UnemploymentEntire classes of jobs are likely to be eliminated by AI systems in the mid-term, including drivers, sales associates, manufacturing line workers, call center employees. At this point it is not clear how companies can leverage this human potential for growth and it might just lead to the elimination of jobs. Immediate employment opportunity through retraining might be limited. Companies need to rethink their social responsibility.
Economists have pointed out that historically technology which made jobs obsolete has ultimately lead to the creation of new types of jobs in even greater numbers, as for example in this study by Deloitte.
While this is statistically correct, it is not clear how it impacted the individual. What happened to the weaver, the farm hand and the coal miner once their jobs were eliminated. Did they find a place in the new service economy? Did they become knowledge workers? I'm doubtful. So the questions remains what will happen to millions of drivers when self-driving cars and trucks become a reality?
The warning that past performance is not an indicator of future performance might apply. The AI revolution is unprecedented and is very likely to also eliminate knowledge-based and service-industry jobs.
Wealth is distributed between labor and capital. As human labor is likely to be reduced by AI, more wealth might be flowing towards capital leading to an even greater concentration of capital and wealth. Countries need to continue public debate and experimentation about the kind of society its people prefer to live in.
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