While blockchain and AI are here to stay, concerns have been raised about the changes that they bring to the job market and whether the society is ready to handle such change...
Those who keep up with the latest news in tech and/or finance will tell you that when it comes to buzzwords or phrases, perhaps none are more relevant today than artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. The two have gained increasing ubiquity in industries such as banking (mainly in the case of blockchain), management, logistics, and even real estate (mainly in the case of AI). Yet while the two are without a doubt here to stay, concerns have been raised about the changes that they bring to the job market and whether the society is ready to handle such change.
As previously mentioned, certain industries will see the effects earlier than others. According to an article from Digitalist Magazine, one such key industry is health care, in which AI has been used to provide increasingly accurate diagnoses. Data on patients and their medical history is used to spot early signs of illnesses such as heart disease. Results have shown that AI can outperform even the most experienced doctors in this area, illustrating the technology’s potential to do parts of their job. Other industries have unsurprisingly taken note: Automotive manufacturers aspire to incorporate AI for self-driving cars, and e-commerce giants have robots as customer service representatives (chatbots).
Blockchain is not to be left behind, either. One of the things that makes blockchain attractive is its ability to provide security to peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions by using encryption methods. While transactions over the internet used to carry heavy risks, blockchain solves this issue and strengthens cryptocurrency as a formidable alternative to the traditional banking sector — who many see as an unnecessary middleman between transactions.
Yet for all of the future potential, fears of job loss to AI and blockchain are on the rise as well. Certain sectors are more vulnerable than others, such as banking, for the reasons stated above. In The Conversation’s article, “Banking Sector Will Be Ground Zero for Job Losses from AI and Robotics,” it is detailed that Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan anticipates that the automation of jobs will depend on the routine tasks that businesses have. Yet it may be too soon for clerks and other types of employees to panic. The economic calendar on FXCM shows that the Initial Jobless Claims released by the U.S. Department of Labor is at 221,000. According to outside reports, this was down by 5,000 compared to the previous week, which shows that despite slow job growth, the labor market is staying strong. What we are seeing is merely the beginning of AI and blockchain; its full effects will not be felt for years to come.
AI and blockchain should be welcomed. While fears about these technologies are understandable, Open Access Government has pointed out that they also free up employee’s time to do more high-value work and maximizes efficiency. In the medical field, this can make the difference in saving lives. As a society, it is best to remember that technology is what we make of it.