Friday 21st Sep 2018 - Logistics Manager Magazine

AI set to create more jobs than it destroys

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Artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it eliminates by 2020, according to Gartner. It calculates that AI will create 2.3 million jobs in 2020, while eliminating 1.8 million.

It argues that by applying technologies such as AI and robotics, retailers will use intelligent process automation to identify, optimise and automate labour-intensive and repetitive activities that are currently performed by humans, reducing labour costs through efficiency from headquarters to distribution centres and stores. Many retailers are already expanding technology use to improve the in-store check-out process.

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.

Svetlana Sicular, research vice president at Gartner, said: “Now is the time to really impact your long-term AI direction. For the greatest value, focus on augmenting people with AI. Enrich people’s jobs, reimagine old tasks and create new industries. Transform your culture to make it rapidly adaptable to AI-related opportunities or threats.”

Gartner calculates that in 2021, AI augmentation will generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity.

However, some industries, such as outsourcing, are seeing a fundamental change in their business models, whereby the cost reduction from AI and the resulting productivity improvement must be reinvested to allow reinvention and the perusal of new business model opportunities.

“AI can take on repetitive and mundane tasks, freeing up humans for other activities, but the symbiosis of humans with AI will be more nuanced and will require reinvestment and 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 to reach a particular judgment, the entire decision process can be refactored to use the relative strengths and weaknesses of both machine and human to maximize value generation and redistribute decision making to increase agility.”

* Accenture’s Fjord Trends report also highlights the growing role of AI. The report examines seven trends expected to shape the next generation of experiences:

  1. Physical Fights Back: Digital has had the limelight long enough – there are two brand experience headliners now. The time has come to blend the digital with the physical.
  2. Computers Have Eyes: As well as comprehending our words, computers now understand images without any help from us. Imagine the exciting possibilities for next-generation digital services.
  3. Slaves to the Algorithm: How do you design a marketing strategy to win over the algorithms – immune to conventional branding efforts – that sit between brands and their customers?
  4. A Machine’s Search for Meaning: A.I. might change our jobs, but need not eliminate them. We can – and should – design our collaboration with the machines that will help us develop.
  5. In Transparency We Trust: Blockchain has the potential to create transparency that will clear the fog of Internet ambiguity, regain lost trust, and repair relationships with the public.
  6. The Ethics Economy: Organisation are feeling the heat to take stands on political and societal hot button issues, whether they want to or not. And consumers are speaking with their dollars, choosing brands that align with their core beliefs.
  7. Design Outside the Lines: Design’s rapid ascendancy and newfound respect within organisation is a win for all. But, in a world in which everyone thinks they’re a designer, today’s practitioners need to evolve – how they work, learn, and differentiate themselves – if they are to continue having impact.

Baiju Shah, global co-lead, Fjord and managing director, Accenture Interactive, said: “Many of the thorny questions ahead of us revolve around human-machine interactions, the consequences of which will be profound for individuals, society and organisation of all kinds. As digital fades from being stand-alone to being embedded in our physical world, our relationships with everything around us will be redefined.”