Artificial Intelligence has been a long debated topic, especially when it comes to jobs, labour and what roles it may or may not take over. On a scale of ‘Doomsday’ to ‘Nothing To Be Worried About’, the reality lies somewhere in the middle. We’re here to put you at ease and show you some of the ways AI is changing the job market and how you can still have a successful, fulfilling career regardless of our technological (or robotic) future!
Not Perfect – Just A Little Bit Better
It’s important to start by saying that artificial intelligence will change the job market. According to a study by The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University, 42% of jobs in Canada are at high risk of being replaced by AI in the next 20 years. The fact is that AI doesn’t have to be perfect at completing human tasks, such as driving, it just has to be better at it than humans, for example, causing fewer accidents. Although AI will take over some jobs that are currently occupied by humans, it will not cause large-scale unemployment, but rather a restructuring of the job market, and here’s why.
Case Study: The Medical Field
Humans will still be absolutely necessary in many fields for many, many years to come. The medical field is the perfect example of this. AI in medical technology is often cited to show how much progress is being made because it’s impressive and can actually save lives! We see technology that is able to detect cancerous cells in patients using machine learning much more accurately than doctors, collecting valuable data in a matter of minutes. Naturally, this is concerning for ambitious students looking to enter the medical field. What jobs will be left for passionate people if machines can do those same jobs better? Here’s the thing – human beings will always be needed. For one, machines and programs were created by humans. Beyond that, specific aspects of the medical field, such as child and elderly care, will always need human begins to be able to care for others in ways even the most intelligent and self-sufficient machines cannot.
So, What Industries Are At Risk?
According to a 2017 study by McKinsey Global Institute (2017), BII+E analysis, the top 3 industries most susceptible to automation are Manufacturing, Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction as well as Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. This is not to say that there won’t be any jobs in those industries, but the type of work that is being done by humans versus AI may look different as technologies are introduced. The least affected industries according to the same study are Professional, scientific and technical services, Information and cultural industries and Educational services.
So, if the advent of AI is something that you are worried about, we recommend reading up on trends and changing technologies in your field of interest. Give serious thought to where human beings would be needed even if technology was able to take over certain tasks. If you’re dedicated to advancing a specific field, you will be able to carve out a niche for yourself even in this changing and unpredictable landscape.