Gartner Says By 2020, Artificial Intelligence Will Create More Jobs Than It Eliminates

Bangalore, India, 13th December, 2017 — 2020 will be a pivotal year in AI-related employment dynamics, according to Gartner, Inc., as artificial intelligence (AI) will become a positive job motivator. The number of jobs affected by AI will vary by industry; through 2019, healthcare, the public sector and education will see continuously growing job demand while manufacturing will be hit the hardest. Starting in 2020, AI-related job creation will cross into positive territory, reaching two million net-new jobs in 2025. "Many significant innovations in the past have been associated with a transition period of temporary job loss, followed by recovery, then business transformation and AI will likely follow this route," said Svetlana Sicular, research vice president at Gartner. AI will improve the productivity of many jobs, eliminating millions of middle- and low-level positions, but also creating millions more new positions of highly skilled, management and even the entry-level and low-skilled variety.

"Unfortunately,most calamitous warnings of job losses confuse AI with automation — thatovershadows the greatest AI benefit — AI augmentation — a combination of human andartificial intelligence, where both complement each other." IT leadersshould not only focus on the projected net increase of jobs. With each investment in AI-enabled technologies, they must takeinto consideration what jobs will be lost, what jobs will be created, and howit will transform how workers collaborate with others, make decisions and getwork done. "Now is the time to really impact your long-term AIdirection," said Ms. Sicular. "For the greatest value, focus onaugmenting people with AI. Enrich people's jobs, reimagine old tasks andcreate new industries. Transform your culture to make it rapidly adaptable toAI-related opportunities or threats." Gartner identified additionalpredictions related to AI’s impact on the workplace:

 

By 2022, one infive workers engaged in mostly nonroutine tasks will rely on AI to do a job.

AI has already been applied to highly repeatable taskswhere large quantities of observations and decisions can be analyzed forpatterns. However, applying AI to less-routine work that is more varied due tolower repeatability will soon start yielding superior benefits. AI applied tononroutine work is more likely to assist humans than replace them ascombinations of humans and machines will perform more effectively than eitherhuman experts or AI-driven machines working alone will.

 

"Using AI toauto-generate a weekly status report or pick the top five emails in your inboxdoesn't have the same wow factor as, say, curing a disease would, which is whythese near-term, practical uses go unnoticed," said CraigRoth, research vice president at Gartner. "Companies are justbeginning to seize the opportunity to improve nonroutine work through AI byapplying it to general-purpose tools. Once knowledge workers incorporate AIinto their work processes as a virtual secretary or intern, robo-employees willbecome a competitive necessity."

 

Through 2022,multichannel retailer efforts to replace sales associates through AI will proveunsuccessful, although cashier and operational jobs will be disrupted.

Leveragingtechnologies such as AI androbotics, retailers will useintelligent process automation to identify, optimize and automatelabor-intensive and repetitive activities that are currently performed byhumans, reducing labor costs through efficiency from headquarters todistribution centers and stores. Many retailers are already expandingtechnology use to improve the in-store check-out process. However, researchsuggests that many consumers still prefer to interact with a knowledgeablesales associate when visiting a store, particularly in specialized areas suchas home improvement, drugstores and cosmetics, where informed associates canmake a significant impact on customer satisfaction. Though they will reducelabor used for check-out and other operational activities, retailers will findit difficult to eliminate traditional sales advisers.

 

"Retailers willbe able to make labor savings by eliminating highly repetitive andtransactional jobs, but will need to reinvest some of those savings intotraining associates who can enhance the customer experience," said RobertHetu, research director at Gartner "As such most retailers willcome to view AI as a way to augment customer experiences rather than justremoving humans from every process."

 

In 2021, AIaugmentation will generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2billion hours of worker productivity.

While manyindustries will receive growing business value from AI, manufacturing is onethat will receive a massive share of the business value opportunity. Automationwill lead to cost savings, while the removal of friction in value chains willincrease revenue further, for example, in the optimization of supply chains andgo-to-market activities. However, some industries, such as outsourcing, areseeing a fundamental change in their business models, whereby the costreduction from AI and the resulting productivity improvement must be reinvestedto allow reinvention and the perusal of new business model opportunities.

 

"AI can take onrepetitive and mundane tasks, freeing up humans for other activities, but thesymbiosis of humans with AI will be more nuanced and will require reinvestmentand reinvention instead of simply automating existing practices,"said Mike Rollings, research vice president at Gartner."Rather than have a machine replicating the steps that a human performs toreach a particular judgment, the entire decision process can be refactored touse the relative strengths and weaknesses of both machine and human to maximizevalue generation and redistribute decision making to increase agility."

 

Gartner clients can learn more in the report: "Predicts2018: AI and the Future of Work."  More analysis on AI is available in the GartnerSpecial Report  “ApplyingArtificial Intelligence to Drive Business Transformation.” This collection of research shows the way fororganizations to begin, right now, to make sense of the AI opportunity fordigital business and to take practical steps to realize it. 


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