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Artificial Intelligence: Smart Machines Pose Both Threat and Opportunity for Workers

By Dick Weisinger

Robotics and new Artificial Intelligence technologies like Deep Learning may mean that jobs with many repetitive tasks that are currently being done by humans will be replaceable by machines in the not too distant future.

Stephen Prentice, vice-president and Gartner analyst, said that “the economics of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will lead to many tasks performed by professionals today becoming low-cost utilities. AI’s effects on different industries will force the enterprise to adjust its business strategy. Many competitive, high-margin industries will become more like utilities as AI turns complex work into a metered service that the enterprise pays for, like electricity.”

The types of jobs likely to be first affected Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation include accounting, manufacturing, medicine, transportation and IT.

But another study by Adecco was more optimistic about the extent to how the application of AI would affect future jobs.  Dr Carl Benedikt Frey, co-director and Oxford Martin Citi Fellow of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment, said that  “in many ways, robots could enhance careers rather than destroy them. The introduction of automation in the workplace will usher in a time where our jobs will become more creative and involve more social interaction. Although robots will render some occupations obsolete, as technology has in the past, humans and robots will also complement each other in many tasks, creating new types of jobs.”

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