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#AI@Work: Will Humans Even Be Considered?

AI will also cause BIG upheaval in the education system. Future directions in education must support design thinking and encourage creativity. New curriculums will be designed to engage with the work. New degree programs will integrate with the creative work at the company. Adaptability is one of the major challenges humans will face. Those who can adapt to an agile environment will thrive. Those that cannot adapt will struggle. Employees must always be willing to learn new skills. The challenge for schools and colleges will be to teach students soft skills such as reliability, communication, social interactions, time management, accepting feedback and always, always continuing to learn.

From the beginning, the concept and then the creation of AI has caused fear in the workplace. Stanley Kubrick’s movie 2001, with its evil computer Hal, exemplified the fears. AI could be a threat to human existence. AI is no longer on the horizon; in many areas it has arrived. In the short term, AI will not rival the Hal 9000 of Space Odyssey fame, but it could very easily and rapidly change the shape of the workplace. This has already begun. Clever Machines, robots, chatbots, smartbots and IOT have begun to infiltrate the work environment. By undertaking tasks done by humans they are capable of destroying millions of jobs almost overnight. Stephen Hawking believed that AI, much like the Internet, comes with challenges (Cellan-Jones, 2014). Elon Musk calls AI the most dangerous threat for humanity.

Bill Gates points out that AI could cause record unemployment very quickly. AI includes smart technology, artificial intelligence, robots, and algorithms (STARA). This could eliminate one-third of the jobs that exist today. Robots are improving a lot. This includes inexpensive self-governing units that can easily outperform humans. Examples include retail self-checkouts, smartphone applications, automated accounting, IOT, driverless cars and chatbots taking orders for fast food. The cost benefits to business are enormous. This makes it difficult to continue to consider humans in some roles moving forward.

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