Future Friday: More encouraging news from AI

by Michael Haberman on October 19, 2018 · 0 comments


AI will not result in wholesale job losses but will require new skill sets.

In an effort to learn more about AI (artificial intelligence) I listen to a variety of webinars on advances in AI. I listened to one today presented as part of the MIT Sloan series. The speaker was Phillip Gerbert of the Boston Consulting Group and moderated by Julia Kirby of Harvard. Gerbert was discussing a research paper called Reshaping Business with Artificial Intelligence. It was primarily a general business discussion but it did have some encouraging news for the workforce.

Less job reduction

The good news is that no large-scale job loss is foreseen, despite dire predictions in past years. The leading companies in the use of AI focus not on cutbacks but on revenue increases, which generally mean more jobs rather than less. Only 38% of CEOs see work reductions coming. Employees are less optimistic, with 47% seeing job losses. However, 86% of respondents believe that what will be necessary is wide-scale changes in skillsets.

New skills will be necessary

As the speaker said, he tells his children that their education will not end when they graduate from school. The will need to be in a continual learning mode. The advice will apply to everyone. If you are unwilling to learn new skills then you may be left out in the cold by advancing AI, but that is not a given. Gerbert said that the responsibility for reskilling should be shared by the company, the individual, and society.

As we move forward we will have to see if that shared responsibility happens.


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