When we hear the term “AI,” most of us picture over-the-top scenes from sci-fi movies like IRobot or The Terminator. However, with artificial intelligence technology rapidly growing in real life, people have been forced to shift their view of artificial intelligence and actually consider the possibility that we may need to find a way to co-exist with machines that are programmed to do, well, everything.
Most of us are left thinking if AI machines can learn and teach themselves anything, how will AI affect jobs? In other words, what is my value as an employee up against supercomputers? The truth is, these fears aren’t completely unfounded; AI is no longer relevant just in the experimental tech space. AI has been appearing more and more as one of the most in-demand areas of expertise for job seekers.
The data shows that the use of AI in many sectors of business has grown by more than 270% over the last few years. And as with many technological developments throughout history, the advancement of artificial intelligence has instilled a collective fear that human workers will become obsolete.
The reality is probably a lot less bleak, but a whole lot more complicated.
What is AI?
Before we get started, let’s attempt to define what it is we are even talking about. It’s easy to get confused about this term, partly because people use it as an umbrella-term to talk about so many different things, and partly because these many different things are already quite foreign to the average person, which doesn’t help.
In simple terms, AI is “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” What’s important to know is that the ability to learn is really what makes a computer what people refer to as ‘intelligent.’ We already have a lot of complex machines, but algorithms are just a set of instructions, while AI is made up of algorithms that can change and rewrite themselves in response to the data inputted, hence displaying “intelligence.”
Considering that when the media typically portrays intelligent, non-human beings, things get pretty ugly, it’s no surprise that people have an underlying fear for advanced technology, especially when it comes to how it could affect the job market.
If it’s any consolation, I don’t think there’s any reason to be so fatalistic.
It’s quite possible that the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs won’t be negative and actually will drive massive innovation that fuels existing industries and, yes, the creation of new jobs.
The fact is, AI programs are typically only capable of “specialized” intelligence, meaning they can solve only one problem and execute only one task at a time. Parents juggling three kids can do much better than that.
In all seriousness, these supercomputers don’t have the same flexibility or adaptability that we do; they are mostly unable to respond to immediate changes or perform any “thinking” outside of their prescribed programming. We are much more capable of generalized intelligence, like abstract thinking and critical judgment.
Plus, AI has other limitations that should be a relief when it comes to the possibility of jobs affected by artificial intelligence. One standout limitation is that of computation and processing power— the cost of electricity alone to power one supercharged language model AI was estimated at $4.6 million. That’s a lot.
Another important thing to know is that the data inputted into AI can carry bias, and because AI likely can’t identify these biases using our human judgment, the bias is likely to translate into the results generated by AI. This leads to imperfect results.
If you’re worried about the immediate effects of AI, you should know that the efforts that came out of the Algorithmic Accountability Act show we are a long way from reaching a point in which AI can compete with human intelligence, even though they can perform certain tasks at a level that is truly astounding. So really the question is not “humans or computers,” but the difficult task before us is actually imagining and creating systems in which humans and computers work together.
AI is becoming standard in all businesses, not just in the world of tech
When I hear my clients talk about artificial intelligence, I notice that some of them are under a false notion that AI will only affect the tech space— but what’s key to remember is that the tech world is the world these days.
90% of leading businesses invest in AI technologies, but AI is likely to have a powerful effect on these industries especially:
The possible benefits the medical field would see from using AI are hard to overlook. Because medicine is based on such a copious amount of data and analysis, AI would be the perfect tool for creating models that would be useful to people who work in healthcare. For example, AI has proven to be more effective than physicians in certain diagnostic contexts. Imagine if, as a doctor, you could use AI to help determine what illness a patient has at any given moment? This changes the nature of the profession, but it doesn’t make a career in medicine obsolete.
Think about how much Tesla has changed the automotive industry already. AI is the reason for self-driving cars, and I doubt it will cease to have an incredible influence on the automotive sector.
Cybersecurity attacks rose 600% during the pandemic, and since then, people have turned to AI and machine learning to be a security tool in the world of finance in particular. Threats in cybersecurity can be extremely serious, and AI can be very helpful in these circumstances, so people won’t hesitate to use it!
AI will drive e-commerce in the future, through the use of chat-bots, shopper personalization, image-based targeting advertising, and warehouse and inventory automation.
AI can have a big impact on the job search
Back in the day, hiring managers had to devote a significant amount of time going over resumes. Some data even shows that recruiters can spend up to 23 hours looking over resumes to fill just one position.
More and more, though, resume scanning is being done by AI-powered programs. Back in 2018, 67% of hiring managers stated that AI was making their jobs easier.
Now, it’s completely understandable that the thought of a “robot” of sorts reading your resume, instead of a human can be daunting. The good news is that AI can help you on the job hunt just as much as it can help the person on the receiving end of your resume.
- Joscan is a resource that will give you valuable information on how to tweak your resume so that it is a good match for a certain role.
- Jobseer is a browser add-on and another great AI tool for people looking to perfect their resumes.
- Rezi gives you templates to help you design a resume that makes you standout. It also allows you to see the ways your resume can improve when you’re looking to apply to that dream job.
In all, it’s important to acknowledge the AI impact on jobs. Just because AI is here to stay doesn’t mean that we should be worried. We simply need to find the best way to approach this new technology and use it to our own advantage.