Does artificial intelligence cost jobs, add jobs, or both?
We admittedly can get tired of that argument, as it sometimes drags on without a lot of evidence or new insight one way or another.
But a recent, virtual event called “How AI Might Change Our Jobs & What We Can Do About It” from the OECD was different. Panelists offered a lot of interesting food for thought in the 94-minute event that featured a member of the European Parliament; an Oxford professor; a leading expert on how AI affects people with disabilities, and others.
Sean Hinton, SkyHive’s Founder and CEO, was one of the panelists, and gave his take during the webcast, particularly around the 30-minute and 72-minute marks. The upshot of what Hinton said:
- Never in the world’s history has an innovation or new technology shrunk the world’s labor market.
- In the short term, AI doesn’t appear to be causing large-scale job loss. Looking further out, AI has the potential to automate not just tasks, but systems and processes. This could impact a variety of jobs, whether high- or lower-skilled. But it will also create new jobs, like what’s happened with other technologies such as alternative energy.
- When we consider the impact of AI on jobs, remember that in some sectors like manufacturing and cybersecurity, there’s an acute competition for talent right now. Everything should be examined within the context of a skills shortage. “There’s a massive amount of demand for jobs in manufacturing,” Hinton says.
The virtual event also featured an interesting discussion (beginning around the 39-minute mark) of the impact of AI on people with disabilities. If you’re asking people to play a game as part of the assessment process, it could disadvantage people with visual or dexterity challenges. And if you require people to answer a video-interview question in, say, three minutes, that could disadvantage other individuals, such as those with speech impediments.
The OECD event can be viewed here. If you’re not familiar with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, it’s an international organization whose goal is to "shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all.” And if you’re not familiar with SkyHive, let us know, and we can tell you how our ethical AI also fosters opportunity for all.