“Anything you can do, I can do better…” That’s the ultimate concern in today’s community when it comes to the rise of artificial intelligence. If machines can do almost every job better and faster than their human counterparts – then what makes people necessary?
While it’s safe to say that AI has become more compelling in recent years, thanks to the development of “narrow AI” creations like IBM’s Watson, does that really mean that the future belongs to the bots? Well, let’s start our evaluation of the future, with a glance at the past.
Technology is Always Evolving (and The World Changes with It)
In 1995, the Daily Mirror published a story about the increasing popularity of computers, which included the quote: “Whatever your job is, the chances are that one of these machines can do it faster.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Whenever something new emerges in the technology space, there’s always a period of panic, during which human beings start to worry that the machines they’ve created will soon be taking their seat in the workplace. Back in 1978, the BBC even made the bold claim that computers were the reason that children would grow up without jobs to go to.
Now that AI systems can be trained to perform complex tasks like finding information, reporting data, and even responding to simple customer queries, we’re once again worried about the scope of technology, and what it could mean for us as a species.
AI and Humans: Are We Better Together?
Importantly, while artificial intelligence is obviously something that’s going to have a huge impact on the way we work, and live – that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s here to replace the human worker. While there will be some repetitive, mundane jobs that AI can do better than the average person, most of this technology is created to supplement, and support human performance.
For instance, while artificial intelligence might be great for searching through large amounts of data in a short period of time, human beings are unbeatable when it comes to making creative, and intuitive decisions based on the data provided. The future, from the perspective of AI supporters, isn’t about replacing the human worker but giving them the means to be more creative and productive in the workplace.
For instance, AI might help you to find content about a customer that you need to deliver an exceptional user experience, but it’s the human agent that will use this contextual information to design an exceptional CX strategy.
AI and the Future Job Market
As innovations in the artificial intelligence market continue to accelerate, there will be a loss of certain jobs. Those boring, repetitive tasks that use humans as assembly mechanisms, rather than sources of useful creativity may well be on their way out. However, just as innovation removes opportunities from the career space, it also delivers new solutions too. Your child might have a job that involves manually scrolling through hours of healthcare information, but he could be the expert that uses AI-informed databases to make important decisions about the future of the industry.
The key is making sure that the educational system provides our children with the lessons they need to become better at the things that humans will always do best: critical thinking and creative problem-solving. Classes of the future may be less about learning information off-by-heart, and more about creatively responding to challenges.
If we accept the rise of AI and adapt accordingly, then the job market won’t suffer. In fact, new opportunities in the artificial intelligence industry could improve the chances that your children end up with a career that they can truly be passionate about because there will be more insightful jobs and fewer repetitive roles in the marketplace.
The transition to an AI-infused world might be a difficult one, but if we’re willing to welcome it with open arms, the result could be better-quality jobs, a greater focus on creativity, and an opportunity for human beings to thrive where they perform best.