The US labor market looks markedly different today than it did two decades ago. It has been reshaped by dramatic events like the Great Recession but also by a quieter ongoing evolution in the mix and location of jobs. In the decade ahead, the next wave of automation technologies may accelerate the pace of change. Millions of jobs could be phased out even as new ones are created. More broadly, the day-to-day nature of work could change for nearly everyone as intelligent machines become fixtures in the American workplace. Until recently, most research on the potential effects of automation, including our own, has focused on the national-level effects. Our previous work ran multiple scenarios regarding the pace and extent of adoption. In the midpoint case, our modeling shows some jobs being phased out but sufficient numbers being added at the same time to produce net positive job growth for the United States as a whole through 2030.
Organised by The Artificial Research Centre, Brunel University London, in association with the British Academy of Management (E-Business / Government, Organisational Transformation, Change and Development and Strategy SIGs) The next generations of technological development driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) are unlike anything we have seen before. Data is the fuel used to drive the development in the Big Data era. Business leaders, policy makers and the public are only just the beginning to grasp the unquenchable thirst algorithms have for data. Many human activities are already being tracked and traced using smart sensors, apps, mobile devices and wearable tech. As things we come into contact with become part of the internet of things, so our every move will generate more data about us, our behaviours, habits, preferences and displeasures.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is impacting every industry, and supply chain management is no different. While companies now have access to nearly unlimited data, I believe just having data is not enough to improve supply chain performance. Instead, we can leverage artificial intelligence to use this data to make the right decision to move forward faster, smarter and cheaper. Without the good data, however, AI may just as well be making the wrong decision. The definition of AI can be difficult to pin down.
At its crudest, most reductive, we could sum up the future of artificial intelligence as being about robot butlers v killer robots. We have to get there eventually, so we might as well start with the killer robots. If we were to jump forward 50 years to see what artificial intelligence might bring us, would we – Terminator-style – step into a world of human skulls being crushed under the feet of our metal and microchip overlords? No, we're told by experts. It might be much worse.
Sometimes even Bill Gates' crystal ball is cloudy. The Microsoft co-founder became one of the most successful tech moguls of all time by foreseeing and capitalizing on world-changing trends, but he acknowledged this week that it's difficult to predict when the coming tide of automation and artificial intelligence will have the most impact on the our economy and labor market. The biggest implications could still be decades away, Gates said in a conversation with Microsoft Research Labs director Eric Horvitz on stage at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit in Redmond this week. "We have many decades to get this right, but it is a fairly dramatic thing that you want to get society broadly involved in helping you think about with plenty of lead time," he said. When a new technology is emerging, Gates observed, it's easy to imagine widespread adoption is just around the corner.
Technology provides us with the toolkit to change lives for the better – but if unchecked, it also has the power to discriminate and reinforce stereotypes and bias. This is true of any technology past, present and future. But it is the advancement of distributed systems capable of storing and processing massive amounts of previously disparate data coupled with the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) into our everyday lives that requires us to urgently refocus on how technology is being architected, engineered, tested, deployed and governed, to ensure that its impact remains positive – and only positive. Whether we explicitly asked for it or not, the fact is that, today and right at this very moment, artificial intelligence is impacting your life. The majority of the time, AI is invisible to us – whenever we enter a search term into Google, visit websites, use social media, browse Netflix, use online banking, use public transport or walk the streets of any major city, AI algorithms are busy working away in the background to return relevant search results, analyse your browsing habits, social network, viewing preferences, detect signs of fraud and to capture an image of, and process, your face.
Workplaces should use automation technologies to enhance employees' jobs rather than to replace humans, according to speakers at an event held by the Guardian on 11 July. However, they saw problems in the introduction of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robots, the latter including software as well as physical machines. "Humans should not worry too much about replacement, but need to find new ways to work together with AI," said Chelsea Chen, co-founder of Emotech, a company which makes a voice-operated device called Olly that aims to recognise users' emotions as well the content of speech. Chen said that human employees are likely to remain better at dealing with people's emotions than computers. She says Olly can express excitement in response to what a user says, but that does not make it conscious: "Any job which is highly relevant to people will be really hard to replace."
For us and many other companies, trust has become a competitive advantage. As businesses race to adopt artificial intelligence (AI), their ability to use it ethically--and in ways that generate trust from customers, partners, and the public--will become a competitive differentiator. This means companies need to make ethics and values a focus of AI development. Some reasons for this are obvious: Three-fourths of consumers today say they won't buy from unethical companies, while 86% say they're more loyal to ethical companies, according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer. In Salesforce's recent Ethical Leadership and Business survey, 93% of consumers say companies have a responsibility to positively impact society.
One of the essential phrases necessary to understand AI in 2019 has to be "ethics washing." Put simply, ethics washing -- also called "ethics theater" -- is the practice of fabricating or exaggerating a company's interest in equitable AI systems that work for everyone. A textbook example for tech giants is when a company promotes "AI for good" initiatives with one hand while selling surveillance capitalism tech to governments and corporate customers with the other. Accusations of ethics washing have been lobbed at the biggest AI companies in the world, as well as startups. The most high-profile example this year may have been Google's external AI ethics panel, which devolved into a PR nightmare and was disbanded after about a week.
Amazon announced last week that it will spend $700 million to train about 100,000 workers in the US by 2025, helping them move into more highly skilled jobs. The New York Times observed that with this program Amazon is acknowledging that "advances in automation technology will handle many tasks now done by people." The number of jobs which AI and machines will displace in the future has been the subject of numerous studies and surveys and op-eds and policy papers since 2013, when a pair of Oxford academics, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, estimated that 47% of American jobs are at high risk of automation by the mid-2030s. McKinsey Global Institute: between 40 million and 160 million women worldwide may need to transition between occupations by 2030, often into higher-skilled roles. Clerical work, done by secretaries, schedulers and bookkeepers, is an area especially susceptible to automation, and 72% of those jobs in advanced economies are held by women.