Disruption is frequently a bad thing: a port closure, a sudden drop or surge in demand, a shocking invasion leading to war, a global pandemic. But there’s also another type of disruption: the kind that upsets or resets a system that’s already malfunctioning or failing to meet its full potential — and this often benefits society over time.
In the news this week, disruption has come to the job market, largely due to the ongoing rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Despite the low unemployment rate globally (just 4.7% in advanced economies), the perceived threat of AI taking jobs from employed professionals persists. And there is some truth to it: A new report from the World Economic Forum says nearly 25% of jobs are expected to be disrupted in the next five years, and AI is cited as a “key driver of potential algorithmic displacement,” particularly for administrative roles and traditional factory work.
But, as Sophie Kiderlin reports for CNBC, there are also many exciting ways that AI is advancing our society — including job creation. She writes: “Almost 75% of companies surveyed are expected to adopt AI. Some 50% of the firms expect jobs to be created as a result.”
Kiderlin also emphasizes that the overwhelming benefits of technological advancements tend to be overlooked by job seekers and even employers: “The impact of most technologies on jobs is expected to be a net positive over the next five years. Big data analytics, climate change and environmental management technologies, and encryption and cybersecurity are expected to be the biggest drivers of growth,” she writes.
Millions of jobs will be lost to AI, but many millions will be created that involve deeper, more meaningful work. In supply chain, report after report shows that the adoption of AI has been a benefit to workers, making room for roles that are more fulfilling, pay higher wages and cause fewer injuries.
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