May 15, 2018
We understand that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a fascinating yet big topic to cover, and there are many myths and misconceptions floating around. So here at TandemLaunch, we decided to dive deeper into the top five myths of AI and try to debunk some of these myths and misconceptions. This is part one of a five-part series.
Myth 1: AI will take away all our jobs.
Truth: Not exactly.
This is one myth that most people will have heard, and one that sounds very convincing as well. AI will indeed disrupt the labour force and will revolutionize the overall jobs picture, but ultimately jobs will shift, not lost due to AI. To think that AI will replace all the work currently done by humans is not as straightforward or accurate as most would think.
AI will no doubt replace routine, simple, and repetitive tasks currently done by humans such as simple administrative tasks but as a result, these employees will then have the opportunity to take on more complex and creative tasks. In other cases, this will allow humans to learn and develop more skills and the skills required to work in unison with AI.
There is also a notion that low-skilled and manual labour workers will be replaced by AI and automation. While AI-equipped robots indeed can replace manual labour workers, it is important to note that it is replacing the manual work and mundane aspects of the work and not humans. For example, AI is being used for highly trained and professional workers such as doctors and lawyers as well.
However, AI and automation are being used with these professionals in carrying out scanning of documents or using machine learning algorithms to look for early warning signs of diseases. Again, in this case, AI is being used to take out the mundane aspects of work and not the workers themselves. The same goes for lower-skilled workers. Administrative assistants won’t be replaced but the mundane work of phone calls or document handling would most likely be replaced by AI and automation.
While it is true that technological advances have always been a threat to jobs throughout history, but there has always been a need for humans whenever there is a technological advancement. From the advancement of computers and cellphones, AI is a tool and is meant to cooperate with people and make processes more efficient, not replace humans.
AI is no different from recent technological advances in that it helps humans become more effective and processes more efficient instead of hindering it. Time after time humans have gone through multiple technology advances. Were jobs replaced? Yes, some were replaced but overall more jobs were created, allowing humans to adapt and develop skills suitable for the technology advancement. There is always a need for humans to be in the loop to interact with other humans at some level. Humans have always invented new jobs after the introduction of automation in the past, and this should serve as a foreshadowing that the same outcome of the invention of new jobs is very likely.
Employers nowadays are looking at how to incorporate AI technology as a way to augment human workforces and enable them to work in newer and smarter ways. Yes, it is true that some jobs will be created, some jobs will be lost, but the majority of jobs will be transformed. AI will fail to deliver mass unemployment because although robots will be very smart, they will never be as sociable as humans, so that’s where the value of humans lie. Humans will be needed to move into roles that require social skills or more human interaction.
In short, AI will save time, increase efficiency, and reduce manual labour. AI will take care of the burden of small tasks that humans are currently carrying out. A lot of jobs require human-to-human contact and AI will be leaving actual humans to take care of those aspects of the job. The conversation around AI replacing jobs is largely fueled by panic, but humans have found ways to adapt in the past and will do so again.