The potential of artificial intelligence to transform the workplace is no longer the stuff of science fiction. It's a today reality that companies--and especially their executive teams and Human Resources (HR) leaders--are meeting head-on. Gone are the days of installing technology systems that served as fixed tools over a fixed lifecycle.iStock And while major technology breakthroughs that fundamentally reshape the workplace have a history of driving net job gains and improved employee satisfaction over the long term, the path is often complicated by short-term concerns or wake-me-when-it's-over inertia. Workforce automation, when thoughtfully designed and intelligently deployed, offers companies and their employees new levels of innovation and growth--and a next-generation competitive advantage.
Don't worry, robots and AI won't take your job: Well, at least not all of it Automation probably won't lead to massive unemployment, but governments will still need to prepare for major upheaval, according to a new study. Until now, automation has gotten a bad rap. In 2013, Oxford professors Carl Frey and Michael Osborne analyzed 702 occupations and declared 69 million US jobs, or 47 percent of the workforce, would be lost. In 2017, CNBC reported that 65 percent of Americans believed other industries would suffer because of automation, but theirs would be unaffected. Despite the doomsaying being flat-out wrong (automation will only eliminate 9 percent of US jobs in 2018 but also create 2 percent more in a new "automation economy"), the demand for automation has never been higher.
Futurists and science fiction writers have always looked ahead to predict how machines could augment the way people live and work. Still, a future where technology fully replaces physical work is distant, but it's no surprise that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a bit of a buzzword among technology and business circles lately. The topic of AI often generates strong reactions, with proponents who note its boundless potential reach and others who see it as a nadir for the global workforce. However, industries across the board have noted the potential of AI and how it will impact enterprises at the core. According to Narrative Science, 44 per cent of executives believe artificial intelligence's most important benefit is'automated communications that provide data that can be used to make decisions'.
The fear of new technologies eliminating -- or at least disrupting -- existing and emerging jobs is hardly new. The transition from hand-production methods to machines during the Industrial Revolution, for instance, spurred fears of mass unemployment. But instead of destroying jobs, may new jobs were created and the workforce experienced a massive spike in productivity and efficiencies.
Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the nature of work. In this discussion paper, part of our ongoing research on the impact of technology on the economy, business, and society, we present new findings on the coming shifts in demand for workforce skills and how work is organized within companies, as people increasingly interact with machines in the workplace. We quantify time spent on 25 core workplace skills today and in the future for the United States and five European countries, with a particular focus on five sectors: banking and insurance, energy and mining, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. Key findings: Automation will accelerate the shift in required workforce skills we have seen over the past 15 years. Our research finds that the strongest growth in demand will be for technological skills, the smallest category today, which will rise by 55 percent and by 2030 will represent 17 percent of hours worked, up from 11 percent in 2016.