Service deliveryDigital Customer ServiceArtificial Intelligence ‘will create more jobs than it eliminates by 2020’

Artificial Intelligence 'will create more jobs than it eliminates by 2020'

Public sector and healthcare predicted to see continuously growing job demand

2020 will be a pivotal year in AI-related employment dynamics, according to Gartner, as artificial intelligence (AI) will become a positive job motivator.

The number of jobs affected by AI will vary by industry; through 2019, healthcare, the public sector and education will see continuously growing job demand while manufacturing will be hit the hardest.

Starting in 2020, AI-related job creation will cross into positive territory, reaching two million net-new jobs in 2025.

“Many significant innovations in the past have been associated with a transition period of temporary job loss, followed by recovery, then business transformation and AI will likely follow this route,” said Svetlana Sicular, research vice president at Gartner. AI will improve the productivity of many jobs, eliminating millions of middle- and low-level positions, but also creating millions more new positions of highly skilled, management and even the entry-level and low-skilled variety.

“Unfortunately, most calamitous warnings of job losses confuse AI with automation — that overshadows the greatest AI benefit — AI augmentation — a combination of human and artificial intelligence, where both complement each other.”

Consider the changes

IT leaders should not only focus on the projected net increase of jobs. With each investment in AI-enabled technologies, they must take into consideration what jobs will be lost, what jobs will be created, and how it will transform how workers collaborate with others, make decisions and get work done.

“Now is the time to really impact your long-term AI direction,” said Sicular. “For the greatest value, focus on augmenting people with AI. Enrich people’s jobs, reimagine old tasks and create new industries. Transform your culture to make it rapidly adaptable to AI-related opportunities or threats.”

Gartner identified additional predictions related to AI’s impact on the workplace:

AI has already been applied to highly repeatable tasks where large quantities of observations and decisions can be analysed for patterns. However, applying AI to less-routine work that is more varied due to lower repeatability will soon start yielding superior benefits. AI applied to non-routine work is more likely to assist humans than replace them as combinations of humans and machines will perform more effectively than either human experts or AI-driven machines working alone will.

By 2022, one in five workers engaged in mostly nonroutine tasks will rely on AI to do a job. “Using AI to auto-generate a weekly status report or pick the top five emails in your inbox doesn’t have the same wow factor as, say, curing a disease would, which is why these near-term, practical uses go unnoticed,” said Craig Roth, research vice president at Gartner. “Companies are just beginning to seize the opportunity to improve non-routine work through AI by applying it to general-purpose tools. Once knowledge workers incorporate AI into their work processes as a virtual secretary or intern, robo-employees will become a competitive necessity.”

Leveraging technologies such as AI and robotics, retailers will use intelligent process automation to identify, optimise and automate labour-intensive and repetitive activities that are currently performed by humans, reducing labour costs through efficiency from headquarters to distribution centres and stores. Many retailers are already expanding technology use to improve the in-store check-out process.

In 2021, AI augmentation will generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity. However, some industries, such as outsourcing, are seeing a fundamental change in their business models, whereby the cost reduction from AI and the resulting productivity improvement must be reinvested to allow reinvention and the perusal of new business model opportunities.

“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 judgement, the entire decision process can be refactored to use the relative strengths and weaknesses of both machine and human to maximise value generation and redistribute decision making to increase agility.”

Related Articles

Councils turn to smart tech to enhance service delivery

Digital Customer Service Councils turn to smart tech to enhance service delivery

6d Austin Clark
Brexit both an opportunity and a threat, says GDS chief

Digital Customer Service Brexit both an opportunity and a threat, says GDS chief

2w Austin Clark
Crawley introduces citizen self-service

Digital Customer Service Crawley introduces citizen self-service

2w Austin Clark
Contact centres must find ‘sweet spot’ between technology and the human touch

Digital Customer Service Contact centres must find ‘sweet spot’ between technology and the human touch

2w Austin Clark
Case study: Ordnance Survey’s omni-channel approach

Digital Customer Service Case study: Ordnance Survey’s omni-channel approach

3w Guest Writer
A German approach to digital transformation

Digital Customer Service A German approach to digital transformation

4w Austin Clark
Case Study: How North Lanarkshire Council uses Master Data Management to improve citizen satisfaction

Digital Customer Service Case Study: How North Lanarkshire Council uses Master Data Management to improve citizen satisfaction

4w Guest Writer
Local councils’ strategy to reduce waiting times failing to pay dividends, according to FoI data

Digital Customer Service Local councils’ strategy to reduce waiting times failing to pay dividends, according to FoI data

4w Austin Clark