Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an intrusive part of our lives. From aviation to writing to shopping, AI has slowly entered various verticals of our lives and made them faster and better. But, at what cost?

According to U.S.-based research and advisory firm Gartner, while AI will add 2.3 million jobs globally to become a positive ‘net job motivator’ by the year 2020, but it will also end up eliminating more jobs than it creates through 2019. However, here’s the silver line. The firm predicts that the number of jobs created due to AI in 2020 will be able to overcome the deficit. The predictions were revealed during Gartner’s top ten predictions for next year.

So, the maths goes something like this. Gartner believes that AI will create 2.3 million jobs by 2020, but before that it will takeaway a whopping 1.8 million jobs by 2019. That means, overall, the number of jobs being added to the global economy by 2020 will just be around 0.5 million jobs.

The firm further highlighted that the net job creation or elimination will vary greatly industry to industry. While some industries might have to go through overall job loss, others might have to face net job loss for only a few years; and some others, such as healthcare and education, might not have to experience net job loss at all.

Earlier this year, we reported how a survey had predicted that there is a 50% chance that Artificial Intelligence will surpass human intelligence in all areas within a period of about 45 years. The study conducted by researcher Katja Grace at the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute and a team involved surveying a total of 1,634 artificial intelligence researchers from all around the world.

While Gartner put forth interesting facts about AI job creation and elimination, it did say that the emerging technology if used properly and safely has the potential of changing the world as we see it. According to it, “AI will improve the productivity of many jobs, and used creatively, it has the potential to enrich people’s careers, reimagine old tasks and create new industries.”

Daryl Plummer, vice-president and Gartner Fellow, also gave out a friendly advice to chief information officers of all leading tech giants of the world and said that there’s an urgent need for them to develop a pace that could be sustained “no matter what the future holds.”

According to Plummer, currently, technology-based innovation is arriving faster than most organisations can keep up with. Before one innovation is even properly implemented, two others arrive at the block.

He further adds, “In doing new things, digital giants, such as Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Tencent, are likely to run into situations where their influence has grown so large that it is difficult to create new value scenarios.”

“This ultimately leads to self-disruption. In a self-disrupting strategy, disruption arises as intentional intent to get there first, even if it is necessary to disrupt yourself. While this can be risky, a risk of inaction can be even higher.”

Coming back to AI and job scenario, the Indian government isn’t so much encouraging of the technology. Recently, the Indian government had announced that they aren’t open to driverless cars operating in the country as they believe it will result in loss of jobs, something which goes against their ideology. Instead, the government said they would rather promote the trend of electric cars, something which will save fuel and jobs at the same time.

This development was first reported in The Hindu.

[Image: MIT Sloan Management Review]

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