How will AI technology replace jobs?

The example of IBM shows: This is how AI will change the world of work

We are in the early stages of a massive technological change that is affecting all industries. Will automation also cost jobs? The fear of losing one's job and thus of financial and emotional stability is one of the great fears of our time.

At first glance, all the figures seem to support this fear. Consulting firm Bain estimates that millions of jobs will be lost in the US over the next two decades and up to 25 percent of the workforce will be displaced from the labor market. Ginni Rometty, head of tech giant IBM, even believes that artificial intelligence will "change 100 percent of jobs in the next five to ten years."

A look back at history shows that jobs that are disappearing due to automation are by no means new. What has changed is the framework, because machine learning (or machine learning) can replace more than just physical labor. It is not difficult to imagine a robot boss who cold-bloodedly monitors our work and fires us if we do not meet the precalculated criteria and quotas - Hal 9000 in a suit and tie.

IBM shows the good things about AI in the workplace

The picture shouldn't be so gloomy. Rometty is sure that things will fundamentally change - but for the better. Your company has proven that machine learning can be an important factor in keeping workplaces safe for managers and employees alike.

In the past five years, IBM has developed a number of AI-powered tools that the company can use to recruit staff, show career paths and even calculate salaries. And because the company is so influential, these tools could soon be making their way into your offices as well.

Big companies are aware of the fears that come with big technology changes - not to mention the bad press. Amazon, which has been heavily criticized for the way it uses artificial intelligence to lay off underperforming employees, announced in July that it would invest $ 700 million over the next six years. The money is to be spent on retraining 100,000 Amazon employees who pursue activities that could soon be replaced by artificial intelligence.

An AI called Job Buddy

The service company Accenture has also invested US $ 1 billion a year in employee retraining over the past four years. So far, the company has retrained 300,000 workers. An AI program called Job Buddy helps employees whose jobs are at risk of being replaced by machines to discover new opportunities in the company. “The program tells our employees: Look, this percentage of your workplace could fall victim to automation; Your skills are similar to those skills, so you're taking this training, "" Ellyn Shook, HR director at Accenture, told Business Insider.

Brands around the world are using artificial intelligence to improve their HR departments. Research has found that more than 70 percent of employers and recruiters use some kind of automated resume analysis algorithm to generate pool of candidates summaries and even to rate candidates. The consumer goods giant Unilever and the wireless service provider Vodafone are betting that AI can help eliminate unfair prejudices in the application process. Personnel services company Pymetrics develops tests that test young professionals for traits such as focus, memory and risk tolerance. The company's algorithm determines whether a candidate is worth a closer look at by a hiring manager.

Frida Polli, head of Pymetrics, told Business Insider that her company is not looking to replace human resources in large companies. Rather, they want to free companies from looking through thousands of applications so that they can concentrate fully on the top candidates.

Artificial intelligence in the workplace is still in its infancy and these experiments are largely limited to companies that have access to advanced technology. However, it is worth exploring the tools to not only improve performance and productivity, but also increase employee wellbeing.

Sheopuri Research and the Watson Initiative

While Sheopuri and his team were developing these tools, another powerful AI was being developed elsewhere at IBM. In 2016, the company launched a consumer version of Watson, the AI ​​that became popular when it ran for the "Jeopardy!" Quiz show. Kelli Jordan, director of the so-called new collar job training program and its apprenticeship initiatives at IBM, asked the developers to find ways to implement Watson in their own workplaces.

The tools that emerged from Sheopuri research and the Watson initiative touch almost every aspect of everyday work today. From answering an applicant's questions to notifying managers when employees should be considered for a promotion - or when they run the risk of missing a quota.

IBM, through quarterly reviews, found these tools saved HR in 2017 $ 107 million and “thousands of man hours”. The company has been continuously developing the tools since then.

This text was translated and edited from English by Paol Hergert. You can find the original version here.