What Are The Implications Of AI For Workers?

There’s a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence in the workplace. Some are excited about its potential to make work more accurate and efficient, others are concerned about its implications for workers, and a third camp is split – they know that artificial intelligence has great potential to transform the workplace, but they’re also concerned about its risks. So who’s right? The answer is more complicated than all good or all bad. 

Pro: Ditching The Time Wasters

One of the major advantages of implementing artificial intelligence in the workplace is that these tools excel at tracking time use, identifying bad habits, and automating low-value tasks. So many everyday office activities are necessary, but they’re boring and don’t contribute much to profit. New artificial intelligence can push those activities into the background so that staff can prioritize more valuable and interesting activities.

Con: The Skill Gap

While automation has its benefits, many people are worried about artificial intelligence eliminating jobs, and they’re not wrong to be concerned. There’s absolutely a cohort of workers whose jobs are at risk with the increased use of automation, and who won’t have the skills to find new employment. But the upside is that employers are aware of this issue and many have committed to helping their workers develop new skills enabling them to move into other roles. This includes connecting workers with opportunities to learn more about artificial intelligence so they can work on these new systems. Reskilling is critical to the future of the workforce.

Pro: Enhanced Forecasting

Knowing what’s ahead – how many product orders are coming, whether supply lines will be disrupted, whether a major contract is going to fall through – represents a powerful opportunity for businesses because it gives them control, and with the rise of artificial intelligence, such predictions are more accurate than ever. Workforce forecasting technology helps companies fine-tune their operations based on past data and reduces cost overruns and other budget-breaking issues.

Cons: Disproportionate Impact

If jobs lost to artificial intelligence were distributed across industries, thereby cushioning the blow, workers and employers would be concerned, but could chalk up the shift to normal market changes. Unfortunately, it’s already clear that artificial intelligence-related job loss will cluster heavily in certain industries and, therefore, in certain regions. Michigan’s factory workers are expected to be particularly hard hit, and that means an entire region could face major economic consequences.

Pros: There’s Time To Get Ready

While some jobs are already yielding to artificial intelligence, there is one final piece of good news: by looking at patents, we can predict industry disruption. Wherever there’s a high number of artificial intelligence patents clustered, that’s where we’re most likely to see significant job losses or shifts. That means that there’s time for employers and workers alike to adapt and prepare for the change. The key is to start thinking about how to reskill and reemploy workers before its necessary so that there’s no lag when artificial intelligence implementation begins. We have strong, predictive insights on our side, and we need to use them.

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