One of the long-standing concerns that the public has regarding the emergence of artificial intelligence is the fact that AI will eventually replace humans in the workplace, rendering most humans jobless.
However, according to a recent statement from PwC, AI will actually create more jobs than it displaces.
PwC’s Stand on the Issue Regarding AI
PwC, which is legally known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, is a multinational professional services firm with headquarters in London, United Kingdom. It is considered to be the second largest professional services firm in the world with $37.7 billion revenue in FY 2017 alone.
PwC operates in over 150 countries around the world and employs more than 236,200 professionals across 743 locations. Incidentally, PwC is one of the Big 4, which refers to the four biggest accounting firms in the world. The Big 4 offers a wide range of accounting and auditing services as well as considerable employment and career growth for accountants and auditors around the world.
In the opposing view regarding the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs, whether it will provide more jobs or destroy them, PwC decidedly takes a more impartial approach. The firm’s analysts expect the number of jobs that will be displaced by AI is likely to be neutralized by the number of new jobs created.
As a matter of fact, within just 20 years, PwC expects around 7.2 million jobs to be created as opposed to the 7 million jobs that will be displaced by AI.
Euan Cameron, a UK-based AI leader working at PwC, said: “AI provides a huge potential economic boost to the UK. It is good to see that the government recognizes and supports the growth of the sector by means of the AI Sector Deal.”
Historically, rapid technological change has often been associated with increases in wealth and income inequality, so it’s vital that government and business work together to make sure everyone benefits from the positive benefits that AI can bring. These include increased productivity and consumer choice, as well as improved outcomes in those areas that matter most to people such as education to healthcare.”
Industries That Will Benefit from Artificial Intelligence
According to PwC, there are certain sectors that are sure to benefit from AI in terms of job growth, while there are also sectors that will suffer.
The sectors that PwC expects to benefit from this are the healthcare industry, PSTS (professional, scientific, and technical services), and education. The losing sectors, on the other hand, are said to be the manufacturing industry, transport and storage, and public administration.
From this, it can be observed that low-paying jobs are bound to suffer the most. Since these industries mostly employ manual labor workers, it can easily be replaced by AI technology. In contrast, high-paying jobs usually require people with technical or professional expertise and knowledge. They are basically jobs that require a lot of thinking and decision-making that are quite hard to replicate using artificial intelligence.
However, analysts at PwC said: “A job that is being considered ‘high risk’ of getting displaced by AI doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be automated for certain since there could be a variety of economic, legal, and regulatory barriers to the adoption of these technologies.”
Insight and Recommendations from PwC
The healthcare industry will likely be one of the first sectors to see a significant growth in employment as there will be a growing demand for healthcare as people become richer and start to age. Of course, there are some jobs that will get wiped out, but many more jobs will likely arise as real incomes increase and patients still yearn for the ‘human touch’ from healthcare professionals and social care workers.
PwC suggests that people start investing more in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education since it will be useful in a human-machine collaboration setting, which is what will likely happen in the near future.
PwC believes that soft skills, such as creative problem-solving, social intelligence, and people management, will experience a rapid increase in demand as AI matures. That’s not hard to believe since these types of soft skills remain as significant bottlenecks to machine learning.
Looking at it objectively, there are indeed a lot of possible jobs that can be created as AI technology gradually develops and matures. The only thing that people need to do is to prepare and equip themselves with the right skills and knowledge.