What if AI improved jobs instead of eliminating them?

Estimated read time 3 min read

What if AI improved jobs instead of eliminating them?

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The rise of generative AI in the world of work worries many professionals who fear their jobs threatened. Despite these concerns, a new study shows that executives are optimistic about this change and are convinced that humans will remain at the forefront of the workforce.

As part of this survey, conducted by Economist Impact and commissioned by Google Workspace, 900 executives were interviewed – in four regions and seven different business sectors, between April and May 2023 – on the new era of flexible working, and in particular on emerging technologies such as generative AI.

AI in support

Of the 900 executives surveyed, 86% believe that artificial intelligence can eliminate simple tasks and, therefore, contribute to increasing the innovation and creativity of workers. In addition, 84% believe that AI can offer greater flexibility to workers with manual tasks, such as frontline workers.

For example, positions that currently require the presence of employees on site, such as the management of a production line, could have the possibility of evolving to remote jobs. Indeed, employees would then be able to remotely operate and supervise robots and detection equipment supported by AI. In this case, generative AI would not replace an employee’s work, it would change it to less physically demanding tasks and a more flexible position.

This is why 86% of the executives surveyed believe that humans will remain at the center of the workplace, with AI intervening in support. 84% even foresee an improvement in the quality of these jobs.

For Ben Armstrong, Executive Director of the Industrial Performance Center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “humans will remain at the center, and AI tools will allow quality control and a boost for productivity”.

An investment in technology and training

However, for the future of the world of work to follow this evolution, companies must go beyond a simple investment in new technologies. To succeed in changing positions in this direction, it will be necessary to train and retrain the workforce, in order to prepare it to exploit the power of AI and other emerging technologies.

“With the increasing presence of AI, there will be an increasing need to develop skills,” says Anita Woolley, professor at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. “Organizations will need employees with specific skills to fully exploit the capabilities of AI that can facilitate work flexibility. »

In this scenario, even if it involves a requalification, the workers will keep their jobs and will play an essential role in the success of the implementation of artificial intelligence.

Source: ZDNet.com

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