Recent reports by government officials have revealed that with the rapid growth and development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as much as 33% of all jobs in the UK could be lost to robots. Now this is a scary prospect, having a third of the working population becoming unemployed, this would lead to huge impacts on the economy and society on a whole.
One study undertaken by Georg Graetz and Guy Michaels looked at the use of robots between 1993 and 2007 in multiple countries. What they found was that industrial robots, so ones you would find in car factories, large forgeries and similar workplaces, increased both labour productivity and value added. This meant that products could be produced at a lot faster rate and at better quality, reducing cost but also increasing quality. The study also found that robots were more likely to replace people in low-skilled to middle-skilled employees, with robots doing tasks such as assembly, welding and harvesting. They both stated that:
This isn’t all bad news though, with some AI and automated systems aiding employees in their work and actually increasing work productivity. In some working environments such as stock markets the vast majority of all trades are now done by automated systems, which have meant that companies can perform multiple trades all at the same time. Automated systems such as Microsoft CRM largely help us keep up with numerous jobs, automating some simpler tasks helping manage our workflow. Our CRM system is set up to automatically assign work to different departments as well as automatically creating jobs depending on what recent work we have undertaken. It also helps us when it comes to customers, sending out emails to them with invoices and any other information that they need.
So what should we take from this? I believe that to a certain extent that artificial intelligence and automation should be embraced by businesses. With software and systems such as Microsoft CRM truly being a large benefit to the workers and employers, speeding up processes thus increasing profits. On the other hand I believe that large scale implementations of AI is only going to be bad for the global economy leaving many people without jobs. Many believe that this will increase the gap between the rich and the poor due to the low-skilled jobs being done by robots and automated systems.
By Sam Tutt on September 3rd, 2015