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Does Artificial Intelligence Provide More Jobs or Kill the Current Jobs?

Author : Steven De Nazareth

Updated : March 12th, 2018

Artificial Intelligence is set to change the landscape of the job market by cutting jobs, adding Artificial Intelligence (AI) related jobs and ensuring that the workforce continues to reskill themselves. After all, AI was developed based on the theory and the development of computers that are able to perform tasks that require human intelligence. This could be visual perception, decision making, speech recognition, and translation. This term was coined in 1956 and has now become popular based on advanced algorithms, data volumes, and significant improvement in storage and computing power.

Does Artificial Intelligence Provide More Jobs or Kill the Current Jobs?

During the 1950s, AI revolved around symbolic methods and problem-solving. In the 1960s, the US Department of Defense started training computers to mimic basic human reasoning. It was the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that did street mapping projects in the 1970s. In fact, DARPA had intelligent personal assistants in 2003 way before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri. This resulted in automation and formal reasoning that computers possess today. This includes smart search systems and decision support systems that will complement and augment human abilities. AI technologies have now been able to help specific benefits in all industries like healthcare, retail, and sports.

Trends in Artificial Intelligence

artificial intelligence usa

AI is the new technological frontier, countries, and companies are working hard to gain control of this emerging technology. Alphabet has invested $30 billion and Baidu set aside $20 billion to develop AI technologies. Goldman Sachs suggests that self-driving vehicles will make 25,000 truckers lose their jobs every month. Similarly, large warehouses can now operate with just a dozen people and this is set to affect nearly 1 million packers and pickers in the US.

Companies like Amazon Robotics are using a combination of advanced robotics and a combination of artificial intelligence to help big-box retailers with logistics solutions. DARPA, the organization behind the internet and GPS navigation is currently working with Boston Dynamics to create robots for disaster relief and also worked on the Atlas robot.

Earlier, publishers would spend hours and even days to create content for their website and social media. Wibbitz allows publishers to create videos in minutes and the Associated Press uses a tool called Wordsmith to create news stories based on earnings data. In 2018, you can expect more media professionals and companies to use natural-language and video-generated technologies.

In 2017 alone, there were over 20 million Amazon smart speakers sold and this is without counting the number of Google Home and Apple Airpod devices. By this, you can imagine the number of Americans that can control their homes by interacting with technology by using voice commands. By the end of 2018, consumers should be able to interact with smart assistants that will be integrated with smartphones, televisions, and computers. This is great news for data scientists that will see a growth of over 2.7 million jobs by 2020. These AI jobs would be required to enhance AI machine-learning requires probability to determine the proper decision and answer for a given problem. The platforms require more data to make better predictions. With the growth of the company, it will make it more cumbersome to analyze data and hence there is a need to hire data scientists to handle large data sets to aid these AI platforms.

Difference between Natural and Artificial intelligence

Robotic Automation and AI

Today robotic automation has grown to be a disruptive force. Even now two-thirds of Americans feel that robots would perform most work done by humans in the next 50 years. In addition, nearly 80% feel that their current jobs will most probably exist in their current form within the same timeframe. The recently concluded World Economic Forum suggests that automation including AI would result in the loss of close to 5 million jobs globally by 2020. Similarly, the International Labor Organization states that nearly 137 million workers in countries like Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam which accounts for 56% of the total workforce of the countries would be displaced by robots. These workers are mainly from the garment manufacturing industry.

But on the contrary, Genpact CEO NV Tyagarajan feels that there would be a sizable number of jobs that this technology would create. From data suggested by the Robotics Industries Association, it reveals that robots are likely to become the workforce of tomorrow. Within the first half of 2016, North American robotics technology vendors sold 14,583 worth over $817 million to companies across the world. More than 265,000 robots would be deployed at factories across the country and placing the US in third place when it comes to robotics deployments after China and Japan.

Significance Of Artificial Intelligence

Robotic automation requires servicing and programming with the help of high-skill jobs for technicians, programmers, and others. This will create a new set of high-skilled jobs but for every job created by robotic automation, several thousand jobs would be eliminated and this would be disruptive to any workforce.

You should know that by the end of 2018, one-third of robotic deployments would be smarter, more efficient and would be able to collaborate with other robots. This would allow them to work safely alongside humans. In early 2019, there would be a Chief Robotics Officer for 30% or more of the world’s leading companies. Several governments around the world will have drafted or implemented specific legislation surrounding robots and safety, security and privacy. When the year 2020 approaches, average salaries in the robotics sector will increase by 60% and nearly a third of the available jobs in robotics will remain vacant due to a shortage of skilled workers in this sector.

The field of robotics favors Trump as he pledged to bring back manufacturing to the US. But on the downside, it would not help in bringing back jobs for lower-skilled workers. Corporations can mitigate against increasing labor costs in the US without compromising on profit margins to automate low-skilled jobs. This means that this can bring back manufacturing back to the US or create new jobs but not both together.

Important AI Statistics

AI and Employment

Since millions of jobs would be at risk and the worldwide employment crisis looms at large, the only logical thing to do is to enhance the education of tomorrow. This means that people would have to learn about AI and the robotic workforce. In some markets that have unstable employment, developed nations look to science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM graduates to stay competitive.

2017 is the year of the hype cycle for emerging technologies as AI will automate 1.8 million people out of work by 2020. While job losses generate the most interest among the headlines, losses only tell a part of the story. But once you review the possibilities of AI, you will come to know that it will create 2.3 million jobs by 2020 with a net gain of 500,000 jobs.

Important Numbers Behind Artificial Intelligence

In time, you would question how many companies would successfully deploy AI and not replace the human workforce. This means that in time, it would help humans be faster and more productive. The notion of technology being a killer of jobs has plagued the job market for several years. Automation has made it cheaper to produce fabric and led to more customers. This, in turn, drove demand and the product. Since the job changed, during the industrial revolution, there has been no shortage of work for semi-skilled labor. While 21 percent viewed AI as something to excited about, 17 percent felt it would be disrupting and enabling, while 9 percent felt AI would displace most jobs in 10 years.

There are a number of positions that are developing around AI. This includes data scientists, AI trainers, capabilities related to modeling, computational intelligence, mathematics, machine learning, linguistics, neuroscience, and psychology. AI will take on more work that we currently handle, constantly learn and adapt to new skills which will be the same for every worker to maintain their job. The challenge now is how is AI related to the change in the scope of human jobs in the light of AI’s automation and autonomy. Though the potential effect of AI on jobs includes job losses, it would also require a number of AI-related skills. You should also know that AI cannot completely replace human judgment. AI is today, just a manifestation of an ongoing workplace evolution. Since the industrial revolution, there are many innovations that are associated with the transition period of temporary job loss. This is then followed by recovery and the business transformation. In a similar manner, AI would likely follow suit. Moving forward workers and leaders looking at AI as a robot would steal jobs and hence should start looking at intelligence augmentation (IA). To mitigate this issue of having a lack of well-trained professionals, businesses should look inward and enforce reskilling and on-the-job training. In time, staff trained in AI would be able to focus on critical activities which in turn would boost productivity.

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  1. Lost my job in 10/2018 due to plant closure, collected vacation and severance pay. Opened a claim in 1/2019. Got an on the job training job through career link in 5/2019 worked one week and became very sick and was off for two weeks VA could not find anything wrong but gave me medication for the symptoms and an excuse to return to work, prior to returning got a call from my recruiter at career link telling me the position was filled so i did not return. Reopened my claim, a few weeks later got a letter informing me the employer had appealed and said i did not return, had a hearing and the employer did not show but i lost and got a 2500.00 over payment. Got a temp job through an agency but have only worked 4 days in two weeks. Reopened my claim and was told i need to earn 2604.00 from current employer before it can be opened, did i do something wrong? Still applying for work but am days away from losing everything, need income to pay bills. PLEASE HELP

    1. Rodney,

      Your eligibility to claim UI benefits depends on multiple factors including monetary eligibility. If you’ve been officially told about the shortage of earnings, there’s nothing much one can do. If you’re still confident of winning the appeal, please make a strong case.

  2. The hours at work have been cut due to lack of business for every department.
    So all full-time positions are now part-time.
    How do I file for partial unemployment?
    The only options I see (in Texas) are for full unemployment.

    1. Eric,

      You should be able to claim partial UI benefits. Please consider applying online until full hours are restored.

    1. William,

      If everything goes well, it should not take more than 7-10 business days (waiting week). Please call the Claims Center for more.

  3. I was employed by a VA company for 5 years, my contract ended yesterday (07/31/19), however, I worked remotely for those 5 years and live in FL, which state do I apply to for my unemployment benefits?

    1. Oscar,

      Please check with your employer if they remitted UI taxes into the system. Contract workers are generally not eligible.

        1. Oscar,

          In that case, please go ahead and apply if your employer remitted UI taxes into the system.

    2. You apply in Virginia…however, I worked seasonally and they used a ‘quarter’ that was empty, so even though my employer paid in, I only got a 1/3 of what I should have received. Figured that out later :/ They will also question WHY you aren’t able and available to work IN Virginia. They froze my account for about a month.

  4. I worked 37 years with the same company in Texas. On July 2nd of 2018, I was let go due to workforce reduction. I signed up for benefits several months later and now have drawn my 26 weeks of benefit. Is there any program currently open in Texas or federally that will extend additional money while job seeking?

    1. Lonnie,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  5. I have been an employee of my company for 34 yrs. My position is being eliminated but I have been offered another position for less money. It is a much more physical job that I am not sure I can perform well. I am 75. If I try to fulfill the position and cannot do it, will I still be able to get benefits if I quit? They want me to try it for a couple of weeks to see if I am strong enough and if I can afford the cut in pay.

    1. Lynda,

      I suggest you call the Unemployment Office to find out about eligibility before making a decision on continuation.

      1. I recently lost my job..i was late for work and they took me off the schedule..never told me i was fired..didnt ask for uniforms back. Another cook was andd has been late for work and he didnt get taken off the schedule.can i still get unemployment?

        1. Kandie,

          Please note UI benefits are only offered to claimants who lose employment due to no fault of their own. You can call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  6. Are there any training benefits or programs that will pay for an advanced degree, such as a PhD which is needed to become more employable?

    1. There are multiple training programs administered by the Labor Department in each state. For more info, please call visit the official website of the Unemployment Office.

  7. I’m about to exhaust my Unemployment benefits. I was laid off from my first job and
    found employment then I lost my job and became unemployed again. I applied for benefits and have have almost exhausted my benefits but have not found employment. Can I file for an extension?

    1. Deanna,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  8. After reading your article it’s still not clear to me about requirements surrounding moving to another state and completing/continuing to collect. I have 8 weeks eligibility left, I am moving from MA to FL. The end of your article says: “Since it’s all virtual (online), you may still consider the option of continuing your claims from the base state even if you move to a different one until completion. As a responsible claimant, it’s your duty to inform the base state about your movement to ensure there are no hassles in the near future.”

    So it sounds like even once I am in new state I am eligible to continue to collect from my base state. I can just continue to do my required weekly job search and reporting to and filing in my base state (I do it via phone call-in). No need to complicate things by doing some crazy state transfer of benefits. Benefits also done via direct bank deposit and no need to change anything. Do I even need to tell my base state I am now living in a new state? Why? Thank you.

    1. Paul,

      For the ease of understanding, each state has its specific rules and laws with regard to administering Unemployment Benefits. It might be an obligation for a claimant to inform about the movement. For clarification, please call the Unemployment Office and speak to a representative.

  9. I was recently fired from my work 25-June-2019/due to me not meeting their “standards/ expectations” i submitted my UE claim on 28-June and have not received any pay as of today, 19-July. The status is currently “adjudication in progress,” my question is, should i be worried this will be denied? I read the FAQ on the UE webpage and it said only a couple applications require the adjudication process. How long does this process usually take to get the final answer of whether I’m denied or approved? The website stated it susuallt takes ~25 days for the adjudication process, does this mean once that’s done then i still have to wait another 2-6 weeks for final processing after? THANK YOU SOO MUCH to whomever is able to provide me with some answers/ input.

    Sincerely,
    Talia
    ** this is my first time ever being fired or having to file for unemployment so i really have nooooo idea what is standard or normal or whatever. I feel like an idiot with my simple questions but it would bring me so much relief having them answered, truly

    1. Talia,

      I can understand your reason for the anxiety. Adjudication is a fact-finding process where both the claimant and the employer will get an opportunity to present their case. During this process, make sure to produce supporting documents that amplify your stance. For all you know, the adjudication can be a lengthy process.

      Best Wishes!

  10. I was permanently severanced from my job due to a Co. Reorg & received my last severance pay last week. I called UE & was told that I should now do my application online since I will no longer be getting funds & still without a job & that this coming Sunday regardless of knowing if I will or will not get benefits yet that I should still file a weekly claim in case of UE back pay.
    So my question is, do I still have to report 4 jobs applied to within this week, even if I do not know if I will be approved/denied for benefits until possibly next week anyway?

    1. Lynda,

      You should continue to report the job applications as long as you’ve been asked to do so. There will be a “Waiting Period” and the first payment will take about 7-10 days after which they’ll flow much quicker. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  11. I tried to transfer from one state to another. When I left Montana I was told there would be no problem transferring. When I arrived in North Carolina I had trouble reaching the area manager by phone. When he finally called me back he said to meet him for lunch to discuss when and where I would be working. He did not show up for lunch. Then he never returned any of my calls. I went PA to visit a friend a few weeks later and tried there. I met with the hiring manager and was told there should not be a problem doing the transfer since I was still in the system. I called the store a few times and they said it was still pending. Then I was terminated without even a phone call. Am I eligible for unemployment and if so do I file in Montana or North Carolina. I still have a Montana drivers license but I am living in NC.

    1. Stacey,

      As long as you were unemployed involuntarily, you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please consider applying.

  12. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  13. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

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