Are Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies ‘taking’ human jobs, creating more jobs or somewhere in between? Our latest collaboration with the OECD is seeking case studies from Canadian finance and manufacturing firms. We’ll help inform global policy through real-world examples.
What do we know about the impacts of AI on jobs?
More than ever, people fear that companies will need robots more than they need them.
Contrary to popular belief, machines won’t take all jobs. The picture, while incomplete, is far more nuanced than that. Automation will eliminate certain jobs, but that shift might increase employment rates and lead to higher productivity levels. According to The Economist which cites the OECD, “countries facing higher ‘automation risk’ in 2012 saw stronger employment growth” that year. The OECD found that Japan, Singapore and South Korea had low unemployment rates despite their record-high robot adoption in the workplace. Technological advancement does increase demand for work because in some cases, it makes human skills such as discernment, adaptability and sympathy indispensable.
Could we expect to see this trend reflected in other developed countries? How could we support policy makers globally to shape local policies that meet the needs of workers and employers as automation accelerates? These are questions we will be exploring in our new project with the OECD, Impacts of AI in the Canadian Workplace.