It’s clear that artificial intelligence is going to play a significant role in our economy, but will that role displace human jobs? Not according to a new Gartner report, which argues that increased AI adoption will actually create a net gain in jobs.
AI pessimists may be singing a different tune after reading a new report from the research firm Gartner. The report argues that while certain industries may experience more disruption than others. AI will create a gain in jobs and benefits in the long-run. More important than the specific jobs that are created, lost, or altered is the fact that the character of work itself is likely to completely change thanks to the advent of this incredible technology.
As Gartner’s research director Manjunath Bhat emphatically puts it, “AI are not here to take away our jobs.” To the contrary, the report predicts that by 2020, AI will create a net 500,000 jobs — by 2025, that number will jump up to two million.
The primary role of AI is to help human workers, not replace them, so it only makes sense that the technology would set more people up for success in the job economy. AI and machine learning will be used to automate routine, repeatable tasks, freeing up time for workers to focus on more abstract and complex work. In the process, the technologies boost productivity and enhance human employees’ quality of work while simultaneously cutting costs for the employer.
Gartner predicts that artificial intelligence will become such a competitive necessity by 2022 that 20% of workers will rely on AI to help them do their job. A world that dependent on intelligent computers may seem far off, but the fact is that this technology is already powering many aspects of daily life for workers across industries. For example, Albert™, the first autonomous marketing platform built from the ground up with AI, already handles much of the routine, behind the scenes work for marketers at brands and ad agencies, allowing them to refocus their energy on generating creative material and developing new strategies.
Of course, not everyone does the same kind of work, and AI will therefore affect each industry differently. Gartner asserts that healthcare, the public sector, and education will see the greatest job gains, while manufacturing will be hit the hardest.
But while job losses are an unfortunate consequence of disruption, they’re hardly a new phenomenon. For instance, the internet has rendered many industries and technologies obsolete, destroying jobs in the process. But the internet has inarguably been a huge contributor to the U.S. economy, creating completely new industries, generating countless new jobs, and providing overall growth.
That’s almost certainly how the development and adoption of AI is going to play out in the coming years. The initial integration of a revolutionary new technology often requires adjustment, but as businesses adapt their practices to these changes, large gains are sure to come — and soon. Gartner estimates that by 2021, AI augmentation will generate $2.9 trillion in business value, while recovering 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity. With so much on the table, the path for the future is clear: it’s time for man and machine to work together.