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AI Will Create 2.3 Million Jobs by 2020 – Report

With concerns that artificial intelligence will make human employment obsolete in the coming decades, research firm Gartner is looking to counter that narrative with a new report that finds AI will actually create more than 2 million jobs within the next two years.

However, that rosy scenario will come at the expense of 1.8 million jobs along the way.

In a report released December 13, Predicts 2018: AI and the Future of Work, Gartner analysts estimate that AI will likely create about 2.3 million jobs between now and 2020, along with eliminating some 1.8 million.

It won't be until 2025 that AI strikes a balance and creates 2 million net-new jobs.

The public sector, along with healthcare and education, will see the most gains from AI, with manufacturing taking the biggest hit, with many middle- and low-skilled jobs falling by the wayside. (See Will AI Create More Jobs Than It Destroys?)

The job creators
(Source: Pixabay)
The job creators
(Source: Pixabay)

Gartner has been fairly bullish on the benefits of AI, especially when it comes to automating many routine IT tasks. At its annual Symposium & ITxpo earlier this year, analysts spoke of using AI and machine learning to overcome the skills gap that many enterprises are facing, especially when it comes to security. (See Will AI Solve the IT Jobs Shortage?.)

The key to AI, Gartner notes, is using it to augment human tasks by eliminate routine work, which can then open up new areas and actually create new job opportunities. By 2021, Gartner estimates that AI augmentation will generate about $2.9 trillion in business value and recover about 6.2 billion in worker productivity.

"For the greatest value, focus on augmenting people with AI," Svetlana Sicular, research vice president at Gartner, writes in the report. "Enrich people's jobs, reimagine old tasks and create new industries. Transform your culture to make it rapidly adaptable to AI-related opportunities or threats."

Some tech firms are already there.

Earlier this year, Salesforce.com Inc. began rolling out a series of machine learning and AI features into its core CRM and sales products that eliminate the more mundane and routine tasks salespeople face. (See At Dreamforce 2017, Salesforce Doubling Down on AI.)

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Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella has also noted that AI is a key technology for Redmond's future. (See Microsoft Serving a Slice of AI With Everything at Ignite.)

"Companies are just beginning to seize the opportunity to improve nonroutine work through AI by applying it to general-purpose tools," Craig Roth, another Gartner analyst, notes in the report. "Once knowledge workers incorporate AI into their work processes as a virtual secretary or intern, robo-employees will become a competitive necessity."

The Gartner report did make a distinction between AI, and how it can augment human tasks, and automation, which companies such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) are using to create a new generation of networks that are more software-defined, along with being self-correcting and self-healing. (See Automated Service Provisioning: Getting It Right.)

"Unfortunately, most calamitous warnings of job losses confuse AI with automation -- that overshadows the greatest AI benefit, AI augmentation, a combination of human and artificial intelligence, where both complement each other," Sicular wrote.

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

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Susan Fourtané 1/4/2018 | 1:31:27 AM
Re: When is the Singularity? Absolutely right. In terms of profitability, anything else beats lectures. Is that the kind of education people want in the future? I don’t think so. The big problem is that the same syatem of lectures is commonly used in high school and even in elementary school. And that is a big problem. It’s also why many students fail. But we have discussed previously that it’s not the students but the teachers who fail. Some universities, such as the University of London, are effectively using online education.They also use the cloud, some automation, and virtual learning environments (VLE). I would say that is an example of what you call a really impressive implementation.
mhhfive 1/3/2018 | 4:32:41 PM
Re: When is the Singularity? > " lectures have never worked for anyone..."

Well, lectures are definitely not the most efficient means for teaching, but they play some useful role -- in that it's "profitable" to lecture at 200+ students in a big hall and only pay for 1 professor (and maybe a few TAs). 

Online education is definitely the wave of the future, but I haven't yet seen a really impressive implementation of it. Perhaps when AI gets more involved? 
Susan Fourtané 1/3/2018 | 5:45:59 AM
Re: When is the Singularity? Unless a person falls into the Auditory category of learning, lectures have never worked for anyone else, and evidence of this has long been discussed for ages. Not only human teachers will have to adapt, the whole system needs to change to be effective and prepare the future generations for those new jobs that don’t exist yet. You can’t teach the workforce that will be in charge of the economy in 2030 following the same curriculum used in the past decades. It simply won’t work.
Susan Fourtané 1/3/2018 | 5:28:34 AM
Re: When is the Singularity? I see! The Montessori method is great. Now I understand why your first grade teacher was such a good influence. Perhaps her personality also had something to do with it. Little sponges absorbing unlimited learning. Now that is wonderful. Yes, today’s economy and those future job AI will create as we have been discussing recently demand a radical change in education, teaching, and knowledge approach.
mhhfive 1/2/2018 | 2:56:30 PM
Re: When is the Singularity? > "remember when I said that AI is going to replace teachers? Gartner seems to agree."

Hmm. Okay, I'll agree that human teachers will need to adapt their teaching styles. We're already seeing scientific evidence that "lectures" aren't the best way to learn, so I'm sure there will be better ways to teach people -- and AI will play some role in optimizing the strategies.

Phil_Britt 12/29/2017 | 10:13:07 AM
Re: When is the Singularity? Though at a parochial school, first grade teacher used Montessori method. So we were able to advance much faster than the curriculum dictated (if we were able), first reading group read 2-3 times the number of books curriculum called for. She instilled the thrill of unlimited learning.

You are right that teaching has changed and so has what people need to learn to succeed in the economy of today and the future.
Susan Fourtané 12/29/2017 | 9:36:28 AM
Re: When is the Singularity? That’s interesting about your first grade teacher. What did she do to influence your success? However, teachers 55 years ago and now are not the same. I’ll tell you about my idea of the future of AI and robotics in education briefly here, in response to your fear of missing the human element (exitence questionable today more than once). All the available knowledge will be stored in a master cloud exclusive for education. It will be updated by a master AI sort of IBM Watson. Embedding ethics and emotions into artificial intelligent robots will be advanced by then. This is possible already today, continuous research and testing keeps improving in this field. The knowledge stored in the educational cloud will be accessible to every student (or anyone else for that matter) through their various devices. Students will attend school for social reasons, where a teacher robot will guide and assess their education. Students will have a personalised AI which they can access anytime. AI will create new jobs in education where humans will have the role of guides and trainers in human character development, dealing with human emotions, identifying and shaping emotions, and other related subjects. (Don’t tell me there is no need for that) These human guides and trainers will be highly qualified and proficient in their role. They will be the human element that will complement the efficent academic education that everyone on the planet will receive.
Susan Fourtané 12/29/2017 | 8:01:51 AM
Re: Times of change I send you my appreciation for 40 years of your life devoted to journalism. (What I writing as reply for your comment on AI in education just disappered. I’ll try again when I am less upset. It was long.)
Phil_Britt 12/29/2017 | 6:44:06 AM
Re: Times of change There is an end when one gets to an age to call it a career. I've been doing this for 40 years. So I'm definitely deep into the back 9 so to speak.
Susan Fourtané 12/29/2017 | 4:14:18 AM
Re: Times of change Is there really an end to a journalism career? I think a reporter is always a reporter. A writer is always a writer. If you think you can change that you are thinking about changing the essence of your own self. If you would really believe you are near the end of your career you wouldn’t be here, in the first place. :) I should add that I always find rewarding all the exchanges we have. Your knowledge and your opinion are things that will never leave you. In good part, they make up your journalism career. You might want to write a book now. A book about your many years informing, entertaining, and educating several generations of years perhaps. It can be a time of change. I agree with you. Publications have experienced a massive tranformation, indeed. And it has not stopped.
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