Will Artificial Intelligence Take Away Jobs?
23 Jan 2023 3 mins read By Andrea Amato

The role of artificial intelligence in the workplace

 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and learn like humans. AI systems can be trained to perform tasks such as recognising speech, making decisions, and translating languages. Examples of AI include virtual assistants (like Apple’s Siri), image recognition software, self-driving cars, among others.

One of the hot topics that surrounds AI today is its place within our workforce and the impact it has on jobs in Malta or elsewhere. AI has led to some job displacement in certain, but not all, industries. For example, in manufacturing and logistics, AI-powered robots and automation have replaced some jobs that were previously done by humans—typically, AI is able to replace some of the more mundane and tedious tasks found within our occupations.

However, it's important to note that AI can also create new jobs and opportunities, particularly in the field of technology and data analysis. Additionally, AI can also lead to increased productivity and efficiency due to streamlining organisational functions so that it’s easier for people to focus on more complex roles. Ultimately, the way we incorporate AI and similar technologies can support a wider workforce when used effectively.

 

Common applications of artificial intelligence in our jobs

 

As mentioned beforehand, AI can transform many of our on-site or remote jobs for the better. Common applications of AI in the workplace include:

  • Automation of repetitive tasks: AI systems can automate routine tasks such as data entry, scheduling, and customer service, which allows employees to focus on more complex and creative work.
  • Predictive analytics: AI-powered systems can analyse large amounts of data, such as sales data, to make predictions about future trends, which can be used to improve business operations and decision-making.
  • Human resources: increasingly, AI is being used in recruitment and employee management, from sourcing and screening job candidates to conducting virtual interviews and analysing employee performance data.
  • Customer service: chatbots and virtual assistants that run on AI algorithms can handle customer queries and complaints, reducing the workload on human customer service representatives.
  • Cybersecurity: AI-based systems are used to detect and prevent cyber-attacks, monitor network activity, and identify potential vulnerabilities in organisations.
  • Supply chain management: AI can be used to optimise logistics, inventory management, and production processes, which can help companies respond more quickly to changes in response to consumer demand.
  • Marketing: AI can be used to analyse consumer behaviour, predict what products and services they are likely to buy, and personalise the marketing messages to them.

The above illustrates the wide array of use cases introduced by incorporating artificial intelligence within diverse organisations and industries. Generally, AI can help employees focus on more complex tasks that require human thought and intervention. Companies can use AI to support their IT jobs and run smoother business operations when integrated correctly.

 

Are there any jobs that are at risk?

 

Whilst artificial intelligence can support many of our jobs, it is mostly likely to impact jobs that involve repetitive tasks, data analysis, and certain decision-making tasks. These include jobs in manufacturing, transportation, customer service, and administrative support, for example. Jobs that involve routine decision-making in fields like finance, healthcare, and law may also be impacted by AI.

However, it's important to note that AI will not replace all jobs, but rather change the nature of some jobs and create new ones. As AI takes over certain tasks, it will free up human workers to focus on more complex, creative, and human-centred work.

Jobs that are safe from AI are those that require human emotions, empathy, creativity, and social interactions such as teaching, nursing, counselling, art and design, among others. These are jobs that require a human touch and emotions that are difficult to replicate by AI and machines.

With the above in mind, it’s valuable for individuals and organisations alike to be aware of the potential impact of AI in their field of work and be proactive in developing the skills and knowledge needed to adapt to the changing job market that widely accepts integrating digital solutions within everyday work functions.

 

AI cannot replace all jobs

 

As touched upon beforehand, AI will not be able to replace on-site or remote jobs that require quintessential human characteristics: emotions, empathy, and genuine social connection. For example, in healthcare, nurses require a deep understanding of human behaviour to provide accurate and thoughtful treatment outcomes for patients. This human complexity is something AI cannot yet grasp.

Additionally, occupations that require complex decision-making cannot be replicated by AI yet. These include legal jobs, medicine, finance jobs, and similar that require a level of expertise and judgement. Certain decisions, such as in emergency services, need a degree of spontaneity.

Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that AI has been advancing rapidly, and it's possible that in the future AI systems will be able to perform more tasks that were previously thought to be the exclusive domain of humans, but as of now, the above-mentioned jobs are less likely to be replaced by AI.

 

Benefits of using AI in the workplace

 

As the workforce worldwide continues to support and use artificial intelligence to gain competitive advantages within their services and products, it’s difficult to remain sceptical of integrating AI within organisations. Whilst it’s essential to be critical about novel technologies and how valuable they could be for certain organisations, it’s worth noting the benefits AI brings to the workplace. Some of which include:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity: AI systems can automate routine tasks, analyse large amounts of data, and make predictions, which can lead to increased productivity and efficiency in the workplace.
  • Improved decision-making: AI can analyse data and interpret it to improve company decision-making.
  • Cost savings: by automating routine tasks and making more efficient use of resources, organisations can save money on labour and other related costs.
  • Improved customer service: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants alike can handle customer queries and complaints, leading to improved customer service and increased customer satisfaction.
  • Increased innovation: AI can help organisations discover new insights, identify patterns and trends in data, and generate new ideas, which can lead to increased innovation within teams.
  • Improved cybersecurity: AI can help detect and prevent cyber-attacks, monitor network activity, and identify potential vulnerabilities, which can support organisations protect their sensitive data and systems.
  • Risk reduction: AI can help organisations identify and mitigate risks in areas such as finance and healthcare, which can lead to improved safety and compliance within these industries.
  • Personalisation: AI can be used to analyse consumer behaviour, which can lead to increased customer engagement and sales with targeted strategy approaches.

Finally, understanding AI in the context of jobs is always in conjunction with human intervention and judgement. AI is not made to replace jobs—rather, it’s meant to support our current on-site or remote careers and help us dedicate more time to complicated tasks AI cannot understand. This combination can lead to more accurate, efficient, and effective results within our everyday roles.

 

Conclusion

 

Throughout this article, we discussed what artificial intelligence is—a simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and learn like humans. We also discussed some examples of AI, such as virtual assistants and similar systems. Then, we explored how AI has led to some job displacement in certain industries, but it also creates new jobs and opportunities. 

Particularly, jobs that AI cannot take over, or are less likely to take over, are those that require human emotions, empathy, creativity, and social interactions such as teaching and nursing, to name a few examples. With an open mind, we can view the benefits of using AI in the workplace that ultimately works to support human intelligence through diverse means overall.

Tags
Machine Learning
Jobs in Malta
Remote Jobs
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