From self-driving cars to voice assistants to chatbots, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere. It’s a technological marvel that is here to stay. In fact, AI is a phrase synonymous with the advancement of technology that is slated to transform our lives.
Most tech startups are themed around developing AI solutions. And if tech experts are to be believed, artificial intelligence will take over jobs and rule our lives in the coming years. However, before you get riled up and begin worrying, let’s deep dive into what AI is and where it’s going.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
In the simple words of Techopedia, Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for include:
- Speech recognition
Back in the day, you could scream at your computer or request it to play a Linkin Park song and it wouldn’t understand a word of what you said. Machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and data science, all come together to make software smarter instead of just being a dull binary technology.
Today, you have Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa to talk to and get information on anything and everything simply by talking to it. This was unfathomable a decade ago. This is AI — a smart and almost human-like intelligence that makes life easier.
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How will AI Impact our lives in the future?
With AI, our generation is likely to undergo a major revolution similar to the industrial revolution which destroyed traditional jobs.
1. Many existing jobs may become automated
A study by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne suggested that 47% of jobs may become fully automated in the next couple of decades.
- Analytic jobs such as that of engineers, doctors, astronauts, accountants, chefs require heavy calculations and logic that are complex and require a higher education. These jobs are less likely to be automated.
- Interactive jobs such as that or marketers, teachers, sales representatives, nurses, TV personalities, require cognitive skills and instant responses. These are harder to be automated.
- Manual jobs such as workers loading trucks, cleaning, painting houses, filling spreadsheets etc. are routine jobs where AI automation can easily take over.
- Nonroutine jobs such as teachers responding differently to students or service staff responding to a different clientele on a daily basis are harder to impersonate. AI take over would be harder for such jobs.
2. AI will create new jobs
AI is the future. However, let’s roll back a bit and think of all the new jobs that have emerged over the last few years. Instagram and YouTube are popular platforms for influencers to create an audience and make a living. Not just that, people are learning new programming languages and working for 21st-century tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon, or Google. Jobs such as these were unfathomable 20 years ago.
And it’s not news that artificial intelligence increases efficiency and productivity and will surely help governments to drive revenues. AI will help governments to make more money and optimize processes thereby enabling more money to be invested in social services, health care, and education.
This means more qualified professionals such as teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. would be required. Also, professionals in the technology field will be required to monitor and strategically implement all the data and analysis that the AI solutions generate.
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3. An increased disparity between the skilled and unskilled
Artificial Intelligence is slated to increase the inequality index between the highly skilled and less skilled professionals. Highly skilled people will find it easier to take advantage of the new and complicated work opportunities on offer.
Whereas the less skilled will find it harder and need more time to adapt. This is going to benefit business owners and affect workers or employees whose routine jobs may be under threat.
For instance, imagine you own a fashion company. You employ staff to help you design your couture, knit clothes and stitch them together, answer customer’s questions, and complete deliveries. If you think about it, more than half of your profit will go in paying wages.
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With AI, you can design your own clothes using a custom software, render the design to the stitching machine, which will automatically stitch and create the clothes. Furthermore, you can begin taking orders online and answering complex customer queries using a chatbot.
A smart back-end system keeps a record of delivery dates and arranges for logistics for you and robots load your clothes into the delivery driverless truck. In this way, in the coming future, business owners will leverage from AI to increase profits.
Will AI take over jobs?
After reading everything mentioned above, you may be under the impression that your job is at stake. However, AI Automation is expensive as compared to the human workforce. Also, just because your job can be automated, doesn’t mean it will. For all you know, your company may be making more profit while paying your salary rather than having to automate your job.
A good example here is of schools choosing not to automate paper corrections. Teachers still correct exam papers by hand and schools don’t wish to invest in expensive AI automation and labor-saving alternatives. This is also because it is more effective and efficient for schools to have their already-salaried staff to correct exam papers.
AI is a technology that will surely impact jobs to the point where it increases efficiency and makes systems more intelligent to help with analysis. However, the technology is still very brittle and expensive to implement, not to mention extensive to build and therefore it is far from replacing jobs and putting you out of a salary.
Article originally published on .TECH Blog.