As with every new advancement in technology, conversations on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics range across the spectrum from extremely progressive to outright pessimistic. The talks holding the other end of the stick are rife with speculations that AI will cause extensive unemployment and organizations will need lesser people in the years to come.
At Greyhound Research, we believe, this is a gross misrepresentation of the impact of AI on organizations and cannot be any farther from the truth.
Per a recent Greyhound survey titled State of AI 2017, only 12% organizations believe they’ll replace humans due to AI and robots. In fact, a significant 68% confirmed their intent to hire new people to manage increased complexity arising out of use of AI. Now, this is significant because this comes from leaders in the organizations who are in charge of taking such decisions and is not just an armchair opinion.
So, where is this noise stemming from?
I hate to say it, but much of this noise is an extension of the same old fear mongering that stems from any automation. While it’s fair to say AI is helping organizations automate basic tasks of repeated nature, it is far from reaching a level of maturity where AI (or robots) could replace humans. On the contrary, usage of AI or bots for repetitive mundane tasks (or for tasks where they could mimic the human decision making with AI) is going to free up human workers for more intelligent activities and would improve the overall work environment.
The overarching impact of AI is going to be in more efficient enterprises and more satisfied knowledge workers that will lead to better cash flows and higher innovation, and hence an overall increase across strata of jobs. Despite all the automation, growth always fuels employment.
But, what about jobs?
As enterprises imbibe more automated environment and bots-heavy workforce, there’s going to be tremendous pressure on teams and people to reskill. Enterprises are creating human exclusion zones, where machines do everything. In this impending scenario, organizations and individuals that do not adapt and reskill will perish. And, it won’t be painless.
This is the same age-old (literally) phenomenon of extinction. Whether you’re an organization or an individual, you better adapt (fast) or meet dinosaurs in a shared fate!
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Sanchit Vir Gogia: Sanchit is the Chief Analyst, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Research, an award-winning global research & advisory firm. To read more about him, click here.
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