The World Economic Forum has issued a report stating that over the next decade AI could create nearly double the number of jobs that it will destroy. But it also suggests that 133 million new jobs may be created as organizations shift the balance between human workers and machines, a net gain of 58 million. That's up from 29% today and will lead to the displacement or loss of up to 75 million jobs by 2022.
Many new jobs may be less secure than in the past, as businesses are increasingly turning to contractors and freelancers, the Swiss foundation said.
New skill sets for employees will be needed as labour between machines and humans continue to evolve, the report pointed out. In terms of hours, the 2018 figures stand at 71% being done by humans and 26% by machines, but WEF predicts this to stand at 58% to 42% in 2022 before machines take the larger share, at 52%, just seven years from now.
Mike Guggemos, CIO at IT firm Insight, offered his thoughts on the real impact of AI on the employment market and the type of jobs the technology will likely create: "Fears of mass job displacement by Artificial Intelligence are misplaced - the technology has intelligence, but not wisdom, and that limits what it can accomplish by itself".
It said advances in computing would free up workers for new tasks. Something similar should therefore be expected for the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution. It warned there's a significant gap between the skills workers now have and those that may be required for future new roles.
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A McKinsey report in December produced one of the rosier assessments, forecasting jobs lost and created by new technology might be about equal by 2030.
When determining job location decisions, companies overwhelmingly prioritize the availability of skilled local talent as their foremost consideration, with 74 percent of respondents providing this factor as their key consideration.
"By taking a more holistic approach to the future of work, a man-machine partnership will open up a new realm of possibilities for organisations".
The OECD instead put the USA figure at about 10% and the UK's at 12% - although it did suggest many more workers would see their tasks changing significantly.