How will the next phases in AI and automation affect the labour landscape?

Written by Josh Musominari

The consistent advancement of information technology and robotics will lead to major changes and alterations at a heightened rate. The economic efficiencies often coupled with digital advancement are too difficult to ignore and in a competitive economic environment, the lack of adoption in technology can be fatal. There are growing concerns that this will have a largely negative effect on the health of the labor market with diminishing opportunities projected as a result of these changes.

Think of your standard customer service function and how this has changed in the last decade. It is increasingly more likely that you will interact with one of these systems as opposed to purely dealing with a human team, through a chatbot for example, or an artificial intelligence call handling feature that can understand natural human language and direct calls to the most appropriate customer service team. These technologies enable a reduction in the processing required at various stages of a typical business or operational process and are an aide in helping employees perform functions with more ease and capacity.

Every sector and function are highly likely to experience advancement and changes to their responsibilities as innovation occurs. From our time in education through to the peaks of our careers, we will see automation and artificial intelligence increase their scope and prevalence. This could lead to job losses and industries facing accelerated declines in human capital but striking the balance between economic prosperity and societal advancement needs to be considered.

With advancements in artificial intelligence, we also have the opportunity for expanding growth capacity and opportunity generation. As organisations find themselves more effective at managing various elements of their operations, the prospective opportunity to expand their market shares and business could remediate fears of job losses.

A prospect of AI and automation is the potential it has to advance less developed segments of the world. In what are already rapidly growing economies, the opportunity to connect and broaden the use of various service offerings is massive and technology will only heighten this.

With organisations prioritising making the workplace more accessible, technological advancements could open up employment opportunities to a broader range of groups that previously experienced difficulty. Take the recent pandemic as an example of how essential technology has been in enabling a flexible response to a difficult situation. As roles change due to technological advancements, companies could take this as opportunity to make their practices more tailored to individual circumstances and enable careers to be more suitable. If the technology makes higher-skilled positions more accessible and attainable, we could see greater career and advancement across numerous industries allowing technology to be a partner as opposed to a threat.

With previous revolutions to the workplace and industry shifts, we have seen opportunities arise, and considering the global uptake of automation and AI we could see this repeat itself. Ensuring the correct economic and policy measures are in place to protect individuals will be paramount to sustainably advancing technology. While the labour market will change drastically, the effects can be mitigated by enforcing sustainable mandates and encouraging the generation of employment opportunities.

How is your organisation expected to change over time and what will you be doing to plan for changes to your workforce? We would welcome your thoughts and if you need any support in aiding your transitions, please get in contact with us.

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