Industry leaders, researchers and workers across the country have mixed feelings about artificial intelligence and its impact on the job market. The concern of robots replacing humans in automation and other mundane tasks is one side of the coin. However, others believe that AI will actually have a positive impact on employment.
AI to generate job growth in healthcare
According to a new report from leading research and advisory company Gartner, though AI will eliminate some jobs, it is forecasted to be a positive job motivator for 2.3 million new roles through the next several years. By 2020, jobs created as a result of AI will begin to flood industries including healthcare and various aspects of the public sector. Researchers believe that while AI will cut out a number of mid-level positions, it will enhance productivity and increase the demand for both entry-level and highly skilled roles.
The key takeaway from the report was that AI does not mean automation. Instead, Gartner researchers want industry leaders to realize that the revolution will be about augmentation - humans and AI working together.
"AI is forecast to generate 2.3 million new jobs through 2025."
"AI can take on repetitive and mundane tasks, freeing up humans for other activities, but the symbiosis of humans with AI will be more nuanced and will require reinvestment and reinvention instead of simply automating existing practices," said Mike Rollings, research vice president at Gartner. "Rather than have a machine replicating the steps that a human performs to reach a particular judgment, the entire decision process can be refactored to use the relative strengths and weaknesses of both machine and human to maximize value generation and redistribute decision making to increase agility."
Rather than replacing humans, AI will take care of the simple tasks so that employees can focus their time and efforts on the more important things. In healthcare, for example, this could be patient care. The hope is that people begin to pivot toward the idea that AI will serve as a means of promoting employees, Gartner's research director, Manjunath Bhat told CNBC.
AI becomes an advantage when companies can recognize how to best utilize it, according to the Gartner report. The firm found that by 2022, 20 percent of employees focused on irregular or non customary tasks will allow AI to complete mundane routines so that they can focus their attention where it is needed most.
How AI will create the reconfiguration of roles
Though some leaders, primarily in the tech industry, remain wary of AI, there are a number of other organizations and research firms highlighting the potential job growth and revenue that can be achieved through a commitment to machine intelligence.
In its report of future trends in the workforce, Accenture Research concluded that from 2018 to 2022, AI will create a 15 percent increase in employment and 49 percent growth in revenue in the healthcare industry. Outpacing all other industries in every category, aside from telecommunications job growth, healthcare is projected to benefit the most from the adoption and successful implementation of AI. Echoing similar sentiments revealed by the Gartner report, the Accenture Research team reported that AI will generate a shift in roles, allowing for employees to "take on higher value work." This allows for more focus on innovation and specialties, which can ultimately lead to higher job satisfaction.
As the Harvard Business Review reported, in addition to benefiting healthcare for the better in terms of new roles and industry revenue, AI will allow for people to make the most use of their individual talents, strengths and areas of interest. When a doctor no longer has to attend to every single email and data entry, a world of opportunity opens up. This can help improve performance among medical staff.
For the true potential of AI to come to light, both organizations and employees must see it is a collaboration, rather than automation or a replacement.