Pundits have been creating a narrative of how artificial intelligence (“AI”) will replace and automate most jobs over the next few years. However, according to McKinsey Global Institute in November 2017, “Less than 5% of current jobs consist of activities that can be fully automated.” We believe progress will come from AI but will differ from what is currently being presented.
AI will most likely augment, as opposed to replacing workers. For example, electricity was put in place in the early 1900’s but took close to 20 years before the impact was felt by businesses and consumers in major cities. The changeover to electricity allowed for washing machines, lighting, and refrigeration, all of which have created large amounts of jobs. Yes, electricity and many other disrupting technologies have caused traditional jobs to be phased out; however, they also created many new jobs in the process. Fast forward to the invention of the personal computer, we have witnessed firsthand how this new technology has greatly changed traditional business roles and has allowed businesses to rapidly increase productivity. These new and disrupting technologies often provide more leisure time for consumers, expanded consumer-focused businesses and created entirely new industries.
Will Artificial Intelligence automate most jobs and create mass unemployment; Maybe but not likely. Will Artificial Intelligence only replace 5% of current jobs as expressed by McKinsey Global Institute; Maybe but it will most likely create new jobs while others are phased out. Looking back through the last century at some of the most disruptive technologies, we can take some comfort at the vast possibilities that AI can offer society. We envision the changes that will occur with AI will take longer than first thought and to go in a different direction than what is being currently presented by the media.