With increased adoption and integration of artificial intelligence by various companies into their operations, the risk of job loss has been on an all-time high.
Amidst such concerns, PwC recently published an analysis of the issue, which revealed that AI and related technologies would create more job opportunities in the UK compared to what they would do away within the next two decades.
In fact, the research stated that while artificial intelligence can phase out nearly 7 million jobs in the nation, it can also generate 7.2 million opportunities, leading to a net increment of about 200,000 jobs.
Although the effects of AI on individual sectors are expected to vary, PwC stated that the number of employed individuals could increase by approximately 1 million, particularly in the health and social work sector.
The research added that jobs in the manufacturing sector could drop by almost 25%, which is a net decline of about 700,000 jobs.
In a press release, PwC’s Chief Economist John Hawksworth asserted that leading new technologies do not only displace some currently available jobs but also create significant productivity gains.
He added that this case minimizes prices while increasing spending levels and real income, which end up creating the demand for more workers.
John also emphasized his point by saying that PwC’s analysis suggested that a similar case would apply for robots, AI and related technologies even though the distribution of jobs across various sectors would change greatly in the process.
AI and its potential effects on society have elicited a heated debate in society. For instance, in 2014, the late Stephen Hawking said to BBC that the full development of AI could mean the end of mankind.
Nevertheless, other people have aired positive remarks about the topic including Jeff Bezos, the Amazon’s CEO, who said we are in a golden age and renaissance as far as artificial intelligence and machine learning are concerned.
He also stated that humans are now using such technologies to solve problems that only existed in science fiction space for several decades.
Focusing on other sectors, PwC stated that scientific, technical and professional services would experience a 165 net increment while the education sector would get a 6% rise.
On the contrary, the storage and public administration, as well as transport sectors, were projected to see a drop of 18 and 22 percent respectively.
To alleviate the job displacement of artificial intelligence, PwC, suggested that governments should invest more in STEAM, science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics skills.
It also recommended them to encourage workers to upgrade and adapt their expertise on a regular basis in a bid to match machines. PwC also added that the safety net for people who find it challenging to deal overcome technological revolution ought to be reinforced.
Euan Cameron, PwC’s AI leader in the UK, said that the audit firm’s analysis showed that there would be losers and winners.
He insisted that the fourth industrial revolution could favor those with stellar digital skills and abilities such as teamwork and creativity, which are hard for machines to replicate.