/ Artificial Intelligence

Secretary to chauffeur - any truth about AI job loss?

Much is written on "AI will take all our jobs". True, technology will continue to automate repetitive tasks, but that is nothing new. But, why the negative commentary about Artificial Intelligence Software (AI)? Or put another way, the fear around machines imitating human behaviour.

There is no universal definition of AI

I consider a system taught how to do something as AI, versus told what to do as something else. It is a lose dividing line. Does Big Data suddenly become AI?

No - its evolution.

Big business has used 'AI' for years

AI in digitisation strategy for big businessWith large transaction volumes and available resources in the form of people, knowledge and capital, automation through the deployment of technology has long been a 'Go To' solution to increase profits. Software investments with an ROI from increased sales or reduced costs is established as digitisation strategy. The success of IBM, Oracle and others is the evidence.

Why the comment now?

Big businesses destroy jobs. It is part of the modus operandi to increase profits by controlling costs - which includes people (and their jobs). But the pace and breadth of change is increasing rapidly. The result is a growing anticipation that large numbers of workers will be affected in a short space of time by AI job losses.

However, through each major shift in history we have seen opportunities requiring labour for new activities. Whilst software engineers may have cracked speech recognition, image perception and decision making...there are very obvious areas where machines find difficulty: love, empathy, creativity and critical thought. But we need to look beyond these cliches.

Hand cuffs

Democritisation of technology is critical to job creation

digital salespeople unshackle your businessAI actually becomes a force for good when it becomes accessible at every level. Technological advance is an enabler of growth: do something for the first time; or in a new way; or enter a new market. Small business is the engine of innovation and job creation.

From secretary to chauffeur

The use of AI can also bring resources to more people. From the voice enabled assistant in your smartphone to the self driving car (albeit yet to be proven). This creates a leveling affect between the large business and the small and a breaking down of the hierarchical structure of markets and economies. Students of Jeremy Rifkin and The Third Industrial Revolution will recognise large scale peer to peer interaction which is a feature of the sharing economy, and the optimisation of Internet-of-Thing (IoT) supply chains to create greater productivity through very low marginal costs.

Is AI the catalyst for more jobs instead of less?

Viewed through a different frame...an AI based 'Digital Salesperson' offers sales automation and enables anyone to deliver better service than a global corporation running a 24x7 service centre. AI therefore becomes a tool in the democratisation of power and wealth.

If you are considering how to enbed AI as part of your digitisation strategy, discuss with us how our digital salespeople can automate sales activity within your ecommerce site. Get in touch for a free consultation.