Despite working in the human resources for over eight years for some of the top organizations in Canada, I have been somewhat blind to the future of work being driven by automation and artificial intelligence (AI). That is, until I read the 2018 Future of Jobs report by World Economic Forum. According to that report, 50% of companies expect that by 2022, their full-time workforce will be somewhat reduced by automation. It is alarming to note that nearly a quarter of these companies are undecided or unlikely to retrain their existing employees and two-thirds expect workers to retrain themselves. This expectation raises an important question of how employees could know which new jobs they should retrain for when these jobs have not yet been created.
Predicting the scale of AI-induced job losses has become a cottage industry for economists and consulting firms the world over. Depending on which model one uses, estimates range from terrifying to totally not a problem. Since 2013, the most cited predictions include a study from Oxford University that predicted 47% of US jobs could be automated within the next decade or two; an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report that suggested just 9% of jobs in the United States were at high risk of automation; PwC research that found 38% of jobs in the United States were at high risk of automation by the early 2030s; and a McKinsey report that found around 50% of work tasks around the world are already automatable. A lot of this difference can be explained by the methodology of these studies. Looking at whether an entire occupation can be automated is a different question than whether tasks within that occupation can be automated.
Today, we are no longer confined to what nature or natural intelligence must offer. From the steam engine to electricity and digital transformations to artificial intelligence, molecular manufacturing, and bioengineering, each new transformative innovation has brought us a new (man-made) way of doing things in ways that nature did not provide for. As new ways of manufacturing and production are emerging, they are taking away an ever-increasing number of tasks and roles previously performed by a human labor force. Furthermore, the automation, self-improvement, self-replication and distributed nature of the manufacturing processes are producing products and goods at a minimal cost. As a result, each of these existing and emerging technologies, individually and collectively, will likely one day eliminate the need for human labor for the production of goods and services--shaking the very fundamentals of economics as we know today.
BUENOS AIRES – Artificial intelligence can facilitate trade negotiations and add one additional percentage point of growth to Latin American and the Caribbean economies, according to a study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The study – put together by the IDB's Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL) – predicts artificial intelligence could boost regional GDP in the mid-term to 4 percent from current 3 percent projections. Brazil, for instance, could grow 4.1 percent a year instead of 3.2 percent. Colombia's economy could hit 4.5 percent growth instead of 3.7 percent. Overall, economic growth of countries that embrace artificial intelligence is expected to be 25 percent higher, on average, than those that do not, the report finds.
Data-driven advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are now set to reshape industries and regulatory frameworks around the world. Fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is remaking the very notion of innovation as countries leverage data to compete for military and commercial advantage. As former BlackBerry Chairman and co-CEO Jim Balsillie suggests, this data-driven revolution is not just remaking the terms of global trade, it is transforming the nature and distribution of wealth. In 1976, 16% of the S&P 500 was made up of intangible assets (patents, trademarks and copyrights). Today, it is now 90%.
A couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to an exciting new company called GoldSpot Discoveries, conceived and headed by mining visionary Denis Laviolette. GoldSpot is the world's first exploration company to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the discovery process for precious metals and other natural resources. Not yet three years old, it's already had a number of successes locating optimal target zones. I'm pleased to inform you now that GoldSpot began trading last week on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker SPOT. This is a giant leap forward not just for the company and its team but also AI in general.
More than 60 percent of the public and 54 percent of tech executives think that AI must be regulated to ensure it develops safely. That's according to Edelman's AI Center of Expertise, which compiled survey responses from 1,000 members of the U.S. general population and 300 executives working in technology roles in a new report published today. "Our [2019 Edelman Artificial Intelligence] survey -- explores the issues surrounding AI, from the more obvious positives of improved health care and manufacturing to the countervailing concerns overhanging widespread adoption," said Edelman global technology sector lead Sanjay Nair. "We found both groups are curious about AI, yet there is also substantial uncertainty and worry that AI use could lead to widespread job loss, income inequality, and social isolation." According to Edelman analysts, the general public is warier than top-ranking tech execs when it comes to AI's future impact on the economically disenfranchised.
Today's artificial intelligence-based applications are changing people's lives in ways that often go unnoticed. A new study by Accenture, however, reports that AI could dramatically boost economic growth and productivity by up to 40% in 2035, prompting many to sit up and take notice of the burgeoning industry. Already advances in AI-powered technologies like robots, virtual assistants and augmented reality have stimulated fervent interest from companies such as Google, IBM, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. And while it's hard to pinpoint the exact path that it will take, with global tech giants making huge strides in this sector, AI startups are arguably the most sought-after in today's global economy. The trend is catching on in India as well.
Microsoft, the company behind the some of the most impressive inventions and devices like Hololens, Windows etc says in the coming days Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become the next big thing. Like all the big tech companies including Google and Facebook, Microsoft too is working on making an AI to leap further into the future. But according to the company, working and developing an AI without the inclusion of women in them is most likely to make the AI biased. According to the World Economic Report 2018, only 22% of AI professionals globally are female. And almost 32% believe that gender bias is still major problem in the recruitment process of the AI industry.
Rapid technological advances in digitization and data and analytics have been reshaping the business landscape, supercharging performance, and enabling the emergence of new business innovations and new forms of competition. At the same time, the technology itself continues to evolve, bringing new waves of advances in robotics, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), and especially machine learning. Together they amount to a step change in technical capabilities that could have profound implications for business, for the economy, and more broadly, for society. Some companies are gaining a competitive edge with their use of data and analytics, which can enable faster and larger-scale evidence-based decision making, insight generation, and process optimization. But there is room to catch up and to excel.