Technological advancements affect how people live their lives. It is changing industries particularly those involved in manufacturing. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now widely used because they aid businesses in improving their productivity, accuracy, and efficiency without shouldering too much cost.
Still, many question the reliability of AI. Some have the fear that these robots and machines will eventually make humans obsolete and useless that they consider the existence of AI as a threat rather than a technological progression.
Repetitive Work is For AI Systems
The continued advancement in AI technology has organisations carefully thinking about incorporating them into the business model. A survey produced by MIT Technology Review Insights showed that businesses incorporating AI within their organisation are experiencing an increased level of operational efficiency, are making well-informed decisions, and are rapidly introducing novel products and innovative services.
Since companies who realise the advantages of AI systems will eventually lessen their number of employees, the fear of displacement is indeed a worry for some. However, not every job is at risk. Jobs which require emotional, social, and literary abilities are the ones with the lowest risk of displacement.
Experts believe that companies that spearhead the use of AI systems for mundane repetitive tasks would benefit greatly. The money they can save from added manpower can be relegated to improving the benefits of existing employees that provide a more useful and insightful contribution to the company. In their paper (PDF), Erik Brynjolffson and Daniel Rock from MIT and Tom Mitchell from Carnegie suggested that company executives must determine that menial boring jobs should be for the AI whilst humans should be spending more time with higher-level tasks. Automation should be done on a task-by-task basis.
Occupations for AI Systems
Many individuals fear that the growing interest for artificial intelligence will soon phase out their jobs. Occupations that are at the highest risk of shredding include:
Tasks in factories can be automated. AI technology can easily apply an algorithm and accomplish repetitive tasks in factories with much ease and precision. Instead of employing more people for packing and sorting products in a factory, businesses can focus more on giving the best working conditions for those who will operate these machines.
Those in the business of transportation can also be replaced with driverless vehicles. Whilst it is true that this will significantly hurt those who drive for a living, many still believe that AI systems in transportation can help the disabled and elderly have more control of their lives. Still, many believe that road accidents may increase with the use of AI.
The survey by the Pew Research Centre revealed that as much as 70% of Americans believe that the use of robot caregivers would be beneficial for caring for the elderly.
Concierge management and guest communications technology is already in place. Through AI interface, hotels can provide its guests with an intuitive communication channel that are more efficient. Cosmopolitan Las Vegas has an AI-powered hotel concierge powered with a conversational tone that guests can access at any time of the day. The AI-powered concierge gives guests the power to have what they want whenever they want it.
Designing and drafting have evolved rapidly. Gone are the days when drafters have to spend hours manually drawing their design. Now they use Computer-Aided Designing or CAD software to design and for drafting but in the near future, AI systems can do all that with just a simple data such as basic dimension, the factor of safety, or load carrying capacitor. Using input data, AI can create a set of designs in a matter of minutes.
Funeral directors are more likely to be shredded by AI. The use of AI in the funeral industry can help manage ongoing requests and interactions with the families. They can also gather more timely feedback from families. An AI’s robust algorithms can easily gather and analyse data so funeral directors can focus on the real problems on-site, helping businesses to operate efficiently.
Lending is a huge business and having a technology that can ease up and make improvements is crucial. Lending, in itself, is a huge data issue making it a perfect industry where machines are of big help. Awarding a loan depends on the credit history of an individual or a company. A lending business with a huge amount of data about a borrower can assess their creditworthiness better thus avoiding overdue and unpaid loans.
Similarly, the assessment of loan value versus collateral value is also one of the uses of artificial intelligence. AI can even take it a step further by analysing the level of future inflation and the overall economic growth. Once they collate this data, AI systems can arrive at a more coherent decision.
Brokerage firms can benefit greatly with the use of AI since they can use the software in trade execution algorithms. An AI can use statistical data to split trades into smaller orders that help in minimising the impact on stock prices on the final trade. AI can also efficiently identify opportunities of arbitrage in various markets. An AI software can automatically look for arbitrage opportunities and list them to their investors.
AI Cannot Replace Every Job
Kai-Fu Lee, a venture capitalist and an expert in the field of Artificial Intelligence, shared in his interview with 60 Minutes that AI systems can reduce as much as 40% of jobs by the year 2034. Artificial Intelligence will indeed cause disruption and replace jobs, but only those that require repetitive tasks. However, it cannot replace occupations that require leadership skills. In the future, jobs that require compassion, creativity, and empathy will stay and will be very much needed. Effective leaders are those that can empathise with their people. Lee claims humans will remain superior over robots and machines as they lack emotion and imagination. Lee also believes that AIs and humans can co-exist for as long as humans remain doing at what they are best at – being human.