Many fear the arrival of robots at their workplaces. We’ve all heard so much about how artificial intelligence will lead to fewer jobs with robots able to complete the majority of tasks. Which industries are going to be most affected? And what should businesses be doing to mitigate the potential damage?
According to Forrester Research's Future Of Jobs report, automation and robotics will displace 24.7 million jobs by 2027, while also creating 14.9 million new jobs in the same time period, leading to a net loss of 9.8 million US jobs.
"There is no doubt that AI will impact jobs globally more than any other technology in our lifetime. The key question is 'what should we do about it’," said PV Kannan, CEO of 7, a company which aims to redefine the way companies interact with consumers. The answer, he says, depends on your point of view. Kannan points to the arguments by tech greats Elon Musk, for a universal basic income, and Bill Gates, for a tax on robots.
“While some see a bleak future, I see a future where AI and machine learning will create new categories of work, and amplify human intelligence. Computers bring incredible processing power and memory and can mine vast amounts of information in a short period of time, while humans bring the emotional intelligence and problem-solving skills to handle unexpected or uncommon situations. In the next few years, I see AI becoming integral to the productivity of the workforce,” Kannan said.
He suggested that business owners should begin to ask some questions of how artificial intelligence will impact their industries over the next few years. Some of those questions include:
How can AI, specifically chatbots, reduce labor costs? And how can it improve customer experience?
What can businesses do to reduce the risk posed by automation?
Can new jobs be created due to automation?
What are the global ramifications of increased automation?
According to a study by Oracle, within the next few years, a large number of brands will have incorporated artificial intelligence and virtual reality into their marketing, sales, and services so that customers can move down the sales funnel by communicating with the business on their own terms.
“In fact, 78% of brands say they have already implemented or are planning to implement artificial intelligence and virtual reality by 2020 to better serve customers. With regards to chatbots, which are in many ways the most recognizable form of AI, 80% of sales and marketing leaders say they already use these in their CX or plan to do so by 2020,” said the study.
According to McKinsey, 29 percent of customer service and 36 percent of sales representative positions in the US could soon be automated through machine learning, artificial intelligence, chatbots, and other tech. McKinsey analyzed the work activities of more than 750 occupations to estimate how much work could be automated. The industries most affected included construction and extraction, production, office and administration support, food preparation and serving, and radio operators. BI Intelligence estimates that could equal savings of $23 billion annually in customer service salaries and $15 billion each year in sales salaries.
If you're interested in reading more about how artificial intelligence can help with B2B marketing and lead generation, have a look at our recent article. It makes the point that an AI chatbot system, like Clickatell Touch, can be implemented to handle customer questions and complaints quickly and more efficiently with human staff members being available to come to the bot's rescue if necessary or even teach it what to do in certain situations.
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