New studies have suggested that robots could take 4 million private sector jobs in Britain in the next 10 years, leaving humanity facing one of its biggest challenges yet. One of the areas where jobs could be lost is PR. However, as the role requires workers to generate creative and original ideas, PR holds a great advantage in the face of automation.
Looking at the overall picture, a big question on people’s minds is: if machines do all the work, or even 50 per cent of the jobs that we used to do, what will people do? The advancements of AI and the rate of development are significantly increasing and before we know it everything will become AI powered. This is a subject of much debate as to when this will happen. But the real question that remains is: should we fear or embrace artificial intelligence?
In some respects, AI has become an efficient way of performing specific tasks in work places. For example, it can process large amounts of data, perform accurately in repetitive tasks and can work indefinitely. AI has been significantly used in stock trades, making huge capital gains in the stock market, in addition to increasing safety on aircraft by tackling the human error factor, and assisting health care by reading X-ray images and detecting lung cancer.
However, despite AI being able to support technical projects, it is important to recognise that robots are not completing manual tasks. Instead they can calculate and analyse challenging situations and therefore only compete with highly qualified positions, such as pilots, traders and doctors.
This new technology will undeniably make older and less performative strategies redundant. Just like film cameras have been replaced by digital cameras and now face competition from smartphones. Similarly, tech industries are replacing manufacturing industries, and new jobs are replacing old jobs. Web developers, social media managers, software engineers and even bloggers are careers which did not exist 20 years ago, until the magnificent arrival of the internet. Similarly, AI is likely to generate new occupations, as robots need to be built and maintained, don’t they?
Artificial intelligence will have a massive impact on business productivity. However, does this really mean jobs will be lost? Let’s use Amazon as an example; over the years, the e-commerce giant has increasingly used robots to carry out processes. In 2015, Amazon had 30,000 robots to assist the packing process. You’re probably thinking thousands lost their jobs, but instead a further 154,000 people, were employed by the company. This is a perfect example of how use of AI in a work place has increased and has had a positive impact on employment rates.
Although many occupations can be fulfilled by robots, some jobs cannot be handled by their intelligence. When it comes down to empathy or care, no machine could ever replace a human. People do not want artificial technology caring or interacting with them. As a result, occupations such as caring for the elderly or educating children cannot be replaced by robots. Instead future employment allows us to focus on human interactions and a sense of purpose that artificial intelligence cannot suffice.
So, are you going to fear AI or embrace it?