Will it affect more unqualified workers or middle managers?
The debate about the real impact that artificial intelligence will have on the labor market is long and has no sign that it will close soon. Although the consensus of the experts assures that there will be a professional restructuring like the one experienced in other previous industrial revolutions, there are still unruly people who throw themselves into populism and the social alarm about the risks of continuing to automate the most routine works.
And in the middle of both ends we find opinions like that of Microsoft’s former director of operations, Bob Herbold. In his opinion, manifested in a FOX News program:
“Many low-level jobs will be the ones that will really pay for artificial intelligence (…) You hear many stories about how we’re going to duplicate the human mind and things like that, but it’s not there where the true impact is.”
For this retired executive, only standard jobs that require training and minimal skills will be affected by the arrival of artificial intelligence, which will cause a tsunami in sectors such as automobile manufacturing or heavy industry.
It is not the same opinion Kai-Fu Lee, former president of Google China and current CEO of Sinocation Ventures. For this expert, both blue collar workers (workers) and white workers (mainly middle managers and mid-range executives) will have to fear for their jobs.
“Almost all jobs will change (…) It’s just a tool that can, in a specific field, take a large amount of data and make very smart decisions, better than people.”
For example, a button: the IBM Watson system is already helping doctors make better diagnoses in diseases such as cancer. And, according to a Deloitte report, 39% of the jobs related to legal advice will be performed by IA in 2020.
Transport, the other battlefield
The list of jobs at risk does not stop there. As we already told you, approximately one third of the truckers will have to leave their jobs for the next 10 years because their jobs will be replaced by robots. At least this is confirmed by a McKensey study that also confirms that thanks to autonomous driving, the work of transporter or truck driver will be obsolete in many cases.
Even the White House itself published a report – available here – in which the most immediate future of artificial intelligence on the passenger and freight transport sector is analyzed. In total, and according to the estimates of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, between two and three million workers could stay on the street as the IA expands on the roads, mainly as a result of the implementation of autonomous driving.
An optimistic vision
Despite these harmful effects on the labor market, the US government itself argued that artificial intelligence has an enormous potential to position the US at the forefront of global innovation.
Perhaps for this reason, the document tries to minimize the risks of this technology in the short term (“it is unlikely that artificial intelligence will reach human intelligence as we understand it over the next 20 years”), but maintaining the urgency of automate the most elementary tasks and rely on technology to be more efficient.