Automation is the future, boding both plenty of negative and positive changes for the Australian workforce. While a significant chunk of workers is set to see their roles replaced – AI technologies have the massive potential to revolutionise the way we work and recruit talent for the better.
With COVID-19 limiting human interactions, such tools are also expected to enhance remote working experiences – making holographic offices and 3D avatars an increasingly feasible solution; no longer limited to the realm of games or sci-fi.
It’s clear that the rise of AI comes with its many benefits, both for business owners and those employed. Though not without its concerns, embracing (rather than combating) such tools can do well to boost productivity, efficiency, and new job opportunities across various industries.
We break down the three main ways AI is expected to impact the workforce below, and how training with AIICT can equip you for an ever-digital future.
CREATING NEW JOBS
Statistics show that around 63% of Australia’s “cubicle jobs” are bound get automated by 2030. This includes roles in administration, finance, accounting, and procurement; in which tasks are often highly structured and repetitive. With AI designed to boost efficiency among routine activities, positions most reliant on mundane, repetitious labour are those more at risk of redundancy.
However, as old jobs gradually get replaced, plenty of new ones are expected to rise. In fact, 2030 is also predicted to see the emergence of 1.7 million new roles, as plenty other “displaced” positions may find new opportunities in the gig economy. This is because as AI grows in popularity, the skills required to usher in this new era of technology will be high in demand – including those with knowledge of big data, machine learning, blockchain, and robotics engineering. Plenty such skills are already sought after now, with Australia currently navigating a growing digital skills gap in the workforce.
As AI relieves us of our workplace mundanities, employees and job-seekers can enjoy higher-level skills opportunities (such as those dedicated to new technologies) or roles focused on irreplaceable, “human” skills. “Mission-based” workers, such as those for charity, health, and social organisations, are expected to grow as a prominent labour force in our digital future – predicting 700,000 new employees by 2030.
Likewise, skills in leadership and management are likely to see rising demand, as we’ll need those with the knowledge to effectively navigate, adapt to, and produce successful business outcomes from this changing landscape.
CHANGING THE NATURE OF WORK
The rising prominence of AI, however, is set to impact more than just job market opportunities. Employers are also likely to change their recruitment practices; as “people” skills grow increasingly in demand, workplaces are bound to prioritise candidates with valuable soft skills such as creativity, communication, and critical thinking.
These “softer” talents, however, can be more difficult to measure, which is where AI may (once again) be able to help. Recruiters can employ smart technologies that may be able to analyse and identify such skills among their candidate pool, leading to better hiring decisions. Such tools will also likely boost general hiring efficiency, helping managers examine thousands of relevant profiles and shortlist the best talents.
In some cases, such technology can even be used to engage and communicate with potential candidates. This may be especially helpful when hiring remote workers, as these AI programs can not only help assess the person’s skillset, but may also be able to gauge their character, personality, and whether they’d make a good “fit” within the company culture. Going even further, these same tools can even be used to facilitate the onboarding process for new employees, such as through the use of AI-enabled chatbots – providing individuals with all the details of their new role and the internal processes of the company.
Additionally, AI can effectively help businesses perform dangerous tasks without having to put their workers at risk. Industries such as manufacturing can particularly benefit from this, allowing such tools to shoulder activities involving falling objects, extreme temperatures, and toxic fumes. Employers not only gain from more efficient processes, but by maintaining the health and wellbeing of their workforce.
ADOPTING SMART AND VIRTUAL TECHNOLOGIES
Finally, the adoption of both smart and virtual AI technologies can change general business performance for the better. Alongside improving recruitment efficiency (and minimising subconscious bias in the process), these tools may increasingly work “alongside” employees in a literal sense.
Collaborative robots – or “Cobots” – for example, now perform on-the-floor tasks alongside workers in Amazon warehouses. Online supermarkets such as Ocado now employ these machines to organise and pack thousands of customer orders per hour, while facilities such as Ericsson’s 5G factory have them both on the assembly line and as security drones patrolling the premises.
On top of hiring “smart” tech, we’re also expected to see a rise in virtualised workplaces. A phenomenon spurred on by the impact of COVID-19, AI is set to enhance work-from-home and remote opportunities by implementing the use of augmented reality. Replacing the often-constricted nature of video conferencing screens, this tech can allow us to communicate and collaborate with our colleagues in real time through holographic avatars and environments.
Also referred to as “holographic transportation”, these tools can additionally help business owners optimise remote working and fully digital workspaces, as well as provide them access to a wider pool of global talent. Microsoft’s Spatial app has already taken steps to implement this, allowing telecommuters to work amongst their teammates through 3D avatars in a virtually generated office space.
WORKING WITH AI, NOT AGAINST IT
Often termed as the “fourth industrial revolution”, it’s important to find productive ways of embracing this AI technology, rather than further resisting its changes. A healthy medium between adopting such tech and nurturing new job opportunities will allow people to reap the benefits of greater productivity and innovation – while focusing their time and energy on more fulfilling activities.
As mentioned, AI is far from fully replicating a human’s touch – so building one’s soft skills will go long way in navigating an increasingly automated future. Similarly, these tools have yet to handle the same level of complexity as highly strategic, creative jobs; creating further opportunities in these roles in the future. Routine, mundane labour may turn redundant – though in its place we’re likely to see the rise of more meaningful work based in critical thought and human connection.
LOOKING TO BUILD YOUR AI SKILLS FOR THE FUTURE?
Optimising the benefits of AI comes with having the right skills to manage it.
The Australian Institute of ICT currently offers a Certified Artificial Intelligence Professional course, in which students can train in the basics of AI technology – including the fundamentals in cloud computing, machine learning, and data analytics. Those who complete the course will achieve a total of four certifications under leading IT bodies Amazon Web Services (AWS) and TensorFlow.
Best of all, the program is delivered online, helping you build the skills you need at a time, place, and pace that suits you best.
Future-proof your career today, and enquire with us on a course.