Explore the potential impacts of AI and automation on the workplace, and discover how to prepare for a new era of work.
You’ve never considered what the future of work might look like. You stroll into your favourite store on London’s Brompton Road, and the face that greets you every time is a wide-eyed cashier with a name tag on her shirt.
Today, however, was different; there was no cheerful cashier behind the counter when you went in. A self-service checkout machine had taken the place of the cashier and the counter. But you noticed two things: the line was shorter, and the self-checkout robot, despite its lack of personality, was far more productive and time-saving than the human worker.
Let’s be honest: the fear of losing your job to automation or artificial intelligence is reasonable. Especially given that artificial intelligence is expected to displace 85 million jobs by 2025.
According to historical precedents, this would not be the first time that new technology has replaced human labour, nor would it be the first time that human workers are afraid of losing their employment. As technology continues to improve and automation replaces routine tasks, the inevitable question is:
What is the Future of Work and How Will Automation & AI Technology Affect Our Jobs?
According to the Office For National Statistics (ONS), over 1.5 million jobs are at high risk of automation in England.
While automation has been around for a while, the last few years have seen the fourth industrial revolution, which means we are watching a surge of new technology replacing the old, and so eliminating the jobs produced by the earlier technology.
To anticipate what the future will look like in the next decade or two, we must first learn what history has taught us about technology, new jobs, and human resources, as well as the elusive ability to adapt.
When it comes to our workforce, the news isn’t all negative. While critics feel that machines would inevitably cause job losses, they fail to mention that reports indicate that AI will create a whopping 97 million new jobs by 2030.
As previous generations in the United Kingdom and around the globe have experienced, the emergence of a new technology will create as much as the jobs it displaced.
However, the human resource pool and labour market will suffer heavy disruption because the average human worker will lose their job to automation or be forced to compete with it.
The demand for a new skill to complement the machines will increase and humans who can work efficiently with machines will become more productive than those who can’t.
The Pros & Cons of Automation & AI in the Workplace
Increased Rate Of Production – Automation plays a significant role in the industrial sector, enabling higher production rates with less expenditure of money and resources. These benefits have made automation a more widespread practice across a wide range of businesses.
Automation Improves Product Quality – For a long time, firms have adopted automation as a cost-cutting tactic. Because automation makes it possible for businesses to create their goods more quickly, affordably, and of much greater quality, it has become more widely used in the marketing sector in recent years. The usage of automation will definitely keep expanding as more marketers attempt to take advantage of its benefits to boost productivity.
Efficiency – New technology is influencing how things are manufactured. Automation enables for more efficient material utilisation and higher quality products. These advantages enable companies to design better products, resulting in cheaper production costs, higher consumer happiness, and a higher return on investment.
Safety – Automation has a lot of benefits like any other technological advancement. Limiting human error, cutting expenses, and increasing production efficiency can all contribute to safety improvements. This is crucial in fields like mining and agriculture where there is a significant danger of damage.
Consistency – One of the benefits of automation is that business will become consistent and stable. Additionally, it will offer the company an opportunity to adjust to shifts in customer preferences. As organisations continue to deal with the shifting market conditions and consumer demands of today, they will desire more of this efficiency.
Automation Saves Time – It saves a tonne of time to automate. It saves time that would have been used to complete repetitive tasks that can now be completed automatically by software or equipment. To increase automation’s effectiveness, a lot of effort has been done in this area, and daily, several new ideas are developed.
Job displacement – The displacement of human labour is the most serious drawback of automation. This is because an automated task can be completed faster and with higher accuracy than a human can. For example, factories now use self-driving cars to shuttle items around warehouses. Many people are concerned that this will lead to fewer human jobs.
Automation Could Mean New Safety Hazards – When working conditions change unexpectedly, automation may pose new safety dangers. For example, a driverless automobile could be programmed to drive autonomously yet still cause an accident if a person walks out into the street in less-than-ideal conditions.
Requires Human Intelligence – Although automation generally has positive effects, some tasks still call for human involvement. We’ll use self-driving cars as an example because they can be trained to stop when they encounter the majority of roadside barriers. However, certain circumstances, such as driving through a barrier that is not clearly visible to the car’s sensor, might lead to these devices misinterpreting information and the results may be hazardous.
The Ethical Debate Around Automating Jobs & Replacing Humans with Machines
Automation may reduce the need for human labour to do routine administrative tasks. However, it does not eliminate human workers’ need to execute critical tasks, provide a personalised feel, and make key judgments.
We don’t yet know whether widespread automation adoption will eliminate the need for labour. Some anticipate that automation will result in a massive personal time revolution in which we will no longer need to work and will instead live on a universal income.
We could all spend our time doing something creative, enjoyable, or charitable in this society. It’s even been proposed that automation would create more jobs than it destroys, with the majority of them paying higher than present positions.
However, the heavy question is: is automation ethical?
To answer this question, automation is nothing but a tool. Because automation is a technology rather than a behaviour, the question of “is automation ethical?” essentially boils down to whether the development and usage of automation software is ethical.
As a result, the development of business process automation is totally ethical – its purpose is to better the working lives of thousands of people worldwide.
When automation is used inappropriately – in an unethical manner – it becomes unethical. Fortunately, this means that the ethical concerns raised by automation are completely avoided.
It wouldn’t be the first time that technology would be causing job loss in industries if we were to go by the history books. But like we have learned, technological advancement creates more jobs than it replaces.
The future of work is that humans will adapt to the emergence of automation and artificial intelligence. Machines will not replace humans. They may replace certain duties, or repetitive tasks but the discussion would not be about job loss but how well we can collaborate with machines to improve efficiency.
According to the World Economic Forum, analytical thinking, creativity, and adaptability will be among the most important talents required in 2025, with data and artificial intelligence, content creation, and cloud computing being the top emergent professions.
Automation and AI are here to stay, workers who are not willing to undergo corporate training, gain a new skill and work with the AI system face the imminent risk of being left behind. While those who are proficient with automation and AI would be deemed more productive.
Conclusion: Leveraging Technology For A Competitive Advantage In Your Industry
For businesses, the future is in a digital-driven market where companies must learn to collaborate with machines and automations for the best results. But it can be challenging to implement new technologies and stay ahead of the technology curve.
As technology continues to advance, the competition will become even more fierce. Without leveraging technology, you are at risk of lagging behind and losing out on potential customers and revenue.
At Digital Socius, we help businesses gain the upper hand by embracing automation and leveraging new technologies. Our comprehensive suite of services will ensure you are always one step ahead of your competitors and have an effective strategy for success. With our help, you can easily build a competitive advantage and stay ahead of the game by leveraging technology for your benefit.
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