Is Artificial Intelligence Really Taking People’s Jobs?

artificial intelligence

The world is in a difficult place right now, with so much uncertainty around us. So, it’s natural for people to start worrying about job security. For years, people have feared artificial intelligence is taking jobs from humans, but how true is that in reality?

Certainly, machines have helped speed up production in factories. Rather than scores of employees assembling goods by hand, machinery takes care of that. Data entry staff no longer need to spend hours transferring numbers from paper to computers, because a lot of that work is automated.

But just how serious is the impact of artificial intelligence on the overall job market?

The transfer of skills

It’s certainly true that artificial intelligence and machines are taking over some formerly human tasks. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the overall jobs outlook for humans is bleak. It just means we’ll be doing different, more interesting things.

Machines can’t show empathy, make connections with people, or even work very creatively. Artificial intelligence with machine learning does create a more ‘human’ feel in applications, but those programs are far from human. So, it’s more that our inherent human skills will transfer into other jobs.

Picture a factory that makes children’s toys. Back in the day, people lined up along a conveyor belt in order to assemble the toys. When a machine was brought in to handle assembly, a lot of people probably lost their jobs. But if that company made 1000 toys a day before, the introduction of machines lets them make 5000 a day. Someone has to sell those toys. Someone has to market the company, source products, deliver stock around the country.

So, as you can see, certain jobs are replaced by machines. But artificial intelligence opens a world of other opportunities.

Artificial intelligence enhancing human capability

The fact is, artificial intelligence means certain software and programs can do things humans simply can’t. This doesn’t mean they’re replacing us, because we couldn’t even do what they do to begin with. Machines store and have access to almost limitless information, meaning software like chatbots can provide the level of customer service we can’t. But, they also can’t do everything we do. They can’t detect emotions and handle customer complaints like a human. They can’t pick up on verbal cues to steer customers towards one type of product or another.

In this example, machines don’t take over the entire sales and customer service process. They merely enhance the process. Humans and technology work together to provide a more effective and efficient service to customers.

With our powers combined

The most successful businesses moving forward will be the ones who use AI to complement the work of humans. It’s not about cutting staff, it’s about humans and technology working together. Let humans perform the duties better suited to humans, and use technology to do those repetitive, mundane things that people don’t enjoy. With the best qualities of artificial intelligence at your disposal, your people can do much more meaningful work and start growing your business.