As many industries are moving towards an even more technologically advanced age, many questions are being raised. Will the movement towards automation and robotics cause the displacement of workers? Are robots and artificial intelligence stealing the jobs of people who have families to feed?
While there have been multiple reports in the media about layoffs caused by the integration of artificial intelligence and robotics, ZipRecruiter released a report outlining a better future for both man and machine.
According to ZipRecruiter’s The Future of Work Report, artificial intelligence created three times the amount of jobs it rendered obsolete, especially in industries outside of the tech sector. Employers in various fields such as medicine and finance are looking for workers skilled in machine learning and big data to help them keep up with the demand for better services and product offerings.
In marketing for example, advertising companies are utilizing big data tools to streamline their market research processes. Some market research firms have started hiring data scientists and algorithm engineers to handle huge amounts of data for their keyword analysis, look at search trends, and conduct SEO audit.
The increase in demand has also resulted to hefty paychecks for these jobs. Indeed.com lists the average salary for a machine learning engineer to be around US$143,000 annually. Data scientists earn an average of US$127,000 per year.
While the same report published by ZipRecruiter found out that one out of five job seekers are afraid of being displaced by AI, 81% of employers surveyed still prefer hiring a human employee over a fully autonomous AI system. Most employers also believe the introduction of AI in the workplace will still be unable to fully replace human workers, doing only 15% of the work that human workers are already doing.
ZipRecruiter notes that artificial intelligence appears to be truly successful only when used in conjunction with human labor rather than as a total replacement. In fact, some of the fastest growing jobs that the advancement in this kind of technology has created still require human workers to help maintain an AI system or interpret the data churned out by such systems.
For example, the demand for mobile app developers has increased by 186% from 2017 to 2018 alone. In a similar trend, web developer demand has risen to 179%, no doubt to accommodate the increasing need for most businesses to have an online presence. The popularity of social media has also created jobs for social media marketing managers to attend to the branding and marketing campaigns of businesses on social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
While the concerns over the rise of artificial intelligence systems in various fields are valid, it is important to note that this paradigm shift will not result in a total annihilation of human labor. While employers do believe in a work environment where AI and human labor is completely integrated, they are noticing a shortage of skilled workers. This can however be remedied by upskilling workers through on-the-job training to prepare them for newer and better jobs.