More Business Leaders Expect A.I. to Create Jobs Than Eliminate Them

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A new survey finds that business owners and executives expect A.I. to be a job creator, even as it reduces some positions.

Worried that advancements in A.I. will force you to replace your employees with algorithms? You’re not alone. According to a recent Pew survey, 62 percent of workers think A.I. will have a major impact on the future of work, while 15 percent believe they’ll be personally impacted by the tech, and not in a good way. It’s a more than understandable anxiety, but a new survey of global business leaders found that many believe the net effect of A.I. will be the creation of new jobs.

In the 2023 edition of its annual Future of Jobs Report, the World Economic Forum found that while 25 percent of organizations expect the change to lead to job losses, 50 percent of respondents expect the tech to create job growth. The WEF surveyed 803 businesses from around the world, representing over 11.3 million workers.

The only way the world economy will see that job growth, according to the WEF, is to begin training today’s workforce to take full advantage of A.I.’s power, stating that “though generative A.I. has the potential to displace jobs, the focus placed on training workforces to exploit A.I. and big data indicates the opportunities for new roles that harness its potential to help achieve business goals.”

This isn’t to say that some jobs won’t be replaced by A.I. in the long run; the report found that clerks and secretaries are expected to see their numbers fall rapidly over the coming years. In their place, demand for A.I. and machine learning specialists is expected to grow faster than for any other job, as businesses will need manpower to develop, train, and refine their large language models and neural networks.

Jeff Wong, EY’s global chief innovation officer, has been telling his clients that companies that don’t take advantage of next-gen A.I. to improve their businesses, and says that organizations of all sizes will need to at least make some level of investment in the tech.

According to the report, expertise in A.I. and big data is the most strongly prioritized skill across the following industries:

  • Insurance and pensions management

  • Media, entertainment, and sports

  • Information and technology services

  • Telecommunications

  • Business support and premises maintenance services

  • Electronics

According to Wong, entrepreneurs should “keep abreast of new innovations with this technology, and wait until the perfect tool for your specific business need becomes available. Building the infrastructure internally is a waste of your capital.”