Artificial intelligence, today, is a set of several technologies that allow machines to perceive, understand, act and learn, either autonomously or with the aim of enhancing some human activities.
In companies, AI is a useful tool for collecting and processing large amounts of data, not only as an application for the individual market sector, but also for a preciser human resources management. HR can use artificial intelligence to improve the selection process of new employees, monitor workers’ activities and habits or better organise many services, such as the company canteen.
AI can control the flow of financial transactions and recognise faster than a person an online fraud or attack. It can also be useful in managing customer relations through chatbots, reducing waiting times and supporting operators that are concentrated on other value-added activities.
It’s estimated that artificial intelligence will eliminate approximately 85 million jobs by 2025 and create a further 97 million. These figures, that suggest the impact it may have on employment, have raised many concerns.
This fear however won’t stop the wheel of innovation and automation which, as we wrote in a recent article, will be the main driver of this transformation. There will be a higher demand for technicians who can handle machines, but an important reduction in less skilled staff too.
While large production plants are moving towards robotic solutions, offices are pushing the accelerator on digitisation processes.
With A.I it’s possible to create algorithms that repeat an action several times through iterations and machine learning. The algorithms perform that action efficiently and quickly without making mistakes. In this case, the work of several people can be facilitated or replaced more quickly and at a lower cost to the benefit of the company and the customer.
But if the work will be done by an algorithm, where will the human input be?
New professional figures and the skills challenge
According to the forecasts of the World Economic Forum (Future of Jobs Report 2020) in the next five years we will see a drastic reduction in “redundant” roles, i.e. those that can be carried out more efficiently by machines.
On the other hand growth will mainly be for professions linked to AI monitoring or for jobs strongly linked to critical thinking and relationships.
Job roles in increasing demand
Job roles in decreasing demand
|1. Data Analysts
2. AI and Machine Learning Specialists
3. Big Data Specialists
4. Digital Marketing and Strategy Specialists
5. Process Automation Specialists
6. Business Development Professionals
7. Digital Transformation Specialists
8. Information Security Analysts
9. Software and Applications Developers
10. Internet of Things Specialists
|1. Data Entry Clerks
2. Administrative and Executive Secretaries
3. Accounting, Bookkeeping and Payroll Clerks
4. Accountants and Auditors
5. Assembly and Factory Workers
6. Business Services and Administration Managers
7. Client Information and Customer Service Workers
8. General and Operations Managers
9. Mechanics and Machinery Rapairers
10. Material-Recording and Stock-Keeping Clerks
The importance of technology training is clear: ICT skills are necessary and have become a solid foundation of most secondary school and university curricula.
For companies and workers, however, there is talk of ‘reskill’ and ‘upskill’, i.e. a continuous training to keep up with technological developments.
There is a growing demand for workers and managers with soft skills: they need to be creative, able to think laterally and have a problem-solving approach, while at the same time manage to relate to colleagues, customers and suppliers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a new production factor and has the potential to introduce new sources of growth, changing the way work is perceived and strengthening the role of people in leading work growth.
Does it pose a risk? There is no doubt about it. Will it be challenging? Definitely. The solution? Never stop informing, training and learning.
“Wisdom doesn’t come from age, but from education and learning”
(attributed to Anton Cechov)