Will Artificial Intelligence Create Jobs, Displace Jobs, Recreate Jobs? Yes.
Workplace automation is expected to nearly double in the next three years according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson, with complex impact on jobs and job skills.
While survey respondents report that 12 percent of work is currently being done using AI and robotics versus just seven percent three years ago, they anticipate that this figure will rise to 22 percent in the next three years, the survey suggests.
Though 57 percent of respondents say the key goal of automation is to augment human performance and productivity, it is safe to say nobody can presently predict just how AI is going to wind up driving value.
At the moment, 68 percent of respondents say autonomous operations are not the way they use AI. Rather, 70% use AI and robotics somewhat or to a great extent to support humans in completing business processes.
Some 24 percent of respondents say the goal is to reduce costs. Some 15 percent say AI will provide value by helping firms avoid mistakes.
The report suggests it is a myth that workplace automation will have a largely negative impact on workers and jobs.
Instead, the report argues, the new reality is that automation will result in new combinations of work, talent, skill requirements and work relationships involving a range of workers from full-time equivalent employees to contingents.
The report suggests 27 percent of organizations are redesigning jobs today to require more skills as a result of automation. That percentage is likely to increase to 45 percent over the next three years, the report states.
At the same time, 25 percent of firms are redesigning or will redesign jobs to require fewer skills, increasing and over the next three years to 42 percent.
In other words, applied artificial (or augmented intelligence) will cause job losses, job gains and job changes.
Still, some 49 percent of respondents believe they will require fewer employees in the next three years as a result of automation.