According to the Future of Jobs report released by the World Economic Forum in October 2020, as many as 85 million jobs will be replaced by machines run by artificial intelligence by 2025. In turn, 97 million new positions will be created in their place. However, they will require completely different skills. So what changes await us? What opportunities and threats arise from the use of AI in business? In today’s post, we will focus on the impact of artificial intelligence on employment as well as the cost of doing business.
Threats and opportunities of AI in business – table of contents:
- Threats and opportunities of AI in business
- Jobs in the Age of AI
- The cost of operating an AI-enabled business
- Easier anticipation and digitization of business
- Cost of innovation
- Threats and opportunities of AI in business – summary
Threats and opportunities of AI in business
What will jobs look like when the use of artificial intelligence becomes even more widespread than now? How does the development of artificial intelligence already influence? And how will AI affect the way and cost of doing business? In today’s post, we will try to answer these questions. Then we’ll look at the opportunities and threats that come with the increasing use of AI in business.
Jobs in the Age of AI
Concerns about the massive changes that the fourth industrial revolution is preparing for workers are not unfounded. According to a McKinsey report, technically speaking, already half of the work done by humans could become automated. In contrast, according to the Future of Jobs report issued by the World Economic Forum, only those who owe their position in the labor market to the following skills shouldn’t worry about their employment:
- critical thinking
- creative problem-solving
- quick learning
Probably since even if they are in danger of losing their jobs, they will manage to retrain in time. However, what about those who do not have such abilities?
Concerns about the shrinking number of jobs primarily involve positions that do not require specialized skills. Indeed, the changes will mainly affect people who perform repetitive tasks and are thus easy to automate. Employees will have to learn to use automation to speed up work and will have to deal with problem-solving or those whose solutions require decision-making themselves.
- clerical work – because of increasingly better natural language processing (NLP) tools,
- direct customer service – and in particular answering standard questions,
- standard translation.
Assistant work is also on the list of jobs that may soon be replaced by software. Taking notes on meetings and summarizing them, optimally organizing the calendar, and synchronizing events planned in the organization – such facilities can become available to every employee thanks to virtual assistants.
Workers performing warehousing, logistics as well as transportation tasks also have reason to worry. The reason is the increasing automation of warehouse spaces, which are thus becoming cheaper and safer. Moreover, the ever-improving autonomous cars and smart cities, or high-speed railroads, which, by their complexity and need to react in fractions of a second, simply cannot be operated by humans.
In the creative industries, too, AI is beginning to play an increasingly prominent role. This is especially true for generating text, images as well as video content on a given topic, even creating new whole coverages, posts or clips.
All hope is that AI needs humans. And not only to create artificial intelligence algorithms but also to teach and make decisions about the results created by AI. This is where new professions and future jobs will appear exponentially. For the time being, AI cannot learn on its own, so there will be many new posts related to AI design and implementation – from chatbots to analytical tools to industrial robots.
The greatest opportunity on the horizon for working with AI is to expand and supplement employees’ knowledge and capabilities in real-time. For example, displaying prompts to supplement employee information in the hiring process or selecting the optimal type of crop for a given agricultural area.
Another opportunity is to reduce unreliability when performing activities that require high force or precision. That could include, for instance, construction work as well as the production of microprocessors.
However, the most anticipated change associated with the application of artificial intelligence in business is the offloading of repetitive, tedious tasks to employees and checking the quality of work done by others (AI-powered QA).
The cost of operating an AI-enabled business
Increasing demand for artificial intelligence specialists is both an opportunity and a threat to business. After all, highly specialized employees mean rising and recurring costs, while business expectations for the application of artificial intelligence solutions are usually associated with reduced spending.
Easier anticipation and digitization of business
One of the most important factors in reducing expenses for businesses using AI will be the use of powerful analytics tools. Reducing risk-taking costs with inexpensive and readily available analytical tools is available now.
The second solution available almost at your fingertips is the digitization of business, especially in the areas of:
- accelerating the sales process.
The effect of AI-assisted digitalization is to reduce the cost of processing and storing documents. Another important factor is the reduction of workplace organization costs due to the increasing popularity of remote work. This is because it has turned out that remote work not only does not reduce productivity but even improves the efficiency of employees.
An important effect of the digitization of business, which became apparent during the lockdowns, is also the acceleration of trade thanks to e-commerce and the accompanying AI-assisted marketing. Acceleration, meanwhile, has reduced storage and warehousing costs thanks to the proliferation of precision planning tools.
Cost of innovation
However, AI-related innovations come with substantial costs. These are primarily rising recurring fees and business dependence on subscription-based AI services (AiaaS). This is because their implementation is not a one-time expense, but a process that requires continuous improvement according to the train-explain-sustain principle.
Another significant expenditure that AI-based businesses have to prepare for is the hiring of specialists, and the need to constantly innovate and fit products into the existing network of AI solutions. For example, a new product belonging to the IoT domain – a smart vacuum cleaner or garage door – must synchronize with existing systems. What’s more, these systems are dynamically evolving, so it’s difficult here to talk about a solution introduced for many years. Rather, they are developed in an agile manner (Agile), that is, they are constantly adapted to changing market needs as well as updated to meet security requirements.
Threats and opportunities of AI in business – summary
AI will undoubtedly take jobs away from many people. However, it will also give us new professions, specializations as well as perspectives. Skills increasingly valued on the job market will thus involve the ability to operate artificial intelligence systems; as well as flexibility, resilience to stress and openness to change.
Such a prospect of the future raises anxieties but they can turn into aspirations by the fascinating aspects of the fourth industrial revolution. All in all, the dangers and risks of business operations can help us anticipate and overcome just that – artificial intelligence.
Find out more about threats and opportunities of AI in business in the first part of this article.
AI in business:
- Artificial intelligence in business - Introduction
- Threats and opportunities of AI in business (part 1)
- Threats and opportunities of AI in business (part 2)
- AI applications in business - overview
- What is NLP, or natural language processing in business
- Automatic document processing
- AI and social media – what do they say about us?