The future of work will be about lifelong learning, and artificial intelligence will become an enabler of different kinds of jobs, says Julio A Portalatin, president and chief executive of Mercer, a leading human resources consulting firm. “AI is going to be a job displacer but not a job eliminator,” he tells ET. Edited excerpts:
Where is the future of work going?
The future of work is a term that we are using to prepare people to start thinking about how they need to position themselves for success in the future. It encompasses the impact it is going to have on governance, education, learning, employees and on the way, we have to think about what success will look like in future. The first element that people tend to talk about is technology. Let’s take one sliver of that—AI. Depending on what statistics you look at, AI will provide skills that are currently being done by 30-50% of the workforce. That does not mean this will displace 30-50% of the workforce, because things don’t stay stagnant and skills change. All said and done, AI learns from people.
So, people have to think of themselves in terms of preparing for that future in the mode of lifetime learning. The work journey will be about lifetime learning. AI is going to be a job displacer but not a job eliminator. Ultimately, AI will become an enabler for different kinds of jobs in the future.
How will AI be a displacer?
An example of that would be AI’s ability to algorithmically do the rudimentary, repeatable type of jobs. Chatbots will be used with much more frequency in operations where there is the general repetitive type of activity. There are other judgemental activities that are less likely to be disrupted. AI should be looked at as an opportunity for success and not as a threat.
What will be the impact of this disruption on the workforce?
I think organisations will not be able to go outside to look for skills because skills will not be available outside. You really must think about it in a multidimensional way. How do I transition skills of good performers today so they can be the good performers of the future? Organisations need to think how to make this transition to bridging the skills.
Full article: The Economic Times