Artificial intelligence (AI) still often overpromises and underdelivers, but we are seeing AI begin to understand us and adoption has accelerated rapidly. Are we prepared for what is coming?
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Will AI Weed Out My Job?
If you are a truck driver or a travel booking agent, advances in image recognition and natural language processing could potentially make your job redundant. The prospect of digital transformation has caused many traditional stores to struggle, banks to close offices and factories to operate with less personnel.
But much like digitalization and social media created new non-technical jobs (think about influencers), AI promises to create new employment. In addition to the increasing demand for data scientists and data engineers, data labeling and testing needs will create opportunities for a much larger group.
At the same time, the digital revolution makes it easier than ever to start working for a food delivery or rideshare platform, start your own boutique hotel with AirBnB or work as a handyman via a digital platform. We should be expecting a lot more of these possibilities to emerge in tomorrow’s economy.
Governments are still primarily thinking in small increments and struggle to fit in new disruptive economical models. Perhaps it is time we become more proactive in stimulating new job types and in thinking about their social implications, instead of holding on to current recipes. Bold thought experiments are needed here. For instance: What would the labor market look like if we remove the difference between self-employment and payroll status altogether, so everyone can more flexibly compile their own job package? And if we do so, how could we guarantee that our social system does not collapse and everyone remains sufficiently protected?
To support this transition, I believe education will be key: Curriculums at schools and universities need to be adapted and employees retrained to prepare them for the changing workplace.
Will AI Make Mistakes?
It is inevitable that AI will make mistakes. You will likely get frustrated by an AI agent that fails to understand your question or a personalized ad that has it all wrong. You will likely hear about self-driving cars crashing. The true question is not whether AI will make mistakes but rather whether we are prepared for these scenarios. Accountability and liability are the keywords here. […]
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