Technology and “robots” have been changing industries for a long time now. It’s revolutionized the way cars are manufactured, supply chains are streamlined, etc.
But the idea of artificial intelligence and robotic learning is still something we tend to fear as a culture – and maybe for good reason! Remember Sophia, the AI robot who once said it would “destroy humans”?!
Nonetheless, the idea of artificial intelligence in the workplace has been discussed and experimented with for a long time now – and its future is looking more inevitable than ever.
A recent Inc. article has some real numbers to suggest this trend:
According to the World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs 2018” report, by 2025 more than half of the total time spent on labor will be handled by machines. Nearly 50 percent of companies expect that by 2022, automation will lead to some reduction in their full-time staff, while 38 percent surveyed expect to grow their workforces to new productivity-enhancing roles. Another recent study by PwC estimates that in the United Kingdom, seven million existing jobs could be lost to machines over the next 20 years, but another 7.2 million could be created.
As the article then states: The transition to a workplace where humans and machines will need to productively co-exist could make or break a business.
Now, this is the kind of data that will throw many professionals into a panic, while others will dismiss it with a “yeah, they’ve been saying that for years” kind of attitude.
Wherever you reside on the “robot coworker freakout” spectrum, my suggestion is to educate yourself.
Read articles like this one that take a thoughtful look at what this might look like, and how it could impact the workplace.
Because whether AI becomes your coworker tomorrow or these predictions get pushed off into the future, you owe it to yourself to understand what’s at stake and how it could impact your career short- and long-term.