“AI will take over the world!” An exclamation that is becoming increasingly popular with the widespread, yet minimal, knowledge of AI to the general public. What about AI taking over jobs? Which jobs will be in danger? Will I be in danger? While these are all valid concerns, the media tends to primarily shed light on the negative impact, such as job loss due to AI. What about the benefits of letting AI take over, but only ever so slightly? Even though the media paints a negative picture regarding the use of AI in the workplace, it is certainly possible to enjoy the efficiency of AI applications in the workplace.
The recent popularity of ChatGPT has shown the possibility of using such an application as an assistant for anyone with ease. At the same time, we see that it is not always a hundred percent accurate and often needs some human correction. One way of letting AI assist in the workplace is by letting it take over repetitive tasks. Repetitive tasks include, but are not limited to, data entry and assembly line work. Taking away the repetitive parts of a job will allow workers to focus on more creative aspects, which will prove beneficial for the workforce and workplace. So then, why exactly should we let AI take over repetitive tasks within our jobs?
Improve Workers’ Well Being
Repetitive tasks can often lead to a sense of boredom, which, over time, can adversely affect one’s mental health. Research indicates that chronic boredom may contribute to a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, and even higher turnover rates among employees. The potential of AI to take over such monotonous tasks presents a unique opportunity for workers to engage in more fulfilling and creative work, thereby potentially enhancing the overall well-being of the workforce.
However, this optimistic perspective is frequently challenged by concerns regarding job loss and the obsolescence of certain skills. Many individuals fear that AI’s advancements will render a significant number of jobs obsolete. As machines become increasingly proficient at tasks previously exclusive to humans, the concern grows that human labour may no longer be necessary. Critics argue that with machines taking over more roles, there could be a diminished need for human employment, potentially leading to greater unemployment rates and disrupting the economy’s balance.
Despite ongoing concerns about job displacement due to AI, recent studies have indicated that automation is more likely to transform existing jobs rather than eliminate them outright. This transformation is expected to lead to the creation of new, more complex job roles, subsequently increasing the demand for employment. Nonetheless, these new positions will likely require a higher level of skill, prompting workers to adapt by focusing their training on the competencies demanded by new technologies. In essence, AI taking over repetitive tasks will generate new employment opportunities that demand more sophisticated skills and knowledge.
Enhanced Job Satisfaction
When AI takes over repetitive tasks, individuals have the opportunity to do more engaging and creative work. This freedom can significantly enhance job satisfaction, as people engage in roles that challenge them intellectually and creatively. Engaging in work that aligns with one’s passions and strengths can lead to higher levels of innovation, productivity, and personal growth.
However, not all individuals have the luxury to pursue work that aligns with their personal interests and talents due to economic constraints, job availability, or practical necessities. Many people must take jobs that are available rather than ideal, focusing on financial stability over personal fulfilment. This reality emphasizes a significant gap in the workforce, where the ideal of aligning one’s job with personal interests often clashes with the practical need for financial security. While economic constraints and job availability are real challenges, it’s important to acknowledge that not everyone has a clear understanding of their interests or talents, especially early in their careers. These preferences often become clearer through exposure to various tasks and roles. This can lead to fulfilling careers that were not initially apparent, highlighting the importance of openness to new experiences in the workforce.
Additionally, personal fulfilment and financial stability are not necessarily mutually exclusive. With strategic planning and continuous learning, individuals can work towards careers that satisfy both economic needs and personal aspirations. Educational programs and employer initiatives that focus on skill development and career growth can help individuals to find a balance between financial stability and job satisfaction that aligns with their talents and interests.
Innovation Through Creativity
Self-innovation is a main point when it comes to development that comes forth from creativity. Not only does this mean that a worker learns new skills, they can then pass on the learned skills to a workplace AI and indulge in a never-ending cycle of improvement for both worker and workplace AI.
Do not misinterpret this as losing learned skills to AI, as critical skills will always be retained and used to further improve. Other than improving oneself or the workplace, workers will also have more space to think about innovating existing products and services. From research, it is found that a creativity-promoting workplace leads to more innovative ideas. These ideas help improve the quality of life of co-workers and consumers, as one thing that AI is not able to attune to is the well-being of individuals. This also shows that there will always be a need for human workers, after all, nobody understands humans better than humans themselves. So no, the need for human workers in the workforce will not turn obsolete anytime soon.
The creativity that humans bring to the table is what makes the innovation of AI possible. Who will monitor AI? How do we train AI to be suitable for the job? Answering these questions is what will create additional jobs and make existing jobs more versatile. Chris Nicholson, CEO of machine learning company Skymind.AI shares an analogy supporting this idea.
“… So when you think about, say, England before and after the Industrial Revolution, it wasn’t a poorer place where there was less work. There was a lot more work, but it was a different kind of work.”Chris Nicholson, CEO Skymind.AI
AI and Workers: Hand In Hand
Improving workers’ well-being, job satisfaction and innovation are all benefits that AI can introduce in the workplace, simply by taking over repetitive tasks. The shift in how we work is expected and the best thing we can do is embrace this change. We should let AI assist us, while we help improve AI. Who knows what kind of innovations we will stumble upon in the future? One thing is certain, more creativity at work equals more happiness. Who does not want to be happy? Let AI take over.