While the fear of robots, aided by automation, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and other technologies taking over jobs traditionally performed by humans has been deep-seated for a long time, researchers suggest that job replacements will happen gradually, and AI will ultimately create more jobs than it eliminates. AI and robotics will have a long-term impact on the job market, yet as certain jobs become automated, workers will re-skill or perform new ones, ultimately creating numerous new jobs. The plan, then, is not to replace humans using machines, but letting them share the workload.
AI, robotics and robotic process automation (RPA) may be seen as bestowing humans with the power to achieve higher targets in less time. Calling this AI augmentation, Gartner researchers suggest that one-fifth of the workers working on non-routine tasks will depend on AI to do some tasks by 2022.
The increased utilization of AI technology requires IT leaders to ponder on the kinds of jobs that will be lost to automation and the kinds that will be created, as well as how the workers will need to come together to complete their tasks. Organizations may need to re-skill employees or re-position them to increase their productivity. Even as the CIOs groom their organizations for a major automation boom, Gartner analyst Craig Roth advises that certain points be kept in mind –
• While talking about automation capabilities of AI technology, it is best to avoid talking of possible headcount reduction – a restrained approach is necessary.
• Since AI and automation have huge disruptive potential, it is wise to ease into them gradually, as any unwise action could set them back hugely.
• While explaining how automation can strengthen the business, it is unnecessary to be too worried about the possible extreme consequences resulting from AI.
Judiciously integrating AI in the workforce over time will lead to long-term benefits to the society as a whole.