Over the next few decades, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will change the job market and replace jobs often held by millennials. According to the Gallup study, millennials will be most in danger of being replaced because they are going to be working for many years before they retire. Other positions at risk are entry-level routine jobs such as accounting and financial services. What could be done to beat the trend? How is AI changing the workforce?
AI is not something we will use just in the future. We already use it every day without thinking about it. Netflix makes recommendations based on our viewing history. While shopping online on Amazon, we are directed to similar products and predictions of future purchases are shown. We receive alerts from the bank about unusual transactions and fraud detection. And apps on our smart phones tell us the location of the nearest restaurant.
MIT Technology Review predicts the top AI trends in 2017. It expects China to become a major player in the AI field, especially in the area of voice and image recognition and natural language processing. This will help computers generate language more effectively. Machines will be able to “learn without instruction or even explicit examples” through reinforced learning. Combined with large neural networks, these machines will be able to work on very complex problems.
There was a 300 % increase in investment in AI compared with 2016. Additionally, the market is predicted to grow from $8 billion in 2016 to $47 billion by 2020. Using new technology will improve productivity and lower costs for businesses and, at the same time, create new job opportunities. Intelligent automation will also help with complex problem-solving tasks.
To answer the question – what can be done to beat the trend? Unfortunately, the short answer is – not much. This inevitable change that new technology brings to the job market is unavoidable. But millennials could beat this trend by finding a job in the industry where it will be hard for the AI to replace people. That means jobs with less constant repetition, such as doctors, lawyers, or nurses. It is not only the entry-level or white-collar jobs that are at risk. It is especially workers with routine tasks. To avoid this threat, they could adapt their skills for the arrival of new technologies. It would not be the first time in history. New jobs in different fields will emerge as a result of these changes.
A study by Carl Benedict Frey and Michael Osborne about the “probability of computerization for 702 occupations found that 47% of workers in America had jobs at high risk of potential automation”. In particular, the workers in transport, logistics, office support, sales, or services – those with routine work – were the most likely to be replaced by automation. However, while analysis and science will simplify everything, communications skills will be always needed. Robots are not likely to replace humans everywhere. This is not going to happen anytime soon, but rather gradually.
During the past century, technology and the Industrial Revolution have changed the whole labor force. In the process, many jobs were lost and others were created. This scenario is likely to happen again with the use of AI. Overall, automation processes and robotics will not cause mass unemployment as some might fear. Rather, it will alter the work force, requiring workers to learn new skills. And it is going to take even a while longer to have fully emotionally intelligent robots like in the “I, Robot” movie.