Just how will your employment prospects be affected by the rise of artificial intelligence? According to some reports, not as much as you think! AI will replace some mundane tasks and low-skilled jobs, but it is the perfect tool to help enhance human decisions and create new job scopes. Read on to find out more!
There have been many concerns in various industries about artificial intelligence taking jobs away from people that need them. However, this is not a new phenomenon, with technology giving rise to the Third Industrial Revolution back in the 20th century. Currently, we stand on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with AI set to drastically alter the way we live, work and relate to others.
According to a Brookings Institution report, a quarter of US jobs will be severely disrupted as AI automates existing work. About 36 million Americans currently perform tasks with “high exposure” to automation, which means at least 70% of their job can be performed by machines using today’s technology.
In the world of finance, a recent study conducted by E&Y Singapore on behalf of the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) concluded that the industry would invariably be affected by AI and data analytics. However, it could not provide a timeline as to when this would happen, meaning that finance executives still have some time to adapt in preparation for this change.
So will AI take your job? In a word, maybe, but it is far from the end of the world. The idea that AI will completely replace humans can often be attributed to too much hype and misunderstanding surrounding the technology. What it does is merely change the way we work and the nature of jobs, meaning people will have to learn new skills. In the words of David Hardoon (MAS) in the CFTE AI in Finance course, “The potentiality of how it can be used is phenomenal”!
Repetitive jobs that serve a single function are typical of the roles that AI will be looking to take over. Compared to humans which are prone to error, AI can do the same job quicker, cheaper and with 100% accuracy. Jobs such as bank tellers, data entry keyers, and front desk officers are likely to be replaced very soon, simply because it does not make sense to continue hiring humans for such menial tasks.
However, the E&Y report did note that there will always be a demand for human expertise. Experts will be needed to oversee the implementation process, as well as to make strategic and informed decisions that is beyond the capabilities of AI. The ability to discern makes human judgment crucial and more reliable that than of AI, which is determined solely by data. This is the crucial difference and the common denominator in every aspect of technological advancement in human history.
For example, the agricultural industry provided jobs for about 40% of all Americans in 1900, a figure which dropped to 2% at the end of the 20th century. However, there was no loss in national income during this period and it is arguable that people today are better fed than at any other point in history. This strongly leans towards a positive impact both on the economy and society.
We can view AI taking jobs today in a similar vein. This will not lead to a loss of jobs, but rather create a whole new spectrum that will lead people to upskill themselves in order to remain relevant. Data analysts and software developers are examples of new roles created to take advantage of new technology – in the same way, AI can pave the way for new jobs not just within the finance industry, but in all aspects of its implementation.
In fact, AI and humans will complement one another in many jobs. With the mundane being taken care of, the decision-making skills of humans will be tremendously enhanced, resulting in a better job done.
This is a sentiment shared by Shameek Kundu of Standard Chartered Bank in the CFTE AI in Finance course, who believes that “humans need to learn how to work with AI, to the extent that it is Augmented Intelligence rather than Artificial Intelligence”.
There is little doubt that AI is set to take over the world we work in; the question is will you ensure you have the right qualifications to remain relevant?
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