Frequently Asked Questions
Will I lose my job?
It is very unlikely. What is more likely to happen is that the dull, routine parts of your job will be given to software and/or hardware to handle, leaving you free to contribute in a more creative way. Your creativity could express itself in any number of ways, from developing new ways of seeing the data, to identifying new markets to reach for. What you will have to do is learn new skills in managing data.
Will we have more leisure time because of artificial intelligence?
What we are seeing is the expansion of productivity. Artificial intelligence is taking care of the mundane and boring jobs, leaving employees with the space to engage in higher-value activities. Productivity is increasing as people get to do more of the fun stuff.
We remember the 1970s, when computers were first being introduced to the workplace. At the time all the talk was about 4-day working weeks and long weekends of leisure time. But, of course, what happened was that productivity increased and the bar was raised. People still worked five days a week, but their output was significantly higher. Everyone's output on computers was raised, forcing those who were slow to adopt to the new technology to have to rapidly join in or become irrelevant and go out of business. The same is true with artificial intelligence; AI will increase productivity by a significant amount and those who are slow to join the fourth industrial revolution will get left behind. History will consign them to the waste heap.
What are the immediate implications of artificial intelligence?
In the short term, you will find that the majority of your employees will keep their jobs, but that parts of their jobs (and yours) will change. The dull, boring parts will be increasingly handled by AI, leaving you and your employees free to pursue higher-value work, like thinking about customer value and fiscal strategy. If the thought of delving into fiscal strategy leaves you cold, imagine how warm you'll be delving into customer value, and what you and your organisation can do to create more value for your customers, both existing and potential new ones. The dull, drudge parts of your job (and your fellow white collar employees) will be handled by algorithms, leaving you free to up your output by focusing on higher-level strategic outputs.
In the meantime, AI in your workplace will mean not having to worry about whether you will need to remember to bring an umbrella to work tomorrow (because an AI assistant will remind you automatically), which fellow employee is having a birthday soon, and what article from the dozens your social media algorithms have recently published need paying attention to.