Artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it eliminates

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Much has been written about the potential of artificial intelligence to eliminate scores of jobs currently held by humans, but by the year 2020, AI will create more jobs than it eliminates.

That, at least, is the prediction of research firm Gartner, Inc., which says job impacts from AI will take a positive turn by 2020, and will reach two million net new jobs in 2025. AI will impact each industry sector differently, with healthcare, the public sector and education seeing the greatest amount of new job growth. Taking the hardest ‘hit’ will be the manufacturing sector.

“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,” noted Svetlana Sicular, research vice president at Gartner.

AI will improve the productivity of many jobs, eliminating millions of middle and low-level positions. But AI will also create millions more positions of highly skilled, management and even low-level and low-skilled variety jobs, Svetlana says.

Artificial intelligence has gotten a bum rap in much of the industry’s reporting on its potential, Svetlana believes. That is because artificial intelligence it is often confused with just one technology within the AI portfolio – automation.

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

Svetlana advises IT leaders to focus on the projected net increase of jobs that will come with AI implementation.

“With each investment in AI-enabled technologies, they must take into consideration what jobs will be created, and how it will transform how workers collaborate with others, make decisions, and get work done,” Svetlana says.

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