You’ve probably heard that the “Future of Work” is here now.  However, most of us go about our daily lives knowing of the increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) but oblivious of what it is exactly or how it will affect us.  The reality is that AI is here changing the way we live, impacting the way we work, and the way we do business.

What is “AI” anyway?  Intel defines AI as computer algorithms or approaches that allow machines to sense, reason, and act as humans do–or in some ways go beyond human abilities.

According to a recent study conducted by McKinsey & Company, as many as 70 million US workers may lose their jobs to robots and automation by 2030!  How is this possible?  By working faster, cheaper, and at times more accurately than humans.    The activities that are most at risk to be automated are machine operation, preparation of fast food, collecting and analyzing data.

I do believe that many of those 70 million workers may lose their jobs IF they don’t acquire key skills to keep up with the AI Revolution.  AI will eliminate tasks, thus it will change jobs.  For business owners that do not adapt to new technologies will become increasingly inefficient. They will be forced into AI to keep them competitive and profitable.

We are used to seeing drones and self-driving cars.  What else is happening?

  • Burger restaurants and other venues are using robots to flip burgers (e.g. Caliburger and Dodgers Stadium).
  • Amazon and other major wholesalers are using robots to move boxes around, fulfill orders, lift and stack bins. Amazon is using them to deliver packages too.
  • 31% of companies plan to add AI over the next 12 months (according to Adobe’s 2018 Digital Intelligence Briefing).
  • Price Waterhouse Coopers found that 72% of business leaders believe AI is going to be fundamental in the future and a “business advantage.”
  • PWC also found that in the immediate future, executives are looking for AIto alleviate repetitive, menial tasks, such as paperwork (82%), scheduling (79%), and timesheets (78%).
  • Finance, banking, and insurance are among the fastest industries adopting AI for routine, low-complexity tasks.
  • Robots have been used to perform unassisted complex surgeries since 2006 when AI was used to correct a heart arrhythmia. The results were rated as better than an above-average human surgeon.  By the way, robots have been assisting in surgeries since 1984.

Automation has its limits though.  Not all work can be done through technology alone.  That said, workers should be aware that AI will soon require new skills to work alongside, maintain, develop, and operate them. Workers with those skills will be in high demand.

The bottom line is that whether you are an employee or a business owner, the AI Revolution cannot be ignored.  It’s time to analyze how it will affect your business or your job, and plan to do something about it.  Waiting is not an option.  The “future of work” is here now.

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