AI & Digital Tools Eating Up Jobs, Experts Issue Potential Threats

There is a major disruption coming soon as the development of AI and digital tools continues rapidly, replacing process-driven and lower-skilled jobs.

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AI & Digital Tools Eating Up Jobs
AI & Digital tools continue to affect few economies

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital tools has affected, and will continue to affect few economies including the U.S. and Philippines as it would cut jobs and raise the rate of unemployment. The invasion of AI and digital tools is expected to bring a major disruption in the next decade.

Commenting on cutting jobs, Former President of Google China Kai-Fu Lee stated that AI would obliterate jobs sooner that many experts predict. He warned that disruption is heading our way in the next decade by cutting half of the jobs.

“AI, at the same time, will be a replacement for blue collar and white collar jobs,” said Lee. However, he mentioned that development of AI will take time to replace blue collar jobs as it will be difficult to program robots for jobs that require hand-eye coordination.

He is confident that white collar jobs will be replaced sooner than expected as they only need quantitative analysis.

The outsourcing industry in Philippines has realized the major threat from rise of AI. The $23 billion industry is under threat as many process-driven jobs would be replaced by AI.

Experts believe that nearly 40,000 to 50,000 jobs would be replaced in next five years in the country. It employs 1.15 million people in the BPO industry. The firms operating in the country have realized the need to train people in fields such as data mining, data analytics, and machine learning.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined that technology does not increase or reduce jobs. The emergence of new technology only increases the pay as employees are trained with skills required to work on those technologies.

The ongoing debate over pros and cons of AI has raised many questions with varying opinions of experts, scientists, and top executives of tech giants. Some of the experts, including the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking and Tesla & SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, have warned about the development of AI. Along with replacing humans in process-driven jobs, they opined, it has the power to destroy the world.

Leaders of tech giants including Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates made a statement defending the rise of AI that it will make our lives better and outweigh the pitfalls.

On November 15, Brookings Institution released a new study about the role of digital tools in the U.S. The study found that digital tools are used in 522 out of 545 occupations in the U.S. since 2002.

The report marks a resounding uptick over cutting of lower-skilled jobs. There is a rising need for workers to acquire digital skills. The digital tools have been developed that require only one worker with skills to do the job of several workers.

Warehouse workers needed to move around the floor to track and manage everything. Now they have handheld devices, which make tracking and management easier. The device also alarms the manager if a box is put in the wrong truck.

The advancement of digital tools strikes an alarming tone for workers around the U.S., as they are replacing many low-skilled jobs and helping in reduction of human error.

The future remains uncertain with the emergence of new technologies at a rapid pace. Acquiring digital skills remains the only option to sustain in the ever-changing scenario.