Richard Heap

Written by: Richard Heap

Richard Heap

Partner

Artificial Intelligence: a friend not a foe

  • August 2018
  • 3 minutes

A welcome tool to transition to a more technological future

As artificial intelligence’s prevalence is increasing, many fear that it will negatively harm employment, as it will simply replace the jobs of many workers. However, there are many reasons as to why it will benefit society, and employment, in the long run.

The introduction of AI will encourage people to become more creative in the workplace. AI will be able to carry out automated and repetitive tasks, which are fairly linear and don’t require much creativity. As these jobs start to use AI, it will push former workers into different fields which are more relevant for the future. An example of this is various Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields, for instance working to prevent climate change. Working on an area such as this is a creative task, one that requires thought and innovation, meaning AI would not take over in these industries. If more workers were available to look at this key issue, this could be resolved faster. 

Indeed, part of the UK Government’s industrial strategy, which includes the creative industries, places a greater emphasis on science and technology. Its aim is to boost funding and therefore the effectiveness of UK industries, in turn improving the economy. The plan is to develop focused STEM skills alongside digital skills and numeracy.

AI could also be key in the scaling of companies. We are just starting to see AI employed within advertising and marketing, becoming key with managing and transferring data to provide relevant advertising. Whilst this would initially mean less workers required within this data management sector, more relevant global marketing would mean that companies would be able to grow much faster, creating more jobs.

As AI grows, the amount of data collected would concurrently increase, this is true for various fields such as medicine and finance. Whilst AI can collect this data, human input will always be required to process the meaning of the data and make relevant recommendations. Examples of fields where this will occur include government and education. This will result in new job openings for financial advisors, consultants and data analysts.

Entrepreneurs could benefit remarkably from easier access to AI. Currently, it can be hard for a single entrepreneur to rival a major corporation due to their extensive work force, but they would be able to employ AI as an automated workforce. This would create a more level playing field between large companies and smaller business owners.

Quite simply, as AI grows the AI industry will grow. Meaning, if AI is to be used at a larger scale, it requires more workers to initially input the data, more workers to develop new algorithms, more workers to run maintenance on AI systems and so forth. An increase in AI will have a direct increase in jobs in technological fields.

Overall, AI will do a lot more for our society than it will do against. Rather than being seen as a tool of replacement, it should be seen as a tool to transition to a more technological future.

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