Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Labor Market
Humans have proved over time to be imaginative and inventive enough to influence developments that were previously just imagined. Today, we have accepted technology as a part of our everyday lives and it does too much for us to make our lives easier. As a consequence, it is only natural to anticipate that artificial intelligence will eventually, if not already, take over our labor industry. Robots, as they are widely known, are technologically sophisticated machines that can carry out orders that an ordinary human being cannot. The only difference is that they, the robots, will be much faster and deliver accurately than human beings. This has its advantages and disadvantages given the manner in which robots are expected to impact the labor market.
Impact on Skill Level and Efficiency
The executive office of the President (11) explains that the labor market stands the chance to have high skilled workers. Robots will be designed to handle a specific set of tasks and therefore every possible error will be addressed before they are set for work. This means that their skill level will be unmatched and in addition to this, the efficiency of their work is likely to be impeccable. Take into consideration manufacturing assemblies that are using the robotic process to ensure everything is achieved as perfectly as possible. Furthermore, robots are expected to impact the labor market in a negative way through job losses. It is a given, artificial intelligence is replacing the human aspect in the labor market thus leading to fewer employment opportunities for them to explore (Trilling). This disruption has already meant a replacement for factory workers who are now forced to look for alternative jobs that robots are yet to take over.
Preparing for the Changes
Preparing for these changes requires both the efforts of the government and the citizens. People should be more aware of the changes and trends that are happening around them thus adjusting accordingly. It might be a difficult thing to do but as (Trilling) explains, even though AI is taking jobs away, it is creating them in another way. Therefore, the need for skill-based training for current and future employees in line with the jobs being created. The government, on the other hand, has to play the role of ensuring that education systems match these changes. It is through education that the proper knowledge and related skills can be earned (Trilling). As such, the government has to revise the education system to accommodate the changes. Furthermore, there is the possibility of taxation that can deter the labor industry from fully automating its operations (Fox News) thus retaining some human aspect.
Impact on Growth
When the above is well addressed, it is expected that artificial intelligence will impact growth. This can happen in two ways, productivity, and economic growth. According to the executive office of the President (9) productivity growth will be achieved because of the numerous limitations that will be addressed through the use of robots. To add on to this, labor hours will drastically reduce meaning more outputs will be realized from a low labor input thus growth. For economic growth, new opportunities just as mentioned above will generate needed income for the economy to benefit from. Technology innovations will help to establish new labor markets just as it was the case after 1870 where 50% of Americans worked in agriculture but through technology change, this percentage decreased as people embraced the new opportunities in different fields.
Impact on International Markets
This impact will not only be on local but also international markets. Given that we are already a global economy; robots are expected to increase trading opportunities for different countries. It is the aim of every business to lower its production costs and that is why, currently, China is the go-to country for manufacturing assemblies because of the use of robotic machinery that is relatively cheaper than human beings. As the need for robots increase, (Trilling) explains that it will no longer be where they are located but where they are made from that will be the driving force for international business. Therefore, as trading between different countries increases for diverse resources, there is the possibility that soon every country will have their own AI. The markets that will benefit the most from this growth are the ones who will be supplying the robots.
The Need for Regulation
Given the above in light of the pros and cons of the increasing usage of artificial intelligence in labor markets, it is my personal opinion that there should be some element of regulation. Trilling explains that the only jobs that robots are yet to do include those that are "caring, creative and supervisory in nature". This means that as human beings, we are giving away too many responsibilities to the robots such that we are left with nothing or opportunities to explore. As robots take over, it can only mean that middle and low skilled workers do not have a future in the labor market and as a result, the economic gap between them and the rich, who are often people who own companies that initiate such changes, will only widen further. Regulating the speed at which artificial intelligence is being introduced into the labor market can ensure that we get the best of both worlds; one where AI is doing difficult and routine tasks and human beings still have a place in the labor market to earn a living.
The executive office of the President. "Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy." Obamawhitehouse.archives.gov, Dec 2016. Web. 21 Apr 2017.
Fox News. "Robots that steal human jobs should pay taxes, Gates says." Fox News, 18 Jan 2017. Web. 21 Apr 2017.
Trilling, David. "Robots are taking jobs, but also creating them: Research review." Journalist's Resource, 12 Feb 2017. Web. 21 Apr 2017.