AI is and will continue to replace some jobs. Many workers today fear that they will be replaced by this technological revolution, a similar fear expressed during the Industrial Revolution. However, we are seeing the emergence of a whole new set of occupations as a result of AI. The World Economic Forum predicts that AI technology will create 97 million new jobs by 2025. Demand for workers related to the development and maintenance of AI and automation is expected to rise as AI integrates across multiple industries. Most applications of AI involve some level of human direction. One such example of a new role is that of a “prompt engineer”. Also known colloquially as an “AI whisperer”, prompt engineers focus on crafting the optimal textual input by selecting the appropriate words, phrases, sentence structures, and punctuation to test AI chatbots. Their job is to identify the AI errors and hidden capabilities so developers can address them. AI-assisted healthcare technicians have the same healthcare skills as nurses but with added tech knowledge and will also become sought after.
Why is it important?
Artificial Intelligence is known for reducing repetitive work, improving efficiency, delivering accurate results, and streamlining processes. A Harvard Business Review study found that companies that incorporated artificial intelligence into their sales and marketing saw an increase in lead generation by more than 50%, a reduction in their call times of 60% to 70% and overall cost reductions of up to 40% to 60%. Research by Automation Anywhere and Goldsmiths, University of London found that “[AI] augmented companies enjoy 28 per cent better performance levels compared with competitors”. It’s important to bear in mind that, during this transition phase, workers with less education and training will be more negatively impacted than those who are highly trained and have the means to upskill.
What can businesses do about it?
According to global research by McKinsey, 50% of companies surveyed reported adopting AI in at least one business area. Companies need to develop comprehensive AI strategies that seek to enable – not replace – the human workforce. “Currently there is a widespread shortage of talent that possesses the knowledge and capabilities to properly build, fuel, and maintain these technologies within their organizations. The lack of well-trained professionals… continues to be a major hurdle for businesses,” said Mohit Josh of India-based company Infosys. Businesses should invest in finding outside talent which has the relevant qualifications to fulfill its AI strategy. They should also assist existing workers to upskill. Communication and transparency with employees is critical to engendering trust in the adoption of this technology. AI is here to stay and businesses need to embrace it in order to maintain a competitive advantage.
By Faeeza Khan
Image Credit: Shane Rounce
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