Skip links

Legitimate to worry about AI and jobs but change may take time researchers say

AI now affects creative occupations, which were previously considered safe from automation. Job displacement concerns are legitimate. New approaches to education and workforce development are needed. Addressing biases in AI and fostering reskilling are also necessary, two researchers at London School of Economics (LSE) write in LSE Business Review. Among their conclusions is that negative employment effects may take their time to fully advance as firms adapt slowly to new technologies.

“For a long time, many experts argued that AI and automation more generally wouldn’t affect occupations and tasks that involved intrinsically human skills such as creativity. Now though, we see Hollywood actors and writers, arguably a very creative breed, go on strike in fear of AI replacing their jobs”, they write.

The authors are Cecily Josten, research officer at LSE’s The Inclusion Initiative and Grace Lordan, associate professor in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at LSE. She is the founder and director of The Inclusion Initiative.  

Read Also:  AI driving paradigm shift in skills requested for global jobs

“While automation has undeniably brought numerous benefits and efficiencies to various sectors, it has also given rise to legitimate concerns about job displacement and the need for new approaches to education and workforce development.” 

They say that one further concern is the impact it has on the remaining distribution of jobs and the diversity therein. 

“In other words, it remains to be tested whether the jobs that remain are diverse and representative of our society as a whole.”

They refer to earlier studies showing that automation has led to the displacement of jobs in certain industries, particularly those involving routine tasks. 

“Automation, however, has also created new job opportunities in other industries, especially those that require non-routine, cognitive, and interpersonal skills. As technology takes over repetitive tasks, human workers are increasingly needed to perform complex problem-solving, creativity, and social interaction.” 

Read Also:  Women's jobs more at risk from artificial intelligence

“High-skill workers, who possess the abilities that complement automation and work collaboratively with machines, tend to experience increased demand and higher wages. Meanwhile, low-skill workers, whose jobs can be easily replaced by machines, face decreased job opportunities and stagnant wages.”

They conclude that it is important to highlight that negative employment effects may take their time to fully advance as firms adapt slowly to new technologies.

“Not only is it crucial to distinguish skills and tasks within occupations and across, it is also important to highlight the differential impact AI has on occupations by demographic group. McKinsey highlights that women will be 1.5 times more likely to have to switch occupations away from those that are being automated than men.” 

“Further, as AI diffuses further across many aspects of work life, it is crucial to prevent biases inherent to AI in, for example, hiring decisions that exhibit gender or racial bias.

“How the impact of AI on jobs is felt by different demographic groups differently and what this implies for diversity and inclusion efforts remains to be seen. Given the disproportionate automation among low skilled labour, it becomes crucial to make sure upskilling and education are provided to offset the potential negative effect for diversity and inclusion.”

Read Also:  This is how employees globally think AI will impact their jobs

Moonshot News is an independent European news website for all IT, Media and Advertising professionals, powered by women and with a focus on driving the narrative for diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the industry.

Our mission is to provide top and unbiased information for all professionals and to make sure that women get their fair share of voice in the news and in the spotlight!

We produce original content, news articles, a curated calendar of industry events and a database of women IT, Media and Advertising associations.

    Do you want an experienced opinion on a job issue?
    Moonshot Manager is here to answer!

      Moonshot community sharing thoughts and ideas, in a anonymous, safe environment.