Will the AI revolution be more disruptive than we anticipated?

With the sudden increase in businesses incorporating Artificial Intelligence in their models, it’s natural to think of AI as this bright new technology that’s suddenly changing the way humans function. But, Artificial Intelligence is not a recent innovation. 

The term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ or ‘AI’—referring to the use of computer systems to perform tasks that would usually require human understanding—has been around for nearly 60 years.

However, since its inception in the early 1950s, the evolution trajectory of AI has been seemingly slow.

That is, until recently.

AI now appears on the brink of revolutionizing industries as diverse as health care, law, journalism, aerospace, gaming and manufacturing, with the potential to profoundly affect how people live, work, and play. The wide introduction of AI will lead to intelligent automation of tasks that are repetitive and dangerous, giving us the time to focus on the tasks that are more important.

But just like anything new that’s introduced to a mature and established system, the introduction of AI will have its own set of challenges.

Despite its advantages, the widespread use of AI is bound to cause disruption in the market, more specifically in the jobs currently being offered and the business models that are being followed. This poses one of the most important questions: Is this disruption going to be more challenging than what we have anticipated?

Contrary to popular belief, the large-scale introduction of AI will not only disrupt the low skill repetitive and life-threatening jobs but also high-skill jobs. Our increasingly sophisticated understanding of how the human brain works and our ability to embed brain-like elements into computers have significantly increased their emotional-connectivity. The increase in emotional-connectivity as well as machine to machine connectivity enables AI to also complete tasks that would require a human touch.

But jobs and people aren’t the only aspects of the market that will be disrupted. For the AI revolution to take its course, the current business models will also need to be upgraded, or in some cases, changed. 

Let’s take the example of a consultancy company. With everything moving towards automation, the demand for physical consultance is likely to get significantly lower. In exchange, the requirement for on-demand softwares that carry all the knowledge offered by physical consultants will increase. To sustain in the market, the company would need to reinvent its current time-based earning model to something similar to, maybe, a subscription model.

The inclusion of AI into the workforce will also lead to changes in Human Resource strategies and the way we’re currently hiring people.

In simpler terms, the widespread inclusion of AI will lead to changes in the way businesses and governments function at their core. Sounds quite challenging, doesn’t it?

In spite of this, the advantages of incorporating Artificial intelligence out-weigh the disadvantages significantly. 

Increased productivity and reduction in human errors triumphs as a major advantage. With its ability to identify patterns in large data and provide new insights based on the same, AI will ensure optimal usage of our resources.

Furthermore, while the introduction of AI will automate repetitive jobs, it won’t necessarily result in massive unemployment.

In its “Future of Jobs Report 2020,” the World Economic Forum estimates that 85 million jobs will be displaced while 97 million new jobs will be created across 26 countries by 2025. These newly enhanced jobs will create benefits for both businesses and individuals who will have more time to be creative, strategic, and entrepreneurial.

While some have a dystopian view of the future, the reality is that AI’s positive social impact will likely outweigh its consequences. The key to its success remains through investment in high-quality, holistic education and upskilling opportunities. When paired with multi-sector initiatives, these solutions can help prepare society for a future of co-existing with Artificial Intelligence.