AI won’t replace all jobs – but it will de-skill many of them

There is a school of thought that says AI will replace routine jobs, and a lot is made of what we should do with the many millions of low-skilled people who will be made redundant.

But this is not what we believe, or have seen to date. AI does indeed bring a set of tools that can replace routine tasks; think autonomous vehicles and logistical management just to begin with. But it doesn’t stop there.

Through big data, AI can greatly simplify many creative and highly skilled jobs. For example, doctors will require less training and AI-supported healthcare management will become faster, simpler and cheaper to deliver. Less training reduces the training cost and opens up these creative fields to more people, driving the costs down and competition up.

We are already seeing how AI is able to amplify creative power, through access to larger datasets, improved technology and greater communication and increased access to supporting technologies. The results we are seeing is that fewer and less-skilled people are required to create and deliver services, driving the costs down dramatically.

With AI set disrupt most if not all of the workplace there are very few roles that won’t be touched, and those that adapt to it first will see the biggest gains, and those that cling to old working practices will be left behind – much like the industrial revolution of the 1800s did.

The fields that were thought to be safe from AI disruption, ones that involve human interaction and trust will see AI start to encroach. So, whilst these jobs may remain in place they will increasingly use AI to augment, extend and enhance the experience or service – often at a lower overall cost.

What differentiates the current AI revolution vs the 1800s is the speed of its adoption. Change during the industrial revolution was generational in nature, taking 25 to 50 years to disrupt existing working practices – long enough to fit in with the natural working and living cycle of the workforce. The growth of AI is making a larger leap in a much shorter timeframe, threatening the jobs of hundreds of millions during their normal working life.

In summary, AI will make the world better and cheaper for service and experience consumers. It will drive down the cost of service provision by using fewer and lower cost people to deliver more and better services to a wider range of people. The key message is “if you’re not adopting AI into your workplace today you may not have a workplace at all in less than a decade.”

Our take: We already make extensive use of AI through data and sophisticated automation to enhance the service experience for our clients. We do this with fewer people, less overhead, and faster – and therefore much cheaper than we did a decade or so ago.

As a relatively early adopter of AI, our “win” is reflected in sky-high client satisafaction, an unstressed working environment and higher net profit. We can’t, however, rest on our laurels – we are continually improving our use of AI to better our clients experience and focus on being essential to their needs.