AI and the future of work

AI Basics

Neamat El Gayar, University Professor, ML Researcher, Principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai.

As AI has been the cornerstone of recent technological innovations, its development has raised concerns about the nature of jobs and whether some jobs will be replaced. The World Economic Forum’s ‘The Future of Jobs Report 2020’ states that AI is expected to replace 85 million jobs worldwide by 2025, while the same report states that AI will replace 97 million jobs. It is also expected to create new jobs for AI will undoubtedly impact the future of work, and while experts predict it will help advance some jobs, it won’t fully replace human input. For example, the development of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and Bard raises questions about whether AI will replace jobs that involve writing. AI is unlikely to match real human creativity, but it can write ideas and assist in iterative content creation. Additionally, AI can be a tool that helps educators assess student progress at different levels and adjust approaches according to student learning requirements. But AI cannot replicate the level of empathy and social intelligence teachers need.

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace can have a significant impact on employees, including changes in job tasks, skill requirements, and job security. It is therefore imperative that the employee prepares for the impact of her AI, manages the changes and takes advantage of the support AI can provide. Luckily, there are a number of ways companies and businesses can begin this process.

Training provided:

With the advent of AI-powered technological developments, the skills and training gap is regularly widening. According to Harvard Business Review, more than 50% of companies report that they have adopted AI in at least one way in their business. As such, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to harness the potential of AI in employee learning and development. This can come in the form of training on the basics of AI, including its capabilities, limitations, and potential impact on your organization and employees. Employees should also be trained on how to use AI tools and software that may be introduced into the workplace.

Strengthen employee soft skills:

AI will impact multiple industries, and the types of skills required may differ for each industry. However, when considering the skills required to manage AI, the emphasis is most on soft skills. According to the CEO of AI startup Skymind, these skills include basic skills such as sound verbal and written communication, listening, emotional intelligence, asking questions and structuring arguments. These are essential skills as they cannot be performed by AI technology. The focus is usually on learning technical and programming skills such as Python. AI-connected roles definitely have technical requirements. However, it is worth noting that employees are involved to varying degrees, depending on their role. When it comes to soft skills, employees can benefit regardless of their level of involvement with AI technology.

Give your employees hands-on experience with AI.

Giving your workforce hands-on experience with AI is a key step in improving your AI readiness. This can be achieved by assigning employees to her AI-related projects that match their skills and interests. These projects can include tasks such as data cleaning, feature engineering, and model building. Additionally, by forming cross-functional teams that include employees from different departments to work on AI-related projects, employees have the opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other.

With AI permeating many aspects of work and daily life, the abundance of available resources makes it easy to upskill. For example, many AI practitioners run informative educational blogs and YouTube videos. On top of that, many AI tech organizations have useful tutorials and libraries to get users up and running with the platform right away.

The current focus is on democratizing AI and machine learning and making it available to the public regardless of technical depth.

Educate your employees about the benefits of automation.

According to McKinsey, at least a third of the activities that make up a given job could potentially be automated. Additionally, he 40% of surveyed workers reported spending at least a quarter of the week doing manual, repetitive tasks. One of the main challenges facing adoption of automation is the concern about employee turnover. However, conducting training sessions on automation can help employees understand the potential impact of automation on their jobs and the company as a whole. AI has the ability to collect, store, and analyze large datasets in seconds, freeing up employees to spend their time on more complex tasks.

Overall, AI adoption will inevitably disrupt the industry and change the nature of work. But it will create new opportunities and ways of working that could revolutionize the industry. Therefore, it is important for companies to build a culture of learning to keep their employees motivated and motivated to learn more about AI integration.

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