Workers see robot revolution depriving them of their jobs” and “A robot is after your job”. Those articles could easily pass as if they are published today, and it just goes to show that those fears have been around for quite a while, even though the numbers don’t support it.
According to Forbes, the employment rate is better than ever in multiple sectors, even ones you might not expect. For example, the Cybersecurity industry in the US (Which one might think is near fully automated) has an unemployment rate of 0% and with more 1,000,000 vacancies ready.
But the broader question is, in general how do AI and technological development help create jobs?
Well, there are two main factors to consider:
- The shifting needs of people that occurred thanks to technical advancements and machine learning, because what was once viewed as a luxury, has grown to be more of a necessity, with a growing demand such as air travel which has seen a steady increase since the 1950’s, leading to more vacancies and manpower need.
- The nature of the jobs. Because, as mentioned in a previous blog of ours, while it’s true that the more mundane jobs are becoming more automated, the more skill based jobs such as teaching are far from being automated in any way. And as mentioned previously, the more AI expands, the bigger a company/industry gets leading to more need in critical jobs that can’t be automated.
The debate will continue regarding AI, with valid points from both sides, but the truth is, AI is here to stay, and humans will adapt to it just like they have been doing since the dawn of time, and I think Ginni Rometty – the first female CEO of IBM- said it best: “ Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we’ll augment our intelligence.”.
In the end, the human spirit always triumphs, a spirit that ignites from the youth of the world, and that is consistently present in the participates on our platform.