Robot reboot: why AI might create more jobs than it destroys

Despite the scare stories, is there space for AI to be welcomed into the workforce? A report from Accenture suggests developed economies will grow substantially by 2035 as a more diverse human workforce operates more flexibly

The introduction of AI into the workforce has caused a media frenzy in 2018, with some reports claiming the robot invasion will steal half of all human jobs in the future.

But review of the wider economic picture suggests that the relationship between Artifical Intelligence and the workforce is more complex than some scare stories suggest.

In particular AI could play a positive role in the talent agenda, enabling companies to recruit a more diverse talent base to work more flexibly, while automation handles the routine work back at base.

AI helping economies to grow

According to a new report by the global management consultant Accenture on the economic impact of AI, this new technology could double annual economic growth rates by 2035 through the changing nature of work and the developing relationship between man and machine.

The Accenture Institute for High Performance collaborated with Frontier Economics to observe the impact of AI on 12 developed economies, which generate 50 per cent of the world’s economic output between them. A baseline scenario for 2035 was created to show the expected growth once the impact of AI has been absorbed into each economy.

Results showed that AI will yield the most economic benefits for the United States, increasing its annual growth rate from 2.6 per cent to 4.6 per cent by 2035. Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria could see their growth rates double, while the UK and Japan will also feel considerable benefits.

Focus on talent agenda

The findings of the Accenture research find echoes in other research. As unemployment falls and jobs are left unfilled in some developed economies – according to Forbes Magazine, there are 6.2 million jobs unfilled currently in the United States alone – AI is set to plug the gap while organisations focus their attention on gaining the right talents and skills for their business.

The result could be a more diverse human workforce engaging with the organisation on more of a consulting, part-time or project-oriented basis in the future, because the introduction of AI will give employers the platform to offer more choice and variety in terms of work style. Don’t write off the robots as all bad news just yet.

Access the Accenture report here

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