Stolen Jobs Or New Opportunities? AI And The Job Market
Is technology taking over the world? Well, maybe it already has. The generative chatbot, ChatGPT, blew up in popularity when it was first released, becoming a go-to tool for working professionals and students alike thanks to its easy-to-use platform. Self-driving taxis and automated buses have hit the streets globally, showing the potential for the replacement of humans in the job market by machines. But will the overall impact of artificial intelligence on the job market be positive or negative? That remains to be seen.
Naysayers of technology argue that with the acceptance of AI technology, a Charlie in the Chocolate Factory-type scenario will become the reality for thousands if not millions of Americans. Where their jobs are replaced by automated machines, leaving them without income in an increasingly expensive world.
On the other hand, proponents of artificial intelligence argue that while advancing technology may replace some jobs, it will create new jobs to replace those lost. And AI technology will be able to make tedious everyday tasks easier, allowing for an increase in productivity. So, is there anything to fear when it comes to embracing artificial intelligence technology, and if there is, can it be stopped?
AI’s Positive Potential
The McKinsey Global Institute reported that according to their simulations, AI will have a tangible impact on the global economy. This amounts to nearly $13 trillion in additional economic activity, and around a 16% boost to the cumulative GDP by 2030 in comparison to today. This shift in the economy would be the aftermath of a substitution of manual labor for an automated workforce. In addition to this, they estimate that 70% of companies will embrace at least one aspect of AI technology.
In addition to McKinsey’s stance on the direct economic impact of artificial intelligence technology, they project that by 2030 there will be 12 million jobs in need of transition. This is in response to the notable shift out of low-paying jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and the assumption that this trend will continue in years to come.
AI Automation, Is It Coming For Your Job?
With increased automation thanks to AI technology, Goldman Sachs estimates that the equivalent of 300 million full-time positions could be replaced. Nexford University lists these jobs as the top eight positions in the most danger of being replaced by artificial intelligence technology and with some of them, the transition is already underway.
- Customer service representative
- Sales representative
- Researcher and analyst
- Warehouse worker
- Insurance underwriter
- Retail worker
While McKinsey claims that the more restrictive job market is forcing companies to hire non-traditional candidates, it is undeniable that additional training and reskilling will be necessary to transition candidates from the jobs listed above to jobs in existing industries or into jobs created by the artificial intelligence technology boom.
AI Is Already Affecting Hiring
If you are already a part of the job force that is being affected by automation, then you may be applying for jobs and failing. A possible reason for this could be that your resume is missing keywords that the company has tasked artificial intelligence with looking for. Forbes published an article in 2019 on how to beat AI resume scanners and as artificial intelligence technology has become more mainstream, so has the use of these programs to automate tasks that used to require human oversight.
However, the use of artificial intelligence technology in the hiring process is being used for good. The process of resume redaction and anonymization allows for the implementation of anti-bias or “blind” hiring processes that can be used to overcome implicit and explicit bias. Such as racism, ageism, gender-based discrimination, classism, and more. Redaction programs like CaseGuard Studio black out words that can lead to discrimination against candidates, removing a roadblock for candidates from underrepresented communities or untraditional backgrounds.
Whether or not the impact of artificial intelligence technology on the job market is going to be positive or negative is a matter of debate and perspective. On one hand, it will inevitably lead to the loss of jobs. On the other hand, it will create new jobs in different fields that develop alongside the technology.
With the proper assistance in reskilling the workforce that is at risk of replacement by automation, a good portion of these displaced individuals stand to increase their income and become eligible for upward mobility in their careers. While those who are unwilling or unable to adapt to the changing economy will feel the negative impact of this transitional period more than most.
As technology advances over the next decade, the direct effect of embracing artificial intelligence technologies will become apparent. Legislation to restrict AI usage, unions fighting for the rights of workers against AI automation, and general education about possible consequences of artificial intelligence usage may be able to mitigate the negative impact of this transitional period but only time will tell.