AI Will Create More Jobs Than Take Away and What These New Jobs Will be

One of the biggest critiques against Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been its ability to render humans jobless and redundant. The general theory goes that intelligent machines will eventually take over a good amount of work from humans and do it faster, more efficiently and cost effectively. However, newer research indicates that AI may actually end up adding newer jobs. According to Gartner, in 2020, AI will become a positive net job motivator, creating 2.3M jobs while only eliminating 1.8M jobs.


What’s interesting, though, is that the new jobs that will be getting created will not be replacing the old ones. These will be entirely new categories of jobs that are uniquely different from the ones that exist today. Thus, forcing organizations to spend significant resources and efforts on reskilling and upskilling their workforce to fit into the new jobs. In fact, this will be the key to unlocking the power of AI and optimizing the investments that organizations make into it.


In order to be well prepared, organizations will need to understand what these new types of jobs are expected to entail and what skillsets will they demand.


A global study of 1,000 large companies already using or testing AI and machine-learning systems conducted by Accenture, talks about the emergence of three entirely new categories of uniquely human jobs— trainers, explainers, and sustainers.


According to the study, here’s what each of the three categories will do: Trainers will teach AI systems how to perform, process data and behave. Explainers will articulate to business executives the inner workings of AI systems, improving transparency. Sustainers will ensure that AI is fair, safe and responsible. It will be imperative for organizations to develop and nurture the necessary skillsets needed to support these three job categories.


Besides skills specific to these job categories, organizations will also need to build the capability to manage a diverse range of skillsets as the diversity of teams will also grow.


“AI demands far more multidisciplinary skill sets than are typically brought together in traditional settings: pure mathematics, computer science, data science, neuroscience, psychometrics, behavioral psychology, linguistics and other liberal arts skills will be necessary to both train and work with intelligent machines. This calls for new techniques to manage these new combinations and, more broadly, for judgment and interpersonal skills,” the study states.


While some of these skills are in short supply, there are others that do not even exist in the market currently. This leaves the onus on the companies to develop these skills in-house, requiring them to enhance and re-strategize their training and skill development programs. “They will need to reskill and retrain at speed and scale to create skills the wider market cannot provide and to keep current workers relevant and adaptive on a continuous basis,” the study explains.


To assess where you stand currently with respect to your workforce preparedness for AI, we urge you to ask yourselves these questions as suggested by the Accenture study.

1. Do you have a program to deliver reskilling at speed and at scale to redeploy people from administrative tasks to judgment and interpersonal skilled work?


2. Have you built real-time training capabilities to keep people adaptable to constantly changing technologies?


3. Do you have the management skills to ensure new teams of vastly different disciplines work together effectively?


4. Have you created a more flexible workforce model for less structured, more project-based work?


5. Is your leadership ready to manage in horizontal, not hierarchal, ways to inspire creativity?

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